Orange & Passion Fruit Madeira Cake

Rich madeira sponge flavoured with orange and topped with a sweet passion fruit glaze.

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This my first Bake-Off inspired post from the new series! In the first episode the signature bake was a madeira cake, and all the cakes they made looked delicious, so I thought I’d give it a try myself!

I had never actually tried a madeira cake before, but I love citrusy flavours – ¬†I don’t know why I’ve never tried to make one before! I got my recipe from my Delia Smith Cake cookbook.

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The recipe is for a classic madeira cake, but I have used orange rather than lemon, and I’ve added a passionfruit glaze to make it a bit more special.

I am delighted with how this cake has turned out, I even managed to get a big crack of the surface, which is supposed to be the sign of a good madeira cake!

Now that I have made a madeira cake, I realise how versatile this cake is, and I will definitely be trying some different flavour combinations, especially some of the amazing ones I saw on bake-off!

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Variations: You could use lemon or lime instead of the orange and passionfruit.

Ingredients: Serves 6-8

The Madeira Sponge:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 175g spreadable butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 oranges

The Passion Fruit Glaze:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2 passion fruits

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a circular cake tin with grease-proof paper.

Combine the flour, butter, eggs, sugar and grated zest in a large bowl. Using an electric hand whisk, combine them for about 1 minute until you have a smooth consistency.

Then squeeze in the juice of 1¬†orange ¬†‚Äď you need enough to make a creamy consistency that drops off a spoon easily when tapped on the side of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much juice –¬†it needs to be a little stiffer than a sponge cake mix.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level out. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked though – hopefully a big crack will appear on the top!

Transfer to a wore rack and leave to cool before icing.

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The Icing:

In a small bowl combine the inside of one passion fruit and the strained juice of the other. Then stir in the icing sugar, to from a smooth paste.

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Pour over the top of the cooled madeira cake and leave to set.

Cut into 6-8 generous slices and serve! This would be delicious with a dollop of mascarpone or creme fraiche.

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Lemon Mousse Cake

Layer of genoise sponge topped with a zesty, tangy lemon mousse and a layer of limoncello jelly. Finished with some slices of candied lemon.

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I love lemony desserts, and this is definitely one of the most deliciously sharp and sweet lemon desserts I have ever made!

I made this cake when I visited my family at the weekend and I was asked to provide dessert. I wanted to make something light and summery, and not too rich, so I thought a light lemon mousse would be perfect. To make this a bit more sophisticated I also added a layer of limoncello jelly to the top of my mousse.

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Everyone loved this dessert and it was surprisingly easy to make (it just needs a lot of time to set!), so if your looking for a simple but impressive dessert,then this one is for you!

I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#80 this week, hosted by the wonderful Angie. And very excitingly, my Raspberry and Mint Jam Tarts have been featured this week! Hope everyone has a fantastic Friday!

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Ingredients: serves 10-12

The Sponge:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar

The Lemon Mousse:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 300ml double cream
  • 8 gelatine leaves
  • 4 lemons
  • 150g caster sugar

The Limoncello Jelly:

  • 100ml limoncello
  • 2 lemons
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 leaves of gelatine

The Candied Lemons:

  • 200g water
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 lemon

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 25cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then add 80g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites and fold in. Then fold in the flour.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin, and level off. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and springy.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

The Lemon Mousse:

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form, then whisk in the sugar until smooth and glossy.

In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon juice, zest and egg yolks. Finally, in a third bowl whisk the double cream until stiff peaks form.

Soak the gelatine in water, and then transfer to a small pan with a few tbsp of water, and heat until the gelatine completely melts.

Fold the yolk mixture, gelatine and cream into the egg whites, until the mixture is completely homogenised.

Return the sponge to the bottom of the springform cake tin, and pour the mousse over the top. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

The Limoncello Jelly:

Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes.

Combine the sugar, limoncello, lemon juice and gelatine in a small pan and heat until the gelatine completely dissolves, pour over the set mousse and leave to chill in the fridge for a further 2 hours.

The Candied Lemons

Cut the lemons into around 8-10 circular slices.

Combine the sugar and water in a saute pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Place the lemons into the sugar syrup and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the syrup has reduced by about 2/3 and the lemon has turned translucent.

Transfer to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to cool.

Assembling:

Carefully remove the cake from the springform tin, and decorate with the candied lemons.

Cut into 10-12 slices and serve. Delicious with a generous glass of limoncello on the side!

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Black Forest Cupcakes

Rich, chocolate cupcakes filled with a sweet cherry compote, topped with light, whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a fresh cherrythumb_DSC05624_1024 I love the combination of chocolate, cherries and cream, so as it’s cherry season I couldn’t resist making some black forest cupcakes.

