Lemon and Elderflower Victoria Sanswich

Lemon cake, sandwiched together with lemon curd and cream, topped with an elderflower glaze.

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It is elderflower season again so I have been making copious amounts of my elderflower cordial. I love using elderflower in baking as its such a beautifully delicate flavour. I decided to use it in something really simple, so I made this lemon and elderflower sponge cake.

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I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#127 this week, hosted by Angie and co-hosted by  Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Jess @ Cooking Is My Sport.. Happy Friday Everyone!

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Variations: You could use another citrus fruit to complement the elderflower, both lime and orange would work really well. Also if you don’t like elderflower you could add another floral flavour to the icing like lavender or rose.

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Ingredients: Serves 8-10

The Sponge:

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • zest of two lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 3-4tbsp elderflower cordial

The Filling:

  • 200ml double cream – whipped
  • 150g lemon curd

The Icing

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2-5tbsp elderflower cordial

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To Make:

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line two 20cm cake tins.

Combine all the ingredients for the sponge and mix with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.

Spoon into the prepared cake tins and level off.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top and springy to touch.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Once the cakes are cool, place one cake onto a cake stand or serving plate and spread with lemon curd. Dollop the whipped cream onto and gently spread t the edges. Sandwich the next cake layer ontop.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, and add the elderflower cordial tbsp at time, stop when the mixture has formed a thick paste that coats the back of a spoon.

Pour the icing over the top of the cake, and gently spread to the edges, add a bit at a time, so it doesn’t all just run over the edges. You should end up with a rustic drippy finish tough!

Decorate with some edible flowers (I have used primrose and violas) and serve!

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Chocolate and Hazelnut Speckled Egg Cake

Hazelnut cake, sandwiched together with chocolate and hazelnut spread, coated in white chocolate ganache.

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Easter has coincided with my boyfriends birthday this year, so I decided to make him an Easter themed birthday cake!

I had a browse around on Pinterest and I found these amazing tutorials for making a speckled egg cake, and I think they look fantastic so I decided to try and make one myself.

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My cake is hazelnut and chocolate flavour, so I have made a hazelnut cake, sandwiched together with chocolate hazelnut spread. I used a white chocolate ganache for the icing so that I would be able to colour it for the speckled egg effect.

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The speckled egg icing actually really easy and fun! You just ice as normal and then splatter the cake with a cocoa powder paint to give the speckly effect, the kitchen was a bit of a mess though!

I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#112 this week, hosted by Angie and co-hosted by Natalie @ Kitchen, Uncorked and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine. Happy Friday and Happy Easter everyone!

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Variations: you could use any flavours you want in this cake!

Ingredients: Serves 12-14

The Cake:

  • 300g butter
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 200g chopped hazelnuts
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 150g chocolate hazelnut spread

The Icing:

  • 600g white chocolate
  • 200ml double cream
  • blue gel food colouring
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • chocolate eggs

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To Make:

Grease and line three 23cm cake tins, preheat the oven to 180C.

Cream together the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Fold in the eggs one at a time followed by the chopped hazelnuts and flour.

Spoon into the prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the white chocolate ganache, melt together the chocolate and cream in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until the chocolate has fully melted, then stir in the food colouring until it reaches the desired shade of blue.

Cover with clingfilm so that the top of the ganache is toughing the film. Leave to cool to body temperature for a few hours.

whisk the ganache for a few minutes with a hand-held electric mixer until light and creamy. Cover with clingfilm again and leave to reach room temperature.

Place one of the sponges on an icing turntable. Pipe a ring of ganache around the edge of the sponge, then fill the middle with a few tbsp of chocolate hazelnut spread.  -repeat with the next two sponges.

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Cover the outside of the cake with a thick layer of ganache. then use a scraper to straighten out all the edges.

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Smooth out the ganache by warming up a metal spatula in hot water and then using this to smooth out and unwanted lumps and bumps.

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Once you are happy with the finish of your ganache you can move on to the speckle decoration!

Mix the cocoa powder with a few tbsp of water until it forms a loose pain like consistency.

Use a clean paintbrush and dip in in your chocolate paint. tap off the excess and then hold the paintbrush with one hand and tap with your fingers to make flecks of pain scatter off the brush – practice on some greaseproof paper before you get to work on the cake!

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Use the chocolate paint to decorate the top and sides of the cake until you are happy with the speckley effect.

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Finally decorate with some chocolate eggs and the cake is ready to serve!

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Salted Caramel and Chestnut Mini Loaves

Light and fluffy loaf cakes, made with nutty chestnuts, topped with a sticky salted caramel glaze.

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The recipe for these cakes came from a new cookbook I got for christmas called Honey & Co; Food from the Middle East. I saw this recipe in the desert section and decided that I just had to make it, as the combination of chestnuts and salted caramel sounded so delicious!

