Almond and Lemon Meringue Roulade

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This is a great recipe to bridge the gap between summer and autumn which seems to have happened so quickly! The crunchy, chewy, almond flavoured meringue goes really nicely with the lemon cream filling, oozing with homemade lemon curd. The vibrant yellow peeking out the edges just adds to the appeal!

My dad says that this is the best dessert I have even made. I make a lot of desserts, so that is saying something… It’s a recipe from BBC Good Food, and I have posted it below.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1-2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp lemon curd
  • 1 tbsp toasted flaked almond

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and line a Swiss roll tin (about 23 x 30cm) with baking parchment.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff. Slowly add the sugar, still whisking, until stiff and glossy.
  3. Fold in the almond extract, vinegar and ground almonds until lightly incorporated. Pour into the Swiss roll tin and smooth over, tapping the tin to remove any big air bubbles.
  4. Bake for 30-35 mins or until the top is golden and feels firm and set. Remove from oven, cover with baking parchment and a damp tea towel. Leave to cool.
  5. To serve, whip the cream until thick. Spoon a third into a piping bag and set aside. Invert the roulade onto a large sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with icing sugar. Carefully peel off lining paper and spread over the lemon curd, then spread over the rest of the cream.
  6. Roll up carefully, using the paper to help you. Dust with icing sugar and flaked almonds and you’re ready to go!

2 Ingredient Cake!

SONY DSCYes, you read it correctly. 2 ingredients! A cake with 2 ingredients; it’s like magic. I always said to myself that if I ever found a recipe with just 2 ingredients I would make it all the time, so now I really am going to have to… I’ve heard about 2 ingredient recipes before and got really excited, only to find that one of the ingredients is a type of cake mix only available in America, which was very annoying! So when I saw this one, my immediate reaction was that it was just another unattainable cake. How wrong I was!

You’re probably wondering what the 2 ingredients are: nutella and eggs. That is it, so simple! Technically you could say nutella isn’t an ingredient as it is a combination of different things, but it is easily available and we can just pretend for now! The secret to creating a tasty cake is how long you whip the eggs for. They need to triple in volume, or the cake will just collapse and you’ll end up with a nutella omelette, yum… As there are so few ingredients, it is incredibly important to follow the steps exactly and not to cut any corners, or it probably will not work. More than ever with this cake, ingredients need to be weighed out really accurately.

Ingredients:

4 large or extra large eggs

235g Nutella

1. Grease a 6 or 7 inch round springform pan. Then line with parchment paper on sides and on bottom. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Beat eggs on highest speed with stand mixer until about triple in volume, about 6 minutes. The egg consistency is the key to making this recipe work, so don’t try to save time on this step. Eggs must be beaten until triple in volume as that is what creates the cake. If you don’t have a stand mixer you could use a hand held whisk, however you would need to be really careful that the volume triples! Unfortunately this step is not possible with a hand whisk, however strong you are!

2. Microwave Nutella for about 20 seconds to make it softer. Add in 1/3 of the egg mixture. Gently stir with a spatula until all of the egg is mixed in and no streaks remain. Then add another 1/3 of egg mixture and fold again until no egg streaks remain. Pour in remaining third and make sure to scrape the foam that sticks to the mixing bowl into the batter and stir until no streaks remain. Make sure to do this in 3 batches because otherwise the whipped eggs may lose too much of the air that has been whipped into them if you try to do it all at once. The mixture may become really thick at the beginning, but keep stirring and you should find it comes together.

3. Pour batter into springform pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until knife inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before removing from pan and cutting and serving. It will collapse when it comes out of the oven, but it tastes so good this doesn’t matter!

People honestly could not believe that this was only 2 ingredients! I recommend trying it, and let me know how it goes!

 

 

 

Mum’s favourite lemon drizzle cake

My mum’s absolute favorite cake is lemon drizzle cake. It’s also one of Britain favorite cakes, and one of mine at that matter… There is something really quite cool about baking quite an ordinary sponge in the oven, but then drenching it in flavour that soaks through the whole cake. It’s so fresh and zingy and goes perfectly with a cup of tea. It’s a classic British combination.

Lemon drizzle

It’s traditionally made in a loaf pan, but I couldn’t find mine so i’ll make some excuse about it looking better in a circle shape… In reality, it doesn’t matter what shape you bake it, any shape will have the same lemony deliciousness!

