Here in Cornwall we have clotted cream…it’s kind of a big deal. Rodda’s is the local clotted cream and it’s illegal to add Cornish to the name unless the clotted cream is produced here. That’s right, it’s on a par with champagne.
Cornwall is famous for it’s cream teas that consist of jam, clotted cream, scones, butter and a cup of tea.
There are arguments on how the word is pronounced and Devon and Cornwall have a rivalry when it comes to putting jam before the cream. Doesn’t matter because as long as the scones are tasty, the rest is all just semantics. I make this recipe in my bakery and the scones sell out super quick.
Maybe it’s the British pride that’s floating around at the moment with London 2012? Maybe it’s my amazing baking? Who knows?! Either way, these are a winner.
I also got a new cake stand which I absolutely love, btw. I like having the belljar dome. It’s really handy to have.
This recipe makes 8-10 scones:
450g Self Raising Flour
80g Caster Sugar
4 TBsp Whole Milk
1. Start off by whisking the flour and caster sugar together (easier than sifting by the way)
2. Rub the butter into the flour. The butter shouldn’t be too hard, it should be room temperature so that it’s easier to combine. You want a sandy consistency.
3. Whisk the egg and milk together in a jug and then add to the dry ingredients.
4. Stir your mixture with a knife and then finish off combining it all with you hands.
5. Roll the mixture out on a floured surface to around 1 1/2 inches.
6. Using a cutter, cut the scones into the shape you want. Press down hard on the cutter, DO NOT TWIST the cutter at all.
7. Bake at 220 degrees C for 10 – 15 minutes
I just have to say that the photos are all taken on my iPhone because sometimes it’s not all that practical to have large photographic equipment in the bakery…cameras normally come in black and that’s not a good plan when it comes to flour. Don’t believe me? Just have a look at ALL of the black clothing I own.
So pour yourself a nice cup of tea, pop some jam and cream on your scone and relax with some olympics on the TV.
Because they make VW’s and Black Forest Cherry Cake of course.
My father absolutely loves Black Forest Cherry Cake as I’m sure I’ve told you before. I’ve tried to make a Black Forest Cherry Cupcake before and I even posted about it but I think this cake was absolutely perfect.
If you don’t like the idea of so much cream (I know it makes it incredibly rich and I personally believe that’s why it goes down so well) you can always use some buttercream but I suggest just going with the cream.
For the Cake:
- 260g Plain Flour
- 50g Cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp Bicarb
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 60g Shortening
- 190g Caster Sugar
- 90g Dark Soft Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 375ml Buttermilk
- 1 TBsp Milk
1. Measure out the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Instead of sifting, try whisking these together. It’s easier and it works a treat.
2. Cream the shortening and sugar together, then beat the eggs in one by one. Add the vanilla.
3. Add the flour and the buttermilk and the milk alternating between them.
4. Pour the mixture into two 8″ pans and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees C. Keep checking the cakes after 20 minutes cos the cocoa burns really quickly.
For the Buttercream:
- 125ml Kirsch
- 90g Butter
- 380g Icing Sugar
- 1 TBsp Strong Coffee
- 300g pitted cherries
- 1 TBsp Milk
1. Cream the butter and icing sugar.
2. Brew the coffee by adding a touch of boiling water to the coffee powder and dissolving the powder. Add this to the creamed sugar and butter.
3. Add the kirsch, cherries and milk and beat the buttercream for 8 to 10 minutes until pale and fluffy.
For the Cream:
- 1 Carton Double Cream
- 3 TBsp Kirsch
- 2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1. Whip the cream to stiff peaks.
2. Add the kirsch and vanilla essence
Right, now you need to assemble this bad boy.
I suggest chilling the cakes before you start assembling as this will make sure the icing spreads easily. Cut the two cakes in half horizontally. You’re going to put the coffee icing on the first layer, then put the cherries on top of that and put another layer of cake on top of the cherries. You can add the cherries to the icing when you’re mixing it, but I prefer to do it seperately.
You’re going to repeat this step until you’ve layered all of the cakes on top of each other.
The cream mixture is going to cover the top and sides of the cake. You can spread it on thick or thin, it’s up to you. I like to crumble Flakes on top or you could decorate the cake with cherries and chocolate shavings.
