PB&J Chocolate Cake

PB&J Chocolate Cake

Hiya!

This is one of my favourite flavour combinations, peanut butter and chocolate just go together amazingly and last week happened to be my birthday! So… happy birthday to me and I got to scoff my favourite cake! It was made up of 4 layers of chocolate fudge cake, strawberry jam filling and peanut butter Swiss meringue buttercream. It was decorated with hand piped buttercream flowers using the fabulous White Flower Cake Shop piping tip 402. I’m still getting to grips with this tip but I am very happy with how my flowers turned out.

Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe

(Makes 2 x 6″ cakes each cut in half to make 4 layers)

265g self-raising flour

3 ¾ TBS cocoa

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda

225g caster sugar

3 eggs

225ml sunflower oil

225ml milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 TBS Nestle caramel (or other thick caramel)

Preheat the oven to 170°C

Line both tins with parchment paper, it makes removing the cake much easier.

Sieve self-raising flour, cocoa and bicarbonate soda into a bowl and stir in the caster sugar.

In another bowl whisk the eggs, add milk, oil, vanilla and caramel and whisk together.

Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix well. It will be quite runny.

Pour equally into the prepared cake tins.

Bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool in the tins for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool you can start to decorate it. I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream from my recipe here and added 3/4 of a cup of peanut butter just before it was ready.

I warmed 4 TBS of strawberry jam in the microwave and then pushed it through a small sieve to ensure no lumps or seeds were in it.

Once the cake is filled, stacked and crumb coated make sure it has enough time in the fridge to firm up before you start to decorate it.

I divided the remaining buttercream into different bowls and coloured it as I wished. I covered the cake before piping the flowers. You do not need to pipe directly into the cake, if you pipe onto parchment paper first and then place them into the fridge for 30 mins, they will be stable enough to move with an offset spatula.

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Enjoy your cake! I hope you feel inspired to try this recipe and enjoy decorating it. If you do please tag me in the pic, I’d love to see!

Cxx

Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake

Hiya!

This week I had the pleasure of making a birthday cake for a friend who happened to mention that she loves lemon meringue pie. This tied in very well with lasts weeks blog post of Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. One of the things I enjoy most about baking is the creativity and science behind baking and recreating something as classic as a Lemon Meringue Pie.

For this cake I baked a lemon zest and essence sponge cake, filled layers with lemon curd and covered the cake in Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I decorated it with a white chocolate sail and French Meringues.

Lemon Sponge Cake Recipe

225g butter (softened)

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

225g plain flour

1tsp baking powder (heaped)

Zest of 1 lemon

1tsp lemon essence

Line two 6″ cake tins.

Preheat the oven to 175°C

Cream the butter and the caster sugar until light & fluffy.

Add 1 egg at a time, scrap down the sides and ensure the mixture is all well combined.

Add the lemon zest and essence.

Sieve and add the flour and the baking powder. Mix until combined.

Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and bake for 30-35 mins.

Allow to cool in the tins for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.

If you would like to recreate the cake pictured here, you can find my Meringue Recipe and Buttercream Recipes through these links.

I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Cxx

Baked Blueberry Cheesecake

Baked Blueberry Cheesecake

Hiya!

Yesterday was National Cheesecake Day, how exciting that Cheesecake has it’s own day! I just love all of these mini celebrations from around the world, I think it is a great way to show unity and togetherness with different people from around the world.

I love cheesecake, especially my Mom’s cheesecake. It always turns out better than mine and I don’t get to eat it very often but when we visited South Africa last month I was lucky enough to get some! So this time I decided to mix it up a little and add the blueberries to my cheesecake and it turned out great.

Baked Blueberry Cheese Cake

Prepare an 8″ pie dish or springform tin. If using the spring form tin, be sure to line the sides with a layer of baking paper, ensuring it goes just down into the join of the base and the side to decrease any leakage.

Blueberries:
200g fresh blueberries
50g caster sugar

Wash and place the blueberries into a saucepan.
Cover with sugar and heat on medium until it starts to bubble.
Give it a stir and leave it to simmer for 3-4 mins.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool a bit until required.

