Recipes – tried and tested

All posts in the Recipes – tried and tested category

Christmas Shortbread Crumble Bars (or The Easiest Christmas Bake Ever!)

Published December 22, 2015 by Daisy Cake Company

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Are you ready for Christmas? Presents bought and wrapped? Tree up? House decorated? Food shopping done? Turkey…..um…..turkeying?

No? Me either!!!

Anyway, don’t despair, because we have the perfect quick, easy bake that will make your house smell festive and give you an energy boost to help you get ready for when the big man in red visits.

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Christmas Shortbread Crumble

175gms Plain Flour

100gms Caster Sugar

100gms Butter

350gms Mincemeat

 

Preheat your oven to 130c, 150c fan or gas mark 3

Grease and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.

Place all the ingredients, except the mincemeat, into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Put  2 thirds of the mix into the base of your tin. Press down with either your finger tips or the back of a wooden spoon until its looks like a thick shortbread base.

Next smooth the mincemeat evenly over the base. Make sure you use a good mincemeat….the better the taste you put in, the better the taste you get out!

Sprinkle the remainder of the breadcrumb mix over the top of the mincemeat.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the house smells of festive Christmas cheer.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. You can either serve it warm with a big dollop of custard (or brandy butter), or allow to cool fully and cut into bars.

See, didn’t we say it was easy. Ho Ho Ho………Merry Christmas

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Savoury Cream Tea……Romsey’s Original

Published September 30, 2014 by Daisy Cake Company

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OK, so we have a cake shop. Which generally means our major food group is sweet, sweet and more sweet. But occasionally, very occasionally, we digress to something a little more savoury.

However, we don’t want to fall too far away from the British ideal, so what we have invented is The Savoury Cream Tea…..oh yes people….Cream Tea with our other favourite food group – cheese – how could we possibly go wrong?!

The Original Daisy Cake Savoury Cream Tea consists of 2 delishly, freshly baked cheese scones, cream cheese and pickle, all washed down with a cuppa straight from the pot! And for dessert you could always have a traditional Sweet Cream Tea, or would that be too much?

So, hands up who wants to make some easy cheese scones? Yup, thought you would…….

Cheese Scones

Makes 12
450gms Self Raising Flour
1tspn Mustard Powder
1tspn Cayenne Pepper
125gms Strong Hard Cheese (we use Lyburn Cooking but mature cheddar is fine)
70gms Rapseed or Sunflower Oil
70gms Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
100ml Milk plus some for brushing the tops

Preheat your oven to 220c (200c fan), 400f or Gas Mark 6.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment

Sieve the flour, mustard and cayenne pepper together into a large mixing bowl

Grate the hard cheese and mix it through the flour

Add all the other ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. It’s best to get your (clean) hands in to make sure is properly mixed into a sticky dough

Dust the work surface with flour and turn out your dough.

Knead very lightly for 30 seconds or so.

Now you can either go for the rustic look or the cut look…..for the rustic look divide your dough into 12, roll into balls and place on your baking sheet. For a cut look, press the dough to about 1 inch thick and with a 6cm Round cutter, cut 12 scones and place on your baking sheet.

Lightly brush with milk, making sure your don’t let it dribble down the side as it impairs the rise.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and making your kitchen smell amaaaaazing!

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool, or just scoff the lot warm.

We always serve our scones warm…..they just taste so much better. To warm cold scones, pop in the oven, preheated to 170c (150c fan), 325f or gas mark 3 for just 3 to 5 minutes.

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Its been a while……

Published February 23, 2013 by Daisy Cake Company

Cream Cheese Sweetie Biscuits

Weeeeell, hello there stranger!

How are you?

I know, I know, it’s been a while, but you wouldn’t believe how busy I’ve been. Let me give you a quick run-down of what’s been happening since I spoke to you last.

My dream of owning my own tea-room and cake shop was screaming louder and louder at me, so on December 4th I handed in my notice from a full-time career, to take a part-time job, which would allow me to spend more time making and selling cakes. I had a month before starting the new job, so as it was coming up to Christmas I thought I’d get some shopping and planning done.

Hmmmm, well that plan quickly went out of the window, when within hours of handing in my notice I had been offered a commission by Good To Know to write 100 recipes!!! How fab is that?!!!!! But the deadline was just 3 weeks away  – not so fab – Christmas was cancelled as the baking began.

