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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake. Better than that there coffee giant’s latte.

Every year, around this time, I see friends on Facebook and Twitter getting all hyped up because a certain high-street coffee chain brings back their Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ve not actually tried one myself, but I’m intrigued by the flavour combination and as I had a tin of pumpkin puree knocking about in the cupboard, so I decided to have a go at creating a cake with the same key ingredients. It didn’t taste like I expected, but I really enjoyed it – it’s lovely and moist with a surprisingly light texture. As this makes two cakes, you could either freeze one (well wrapped in greaseproof paper and then clingfilm) or make up some cream cheese buttercream and sandwich the two cakes together. Or I guess you could make half as much. I only made this much because I used the whole tin of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

  • 425g (1 tin) pureed pumpkin
  • 225g vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 150g yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500g light brown soft sugar
  • 450g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

Heat oven to 180C and grease and line two 9″ round cake tins (spring form, if you have them). In a large bowl, beat together the wet ingredients – pumpkin, oil, yoghurt and eggs – and the sugar until smooth and well incorporated. Add all the dry ingredients and mix to form a pourable batter. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for around 45 minutes; the cakes are done when they’re a rich brown colour, risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool in their tins on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes before carefully taking them out of the tin to cool completely. Dust with a little icing sugar, cut a big wedge and serve with your favourite brew.

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Lemon and Lime Tray Bake

Lemon and Lime Tray Bake

Lemon and Lime Tray Bake, fragrant with the zest of citrus

This week was the final of Great British Bake Off. I bloody love that programme (not exactly alone in that, eh?) and often watch with another addicted friend. We watched this last episode together so I baked us something (it’s safer that way!) to keep us satisfied whilst watching all the spectacular goodies on-screen. I had been undecided as to what I should bake, but in the end, time constraints and an abundance of citrus fruit in my kitchen lead me to knock up a nifty little all-in-one tray bake – with the added bonus of getting to use my Kenwood Chef which is my favourite new toy!

Lemon and Lime Tray Bake

For the cake:

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • zest 2 lemons
  • zest 2 limes and juice of one
  • 2 tbsp whole milk

Heat the oven to 180C and line a tin (approx 25x20cm) with foil. If using a food processor or stand mixer, put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix, starting off slowly and increasing speed until well mixed. If making with an electric hand whisk or by hand, cream the butter and sugar, then beat in 2 of the eggs followed by half the dry ingredients, then the remaining eggs and dry ingredients, finishing with the zests, juice and milk. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch, springing back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before icing.

For the icing:

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • juice of half a lime

Mix together and then drizzle artfully (or not) over the cooled cake. Cut cake into portions. Eat.

Lemon & Lime Tray Bake

Artistic decoration optional!

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake, perfect for a rainy autumn day

I was over at my parent’s place this weekend because I was looking after all the sick people there. Mostly this just involved feeding people, something I rather enjoy. I knocked up this simple little cake because there were lots of apples to be eaten or used, and a slice of comforting apple cake on an autumnal day is surely good medicine even if you’re not feeling poorly.

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g self raising flour
  • half tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eating apples (I used Pink Lady), cored and chopped into small chunks
  • generous handful raisins

Heat the oven to 170C and grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat, then add about half the flour and mix to incorporate, then mix in the second egg followed by the remaining flour, baking powder and cinnamon (if you’re a big cinnamon fan, I’d say chuck in an extra half teaspoon). Mix well, then stir in the apple chunks and raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about an hour. It’s done when golden and it springs back when pressed with a fingertip. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about half an hour before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Easy Cheese and Bacon Scones

Easy Cheese and Bacon Scones

Easy Cheese and Bacon Scones, delicious warm and buttered

Cheese scones are my favourite kind and remind me of my childhood when I’d ask my mum to bake them pretty frequently. I made some to take to my bake club meet up last week, but completely forgot to take photos of them. My fellow bake clubbers enjoyed them so I thought I’d recreate them for the blog as they’re ridiculously easy. And then it struck me. What makes everything better? Bacon! These are delicious, even if I do say so myself. They’re so simple to make, and you can have them ready and on the plate in little over half an hour from start to finish. I think cheese scones are best just a few minutes after they’re out of the oven, slathered in butter, but all scones should be eaten the day they’re made or they’re just a bit disappointing. If you’re a vegetarian or just don’t like bacon (what’s wrong with you?!) then just leave the bacon out and you’ve still got yourself the easiest, tastiest cheese scones ever.

Easy Cheese and Bacon Scones

Ingredients:

  • 4 rashers of bacon (I used smoked, streaky bacon)
  • 230g self raising flour
  • 115g strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • scant pinch salt
  • 150g full fat milk (a little over a quarter of a pint), plus a drop extra for glazing
  • 1 tsp English mustard

Heat your oven to 220C and lightly grease a baking tray. Fry or grill your bacon rashers until becoming crisp, then transfer to some kitchen paper to cool and drain the excess fat. When cool enough to handle, chop up into small pieces.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, cheese and salt. My top tip here is to finely grate the cheese as you’ll get more intense flavour. Measure your milk and mix in the teaspoon of mustard so it disperses into the dry ingredients a bit better. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and use a blunt ended (butter or dinner) knife to make cutting motions across the ingredients, turning the bowl as you go – the less the mixture is worked to bring it together, the lighter your scones will be. As the mixture starts to begin to clump together, add in your bacon bits and continue to mix, bringing together with your hands at the end if you need to.

Lightly flour a clean surface and roll or pat out your dough to about 1.5cm thick. If you use any kind of cutter to shape, don’t twist, just push down firmly – twisting can stop your scones from rising as much as they should. Or you can simply cut the dough into squares – scones don’t have to be circular. Either way, keep reforming any excess dough to make more scones until it’s all used up. Place your scones on the prepared baking tray and brush the tops with a little milk. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool (or just split in half, butter and eat!). These are great on their own, with cheese and chutney or to accompany a hearty and smooth winter soup.

Cheese and Bacon Scones

Just a few ingredients and simple to make; give them a try