These cakes were as delicious as I expected. The flavours went together beautifully, and the texture of the cakes was beautifully light, so its easy to eat quite a few cakes in one go!

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The original recipe used a large cake tin, and poured the caramel sauce over each serving, but I wanted to try out another on of my christmas presents, which was a mini loaf tin. So you could definitely do this recipe as one large cake, and just increase the cooking time to 25-30 minutes.

These cakes were really easy to make, so they would a a great desert to make for a dinner party!

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Variations: You could use a chocolate sauce instead of the salted caramel, which would probably be equally as delicious.

Ingredients: Makes 10 Mini Loaves

The Cakes:

  • 150g chestnut puree
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • caster sugar
  •  ground almonds

 

The Salted Caramel

  • sugar
  • honey
  • double cream
  • generous pinch of sea salt

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To Make:

Grease and line your cake tin(s) and preheat the oven to 180C.

Whisk together the egg yolks, chestnut puree, and sugar in a small bowl.

In a separate, clean bowl, which up the egg whites until stiff peaks from.

Fold in the egg yolk mixture to the egg whites, one heaped tbsp  at a time until fully combined. Then fold in the ground almonds.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tins until 3/4 full and level off.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Meanwhile make the salted caramel sauce.

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Combine the sugar honey and water in a small pan and cook over a medium heat, until the mixture turns a deep golden brown colour, then pour in the double cream and add the sea salt. mix to combine and leave to cool before using.

Once the cakes are cooked turn onto a wire rack to cool and top with a few tbsp of the sated caramel sauce.

Sprinkle over some more sea salt and serve!

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Christmas Cake

Rich, dark, spiced cake, filled with a mixture of sweet dried fruits and chopped nuts.

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I LOVE fruit cake – especially Christmas cake, but unfortunately I am in the minority in my family, so I’ve never really been able to justify making one. However this year I have decided that I will make one, even if I end up eating the whole thing to myself!

I’ve followed Delia’s recipe for a Classic Christmas Cake, but I have changed the fruit combination a little bit, and I have used Grand Marnier and Cointreau rather than brandy.

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I was a bit worried when I made this, that my cake tin wasn’t tall enough, but the lining of foil-backed greaseproof paper did a wonderful job!

I would recommend starting this in the morning as it takes quite a while to cook! I started at 8PM (stupidly) so I was up past midnight making this cake! Dedication!

I’m enjoying ‘feeding’ my cake every so often and I can’t wait to eat it! I will put up an updated post it is all iced and finished 😀

I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#97 this week hosted by Angie. Happy Friday everyone!

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Variations: Change the combination of fruits to suit your taste!

Ingredients:

The Pre-soaking:

  • 450g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, candied peel)
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 175g glace stem ginger
  • 175g chopped glace cherries
  • 200ml Grand Marnier

The Cake:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 225g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tbsp black treacle
  • 225g butter
  • zest of one orange and one lemon
  • Cointreau for feeding

To Make 

Grease and side-line a 20cm cake tin with foil-backed greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Place all the dried fruits in a large bowl and submerge with the Grand Marnier. Cover and leave to soak for at least 12-16 hours.

Combine all the other cake ingredients (except the almonds) in a large bowl and mix with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy.

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Slowly add in the fruit and almonds, 1tbsp at a time until fully combined.

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Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for around 4 hours. Remove from the oven once a skewer sunk into he middle of the cake comes out clean.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Poke holes in the top if the cake using a skewer and pour over a few tbsp of Cointreau.

Wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight container. Keep feeding win Cointreau a few times a week until you are ready to ice the cake.

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Toffee Apple Cupcakes

Apple cupcakes topped with a caramel buttercream and a slice of toffee apple.

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Toffee apples are on of my favourite autumn-time treats, I love the mixture of sweet toffee and tart apple. So as its the right time of year, I wanted to try and get their flavour into a cupcake.

I have used the recipe for caramel icing from the primrose bakery cook book, as I have used it before in banoffee cupcakes, so I knew it would give the right flavour.

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To make these look a little ore special I have made some toffee apple slices to top them with, which give you a lovely crunchy surprise.

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday#94 this week hosted by Angie! . Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: You could use a different fruit such as pear. You could also use banana in the cupcakes for a banoffee flavour.

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Large Cupcakes

The Cakes:

  • 2 brambly apples
  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour

The Icing:

  • 45g butter
  • 60ml semi skimmed milk
  • 160g soft brown sugar
  • 200g icing sugar

The Toffee Apple Slices:

  • 12 slices of cooking apple
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1tbsp water

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To Make:

The Cakes:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a cupcake tray with muffin cases.

