28 July 2010

Week 28 - Whoopie Pies

So Whoopie Pies are apparently the new cupcake & in my quest to stay at the cutting edge of baking trends *ahem* I've had a crack at making them this week! By the wonders of the internet I have discovered the following things about Whoopie Pies...

1. They originated in the Pennsylvanian Amish community

2. Amish wives would bake them & put them in their husbands lunchboxes, when they discovered the treats they would shout WHOOPIE (I can't imagine a Brit husband getting quite so excited about finding a custard cream!?)

3. The tradition of using Marshmallow Fluff for the filling came from the manufacturers of Fluff featuring it in a Whoopie Pie recipe included in a 1930's cookbook called Yummy Book (I'd love to get hold of a copy of that!)

When I was researching what should go into a Whoopie Pie, I got a bit baffled by all the different options. This recipe was kindly sent to me by Roddas Cornish Clotted Cream & they have given them a distinctly Cornish twist, suggesting you fill them with their cream. I think that sounds like a great suggestion, but for my first attempt I'm staying true to the original & have chosen to make the traditional fluff filling. This part of the recipe is taken from the Marshmallow Fluff website. I chose to use Strawberry Fluff as I thought it would complement the chocolate & the fact it's the most amazing shade of pink!

For the cakes
100g unsalted butter
185g muscovado sugar
1 egg
300g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp vanilla extract
100-150ml milk

For the filling
1/2 jar of marshmallow fluff
130g icing sugar
100g butter
Dash of milk

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg & vanilla.

2. Sift together all the dry ingredients, then add about half to the butter mixture along with about half the milk, mix well. Add the remaining half of the flour etc & enough milk to make a smooth mixture of dropping consistency.

3. Grease a baking sheet & place on small dollops of the mixture, leaving plenty of space in between for them to expand. I made 24 individual cakes from 1 batch. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 12-15 minutes until well risen & springy to the touch. Place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the filling, cream together the butter & icing sugar, adding a little dash of milk to help it along, then beat in the Marshmallow Fluff until all combined. Match up the cakes into pairs, then use the fluffy filling to sandwich them together. I also added a drizzle of melted dark chocolate to the top!

These are quite possibly the most amazing thing ever! Delicious! They are pretty large, so unless you're feeling hungry I'd suggest sharing one with a friend over a glass of ice cold milk! Hope you enjoy making your own Whoopie *sniggers* I'll hopefully see you next week, I've booked a last minute trip away, so I'm hoping the technology will mean I can keep my unbroken record for a 29th week...until then, Rebecca x

20 July 2010

Week 27 - Daim Bar Birthday Brownies

Good news! I have a new fridge, so I'm no longer having to survive on tinned food & frozen veg. Not that there's anything wrong with tinned food & frozen veg, but not being able to have milk for a cup of tea was sure to test any ones patience! All in all it's been a much calmer week in the kitchen, although I swear my toaster is still trying to kill me :-)

Now we're over the half way point of my blogging challenge, it got me thinking back to when I first started & I went back to read some of my early posts. It's made me realise how much I enjoy writing each week & receiving comments about my creations. (The baking's not been too bad either!) But it also made me feel a little sad to think what I might do when I reach week 52, do I just stop writing? Now I've released my inner writer I want to keep on going! Maybe I need to think of a new foodie challenge to embark on, but maybe one that is less calorific! For now though I'm happy I've got another 25 weeks to go...so bring on this weeks recipe.

I created this recipe for my Mum as it's her birthday this week. She has a super sweet tooth so I thought brownies would hit the spot! Rather than using the traditional walnuts, I thought I'd have a go with bashed up Dime bars. Sorry, Daim bars! (Yes I am old enough to remember when Snickers were Marathons, Starburst were Opal Fruits & Daim Bars were Dime Bars...armadillos!) It gives them a lovely almondy crunch & the sweetness offsets the bitterness of the dark chocolate. I thought of this after making the Malteser Cookies a couple of weeks back, sweeties are a good source of recipe inspiration for me!