This cake is incredibly delicious so enjoy!
Long title right?
But it tastes epic!
So here’s the deal: I wanted to make a chocolate cake…I also wanted peanut butter on toast with golden syrup…I also really wanted to use my cook’s blowtorch.
That’s how this epic, awesome, amazing and downright fantastic cake was born. (Too much?)
Let’s start with the chocolate cake.
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
- 100g Butter
- 2 Eggs
- 45g Cocoa Powder
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 1tsp Bicarb
- 180g Plain Flour
- 160g Milk
1. Start by creaming the sugars and the butter together. Technically the recipe only called for caster sugar but I always add some brown sugar because it adds depth and texture to the final product and helps the caster sugar to cream with the butter. Little tip there.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions and scraping down the bowl.
3. Add the cocoa powder, baking powder and the bicarb and mix well.
4. Add half the flour and mix. Add all the milk and mix. Add the rest of the flour and mix well.
5. Bake the cakes in an oven at 170 Degrees C for 25-30 minutes.
- 60g Butter
- 300g Icing Sugar
- 1TBsp Milk
- 2TBsp Peanut Butter
1. Mix the butter and icing sugar together until combined
2. Add the milk (more if necessary) and beat until fluffy (around 8 minutes)
3. Add the peanut butter and beat further for 3 minutes
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 4 Egg Whites
1. Put the water and sugar into a saucepan and boil until it reaches the softball stage (I’ll discuss this later in the post)
2. You need to whisk the eggs until they’re foamy
3. Very carefully add the sugar syrup to the egg whites while mixing on a low speed. The sugar syrup may splatter and it will burn you if it comes in contact with your skin so be super duper careful people!!!!!!
4. When you’ve added the syrup, turn the mixer up to high. You need to continue to mix the meringue until the bottom of the bowl is lukewarm. You’ll see the meringue thicken and then it’s ready.
Firstly the two cakes need to be stuck together with the peanut butter frosting in the middle. I like to turn my cakes so that the flat bottoms are facing each other in the middle. This means that I have a nice rounded top and that my buttercream has a flat platform.
Pile the meringue over the top of the meringue and then use a wet spatula or pallete knife to create spikes and ridges all over the cake (trust me on this, you do not want a smooth cake).
Finally, take a cook’s blowtorch and cook the meringue until golden brown. You don’t want to burn the meringue and you don’t want an all over brown. Try to catch the ridges and spikes with the blowtorch to create depth. There is also a trick for putting the cake under a grill if you don’t have a blowtorch but I haven’t tried it and so can’t tell you much about it at all. But I’m sure someone out there on the internet knows so go a-diggin’.
PS. I gave the cake away but obviously giving away cake with a piece missing isn’t good practice so I made an extra slice from some of the cake I cut away to make it even and gave that to my dad to try.
My father loves carrot cake. I always thought it was a bit strange to stick a vegetable into a cake and hope for the best. It just doesn’t make much logical sense to me.
Turns out, quite a few people disagree with me.
Hence why carrot cakes are so freaking popular.
We got a new lounge suite…one that Cat loves.
Bare with me, this is going somewhere.
To get this new lounge suite, we had to borrow my friend’s husband’s van. We took the long trip to Newton Abbot (it’s really not that far) and got our new green lounge suite which I hated and am only very slowly coming to enjoy.
To say thank you for the borrowing of the van, I baked Keith a carrot cake.
He liked it…he called it ‘ansome…which in Cornish means “My god this is a good carrot cake”.
So thanks, Keith!
I also want to say that this is the first time I’ve ever used fondant to cover a cake.
I’m not too keen on it as a covering, I think it’s a bit of a waste of time because there’s already perfectly good cream cheese frosting. But it does make the cake look clean and beautiful. And I got to make those amazing little flowers and butterflies using my new plunger fondant cutters. They’re incredible.
Luckily, Keith liked it.
Now here’s a little tip. Straight from me to you.
When you cover in fondant, you need to ice your cake then stick it in the fridge to firm up. Then you take it out and you cover it in frosting again and then you cover it. So that the fondant will stick and so that you have something tasty on your cake.
