Monday, 20 March 2017

Amaretto Sour Bundt Cake

Amaretto Sour Bundt Cake
There's no place like home... So I tapped my heels together and made a sparkly little cocktail bundt to take to my friend's house! My challenge was the classic Amaretto sour. That warming mix of almonds, with the sharp citrus fruits; it's just scrumptious!

As well as being soaked in Amaretto, I added some ground almonds in place of all the flour, which makes a moist cake with almost a frangipane-like texture. This one was actually a gluten free version, which can easily be made by substituting the plain flour for Dove's farm plain flour. The only change I'd recommend to your normal baking is to use a tin with fewer nooks and crannies, as the cake itself is a bit softer, but just as delicious.

Cake:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g Homepride plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml plain low fat lemon yoghurt 
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 100ml Amaretto
Topping:
  • 300g icing sugar
  • More Amaretto 
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Glac√© cherries
  • Red cake glitter (optional)
  • Segments of orange
  • Cocktail umbrellas (essential)
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release/melted butter and dust with flour.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and ground almonds.
  6. Pour the yoghurt into a jug, and add the Amaretto, vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  7. Stir in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined. 
  8. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  9. Pour the mix into your prepared tin. 
  10. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  11. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  12. When completely cool, add the orange juice to the icing sugar, and mix with enough Amaretto to make a runny icing. You can use a bit of water if you like.
  13. Tip it over your cake and let it drip down. 
  14. Decorate with glac√© cherries rolled in red cake glitter, segments of orange, and my fave naff umbrellas. 
Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Too Good to be Gluten Free Pie Review

Too Good to be Gluten Free Pies
My tame taste tester has been at it again. This time, I've had her trying pies of the gluten free variety for National Pie Week. Here's what she had to say for her little self.

I pride myself on being a proper Northern bird, which, amongst other things, means I LOVE a pie; in fact I believe that most food can be improved by the addition of a pastry crust. So when Rach asked if I would like to try some pies, I was keen to get involved. 
Too Good to be Gluten Free Pies

Too Good to be Gluten Free make a great variety of gluten free products including quiches, pies and sweet treats. We were sent the following pies:
  • Slow cooked steak and ale
  • Red Thai chicken and cauliflower
  • Kale and Stilton open top pie

The steak and chicken pies were ear marked for a big Sunday feast, which I served with chips and peas. The steak was soft and tasty, perfect with a dollop of gravy and chunky chips. The Thai chicken pie was perfectly spicy, filled with tender chicken. The pastry was deliciously short and tasty, and I was very impressed. Needless to say they were demolished in record time!

I cooked the cauliflower, kale and Stilton pie at the same time and took it to work the following day for lunch with a salad. This was my personal favourite, strong Stilton flavour and lovely veg, it was filling, and felt like a real treat. 

I really enjoyed these pies and would recommend them to anyone, they are a nice size so you don't need to feel bad about eating a whole one to yourself! We were very excited to see them in our local supermarket the other week, and I have now got my eye on the dark chocolate and salted caramel tart, droooool!


Too Good to be Gluten Free Pies
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post. Too Good To Be Gluten Free sent Lee some pies to test free of charge.

Paloma Bundt Cake

Paloma Bundt Cake
I can't make the same cake twice. It's boring. What's the point? I like my baking to be exciting, and a little bit terrifying. I almost like looking through the oven door and thinking 'have I pushed it too far this time?' It's never happened yet, but you never know. 

On Saturday we were going to our friends' for dinner, and it was declared that there would be a Mexican theme. The obvious choice would be a Margarita bundt, however, it had been done already, and was therefore dead to me. A bit of research geekery later, and it turns out that the most popular cocktail in Mexico is a Paloma (meaning Dove, not the ginger singer). 

A Paloma is predominantly made form tequila, grapefruit juice, and lime, which are perfect for putting into a cake. I split them out to give the flavours some depth, which got a pretty good reaction from my fellow party-goers. 

It works a bit like this; tequila and lime flavoured cake, the first layer of icing would be made from pink grapefruit juice with a shot of tequila, but the thicker green icing is made from neat lime juice. This means you get a taste sensation with every bite.

