Category: Cake

Stir-up Sunday

A Christmas Pudding, sometimes cream or custard etc are added as a topping.

 

Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent.  The custom comes from when families & relatives gathered together and stir the ingredients of a traditional British Christmas pudding before the first Sunday in Advent as observed by Anglican churches.

There is a Collect (prayer)

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’  

Also, It allows time for the pudding to mature properly for the month before the Christmas Day meal. By tradition, each member of a family or participant is encouraged to make a wish as they stir.

The pudding mixture is stirred from East to West in honour and remembrance of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.

In some households, silver coins are added to the pudding mix. It is believed that finding a coin brings good luck.

I remember as a child in the 1960s, my mother would traditionally put & stir ‘silver’ sixpence coins known colloquially as a tanner into the mixture. Later when the UK went decimal ‘other’ silver coins were added.

It is believed that like Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Christmas puddings were introduced to the UK in the 1800s, by Prince Albert, who was the husband and consort to Queen Victoria.

There can be some variations of ingredients, traditional puddings mainly contain dried fruits, raisins etc. The mixture and cake are held together by egg and suet &  sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses. It is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and or other spices. Measured alcohol is added, mainly brandy but dark beers or stout can be used.

Before the pudding is served during the Christmas meal, some households set light to the pudding as the alcohol content allows it to burn briefly as part of the serving tradition.

The pudding is usually aged for a month or more,[or even a year until the following Christmas Day; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.

 

 

 

Upside Down Pineapple Cake Recipe

This cake recipe is so light and moist.  The pineapple on top is fantastic.  It is so lovely; would be a real treat for any occasion for the whole family and friends.

Ingredients

  • 50g softened butter
  • 50g light soft brown sugar
  • 6 pineapples rings from canned in syrup, do not discard the syrup
  • 6 glacé cherry
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

 

 Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until fully incorporated into a creamy butter.
  3. Using a preferably non-stick deep cake tin with loose base and about 20 cm wide, spread the butter mix on the base.
  4. Then arrange the pineapple rings on top of the butter mix, placing each of the  cherries in the centres of the rings, the dome part of the cherries on the bottom.
  5. Set aside and make the cake mix.
  6. In a large mixing bowl or a food mixer, place together the butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour, baking powder, sultanas, vanilla extract and egg with 2 tbsp of the pineapple syrup.
  7. Mix until it has a soft consistency of a batter.
  8. Pour into the tin over the pineapple slices and smooth it out so it’s level and all the slices covered.
  9. Bake for 35 mins, test with a clean knife by inserting into the cake.  When the edge of the knife comes out clean, then it is ready.
  10. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then turn out onto a plate. Serve warm with ice-cream or cream.

 

 

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, photo by JMorton

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g Self raising flour
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tsp Bicarbonate soda
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150 ml Sunflower oil
  • 150 ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 2 Tbsp Golden syrup
  • For the Coating and filling
  • 75g Unsalted butter
  • 175g Icing Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • Drop of Milk

Method of Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins.
  2. Sieve the flour, cocoa and Bicarbonate of Soda into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the syrup, eggs, oil and milk. Beat well with electric whisk until smooth.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the two tins and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from oven, leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  5. To make your butter icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder then add enough milk to make the icing fluffy and spreadable.
  6. If the cake has risen a little to high then use a serrated knife to even off the top, now sandwich the two cakes together with the butter icing and cover the sides and the top of the cake with more butter icing.

Serve hot with a scoop or two of vanilla ice-cream.

 

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

This is definitely one of the best cheesecakes that I have ever tasted and therefore, I am very passionate about it.

It is creamily delicious with a sweetness that  is just right complemented by subtle delicacy of tanginess from the passion fruit 😉

This recipe involves minimal cooking, thus, it is pretty easy to make.  One can rally the children or hubby to help out 🙂

The beautiful orange passion fruit topping makes it look vibrant and exotic, which is not only pleasing to the eye but also a treat to the taste buds.

Here is a recipe based on Nigel Slater’s Recipe:

 

Ingredients

THE BASE

  • 120 grams butter
  • 400 grams ginger biscuits or digestive biscuits (I prefer digestive because for some reason my stomach can’t take ginger biscuit, strange that!)