Ingredients:

– 75g of Softened Unsalted Butter – plus extra for greasing
– 125g of Caster Sugar
– 150g of Self Raising Flour
– 1 tsp Baking Powder
– 2 Medium Eggs
– 1 tbsp of Lemon Curd (Optional)
– 2 1/2 tbsp of full fat milk

For the drizzle:

– Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
– 2 tbsp of granulated sugar

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 180C. Butter a 1kg loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.

2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a large bowl, either with an electric whisk or with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is light and fluffy, which may take up to ten minutes. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, eggs, lemon curd and milk, mixing all the time, until they are thoroughly combined.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

4. Meanwhile, for the drizzle, mix the lemon zest and juice with the sugar and pour all over the hot cake so it soaks all the way through.

5. Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate and Peanut Butter CupcakesThere is nothing better than chocolate and peanut butter. Together. In a cupcake.

I’ve been searching for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe for a while, and I think this may be it. I used to always go by the Primrose Bakery chocolate cupcakes; however these are so much richer and less sickly sweet. They last a lot longer too, if they don’t get eaten immediately…

This recipe does have coffee in it, which may put people off making it, but don’t, because once it is cooked you cannot taste it. It just makes the chocolate flavour more intense.

And the peanut butter frosting. Words are not enough, just make it.

I’ll apologize in advance; the recipe is in cups… I hate weighing things in cups, but this recipe has some really weird numbers if it’s in grams, so sorry!

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups  or 205g plain flour

3/4 cup or 70g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups or 340g caster sugar

1/2 cup or 120ml sunflower oil (any unflavored oil will do)

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups or 300ml strong coffee, cooled

For the frosting:

2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 tbsp milk
Mix1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Wet ingredients2. Whisk together the sugar, oil and eggs until smooth. Add the vanilla.

Chocolate cake mix3. Alternate adding the sugar mix and the coffee to the flour. Whisk until smooth and glossy.

London cupcake caseSONY DSC4. I got some gorgeous cupcake cases cheap after the Jubilee weekend, so they had to be used… Fill each case 2/3 full. I use an ice-cream scoop to get them all the same size. Put into the oven and bake for 20-25 mint

SONY DSC5. Whilst the cakes are cooking, make the frosting.  Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or handheld whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and milk and beat until light and fluffy. Try not to eat it all at this stage, tempting though it is…

SONY DSC6. Leave the cakes to cool. They should be springy to the touch and a skewer should come out clean.

Peanut butter cakes7. Ice and decorate with whatever, I used fudge chunks and crunchy chocolate balls.

Chocolate Peppermint Macarons

My all time favourite ice-cream flavour is mint chocolate chip. I always pretend to decide, and that I cannot make up my mind between all the other flavours, but really, mint chocolate chip is where my loyalty lies. It’s sweet and creamy but refreshing at the same time, and I have yet to find another flavour that does that… And that in a nutshell is why I love mint chocolate chip.

On another note, when I decided I had enough time, the kitchen was clean and my parents were out, (I’m a very messy cook, and macarons are definitely not a no-mess  bake!), mint chocolate chip macarons were the only way to go. I’m always cautious with using mint, because I always make it too strong so it takes like toothpaste, or you can’t taste it at all. I have made countless toothpaste flavoured hot chocolates, which is not what I want after a hard day at school at all. But I was careful this time, and they didn’t taste like I’d got lazy and sandwiched them together with toothpaste instead of ganache (woop!) It was a big achievement I must admit.

It’s another Edd Kimber adaptation recipe, I really love his books! I went to the Chocolate Unwrapped festival in Covent Garden a few weeks ago. 2 things happened: I ate so much chocolate I thought I might burst, and I met Edd himself! I spotted him out of the corner of my eye and realised I NEEDED to get him to sign my brand new copy of ‘Say it with cake’. So I plucked up all my courage, ignored the VIP only sign and asked him to, and he did! It made my day…