50g plain chocolate
65g butter
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
Few drops vanilla essence
50g plain flour
1/2tsp baking powder
3 Daim bars bashed up

1. Melt together the chocolate, butter & sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs & vanilla, then finally fold in the flour, baking powder & Daim bar pieces.

2. Line a baking tin approx 15cm square with either baking parchment (just don't set fire to it like I did!) or foil to stop the brownies sticking. Pour in the mixture & bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for around 30-35 minutes until the top just starts to crack.

3 Leave to cool in the tin, then lift out & cut into squares.

So there you have it, Birthday Brownies (sparkler optional!) Happy Birthday Mum! Hope you like them & you enjoy our day in the big city being ladies what lunch xx

See you all next week, Rebecca x

11 July 2010

Week 26 - Giant Cupcake

Well here we are cakes fans...we've hit the half way point in my baking challenge & I'm happy to share with you my 26th recipe!
It's been a bit of a challenging week this week, my fridge broke down last Monday & as yet has not been fixed (got to love landlords!) Not ideal given we've probably had the hottest weather of the year & I had people over on Friday for tea! But we muddled through & with a bit of help from my mum & a large quantity of ice...we pulled it off! It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon, everyone ate cake, drank Pimms & generally had a lovely time, thanks to everyone who came along.

It seems my kitchen is revolting against me though, not only has the fridge broken down, but the toaster has started throwing blue sparks & the kettle is leaking. I also learnt a valuable lesson when using baking paper in the oven...don't let it touch the top of the oven. I managed to set fire to a batch of brownies, the flames were fairly impressive so in my panic I threw it into the washing up water! Needless to say they were beyond rescue :-( For my own personal safety can anyone recommend a no cook, no fridge needed recipe for next week?!

So, after lusting after a giant cupcake pan for I don't know how long (yes...I do realise how sad that sounds!!), I finally bit the bullet & bought one. I'm dead chuffed with the result, although I think I could do with a little more practise on getting cooking times & mixture quantities spot on. I love the fact that you'd never have to make the same cake twice, there are so many different variations you could choose. I used smarties to decorate the top, but I'm on the lookout for a good site where I can buy other assorted cake bling, can anyone recommend one?

For the cake

220g plain flour
220g self raising flour
350g butter
350g golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
2-4 tbsp milk

For the icing

175g icing sugar
75g butter
Dash of milk

1. Cream together the butter, sugar & vanilla. Beat in the eggs a little at a time until you have a light fluffy mixture.

2. Fold in the flour, adding a little dash of milk to make a smooth mixture that should easily drop of the spoon.

3. Divide the mixture between the 2 sections of the cupcake pan allowing room for each to rise. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out of the centre of the cake clean. I found I had to take the top part out a little early to avoid over browning, you just need to keep an eye on it.

4. To make the icing, cream together the butter & icing sugar, adding a little milk if it's a bit too stiff to spread. Level off the top & bottom sections of the cake with a sharp knife, then use a few blobs of the icing to sandwich them together. Spread the icing all over the top of the cupcake, then decorate with sweets of your choice!

This really did look impressive on my tea table & I've already had a request to make one for a forthcoming birthday! If you don't have a giant cupcake pan, you could try making a regular Madeira cake, just half the quantities for the mixture. See you next week, when I hope calm will have been restored to my kitchen! Rebecca x

Cupcake on Foodista

6 July 2010

Week 25 - Malteser Cookies

Hey hey, I'm back from my weekend camping feeling very chilled & ready to bake some more! We had fab weather in the New Forest & amazingly the campsite sold bags of ice, so panic over, there was no problem keeping the Rose chilled. We did go horse riding & yes I did announce to the rather confused group, 'I'm on a horse!' It seems getting off a horse is harder than getting on though & I performed the most ungraceful dismount, catching my back leg on the saddle & pretty much coming off head first. It's ok, I don't think anyone noticed! I also didn't realise there were wild ponies in the forest? It's a bit odd how they just roam around the place, one came right up to us & practically sat on our picnic blanket, we did offer him a beer but he wasn't that interested & wandered off again. I did enjoy camping & had a lovely time, but I admit I was happy to be back in my bed!