So, having said this, the frosting does not have to be pretty. It’s going to be covered.
Let me show you.
I have no new recipe for this carrot cake because this one is my go-to. But let me tell you why it looks different. I got new baking tins and they are smaller than my previous spring form tin.
They come from Tesco and I think (don’t hold me to it cos I cannot remember) they might be from the This Morning range by Prestige. They are amazing. They’re the kind of tins that you slide the bottom plate in and when you bake your cake, you pop a tin can underneath the tins and push the cakes out from the bottom. So much cleaner than springform tins!
My mother is on holiday at the moment from school and we decided a girl’s day out would be good. So we went to Newquay, paid a visit to Bookers and then went to Morrisons for lunch because I don’t care that it’s a supermarket cafe, they do amazing lasagne and their chips make me weak at the knees.
You may be wondering what on earth Bookers is. Well allow me to explain: Bookers is a wholesalers, a bit like Sam’s Club in the UK but you have to have a business to belong to this club. So along we went. There’s shelf after shelf of bulk products for B&B’s, catering companies and restaurants. It was there that I found a large bag of marshmallows for hardly anything, a large bottle of sprinkles, good food colouring and butterscotch sauce. But best of all, I found Haribo Rainbow Twists.
Aren’t they amazing?!
They inspired my latest cupcakes. I made a standard vanilla batter, split it into four and then layered and mixed them in the cupcake cakes to create the different colours. I used the same colours as the rainbow twists so that hopefully they matched. I think they turned out pretty well, they taste pretty good too and who can resist sprinkles on a cupcake? It’s just not possible.
Sorry the camera work is a little rubbish on these shots…my hands were shaking from the sheer amount of sugar in those bad boys.
I know I said I was going to be doing Valentine’s Cupcakes…and I will…but I’m going away this weekend…in like 4 hours to be exact and I had to make birthday cupcakes yesterday so I thought I would leave you with something tasty while I’m away!
These are for my mom’s friend Vicki. They’re vanilla and caramel cupcakes with a crunchy white chocolate frosting and a plain chocolate dipped pretzel stick. I don’t really have a different recipe, I just used a simple vanilla cupcake recipe (whatever your favourite one is) and substituted half of the caster sugar for soft light brown sugar instead. It gives the cupcake a caramel flavour and makes the top a big crunchy. It’s amazing.
I also just made regular buttercream frosting and added some melted white chocolate. I found the crunchy white chocolate at Co-Op for like 97p a bar which was really good. If you’re wondering why it’s crunchy, that would be the cereal pieces inside the chocolate that they’re referring to.
Make your buttercream as usual, getting it to the right consistency, then pour the melted white chocolate into the buttercream and beat them together on high for three minutes. The chocolate should be melted and runny enough to be poured, but not hot otherwise it won’t go so well. I could put my finger in the melted chocolate without getting burnt so that’s about the temperature you want.
The pretzel sticks were found at Morrisons in the Polish Foods section. They have normal pretzel shaped pretzels and then they have these babies! I got the family pack, even though my diet says I’m not allowed to have any, so I have got to use them! I just dipped the end in melted plain chocolate, popped them onto a baking sheet and let them set in the fridge…I did drop two on the floor but never mind. I had to snap the bottoms off the pretzel sticks because they were too long and then I just stuck them in the cakes.
The sugar on top was made using Sugarbelle’s Sand Sugar method and I thought blue would go nicely with the silver cupcake cases and because it’s still technically winter and they’re predicting snow for us sometime this coming week.
Of course, if you want to do something Valentine’s themed, then change the blue sugar to pink or red, you can colour your icing or you can use white chocolate on the dipped pretzels and colour it red or pink. It’s completely up to you. I might make the different variations of this cupcake when I get back.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Ps. Sorry the photos are particularly rubbish in this post, I was really rushed for time with these!
These are Valentine’s cupcakes for people who have no interest/clue how to decorate a cupcake and need something fast. It’s easy…like super easy…like, chill with a drink while you prepare to decorate these bad boys kinda easy.
Unless you burn water, you will manage these cupcakes.
It’s a simple Vanilla sponge with strawberry jam running through it, a cream cheese frosting and some pink sugar dust on top. It still looks impressive and you will get an “aww” for presenting them.
