04 October 2017

Apple Cake



Apples, in my opinion are the perfect autumn cake accompaniment. With windfalls happening often, baking is a great excuse to brave the change in weather, go picking and treat yourself to something warm and comforting. A delicate cinnamon, spiced cake with a soft apple filling, it’s an impeccable start to the autumn season.




Apple Filling

4 large cooking apples
225g brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Peel and core your apples before finely chopping them up into small slices. Add the apples, sugar and cinnamon to a pan and cook over a medium heat until soft. Strain the apples from the juice and allow both to cool.

Make the cake.



Apple Cake

225g self raising flour
125g brown sugar
125g soft butter
1 tsp baking powder
125ml buttermilk
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Layers:

Preheat oven to 350F, 180C or Gas Mark 4. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. This cake can have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so I strongly recommend the parchment paper on the bottom.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, not adding the next until the yolk of the first has disappeared.

Combine the flour, cinnamon and baking powder together, sift through and set to one side.
Add half the flour and milk, mix until just combined. Add the rest and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes on a middle shelf until golden on top, or until a cake tester comes out clear.

Remove the cakes from oven, while still warm poke some holes (using a fork) in the top and generously brush or spoon over the cooled apple syrup.

Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pans, remove to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. 

Mascarpone Frosting

225ml double cream, cold
125g icing sugar
125g mascarpone cheese, chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add the double cream and icing sugar to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.

Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly. Set whipped frosting in the refrigerator until needed.

Assembly:

When the cake layers are cold, place the first layer upside down on a serving plate or cardboard cake round. If your cake has a slight dome in it, use a serrated knife to level it off as best you can before you start frosting.

Using a disposable piping bag, fill it with some frosting and pipe a little wall of frosting around the outside edge of the cake.

Spread some of the cold apple filling evenly on top of the cake layer, inside the frosting wall.  

Add the second layer of cake in the same way, smoothing out the frosting on the sides. Use some left-over frosting to cover and fill the cake, then smooth out the frosting around the sides and top of the cake using an offset spatula. 

Finish off the cake with swirls of frosting and leftover apple syrup.

Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.






Wasn't that easy? And genuinely a yummy, warm way to bring in the Autumn season to your home. Happy Autumn Baking!


23 August 2017

Easy, Cheats Bake, Cinnamon Rolls


Sometimes being a grown up is hard. And baking like a grown up is even harder. There are those days where I am ready to just to give in because I don't want to be a grown up baker anymore.

But then you remember that you are an adult and get on with things. Do the short time, painful grown up responsibilities delegated to you, so you can be absolutely ridiculous and have cake for breakfast (or lunch or dinner). And even better have a cheats bake breakfast.. where you literally did the minimal amount of work for delicious results.

These Cinnamon Rolls aren't new, American's have been using Crescent Rolls in all sorts of cheats bakes for years, but they are a new one to me. All you need is a store bought pizza dough base and a handful of ingredients!

I genuinely think that this kind of bake was invented for those who like to eat their feelings and it makes them feel better. But be wise... they are full of calories so not for the super dieters. They need to be eaten in moderation I guess is what I am saying.

But you fine folk know that any way...


Cinnamon Roll Ups
1 pizza dough roll
125g butter melted
75g brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
225g icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp maple syrup


Preheat your oven to 350F/180C/160C Fan or Gas Mark 4. Prepare a loaf pan with some parchment and leave to one side.

Combine, in a bowl. the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon.

Unroll the pizza dough and evenly spread the butter mixture all over.

Rolling on the long side, roll the dough back up into a roll. Chop the dough into ten equal pieces and place them beside each other in the loaf pan. Don't worry about gaps, they will spread while baking.



Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the rolls have puffed up and they are golden brown on top. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the glaze.

Put the icing sugar, milk and syrup into a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Leave to one side until the cinnamon rolls are cooked. Once cooked, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then, serve warm spooning as much icing as you want over each roll.





Did I tell they were easy or what? Soft, cinnamon-ey and gooey goodness all on your plate for breakfast! You will fake being a baker in style!!


20 August 2017

Olive Oil Cake- Gluten and Dairy Free



What a month it's been!

Can you believe school is back next week already.. I am not even prepared for that! But I am prepared for getting back into our aul' routine. And the kids not wanting to eat every hour of the day because they are bored, or it's rainy or they just plain don't know what to do with themselves.