THE FILLING

  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 75 grams icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 400 ml creme fraiche
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 4 ripe passion fruit

Method of Preparation:

  • Melt the butter in a small pan.
  • Put the biscuits in a robust plastic sandwich bag and apply the rolling pin with gusto 🙂 Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs and stir them into the melted butter. Tip them into a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin and smooth them flat. Refrigerate for an hour or so until firm. You can speed the process up by putting them in the freezer if you wish.
  • Put the mascarpone cheese and icing sugar in a bowl of a food mixer and beat until smooth.  This can also be done manually by giving the pecs some healthy exercise.
  • Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod (or vanilla essence) and stir them into the mascarpone.  Add the creme fraiche. Transfer the mixture  into a clean container and set aside.
  • Whip the cream using the food mixer until it stands in soft folds, then stir it gently into the mascarpone/creme fraiche mixture.
  • Ladle in the mixture into the cake tin and cover with cling film. Leave to chill for a good hour.
  • To serve, remove the cake from the tin, cut the passion fruits in half and squeeze the seeds and juice over the cheesecake.

Now enjoy and share!

 

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake, Photo by JMorton

Red Velvet Cake, Photo by JMorton

Red Velvet Cake

This cake is rather special. It is red and taste beautifully creamy. You would want a big portion.

 

Ingredients

  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 110g butter, at room temperature
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225ml buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon red food colouring gel
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease two 23cm round cake tins and line the bottoms with baking parchment.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a mixing bowl, start whisking the butter. Once creamy, gradually incorporate the sugar alternately with the addition bit by bit of the whisked egg.  Adding all the eggs at once would curdle the butter.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • Start adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture in small portions, whisking well after each addition. The cake mixture will be thick. Add the buttermilk and food colouring; whisk till smooth.
  • Working quickly, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Fold into the cake mixture. Once incorporated, divide the mixture between the two tins.
    Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove and cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cook completely.
  • Once the cakes are completely cool, place the first layer on a serving plate. Cover the top with your favourite icing (cream cheese icing is the traditional match for red velvet cake, but you could also use vanilla buttercream). Place the second layer on top of the first, then ice the top and decorate.

 

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

The proof is in the eating of the cupcake, lol, Photo by PH Morton

The proof is in the eating of the cupcake, lol, Photo by PH Morton

As the very old quote, which might be French in origin, says “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” So I ate and it was very tasty too.

The cakes were made by Stacey and her Nanny Mo for Samantha’s birthday party, which was a lot of fun and loads of food and drinks.

Anyway, I remembered how much I enjoyed the cupcakes. Stacey, my beautiful daughter-in-law, said it was very easy to make and decorating it was a lot of fun.

Below is the recipe.

Chocolate cupcake, photo by PH Morton

Chocolate cupcake, photo by PH Morton


Ingredients

100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
12-hole cupcake tray,lined with cupcake paper cases

Method

Preheat the oven to 170ºC

Using a food mixer, for convenience, add together the  flour with the cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter and mix until everything is combined.

Whisk the milk with the egg in a bowl and to the mix add the vanilla extract.

Gradually pour the milky egg mixture into the food mixer, which should be on a high speed.

Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth.

(Do not overmix, as too much of everything is never good. LOL)

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes,or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cupcakes are cooled (if they have not been eaten as they are, lol) let your imagination take control. Decorate with frosting by using a pallet knife or filling a piping bag with frosting and squeeze to your heart’s delight. Do not forget to add edible embellishment such as silver, pink and gold balls and little sugar flowers and hearts.

Carrot Cake with Salted Caramel Topping

Carrot Cake with Salted Caramel, Photo by PH Morton

Carrot Cake with Salted Caramel Topping, Photo by PH Morton

I love carrot cake.  Although I must admit that at first I found it rather strange as in my mind’s eye carrot is a vegetable and should not go with baked sweetened cakes.  But got used to it fairly quickly as I thought there was really nothing to dislike.  It was healthy and the cake has a delicious taste to it.

Topping a carrot cake with salted caramel gives a literal meaning to the idiom ‘icing on the cake’.

Below is a recipe which would yield a deliciously moist carrot cake.

Carrot Cake with Salted Caramel Topping

Ingredients

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 100g raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated will give you the best flavour)

For the frosting

  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1½-2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Carnation caramel (Dulce de Leche)

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Oil and line the base and sides of an 22.5cm round cake tin with baking parchment.
  3. Tip the sugar into a large mixing bowl, pour in the oil and add the eggs. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.
  4. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients – when everything is evenly amalgamated stop mixing. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point.)
  6. Beat together the icing sugar and orange juice using  a small bowl until smooth and as runny as a single cream. Set the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the icing back and forth in over the top until covered, letting it drip down the sides as well.
  7. Finally drip the Carnation caramel over the icing sugar and create lovely pattern of your choice.

Time to call the gang and enjoy with a lovely cup of tea.

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