Pie case:
125g butter (softened)
45g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
135g plain flour

Cream the butter and sugar until pale.
Add the egg and beat well.
Add sifted flour and baking powder.
Spread the dough into the spring form tin. I used an offset spatula to get it level.
Use a teaspoon to drip half the blueberry mixture onto the uncooked base and spread it around a bit.

Filling:
450g cream cheese
2 eggs
45g caster sugar
30g plain flour
200ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Juice of half a lemon

Beat the cream cheese and eggs very well.

Add sugar and mix, add flour and mix.
Pour in the milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice and mix well.
This mixture will be very runny and if you use a spring form tin you will need to be quick about getting it into the preheated oven.

Pour the filling gently onto the uncooked base.
Bake at 180° for 25-30 mins until the mixture is set.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 mins. Add the remaining blueberry mixture to the top of the cheesecake with a teaspoon.
Once completely cool, place it into the fridge as it really does taste best cold!

Enjoy your Baked Blueberry Cheesecake!

Cxx

Coffee Meringue Dessert Stack

Coffee Meringue Dessert Stack

Hiya!

I have a very short post for you tonight as I am currently on holiday in South Africa.

There are so many very beautiful miniature cakes around that I decided to make an adult gluten free version. Pastel meringue disks layered with coffee cream!

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Meringue Recipe

3 egg whites

Caster sugar (double the weight of the egg whites)

1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C, weigh your egg whites into your mixing bowl and allow to warm to room temperature.

Weigh double the amount of caster sugar as the weight of your eggs in a heat proof bowl and place in the oven for 5 mins.

Start to beat your egg whites and when they look foamy remove the sugar from the oven and turn the temp down to 100°C.

Spoon the hot sugar slowly into the egg whites while beating, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Add vanilla extract.

Once you reach stiff peak stage (short pointy peaks that do not fall back on themselves) stop and divide the mixture into 4 smaller bowls.

Choose 4 gel food colours and start to colour your meringue. The colour will fade slightly with baking, so you may want to make it slightly brighter than you want them to turn out.

I drew round circles (about 4″ wide) on my baking paper, turned the paper upside down and pipped 3 circles of meringue in each colour. I kept the pink for the tops of the meringue and pipped these with a 1M Wilton piping tip to look like flowers.

Bake at 100°C for 1hour 30mins.

Allow to cool completely before starting the filling.

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Coffee Cream Filling

250ml whipping cream

1tsp caster sugar

1tsp instant coffee (heaped)

Pour the cream into a bowl to whip.

Add caster sugar and coffee.

Start whipping, once it is thick enough that it doesn’t slide when you tip the bowl you are done but be careful not to over whip of you’ll end up with coffee butter!

Place a tip in a piping bag and full it with the coffee cream.

Pipe a circle of coffee cream onto your first meringue disk and then stack and fill the rest. There is a piping & stacking video on Instagram and Facebook.

Once you’ve stacked them, they will need to be kept in the fridge and eaten with 2 hours before the meringue begins to dissolve with the moisture from the cream.

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Enjoy as a light summer dessert and think about me as it is the middle of winter in South Africa!

xx

Raspberry & White Chocolate Unicorn Cake

Raspberry & White Chocolate Unicorn Cake

Hiya,

I’m super excited about this week! I’ve wanted to make a unicorn cake for ages and finally I did! Also there are 4 more sleeps (can you tell I have kids?) until we go on holiday to South Africa and I get to see my family! Yay!

Firstly you will need some gumpaste or florist paste which dries hard, to make your horn & ears. I used white as finding colours can be difficult. I rolled a tube of gumpaste with either end tapered to a point, folded it in half and then twisted it together. I pushed a cake pop stick up the middle so that I could secure the horn to the cake. I also used a tiny bit is edible glue to stick the horn so that it didn’t unravel as it dried. You need to make the horn well ahead of time as it is thick and takes a while to dry.

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Next I rolled out some gumpaste and used a raindrop shaped cutter to cut out the ears. I coloured the center in with pink edible marker and pinched the bottom closed to make the ear shape.

Once the horn was dry I used gold food paint to paint it gold.