140g Plain Flour
150g Caster Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder (I use double action because nothing rises in Cornwall)
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
150ml Milk (or 3/4 C)
1. Start by mixing the flour, sugar, butter and baking powder in an electric mixer or with a handheld mixer. You want a sandy consistency.
NOTE: I like to add a bit of custard powder to my cupcakes. Why? Because it makes the mixture a little thicker and makes the cupcake a little sturdier so you don’t have to treat it like it’s going to cave in at any moment. You can add it to the wet ingredients or to the dry ingredients.
2. Add half the milk to your dry ingredients and mix on a medium speed.
3. Whisk the egg with the remaining milk and vanilla essence.
4. Add the rest of the wet ingredients. Make sure you scrape down the sides of your bowl evertime you add a new ingredient to be mixed. It helps with the process.
5. This is strawberry jam time! Put as much or as little strawberry jam into the mixture as you like (I personally only like a little bit) And then stir it through the batter. Don’t overmix, you want streaks of the jam in your cake, not just mixed in.
6. Bake your cupcakes at 180 Degrees C for 10 to 12 minutes.
500g Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2C Cream Cheese
1. Mix the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer until the butter has broken up.
2. Add the vanilla essence and the cream cheese and mix together until the frosting comes together.
3. Add the milk to the mixture (adjust the amount if you need more or less) and turn the mixer speed up fairly high and allow the frosting to be beaten for up to 8 minutes. The longer you beat, the fluffier it gets!
The Coloured Sugar:
There is a whole how-to guide about coloured sugar. Now, technically, you are supposed to use sand sugar, but I used caster sugar and it looked fine.
It comes out all sparkly and lovely. For stuff like this in the shops, we pay nearly £4 in the UK and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find it so thanks Sugarbelle! This is a technique I will definitely be using in the future. I even have old jars that I have cleaned in prep for storing these new found sugar sparkles.
There you are, easily decorated cupcakes for Valentine’s Day!
Here’s a little back story before I introduce you to the best recipe of your life.
When I was little and lived in South Africa, I became aware of the love of my father’s life. Don’t tell my mother but the love of my father’s life comes covered in cinnamon and sugar and is generally fried…although not today! That’s right, my father loves doughnuts more than anything else on this planet.
He even tried to buy a doughnut shop!
But here in the UK they don’t do doughnuts like a South African would appreciate. They smother the doughnuts in sugar and make them so small! Traditionally in SA we love cinnamon and sugar doughnuts and we like ‘em big. Go big or go home right?
I realise that Americans love them doughnuts glazed and yes, I can jump on that band wagon with sure footing but I’m a traditionalist at heart and so I set out to make my father’s favourite thing in the world…second maybe only to pizza.
This is the recipe that I followed but I changed things up a little bit and had to substitute some things for their British counterparts so I’ve included that in my own recipe on this page but don’t be afraid to experiment.
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 C Caster Sugar
- 1 C Milk heated in the microwave for 30sec
- 2 TBsp Fresh Baker’s Yeast
- Pinch Salt
- 2 C Plain Flour
- 1 C Strong White Bread Flour
- 114g Butter
- Put the egg and the sugar into a free standing mixer (or use a hand mixer) and combine for around 1 minute.
- Add the milk, salt and yeast. I like to dissolve the yeast in the milk so make sure the milk is warm enough to melt something like that. I know, getting all technical on you there.
- I then swapped to the dough hook of my mixer and added the 2 C flour and let this mix to a thick pancake batter consistency.
- I added the butter slowly in cubes. Let the butter sort of disappear into the mixture before you add another cube. This will make your doughnuts really light and fluffy.
- I then added all of the white bread flour and let the dough hook knead the dough for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Let the dough rest for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
- On a lightly floured surface, de-gas your dough and roll it out to the desired thickness. I don’t know how thick you want your doughnuts, I think this is all down to personal choice now. You can either use a doughnut cutter or you can use a round cutter to make the initial shape and cut out a hole or you can shape the hole with your finger or…and this is what I will be doing from now on…you can just make logs out of the dough and twist it.