So next week marks a milestone for the blog, I hit the half way point in the baking challenge. It's been a lot of fun baking & writing each week, as well of course being able to share the fruits of my labour. I've had such lovely support & encouragement from everyone, I wanted to do something to say thank you. So this Friday I'm hosting the first ever Rebecca Bakes Cakes tea party! I have a special 1/2 birthday cake planned, as well as lots of other sweet treats & probably not an insignificant quantity of Pimms. If you're in the area let me know, pop in & say hi! Full report next week...

So on to this weeks recipe & it's something I've created for a competition that's running on mydish.co.uk The challenge is to create a recipe using Maltesers. Now putting them in cookies may not seem like the most creative use of Maltesers, but I've never come across it before & to be honest it was a bit of a gamble as I didn't know how they'd hold up in the oven? Simple, but effective I think!

55g butter
120g soft brown sugar
1 egg
Few drops of vanilla essence
140g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
135g Maltesers (bashed up a bit!)

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg & vanilla essence

2. Stir in the flour & bicarb, then finally the Maltesers. Spoon dollops of the mixture onto a baking tray, leaving space for them to spread, I got 12 cookies from a batch. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack

I'm quite chuffed with the outcome, the Maltesers go even crunchier in the oven, so you get a delicious cookie with little bites of malty loveliness! I think to make them even better, next time I'd also add a handful of mini marshmallows. The competition closes at the end of the month so we'll have to wait & see how my cookies compare?

Ooo...before I forget, does anyone know where I can find Marshmallow Fluff in London? I'm desperate to try Whoopie Pies, but this is a vital ingredient I'm missing. Well time to say goodbye for another week, take care, Rebecca x

28 July 2010

Week 28 - Whoopie Pies

So Whoopie Pies are apparently the new cupcake & in my quest to stay at the cutting edge of baking trends *ahem* I've had a crack at making them this week! By the wonders of the internet I have discovered the following things about Whoopie Pies...

1. They originated in the Pennsylvanian Amish community

2. Amish wives would bake them & put them in their husbands lunchboxes, when they discovered the treats they would shout WHOOPIE (I can't imagine a Brit husband getting quite so excited about finding a custard cream!?)

3. The tradition of using Marshmallow Fluff for the filling came from the manufacturers of Fluff featuring it in a Whoopie Pie recipe included in a 1930's cookbook called Yummy Book (I'd love to get hold of a copy of that!)

When I was researching what should go into a Whoopie Pie, I got a bit baffled by all the different options. This recipe was kindly sent to me by Roddas Cornish Clotted Cream & they have given them a distinctly Cornish twist, suggesting you fill them with their cream. I think that sounds like a great suggestion, but for my first attempt I'm staying true to the original & have chosen to make the traditional fluff filling. This part of the recipe is taken from the Marshmallow Fluff website. I chose to use Strawberry Fluff as I thought it would complement the chocolate & the fact it's the most amazing shade of pink!

For the cakes
100g unsalted butter
185g muscovado sugar
1 egg
300g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp vanilla extract
100-150ml milk

For the filling
1/2 jar of marshmallow fluff
130g icing sugar
100g butter
Dash of milk

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg & vanilla.

2. Sift together all the dry ingredients, then add about half to the butter mixture along with about half the milk, mix well. Add the remaining half of the flour etc & enough milk to make a smooth mixture of dropping consistency.

3. Grease a baking sheet & place on small dollops of the mixture, leaving plenty of space in between for them to expand. I made 24 individual cakes from 1 batch. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 12-15 minutes until well risen & springy to the touch. Place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the filling, cream together the butter & icing sugar, adding a little dash of milk to help it along, then beat in the Marshmallow Fluff until all combined. Match up the cakes into pairs, then use the fluffy filling to sandwich them together. I also added a drizzle of melted dark chocolate to the top!

