Sweet Pear Sponge

For my bake this week I decided to turn back to one of my favourite recipe books. I love the Marks & Spencers Simply Baking book because its recipes use ingredients that most of us have in our cupboard home. Since I was unable to decide which recipe was my favourite, I decided to start from the beginning with this sweet pear sponge.

INGREDIENTS
175g/6 oz butter, softened
175g/6 oz soft brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150g/5½ oz self-raising flour, sifted
15g/½ oz cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
2 small pears, peeled, cored & sliced

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, ensuring the shelving is centre. Grease and line a 23cm/8inch loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. In a bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until pale and creamy.

DSCF3714

3. Gradually add the beaten eggs. Ensure that you beat the mix throughly as steadily add the eggs.

4. Sieve the self-raising flour and cocoa powder into the cake batter and folder gently until the ingredients are combined.

5. Stir in the milk.

DSCF3715

6. Spoon the mixture into your prepared cake tin. Smooth the top with a spoon or knife.

7. Arrange the pear slices on top.

DSCF3716

(Hopefully you’ll do a better job at slicing the pears than I did!)

DSCF3717

8. Bake in the centre of the oven for roughly 1 hour or until the cake is firm to touch.

9. Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack.

DSCF3718

DSCF3726

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Recipe from Simply Baking at M&S |

Unfortunately, since the book is a little old now, I’m unable to point you in the direction of this specific book, however if you are looking for a new recipe book, I’d highly recommend that you check out the M&S baking range.

| Previous Recipe White Chocolate Blondies |

Advertisements

White Chocolate Blondies

Recently I’ve seen lots of recipes across the blogging world for blondies. I must admit, prior to seeing these posts, I had never heard of a blondie! From what I can tell, a blondie simply is a brownie but without the chocolate. It really makes sense when you think about it! Anyway these were really yummy and a nice change to your usual chocolate brownie. However, the only thing that disappointed me was that the white chocolate sank to the bottom of the brownie so I didn’t get the perfect brownie with the chocolate evenly dispersed as I had imagine. Nevertheless, from my research, a tip is to supposedly dust the chocolate in flour before you add it to the cake batter. Perhaps keep that in mind!

INGREDIENT
225g Caster Sugar
4 Large Eggs
225g Butter, melted
150g Plain Flour, sifted
200g White Chocolate, chopped

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Grease and line, ideally a 20cm baking tin.

2. Beat together the sugar and eggs until pale.

DSCF3679

3. Melt the butter and gradually add to the sugar and eggs a little at a time.

4. Sift in the flour and fold with a metal spoon.

DSCF3680

(Don’t panic if your mixture looks like this! Keep going!)

5. Chop up the chocolate and carefully fold into the batter.

DSCF3683

6. Pour into the tin making sure the chocolate is evenly distributed. (I saved a little chocolate back to add on top once the batter was in the tin) Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

DSCF3684

DSCF3686

7. Leave to cool in the tin before removing. Cut into squares and dust with a little icing sugar.

DSCF3690

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe by Sainsburys | | Previous Recipe Jam & Cream Butterfly Cakes |

| Follow on Facebook Bake With Me Blog |

Coconut Bars

Now I say Coconut bars, but to be honest, they turned out more like boulders – nothing like the nice neat bars I had visioned on creating. Nevertheless, these coconut bars were creamy and delicious, best served straight from the fridge.  When it comes to covering them in chocolate, it does get a little messy, but that’s just part of the fun, right?!

INGREDIENTS
200g Desiccated Coconut
397g Condensed Milk
300g Milk Chocolate

METHOD 

1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. In a bowl, mix together the desiccated coconut and condensed milk.

