Apple Dessert Cake

You can never go wrong with a Mary Berry recipe. So when I was recently put in charge of preparing dessert for a family meal, I turned straight to Mary for ideas. After reading that her Apple Dessert Cake is ‘remarkably easy,’ I knew this recipe was the one. Plus, the cake has apples in, and apples are one of your five-a-day.

APPLE DESSERT CAKE Apple Dessert Cake

INGREDIENTS
225g self-raising flour, sifted
1 level tsp baking powder
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp almond extract
150g butter, melted
250g cooking apples, peeled and cored (2 apples should be enough)
25g flaked almonds
Sprinkle of icing sugar (optional)

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Lightly grease a deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, eggs, almond extract and melted  butter in a bowl. Mix well and beat for roughly a minute or so.

3. Cut the apples into thick slices.

4. Spread half the cake mixture into the tin. Then place the apples in the centre of the batter, trying your best to keep them in the centre. Cover the apples with the remaining mixture.

5. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

6. Bake in the centre of the oven for  1¼ to 1½ hours, until golden and the cake is beginning to come away from the sides of the tin.

7. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving warm with cream or ice-cream.

Apple Dessert Cake

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Mary Berry Apple Dessert Cake |

| Previous Recipe Christmas Cupcakes |

Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas day is less than 24 hours away now and festive cooking is well under way in my house. The vegetables are peeled and ready to go, the turkey is on the side defrosting. So with a little spare time on my hands, I thought I’d make some quick and easy Christmas cupcakes.

CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES 

christmas cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, softened
25ml whole milk
Couple of drops of vanilla extract

Decoration 
Anything Christmassy!

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3. Place 12 cake cases in a cupcake tray.

2. In a bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Give the ingredients a mix before adding in the butter. Beat using an electric whisk until the mixture is of a sandy consistency. Add roughly half of the milk and mix until completely incorporated.

3. Whisk the egg, vanilla and remainder of the milk in a separate bowl before adding to the flour mixture. Beat until all the ingredient are mixed well and smooth.

4. Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. Whilst the cakes cool, if you’re making frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together. Gradually add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe onto your cupcakes and decorate as you wish.

6. If you’re making plain icing, simply add a little water to your icing sugar and spoon onto your cupcakes.

This is my attempt of a Christmas tree, complete with snowflakes and baubles!

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Gingerbread icing shapes with gold and silver baubles.
(You can buy these in all supermarkets!)

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Finally, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Humming Bird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes |

| Previous Recipe Peppermint Creams |

Peppermint Creams

I remember first making peppermint creams way back in primary school when we made them as a Christmas present. Seeing as we’re well into the festive season, I thought it’d be fun to give these another go, turning a simple sweet into a pretty Christmas gift. They’re perfect to give if you’re on a budget this Christmas or if you simply fancy adding that personal touch to a present, I’d definitely recommend you give these a go, not only do they look cute, but they’re delicious!

PEPPERMINT CREAMS  DSCF3290

INGREDIENTS
1 Egg White
450g/ 1lb Fondant Icing Sugar, plus a little for dusting
1-2 Drops of Peppermint Oil or Essence
Green Food Colouring (optional)
150g Dark Chocolate, good quality, at least 50% cocoa

METHOD

1. In a bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff and peaks form.

2. Gradually sift in the icing sugar and mix until firm.

3. Add one to two drops of peppermint. (The trick is not to add too little, but to also not to add too much! 1-2 drops is plenty!)

4. Add the green colouring to give a food peppermint colour. If not, leave white.

5. On a clean surface, lightly dust with icing sugar and kneed the fondant. Place in a polythene bag and leave at room temperature for one hour.

6. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

7. Roll out the fondant to 5mm thickness. Using a 4cm round cutter, cut approximately 40 circles.

8. Place the rounds on the baking trays and leave in a cool place for 12 hours, or overnight, until completely set and dry.

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9. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until melted.

10. Dip each peppermint round into the chocolate, covering one half of each sweet.

11. Place the sweets back on the backing tray and leave for 1 to 2 hours to set.

12. If giving as a gift, put a handful of sweets in a clear cellophane bag and tie with ribbon.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe by Simple Pleasures |

| Previous Recipe Sausage Danish | Previous Review Chocolate Cupcakes |

Chocolate Cupcakes

After absolutely loving this Lemon Cupcake mix from Tesco a little while ago, I decided to try the same mix but the chocolate version. These were SO delicious with the cake being super soft and moist, and there being plenty of frosting with curls to give a generous portion on each cupcake. As always, they’re not as good as baking you’re own, but they were still pretty good!