Cake:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g Homepride plain flour 
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml low fat lemon yoghurt
  • Zest and juice of a large lime
  • 5 tbsp Tequila

White icing:
  • 300g icing sugar 
  • 3 tbsp Tequila
  • Grapefruit juice
Green icing:
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Lime juice
  • Green food colouring gel
  • The naffest of naff foil umbrellas
  • Lime and grapefruit segments

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with melted butter and dust with flour.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ginger.
  6. Pour the yoghurt into a jug, and add the Tequila and the lemon zest and juice.
  7. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined. 
  8. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  9. Pour the mix into your prepared tin. 
  10. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  11. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  12. When completely cool, make the white icing by mixing the icing sugar with 3 tbsp Tequila and enough pink grapefruit juice to make a runny icing (must be strained if it has bits - mine did!)
  13. Tip it all over the cake.
  14. Leave it for about 30 mins.
  15. Make the green icing by mixing the icing sugar enough lime juice to make a thick icing, still runny enough to fall off a spoon.
  16. Add a little green food dye. 
  17. Spoon over in a zigzag manner, or pop it in a squeezy bottle for a bit more control.
  18. Decorate with citrus segments and whatever cocktail naffness you can get your mitts on. 



Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Black Forest Bundt Cake

Black Forest Bundt Cake
My friend was going through a bit of a rough time. Cake was required. She had been winding me up about needing a Black Forest Bundt for a while - it was time.  Sometimes, when life throws you lemons, you say 'do one lemons, you sharp sh*ts, I'm having boozy cherries instead'. And that's exactly what we did. I rocked up to her house with a box full of cake, topped with enough cream to make all the neighbouring cats' noses spring into action.

It's not moist, it's virtually damp. Think pudding. Just make sure it's properly cooked through, otherwise this cake can, and will break if not looked after properly. You're looking for clear shrinkage from the sides of the tin, and a skewer needs to be fully clean. However, don't worry if you do lose some crust, you're covering it in cream! Who doesn't love a gateaux themed cake hey? Pure indulgence.

Ingredients:
    Black Forest Bundt Cake
  • 225g butter 
  • 450g golden caster sugar 
  • 4 medium eggs 
  • 300g Homepride plain flour 
  • 50g good quality cocoa powder, I used Green and Black's.
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 200ml cherry yoghurt 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract 
  • A glug of kirsch (optional...) 
  • 100g jarred cherries in Kirsch (Opies do these) - drained and chopped up.
  • 1 tub of whipping cream 
  • Cherries and chocolate flakes to decorate. 

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c 
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release spray/melted butter, and dust with flour. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt. 
  6. Pour the yoghurt, vanilla extract, and kirsch into a jug. 
  7. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined. 
  8. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds. 
  9. Stir in the cherries in kirsch.
  10. Pour the cake mix into your prepared tin. 
  11. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  12. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin. 
  13. When the cake is fully cool, whip the cream until it sits in peaks, and dump it on top of the cake, like a big dairy hat.
  14. Decorate with chocolate sprinkles and cherries.
Black Forest Bundt Cake

Limoncello Drizzle Cake

Limoncello Drizzle Cake
So my mate's mum was turning seventy. She's a bit of a cracker, and loves a slice of cake. She's a brill baker, and on said party day, appeared with trays of cream scones, cheesecake, and a rum baba so strong, it should have come with a fire safety warning. One false move... Genuinely could not eat a slice then drive. No.

I did a bit of scouting about with the family, in terms of what kind of cake she would love. Turns out she adores a lemon cake, which is lovely, but in its natural state is also as dull as a Jane Austen book. This was going to be something a bit more lively.

This would be a moist lemon cake, laced and glazed with Limoncello, with a lemon ribbon running through the middle. I forgot to take a picture of the ribbon, because I was such a party animal*. I made it in the stunning new Nordic Ware 70th Anniversary crown tin, which seemed to fit the occasion and recipient just beautifully.