3. Take small handfuls of the mixture and shape into bars.

photo 1-5

4. Place in the fridge to harden up slightly before covering with chocolate. (I left mine for an hour but 30 minutes should be fine)

5. Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or over a hob, making sure the bowl avoids touching the water. Once melted, spoon the melted chocolate over the bars and place back on the grease proofed baking tray.

photo 2-5

6. Place back in the fridge for half an hour or until completely set.

photo-19

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Homemade Bounty Bars | | Previous Recipe Maltesers Cupcakes |

| Follow on Facebook Bake With Me Blog |

Malteser Cupcakes

These Maltesers Cupcakes are such a fun idea and a perfect treat this weekend. Despite the original recipe having vanilla buttercream, I went with chocolate because in my eyes, the more chocolate, the better!

INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes:-
200g Unsalted Butter, Softened
150g Caster Sugar
50g Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Essence
4 Medium Eggs
200g Plain Flour
10g Baking Powder
Pinch of salt
80g Maltesers, Crushed

Chocolate Buttercream:
110g Unsalted Butter, Softened
170g Icing Sugar, Sifted
55g Cocoa Powder, Sifted
1-2 tbsp Milk
Maltesers

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 4, ensuring the shelving is centre. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.

2. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.

3. Add the vanilla essence.

4. Begin alternating between adding the flour and the eggs. Mix until smooth.

DSCF3622

5. Add the baking powder and salt. Stir in the crushed Maltesers.

6. Equally divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

7. For the buttercream, cream together the softened butter and icing sugar.

8. Add in the cocoa powder and gradually add the milk.

9. Either spoon or pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake and decorate each with Maltesers.

DSCF3625

DSCF3626

I’d recommend you eating these pretty sharpish – just because the maltesers tend to go a little off over time. But they’re so delicious, I’m sure you won’t have any problems finding someone to eat them!

DSCF3632

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Lorraine Pascale Malteser Cupcakes |

| Previous Recipe Honey Cake |

| Follow Bake With Me Blog on Facebook |

Raspberry Bakewell Cake

I absolutely love bakewell cake. You may have seen a previous post of mine where I raved about this Cherry Bakewell recipe. Therefore I thought I’d look for another recipe with similar flavours but slightly different. This one I found was SO incredibly easy and it makes a great dessert or is just as good on it’s own to have with your afternoon tea. Plus, it has raspberries in, so we can count that as one of your five-a-day too!

INGREDIENTS
140g Ground Almonds
140g Butter, softened
140g Golden Caster Sugar
140g Self-Raising Flour
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
250g Raspberries
2 tbsp Flaked Almonds
Icing Sugar, dusting

METHOD

1. Grease and line a deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.

2. Either using an electric whisk or food processor, blitz together the ground almonds, butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract until throughly combined.

3. Pour half the mixture in the cake tin and smooth. Scatter the raspberries evenly over the mix before dolloping the remaining mix over the raspberries. Roughly smooth the mixture out. Scatter with the flaked almonds.

4. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

DSCF3522

DSCF3523

5. Leave to cool in the tin. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

DSCF3524

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe BBC Good Food | Previous Recipe Tottenham Cake |

| Bake With Me Blog on Facebook |

Tottenham Cake

One of the most popular posts on my blog so far has been my recipe on the Tottenham Cake. Having seen the cake appear on The Great British Bake Off last year, I was surprised and delighted to see my views rocket as people began to search for the recipe. To this day, it remains my most viewed post. However, with it being one of the very first I had ever written, I realise now that not only is the teeny-tiny photo taken on my iPod of a shocking quality, but the writing is incredibly cheesy.  Therefore, using some of the comments you guys have given me about the cake, as well as taking the time to adjust the recipe slightly and taking much better photos for the post, here is my new take on the Tottenham Cake.

TOTTENHAM CAKE

tottenham cake

INGREDIENTS
CAKE
8oz Unsalted Butter, Softened
8oz Caster Sugar
8oz Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
4 Eggs
Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence

ICING
6oz Icing Sugar (Roughly! You may need slightly more, slightly less, depending on the size of your cake)
25ml Water (Again, judge as you make the icing how much water you’ll need)
Splash of Pink Food Colouring
Desiccated Coconut

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 or 160°C, ensuring the shelving is centre. Grease and line a rectangular or square tin. (The tin I used was an 11×7 inch rectangular tin, but as long as at the end you can cut you’re cake into squares, any tin will do!)

2. Cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Gradually alternate between sifting in the flour and adding the eggs.

4. Add in the vanilla essence and stir until the batter is combined.

5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. (Depending on you’re size tray, I definitely recommend that you keep and eye on it!)

5. Once baked, leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack.

6. Mix together the icing sugar and water. Add a splash of pink food colouring for a light-ish pink icing.

DSCF3432

7. Generously spread over the cake, (I’d recommend using a hot palette knife to help the icing spread smoothly) and finally decorate with the desiccated coconut.

DSCF3434

8. Leave the icing to set before cutting into equal squares.

DSCF3438

DSCF3436

A little history…

  • According to a Tottenham Hotspur fan site, the Tottenham Cake derives from baker Henry Chalkley who originally sold these pink spongy squares at the price of an old penny.
  • Whilst the squares were most popular, the smaller odd-shaped pieces of cake were sold for half a penny.
  • What makes the Tottenham Cake so recognisable is the pink icing. Thought to be made pink by the mulberries which were found growing at the Tottenham Friends burial ground.
  • Contrastingly, the Quakers coloured the icing using mulberries as they believed in frugal living. The Tottenham friends rather referring to the FC, in fact refers to The Friends Meeting House in the area and would be the place where the Quakers met. Therefore, making the cake much older.
  • Although not directly linked with the football team, it is suggested by Ted Willis that in 1901, the Tottenham cake was given away for free (!) to local children to celebrate the Spurs’ FA Cup victory.

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe Salted Caramel Cupcakes |

| Facebook Bake With Me Blog |

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

As you may know, every now and then I like to try out some of the cake mixes available on the high street. Even though I always say that baking your own is better, some of the packet mixes out there can be just as good and great if you’re new to baking or simply haven’t got the time to bake entirely from scratch. This week whilst shopping in Sainsbury’s, I spotted these Salted Caramel Cupcakes. Having seen that they were new to their baking range, I decided to test them out!

DSCF3517

Salted caramel sounds incredibly bizarre to me.  The idea of having salt in or on a cake completely puts me off – salt and sweet should definitely not mix! Nevertheless, seeing as I often see recipes for these online I thought I’d give them a go. Obviously I knew that when I baked them they wouldn’t completely taste of salt but that’s just all I could imagine!

The cake itself was delicious, just enough mixture in the box to fill all 6 cupcakes mind. Nevertheless, they were deliciously toffee flavoured, light, fluffy and incredibly easy to make,with you simply needing to add water and one egg. For the frosting I had plenty of buttercream for all 6 cupcakes. I sometimes worry with packet mixes that when I pipe the icing, I’ll run out. I always start my piping sparingly yet by the last cupcake, I have way too much frosting left and as a result, the last cupcake always has way to much. Luckily, this was not the case with these, I had a good amount to evenly divide the buttercream between the cupcakes, giving each a generous swirl.

Included in this mixture was also a caramel syrup and fudge pieces for decoration. Completely ignoring the instructions I used cold water to make the syrup instead of hot as advised. I’m not sure what difference it would have made to have use hot water, but since the frosting is butter, I was worried that the heat would spoil the decoration. Unfortunately, my syrup didn’t drizzle as spectacularly as the picture on the box, just a few blobs here and there. I do however think that it was in fact the syrup which had the slightly salted flavour. When you lick your lips after, there is a slight salty taste but it completely works with the cake. I think the fudge pieces add a nice fun feel to these cupcakes and make them look homemade. There is more than enough fudge to decorate your cupcakes with and maybe even a few spare for you to cheekily eat along the way.

Overall, costing just £2.00 in Sainsburys, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, they’re well worth buying, just to pass an hour or so on a rainy day – which if you’re in the UK right now, it most probably will be!

DSCF3513

DSCF3514

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe American Cookies |

| Facebook Bake With Me Blog |