Almond & Lemon Sponge

You may know from my previous posts that I absolutely love the flavours of lemon and almond, therefore when I spotted this recipe over on the lovely Tea With Erika’s blog, I knew that it would be something I’d just have to bake. The results were fabulous – a light and zingy lemon sponge with the delicious hint of almond. A perfect treat this summer!

INGREDIENTS
Cake

120g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
2 large eggs
125g self-raising flour
65g ground almonds

Topping
60g granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon, strained

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, ensuring the shelving is centre. Grease and line a round cake tin.

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2. Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon rind until light and fluffy.

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3. Add in the eggs one at a time. Gently fold in the flour and ground almonds.

4. Pour the cake batter into the lined cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

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5. Once the cake is cooled, mix together the sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over the cake.

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Check out Erika’s blog here.

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Post One Direction Cupcakes |

Victoria Sponge

Here in the UK, Wimbledon is well underway. Whilst I may not be the biggest fan of tennis, I am most certainly a fan of the strawberry and cream tradition associated with the sport. Therefore, I decided to bake this classic sponge in honour of the game where I even went and picked the strawberries myself.

INGREDIENTS
Cake:
200g caster sugar
200g softened butter
4 eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

Filling:
100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
drop vanilla extract
340g jar strawberry jam
icing sugar, to decorate
strawberries, to serve

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 ensuring the shelving is centre. Grease and line two sandwich tins.

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

3. Gradually alternate between adding the eggs and sifted flour. Add in the baking powder. Stir in the milk and mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Divide the mixture equally between the two cake tins. Smooth the surface and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean or until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tins before transferring to a wire rack.

5. For the filling, beat together the softened butter and sifted icing sugar. Add in the vanilla extract.

6. Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponge. Spread the strawberry jam over the other sponge and sandwich the two together. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a few strawberries on the side.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe BBC Victoria Sandwich |

| Previous Recipe Marble Cake Cupcakes |

Chocolate Chip Scones

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had some kind of fear towards scones. It might sound a little strange but allow me to explain. When I was little, my Nan and Grandad would always smother baked treats such as scones and madeira cake with butter. Ever since, this has been something that I cannot get my head around and for the past fifteen years or so, I’ve refused to eat a scone! To me, having a scone with butter is just a no go. I know its still a popular choice among many but I am just not a fan! Anyway, I thought that it was time to get over this fear and I decided to bake my own, but this time with chocolate chips and a little jam and cream. Now that’s my idea of a scone!

INGREDIENTS
225 (8oz) self-raising flour, sieved
60g (2oz) butter
1tbsp caster sugar
50g (1 ¾oz) chocolate chips
roughly 150ml (5fl oz) milk

METHOD

1. Lightly grease a baking tray. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, ensuring the shelving is centre.

2. Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter in to small pieces and rub into the flour using your fingers until a the mixture forms fine breadcrumbs. DSCF3735

3. Stir in the caster sugar and chocolate chips.

4. Mix in enough milk to form a soft dough.

5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle of 10 x 15cm or 4 x6 inches and about 2.5cm/ 1 inch thinck.

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6. Cut the dough into 9 squares.

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7. Place the scones on the baking tray ensuring they are well spaced apart.

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8. Brush each with a little milk and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

scones with jam and cream

9. Slice the scones in half and serve with butter (ew!) or jam and cream.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Simply Baking at M&S |

| Previous Post Diggers |

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 |

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 |

Chocolate Cheesecake

As part of family birthday celebrations last weekend, I went out for a meal at a lovely little Italian restaurant. Although the main course was lovely, would you believe that the thing I always most look forward to is dessert? Despite the fact that I will eat pretty much any dessert, cheesecake is one of my absolute favourites, so when I saw the honeycomb cheesecake on the menu, I was very excited indeed. This made me think that I’ve never actually made one myself so, as soon as I got home that evening, I searched online for a recipe – something simple for the cheesecake beginner.