Cake:
    Limoncello Drizzle Cake
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g Homepride plain flour 
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml low fat lemon yoghurt
  • Zest and juice of a large lemon
  • 5 tbsp Limoncello
  • Yellow food gel

Topping:
  • 500g icing sugar
  • Limoncello
  • Yellow food colouring gel
  • Sugar crystals/pearls

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with melted butter and dust with flour.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ginger.
  6. Pour the yoghurt into a jug, and add the Limoncello and the lemon zest and juice.
  7. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined. 
  8. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  9. Remove 5 heaped teaspoons of the mix, and dye it yellow.
  10. Pour half of the mix into your prepared tin. 
  11. Spoon over the yellow batter.
  12. Cover with the rest of the mix.
  13. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  14. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  15. When completely cool, mix the icing sugar with enough Limoncello to make a runny icing. 
  16. Add a little yellow food dye. 
  17. Tip it over your cake.
  18. Decorate with sugar crystals, and your work here is done. 

* Busy stuffing my face with other cake.

Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Ferrero Rocher Bundt Cake

Ferrero Rocher Bundt Cake
The challenge was set... The recipient, my friend Tash; she of Italian heritage, cocktail drinking expertise, and cake eating prowess. I told her she could pick her desired flavour. With barely a moment's hesitation, she declared it shall be a Ferrero Rocher bundt cake.

I've been asked for this one before, but declared it a bit boring. I had to liven it up, and see that it was fit for my little party pal. It was going to be a moist chocolate cake, laced with hazelnuts, Nutella, and hidden Ferrero Rochers, which would be baked into the cake. No messing around with this one.

Sadly, I had to break the news to my colleagues that this was going to sit on my desk all day, then be taken elsewhere at the end of the day. Did not go down well. Not at all.

Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 310g plain flour
  • 50g ground hazelnuts 
  • 40g good quality cocoa powder - I use Green and Blacks.
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml vanilla yoghurt 
  • 75ml chocolate milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Nutella
  • 6 Ferrero Rocher, cut in half (full ones will sink like a stone...)
  • Jar of chocolate spread (not the hazelnut type)
  • Chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • More Ferrero Rocher to decorate

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release spray and dust with flour mixed with a little cocoa.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the extract.
  6. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, ground hazelnuts, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  7. Pour the yoghurt and chocolate milk into a jug and stir in the Nutella.
  8. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt mix. Repeat this until everything is combined.
  9. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  10. Pour the mix into your prepared tin. 
  11. Push the Ferrero Rocher halves vertically into the mix, as if you were marking out hours on a clock. Push them in until they are only just peeping out of the batter. It will swell over the top when baking. 
  12. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  13. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  14. When the cake is fully cool, pop the chocolate spread into a jug and heat in the microwave for around 30 seconds to loosen it. Tip over your cake and decorate with more Ferrero Rocher and chopped hazelnuts..

Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Cream Tea Bundt Cake

Cream Tea Bundt Cake
Can’t decide what to get Mum for Mother’s Day? What says ‘I created something excellent, well done me’, than offspring who bake you something magnificent? Not only does Mum get to stuff her face with some wonderful cake, but she can show off to her pals what talented spawn she really has. It’s a win win.

When Homepride asked me to make something Mother’s Day related, it had to be a play on the traditional cream tea; a moist scone, split in two, with thick strawberry jam, and enough cream to ward off brittle bones until you’re 97. This isn’t essential, but I also added a glug of gin to mine, as a cheeky nod to Mother’s Ruin!

Obviously, it isn’t Mother’s Day just yet, but I decided to test mine on my tame testers at work. I was a total renegade and removed a shelf from the milk fridge, so that I could store the cake until the generally accepted ‘cake time’ of 10.30am (not my rule - I have no such silly rules). The milk fridge is steeped in office politics, and believe me, this was a bold move. Luckily for me, this misdemeanour did not get me fired; on the contrary, it created lots of ‘oooh’ noises from the whole floor. Needless to say, lots of people sampled cake on Friday, and the missing shelf from the fridge was replaced before too much drama was created...
For the full details, please pop over to the Homepride website! Recipe coming soon... 
Cream Tea Bundt Cake
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