Thursday, 28 November 2013

Coconut and raspberry cake

I had been looking forward to making this coconut and raspberry cake for a while so admit to having a minor meltdown when it started to go horribly wrong...

The cakes looked good, and the raw batter was insanely delicious. Once stone cold on went the jam, so far so good. Then I made the coconut butter cream, was my recipe wrong, was it the fact I used lactofree spread instead of butter or was it that my kitchen was too warm? Who knows but the second the cakes were sandwiched together the top one started to slip and slide, there was coconut buttercream everywhere. I shoved it in the fridge muttering about wanting to throw it out of the window.

I should note that I have made buttercream many a time and have sandwiched together many a cake, the buttercream did not seem too loose. maybe the weight of the top cake was just too much?

An hour or so later and the buttercream had firmed up, I ran a palette knife around the edge and the cake was not a complete disaster. It was only for me and Mark to eat anyway, I would not have given it to anyone in that state.

The cake does taste very good and I imagine it tastes even better with slightly more filling, I guess I lost at least a 1/3.

If you like the sound of this cake please do not be put of by my mishap. Just make sure your buttercream is very very firm indeed, refrigerate it before sandwiching cakes if need be.
Leaking buttercream!!

Coconut and raspberry cake

175g butter
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3 eggs
50g desiccated coconut
30ml coconut cream

140g icing sugar
50g butter
20ml coconut cream
Raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN. Grease 2x 20cm round cake tin and line the bases.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour and baking powder 1/3 at a time until just incorporated, do not over beat. Fold in the coconut and coconut cream.

Divide the batter between the prepared tins and smooth..

Bake for 25 minutes until golden. Loosen the edges and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.
Beat the butter, icing sugar and coconut cream together. Sandwich the cakes together with the jam and the buttercream.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Whole orange cake

This cake came about because I asked for one orange for a salad dressing. I got two because according to Mark they looked so pretty. So a spare orange was staring at me from the fruit bow. I remembered reading this recipe in a recipe book a colleague had and so decided to utilise the orange to make a cake. You essential boil the orange for an hour then purée it and add it to a simple cake batter.

The results are a lovely moist orange favoured cake. The recipe suggests drizzling with an icing made from orange juice and icing sugar but I did not do this. The cake is orangey enough without it, and besides, I would have needed another orange, and that's how I got into this in the first place!

Whole orange cake

1 small orange
140g caster sugar
3 eggs
85g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
50g butter melted

Put the orange in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the orange and allow to cool. To cool quickly run under cold water for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN. Grease a deep 20cm round springform tin and line the base. 

Roughly chop the cooled orange, discarding any pips, and whizz in a food processor until smooth. 

Beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the flour and the almonds then fold in the orange purée. and melted butter until just mixed. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes until the cake is golden and springy. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

This is a simple cake perfect at any time, especially when you want cake but nothing too sweet or rich. It stays moist thanks to the almonds and is nice cold or warmed through in the oven.

I am going to enter this cake into this months alpha bakes, the letter for this month is 'O', so orange fits the bill perfectly.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Toffee apple cake

This cake is based on a delicious cake already on the blog, apple and almond cake, it is regularly requested by Mark. I adapted the recipe not because it is not already perfect but because I waned to utilise ingredients I had left over from the salted caramel and pecan cupcakes posted earlier.

Not that the cupcakes were not lovely but this was definitely a case where a recipe to use up leftovers was better than the original recipe the ingredients were called for.

Toffee Apple Cake

makes 1 cake

For the apples

3 dessert apples, I used gala
25g caramel (mine is from a tin on this occasion)

For the cake

150g butter
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
75g self raising flour
75g ground pecans (simply whiz pecan in a food processor)
100g ish caramel
Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the base with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C FAN.

Core the apples and cut into 4, slice each quarter into 3 wedges. Put the caramel into a frying pan and warm gently. Add the apples and cook gently for about 5 minutes until starting to become lightly caramelised and tender. Put aside for a few minutes to cool. 
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat again. Add the second egg and a tablespoon of the flour and beat until fully incorporated. Add the remaining flour and the ground pecans and fold in with a spatula. 

Place 2/3 cake batter into the prepared cake tin and level with a spatula, drizzle over a layer of caramel, and smooth into an even layer with a spatula, carefully dollop on the remaining cake batter and smooth with a spatula Arrange the apple on top, adding a final drizzle of caramel if you still have some to spare. 

Place in the preheated oven and bake for ~45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before releasing and allowing to cool on a wire rack. 

This cake is best warm from the oven, with warm caramel throughout the cake and yummy amazing caramelised edges.

I am not suggesting of course that you eat the entire cake in one sitting. Instead keep the cake in an airtight tin and reheat slices in warm oven for 5 minutes before tucking in.  

Monday, 4 November 2013

Pecan and salted caramel cupcakes

Pecan nuts seem to be a very autumnal nut. They go with all the spicy, apple-y, toffee-y flavours around at this time of year and appear at bonfire night and thanksgiving in varying guises including pecan pie.

I had a cupcake craving so quickly made these with cupboard ingredients, I love the deep nutty flavour the nuts give the cake and love the contrasting crunch of the nuts on the top of the cake.

Pecan and salted caramel cupcakes

makes 12

125g butter
70g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
55g salted caramel
2 eggs
75g self raising flour
50g pecan nuts ground to a flour like consistency in a food processor

50g butter
160g icing sugar
60g salted caramel

Extra caramel and pecans for the top

For my salted caramel I simply gently warmed up some of a tin of carnation caramel in a pan and added salt to taste. Now what to do with the leftovers...

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C FAN and line a cupcake tin with liners.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy. Beat in the caramel and eggs until fully incorporated. Finally, with the mixer on slow,  beat in the flour and ground pecans until just incorporated.

Divide the mixture evenly between the cases and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

When the cakes are golden and springy remove from the oven and transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cakes are completely cool they can be frosted. To make the frosting beat the butter and icing sugar together until very light and fluffy. Beat in the caramel till incorporated. 

Dollop the frosting onto the cooled cakes and swirl with a palette knife. Top with drizzles of caramel and chopped pecans.