These are a lot easier than making a full-on gateau, but they are still super decedant, and make a wonderful dessert. thumb_DSC05619_1024 This was a really lovely way to use the cherries, so if your looking for a cherry themed dessert then I definitely recommend these.

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday this week, hosted by Angie, Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Petra @ Food Eat Love. Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: To minimize the effort for these cupcakes, you could use a jar of shop-bought jam rather than making the compote. I also think that drizzling the cupcakes in melted dark chocolate would make them even more delicious!

thumb_DSC05616_1024 Ingredients: Makes 12 Cupcakes

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50ml milk

The Cherry Compote:

  • 150g cherries, pitted
  • 1tbsp sugar

The Topping:

  • 400ml whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • chocolate curls
  • 12 cherries

thumb_DSC05615_1024 To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12 hole tray with muffin cakes.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the cocoa powder. Finally add the flour and milk, mix to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the cases, until they are 2/3 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked though.

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The Cherry Compote:

In a small pan combine the cherries and sugar and cook over a high heat for 5-10 minutes, until the cherries begin to break down. Then transfer to a small food processor and blend to form a smooth mixture. Set aside to cool.

The Cream:

Whisk the double cream until it forms stiff peaks, then mix in the icing sugar. Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a circular nozzle.

Assembling:

Cut a hole into the top of each cupcake, a few cm wide and deep. Fill with a heaped tsp of the cherry compote.

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Fraisier – Strawberry Squares

Light layers of fatless sponge, soaked in a kirsch syrup, sandwiched together with vanilla cream and topped with a fresh strawberry.

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This recipe comes from my Richard Bertinet Patisserie cookbook. Usually fraisier is made in a circular tin,  with creme patisserie and strawberries lining the outside, however this is a much simpler version that is very easy to make.

I really enjoyed making these cakes, because they were so easy to put together, but they taste and look much more sophisticated than a victoria sponge!

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This is the perfect recipe for using some fresh, seasonal strawberries during the summer.

Variations: You could use a different fruit or liquor for these, I think cherries would be really good.

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Cakes

The Sponge:

  • 6 eggs
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 180g plain flour

The Syrup:

  • 100g sugar
  • 100g water
  • 2tbsp kirsch

The Cream:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 6 strawberries

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 90g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites and fold in. Then fold in the flour.

Spoon into the prepared baking tray and level out.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before assembling.

The Syrup:

Combine the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat for about five minutes, until it is slightly reduced.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Kirsch.

The Cream Filling:

Whip the double cream untill it forms stiff peaks, then add the vanilla and icing sugar, and whisk for a further minute until everything is combined.

Assembling:

Cut the sponge into 12 evenly sized squares, then slice each square into two though the middle to make two sponge layers.

Brush the top half of each layer with the kirsch syrup.

Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a circular nozzle, and pipe dots of cream into the bottom half of each cake, filling the entire surface.

Then pipe the same onto the top half of the sponge and smooth out with a knife.

Place the sponges on top of each other, then place half a strawberry ontop of each cake.

Serve and enjoy!

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Redcurrant and Almond Cake

Sweet almond sponge, studded with sharp, juicy redcurrants.

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It’s the season for redcurrants and summer berries, so I thought I’d try and do a few posts with different ideas for using them up!

This cake is inspired by the delicious slabs of Johanisbeere Kuchen, which I orderer at any opportunity when I’m on holiday in the Alps! They are the prefect treat after a long walk and I love the combination of the tart berries and sweet sponge.

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I used ground almonds in the sponge to give the cake a bit more flavour, I think some chunks of marzipan would go really well too.

This cake is really, really easy to make, you just need to make the cake mix and then scatter over the redcurrants, no skills required!

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Variations: You could use a different fruit in this cake, raspberries or rhubarb would be really tasty.

Ingredients: Serves 10-12

  • 160g butter
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 200g redcurrants

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To Make:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular baking dish.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the flour, ground almonds and finally fold in half the redcurrants.

Spoon into the prepared baking tray and scatter the rest of the redcurrants over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool for about 20-30 minutes, before removing from the tin. Slice into 10-12 squares and serve! Delicious with a big dollop of whipped cream.

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Lemon and Elderflower Madelines

Sweet, lemony madelines, dipped in a fragrant elderflower icing.

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This was my first attempt at incorporating my elderflower cordial into some baking and I think it has worked really well!

I decided that the saftest combination for elderflower was lemon, so I’ve made some lemony madelines and used elderflower in the icing, so give it a subtle flowery flavour!