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

chocolate cheesecake

INGREDIENTS
175g Digestive Biscuits
50g Butter, Melted
300g Cream Cheese
200g Mascarpone
300g Milk Chocolate, Melted
100g Dark Chocolate, Melted

METHOD 

1. Place the digestive biscuits in a zip-lock bag and crush using a rolling pin.

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2. Mix the biscuit crumbs in with the melted butter and press into a springform tin and place in the fridge to harden slightly. 

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3. Gently combine together the cream cheese and mascarpone.

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4. Melt both the milk and dark chocolate in two separate bowls. Once melted, leave to cool for a while before mixing the milk chocolate into the cream cheese and mascarpone mixture.

5. Gently streak though the dark chocolate.

6. Pour the cheesecake topping on top of the biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge for at least two hours or even better, overnight. I couldn’t resist the temptation and chilled my cheesecake for around 6 hours but it had set just in time! 

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Chocolate Cheesecake

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe BBC Chocolate Cheesecake |

| Previous Recipe Golden Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies

Apple Crumble

This weekend, I decided to make a dessert that can be had after a Sunday roast. Since a roast dinner is typically British, I decided to follow on with tradition and make an apple crumble, since this too, is another quintessentially British dish. I realised that when taking photographs for this post, that making an apple crumble look posh and fancy can be rather difficult but, I think that is what makes the apple crumble such a classic, as even though it doesn’t look particularly spectacular, its a good hearty and wholesome dessert. Instead of following one recipe, I followed a combination of two found both on the BBC website and by Mirror Columnist, Nadia Sawalha.

APPLE CRUMBLE

Apple Crumble.

INGREDIENTS
Filling
1lb Apples
50g Caster Sugar
1 or 2 tsp. Cinnamon

Crumble
170g Cold Unsalted Butter
170g Caster Sugar
200g Plain Flour
70g Fine Oats
Pinch of Salt

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3.

2. Core and peel the apples, and cut them into chunks. Place the apples into a pie dish or oven-safe dish.

3. Sprinkle over the caster sugar and cinnamon and then cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

4. In a bowl combine together the cold butter, caster sugar, plain flour, oats and salt using your fingers, until they resemble a fine crumble mixture. Sprinkle the crumble over the top of the warmed fruit and cook in the oven for a further 50 to 60 minutes, until firm and a golden colour.

5. Best served warm with lashings of cream or ice-cream!

Apple Crumble

Enjoy!

Quick note before I go – The Great British Bake Off is back on our TV screens tonight, 8pm on BBC2.

Be there or be square!

– Charlotte x

|Previous Recipe Chunky Chocolate Cookies|

Chunky Chocolate Cookies

You’d expect that on a Saturday night, most 18 year olds would be out and about partying with their friends, and even better, if their home alone, bring the party to them. Yet this weekend, whilst I had the house to myself, I decided bake some cookies, wrap myself up in a snuggie and hang out with Harry Potter on the telly. That’s what I call, a wild night in!

CHUNKY CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Chocolate Cookies

INGREDIENTS:-
125g butter, softened
100g light brown soft sugar
125g caster sugar
1egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
A good pinch of salt
2 bars of chocolate , one white chocolate, one milk chocolate, roughly 200g altogether

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 ensuring the shelves are in the centre.

2. Line two trays with greaseproof paper using a little butter.

3. In a bowl, combine the butter with both types of sugars until soft and creamy.

4. Add in an egg that’s been lightly beaten, as well as the vanilla extract and mix.

5. Gradually sift in the self-raising flour, along with a good pinch of salt.

6. Chop roughly 200g of white and milk chocolate (I may have been a little generous and added more!) and add to the dough.

7. Roll the cookie dough into small balls (about the size of a walnut) and place on the baking tray, giving each cookie a little press to flatten them down slightly. Don’t place the cookies too close together as they will spread and stick together! On average, this mix makes 12 cookies although I managed to make 14.

Cookie Dough

8. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes for a chewy cookie or if not 10 minutes, until golden brown.

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9. Leave to cool before transferring to a wire rack.

