Time for an incredible Harry Potter Cake

Harry Potter Cake

No I did not make this cake, but I saw it in the window at Patisserie La Reine in Broadmead in Bristol. I like the book form they have used, and have not gone for a simple closed book, it actually looks like an open book too. They have managed to catch the character of the sorting hat, though does a hat even have character? My only thought was why did they choose that colour?

Time for a rainbow cake

rainbow cake

Last year my daughter and I baked my wife a birthday cake. As my daughter is coeliac, it was gluten free. This was a great success.

For my daughter’s birthday I decided to bake her a cake. Last time we baked five different coloured cakes using Dr. Oetker’s Colouring Gel.

This time I decided to go with seven layers and used colouring gel from Aldi, which worked just as well as Dr. Oetker’s giving us bright strong colours.

Recipe

Take one egg and put this on your balance scale.

Weigh out an egg weight of caster sugar.

Same weight of soft butter.

Cream the sugar and butter.

Before adding the egg, weigh out an egg weight of Gluten Free self-raising flour, then add two eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and add some vanilla essence. Now add the colouring gel, we added a fair bit to have a strong colour.

We had a

Red cake using red colouring gel.

Blue cake using blue colouring gel.

Pink cake using pink colouring gel.

Orange cake using yellow colouring gel with a hint of red gel.

Violet cake using red and blue gels.

Green cake using blue and yellow gels.

Yellow cake using just the yellow colouring gel.

Mix the egg, gel, essence into the creamed sugar and butter.

Then fold in the flour, until the mixture is smooth.

You could add a little milk if you want to have a smoother batter.

The cake mixture was spread into a lined six inch cake tin and baked at 180℃ for about 15 minutes.

The cakes were left to cool and then the cake was built with a whipped cream and strawberry jam filling.

This is where things started to go wrong, as the cake was built it appeared to be stable and then it all started to slide apart. I managed to stabilise the cake with a wooden skewer, but lots of the cream had splurged out the sides. So I then tried to fix things by using a palette knife to spread the cream on the sides of the cake. This did not work and the cake looked a real mess…

I did dust the cake with icing sugar and then we presented the cake with flaming indoor fireworks. I was unable to cut the seven layers as single slice, so we took off the top four layers and put that on a separate plate and cut that into slices.

Though it looked messy, it was very light and very tasty.

Rainbow Cake

rainbow cake

My daughter and I baked my wife a birthday cake. As my daughter is coeliac, it is gluten free.

So we baked five different coloured cakes using Dr. Oetker’s Colouring Gel.

Recipe

Take one egg and put this on your balance scale.

Weigh out an egg weight of caster sugar.

Same weight of soft butter.

Cream the sugar and butter.

Before adding the egg, weigh out an egg weight of Gluten Free self-raising flour, then add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture and add some vanilla essence. Now add the colouring gel, we added a fair bit to have a strong colour.

We had a

Red cake using red colouring gel.

Blue cake using blue colouring gel.

Pink cake using pink colouring gel.

Orange cake using strong yellow colouring gel with a hint of red gel.

Violet cake using red and blue gels.

Mix the egg, gel, essence into the creamed sugar and butter.

Then fold in the flour, until the mixture is smooth.

You could add a little milk if you want to have a smoother batter.

The cake mixture was spread into a six inch cake tin and baked at 180℃ for about 15 minutes.

The cakes were left to cool and then the cake was built with a whipped cream and strawberry jam filling, dusted with icing sugar and served with sugar flowers.

Sorry, they also look disgusting…

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icing.

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icin.g

That whole combination really doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe that is the point..

In my previous blog post I said I wasn’t going to buy any, however on a visit to London, my sister-in-law bought some for the children as a Halloween tweet.

Now I didn’t eat any, but my son who did, said he enjoyed it, but then it probably just tasted of sugar! What put me off (apart from all the sugar) was that the combination of green sponge and black icing, meant after they were bitten into, they actually looked like they were mouldy French Fancies!

…and that may be the point!

Sorry, these sound disgusting…

Sorry, these sound disgusting…

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icing.

…and that may be the point!

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icing.

That whole combination really doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe that is the point.. though I suspect they will taste like other Kipling cakes with just a hint of orange, with the usual over sugared taste explosion.

The name also annoys me, well that I am sure the grammar is wrong. In the box there are eight fancies. If these are hat fancies then surely one on its own would be a witch’s hat fancy. As witches is the plural of witch, then eight witches is fine, but I do think eight hats would be eight witch’s hats. Though is this like courts martial (the plural of court martial) as a result it’s eight witches hat, but that doesn’t sound right.. Adding fancies onto the end seems to worsen the situation. Personally I think it should be eight witch’s hat fancies, or am I wrong and Mr Kipling is right?

