Blogmas Day 11: Gingerbread

Christmas isn’t complete without gingerbread! I was looking forward to using my new Christmas cookie cutters and my new rolling pin to make some gingerbread. And I decorated some this time, which doesn’t usually happen! 🙂

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I don’t think this recipe is as good as my other gingerbread recipe I use (see here) but it does still make a pretty tasty biscuit.

Ingredients (makes around 20 biscuits)

200g plain flour (plus some extra for rolling)

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

pinch of salt

100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

75g light muscovado sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 egg yolk

Writing icing (if decorating)

1. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt into a bowl.

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2. Add the butter and rub in until it resembles fine sand/breadcrumbs

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3. Add the sugar and mix in

4. Mix the golden syrup and egg yolk together in a bowl.

5. Add the syrup mix to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Then gently knead the dough until it is smooth and all sticks together nicely.

6. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough to around 4mm (the recipe says 2mm which is far too thin!) then cut out shapes.

7. Place the shapes on to a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 4 (180 degrees) for 12 minutes.

8. Leave the gingerbread to cool slightly before moving them on to a cooling rack. Then once they’re totally cool you can decorate the gingerbread with writing icing.

Are you all enjoying my recipe posts? My other Blogmas recipes are Gingerbread cupcakes and Rudolph Cupcakes (click on them to see them) 🙂

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Blogmas Day 9: Reindeer Cupcakes

I love Christmas baking! It is a chance to get really creative and have some fun making some different cakes! 🙂 While browsing through Pinterest I found the recipe for some Rudolph/Reindeer Cupcakes so couldn’t wait to give it a try! 🙂 I thought they’d be quite difficult and awkward to make but actually they were really quick and easy and good fun 🙂

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I used the recipe here 🙂

Ingredients (makes 12):

125g butter, softened (I used stork)

175g caster sugar

2 eggs

200g self raising flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

100 ml milk

100g dark chocolate

Ingredients for the frosting and decorations:

50g dark chocolate

3tbsp double cream

Giant chocolate buttons

Smarties or M&Ms

Pretzels

Black writing icing

White mini marshmallows (sliced)

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1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 (170 degrees) and line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.

2. In the microwave gently melt the dark chocolate, once melted leave it on the side to cool.

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3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs until well combined then mix in the flour and cocoa powder. Mix well so everything is combined. Fold in the milk and melted chocolate and mix gently until the milk and chocolate are mixed in.

4. Spoon the mixture 2/3 full into muffin cases then cook in the oven for 20-25 mins (until skewer comes out clean) (N.B. Mine took quite a lot longer than 25 mins to cook).

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5. While the cakes are cooking in the oven, very gently over a low heat melt together the chocolate and cream and whisk well until smooth. Then set it aside to cool.

6. Once the cakes are cooked and cooled use a spoon and pallet knife to spread some icing over the top of each cake.

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7. Using a bit of writing icing stick the smartie or M&M to the chocolate button to make Rudolph’s nose, then stick it to the cake.

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8. Stick the chopped marshmallows as eyes and use the writing icing to make the pupils.

9. Put the pretzels on as ears 🙂

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I Love these cakes they’re really easy to make and look fun! 🙂 Plus they tasted great! 🙂

What is your favourite Christmas bake?

 

 

Bake With Me #12 – Double Chocolate Crunch Cookies

I’m sorry this post is up  later than usual today! I’ve been really busy and fallen behind scheduling posts :O But I’m here now!

Today I’m sharing another baking post 🙂 This time how to make Double Chocolate Crunch cookies. They’re kind of a cornflake chocolate cookie, simple to make but really tasty!

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The recipe makes 12 large cookies

Ingredients:

150g dark chocolate

30g unsalted butter

2 eggs

130g caster sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

85g plain flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

50g cornflakes

giant chocolate buttons

1. Break up the chocolate into a bowl and add the butter. Over a pan of steaming (not boiling water) melt the butter and chocolate together gently and stir until smooth. Allow to cool.

