Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baking Update

Today was a very disappointing baking day.. I set out to buy my ingredients for a Hallowe'en themed lemon bundt cake. Everything bought and laid out on the counter, I decided that if I made two lemon bundt cakes and put one on top of the other, and then covered the whole thing in orange icing, it would look like a pumpkin.

The disasters started when I had finished making the mixture, which I had doubled. I mean there was a lot of mixture. Like, 450g of butter, 600g was all a little extreme and unplanned...

I looked in the cupboard and realised that we didn't have a bundt cake tin like I thought we had.. So I sat there with my huge bowl of doubled cake mixture, enough for two big bundt cakes, feeling like a failure. A tad dramatic, yes. But I had so been looking forward to a big cake pumpkin. Not pumpkin cake, because that would be like there was pumpkin in the cake. Though if you are interested in cake with pumpkin in it, there are hundreds of recipes floating around the place. Those crazy americans and their holiday baking obsessions.

So yeah, that was my disappointing baking day. I ended up just putting the mixture in two loaf tins and now I have two rather large lemon cakes and no purpose for them.

Moral of the story:
Before you embark on an extravagant and ambitious baking adventure, make sure you have EVERYTHING you will need. And don't get too carried away with ambitious ideas without thinking logically.
Lesson learned :/

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Two-Minute Microwave Chocolate Pudding

Today I came home from my first day at a new waitressing job and after watching people all day eating amazing chocolate fudge cake and lemon slices with creamy cups of cappuccinos, I was craaaving sugar.

So I went straight to and found the answer to my chocolate prayers <3

It's way too easy for how good it tastes. Which scares me, only because I'll be too tempted to make it like, everyday.

So here it is, my slightly re-invented microwave chocolate pudding.

You will need:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar (I tried this using muscovado sugar too and it was waaay too rich. Not recommended!)
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
A pinch of salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I actually used melted butter, but you could use either)
2 Tbsp milk, coffee or water

1. In a heatproof mug or ramekin, stir together the dry ingredients with a fork until no lumps remain. Stir in the oil and milk until you have a thick paste.

2. Microwave on high for a minute, checking it after 30 seconds. It will be done when it’s springy on top but still a bit gooey; or you could just take it out whenever it reaches your desired level of solid cakey-ness.

3. Serve warm with ice-cream or cream. I added a teaspoon of Bonne Maman Confiture du Lait, which is like a caramel sauce. Have never seen it in Ireland, but it could be substituted with any gooey yummy nutella. Or whatever.

-SUPER fast for a quick chocolate fix.
-Ridiculously easy.
-Doesn't require any particularly unusual ingredients, they're pretty much all things that you would have already.
-Tastes so good.

-Extremely rich, especially with no ice cream or cream.
-Would probably require two hours on a treadmill
-If you leave it for a while and don't eat it immediately, it goes kind of dry and...solid. When it gets to this consistency, it is impossible to get out of the mugs. I learned this the hard way.

In other news, I made a Toblerone cake last week for my Grandad's 76th birthday, Toblerone's his favourite. So that recipe will be up in the next while..

If you use any of my recipes, comment on the post and let me know how it turns out.
Bethany xo

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gerald Berry cupcakes

At 2.40pm on Monday the 17th of January 2011, Ms. Dowzard's 6th year Music class will sit a class test on Gerald Barry's Piano Quartet no.1 and then after the test, we will never be subjected to the torturous piece ever again.

So, we are having a party to celebrate and I have decided to make Gerald Berry cupcakes for the occasion..

If you too would like to have a Gerald Barry party, you might enjoy this recipe. Though I hope for everyone's sake, we will be the only people to ever have a Gerald Barry party.

The recipe I am basing this on is Nigella Lawson's fairy cakes recipe from "How to be a Domestic Goddess", which is the most beat-up torn apart book in our kitchen. The fairy cake page is sticky and dirty, I've used it so many times.

Gerald Berry cupcakes
(makes 12)

125g unsalted butter, softened but NOT melted
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
110g self-raising flour
100g freeze-dried berries
(you can buy them in health food stores or you can do what I did, and pick all the berries out of the Special K red berries box)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of milk

200g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate

A few drops of pink/red food colouring

1. Preheat the oven to 200*C/gas mark 6.
2. Put the butter, sugar, eggs and flour into a large bowl and blitz with a hand mixer until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk to make for a soft, dropping consistency.
3. Meanwhile, put the freeze dried berries into a food processor, and whizz them all up into a fine powder. Add the powder to the fairy cake batter and use a wooden spoon to gently and evenly mix it all together :)
4. Spoon the misture into a tin filled with 12 cupcake cases and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Test with a skewer just to make sure (you won't be able to judge them by golden-brown-ness like normal, because they will be red :P)
5. When cooked, remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
6. Meanwhile, fill two small saucepans with water and brin to the boil. Chop up the white and milk chocolate and put them in separate bowls (one white choc bowl, one milk choc bowl). Put the bowls on top of each saucepan and stir until the chocolate has melter. It has just occurred to me that regular people have microwaves, so you could just melt them in the microwave. I don't have one though.
7. When the fairy cakes are cool enough to hold for longer than a few seconds, carefully spoon a bit of milk chocolate onto each cake, spreading it evenly on top as if it were icing. Decorate as you please with the white chocolate, but to fit in with me Gerald Barry them, I'm used a cocktail stick to write the names of compositional and instrumental techniques used in the piano quartet. I'm a bit OCD about it but no ones going to complain if theres just a splodge of white chocolate on your cake.