With a little help from my Mum, I got in the kitchen and wrote, baked and photographed 100 unique recipes, many of which can now be found on the Good to Know website, and some of which you will find links too below. Everyone that came within 100 metres of the house left with a baked good of some description, as one point I was baking 10 different recipes a day…..it was tough, but someone had to do it!!

I then started my new job in the New Year, which although part time is still amazing. It involves Shoes, Dancing, Shoes, Strictly Come Dancing, Sparkly Dresses….did I mention shoes? Oh, how I looooove shoes!!!

I’ve also been baking every week! So what with shoes and baking I am now what you call a very very busy girl!!

I’m sorry if I’ve neglected you, but I hope the links below make up for it a little bit, and then next week we’ll get back to being proper friends again eh?

Have a catch up, maybe a cake or biscuit or two?…

Looking forward to it already!!!

If you want a list of all my recipes, click here, but here are a few I’ve selected to share with you:

Granary Flatbreads

Granary Flatbread

 

Rosewater Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Rosewater cupcakes

Homemade Twix

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Cranberry and Orange Upside Down Cake

Cranberry and Orange Upside Down Cake

Cream Cheese Sweetie Biscuits

Cream Cheese Sweetie Biscuits

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Chocolate Crackle Cookies 

Victoria Sandwich for One

Published April 2, 2012 by Daisy Cake Company

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Last year I entered a Victoria Sandwich into a local horticultural competition and was disqualified!!

Yep, you read right…..disqualified!!

And what was the awful deed I did to be disqualified……..I put buttercream between my layers of sponge and dusted icing sugar on the top.

Shock!

Horror!!!!

The competition was being run according to the Women’s Institute rules, and they don’t allow buttercream or icing sugar…..can you believe that?!!

Surely it says in the British constitution that a Victoria Sandwich must have a thick layer of Buttercream between two layers of cake!!!

What was particularly gutting was the comments on the cards were all great “lovely moist sponge” ” “nice and light” etc etc until you read at the end *no buttercream or icing sugar allowed* pfft!!

Now I know you’re probably thinking ‘but you should have read the rules’, but there wasn’t any printed. All it said was ‘to WI regulations’ and I tried, but I couldn’t find the regulations anywhere!

Anyway, this year will be different! This year I will make a stunning Victoria Sandwich and fill it with JUST jam, and this year I hope to win!!!!!!

Before entering last years competition I did a bit of research on how to make the best Victoria Sponge, and this is my perfected recipe. Of course you can make one big sandwich (a 3 egg recipe, will make a 6-7″ sandwich), or you can do as I did on this occasion, make individual portions by baking a sheet cake and using a round cutter to make Victoria Sandwiches for one.

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Victoria Sandwich for One

This recipe is really easy to make either lots of, or a little of. It’s all to do with how many eggs you use. I’m going to use 3 eggs.

Weigh your eggs in their shells, and note their weight.
Use the same weight as your eggs of each of the following;
Self Raising Flour – sifted
Butter
Caster Sugar

And for every 3 eggs, use .5tspn Vanilla Essence.

Pre-heat your oven to 160c, 140c fan or Gas Mark 3.
Grease and line either 2 sandwich tins, or one sheet tin. This recipe can also be used for cupcakes.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.

Break one egg into a small bowl then add it to the mix and beat thoroughly. The reason I always break my eggs into a small bowl first is to ensure they are not bad, and because I have a bad habit of dropping bits of shell.

Add one table spoon of flour to the mix and beat thoroughly. This can all be done with an electric mixer.

Repeat until all the eggs are used.

Add the remainder of the flour and mix by hand with a large spoon until just combined.

Pour into your cake tins and bake. It will depend on how many eggs you’ve used and whether you are baking a sandwich, sheet cake or cupcakes as to how long they bake for. Generally speaking a 3 egg, 2 layer sandwich will take between 20 – 25 minutes.

You can tell when its done, when its well risen, golden on top, and a cocktail stick stuck in the centre comes out clean.

When its baked, remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

When completely cool, the WI says you should fill with just Strawberry Jam (preferably home made).

I very naughtily added both jam (not home made) and buttercream and then dusted my individual sandwiches with icing sugar ……..but thats because I’m a rebel!!!