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Raspberry and Vanilla Cake Recipe

(makes 3 x 6″ round cakes)

338g butter softened

338g caster sugar

6 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

338g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

60g freeze dried raspberries

Cream the butter & sugar together until pale and fluffy

Add 1 egg at a time, mixing it in before adding the next.

Add vanilla extract. Ensure with each step that you scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is well mixed.

Sift flour & baking powder and add to the butter mixture, mix until just combined.

Time to add the freeze dried raspberries! The bag I bought were all whole raspberries which are pretty for decoration but better crushed for a cake. Tip the raspberry pieces into the mixture and mix until evenly combined.

I always line the base of my cake tins as the cake comes out so easily this way. Divide the mixture evenly between your tins and level using an offset spatula.

Bake at 160°C for 30-35 mins. Check the cake is done by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake, it should come out clean. If you think the top of the cake is starting to look too dark but the cake is not ready yet, place a sheet of baking paper over the top while in the oven.

Remove from the oven & cool in the tin for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.

I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream to decorate the cake, you can find my recipe in the link above and I made 1 and a half times the recipe. I melted and cooled 2/3 cup of white chocolate and slowly poured into into the completed icing.

In 3 smaller bowls I placed 100g of icing each and coloured each bowl a different colour, pink, teal & lilac.

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Level your cake layers to all the same size and I also trimmed off the darker outer layer and the base using a bread knife.

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Stack & crumb coat your cake and place in the fridge for an hour. It was super hot the day I did this and I was terrified the finished cake was going to slide apart as once the horn & ears go on, it cannot go back into the fridge!

Ice the outer layer of your cake and level the top. I placed the horns and ears on before I started piping. Pipe your unicorns mane using the different coloured icing, I also used 3 different piping tips.

Colour a small amount of left over icing black for the eyes. I used a round cookie cutter to mark out where the eyes should be and then pipped the eyes using a 2 piping tip.

Stand back & admire your magical unicorn. I was lucky enough to receive a picture of my cake at the venue, which made me very happy!

Cxx

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Apricot & Orange Slices

Apricot & Orange Slices

Hiya!

One of my favorite things about summer is all lovely fresh fruit, strawberries, watermelon, apricots, to be honest all of them! Although this recipe uses dried fruit, it has a lovely summer aroma and taste to it.

I also wanted to share a recipe that didn’t need to be covered in icing as I know a few people aren’t so keen on it. This recipe requires no icing as the flavour is amazing alone but I had a little vanilla buttercream left over from another project, so I piped a little swirl on top of half the slices and added some sprinkles coz you know how much I love sprinkles!

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Apricot & Orange Slices

250g soft dried apricots

200g raisins

260ml orange juice

250g softened butter

3 large eggs

300g soft brown sugar

2tsp vanilla extract

350g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

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Cut the apricots into raisin sized pieces, using scissors is the quickest way.

Put the apricots and raisins into a saucepan and pour over the orange juice. Turn the heat up high and bring the fruit to the boil and then reduce the heat to medium for 15 mins or until the juice has been absorbed by the fruit. Be sure to give the pot a stir while it’s cooking so that nothing catches.

Turn off the heat and add the softened butter to the fruit. Stir gently until it has all melted. Remove from the heat & allow to cool while you continue.

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Preheat the oven to 140C on a fan setting. Grease and line a 30 x 20 cm cake tin or roasting tray.

Sieve the flour & baking powder and stir it together.

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Place the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract into the mixing bowl and mix on a low speed until well combined.

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Add the fruit mixture and mix it in.

Add half the flour mixture and mix on low. Then add the remaining flour and mix until well combined.

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Pour the mixture into your cake tin ensuring that it spreads to the corners.

Bake for 40 mins. Loosely cover the top with parchment paper to stop it turning too brown and then cook for another 15-20mins. This is a moist cake but a skewer inserted should come out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 mins in the pan before removing to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Slice into 24 squares or 18 rectangles.

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Enjoy your fruity treat!

Cxx

Neapolitan Monster Cake

Neapolitan Monster Cake

Hiya!

