Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Deep Filled Victoria Sandwich

This cake is made with a slightly more time consuming method than the standard creaming method, the eggs are added very slowly and the flour is double sifted and folded in, but, it gives a fantastic light, well risen and even result, it's well worth a try, your friends and family will thank you for it. 
I've used special cake tins with raised inserts so that the cake can be deep filled, but this mix will work just as well in standard sandwich tins, you just won't be able to be quite a generous with the filling.
I know cream isn't traditional in a Victoria sponge, but who doesn't like a cream cake?!
Equipment -
2 x hidden centre sandwich tins, well greased with cake tin release (both products available from Lakeland) or 2 x 25.5cm sandwich tins, greased and base lined.
Electric whisk.

Ingredients -
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large free range eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g self raising flour, sifted
1 tbsp milk
Jam of your choice for filling, I used home made raspberry and rose
Whipped cream for filling, I used Chantilly cream (sweetened with icing sugar and flavoured with vanilla)
Caster or icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4
2. Put butter in a large bowl and beat until creamy.
3. Gradually beat in sugar, then keep beating until the mix turns almost white and becomes very fluffy, this will take 3-4 mins.
4. Break eggs into a small bowl and add vanilla.  beat lightly with a fork.  Add to the creamed mixture a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.  If the mixture looks like it's about to curdle, add a tablespoon of the sifted flour.  This process will take about 5 mins, don't rush it as it will give your cake great texture.
5. Sift the flour again, this time into the mixture, and add the milk.  Gently fold into the creamed mixture, taking care not to knock out the air you've beaten in.
6. Divide the batter between the two tins, spreading it evenly to the edges, and bake for 20-25 min, until golden brown and springy to the touch.
7. Leave in the tin for two mins then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
8. Once cold, fill with jam and cream, and dust the top with caster or icing sugar.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

White Chocolate and Pecan Blondies

These are like brownies, but made with white chocolate and lots of pecan nuts, use really good quality chocolate for the best flavour.  They're really easy to make and will disappear fast!
Equipment -
20.5 cm square tin, greased and base lined with baking paper

Ingredients -
175g white chocolate, broken up
115g butter, diced
100g golden caster sugar
2 medium free range eggs
 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g pecan halves

Method -
1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4
2. Put chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a pan of hot water, off the heat, not letting the water touch the bottom of the pan.  Stir frequently until melted.
3. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the sugar, don't worry if it looks curdled at this stage.
4.  Leave to cool for 2 mins while you beat the eggs in a small bowl with the vanilla paste until frothy.
5. Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until you have a thick, glossy  batter.
6. Sift in flour and baking powder and mix well.
7. Add 100g of the nuts and mix well.
8. Pour into the repaired tin and spread evenly.  Scatter over the remaining nuts, and bake for 20-25 mins. until a skewer inserted into the cake halfway between the centre and the side of the tin comes out clean.  The centre should still be slightly soft.
9.  Set the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin.  Once cold, turn out and cut into 16 pieces.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Giant Jaffa Orange Cake

Like Jaffa Cakes?  You'll love this!  Orange sponge, topped with a a layer of "smashing jaffa orangy bit!", then smothered in chocolate ganache.  I got this recipe in Good Food magazine.
Equipment -
20cm round cake tin, greased and lined with cling film
23cm round cake tin, greased and base lined with baking paper
Electric whisk - optional, you can beat by hand if you prefer

Ingredients -

Jelly -
Juice of 5 large oranges (about 500 mls)
100 g golden caster sugar
6 gelatine leaves

Sponge -
250g butter, softened
300 g golden caster sugar
4 large, free range eggs
100 g full fat natural yogurt
300 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Zest 4 large oranges, use the juice for the jelly

Ganache -
300 ml double cream
300g dark chocolate, or a mix of milk and dark if you prefer, finely chopped

To assemble -
2 tbsp shredless marmalade or apricot jam

Method -

Jelly -
1. Place orange juice and sugar into a small pan and heat gently until sugar has dissolved.
2. Meanwhile, soak gelatine leaves in cold water for a few mins until soft.
3. Remove gelatine from cold water, squeeze out excess water and stir into the warm juice.
4. Pour into the small lined cake tin and chill for at least four hours or overnight.

Sponge -
1. Heat oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas 3
2. Tip all sponge ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth.
3. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
4. Bake for about 55 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack completely.

Ganache -
1. Heat cream in a small pan.
2. Place chocolate in a bowl.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth.
4. Leave at room temp to cool and thicken to icing consistency.  You can speed this up by putting it in the fridge if you wish, but keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't go too hard.

To assemble -
1. Heat marmalade or jam in the microwave to make it a little runny, and paint it over the top of the cake.
2. Flip the jelly out of the tin and place it on top of the cake.
3. Top with the ganache, allowing it to fall down the sides.