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Like the previous mix, these are super easy with you just needing to add an egg, a splash of milk, oil and butter for the frosting. The cakes were a decent size and were easy  to make with you just having to throw all the ingredients in the bowl.  Whilst they were chocolatey, they weren’t too chocolatey which was good, seeing as aside from me, there aren’t many chocoholics in my household! There was more than enough frosting for each cupcake which is surprising for a packet mix and meant I could try out my new star nozzle for the piping!

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Costing just £1.39 in the supermarket, these are definitely worth giving a go. Whether its baking with the children or just if you have an hour spare, you will be thrilled with the cupcakes as a result!

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe Sausage Danish |

Sausage Danish

When I came home from university this week, my Mum was super excited to show me a recipe that she had seen on a BBC programme, where Nigel Slater makes, what she calls ‘posher sausage rolls.’ So this weekend my Mum suggested ‘we’ (meaning me!) give this sausage danish recipe a go. Surprisingly, they were really really easy to make and super yummy. You can’t beat a good sausage roll at Christmas!

SAUSAGE DANISH RECIPE 

Sausage Danish

INGREDIENTS:
375g/13oz Puff Pastry
400g/14oz Sausages
Half An Onion
Generous Serving of Salt
Generous Serving of Pepper
Handful of Flour
1 Egg, Beaten

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry. Leave to stand.

3. Remove the skin from the sausages and place in a bowl.

4. Chop up the onion, add the salt, pepper and mix together.

5. Spread the sausage meat over the pastry, leaving a small border around the edge.

6. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg.

7. With the long end facing you, roll both short sides of the pastry in towards the centre so they meet in the middle, brushing with egg wash as you go.

8. Cut the roll into 8-10 finger thick slices. Place each one flat on a baking tray. Leave a little room between each danish.

9. Brush with a little more egg and then bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

  DSCF3202   DSCF3201

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe BBC Nigel Slater Sausage Danish |

| Previous Recipe Marshmallow Cupcakes |

Marshmallow Cupcakes

You may or may not have heard that marshmallows are making a comeback this season. Filled with nostalgia, a marshmallow cupcake is the perfect treat this winter. These cupcakes (recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery) were delicious, not only are the mini marshmallows super cute, but the melted marshmallow inside is a great surprise!

MARSHMALLOW CUPCAKESMarshmallowCupcake

INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes: 

120g Plain Flour, Sifted
140g Caster Sugar
1½ tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
45g Unsalted Butter, Softened
120ml Whole Milk
1 Egg
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract

Filling: 
12 Medium Marshmallows

Icing:
140g Unsalted Butter, Softened
280g Icing Sugar, Sifted
1 – 2 tbsp Milk
Few Drops of Food Colouring (optional)
200g Mini Marshmallows

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas mark 3, ensuring the shelving is in the centre.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Sift the flour, along with the sugar, baking powder and pinch of salt.

3. Add in the softened butter and beat until combined.

4. Gradually add in the milk.

5. Whisk together the egg and vanilla extract separately before adding to the cake batter.

6. Give all the ingredients a final mix together until combined. Try to not over-mix!

7. Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.

8. Melt the medium marshmallows in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Leave until completely melted and smooth.

9. Hollow out a small section in the centre of each cake and fill with a dollop of the melted marshmallow. Leave to cool. Place the cake top or the ‘cake lid’ back on top.

10. For the frosting, beat together the softened butter and icing sugar until smooth and creamy.

11. Add in the milk if the frosting is too thick. Add the food colouring, if using.

12. Either stir the marshmallows into the icing or pipe a little frosting onto each cupcake and decorate with the mini marshmallows.

 Marshmallow Cake DSCF2893

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe  Hummingbird Bakery Marshmallow Cupcakes |

| Previous Recipe Triple Chocolate Cookies |

Triple Chocolate Cookies

I LOVE a good cookie. They’re one of my favourites. Any kind of cookie will do, they’re just the best! You can’t beat a cup of tea and a cookie!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES 

TripleCookies

INGREDIENTS
200g Unsalted Butter
300g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
275g Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
75g Cocoa Powder
100g White Chocolate Chunks
100g Milk Chocolate Chunks
100g Dark Chocolate Chunks
Splash of Milk

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Grease and line at least two baking trays.

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

3. Add in the egg, and then gradually sift in the flour. Add the cocoa powder.

4. Add in all the chocolate chunks with a generous splash of milk if the mixture is too dry.

5. Combine all the ingredients together.

At this point you may wish to listen to a little One Direction.
(Completely optional, although it is encouraged!)

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6. Roll the mixture into about 12 decent size handfuls and place on a baking tray. Make sure there is space between each cookie as they will get BIG! You don’t want them all stuck together!

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7. Bake in the oven between 12 to 15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to cook them longer as although they’ll be soft when they come out the oven, they will harden as they cool.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Recipe from Vivianna Does Make Up – The Cookie Monster |

Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween will soon be with us once again so to get us all in the mood for the spooky festivities, I thought I’d have a go at baking some Halloween themed cupcakes. Now, I know these cupcakes aren’t perfect, but whose seen a perfect spider web anyway!?