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2. Put the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk until thick and frothy (it took quite a while on high speed on my stand mixer!). Stir in the chocolate mixture slowly (try not to knock out too much air). Once fully mixed, add in the flour and baking powder and stir in. Once all the flour is mixed in add the cornflakes. Cover the bowl and chill for 1 hour.

3. Heat the oven to gas mark 3/ 170 degrees.

4. Scoop up a tablespoon of the cookie and push it on to a lined baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the mixture (I needed 2 baking sheets). Gently flatten each one with the back of a spoon.

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5. Bake in the oven for 12 mins then take them out and in to the centre of each one press in a chocolate button. Quickly return them to the oven for another 2 mins.

6. After 2 mins take the trays out and allow the cookies to firm up a bit before moving them on to a cooling rack.

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I don’t often make cookies but these were really simple and yummy! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I’ll see you all again soon for Blogmas! 🙂

 

Christmas Baking Essentials

Christmas is definitely a time for baking, and eating loads of cake/biscuits etc. It is one of my favourite Christmas activities, making mince pies, cake and gingerbread (among other things). But what are some of the Christmas baking essentials that you should have?

The other week I took a trip to Hobbycraft to buy some Christmas baking essentials, so I thought I’d share with you what I bought 🙂

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For me, Christmas = gingerbread and loads of it! So I wanted to get some new cookie cutters. I have got some Christmas cookie cutters but annoyingly they went rusty after the first use 😦 So I didn’t really want to use them again so decided I’d invest in some better quality ones as well as trying some plastic ones.

Last week in Hobbycraft they had 3 for 2 on all of the Wilton bakeware so as all the cookie cutters were £1 (apart from the gingerbread house) I decided to get all 6 they had. They are plastic and they feel a little flimsy, BUT I think they’ll do the job. Wilton are a pretty reputable brand so they should be ok!

I also picked up the gingerbread house and gingerbread man cutter as it was cute… Plus that gingerbread man is so diddy and so cute! This one is metal so I’ll be sure to make sure I properly dry it after use! But if the quality is good enough it shouldn’t rust!

I bought a new Hummingbird Bakery recipe book the other day (Cake Days) and under the Christmas section there is the recipe for Gingerbread cupcakes which I am incredibly excited about! The pictures show some really cute decorations with the cake, so I picked up the little gingerbread men cake toppers as well as the Christmas (Winter Wonderland) Sprinkles. The Winter Wonderland sprinkles has 4 different Christmas themed sprinkles, including mini gingerbread men sprinkles (which I’m so excited about) and snowflakes. I’ll definitely be giving the gingerbread cupcakes a go soon, so keep an eye for a post about it 🙂

So that’s all for now, but Christmas baking essentials basically = cute cake decorations and Christmas cookie cutters! What are your Christmas baking essentials? What do you like to bake at Christmas? 🙂

(Ps. when this goes up it will have been my Birthday (yesterday as you read this (17th November)) which means I’m now officially allowed to talk and think about Christmas!) 😀

Bake With Me #11 – Salted Caramel Cupcakes

The other day mum asked me to make some cakes for her for work. I’ve always fancied making some caramel cupcakes but never actually made them or had a recipe for them. I bought “Home Sweet Home” by the Hummingbird Bakery with the recipe in and it’s flipping amazing! 😀

So here’s the recipe 🙂

Ingredients (Makes 12-16 muffins)

70g unsalted butter, softened (I used Stork)

170g plain flour

250g caster sugar

50g cocoa powder

1 tbsp baking powder

210 ml whole milk

2 large eggs

For the Icing

670g icing sugar, sifted (this is one heck of a lot of icing!)

210g unsalted butter, softened

70ml whole milk

30g tinned caramel or dulce de leche (I used Carnation tinned caramel)

Pinch food quality sea salt

For the Decoration

100g tinned caramel

Sea salt

Rolos (although these are optional, they aren’t in the recipe book I just added them)

Photo 25-10-2017, 20 22 30 (1)1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 (170 degrees c) and line the muffin tins with muffin cases.