Salted Caramel with White Chocolate…..was meant to be Salted Caramac

Published February 23, 2012 by Daisy Cake Company

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There was a series of events that happened this week, which lead to this post:

1. I was home alone with full control of the TV remote
2. This meant I could watch The Brits without any tutting from the hubster
3. This made me feel intensely old…..for 2 reasons. Firstly I didn’t know half the artists because they are bright young things, and secondly the Lifetime Achievement Award went to one of my all time fave bands, Blur. They were first in the charts whilst I was at college – thus I am old!!
Aside: I also fell in love with Adele – the woman girl is awesome!!
4. This got me talking to a friend, who is a similar age to me, where we started to reminisce about listening to the top 40 Music Chart and Annie Nightingale on Radio 1 on a Sunday night and reading Smash Hits magazine.
5. Thus nostalgia set in………
6. Strangely, during this time of nostalgia, I really wanted a bar of Caramac!!
7. I set about trying to reproduce the delights of Caramac, but…….
8. The planned recipe didn’t really set as I’d hoped, so I revisited it

You know how sometimes things don’t work out and you end up with an inedible disaster? Well this, I am pleased to say has become a happy accident, and the result is a scrummy alternative to my original plans……..

So, Caramac….. the rather dodgy coloured chocolate bar that tastes of……..well caramel.

But is it even chocolate? Apparently the ingredients don’t include even a hint of cocoa butter, so probably not.

My recipe has got chocolate in it, but then it isn’t Caramac, but it is inspired by the colour and the flavour of my childhood sweet craving……..and then after the initial recipe didn’t set as I’d hoped, I took it a further step to produce Caramac inspired Salted White Chocolate Caramel.

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Salted Caramel with White Chocolate

250gms white chocolate
1 can of condensed milk (397gms)
2 teaspoons of rock salt
200gms Granulated Sugar
50gms Butter

Put your UNopened can of condensed milk in a deep saucepan, which you have lid for.

Fill the saucepan with water, until the can is submerged

Bring the water to the boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 3 hours.

YEP, you did read that right….3 hours!

Check every hour or so to make sure you dont need to top up the water.

When the 3 hours are up, carefully remove the can from the saucepan (watch out its hot!) and open with a tin opener. Inside, your white condensed milk will have turned an amazing caramel colour and gone very gloopy.

(This is actually one of the easiest ways to make caramel sauce, but it’s not a last minute sauce……it’s a take your time, take it slowly sauce. If you want a runny caramel sauce only boil the can for 2 hours.)

Break the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and cover with your 3 hour caramel gloop.

Mix until all the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth mix. At this point your mix looks like Caramac, and if you want it can be poured into a tin and be left to set to a rather gooey fudge…….which I have to say, in itself is pretty yummy.

Or alternatively……..

Put the sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan, and melt on a low heat. Do not stir the sugar, as strange chemical reactions happen and you end up with a lumpy mess. Just gently swish it around occasionally to get an even heat.

If you have a confectionery thermometer you want it to get to ‘caramel’ stage (170c). If you don’t have a thermometer, simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes, but watch out there is a fine line between melted caramel sugar and burnt sugar!

Now I know I always say this, but I’d feel incredibly guilty if I heard one of you had ended up with 3rd degree burns – watch out, molten sugar is ridiculously hot!!!!!

When your sugar has reached the right temperature, pour your white chocolate and caramel gloop into the sugar. It will bubble and react, but don’t worry. Just gentle stir the gloopy mess into the sugar to get a nice smooth mix.

Lastly mix in the butter until everything is melted and combined to a shiny silky mix.

Pour into an oiled tray and allow to cool. I poured mine into the bottom of 2 x 1lb loaf tins in order to get 2 chunky bars.

When it has reached room temperature, its time for the grown up bit – sprinkle with the rock salt.

Now leave to set for as long as possible – at least 12 to 24 hours is best, as the caramel will loose its stickiness (I read that somewhere)

Once set, turn out and cut into chunks

Note: you can still buy Caramac, and as I failed in making it, I’ve just put an order in online, with Amazon!

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Pancake Stack with Lemon Sugar Syrup

Published February 21, 2012 by Daisy Cake Company

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Today is a very important day…..very important!!

Last week, on February 14th, I saw a Facebook status from one of my good friends saying “forget Valentines Day, this time next week it’s Pancake Day!!” and here it is!!

For readers in America, you’re probably thinking, so what, we have pancakes every day for breakfast. Well here in England, we save our pancakes for a very special day, and today is it – Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, where tradition (and the Christian religion) states you abstain for Lent, which is the 47 days until Easter Sunday. Over the years I have given up many things for Lent: Sweets, Alcohol (which wasn’t hard as I’m not much of a drinker), Chocolate (which I failed at) and caffeine. This year I’ve thought of going the sweets route again, but we’ll see how good my will power is tomorrow. What will you be giving up?