HALLOWEEN CUPCAKES Halloween Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cake
150g Butter, Unsalted
150g Caster Sugar
175g Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
25g Cocoa Powder
3 Eggs

Icing
250g Icing Sugar, Sifted
45ml Water
Icing Pen(s)

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, ensuring the shelving is placed in the centre.

2. Place 12 cake cases in a muffin tin.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, and gradually add each of the eggs.

5. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until risen and a skewer comes out clean.

6. Leave to cool before icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water and give a good mix until well combined and fairly thick.

7. Spoon a little icing onto each cupcake using a teaspoon. Use the back of the spoon to form a neat-ish circle.

8. With the icing pen draw a dot in the centre of the icing. Then draw a circle around this dot in the middle, and then another circle around the middle one. (You’re just drawing three circles!) Then with a toothpick, drag the circles out from the centre to create the spiders web. (You have to be pretty quick with this as the icing will set!)

9. Leave to set before giving out to trick-or-treaters. Or just eat them yourself.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe Lemon Drizzle Loaf |

And before I forget…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

jack-o-lantern

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

This is my favourite recipe EVER. If there is ever an occasion where I’m not sure what cake to make or if I just fancy baking something real quick and easy, this is my go-to cake. The cake itself is really light and moist, but then you get the crunch and sharpness of the crystallised lemon sugar on top. Not only is this cake delicious, but you can cook it in a loaf tin, and I believe that anything you can cook in a loaf tin is always going to be a winner. So, enough talking, lets get on with the recipe!

LEMON DRIZZLE LOAFlemon drizzl

INGREDIENTS
CAKE
2 Unwaxed Lemons, well scrubbed
175g Granulated Sugar
175g Unsalted Butter, Softened
200g Self-Raising Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3 Eggs

CRYSTALLISED SUGAR
3 to 4 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
100g Granulated Sugar

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 ensuring the shelving is centre. Grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Wash and grate the zest of the two lemons.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy.

4. Gradually sift in the self-raising flour along with the baking powder, adding an egg each time as you go.

5. Add in the lemon zest and give a good stir to ensure the batter is throughly mixed.

6. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

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7. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

8. Squeeze three to four tablespoons of juice from one of the lemons (depends on how sharp you wish the sugar to be!) and mix the juice with 100g granulated sugar.

9. On the top of the cake, make about 50 deep holes so that when you pour the sugar mixture on, it drips through to the cake, making it even more lemony!

10. With a spoon, carefully pour the sugar mixture on top of the cake and leave to set so that it goes hard and crunchy.

Lemon Drizzle cake

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe by The Hairy Bikers |

| Previous Recipe White Chocolate & Lemon Cupcakes |

White Chocolate & Lemon Cupcakes

I originally found this recipe over at the Good to Know website (this is a site I regularly use for recipes, you should definitely check it out!) and thought that the combination of white chocolate and lemon sounded quite interesting and most certainly yummy. I’ve been wanting to try working with white chocolate for a while now seeing as I generally prefer to bake using milk or dark chocolate. I was  pleased with the results of these cupcakes, not only was the sponge light and fluffy but the lemon came through well and complimented the sweet, but not too sweet, white chocolate frosting. If you’re in need of a new recipe this weekend, I’d recommend you give this one a go!

WHITE CHOCOLATE & LEMON CUPCAKES 

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INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes
120g Butter, Softened
150g Caster Sugar
200g Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
1tsp Baking Powder
125ml Milk
2 Eggs
1 Grated Lemon Zest

Frosting
50g White Chocolate, Melted
120g Butter, Softened
200g Icing Sugar, Sifted

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, ensuring the shelving is centred. Line a cake tin with 12 cases.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.

3. Gradually sift in the self-raising flour and baking powder.

4. Add the milk, eggs and grated lemon zest and give a mix until combined together and a smooth cake batter has formed.

5. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases and bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Leave the cakes to cool before adding the frosting. Melt the white chocolate either in the microwave or gently over a pan of hot water. Leave the white chocolate to cool slightly.

7. Cream together the softened butter and icing sugar. Add the white chocolate and gently mix together.

8. Either spoon or pipe a little frosting onto each of the cupcakes.

9. Decorate each cake with some grated white chocolate (if there is any left over as you may be like me and eat as you bake!) If you do decide to grate chocolate on top, keep the white chocolate in the fridge beforehand so it doesn’t melt with warm hands.

10. Share with your friends (only if you want to!) and EAT!

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Good To Know – Lemon & White Chocolate Cupcakes |

| Previous Recipe Chocolate Orange Marble Cake |