- You will need to let your doughnuts rise in their moulded shape. I let mine rise for 30 minutes but it also depends on the heat of the room so keep an eye on them, you don’t want them much bigger than double the size otherwise they might tunnel.
- Bake your lovely mounts of dough for 5 to 8 minutes at 200 degrees C or until golden brown.
- Let them cool and then glaze those little suckers or add some cinnamon and sugar.
Now, I have to tell you the truth…my father ate all of the cinnamon and sugar doughnuts before I could take a photo so I cannot produce evidence of those! But here are some beautiful chocolate ones instead.
For the cinnamon glaze, you need to melt a little butter, brush it onto the doughnut and then dip the doughnut in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to get it to stick because they haven’t been fried and there’s no grease to stick to. The glaze is pretty easy to make from icing sugar, chocolate powder or cocoa powder and cold water. Make sure to add the water slowly to get the right consistency, you want it thick enough to stick onto the doughnut but not run off and thin enough not to have to smear it on.
Also, I told you about the tortoise cake I made and now I have photos!
My friend’s daughter LOVED them…and they love each other as you can see.
Hope you all have a great weekend.
This year, we will not be in England for Christmas. We are going to Orlando, Florida. We did it in 2009 and now we’re doing it again. Disneyworld here we come! We’re going for a whole three weeks which is much longer than last time and will give us a real opportunity to see Florida. Last time was amazing but it went by so quickly and felt like a blur…not this time!
Now, don’t get me wrong because this is something that I not only endorse and encourage but something that I am thoroughly thrilled about, but it does mean that I miss out on all the Christmas hype. There will be no tree. There will be no presents. There will be no Christmas lunch or dinner. Granted, we will be doing something way cooler and it’s all of us together which is what Christmas is about, but I will miss some tinsel and baubles in my life.
So I have brought you a few Christmas treats to thrill you…because if I can’t have them then at least I can share them with someone.
All of these amazing treats can be found on the Lakeland website. The St Kew products are produced near my house (about 5 miles away) and they come in gorgeous hamper baskets.
I had to make a giant cupcake birthday cake and it needed to have tortoises on it because the birthday girl loves tortoises. I made them out of fondant and you can see my how-to video on making them. In the mean time, you can have a look at the photos I took of the tortoises I made. They’re really cute in my opinion.
There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread and in our house that smell travels due to my amazing industrial oven. And of course, like everyone else in the world, my family has a favourite loaf of bread. My father’s personal favourite is date and walnut bread and because I hate walnuts it has become just a date bread.
It’s a pretty simple recipe so if you wanna go ahead and make it yourself then feel free my friends. I must admit that I knead everything in my Kenwood Mixer because there is literally no space in my house to hand knead anything let alone a whole loaf of bread. But if you are going to be hand kneading then it just takes a little longer.
Date and Walnut Loaf
350g Strong White Bread Flour
150g Wholemeal Flour
12g Fresh Yeast or 6g Quick or Dry Yeast
20g to 30g Dried Dates
30g Walnuts (if you’d like to use them)
1. Weigh the two flours together and mix them well.
2. Add the salt, yeast, honey, dates and walnuts to the flour. You should rub the quick or dry yeast into the flour before you add the water, the fresh yeast is not so much a problem.
3. Add the water to the flour and other ingredients and mix well in the bowl until you had no dry spots of flour.
4. Either knead the dough for 6 minutes in the Kenwood or 10 to 15 minutes by hand.
5. Leave the dough to rise. I like to leave mine for an hour then do a 4 letter fold in the dough and place it back in the bowl to rise for another hour to two hours before I shape it, let it rise for 30 minutes.
6. Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes at 210 degrees C
When you handle the dough, it’s easiest if you have your hands and the surface wet with water. Do not add any more flour to the dough. It will be wet, it will be sticky and it will creep up your arms so don’t panic. And more importantly the flour will make your loaf really dry so be careful.
You may also want to cut a slit in the top of the loaf with a serrated knife because if you don’t then the bread will burst out the sides when baking. That is not a problem if you want rustic looking bread.
You can also use the same recipe with olives and walnuts and anything else you wanna add to the loaf.
I will try to put up a video on how to knead dough properly but that may have to wait until our tripod arrives.
Hope the baking goes well!