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.

IMG_0213

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

IMG_0215

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.

IMG_0222

IMG_0223

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

IMG_0227

IMG_0225

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.

IMG_0200

IMG_0202

IMG_0206

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.

DSCF3736

6. Cut the dough into 9 squares.

DSCF3737

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

DSCF3739

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.

DSCF3757

DSCF3759

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Simply Baking at M&S |

| Previous Post Diggers |

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|

Vanilla Ice Cream Cupcakes

Never before have I been so excited to write a blog post! I’ve been meaning make these ice cream cupcakes ever since I saw them in a magazine and this week, I finally got round to making them. I think they are perfect for summer and, it means you can have the best of both worlds – cake and an ice cream!

ICE-CREAM CUPCAKESice-cream cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cakes
7 Ice Cream Cones (Halved ones, with flat bottoms)
4 oz Unsalted Butter, Softened
4 oz Caster Sugar
4 oz Self-Raising Flour
2 Medium Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence

Frosting
3 oz Unsalted Butter
6 oz Icing Sugar, Sifted
Splash of Vanilla Essence
Splash of Milk (Potentially! Only if frosting is too thick)
7 Chocolate Flakes
Sprinkles

METHOD

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

2. Place a sheet of silver tin foil over a round sponge tin and make 7 holes in the foil to insert a cone in each. The silver foil will ensure that the cones stay upright and give extra support to the cone once the cake batter is added. Alternatively, you could also use a cake or muffin tray although, I think this method gives extra support.

Ice-Cream Foil

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

4. Add in the eggs, and gradually sift in the self-raising flour.

5. Add in the vanilla essence and give a final mix together until all the ingredients are combined and a smooth, creamy, cake batter has formed.

6. Equally divide the batter between each of the cones. Fill them about two thirds of the way up as these will rise in the oven and therefore you don’t want the batter overflowing as this will make the piping difficult later.

Ice-Cream Fill Cones

6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Ice-Cream Cupcakes (2)

7. Once the cakes are cooked, leave them to cool on a wire rack. With mine, I also poked a small hole in the bottom of each cone to release the steam, to prevent the cones from becoming soggy. (No soggy bottoms here!)

8. For the buttercream, cream together the butter and icing sugar.

9. Add in the vanilla essence, and if the frosting is too thick, add in the a splash of milk also.

10. Pipe the frosting onto each of the cupcake cones. If the cakes have slightly risen over the top of the cone, simply take a slice off using a knife so that the surface is flat.

11. Finally, decorate each with flake and sprinkles!

Ice Cream Cupcake  Ice-Cream Cupcakes (3)

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe Cupcakes with Rainbow Frosting |

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