christmas

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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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Sticky Toffee Christmas Tree Brownies

Published December 14, 2013 by Daisy Cake Company

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So everyone…….how are the Christmas preparations going?

Are you one of those annoyingly organised people? Do you have all you Christmas presents bought and wrapped? Christmas cards written and sent? Tree up and decorated? Really…..you’ve done all those things already. Hmph……s’not fair!!

Don’t take my little outburst personally. It’s just that I have none of those things done. Not 1!! December always seems to disappear at a speed unknown to man. I complain that the Christmas chocolates are in the shops too early in September, and then whoosh…..Christmas is here and I’ve done nothing!!

But, and this is a good but…

I have made chocolate brownies!!

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Sticky Toffee Brownies
175gs Dark Chocolate
130gms Unsalted Butter
130gms Dark Brown Sugar
130gms Plain Flour
1⁄2tspn Baking Powder
1⁄2tspn Ground Mixed Spice
2 Large Eggs
75gms Chopped dates (optional)

1x 20cm (8”) round baking tin, lined withgreaseproof paper and greased with butter.

Frosting
50gms Unsalted Butter at room temperature
150gmsIcing Sugar
1tbsn Toffee Ice-cream Sauce or Golden Syrup
Green Food Colouring

Pre-heat the oven to 140c, (120c Fan), Gas Mark 2
Break up the chocolate and put into a heatproof bowl with the butter and place the bowl over a saucepan of constantly simmering water (ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water)
Stir the chocolate and butter with a wooden spoon as it melts
Once the chocolate and butter are completely melted remove the bowl from the saucepan and mix in the Dark Brown Sugar.
Next sift together the Plain Flour, Baking Powder mixture and Mixed Spice and stir into the chocolate mixture.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and lastly stir through the dates so they are evenly distributed.
Pour into the baking tin, and smooth to the edges
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Some people like their brownies chewy, others a bit drier. The longer you bake your brownies, the drier and less chewy they become.
When your brownies are done the top will have acrust, the edges a bit crunchy, and the middle slightly soft to the touch.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, before turning out onto a wirerack and leaving to cool completely.

Whilst they are cooling, you can make your frosting: Using either an electric mixer, or a wooden spoon, beat your butter until soft and smooth. Mix in the icing sugar (gently at first or you’ll be lost in a cloud of sweet powder), and finally beat in the Toffee Sauce or Golden Syrup. If you want to make your trees green add a small amount of green food colouring. With the frosting, the more you beat it, the lighter and fluffier it’ll become, so keep beating for between 5 and 10 minutes.

Once your Brownie has cooled cut into sixths or eighths (depending on how big you want your slices), and either pipe on your frosting or smooth on with a spoon. Decorate with sweets or sprinkles, and stick half a straw into the bottom for the trunk.

Christmas Treats

Published December 23, 2011 by Daisy Cake Company

This week has been busier than I could ever believe. Sunday was spent bringing Christmas to the Daisy Cake household. The Tree was put up, the presents were wrapped, the cards were written but…….. since then I feel like I have totally ignored that fact that Christmas is happening. UNTIL TODAY, when I realised it’s only 2 days away….EEEEEEEK!!

I promised sweet treats for friends and family, and so have prepared some of my No Thermometre Chocolate Fudge in both white and milk chocolate, and have made Real Hot Chocolate and Chocolate and Peppermint Creams.

There is nothing better than real Hot Chocolate, and by that I mean real chocolate melted in a big cup a hot milk!! It’s great on a chilly day, to be tucked up indoors with a Real Hot Chocolate and a gooey cookie. And what better gift to give, than a big bundle of comfort.

I also made Chocolate and peppermint Creams which are so easy it’s unreal!!

But first…..

Real Hot Chocolate

150gms Dark Chocolate

2tbsns Caster Sugar

4 tbspns Hot Chocolate Powder

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water on the stove. Be careful not to let the bottom on the bowl touch the boiling water as it’ll burn your chocolate.