These are quite possibly the most amazing thing ever! Delicious! They are pretty large, so unless you're feeling hungry I'd suggest sharing one with a friend over a glass of ice cold milk! Hope you enjoy making your own Whoopie *sniggers* I'll hopefully see you next week, I've booked a last minute trip away, so I'm hoping the technology will mean I can keep my unbroken record for a 29th week...until then, Rebecca x

20 July 2010

Week 27 - Daim Bar Birthday Brownies

Good news! I have a new fridge, so I'm no longer having to survive on tinned food & frozen veg. Not that there's anything wrong with tinned food & frozen veg, but not being able to have milk for a cup of tea was sure to test any ones patience! All in all it's been a much calmer week in the kitchen, although I swear my toaster is still trying to kill me :-)

Now we're over the half way point of my blogging challenge, it got me thinking back to when I first started & I went back to read some of my early posts. It's made me realise how much I enjoy writing each week & receiving comments about my creations. (The baking's not been too bad either!) But it also made me feel a little sad to think what I might do when I reach week 52, do I just stop writing? Now I've released my inner writer I want to keep on going! Maybe I need to think of a new foodie challenge to embark on, but maybe one that is less calorific! For now though I'm happy I've got another 25 weeks to go...so bring on this weeks recipe.

I created this recipe for my Mum as it's her birthday this week. She has a super sweet tooth so I thought brownies would hit the spot! Rather than using the traditional walnuts, I thought I'd have a go with bashed up Dime bars. Sorry, Daim bars! (Yes I am old enough to remember when Snickers were Marathons, Starburst were Opal Fruits & Daim Bars were Dime Bars...armadillos!) It gives them a lovely almondy crunch & the sweetness offsets the bitterness of the dark chocolate. I thought of this after making the Malteser Cookies a couple of weeks back, sweeties are a good source of recipe inspiration for me!

50g plain chocolate
65g butter
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
Few drops vanilla essence
50g plain flour
1/2tsp baking powder
3 Daim bars bashed up

1. Melt together the chocolate, butter & sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs & vanilla, then finally fold in the flour, baking powder & Daim bar pieces.

2. Line a baking tin approx 15cm square with either baking parchment (just don't set fire to it like I did!) or foil to stop the brownies sticking. Pour in the mixture & bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for around 30-35 minutes until the top just starts to crack.

3 Leave to cool in the tin, then lift out & cut into squares.

So there you have it, Birthday Brownies (sparkler optional!) Happy Birthday Mum! Hope you like them & you enjoy our day in the big city being ladies what lunch xx

See you all next week, Rebecca x

11 July 2010

Week 26 - Giant Cupcake

Well here we are cakes fans...we've hit the half way point in my baking challenge & I'm happy to share with you my 26th recipe!
It's been a bit of a challenging week this week, my fridge broke down last Monday & as yet has not been fixed (got to love landlords!) Not ideal given we've probably had the hottest weather of the year & I had people over on Friday for tea! But we muddled through & with a bit of help from my mum & a large quantity of ice...we pulled it off! It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon, everyone ate cake, drank Pimms & generally had a lovely time, thanks to everyone who came along.

It seems my kitchen is revolting against me though, not only has the fridge broken down, but the toaster has started throwing blue sparks & the kettle is leaking. I also learnt a valuable lesson when using baking paper in the oven...don't let it touch the top of the oven. I managed to set fire to a batch of brownies, the flames were fairly impressive so in my panic I threw it into the washing up water! Needless to say they were beyond rescue :-( For my own personal safety can anyone recommend a no cook, no fridge needed recipe for next week?!