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These are a perfect summery treat, and I brought mine along to a picnic at rose hill in London at the weekend. The cakes were very much appreciated by my friends and they were the perfect snack for sitting in the sunshine! (Unfortunately I am now VERY sunburned!)

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday this week hosted by Angie, hope everyone has a lovely Friday!

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Variations:  There are endless possibilities with madelines! A friend of mine made orange madelines and dipped them in dark chocolate, which was delicious. You could also use lavender to flavour the sponge for an alternative floral taste.

Ingredients: Makes 24 Madelines

The Sponge:

  • 3 eggs
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 lemon
  • 4tbsp milk
  • 200g butter, melted

The Elderflower icing:

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp elderflower cordial

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To Make:

The Madelines:

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 12 hole madeline tray

Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and frothy. Fold in the flour, butter, milk and lemon zest. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Spoon the mixture into  the prepared tray, until each hole is about 3/4 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and cooked though. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before icing.

The Icing:

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the elderflower cordial one tbsp at a time, to form a thick paste.

Dip each madeline into the icing, and leave to set on the wire rack.

Serve once the icing has dried and enjoy!

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German Strawberry Cake

Light ladyfinger sponges, sandwiched together with sweet, vanillary creme patisserie, topped with fresh strawberries and jelly, coated in freshly whipped cream and toasted almonds.

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Strawberry cake is one of my must have desserts when I’m holiday in Germany. It’s such a lovely summery cake to have after a long walk!

I’ve been trying to recreate it at home for a few years now, but I never felt like I had quite got it right. But now I am a bit more experienced in different techniques, I thought I’d try again. And this time I think I’ve finally nailled it!

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I think the key to this dessert is making the sponge really light, so the cake is not stodgy or dense under all the cream and fruit.

I found the jelly topping the most difficult part of this dessert. First time round I had a bit of a disaster when I took it out of the fridge to early and it collapsed! So I would recommend making up the jelly with more gelatine or less water so that it sets very firmly. I used half the amount of water suggested on the packaging the second time round, and it came out really well.

As my family enjoyed this cake so much I thought I would bring it along to Fiesta Friday #75 hosted by  and co-hosted by Josette @ thebrookcook and Julie @ Hostess at Heart. Happy Friday everyone!

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Variations: You could use a different summer fruit for the top of the cake, raspberries or cherries would be really good. You could also exchange the creme patisserie for whipped cream and strawberry jam, to make this a bit simpler to make!

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Ingredients: Serves 8-10

The Ladyfinger Sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120g plain flour

Creme Patisserie:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 220ml full fat milk

Strawberry topping:

  • 12 strawberries, sliced lengthways
  • 1 sachet of strawberry quick jel or strawberry jelly.

Coating:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g toasted flaked almonds

Equipment:

  • spring form or loose bottomed cake tin
  • piping bag with star shaped nozzle

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To Make:

The Ladyfinger Sponges:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line three baking trays with greaseproof paper. Draw three circles on the grease proof paper, the same size as your loose bottomed or spring form cake tin.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 80g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites  and fold in. Then fold in the flour.

Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a circular nozzle. Pipe 3 large circles of batter ono the baking trays, within the lines of the drawn on circles.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown, leave to cool on a wire rack before assembling.

The Creme Patisserie:

Heat the milk over a medium heat until almost boiling. Meanwhile whisk together the eggs, sugar and flours in a large bowl until it forms a smooth paste.

Pour the hot milk over the paste bit at a time, whisking continuously, until completely combined. Return the mixture to the pan, and cook over a medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken.

Remove from the heat and pour back into the bowl. Stir in 1tbsp of butter until melted and combined.

Cover the top of the mixture with clingfilm and chill completely in the fridge before using.

The Strawberry Topping:

Place one of the sponges back into the cake tin, and arrange a layer of strawberries on top, in an overlapping radial pattern.

Make up the jelly according to the packet instructions (Try to use less water/more gelatine to make sure it sets firmly – I used half the amount of suggested water), and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then pour over the strawberries. Leave to set completely in the fridge.

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Assembling:

Place one of the sponges on a cake stand and spread over half the creme patisserie, then place on the second sponge, and spread over the rest of the creme patisserie. take the strawberry layer out of the fridge, and carefully slide this on top of the sponges.

Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, then use a pallet knife to spread a layer around the sides of the cake. Then coat the outside of the cake with a layer of toasted almonds.

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Spoon the rest of the double cream into a clean piping bag with a star shaped nozzle, and pipe a ring of stars around the top and bottom of the cake.

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Cut into 8-10 slices and serve!

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