Bake With Me #4 – Chocolate Mug Cake 2

So a little while ago I told you of my adventures of making my first mug cake. I decided the other day to make another one, trying a similar recipe but with cocoa powder this time instead of milk chocolate. It’s safe to say that I preferred this one!

Ingredients

30g butter

1 egg

2 tbsp caster sugar (although I’ve used granulated and it works just fine)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cocoa powder

4 tbsp plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

  1. Melt the butter in a mug in the microwave (should take around 30 seconds)Photo 23-05-2017, 17 27 21
  2. Mix in the egg, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract one at a time. I recommend adding the egg first so you can whisk it up properly, but make sure you’ve let the butter cool a little first. Also a note here I recommend adding a drop of milk, as the mix is a bit stiff and hard to mix so I think some milk would make it easier.Photo 23-05-2017, 17 31 42
  3. Microwave for approximately 1min 20 on high power and then eat pretty much straight away 🙂 Photo 23-05-2017, 17 34 04

There we have it a chocolate mug cake! 🙂 It won’t win any prizes for presentation but it tastes great 🙂 Let me know if you try it!

Bake With Me #3: Banana Bread

I found some really black bananas in the fruit bowl and decided to make some banana bread instead of throwing it away! So today I thought I’d share with you my banana bread recipe.Photo 13-04-2017, 14 05 00

Ingredients:

  • 140g butter, softened (I used stork)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 mashed bananas

Banana bread is an incredibly simple and quick cake to make 🙂

  1. Line a 2lb loaf tin and pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4. I cheat and use loaf tin liners.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.Photo 13-04-2017, 12 39 03
  3. Beat the eggs and add little by little with some flour to make sure it doesn’t curdle.
  4. Add the remaining flour, baking powder and mashed bananas and fold in gently.Photo 13-04-2017, 12 49 32
  5. Pour the mix into the loaf tin and bake for around 40 mins. Photo 13-04-2017, 12 53 13Photo 13-04-2017, 14 05 00

Bake With Me #2 – Chocolate Brownies

I’m home and reunited with my beloved baking tins/trays and ingredients! Plus, to add to the excitement I now own a Kenwood kMix!

I got my first stand mixer for Christmas 2014 (a cheap one from Groupon) and mum promised me that if I used it enough she would buy me a better one one day. Last month I saw Amazon had a Kenwood kMix in their daily deals down from £200 to £120, so it was too good to miss! I was so excited to get home to use it!

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I managed to find the ingredients in the fridge/cupboard for chocolate brownies so that’s what I made 🙂 The recipe comes from this Cadbury recipe book.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g milk chocolate, although I substituted this for 100g white and 100g milk chocolate chips.
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 225g softened unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 75g self raising flour
  1. Grease and line an 11×9 inch baking tin and pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 (for tins like these my trick is to put a little oil under the baking paper, this holds it in place).Photo 10-04-2017, 12 46 43
  2. Chop the milk chocolate (although if you’re using chocolate chips you don’t need to).
  3. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with boiling water and once melted add the butter and mix until the butter is melted in to the mix. Take off the heat.Photo 10-04-2017, 13 04 42
  4. Beat together the eggs and sugar before adding in the chocolate/butter mix and beating for a bit longer.
  5. Fold in the flour and chocolate chips and pour the mixture into the tin.

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  6. Cook in the oven for 35-40 mins. You have to be careful though as there is quite a fine line between burning it and it not being cooked! Photo 10-04-2017, 13 54 01
  7. Leave to cool before cutting into squares.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I’ll see you again soon 🙂

Bake With Me #1 – Chocolate Mug Cake

The last couple of weeks at uni I’ve really fancied making a cake… But I don’t have anything here so decided to reach a compromise and try making a mug cake!

I’ve never made a mug cake before (I’m not sure why) so this is my first ever attempt and I’m proud to say it didn’t explode!

I used the chocolate cake recipe from here 🙂

You’ll need:

30g butter

30g milk chocolate

1 egg

2 tbsp caster sugar (although I used granulated sugar)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 tbsp plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

A mug that holds at least 350ml!

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  1. In the mug melt together the chocolate and butter (about 30 seconds) and then mix together with a fork until smooth. Photo 20-03-2017, 14 31 08
  2. Allow the mixture to cool slightly so you don’t scramble the egg when you add it!
  3. One by one, add the egg, sugar, vanilla extract, flour and baking powder, mixing after adding each ingredient.
  4. Mix well, but not too much! And then microwave for around 1 min 30, but don’t be tempted to overcook it.

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I microwaved mine with the mug standing inside the bowl to make it easier to clean up if it overflowed! You can check it is cooked by sticking a knife in the middle.

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So it doesn’t look that good, but it tasted great. If it anything it was a little dry, but I think that’s because I overcooked it. But nothing that some cream/ice cream/custard/chocolate sauce wouldn’t sort out!

Also it’s one heck of a lot of cake! I struggled to finish it all!