Edd Kimber

Anyway, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 170g icing sugar
  • 160g ground almonds
  • 120ml egg whites from about 4 medium eggs, separated into 2 equal batches
  • 160g granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp green food colouring
  1. Place the icing sugar and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 times until fully combined. Sieve this mixture into a large bowl, discarding any particles that stay in the sieve. Add the first batch of egg whites to the almond mixture, mix to form a thick paste and set aside.
  2. Tip the second batch of egg whites into a spotlessly clean, heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk at the ready. Place 50ml water and the granulated sugar into a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C, using a sugar thermometer, at which time start to beat the egg whites on high speed. Once the syrup is at 118C pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the moving whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture – the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm. Add the colouring and whisk to combine.
  3. Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter – it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula . The ribbon should also fade back into the batter within about 30 secs – if it doesn’t, fold a few more times.
  4. Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3-4. Line 3 baking sheets with baking parchment. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds about 2.5cm in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets (B). Leave to rest for 30 mins out of the fridge, or until the macaroons have developed a skin. (I am lucky enough to have a silicon mat that has raised rings all over it, so all my macarons are exactly the same size. Its a really good piece of equipment, I recommend it! If not, use a compass to mark out circles on the baking parchment)
  5. Bake the macaroons for 12 mins (this needs to be precise so you could test a macaroon first). Immediately slide the parchment onto the work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling the macaroons off the paper.

For the mint chocolate ganache:

  • 220g dark chocolate
  • 240 ml double cream
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract

Pour the cream into a medium saucepan and heat just to the boil. Place the chocolate into a small bowl and pour over the cream. Allow to stand for a few minutes before stirring to combine. Add the room-temperature butter in small pieces with the peppermint extract and stir gently. Allow to stand until thick and then pipe onto the shells and sandwich them together.

Apple and Blackberry Jalousie

I had never heard of a jalousie until I had made one. Quite literally, had finished making one; my catering teacher has a mysterious way of teaching where we are sometimes unsure of what it actually is until we finish!

The main part of the lesson was for us to make our own puff pastry/flaky pastry, which sounds far easier than it was with 25 people trying to roll pastry at the same time in a small, hot classroom. It was rather chaotic to say the least… I was pleasantly surprised at the result of mine though. Home-made puff pastry is surrounded with negativity and ‘that’s far too much effort!’, but it really wasn’t that hard! Yes buying it is easier, but home-made is so much more rewarding, I challenge you to try it.

The filling is a simple apple, blackberry and cinnamon mixture which is great, as the summer nears its end, as an autumnal treat.

Being me, I’ve lost the recipe I used to make the flaky pastry, so I can’t post it. However, this one looks very similar in ingredients and method: http://notwithoutsalt.com/2008/09/27/learn-how-to-make-puff-pastry-in-20-seconds/

Ingredients:

1 pack  puff pastry or 500g home-made flaky/puff pastry

For the filling:

50g butter

4 eating apples, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 punnet blackberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

(To be honest, the quantities and type of fruit do not really matter! Use whatever you like)

1. Roll out the puff pastry into a long rectangle, double the length of your baking tray and roughly the same width as your tray. Cut into 2 equal rectangles and place one onto the greased tray. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the apples, sugar, cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until the apple is softened but not mushy. Add the blackberries and cook for a further minute, no longer or the blackberries will break down.

3. Take the second rectangle and gently fold it in half. Cut 5 short diagonal lines in the folded side and then unfold to reveal ‘v’ shape cuts. This will be the lid.

4. Pour the apple and blackberry mixture onto the centre of the first rectangle. Brush around it with beaten egg and lay the slashed rectangle on top. Seal the edges with a fork.

5. Egg wash the whole thing and sprinkle over some brown sugar.

6. Bake in the over for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

White chocolate and Strawberry Trifle

Trifle never did it for me. I really hate the combination of cold custard and jelly and soggy sponge. which is what most trifles consist of. However, this  trifle is YUMMY. Strawberries, white chocolate, crumbled amaretti biscuits and amaretto soaked sponge, sandwiched between vanilla whipped cream. Everyone loves this dessert and it looks really impressive with the strawberries pressed against the glass.  I made mine in small glasses and sundae glasses, but the recipe suggests a large bowl. I would have used ours but unfortunately I managed to break it getting it out of the cupboard; and it was my mum and dads wedding present… oops!

The recipe is by Lorraine Pascale at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/my_big_fat_tipsy_trifle_16006