Showing posts from January, 2015

A Coffee Cake

There are times when you just want something nice to have with your cuppa or coffee. This isn't a cake with coffee in it, but is an American cake suitable for eating with coffee, or at least I presume that's what a coffee cake is for!. It's the filling that makes this cake - I used some dark chocolate chopped up, but you could use some nuts - chopped walnuts or pecans.  It come from a charity shop book I bought ages ago called ' Cakes my Mom used to make'. I've made this cake several times, and have adapted the recipe to suit what I wanted.  I make it in a 23cm Bundt tin, so it's a big cake. Preheat oven 180C/gas4 For the filling: Mix together 170g dark brown sugar, 1 tbspn cinnamon, 1 tbspn cocoa powder, 160g chopped dark chocolate or chopped nuts. For the cake: 220g butter, 225g caster sugar, 1 tspn vanilla extract, 3 eggs, 350g plain flour plus 1 tbspn baking powder and 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda, 500ml sour cream or crème fraiche, icing suga

Crumbly Cranberry Cheesecake Pie

The idea for this cheesecake came about because I had a punnet of cranberries and some cream cheese to use up, so I thought of a cheesecake. Crumble toppings seem to be in fashion and this would give an extra dimension to the dessert. So, there's a pastry crust, then the cheesecake, the cranberry layer then a final crumble layer. The cranberry layer has the same consistency as cranberry sauce, so you could use a jar of sauce instead of fresh cranberries. Preheat oven 180C/gas4       23cm tart or pie tin To make the cranberry filling - put   250g cranberries in a pan with 6tbspn granulated sugar, 1/2 tspn lemon zest, 1 tspn lemon juice and 120ml water. Bring to the boil on medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer for about 10 mins till cranberries are soft; leave to cool. To make the crumb base and topping - mix together 175g plain flour, 100g sugar, 1/2 tspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn salt ; add115g butter cut into dice and rub together till breadcrumbs. Take out about 50g cr

Chocolate and Pear Tartlets

My turn to host Book Group, so thought I'd make tartlets rather than a cake. Found a small tin of pears in the cupboard that needed using, hence the idea for these tartlets. I love any chocolate and pear combo, so this would be the base. So, a pastry shell filled with an almond cream, slices of pear, then a creamy chocolate topping. I used 2 pears from a tin of pears in juice, but you could use fresh pears which have been poached in a sugar syrup. I made a sweet sc pastry with 150g flour, 50g caster sugar, 75g butter, 1 egg yolk and 1-2tbsp water, but you could make the pastry without the sugar if you prefer. You don't need to be told how to make this pastry, but put it in the fridge for about an hour before you use it. Roll this out to about 2mm thick then cut out circles with a cutter to fit your tart tin. It makes 12; prick bases with a fork then put in the fridge. For the almond cream , in a bowl mix  together 50g ground almonds with 50g icing sugar, 40g soft butt

Two Galettes - Apple and Cinnamon and Raspberry and Almond

January is the month for Galettes.  Usually I make the traditional Galette de Rois, puff pastry with a lovely almond cream filling [there's a recipe on here for one],  but I decided to try something different. I had some apples and raspberries to use up, so decided to make an apple and cinnamon one, and a raspberry and almond one. Cinnamon and apple are a marriage made in heaven for me, but wasn't sure about almonds with raspberries, but it turned out well. Using bought butter puff pastry makes them so quick and easy to make. The French bought puff pastry comes in a round, very useful for making tarts etc. I haven't found any round ones here. For the apple and cinnamon one: You need 2 sheets of puff pastry or a 500g slab, 4 apples [ I used Granny Smith], 100g caster sugar, about 50g apple purée [I used a jar of ready made from Lidl ], 1 egg and 1 tbspn of cinnamon. 1 china bean or dried bean as a fève. Preheat oven 180C/gas4 Line a baking she

Gateau Nantais

After all the indulgences of Christmas and the New Year, I thought I'd make a simple cake. The addition of rum makes it a bit different, and as I brought a bottle back from France, this is a good way of using some of it.  Doing some research about the origins of the rum, I found that in the 18th century it was very popular in Nantes, and came in on the trading ships from the Caribbean. The cake is perfumed, dense, moist and has a hint of almond, and to enhance the rum flavour, the traditional white icing is usually made with rum instead of water.  The cake: Preheat oven 180C/gas 4             Grease and base line a 23cm cake tin Beat 220g of room temperature butter with 250g caster sugar till white and fluffy. Gradually add 80g of sr flour, 200g ground almonds and 4 tbspn rum. Mix together thoroughly. One by one beat in 4 eggs. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 30-40 mins till golden. Cool on a wire rack. Icing: 3 tbspn icing sugar mixed with enough rum or wat