2. Make the sponge by mixing together the butter, flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder until it looks like crumbs/sand.

3. Mix together the milk and eggs in a jug.

4. Slowly add half of the egg/milk mix into the flour mix and mix well. Turn the mixer up to a higher speed and beat until it is smooth and then slowly add the rest of the milk mixture in. Mix until the batter is all smooth and well mixed.

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5. Spoon the batter into the paper cases (2/3 full) and then bake for 20-25 mins until cooked.

6. Once the cupcakes are cool we can ice them! Use an electric mixer to mix together the icing sugar and butter until there are no large lumps of butter, then slowly add the milk. Add the caramel and sea salt and then turn up the speed of the mixer and keep beating until really light and fluffy.

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7. Once cool, use a knife (or cupcake corer) to make a hollow in the centre of each cake. Spoon around a teaspoon of the tinned caramel into the hollow and replace the bit of cake you cut out on top.

8. Pipe (or spoon) the caramel frosting on top of the cakes. Then spoon a little of the tinned caramel on top and swirl it in to the icing (this doesn’t really work if you’ve piped it). Top the icing with a little sea salt and a Rolo if using 🙂

These cakes tasted amazing! I can’t wait to make them again 🙂 Have you ever made caramel cupcakes before?

Bake With Me #10 – Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla icing

Time for another baking post 🙂 I actually made these back in August but I’ve only just got round to putting this one up 🙂 Again, the recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook 🙂

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Ingredients (Makes 12)

120g plain flour

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

40g unsalted butter, softened

120ml whole milk

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Icing 

250g icing sugar, sifted

80g unsalted butter, softened

25ml whole milk

2 drops vanilla extract

Decorations

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  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 (170 degrees)
  2. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases (its important to use muffin cases as these are American style)
  3. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, and butter into a bowl and mix. If using a stand mixer beat on low speed until sandy looking.
  4. Slowly add in half the milk and mix until incorporated.
  5. In a jug mix the remaining milk with the egg and vanilla extract then slowly add in to the flour mix. Continue mixing until its all mixed in together. You’ll probably have to scrape the bowl round a few times to make sure its all mixed in. Photo 22-08-2017, 13 24 52
  6. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 mins (or until a skewer comes out clean). Photo 22-08-2017, 15 07 35
  7. Once the muffins have cooled it’s time to make the icing!Photo 22-08-2017, 15 23 50
  8. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a bowl until it starts to come together. Slowly add in the milk and vanilla extract and keep mixing. I find it best to use an electric mixer because with butter icing the longer you mix the better 🙂Photo 22-08-2017, 15 28 55
  9. Once light and fluffy put the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes and then add decoration 🙂Photo 22-08-2017, 15 38 25Photo 22-08-2017, 15 38 28Photo 22-08-2017, 16 07 42

I hope you enjoyed today’s post 🙂

Bake With Me #9 – Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate icing

Time for another baking post 😀 This one is chocolate cupcakes, again from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook 🙂

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Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

40g unsalted butter

120ml whole milk

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:

300g icing sugar (sifted)

100g unsalted butter

40g cocoa powder (sifted)

40ml whole milk

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 (170 degrees c)
  2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and butter in a large bowl and mix together until a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  3. In a jug whisk together the milk, vanilla extract and egg and slowly pour into the flour/butter mix. Mix together until everything is mixed in and the mixture is smooth. Photo 22-08-2017, 12 20 11
  4. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases until 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 20-25 mins. Photo 22-08-2017, 12 55 46
  6. Once the cupcakes are cool it’s time to ice and decorate.
  7. Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in a bowl until the mixture comes together. Slowly add the milk to the mix and beat it all together. Keep mixing it for a while (best use an electric mixer) – around 5 mins until it is all fluffy. The longer the icing is beaten for the better 🙂
  8. Put the icing in a piping bag then pipe it on to the top of the cakes and then decorate. I then topped the cupcakes with some decorations that I had left in the cupboard 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post 🙂 I’ll see you again soon 🙂