Biscuits

Millionaires shortbread, the sexy edition

The close up
The close up

I make this recipe fairly regularly but have only recently started getting (I believe) better at taking close up shots of some of my bakes. So for your enjoyment and mine. Here are my recent attempts (no photoshop, can’t work it. I did crop them though as I have worked out how to do that, am a technical genius, lol) of millionaires yumminess.

Enjoy,

Lx

Millionaires Shortbread

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Christmas

Really easy straightforward recipe for a Christmas Yule Log

IMG_9462I found myself watching the Bake Off Christmas Masterclass the other day with my daughter. We spent a perfect hour together with tea, cake and Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Bliss 🙂

Mary Berry, with her effortless style walks us through a chocolate yule log. The yule log has a chocolate ganache topping, and after our first attempt at making this we decided that, although yummy ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/yule_log_15656) it was very,very rich. We thought a chocolate buttercream would make for a lighter alternative. The downside is that it is indeed lighter in colour so visually not as log like!

Anyway, this is a really easy recipe that has worked every time we have made it. Next time I may add some black cherries to the cream filling for an added yumminess.

Ingredients:

  • 65g self raising flour
  • 40g cocoa
  • 4 large eggs
  • 100g caster sugar

Filling:

  • 250 ml/300 ml double cream. Mary Berry uses 300 ml. When I made this earlier I had only 250ml left in the carton. This worked fine and I suspect 200 ml would also be enough.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 250g unsalted butter.
  • 100g chocolate of your choice. I used milk chocolate for this one but whatever your family likes works here. Melt this before you add it to your icing.
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste.
  • around 100g icing sugar, although I tend to add this bit by bit and then taste.
  • a little hot water.

Method:

  • Line a 33cm x 23cm swiss roll tin with baking paper. Butter it first, it helps the baking paper stick in all the right places. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk your eggs and sugar together until they have become thick and creamy. It will more than double in size too. The only way to really do this is with an electric hand mixer or a food mixer. I wouldn’t even attempt this by hand, you’ll be there all day!
  • Then sift in your flour and cocoa to the egg mixture. Fold this in gently, a metal spoon does this best. Once the mixture is an even colour (nice and chocolatey) you’ll have done it right.
  • Pour your mixture gently into your prepared tin and gently push it to the sides. If you are too rough you will knock your precious air out that you spent whisking in earlier.
  • Place in the centre of the oven and bake for around 8 minutes. The edges will start to come away from the sides of the tin and the cake will have a bounce to it when lightly pressed with your finger.
  • While your cake is baking prepare your work surface with a sheet of baking parchment that is roughly one and a half times the length of your swiss roll tin. Sprinkle this generously with icing sugar. You will be turning out your hot cake straight onto this when it is baked.
  • Peel off the baking parchment. Asbestos fingers help here! Then cut a groove about 2 centimetres from the end of your cake and then using the baking parchment roll up your swiss roll tightly and then leave to cool completely.
  • Once your log has cooled you can prepare the filling and topping.
  • Whisk the cream until it is thick and spreadable.
  • Unroll your swiss roll gently and then spread the inside with your cream. Re roll your log using baking paper again to help you.
  • Place log onto whatever you intend to serve it on.
  • Cut a section of log on the diagonal, and then place it alongside the body of the log to look like a branch. Apologies if this is phrased badly. Hope the picture helps with this.
  • For the topping, in a bowl whisk using an electric mixer, your butter until it is creamy and pale. Add icing sugar, vanilla paste and melted chocolate. Whisk together till creamy, adding a dash of hot water to this makes the mixture light and creamy. Go easy though, only a dash. Too much and your mixture will split 😦
  • You can either pipe on your chocolate icing or spread it on. I used a piping bag with a star nozzle to create the illusion “haha” of a log. However I have made this before and just used a pallet knife to cover the cake with icing and added grooves with it to give it a log effect! Whatever rocks your world. In fact if you have a small child handy, I would let them do it and then get them to find a robin (fake not real!) to perch on the top. I cannot find our robin so settled for a dusting of cocoa and edible glitter.

I do hope you enjoy making this and I promise it is much simpler and more straightforward than the instructions suggest!

Yule Log

 

Enjoy,

 

Lx

 

Baking

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is another family favourite that apparently I don’t make often enough! I made it today for work colleagues (panic not, I saved some for the offspring, no starving teenagers here) in exchange for donations to my favourite charity, The Teenage Cancer Trust. If the urge takes you, please donate! http://www.justgiving.com/jackclark.
This recipe was in a magazine on a promotional piece for Carnation Caramel. I haven’t tweaked it at all, tis a very reliable cake. It serves 12 comfortably as a two tier cake. I usually is make it into two single layered cakes as it really is quite rich so in theory you only need a small piece! It also is gorgeous if you give it 30 seconds or so in the microwave (you will have to experiment with yours) and then dollop some double or clotted cream on the top. Yum.
Recipe
  • 175g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml corn oil (vegetable oil works fine too)
  • 150ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 x 397g tin Carnation Caramel
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºc, fan 160ºc, gas 4
Line the base of two sandwich tins with baking paper and set aside.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate and sugar into a bowl. Set aside.
In a jug, whisk together the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla along with two tablespoons of the Carnation Caramel, until smooth.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Pour into the tins and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until springy to the touch. Cool, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Once the cakes have cooled you can make your fudge topping.
Melt the chocolate, add the remaining caramel and beat until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and combine.
Sandwich the two cakes together with a third of the filling then spread the remainder over the top and the sides.

Enjoy.
Lx