Sunday, 20 April 2008

Apple Crumble

Today I made an old favourite, apple crumble. Easy, quick and good with ice cream or custard.

3 cooking apples
2oz margarine
4oz plain flour
10z sugar (caster or brown) + 1 tbsp

1) Peel the apples and dice. Stew in a pot with the 1 tbsp of sugar until they're soft but have a little bite.
2) Put in the bottom of a glass dish.
3) Combine flour and margarine in a food processor, and then stir in the sugar.
4) Cover the apples evenly, using fingertips to compact slightly. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top.
5) Bake for about half an hour at 180 C

I used the food processor for speed, but the rubbing in method can be used too. I used demerara sugar, as it's a more caramelised taste, but caster sugar is nice to. This is a great dessert for changing to suit tastes, pear and rasperberry is a good combination.

No pictures unfortunately, we ate it too fast!

Monday, 14 April 2008

I was feeling a bit more adventurous today and tried out a new shortbread recipe. It doesn't involve rolling out a dough, which is unusual, but turned out brilliant, so I'll be using this easier version in the future.

180g plain flour
55g rice flour
150g margarine (or butter)
100g caster sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking power

1) Preheat oven to 160 C and grease a shallow 8 in pan.

2)Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy

3)Sift in flours, baking power and salt, then mix into a stiff dough

4)Spread out into the tin, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Mark the surface with a fork, and slice into 8.

5)Bake for 45-50 minutes until it is golden brown. Wait a short time until it's cool enough to handle, then remove from tin. Recut into 8 while warm, then leave to cool.

I found that having a fairly low gauge tin meant it was easier to remove the shortbread, as I could 'twist' it slightly like an ice cube tray. It's slightly springy when warm, so shouldn't crack.

It tasted gorgeous, and was very short, though 1/8 is a big portion, so smaller might be better.

Brain Cake

Ruth over at sent me a link to this cake

It prompted me to share a few of the cakes I've come across that were just amazing.
Just google mario cake for this one

And not amazing technically, but really pretty

I'd love an excuse to make a topsy turvey cake.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Fun things

Well, it's been a busy week and I didn't feel like anything that required too much thought. In fact, I wanted something easy and fun. The result hats. The E numbers and sugar hit are guaranteed to make you smile, especially if, as was the case today, only about half the ingrediants made it to the cases. I predict a sugar dip in about an hour :)

I did milk and white chocolate ones. The white ones weren't cooking chocolate, so they needed a spell in the fridge.

Also, with the left over chocolate (I'd eaten so many smarties by this point I couldn't face licking the bowl) I made dipped strawberries and cornflake buns.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Heart Cake

I usually make a pudding on a Sunday, and this week I made a Victoria sponge. I wanted to try out a new cake tin I got as a gift (Thanks!) and thought I should stick to something quite straight forward as I wasn't sure of the size it should be.

I used my standard sponge recipe, in this case using 3 eggs and multiplying up appropriately.
1 egg
2 0z self raising flour
2 oz caster sugar
2 oz margarine
vanilla flavouring

Also, I decided to blog this one. My camera is now covered in jam. ooops.

I base lined the tin with greaseproof paper, since each layer would be quite thin, and I didn't want to tear it getting it out. I creamed the sugar and margarine, before adding in the eggs, then the flour. This mixture was divided in half and baked as two batches, since I only have 1 tin.

Jamtastic. I used strawberry, but lemon curd is also a nice change.
Also, I recently went to a cake decorating shop and bought some new fun things, some flower cutters and edible dust. I got snowflake lustre dust (a shimmer) and plum blossum tint (a matte colour). Unfortunatley I realised when I got home that the plum one is non-edible. I'm sure I'll find a use for it though.

I made some little flowers for the cake and added the glittery lustre dust. They looked really pretty, but it doesn't seem to have come out in the picture.

Here's the end result. Lovely with a cuppa.

Friday, 4 April 2008


At the last minute today I baked some buns for a poker night. I intended to decorate them as the playing card suits with sugarpaste shapes, but couldn't get get hold of the right colours in time. So (a la Ready Steady Cook) I used the contents of my cupboard, which luckily enough included currants and glace cherries. The results weren't perfect, but looked OK.
I also made chocolate buns, which were a bit of a disaster. I somehow put too much coco in them, which made them very chocolatey. They were nice, but you definately need a cup of tea to eat them!