I have pottered about this month. dipping in and out of social media, spending time with my babies and family and enjoying what's left of the summer. Though as I type this, Autumn is well on it's way and the blanket I have wrapped 'round my shoulders is doing it's best to keep the damp and cold at bay.

The cake I choose for this months edition of The Cake Slice Baker's almost resembles that feeling of the blanket. I adapted it to be gluten free and dairy free also as I am struggling with recipes for friends who are coming into allergies. While made with peaches in the book, I opted to leave them out. I am the only one in the house who likes peaches and to be honest, eating a whole cake by myself is not good for my health.

Apparently?

I know right!! Shocked me too!!

This Olive Oil Cake is a beautiful cake though. I photographed it early morning before anyone was up,  mug of coffee in hand nibbling on the crumbs as they fell off. Maybe I am biased but I was really in tune with the cake and the dawn chorus and I felt that next day charm worked had really worked it's magic on this cake.. once the crumb had settled it tasted so great.

Roger Pizey and his book World Class Cakes is just wonderful. I am really enjoying baking through with different skill levels catered for on every page. Although some of the timings have caused concern with some of the bakes, I think we all know our own ovens best and can alter as we see fit. It won't be long until the autumn will be here and our journey with Roger will come to an end!



Olive Oil Cake
adapted from pg 83 World Class Cakes
(regular recipe in brackets)

3 eggs
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
300g caster sugar
125ml olive oil
125ml almond milk (125ml whole milk)
128g gluten free flour (128g plain flour)
125g ground almond flour (128g self raising flour)

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F or Gas mark 4
Grease an 8 inch spring form, round pan.
Beat the eggs together with the sugar and the zest until well combined.
Sift the flour with the ground almonds, removing and coarse bits.
Alternating between the wet ingredients and dry, add these to the egg/sugar mixture.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then turn out onto a wire rack.

Before serving, sprinkle in icing sugar. Enjoy with your morning coffee or tea!






29 July 2017

Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake


Wanting to celebrate National Cheesecake Day, (which is tomorrow, Sunday the 30th by the way) but find yourself with very little time, baking knowledge or motivation?

Fear not for today, along with some great Aldi Baking products, I am going to help you create tasty morsels of delight, in plenty of time for National Cheesecake Day*. Sure what more could you want?

*Imagine my telephone voice... Can you tell I have always wanted my own baking show?! Haha!

These mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake are genuinely simple and really delicious! A ready made cookie dough, chopped up and squashed into the bottom of some cupcake liners form the base. A creamy mix of 5.. FIVE folks.. that's one hands worth of ingredients makes the cheesecake mixture, forms the baked filling with some extra chocolate chips thrown in for good measure!

This cheats bake, easy make is perfect for those with limited baking experience or for those of you who want something nice to have, but want as little effort as possible! Aldi and I have got you both covered.




Cheesecake Mixture

400g cream cheese, softened
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g chocolate chips

Crust

1 packet Cookie Dough, chopped and shaped into 12 circles

Whipped Cream Topping

250ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Putting it together...

Preheat oven to 180C/350F or Gas mark 4.  
Line a 12 hole cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Press a circle of cookie dough into the bottom of each cavity.

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and the sugar together.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in miniature chocolate chips.
Pour cream cheese mixture into each cupcake liner about  ¾ of the way full.





Bake for 20 minutes, then turn off oven and leave the door slightly open to allow the cheesecakes to cool for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack before removing from pan. They may dip in the centre during cooling.

Whisk together sugar and the double cream until stiff peaks form.

Top cheesecakes with whipped cream and serve. 






***Disclaimer: Sponsored Post*** 
Aldi very kindly, provided me with the ingredients to bring this post together.
All comments and views however, are completely my own.

27 July 2017

Brown Sugar Peach Pie


The weather has changed slightly with a good north westerly breeze helping me get all my clothes dry but it also had me putting on a cardigan! I was adamant, after the beautiful weather we had, that I wouldn't put back on my winter clothes. But still, it is a little chilly so I needed something warm and fuzzy to fill me.

This tray bake pie was to be it and good thing too, as it felt warm and summery as soon as we started eating it. It's also a very homely pie, perfect for sharing with pots of strong tea and really suited an evening after dinner reminiscing the Irish Summer as we looked out at the return of the rain!!

