Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Hi there,

Sorry I've been a bit quiet recently, I'm really busy at university at the moment.

Anyway, coconut macaroons! Fluffy little mounds of toasted deliciousness, and so easy to make.

You will need:

160g shredded coconut
80g caster sugar
20g flour
1tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
a pinch of salt

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat until fully combined. Then drop teaspoonfuls on a greased baking sheet.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and toasty. You're done!
I think these are best eaten fresh and still warm in the centre. You could also dip them in chocolate or drizzle it over them. They're pretty good plain though.

Til next time,


Friday, 15 February 2013

Peppa Pig Cupcakes

In case you don't know, Peppa Pig is a children's cartoon character and she looks something like this:

So today I made these cute cupcakes for a 2 year old's birthday party. They're easy enough to to involve the kids (maybe not at the more delicate icing bits!), cute and tasty. I'll give you the recipe for a batch of 12, just multiply the quantities by whatever you need to.

You will need:

112g caster sugar
112g unsalted butter
2 eggs
112g self-raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
375g icing sugar (strawberry flavour if you need it)
red food colouring
45ml water
15 pink marshmallows
24 white chocolate chips (plus spares)
3 squares chocolate (milk or plain)
an icing bag and cocktail sticks

1. Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Beat the caster sugar into the butter until light and fluffy.

2. Beat the eggs in one at a time, then add the vanilla extract and stir in.

3. Sift the flour in and fold until fully combined with butter and egg mixture.

4. Divide the mixture amongst 12 muffin cases, filling each about halfway. I use an ice cream scoop to measure out the mixture for each case, because apparently that's exactly the right amount. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly golden brown.
5. Cut off the top of each cupcake, to level it off.

6. Beat the icing sugar and water together. If not using strawberry icing sugar, use enough colouring to colour the icing the same colour as the marshmallows. This will be a very small amount so be careful! Cover the cakes in the icing (there should be quite a bit left over), and whilst still wet, put a marshmallow on each cake, quite off-centre and towards the right. Cut the remaining three marshmallows in half vertically and then into 4 horizontally, then stick on the edge of the cake above the nose and slightly to the rest. Wait for the icing to set.

7. Set a tbsp of the remaining icing aside and then colour the rest a darker pink. Put into an icing bag and cut a tiny bit off the end. Pipe a smile on each cake below and just to the left of the nose, then pipe little nostrils on each piggy snout. Cut a little more off the end of the icing bag and pipe a rosy cheek to the left of each snout.
8. Cut the tip off each chocolate chip. Microwave the plain and milk chocolate squares for 30 seconds and use a cocktail stick to blob a little dot on each chocolate chip - it should look like an eye. Repeat with all the chocolate chips.Wait for the chocolate pupils to set, then use another cocktail stick to put a blob of the remaining pale pink icing on the underside of each chocolate chip. Stick each pair of eyes below and a little closer together the marshmallow ears. When you're finished your cakes should look like this:

Oh, and here is a picture of a cake I made for my friend Joe before he jetted off to Sumatra to play with orangutans. Like this one, it is my own recipe but I cannot give you the recipe because I made it up as I went along. Also, there was a lot of swearing, and this is a family friendly blog:

It's made of chocolate sponge and orange flavoured buttercream so it's a CHOCOLATE ORANGE-UTAN. Do you get it? *prolonged manic laughter*

Stop judging me. You know cake puns are like an illness to me.

Ciao for now,

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love Heart Biscuits


It's Valentine's Day. I hate Valentine's Day. This is not for any silly reasons like 'Ohh, it's a consumerist conspiracy'. It's because I'm single. So I am taking my petty revenge by posting this recipe too late for you to make these biscuits for your lover. Sucks to be you. You'll have lost the recipe by next year.

You will need:

For the biscuits:
100g ground almonds
200g plain flour
good pinch of salt
80g icing sugar plus extra to dust
125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
3 egg yolks
2 heart-shaped cookie cutters, one smaller than the other

For the filling:
200g raspberries or blackberries
2 tsp cornflour
3 tbsp caster sugar

1. Put the almonds, flour and salt in a blender and pulse to combine. Add the icing sugar and pulse until mixed in.
  2. Add the butter and process to coarse crumbs.

2. Beat the egg yolks in and stir until mixture forms a dough. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap it in clingfilm, then chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C.

3. Roll out the dough to the thickness of a pound coin and stamp out as many hearts with the larger cutter as possible. Then cut out the centre of half the hearts with the smaller cutter, and knead all the trimmings together and roll out again. Continue until all the dough is gone, but be aware that the more you work the dough the crumblier and harder to work with it will become. Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes until barely coloured and transfer them to a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

4. To make the filling, put the berries, conflour and caster sugar in a saucepan and heat whilst stirring until the berries soften and the juices run. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, still stirring, until thickened. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. If you have used blackberries you may want to force the filling mixture through a sieve to produce a smooth mixture.
5. Spread the hearts without the cut-out with the jam filling, then top each with a cut-out shape. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

The biscuits will keep for 4 days before being filled, but after you have filled them you should eat them that day.