10. The only thing left to do now is eat!

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

Recipe from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1580654/millies-cookies-recipe

|Previous Recipe Cadburys Chocolate Cupcakes |

Cadburys Chocolate Cupcakes – Part 2

Way back in April, I made some Cadburys Chocolate Cupcakes using some of the chocolate that I had left over from my Easter Eggs.  Recently, I was asked to make them again for a birthday party but since this time it was for a special occasion, I’d thought I’d make them even bigger and better than before. I was really pleased with how these turned out and just because everyone loves chocolate, I thought they were worth writing about again!

CADBURYS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Cadburys Chocolate Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cake:-

6 oz Unsalted Butter, Softened
6 oz Caster Sugar
6 oz Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
3 Medium Eggs
50g Cocoa Powder

Frosting: –
6 oz Unsalted Butter, Softened
6 oz Icing Sugar, Sifted
100g Cadburys Chocolate, Melted
3 to 4 Wispa Bars

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark number 4, ensuring the shelf is in the centre.

2. Place 12 cake cases in a cupcake tin.

3. Cream together the softened butter and the caster sugar in a bowl.

4. Gradually add the self-raising flour, eggs and cocoa powder and stir until a smooth creamy mixture forms.

5. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases and bake in the centre of the oven at gas mark 4, for 18 to 20 minutes.

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

7. Either in the microwave or in a bowl over a simmering pan of water, melt the Cadburys chocolate and leave to cool slightly.

8. Add the melted chocolate to the butter and icing sugar and mix until a smooth, creamy frosting forms. (Chocolate usually is very delicate, so just be gentle when mixing. I’d recommend that you fold the chocolate into the butter and sugar)

9. Once the cakes are completely cool, either pipe or spoon some of the frosting onto each cupcake.

10. To decorate, roughly chop up the Wispa bars and sprinkle on top of the frosting. Keep the Wispa bars in the fridge beforehand so that when it comes to chopping them, they don’t melt with warm hands!

Chocolate Cadbury Cakes

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

|Previous Recipe Ice-Cream Cupcakes |

Rocky Road

I think Rocky Road makes a great treat this summer. It goes perfectly with just about anything, whether it’s ice-cream, double cream, squirty cream, custard.. or even just on its own with an ice cold drink. I was intrigued to see how Rocky Road originated, and found a few interesting explanations about its origins: –

Some say that… Rocky Road was invented in Australia in 1853 as a way of selling the confectionery that unfortunately was spoiled by the long journey from Europe to Australia. Gold miners in towns outside of Melbourne, were wealthy but uncultured. Certain businessmen often took advantage of these uncultured men by mixing the spoiled confectionery with low quality chocolate and other ‘filler’ ingredients, such as locally foraged nuts and selling them to the gold miners. The name Rocky Road therefore, is thought, to derive from the ‘Rocky Road’ that travellers had to take to get to the gold fields.

Others say that… in March 1929, Californian man William Dreyer cut up a range of ingredients including walnuts and marshmallows with his wife’s sewing scissors and added them to chocolate ice cream to simulate to walnut and marshmallow chocolate created by partner Joseph Edy. After the Wall Street Crash in 1929, Dreyer and Edy gave out Rocky Road in order to “give folks something to smile about in the midst of the Great Depression.”

ROCKY ROAD
(Hairy Bikers Recipe)

Rocky Road

INGREDIENTS
– 3 Mars Bars
– 100g butter
– 5 shortbread biscuits
– 140g marshmallows
– 50g Rice Krispies

Your ingredients should look something like this! I may have added a little more of each ingredient than needed, for example,
an extra shortbread biscuit, a few extra marshmallows… oops!

Rocky Road Ingredients

METHOD

1. Line either a square tin or a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Roughly chop up the Mars Bars and melt in a bowl along with the butter over a gentle heat. (Tip! Make sure the heat is low to avoid the butter burning and the mixture separating)

Chopped Mars Bars

Melt Butter & Mars Bars

3. Break up the shortbread. Try to keep the chunks whole to avoid having lots of crumbs in the mixture.

4. Add the shortbread, marshmallows, and Rice Krispies to the melted Mars Bars and butter and give a good stir to cover everything with chocolate.

5. Pour the mixture into your tin and leave in the fridge to completely set.

Rocky Road 1

6. Once set, remove from the tin and cut into squares.

Rocky Road

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x