Monday, 30 June 2008


I’ve been thinking about this recently; what to do with both recipe and finished product leftovers? Personally I hate throwing food out (or to be honest throwing anything out), so I like to have uses for that little bit it would be a waste to bin. I kept baking in mind, as I don’t do much cooking myself.

Egg whites
Meringues are the obvious solution and there’s a world of recipes out there. However did you know that egg whites can be frozen? Just pop them in an airtight container and freeze as normal. Don’t forget to label what is in it and how many though; it can be hard to work out what they are a few weeks later.
You could also make petit fours like I did here.

Egg yolks
Pastry is the normal use for egg yolks, but if a lot of whole eggs are needed (particularly successfully in a fruit cake) a yolk can be substituted for a whole egg. There’s a limit on this though, as they whites are the binding agent, I’d say no more than 1/3 should be just yolks.
Here’s a good page with recipes for eggs yolks, including crème brulee and chocolate mouse

It’s worth noting that egg yolks can be frozen, but you need to add another ingredient, as otherwise they thicken. I can’t seem to find a definitive way to do this and haven’t tried myself, so I leave you to the hands of google I’m afraid.

Eggs are best frozen separated; the results are better and it allows more flexibility. Both parts can be kept for a few days in the fridge; I put them in a cup with some cling film over the top.
It may seem a bit icky, but don’t dismiss slightly out of date eggs as off. In most cakes they are perfectly fine, as long as you’re cooking them and the recipe doesn’t state as fresh as possible. Use your own judgement on this, but I think that a few days is ok, any more is pushing your luck.

Either uneaten cake or trimmings from reshaping can leave unwanted leftovers. If I’m honest I normally eat them white waiting for the cake to cool, but I suppose they could have other uses.
One solution I use is to make trifle, as it’s a change from plain cake. Alternatively cake crumbs can be an ingredient in some recipes, such as this one from Cadbury:
This one for chocolate truffles, handy as you could adapt it to make as many or as few as you have cake for:
Or there’s a whole lot of ideas here.

The best advice for this is simply to eat it, but often Scotbloc (cake covering) is just more practical and it’s a bit nasty to eat. Unused chocolate keeps for ages, just follow the instructions on the pack. For the stuff in the bottom of the bowl, rice krispie buns are a staple, plus you can chuck in whatever other leftover decorations, e.g. sweeties you have. The biggest benefit here comes when you only have a few spoonfuls left that aren’t worth keeping.
Alternatively, make decorations for next time, like chocolate curls

Reducing the potential leftovers can be a good step. Generally this means buying smaller quantities of things you are unlikely to use, e.g. golden syrup. It can seem like a bargain to buy the big tin, but if you throw half of it out it just doesn’t make sense. For me this is buttermilk, since it doesn’t keep. It’s amazing in pancakes, so I use the leftovers to make indulgent scones and freeze them instead.
Another option is to change or vary the recipe. I have a great one for chocolate pavlova which uses the yolks to make a chocolate sauce to pour over it.

Well, those are some of the basic ones, if I can think of any more I'll post them. I know a lot here is well known and a bit of repetition, but it’s nice to have it in one place. If you have any tips, please leave me a comment and share!

Jam Roll

This is my first attempt at a jam roll, but worked out quite well. I used the recipe from my Australian Women's Weekly cake book, which can be found on their website here:

As I thought, the trickiest bit was rolling it. I took the book's advice and rolled along the longest layer, meaning less 'rolls' but that it didn't fall apart. Also, to make it more interesting, I spread half with the normal strawberry jam and half with lemon curd. I was lucky enought o get the half and half bit. Unfortunately there's no picture of the jam one, as it was all eaten before I got to my camera! I fancy trying a peanut butter and jam one. I think the flaw with this is firstly that it would ruin the lightness of the sponge, and secondly it would 'tear' the sponge when spread.

The lemon curd version was yummy, but I wouldn't put as much on as the jam as I did, because it's more runny and oozes out the side.

Although this is meant to be a 'light' dessert, we did add custard to make it perfect.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention I have a poll on favourite cake flavours. I'm just curious :)

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Present Cake

This cake was made for a birthday. It's a simple madeira cake, since almost everyone likes that, and is covered in sugarpaste.

The recipe and the design idea are from a decorating book I got recently "The Home Guide to Cake Decorating by Jane Price". It's a fantastic book, explaining a wide range of techniques and suitable for all levels. I plan to work my way through some of the things, such as runouts and practising my piping. The are some brilliant ideas, and all are explained well.

The cake itself was a lovely moist cake, probably due to the high amount of milk in it. It would be good for a novelty cake as it cut well and neatly.

The 'tag' is a piece of leftover sugarpaste written on with my ever trusty food colouring pen.

If I were to make it again, I'd probably spend more time cutting the sides to the perfectly vertical. Also, since it was my first time covering a square cake I need a bit more practise doing the corners!

Monday, 16 June 2008


The dessert Pavlova's origins are a bit unclear. It first appeared after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured New Zealand and Australia in 1926. What isn't known is who created it, and there is a rivalry between these two countries!

What is known is that it's a yummy meringue desert that's crisp on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside. You can decorate it with whatever fruit you like, though strong colours look best.

The receipe is another Mary Berry creation, and can be found here:

I used dry egg whites for the first time here and luckily it turned out fine. I didn't read the instructions properly though and added the water in one go, so had to beat out all the lumps. I'd definately used them again, especially for things like this where you'd end up with lots of yolks left over.

The only part I didn't follow was that I didn't leave it to cool in the oven. It didn't crack too badly, nothing that couldn't be covered up with cream anyway, and the dinner had to go in the oven.

Also, I used my favourite combination of fruit for Pavlova; strawberries and kiwi fruit. The colours look great against the white base and taste good too.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Lemon meringue pie

I made this a few days ago, but am only getting round to blogging it now. I used the Mary Berry recipe. It's my policy not to give recipes from book, but this one can be found online here:

This recipe does take a while, and many stages, but it's well worth it. It was one of the nicest things I've made; the only change I'd make was to use 2 egg whites and not 3 as per the recipe for the meringue. I imagine it's because 3 egg yolks are used in the rest of the recipe. If you do do this, don't forget to use less sugar!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Lemon buns

It's a beautiful day here and I thought I'd make some lemon buns (cupcakes).

I used my standard bun recipe, with the addition of the lemon.
2 eggs
4 0z self raising flour
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz margarine
1 lemon

1) Cream the margarine and sugar
2) Beat in the eggs until combined
3) Finely grate the lemon rind and stir in
4) Mix in the flour
5) Spoon into bun cases and bake for around 20 minutes at 180 C.
6) When cool, use the juice from the lemon and some icing sugar to decorate.

I kept the sunshine theme going, with some cool suns. I could probably have achieved a better result using all sugar paste, but I like the taste of 'wet' icing. With the lemon inside and on the buns the flavour turned out nice and strong. I hope the sun is shinging where you are :)