5/30/2013

Scones with mascarpone

I'm on a quest to find the perfect scone. I've tried recipes from various people - Delia, Mary Berry, Nigella etc but still haven't found one that really makes me feel - yes, that's it!
Trying out yet another recipe today, one I've made before, I decided to try using some mascarpone as well as milk to make it more moist. I also used soft light brown sugar instead of my usual caster sugar. Would this be my perfect scone?
Here's my adapted recipe:

340g sr flour
1 tspn baking powder
80g butter in pieces
2 tbpsn soft light brown sugar
80g mascarpone
90ml milk
1 beaten egg to glaze the tops

Preheat oven 190C/gas 6-7
I used a silicone mat on my baking sheet, but a dusting of flour on a sheet would be fine.

Put the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar in a food processor and blitz till breadcrumbs. Add the mascarpone and blitz for a couple of seconds. If you don't want to use a processor just rub the fat into the flour and sugar then rub in the mascarpone. Tip this mixture into a bowl, make a well and add the milk. Use a knife to mix and your hands to bring it all together. Don't overwork it.
Roll out gently to about 2 cm thick, then cut out rounds with a 6cm fluted or plain cutter.
Brush tops with the beaten egg and bake for 10-12 mins till golden and risen. Cool on a wire rack.


I was very happy with the result; they rose and had lovely golden colour.I just gently broke them apart and buttered them and added home made strawberry jam, but no cream! They were really soft and the brown sugar gave them a lovely taste, but they weren't too sweet. I'll certainly make them again, but my search for my perfect scone continues.









5/26/2013

White chocolate and rhubarb muffins


At long last our rhubarb plants in the garden have got their act together and produced a decent amount of fruit. I made a crumble and a cake, both of which I put in the freezer, and wanted to use up the last pieces. This is my dil's favourite muffin recipe - not with rhubarb and chocolate, but she loves blueberries and raspberries. I found the addition of Greek yoghurt rather unusual, as I usually use milk.
I was going to just make rhubarb muffins, then found I had some white chocolate to use up; it's a good combination.


80g butter
150g sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
100ml Greek yoghurt
225g flour + 1 tspn baking powder
400g rhubarb chopped into small pieces
150g white chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven 200C/gas6
Filla 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases

Beat butter and sugar together.
Add the beaten eggs, vanilla extract and yoghurt and gently combine.
Fold in the flour and then add the rhubarb and chocolate. Blend together thoroughly, but don't overmix.
Spoon into the paper cases and bake for about 20 mins.





A change from my usual recipe with oil. The Greek yoghurt makes them moist, and the muffins have a good texture, with a good contrast between the chunks of chocolate and the soft pieces of rhubarb. They're quite sweet, but this is balanced by the tartness of the rhubarb. I'll certainly make these again.


5/14/2013

Key Lime Mousse Cake

The title is not quite correct because I couldn't find any Key limes! I've made this cake before using oranges, which were the fruit used in the original recipe.It's  from Woman's Weekly magazine, but when I don't know, as it's in my recipe folder. I thought I'd try it with limes, and it turned out well. It's a thick layer of mousse, and it's definitely a dessert cake, rather than a cake to have with a cuppa.
I haven't used the original cake recipe either this time, as I wanted to make a Victoria sandwich.

175g butter
400g caster sugar- 175g for the cake
3 eggs
175g sr flour
1 tspn baking powder
400ml double cream
250g mascarpone cheese
juice and rind of 5 limes
juice of a small orange
1 tbspn gelatine powder
icing sugar to dust
if you want the filling really green, you can use a few drops of green colouring, which I did.

Preheat oven 160C/gas 3
Grease and line a 23cm springform tin.
Beat the butter and 175g of the sugar together till it's creamy and fluffy using a hand mixer. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating between each one. Stir in the flour and baking powder gently and then spoon the mixture into the tin.
Bake for 30-35 mins. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 mins and then turnit onto a wire rack.
For the filling - beat the remaining 225g of sugar with the cream, mascarpone, lime juice and zest and the orange juice to a smooth cream using a hand mixer.
Put 2 tbspn of water in a bowl over a half full pan of simmering water. Sprinkle over the gelatine and stir till it's dissolved. Don't overheat it or the gelatine won't set properly, as I discovered the first time I made it!
Stir the gelatine into the filling mixture and add the green colouring if you want. Beat the mixture again.
Cut the cake in half (horizontally!), clip the side back on the cake tin and put the bottom of the cake in the tin. Spoon the filling on top then put on the top layer of cake. Put in the fridge for 2 hours, then put onto a plate and dust with icing sugar.




I'd forgotten just how much filling there was, and I think maybe I'll try just half the quantity next time.
The mousse laye is refreshing and luxurious, but I think its a bit overwhelming. I'd like a bit more cake.
I like the idea of this cake, and think I'm going to try it with raspberries next time.


5/01/2013

Fried egg biscuits - a fun bake

On Sunday May 19th it's World Baking Day and there's some great baking recipes to try. Just found it by chance.
http://worldbakingday.com/#/en-gb/recipes

I've mentioned before, that from time to time I bake with one of my grandsons. For some reason he really loves apricots, and he wanted to bake something using them. In a very old 'Blue Peter' activity book, from when my children were young, we found a recipe for these biscuits. They're quirky and T. loved making them, as they had apricots on them.

We made 12 biscuits, and T went home with the recipe [and most of the biscuits!] to make them with his Mum.

150g plain flour
7g [about 21/2 tspns] vanilla sugar or 1 packet [or you could use caster sugar and some vanilla extract]
pinch salt
150g cornflour
150g butter - cold and cut into pieces
250g tin of apricots in syrup
75g icing sugar
1 tspn or so of lemon juice

Preheat oven 200C/gas6
Grease a baking tray.

Mix the 2 flours, vanilla sugar and salt together in a bowl and rub in the butter.
Knead together to make a nice smooth dough.
Leave this in the fridge for 1 hour.
Roll out the pastry and cut out circles with a cutter. Press the centre of the biscuit gently then add an apricot half [drained].
Put onto the baking tray and bake for 25 mins, then leave to cool.
Make up the icing by beating the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thickish icing.
Spread the icing around the 'fried eggs'.



 Great fun to make, and the biscuits themselves aren't sweet, which contrasts with the icing and the sweet apricot.