Once the chocolate is fully melted mix in the caster sugar and Hot Chocolate Powder until dissolved

Pour your mixture into silicone moulds. I use silicone ice cube moulds, but you can use proper chocolate moulds if you have them

Once the mix is cooled you can put them in the fridge to help them set

Once set, pop out of the mould and put them in a bag with some marshmallows

They are designed to be melted in a mug of steaming hot milk with the marshmallows sprinkled on top.

Chocolate and Peppermint Creams

200g White Fondant ‘ready to roll’ Icing

200g Chocolate Fondant ‘ready to roll’ icing

2tspn Peppermint essence

Icing Sugar or Cornflour for dusting

Place your white icing into a bowl and knead the peppermint essence into it. If it becomes sticky add a little bit of icing sugar or cornflour

Once all the peppermint is combined into the icing spinkle some icing sugar (or cornflour) onto a board to stop the icing sticking and roll your icing into a long rectangle

Roll the Chocolate fondant into a sausage shape and place on top of the white fondant

Roll the white fondant around the chocolate, like pastry round a sausage roll

Cut into 5mm discs and leave on a baking tray to dry overnight.

 

 

 

Weekly Round-up with a Cookie Cake Bar

Published December 18, 2011 by Daisy Cake Company

This week has been mad…MAD I tell you!!

There has been Baby Shower Cupcakes, a new order from the local farm shop (The Oak Tree Farm), a wedding booking for February 2012, a last minute birthday Giant Cupcake, Cookies for our best friends the Smiths and Festive Flavour Cookie Cake Bars – just because!

YEP, I’ve been a very very busy bee!! In fact I’m now considering postponing Christmas until after Christmas, because I’m not sure I’ve got time to fit it in. This week coming is equally hectic, with cupcake orders, cookie orders, Christmas gifts and Christmas lunch and food to prepare……..but at least I’m not bored eh?!!

This weeks Giant Cupcake was for a 13 year olds birthday, and I really loved making it. There is nothing like regressing a few years, back to being a teenager and making a cake you dreamed of receiving when you were that age.

I do hope the recipient enjoyed it! And aparently lime green is her favourite colour…….

Now I understand my posts recently have been a bit ‘cookie fixated’, and this one is no different. This is the last cookie post for a while, but I promise its a goodie!!

Cookie Cake Bars with Festive Fillings

150gms Light Brown Sugar

125gms Unsalted Butter

1 Egg

220g Plain Flour

1tspn Bicarbonate of Soda

.5 tspn Baking Powder

.25tspn Salt

Fillings: I used Peppermint Poppets and Cranberries

Pre-heat your oven to 150c, (130c fan) or gas mark 2

Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Mix the egg into the Butter and Sugar.

Sieve together the flour, Bicarbonate of Soda, Salt and Baking Powder and add to the Butter, Sugar and Egg mixture. Mix until you get a thick cookie dough.

Spread half the mixture into 3 silicone mini loaf tins or into a large silicone loaf tin, or silicone cupcake cases.

Sprinkle your fillings over the dough

(Peppermint Poppets on the left, Cranberries on the right)

Then spread the other half of the cookie dough on top of the filling

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (or until well risen and slightly crunchy on top)

Allow to cool for about 30 minutes in the tins, before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.

Fillings can vary depending on what you have in the cupboard, or which season your baking in…..I’m thinking Cadbury’s Mini Creme Eggs for Easter!!!!

Is it a cake?…..Is it a chocolate?…..

Published November 23, 2011 by Daisy Cake Company

YEP, it’s BOTH!!!

Chocolate Cake Truffles!

I predict 99% of people like chocolate cake!

I like it. I’m not a lover of it, in fact, if there was a Chocolate Fudge Cake and a Victoria Sponge in front of me, I’d go with the Victoria Sponge every time. But if there was only Chocolate Fudge on offer I wouldn’t say no!

BUT, put a Chocolate Cake Truffle in front of me and it would be gone in a flash!

Christmas is mad in our family….and I mean mad!!! We have our big family Christmas on Boxing Day, so everyone can see in-laws on Christmas Day.

For about 30 minutes on Boxing Day the room is mass of ripping paper (helped by 5 family dogs joining in the desctructive fun) and piles of presents.