A full fat, Irish Dairy butter short crust pastry keeps the peaches in place, holding in all that lovely, sticky, sweet mess. The peaches offer that perfect blend of texture to help balance out the sweet flavours of the brown sugar and bourbon. The cinnamon helps make the pie rustic, satisfying and homespun. Perfect for this time of year.



Brown Sugar Peach Pie

The Pastry:

480g plain flour
100g icing sugar
300g diced cold butter (+ a little extra for greasing the pan)
2 large free range eggs

The Peaches:

4 cans of peach slices
125g demerara sugar
2 tbsp of bourbon
1 tsps cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or Gas Mark 4.

Put the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until looks like breadcrumbs. Crack in the egg and bring together until a soft ball forms.
Split into two balls, one slightly larger than the other.
Wrap in clingfilm, pat down and leave in fridge for 30 mins.

Add all the ingredients for “The Peaches” into a bowl and toss about until coated. Set to one side, to rest.

Grease with the extra butter, a rectangular baking tray, ideally 9x13 and about 2 inch deep.

When the balls come back out of the fridge, roll them out, the size of your tray pan. Place on rectangle of pastry into the tray and let any excess hang over the edges.

Using a slotted spoon fill the pan with the peaches, being careful not to add in any juice that may have seeped out during resting. Spread out evenly.

Cutting strips of pastry with the other rectangle layer them over the pan, pulling alternate strips back and layering the opposite direction to give a lattice effect.

Once the top has been covered over, turn in the edges of pastry that were hanging over and pinch to close. Brush the top of the pastry with the peach juices left over in the bowl, toss some demerara over the top.

Bake the whole thing in your pre heated for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden and the juices are bubbling inside.

Leave to cool for about 15 minutes and serve warm with a big dollop of ice cream. 





Simple and delicious!!

Sure what more could you want on these not so summer days?




21 June 2017

Lemon Tart



Pressure?

Pressure is for tyres my Mom will always say. There's no need to put yourself under pressure. But I don't heed her words and put myself under pressure is exactly what I did this month. I had read the recipe for Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart, some time ago when I say it in Roger Pizey's book, World Class Cakes. I knew the minute it came up for choice with the Cake Slice Bakers, it would be what I picked. Having spotted it on June's list. I gave it no more thought.. until I came to bake it.

I picked the hottest day of the year ever to make this tart. Irish people don't get really great weather. We get pockets of sunshine here and there, but global warming stepped up a notch this week and we got temperatures hotter than the Mediterranean. I am not complaining about the weather (Irish people also do a lot of that!!) but merely stating that the heat put me under pressure...

Not great when you are trying to keep pastry cold!

Anyway... this tart was a pure delight! It has this light, lemon flavour that tasted so much better the following day. I did have some trouble with this tart from the start, but the spoils at the end were delicious.

During the baking process I dropped my bowl of zest into the filling bowl, resulting in this crazy splash spillage of sticky lemon filling. No process photos as a result but I do plan this again so will pop them in as soon as! The recipe also called for way more filling than was actually needed, I had a lot left over, even after the spillage so I have adjusted this for you in the recipe below. I also substituted my own Short Crust Recipe in for Marco's because I didn't like how the pastry sounded in the book and didn't have the 24 hours to rest it either!!


Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart- 
adapted from page 246 World Class Cakes

Short Crust Pastry


240g plain flour
50g icing sugar
150g diced cold butter (+ a little extra for greasing)
1 large egg

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4.
Put the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until looks like breadcrumbs.
Crack in the egg and bring together until a soft ball forms.
Wrap in clingfilm, pat down and leave in fridge until needed.

Lemon Filling

225ml double whipping cream
6 large eggs
240g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
juice of 2 large lemons


In the bowl whisk the cream and mix until it forms a ribbon.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth.
Add the lemon juice to the egg and sugar batter and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture through a strainer onto the cream.
Whisk everything together and then add the lemon zest.
Let the bowl of filling stand in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Take the pastry out of the refrigerator, grease up a 10 inch, loose bottom, round pie dish with some butter.
Roll out a larger circle than your pie dish and place it into your dish pressing the sides gently as you go. Cut off any excess. Chill for the remaining time on the filling.

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F or gas Mark 3.
Remove the pastry shell from the refrigerator and line with parchment paper, fill with baking beads and bake blind for about 20 minutes, or until the inside of the tart becomes golden brown.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then carefully remove the beads and the parchment paper.
Turn the oven down to 120C/250F or Gas Mark 2.