Traditionally you should abstain from eating milk, butter and eggs during lent, which just so happen to be most of the ingredients in pancakes, hence today is Pancake Day!

English pancakes are usually crepe type affairs. And as a child we would enjoy ours sprinkled with sugar and a squirt of lemon juice, and rolled up like a swiss roll.

So to invoke childhood memories, but be a bit more gluttonous about it, I have made a huge pancake stack drizzled with Lemon and Sugar Syrup.

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Pancake Stack with Lemon Sugar Syrup

For the syrup
70gms Caster Sugar
100ml Water
1 lemon, sliced

For the pancakes
200gms Self Raising Flour
1 tspn Baking Powder
300ml Milk
Pinch of salt
1 egg
Butter to fry

Start the syrup by putting the sugar and water in a heavy bottom saucepan over a low heat. Do not stir, just swish around the pan.
Once the sugar has melted, add the slices of lemon and leave to simmer gently
Be careful, molten sugar is very very hot and can burn you

Now onto the pancakes: sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl
In a jug whisk the milk and the egg until full combined
Make a well (a big dent) in the centre of the flour mix, and pour the egg and milk into it.
Whisk until its all combined into a thick batter

In a frying pan melt a nob of butter until sizzling.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of batter into the centre of the pan, which will spread to about 10cm.
Cook for about 3 minutes, or until small bubbles start to appear on the surface
Carefully turn the pancake, and cook the other side for approx 2 minutes
Remove from the pan, and put to one side on a sheet of kitchen paper
Repeat the process until you have about 6 or 7 pancakes, or until all the batter is used.

Now back to your syrup. This should have been bubbling away. The longer you leave it, the sharper and more lemony the taste will become. So if you just want a hint of lemon, simmer for just 5 minutes, for a stronger taste, maybe about 10 minutes.
Again, I can’t stress this enough – molten sugar is very hot – be careful!!

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Time to stack your pancakes:
On a clean plate, place one pancake.
Drizzle with a teaspoon of syrup
Top with another pancake and repeat until you’re all out of pancakes
Drizzle the remaining syrup over the top
For extra sweetness, douse with a cloud of icing sugar or for extra sharpness use the lemon slices between the pancakes.

What you should have is a large stack of pancakes which can be sliced like a cake.

Enjoy Pancake Day, and good luck with whatever you’re giving up for Lent!!

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The Epic Cookie

Published February 10, 2012 by Daisy Cake Company

Inspiration and ideas come in many varied ways.

My preferred time to come up with amazing ideas is when I’m walking the dogs – something to do with endorphines and oxygen to the brain I’d imagine.

But occasionally I come up with some belters just in day to day life….like when I don’t want to get out of bed because it’s all warm and snuggly, why not make a cape out of the duvet – that kind of thing, and ok, I’m not saying they’re all great ideas, but they still pop into my head!

Mostly I don’t act on these ideas, because they are just stooooopid, but……..

The other day we had pizza for dinner, which I baked on my clever round baking tray made specially for pizzas. As I was taking the pizza out of the oven I thought “How good would it be to have a cookie this size?”.

So……….ta da…….the pizza sized Epic Cookie!!!

I have had another idea – for another day when I haven’t eaten a big chunk of my Epic Cookie – why not cover it in melted chocolate and various sweets for a full sweet pizza experience?!!!!! But for now, just marvel at the wonder of this humungous biscuity delight………

The Epic Cookie

170 gms Light Brown Sugar (or 100gms light brown and 70gms dark brown for a chewier texture)
125 gms Unsalted butter at room temperature
1 egg
200 gms Plain Flour
1/4 tspn salt
1 1/4tspn Bicarbonate of Soda
100 gms Chocolate Chips (I used Smarties)

Pre-heat you oven to 120c (100c fan), gas mark 2

Prepare a baking sheet (or round pizza baking tray) with a large piece of greasproof paper

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl

Add the egg and mix in fully

Sieve together the flour, Bicarbonate of Soda and Salt and add to the butter, sugar and egg mix. Beat until well combined and a dough is formed.

Mix in the chocolate chips

Then pile it all up in the middle of your baking sheet. Pat it down till its about 1 to 1.5 inches thick and bake for 30 minutes.

It will spread on the sheet, so don’t push it right to the edges, or you’ll be cleaning your oven.

When its baked, it will have crispy edges, be crunchy on top, but with a slight bounce to the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minute before transfering it (paper and all) onto a wire rack.

As it’s baked slowly it should be crunchy on top and still gooey in the middle, which means in cuts perfectly into slices.

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