Angel Food Cake

Exams, exams, exams! It’s all I’ve been thinking the last couple of weeks, or what I should be thinking… It’s not my fault I’m crazily distracted by various baked goods, not when foodgawker is always open in the tab next to MyMaths, who can blame me?

This cake has been jumping around in the back of my mind for several weeks; so light and fluffy, and can even be considered healthy(ish!). The perfect excuse to bake it came last week, when my mum’s friend who is on kidney dialysis and shouldn’t eat salt or raising agent, came for tea. My head popped out of my maths textbook and straight into my hummingbird cookery book, and out came this cake.

Virtually fat free, there are no bad feelings eating this cake! It has a different, more subtle flavour, to a normal cake, and surprisingly springy. It goes great with a cup of tea, and also makes a great dessert.

You will need:

  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (I left this out, and it worked just fine!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 250 g (9 oz) caster sugar
  • 125 g (4½ oz) plain white flour, sifted
1.
Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar and the vanilla and almond extracts over them and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff but not dry.
2.
Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously: the mixture should be shiny and form soft peaks.
3.
Fold the flour in with a metal spoon, blending it thoroughly without breaking down the egg whites.
4.
Spoon the mixture into an ungreased 23 cm (9 in) ring-shaped cake tin; if you do not have one, use a round cake tin or two, I don’t own a ring tin and it worked just fine. Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and feels dry.
5.
Leave to cool in the tin and turn out. I topped mine with vanilla cream and strawberries for a summer treat!

 

Raspberry Coconut Ice Cupcakes

Even though the weather is pretty grim at the moment, heading towards the queens jubilee, these cupcakes are really seasonal and British, perfect for the summer time! Ideally, the frosting should be a little thicker, but mine was more runny, however the perfect consistency for dipping to create a shiny finish. The icing is delicious too, the leftover stuff was put in the fridge and quickly eaten with just a spoon…

Image

Ingredients:

225g butter

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

210g self raising flour

25g cornflour

150g raspberries

12tsp raspberry jam

Raspberries (to decorate)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line muffin tray with cases.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing briefly after each addition.

3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the raspberries, and beat well together. Then crush and add the raspberries and gently mix through the batter.

4.Spoon the batter into the cases. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, until raised and golden. The cakes are slightly moist even when cooked.

5. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

6. Make a small hole in the centre of each cake and place 1 tsp of raspberry jam inside each one.

Coconut Buttercream:

115g butter

60ml coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

500g icing sugar

75g desiccated coconut

Pink food colouring

1. Beat together the butter, coconut milk and vanilla, and gradually add the icing sugar.Beat in the desiccated coconut.

2. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls. Add a few drops of food colouring to one and leave the other uncoloured.

3. Ice the cool cupcakes, swirling pink and white together and finish with raspberry.

Young Chef of the Year Competition

So many exams; I haven’t posted in ages!

My progress in the Rotary Young Chef of the Year Competition went very well; I won my school heat, won my county heat and then came runner-up in the district heat, making me one of 12 finalists for South England! Unfortunately, the date of the South England heat clashed with holiday flights, so I could not compete, which was a big shame. However, it was an amazing opportunity and my catering teacher reckons I could have given the winner of the South England round (who went on the win the whole thing!) a run for her money! I was one round away from National level, and although a trip to Italy and a day working in a Michelin Star restaurant would have been lovely, it was obviously not to be.

I’m very proud of myself anyway 🙂

Cookies and Cream and Salted Caramel Cupcakes

The frosting on these is so yummy; just like a marshmallow, which makes me happy 😀

For the chocolate cupcakes:

3/4tsp baking powder

3/4tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, separated

85g unsalted butter, at room temperature

115g good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa if possible

175g soft brown sugar

185g plain flour

250ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature

1.Firstly, preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan) /190ºC / 375ºF /gas mark 5.
2.Then, line either a muffin tin (for regular-sized cupcakes) or a mini cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
3.Melt the chocolate then leave to cool slightly.
4.Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric hand beater until pale and smooth. In a separate bowl and with clean beaters beat the egg yolks for several mins. Slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well. 5.Next, add the chocolate to this mixture and beat well.
6.Next, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Combine the milk and vanilla in a jug. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate, butter and sugar, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Beat very well after each addition.
7.In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the eggs whites into the main batter using a metal spoon. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the cake.
8.After that, spoon the mixture out equally into the tins depending on the preferred size. You do not need to fill the cases with mixture, about two-thirds full will work best as the cakes will rise considerably in the oven. The batter will be of a fairly liquid consistency so take care when spooning out as it can end up being very messy! You could even use a jug to pour the batter into the cupcake cases if it gets too difficult to spoon.
9.Place the trays in the oven and bake for between 20-25 mins for the regular size cupcakes or approx 15 mins for the mini cupcakes. Leave in their tins for 10 mins or so before placing on a wire rack to cool.

For the Marshmallow Frosting:

120g granulated sugar
80g golden syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract [optional]

1.Cook the sugar, golden syrup and water over a high heat until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage [115oc/239oF] on a sugar thermometer, which should take about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

2.Meanwhile, in a clean bowl whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks start to form. With the blades still beating on a low speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in a steady stream on to the egg whites. Continue to beat on a low speed until all the hot syrup is in the mixing bowl.

3.Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating the mxture until it becomes thick, glossy and cool. Add the vanilla extract, if using, towards the end of the mixing process.