So, after lusting after a giant cupcake pan for I don't know how long (yes...I do realise how sad that sounds!!), I finally bit the bullet & bought one. I'm dead chuffed with the result, although I think I could do with a little more practise on getting cooking times & mixture quantities spot on. I love the fact that you'd never have to make the same cake twice, there are so many different variations you could choose. I used smarties to decorate the top, but I'm on the lookout for a good site where I can buy other assorted cake bling, can anyone recommend one?

For the cake

220g plain flour
220g self raising flour
350g butter
350g golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
2-4 tbsp milk

For the icing

175g icing sugar
75g butter
Dash of milk

1. Cream together the butter, sugar & vanilla. Beat in the eggs a little at a time until you have a light fluffy mixture.

2. Fold in the flour, adding a little dash of milk to make a smooth mixture that should easily drop of the spoon.

3. Divide the mixture between the 2 sections of the cupcake pan allowing room for each to rise. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out of the centre of the cake clean. I found I had to take the top part out a little early to avoid over browning, you just need to keep an eye on it.

4. To make the icing, cream together the butter & icing sugar, adding a little milk if it's a bit too stiff to spread. Level off the top & bottom sections of the cake with a sharp knife, then use a few blobs of the icing to sandwich them together. Spread the icing all over the top of the cupcake, then decorate with sweets of your choice!

This really did look impressive on my tea table & I've already had a request to make one for a forthcoming birthday! If you don't have a giant cupcake pan, you could try making a regular Madeira cake, just half the quantities for the mixture. See you next week, when I hope calm will have been restored to my kitchen! Rebecca x

Cupcake on Foodista

6 July 2010

Week 25 - Malteser Cookies

Hey hey, I'm back from my weekend camping feeling very chilled & ready to bake some more! We had fab weather in the New Forest & amazingly the campsite sold bags of ice, so panic over, there was no problem keeping the Rose chilled. We did go horse riding & yes I did announce to the rather confused group, 'I'm on a horse!' It seems getting off a horse is harder than getting on though & I performed the most ungraceful dismount, catching my back leg on the saddle & pretty much coming off head first. It's ok, I don't think anyone noticed! I also didn't realise there were wild ponies in the forest? It's a bit odd how they just roam around the place, one came right up to us & practically sat on our picnic blanket, we did offer him a beer but he wasn't that interested & wandered off again. I did enjoy camping & had a lovely time, but I admit I was happy to be back in my bed!

So next week marks a milestone for the blog, I hit the half way point in the baking challenge. It's been a lot of fun baking & writing each week, as well of course being able to share the fruits of my labour. I've had such lovely support & encouragement from everyone, I wanted to do something to say thank you. So this Friday I'm hosting the first ever Rebecca Bakes Cakes tea party! I have a special 1/2 birthday cake planned, as well as lots of other sweet treats & probably not an insignificant quantity of Pimms. If you're in the area let me know, pop in & say hi! Full report next week...

So on to this weeks recipe & it's something I've created for a competition that's running on mydish.co.uk The challenge is to create a recipe using Maltesers. Now putting them in cookies may not seem like the most creative use of Maltesers, but I've never come across it before & to be honest it was a bit of a gamble as I didn't know how they'd hold up in the oven? Simple, but effective I think!

55g butter
120g soft brown sugar
1 egg
Few drops of vanilla essence
140g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
135g Maltesers (bashed up a bit!)

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg & vanilla essence

2. Stir in the flour & bicarb, then finally the Maltesers. Spoon dollops of the mixture onto a baking tray, leaving space for them to spread, I got 12 cookies from a batch. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack

I'm quite chuffed with the outcome, the Maltesers go even crunchier in the oven, so you get a delicious cookie with little bites of malty loveliness! I think to make them even better, next time I'd also add a handful of mini marshmallows. The competition closes at the end of the month so we'll have to wait & see how my cookies compare?

Ooo...before I forget, does anyone know where I can find Marshmallow Fluff in London? I'm desperate to try Whoopie Pies, but this is a vital ingredient I'm missing. Well time to say goodbye for another week, take care, Rebecca x
 

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