Have you ever tried making a mug cake? If so how did you get on? 🙂 Or if you try this recipe let me know how you get on too 🙂

See you again soon! 🙂

90th Birthday Celebrations

Last weekend I headed home to celebrate my Grandad’s 90th birthday with my family. Although it is my dad’s dad who turned 90, both me and mum were quite happy to make it a real celebration with cake, badges and balloons.

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Next I was tasked with making a cake! I wanted it to be a special cake, I mean you only turn 90 once and it was quite a big celebration… so it called for a big cake! In the week leading up to going home I’d decided I wanted to try and pick up a “Wilton Countless Celebrations Letter and Number Cake Pan Set” from Hobbycraft. Yes it was quite expensive, BUT it allows me to make any combination of numbers and letters and I knew I could use it again in the future.

The next problem? I’ve never made any cake as big as this before so I had no idea about what quantities I needed for the cake, but I managed to find this recipe to go from (which was roughly the same size as the Wilton cake tin). Then I decided the cakes would be a lemon cake with lemon buttercream and a raspberry cake with white chocolate buttercream.

I finally got to wear my new Cath Kidston Mickey Mouse apron! My first issue however was making sure I greased the cake tin enough to prevent the cake sticking to the tin as slotting the extra bits in means you can’t use baking paper! Thankfully both cakes came out without breaking! I could have cried I was so happy they both came out in one piece!

I used Stork to make this cake, which I don’t often use. But it worked out much cheaper to use Stork than to use real butter with the quantities I was making.

After making the basic mixture I added lemon zest and the juice of a lemon for the lemon cake, and raspberries for the raspberry cake.

After about 30 mins the cake was ready. Sadly it caught a bit on the corner (because our oven at home is a bit rubbish) but I was trimming it down so it didn’t matter too much!

Once I’d got the 9 cooled and out the tin it was time to make the number 0, which again caught a bit, but I trimmed it off so it didn’t matter!

Then it was time to ice! Let me set this straight I’m rubbish at icing cakes! Especially ones where you have to seal the crumbs of the cake in the icing! The crumbs kept coming off and it was so annoying because I just couldn’t seal them in very well! I also wasn’t overly sure what I wanted the cake to look like once I’d decorated, so I decided to try some piping! It looked a but garish and childish but who cares, it tasted great!

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The finished product

It took me about 6 hours but I finished it! It is the biggest cake I’ve ever made (so far) (it was on a 16 inch cake board), but it tasted amazing! And the best bit was my grandad was so touched that I’d made it myself and he loved it.

Lastly I thought I’d share a quick photo of what I wore to my grandad’s party.

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The dress was from Cath Kidston a couple of years ago. I decided to wear a long sleeved white t-shirt underneath it as it was too cold to go without! Also I decided to wear leggings with it this time rather than tights as again it was too cold outside!

It’s a bit of a longer post today, but I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

See you again soon! 🙂

Bakeathon!

Back in October 2015 I was inspired by Martha Collison’s 21 hour bakeathon to raise money for Tearfund and I couldn’t resist the challenge of doing something similar!

If you didn’t know already, Martha was a quarter finalist in the 2014 series of Great British Bake Off. Since competing on GBBO Martha has spent a lot of time working alongside Tearfund to help raise awareness for their “No Child Taken” campaign which helps to keep children safe from trafficking, disease and disaster.

But why 21h? A young boy, Nazeeb was just 14 when traffickers came to his home and deceived him with lies of a better life in the city. He went to work in Punjab, where he was locked in a factory and forced to work for 21 hours a day – in cramped conditions – for no pay. Luckily, Nazeeb escaped and managed to get home, where, with Tearfund’s support, he helps his family raise chickens.

Martha picked 21h so she could try to experience how horrendous working for 21h was for Nazeeb, and many other children in similar situations around the world. So I decided that we could attempt to do the same as Martha, but on a bigger scale…

Being involved already with the youth work at my church I decided that we were all up for a challenge! So at 11am on Saturday 13th February 2016, I kicked off the St Andrew’s Church Big Bake!

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The week running up to the Bakeathon was filled with recipe/schedule planning and visiting Costco, Booker and Tesco to stock up on ingredients! Including 15kg butter, 150 eggs, 6kg icing sugar, 10kg chocolate, 1.5 kg cocoa powder, nearly 700 cupcake/muffin cases and 11kg caster sugar!

Our Bakeathon ran from 11am on Saturday 13th February to 8am on Sunday 14th February, and kicked off with me baking 24 chocolate chip muffins while Ed (the church youth worker) ran through the purpose (and food hygiene) of the event with the 10 young people who had turned up to help us!

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There was a real push in the first 4 hours to get a large number of cakes made, including muffins, cookie monster cupcakes, cookies, rocky roads, flapjacks and cornflake/crispy cake!

The first push meant that we had A LOT to sell at our first bake sale at 3pm on the Saturday!

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Our young people were aged 10 to 17 and many of them started to flag by the afternoon and the rate that cakes were going in to and out of the oven slowed. But many people had the opportunity to practice using piping bags for the first time!

7 hours in to the bakeathon it was dinner time, but someone had to keep baking! So I let the others go and have their yummy lasagne, kindly made for us by one of the ladies in the church!