Wow, we’re already on the 1st of May! One third of the way though 2017. I’ve recently reviewed my goals (yes, most people would do that quarterly but I’m not like most people) and plans for this year and some of them are on track and a few have fallen by the wayside. My original plan for this blog has gone slightly off track and I am now pulling it back this month. I’m all about the pretty and cute cakes and treats but I got distracted with sharing all my favourite recipes. While yummy flavour combinations and new ways of doing things will always excite me, I’m going to try focusing on the part that I love the most, decorating!

This weeks cake is a good combination of both cute decoration and exciting flavours with decadent neapolitan cake layers and fillings. I made the bow with florist paste which sets hard but the rest is all swiss meringue buttercream and I just love how versatile it is.

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There are 2 separate cake recipes below as I made the vanilla and strawberry mix together and then the chocolate cake after. The feet are made in a similar way to cake pops. I crumbed the off cuts from levelling the cakes and mixed in some buttercream so that I was able to make the shape I wanted and added it to the cake after the crumb coat had set.

Vanilla ingreds

Vanilla & Strawberry Cake

225g butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp strawberry flavouring

¼ tsp pink gel food colouring

Heat the oven to 175°C

Line 2 x 6″ cake tins with parchment paper

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.

Sieve flour and baking power together and stir so that it is evenly mixed.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed and alternate with a ¼ of the flour.

Once all the eggs and flour have been combined divide the mixture in half. In one bowl add the vanilla extract and mix well. In the other bowl add the strawberry flavouring and pink food colouring and mix to ensure the colour is even.

Place the mixture into the cake tins and spread to flatten.

Bake for 30-35 mins on the middle shelf. To check they are done insert a skewer into the middle of the cake which should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before removing to a cooling rack.

 

Choc ingreds

Chocolate Cake

113g butter, softened

113g caster sugar

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

20g cocoa powder

2 eggs

Heat the oven to 175°C

Line one 6″ cake tin with parchment paper

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.

Sieve flour, cocoa and baking power together and stir so that it is evenly mixed.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed and alternate with a ½ of the flour.

Once all the eggs and flour have been combined place the mixture into the cake tin and spread to flatten.

Bake for 30-35 mins on the middle shelf. To check it is done insert a skewer into the middle of the cake which should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before removing to a cooling rack.

Fillings and Buttercream

I made 1 and a half of my standard Swiss Meringue Buttercream, recipe in the link, and flavoured it with vanilla bean paste. I removed 2 tbsp of icing before colouring the rest purple. I will use the white icing for the white of the eye, then colour it blue for the iris and then colour it black for the pupil.

For the strawberry layer I microwaved ¼ jar of good strawberry jam in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds and then pushed it through a small sieve to remove seeds and lumps.

For the chocolate layer I made milk chocolate ganache with 60ml of cream and 200g of milk chocolate.

Ready to ice

Next up I levelled the cakes to all the same height and then cutting each layer in half to make 2 layers of each. I kept the dome on the vanilla cake as my monster has a round head.

I’ve never owned a cake turntable and always been quite happy to decorate a cake on an upside down bowl but I recently bought one and boy am I glad I did. While my old way was manageable, this was soooooo much easier. I highly recommend them if you enjoy cake decorating. I didn’t by a fancy one and it was just off Amazon but it was a way smoother experience than my usual way.

When stacking a cake always remember to put a little icing down on the board before placing your first cake layer on. I made a little video of me stacking the cake which will go up on Instagram and Facebook this week if you’d like to watch. It’s rather mesmerising when its all sped up.

On each layer I made a boarder with the buttercream before filling it and stacking the next layer. I then crumb coated the cake before placing it in the fridge for 1 hour. I wanted the icing to be really set before I tried to pipe the eye.

I huge storm cloud then came over and I lost all my light and I couldn’t capture the cake with just the eye, the feet being added or me piping the monster’s fur. You could use any star shaped tip you have. I used a big one for most of the fur and then filled in near the mouth and on the edge of the paw with a smaller star. Lastly placing her pretty green bow on her head.

Inside cake

I hope you find a fun way to make a neapolitan cake, I really loved the different flavours together and really enjoyed making my little monster.

Have a great week!

Cxx