4.This makes enough to ice 12 regular cupcakes with a little left over to eat with your fingers out of the bowl. It’s best to work with it when it’s still slightly warm because it’s VERY sticky when it’s fully cooled down. It’s a bit trickier to work with than buttercream but not impossible. I wouldn’t recommend piping it, though. It would be better to swirl it on the top with a knife.

 

I then topped half the batch with salted caramel sauce :http://theboywhobakes.co.uk/2009/11/heaven-and-hell/

and the others with crumbled oreos.

They were a big hit at the cake sale I did for a Ugandan Orphanage

Pesto and Tomato Bites and Bacon and Chedder Straws

2 in one post, I only took 1 picture so here are both recipes in one :b

I made these both for our family Christmas Eve party, everyone seemed to love them, and my dad is slightly crazy about them!

The pesto squares are my own recipe, and the bacon straws are a wonderful Lorraine Pascale recipe, find at :http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bacon_and_mature_cheddar_58920

Pesto Squares (makes about 20)

1 jar or a good amount of homemade pesto

20 cherry tomatos, sliced in half

1 block of ready made puff pastry

100g chedder, grated

1 egg, to brush

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Roll out the puff pastry to about 1 cm thick

2. Cut into equal squares

3. Place squares on baking tray and prick the centres with a fork to stop them puffing up

4. Spoon 1 tsp of pesto onto each square and spread it around, then top with the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheese on the top.

5. Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden.

Chocolate Marshmallow Whoopie Pies

I made my first whoopie pie when I was about 12 and they were the ‘new craze’. I had no marshmallow fluff so the filling was properly sad and they were very strange. There are 2 things that put me off making them.

1. They have plain yoghurt in. Now I like yoghurt, but they don’t sell it in the corner shop and we never just have it in the fridge so it means I have to be organised. I’m not organised. So I never have the right ingredients…

2.They have a ridiculous name. I’m sorry, but which creative person made up the name ‘whoopie pie’? Its not even a pie! It annoys me no end. Some one eats one and asks what they are, how stupid do you sound saying, ‘oh its a whoopie pie’. One of my pet hates. Such a stupid name for an awesome food. The spell checker won’t even accept it, that’s how rubbish it is.

Moans aside, this attempt was so much better. Almost cookie like, soft centred cake sandwiched together with fluffy marshmallow cream. So yummy, took them to youth group and had to hoover up the crumbs but it was worth it 😉

I found marshmallow fluff so hard to come by, I can’t believe they don’t sell it in normal UK supermarkets! I think the should…

For the Sponge

1 large egg

150g (5.5ozs) Caster Sugar

125g (4.5ozs) Plain yoghurt

25ml (1fl oz) whole milk

¼ tsp vanilla essence ( I used extract)

75g (2.5oz) melted unsalted butter

200g (7oz) Plain Flour

80g (3oz) Cocoa Powder

¾  tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp baking powder

Filling

170g (6oz) unsalted butter

280g (10oz) icing sugar

220g (8oz) vanilla marshmallow fluff

Method

1/ Using a mixer cream the egg and sugar until fluffy. Pour the milk, yoghurt and vanilla essence into a bowl and mix together. Then add this mixture in with the beaten egg an sugar. Finally add in the melted butter and mix in thoroughly.

2/ Sift together the remaining dry ingredients, and then to the creamed mixture and mix well on a medium speed.

3/ Now place the batter mix in the fridge to rest for 20-30 minutes.

4/ Pre-heat the oven to 170C (325F), Gas Mark 3 and cover two baking trays with baking parchment.

4/ Once rested, spoon or pipe onto the baking trays making 8-10 mounds per tray. These need to be 2-3 cm spaced apart and around 3 -5 cm in diameter.

5/ Bake for 10-13 minutes or until they spring back when touched.

6/ Remove from the trays and place on a wire rack. They need to be completely cool before adding any filling to them.

7/ To make the filling mix the butter and icing sugar together using a hand whisk or standing mixer.  Once this is blended add the marshmallow fluff and then mix on a high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes as this will firm up the mixture slightly.

8/ To sandwich the pies, take one sponge and spread a tablespoon of filling on one flat side. Follow this with sticking another sponge, flat side down onto the filling to make a sandwich. Continue this process to make the other whoopee pies.

Chewy Speculaas Blondies

These blondies are so yummy, like a brownie but more sophisticated. Instead of using white chocolate, they have more of a butterscotch flavour from almost melting the brown sugar before baking it. The spices make it taste really Christmassy, and even though its not Christmas, its a great excuse for Christmassy flavours. They are really chewy as well, so many brownies say it but don’t deliver but these are so toffee like.

Chewy Speculaas Blondies
225g unsalted butter
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg(I used dried and reduced the amount)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cardamom pods
400g light brown sugar
2 eggs
250g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
80g chocolate,chopped
80g hazelnuts chopped
1.Preheat the oven to 180C(160C fan)gas mark 4.Grease and line a 23 x 33 cm baking tin and line with a strip of baking parchment,leaving a 5cm overhang along the edges to make removing the blondies easier.
2.Melt the butter in a pan over a medium high heat,add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes.Next add the sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes,stirring constantly before taking the pan off the heat.
3.Leave to cool for 5 minutes.Next whisk in the eggs and fold in the flour ,baking powder and salt.Stir in the chopped chocolate and hazelnuts,then pour the batter into the prepared tin.Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
4.Once cooked,allow to cool in the tin completely and to set for a few hours in the tin
This is an Edd Kimber recipe, who I have met!