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I decided it was time to attempt Martha’s very own Mini Egg cake! But everything was done on double the scale!  So I made 2!

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Although I ran out of mini eggs, and didn’t made enough buttercream the end result was brilliant (and the offcuts of cake tasted amazing!) and we sold both of the cakes whole in the sale the next day!

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It was then that we found how much fun we were having… Finding cake mix splattered all up the wall!

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By 11pm the young people had gone to bed, apart from 2 of the older ones, and it was down to them and 4 adults to keep going through the night!

12 hours in to the baking everyone was beginning to feel tired, and everyone was starting to feel it in their backs and legs!

The washing up tower kept getting higher, and I am so thankful to those young people and adults who spent time (sometimes hours) at the sink washing up and keeping the mixing bowls and other pieces of equipment coming back to us!

 Despite all the pain and aches a new energy was found at around 1 am (14 hours in to the baking) when Chris arrived. Chris works as chef and had come straight from work and provided a lot of fun and laughter to those of us still standing! He put some twists on recipes, made his “signature brownies” from his recipe he knows off the top of his head and sped through all the recipes remaining on the list incredibly quickly! Taking less than 2 minutes to pipe and decorate 12 cakes (when this would have taken the rest of us at least 10 mins)!

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Chris also helped us make honeycomb so we could make honeycomb cakes at 4am!

We aren’t going to lie and say that every cake turned out totally perfect! We had an exploding lemon drizzle cake and what we named “the leaning tower of Victoria sponge cake”!

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Some people were insistent on throwing away the leaning tower of Victoria sponge, but I said otherwise, and the cake sold at the cake sale on the Sunday morning! 😀

I’m pleased to say that up until about 5am the bakeathon was going brilliantly well… Until we realised that we only had 265g of caster sugar left! Woops! We had 3 hours to go and only 2 recipes left that we could make! We had no option then but to turn back to flapjacks, rocky road and cornflake and crispy cakes… Until we got very low on cupcake/muffin cases!

At 7 am with just 1 hour remaining we had a chocolate cake in the oven along with biscuits which we finished and decorated just in time to finish our bakeathon bang on 8am, where a couple of the young people who were around helped celebrate!

Another one of the lovely ladies from the church had come along at 8am and had our breakfast cooking! It was then a quick clean up and tidy before the church service started at 10am!

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In the church service we were interviewed by the vicar to share our experience with the rest of the church.

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We then quickly set up the cake sale and sold the majority of the cakes that we’d made! 🙂

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The bakeathon experience was one that I’ll never forget, and I’m happy that I, along with just a couple of others stayed up to experience the whole 21 hours! (Although it was really 28 hours by the time I’d got back home! 🙂 )

We’re happy that several of the cakes that we didn’t sell were taken to the York Road Project in Woking (who provide emergency care and shelter for the homeless in Woking), where we know that they will have been greatly received.

We’re so thankful for the support that we had from our church who, along with the public who came to our Saturday bake sale helped us raise A LOT of money (we are yet to calculate the exact amount but we’ll let you know as soon as we do)!

I am also thankful that I was given the support and help to organise and run the bakeathon from Ed (the church youth worker), Kate (our vicar), Fiona, Debbie, and Chris. Not forgetting all the others from the church who helped us make, sell and buy the cakes! And those who lent us equipment so the event on such a large scale was possible.

I personally am thankful for my parents, friends, Tearfund and Martha herself who kept following our progress, shared our event and donated money herself on our sponsorship page.

Thank you again to everyone who helped us, supported us and donated money to Tearfund so that they can help put an end to child trafficking.

You can have a look at some of our tweets from the event by looking at #standrewsbigbake on Twitter, and please if you’re able, take a look at our sponsorship page 🙂 https://www.justgiving.com/StAndrewsBig-Bake/

Snowflake Cake

2015 marks the third year that I’ve made this cake as part of our family’s Christmas festivities. The cake recipe is by Frances Quinn, winner of the Great British Bake Off 2013.

I love this cake, it tastes delightful and is possibly my favourite cake to make!

I missed out taking photos of some of the steps because I was in a bit of a hurry to get the cake made on Christmas Eve! I’ll post some links to the recipe at the end 🙂

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Firstly it is safe to say that this cake is a bit of a Cadbury treat looking at these ingredients!

We start by making a ganache from double cream, dark chocolate and milk chocolate. The ganache is made first so it has plenty of time to cool before it is needed to decorate the cake! 🙂

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Then we make the cake with lots of goodies like Golden Syrup, more chocolate, butter, dark muscovado sugar, flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, egg, vanilla extract and milk.

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After half an hour or so in the oven the cake comes out and smells amazing!

After cooling it’s time to decorate! 🙂

Decorate with the ganache, white chocolate fingers, white chocolate buttons, Cadbury snowbites and Cadbury Winter Wonderland Chocolate.

I then put the cake in the fridge overnight to allow the ganache to set 🙂

You can find out more about the snowflake cake here

http://francesquinn.co.uk/snowflake-cadbury-cake/

And here’s a link to the recipe!

http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/539446/frances-quinns-chocolate-snowflake-cake