Peel, core and finely chop the apples, place in a large pan with a nob of butter and 50g of soft brown sugar. Cook over a medium heat for around 15 minutes, until the apples begin to break down and form a compote. turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Then fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the cooled compote and self raising flour. Stir until everything is combined.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases until 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

The Toffee Apple Slices:

Combine the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a medium heat, until the sugar melts and turns a dark golden brown colour, this should take around 5 minutes.

One the sugar has a caramelised remove from the heat, and dip each apple slice into the caramel, making sure it is completely coated. Leave to set on a tray lined with grease proof paper.

The Toffee Icing:

Combine the milk, brown sugar and butter in a small pan, cook over a medium heat, until the mixture melts together and begins to bubble.

Boil the mixture for two minutes, then remove from the heat. pour into a large bowl along with the icing sugar, and beat to a smooth consistency. Leave to cool and firm up before using.

Assembling:

Cover the top of each cupcake with a smooth layer of the toffee icing, Then top with a toffee apple slice.

Serve and enjoy!

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Pear and Dark Chocolate Frangipane Tart

Crisp pasty encasing a sweet almond frangipane, studded with thinly sliced pear, drizzled in dark chocolate.

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This is my fourth bake-off themed post inspired by pastry week! On that episode the bakers had to make frangipane tart, and they all looked amazing! I have made them in the past, but Ive never paid much attention to making them look that pretty, so I wanted to have a go!

I decided to do pear and dark chocolate because I love the flavour combination. It was also really easy to make it look pretty with pears, its amazing how much difference arranging the fruit can make! When I’ve made a fruit tart before i haven’t paid much attention to the arrangement to the fruit, and it has never looked as good as this!

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This actually a really easy tart to make, my pastry recipe is super easy as it doesn’t need chilling in the fridge (as long as you use very cold butter!), or weighing down with baking beans during the blind bake, and making a frangipane is really simple.

I have seen some recipes that recommend poaching the pears before baking them in the frangipane, but I added mine raw and they cooked beautifully in the frangipane so there is no need! so really tis is a minimum effort tart that looks like a lot more impressive than it really is, perfect if you want to impress!

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I will be bring this along to share at Fiesta Friday#86, hosted by Angie. Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: You could use a different fruit in this tart, I’m sure raspberries would taste lovely, or maybe some plums.

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Ingredients: Serves 8

The Pastry Case:

  • 150g butter
  • 270g flour
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp cold water

The Frangipane Filling:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g ground Almonds
  • 30g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • Flaked almonds (for scattering)
  • 150g dark chocolate

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To Make:

The Pastry:

Preheat the oven to 180C, and grease a loose bottomed tart tin.

Rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar, until it forms a fine bread crumb-like consistency. Then stir in the flour 1 tbsp at a time until the mixture comes together into a ball of dough.

Turn out onto a floured work surface, and roll out until half a centimeter thick. place into the tart tin, and press into the edges. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork, and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until just beginning to turn golden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside.

The Frangipane Filling:

Peel the pears, then cut them in half lengthways, and cut out the cores. Slice them into thin strips horizontally.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then fold in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the ground almonds, flour and baking powder. Finally, mix through the milk.

Spoon the frangipane into the blind baked pastry case and sooth out. Arrange the pears on top, and scatter with some flaked almonds. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until the frangipane is cooked through and has turned golden brown on top.

Remove from the tin and leave to cool, then drizzle with some melted dark chocolate. Cut into 8 slices and serve! Delicious with a dollop of mascarpone cream.

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Lime and Coconut Drizzle Cake

Coconut and lime sponge, drenched in a sweet, tangy lime syrup. 

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Who doesn’t love a classic lemon drizzle cake? It’s one of my favourites because I love the way the tangy syrup gets the sponge so moist and sticky.

I had a bit of a craving for one at the weekend, but I wanted to see if I could mix it up a bit, so I made a lime and coconut version.

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I brought this cake into work and everyone agreed that lime and coconut is easily as good as, if not better than lemon drizzle!

This was a really quick and easy cake to make, so I definitely recommend it for an afternoon treat 🙂

Variations: You could change this into a classic lemon drizzle cake or you could avg some pineapple to the sponge for a pins colada drizzle cake!

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Ingredients: Makes 12-15 Squares

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g coconut cream
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour

The Syrup:

  • zest of 2 limes
  • juice of 4-5 limes
  • 150g icing sugar

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a rectangular baking tray with grease-proof paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – this should take around 5 minutes. Then fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the coconut cream, zest and finally fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and even out. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool slightly in the tin before pouring over the syrup.

The Syrup:

Combine the lime juice, zest and icing sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Taste at this point to check that the syrup is sweet/sour enough for you.

Poke holes along the top of the sponge with a skewer, and then pour the syrup all over the sponge, making sure you reach all the edges and corners.

Leave to cool for around 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Slice into 12-15 squares and serve!

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