After the presents have been cleared away there is a humungous Christmas Dinner, with every animal found in a farm yard on the table amongst a mountain of roast potatoes (most of which will be eaten by me or my brother – we’re such country folk at heart). Then after a dog walk, to help the farmyard go down, there are what we call ‘Surprises’.

Surprises are the small after dinner presents designed to keep children quiet in the afternoon. I’ve been thinking of new ideas for Christmas Presents, and have decided that everyone I know will be receiving something edible, baked in my kitchen, all of which will be ideal for family Surprises.

The first of these ideas are Chocolate Cake Truffles. A Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Buttercream, Chocolate combo that can’t help but please any Chocolate Cake eater.

Chocolate Cake Truffles

Bake and fully cool a chocolate cake. Use your favourite recipe and bake in any tin shape you want.

When fully cool, break the cake into a food processor and blitz until you have a fine crumb.

Now you need to add Chocolate Buttercream to your cake crumb. I try to use equal proportions – 500g cake to 500g Butter Icing. I find this gets a good gooey consistency, without it being too wet.

Once your crumbs are fully combined with the Butter Icing you should have a big doughy ball.

Cover a baking tray with some greaseproof paper.

With clean hands, roll a small amount of the cake/buttercream mixture into a ball (about 1 inch wide, or 15-20gms) and place on the baking tray. Repeat until all your mix is used.

Place the balls in the fridge and leave to harden for at least an hour.

Melt (or temper if you know how) some chocolate in a bowl. I do a 200g bar at a time, so it doesn’t set as you’re working and become too thick to use.

Remove the balls from the fridge, dip into and coat with chocolate and place back onto the baking tray to set. This can be a messy process, which can be made a bit easier if you spike each ball onto a cocktail stick. but be warned, you will loose at least one of the balls off the stick into the chocolate. A pinny and several tea towels are a must if you don’t want too much mess around your kitchen!

Sprinkle with different flavour chocolate or sprinkles before they set.

Once nearly set, pop back in the fridge to harden. Don’t put them in the fridge when runny as the chocolate will go white, which although is perfectly edible, doesn’t look too great.

Within an hour or so you will have the yummiest treat to share or scoff all to your self!

Sorry, but its time I mentioned the ‘C’ word

Published November 13, 2011 by Daisy Cake Company

Christmas has arrived in our house. I’m not talking festive sparkly christmas, with the christmas tree and fairy lights twinkling, but the commercial side of Christmas. This week The Daisy Cake Company baked for, and attended, its first Christmas shopping events – two in one week!!!

Thursday afternoon was spent baking for the St Clement’s Primary School Shopping Evening, and Friday afternoon was spent baking for The Oaks Christmas Fair held at The Oaks Golf Club in Carshalton on Saturday.

They were both great events, and over 230 cupcakes and biscuits were sold over the two fairs. Apparently it was the first time a Christmas Fair was held at The Oaks Golf Club, and it was great, with a fantastic turn out. The organisers, Love Small Deco, should be proud of themselves!

To get into the festive spirit The Daisy Cake Company started the Christmas baking with a new flavour – Hint of Christmas Cupcakes. Made using a slightly denser than normal Daisy Cake vanilla cupcake recipe, in order to be sturdy enough to hold the Hint of Christmas without it sinking to the bottom, I added the Hint of Chrismas to the mix…. Mincemeat. Not beef or pork (as some customers thought – yes, they really did ask!) but mince pie mincemeat. Now I’m not a Mince Pie fan, in fact the very thought of candied peel in Mince Pies makes me feel quite queasy, but bung half a jar in a cake and bake it, and it makes the most awesome of festive spiced lovelyness!!

The new Hint of Christmas flavour is definitely a stayer in the Daisy Cake repertoire!! (I would also like to thank a customer for suggesting the name, as it is loads better than Christmas Mince Cake, as I was calling it!)

Other Festive fun included Vanilla Christmas Tree Cupcakes, Bauble Barney Biscuits and Candy Cane Strawberry Cupcakes (photos shown).

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