Did I buy them?

No!

Simple Cupcakes

Cake mixture

This is my recipe for quick and easy cup cakes.

Take one egg, now I use a traditional scale so the next bit is easy for me, weigh out identical amounts of soft butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour. I place the egg where I would usually put the weights and then weigh out the butter, sugar and flour. If you have a more modern scale, then weigh the egg, note the weight and then weigh the other ingredients.

This makes about ten small cupcakes, so to make more add more eggs and add more flour, sugar and butter accordingly.

Cream the butter and sugar together until you get a smooth mixture. Add the egg, a tablespoon of milk, a few drops of vanilla extract and one tablespoon of flour. Mix together. Then fold in the flour and half a teaspoon of baking powder until the flour is mixed into the mixture.

Spoon into cupcake cases and bake in the oven for about ten to fifteen minutes.

Allow to cool and then ice to taste.

Very easy to make variations on this, to make chocolate ones add a tablespoon of cocoa, you could also fold in some chocolate chips.

I’ve also made marbled versions by making one batch of plain mixture and one chocolate and then add combinations of the mixture to the cupcake cases.

Not quite Chocolate Brownies

Homemade Chocolate Brownies

When the kids want to bake we usually make small cakes, however this time we decided to make chocolate brownies. However things didn’t go quite to plan as we didn’t have all the necessary ingredients.

The basis for my recipe was this one from BBC Food.

Ingredients for twenty brownies

375g/13oz butter, plus extra for greasing
375g/13oz dark chocolate
6 free-range eggs
350g/12oz caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
225g/8oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
250g/9oz white chocolate, chopped
2 tsp icing sugar

The problem we had was that the only chocolate we had in the house was milk chocolate, oh and we only had three eggs!

In the end I decided to use the following ingredients.

6½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
6½oz milk chocolate
3 free-range eggs
6oz caster sugar
½ tbsp vanilla extract
4oz plain flour
4oz milk chocolate chopped

I preheated my oven to 180°C.

I put some baking sheet and greased it with some butter before placing it in a baking tin.

Placing a bowl on a saucepan of simmering water I added the butter and the milk chocolate.

Once this had melted, I set it aside to cool slightly. I whisked up in another bowl the eggs sugar and vanilla extract. I added the butter and chocolate mixture and whisked this up.

I then folded in the flour until it was combined and then stirred in the chopped chocolate.

I poured the mixture into the baking tin and baked it in the oven for about 25 minutes.

After letting it cool for a while, but whilst the brownies were still warm I cut it into squares.

Not quite like proper brownies, but still very nice.

Chocolate Cake

The recipe for this delicious chocolate cake is from the BBC Good Food magazine.

Ingredients

175g softened butter , plus extra for greasing

175g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

140g self-raising flour

85g ground almonds

½ tsp baking powder

100ml milk

4 tbsp cocoa powder

50g plain chocolate chips or chunks few extra chunks white, plain and milk chocolate , for decorating

Making CakeHeat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with a long strip of baking parchment. To make the loaf cake batter, beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, milk and cocoa until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 45-50 mins until golden, risen and a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tin, then lift out onto a wire rack over some kitchen paper. Melt the extra chocolate chunks separately in pans over barely simmering water, or in bowls in the microwave, then use a spoon to drizzle each in turn over the cake. Leave to set before slicing.

I found that I needed to cook it for longer than 45 mins, taking about an hour in the end. I also split the mixture between two loaf tins.

Thorntons Caramel Shortcakes

Though I like caramel shortcakes, they can be a bit rich and sickly. When I saw these Thorntons Caramel Shortcakes on special I decided to give them a try.

They are smaller than your average shortcakes, caramel and a layer of chocolate. As a result you don’t feel so icky when you have one (or two).

I much prefer them chilled, they are less sickly and the chocolate goes all hard and adds a nice crunch as you bite into them.

Thorntons also do flapjacks and brownies in the same range, however I’ve not tried the flapjack, the brownies aren’t too bad, but don’t come close to the caramel shortcakes.

Cakes

These cupcakes (or fairy cakes) are based on a recipe for a traybake cake.

Ingredients

250g softened butter , plus extra for greasing
280g self-raising flour
250g golden caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
4 eggs
150ml creme frache – the recipe calls for yoghurt, but I didn’t have any.
1 tsp vanilla extract
handful of choc chips

To make the sponge batter, beat the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, creme frache and the vanilla in a large bowl with an electric whisk until lump-free. Stir in the choc chips. Spoon into the tin, then bake for 15-20 mins until golden and risen and a skewer poked in comes out clean.