Remove your chilled lemon filling from the refrigerator and whisk again. Pour the lemon filling into the warm pastry shell and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. There should be a slight wobble in the centre when it is cooked.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the tart is fully cooled remove it from the baking dish and douse in icing sugar.

*yours will not turn out as brown as mine on the top.. My oven was too hot for the tart when I put it in. Ensure you have sufficiently cooled your oven to avoid this. 






So what do you think? Another Cake Slice Bakers success month from World Class Cakes? I think so.. despite the pitfalls and stops and starts I encountered. There wasn't much left by the time I got to photographing it.. that's a good sign I reckon!


Please scroll down to see all the beautiful cakes that were baked this month, and don't forget to check out our Facebook Page. Also, if you are interested in joining the #TheCakeSliceBakers, please send an email to Felice at thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com, and she will send you all the information you need! We are a great bunch of bakers, happy to make new friends!





17 June 2017

Lemon, Berry and Mascarpone Layer Cake




Did you know that from July and for a period of time all of the berries available in ALDI will be grown in Ireland? How cool is that.. Local produce, from local growers making my dessert table very happy!

I wanted to show you how to take those colorful summer berries and turn them in dessert a BBQ party would be proud of. Think of this as a dessert to serve at a dinner party or summer lunch, on the porch with prosecco pouring. 

Ok.. ooohhh kaaayyy... I know it's Ireland. So you might have to scatter indoors and stay out of the rain but the sentiment for sunshine is still there and that can never be a bad thing.

The cake starts off with a basic soft set jam filling. No fiddling about with thermometers and jam sugars here, just heat it up, nice and thick and let it cool! BINGO! You’ve got a jam. 

Smoosh that jam in between layers of luscious lemon cake and sandwich them together with a whipped cream, mascarpone frosting. All the taste of a sweet buttercream but much, much lighter. Lads, I am not joking you this is such an easy bake. 

This really delicious dessert is so easy to set up. Honestly. Follow the steps that follow and not only will you be in possession of a super cake to wow your friends… you’ll have a super cake you could keep to yourself!


Though I do recommend sharing it, it’s nice to be nice right?


Berry Jam Filling

240g strawberries, blueberries and raspberries (80g of each) +extra for decoration
45ml water
125g regular sugar
3 tbsp cornflour (45g)
·        
Add the berries and water to a food processor, or use a hand blender and puree until smooth. Combine the sugar and cornflour in a medium saucepan. Stir in the berry puree. Mix it all smooth.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring consistently until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Takes about 10 minutes. Allow to boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Set aside and allow to cool completely.








Lemon Cake

325g self raising flour
250g caster sugar
250g soft butter
1 tsp baking powder
225ml milk
Zest and juice of one medium lemon
2 large free range eggs

Cake Layers:

Preheat oven to 350F 180C or Gas Mark 4. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. This cake can have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so I strongly recommend the parchment paper on the bottom.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, not adding the next until the yolk of the first has disappeared.

Combine the flour and baking powder together, sift through and set to one side.
Add half the flour and milk, mix until just combined. Add the rest, followed by the lemon juice and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes on a middle shelf until golden on top, or until a cake tester comes out clear.

Remove the cakes from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. 







Mascarpone Frosting

500ml double cream, cold
125g icing sugar
250g mascarpone cheese, chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:

Add the double cream and icing sugar to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly. Set whipped frosting in the refrigerator until needed.

Assembly:

When the cakes are cold place the first layer upside down on a serving plate, or cardboard cake round. (If your cake has a slight dome in it, use a serrated knife to level it off as best you can before you start layering).
Using a disposable piping bag, fill it with some frosting and pipe a little wall of frosting around the outside edge of the cake.
Spread some of the cold berry jam filling evenly on top of the cake layer, inside the frosting wall.  



Add more of the frosting to the top of the berry filling and spread into an even layer to cover over the berry filling.

Add the second layer of cake in the same way.
Add the final layer of cake on top, smoothing out the frosting on the sides. Use some left-over frosting to cover and fill, then smooth out the frosting around the sides and top of the cake.
Finish off the cake with swirls of frosting and extra fresh berries.



Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.












***Disclaimer: Sponsored Post*** 
Aldi very kindly, provided me with the ingredients to bring this post together.
All comments and views however, are completely my own.


 
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