Eggcellent Easter Fridge Cake

A great and easy way to keep the kids entertained for an hour this Easter.  Guaranteed to disappear as quickly as they were made.

Easter Fridge Cake

Ingredients: 

Swiss Meringue:

  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp of caster sugar

Fridge Cake:

  • 360g of milk chocolate (I used cadburys)
  • 2 tbsp of golden syrup
  • 40g of butter
  • 4 digestive biscuits
  • Pack of mini cream eggs
  • Mini eggs
  • Handful of maltesers

Method: 

  1. Line a small baking tin with butter and baking parchment. I think mine’s 24 by 15cm.
  2. First, make the swiss meringue. In a bowl of a pan of simmering water add the egg white, caster sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk constantly until stiff white glossy peaks form. Once done, pop to one side.
  3. Now, melt your chocolate (broken into squares), butter and gold syrup in a bowl over your simmering water. Remove from the heat when the chocolate is smooth and glossy. If it gets clumpy, don’t fear, add a touch more butter and remove from heat.
  4. Crush you biscuits into the mixture and add the maltesers. In your baking tin arrange your mini cream eggs and scatter about your swiss meringue mix. Easter fridge cake
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and smooth with a spatula. Poke in as many mini eggs as you see fit and place into the fridge to cool.
  6. After about an hour or two the mix should be set. Cut into fingers or squares and keep refrigerated if you, unlike myself, have will-power. Goey Easter Rocky Road

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I love lemon drizzle cake it’s so effortlessly simple, and tastes fantastic. You start with a basic sponge recipe and then drizzle it in a deliciously tangy lemon syrup.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients: 

Cake:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • Zest of 2 lemons

Icing:

  • Juice of 2 lemons (the ones you zested)
  • 150g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Grease a bread tin (about 24 x 10.4) & pre-heat your oven to 180C. I like to place of strips of baking parchment horizontally across the bread tin, these will act as handles for removing the cake once cooked.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs followed by the rest of the cake ingredients. You should be left with a nice smooth cake batter.
  3.  Pour the cake batter into your pan & bake for about 40 minutes.Lemon Drizzle Cake
  4. While you’re waiting, mix together your icing sugar & lemon juice until totally smooth and pop it to one side.
  5. After 40minutes check the cake by inserting a skewer (anything pointy and clean) into the middle, if it comes out clean it’s done. If not, give it a few minuets more.
  6. When it’s ready use your skewer to poke holes all over the cake, all the way down to the bottom. Wait a few minutes till cooled slightly and pour over your lemon glaze.Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe
  7. I made a little bit of plain icing to drizzle over the cake for effect. I did this using 100g icing sugar with a dribble of water.

Chocolate Fondant Meringues

After making lemon meringues on Saturday, I was inspired; I wanted to make a treat which was bite-sized and would go well with a nice cup of tea. As I bought too many eggs, I was swayed to make another, yet very different meringue recipe. This is what I came up with.

chocolatefondantmeringues

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams dark chocolate

Method: 

  1. First, set up a bain-marie, as we are making a swiss style meringue.  Then, preheat oven to 130c.
  2. In a metal bowl, combine egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over your pot of simmering water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat when the mix is too hot to touch.
  3. Take off the heat and whisk the mix until firm and it has doubled in volume. You will get the best results with an electric whisk.Meringue Mix
  4. Melt the chocolate (best with bain-marie) and fold into the meringue, leave it a bit uneven for a more marbled effect. Use two teaspoons to place small balls of the mix on a tray with baking paper. Bake for 35min.

little meringues

Your finished product should be crisp on the outside with a gooey liquid centre. Stuff entire meringue in your mouth and enjoy.

Chewy Lemon Meringues

Lemon meringues

Ingredients:

  • 4 Egg whites
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • Tea spoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 3 table spoons of lemon curd (for recipe see my Lemon cupcakes)

Method:

  1. Turn oven to 130 degrees fan (150 regular).
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff with an electric mixer, if you have one it’s best to use a ballon whisk. Then, while the mixer is still going, gradually incorporate the sugar. Beat until glossy, thick and will form stiff peaks. Next, mix in the vanilla extract, and half the lemon zest. Fold in the lemon curd so you create swirls in the mixture.
  3. Put spoonfuls on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and sprinkle with a little zest, bake in an oven for 55 minutes.fluffy lemon meringues
  4. When their time’s up, switch the oven off and allow the meringues to cool down in there.
  5. I like to dust mine with a little Icing sugar and a bit more lemon zest. They taste fanatic with ice-cream or as an eton mess.

Pigs in Mud Cake

fondantpigs

So, it was my little sister’s 18th, and having seen a few of these cakes doing the rounds on the internet I saw it as the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. I had no prior fondant experience and found the decorating a piece of cake.  So don’t let the appearance fool you into thinking you need any skills to create your own version.

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 400 grams self raising flour
  • 400 grams caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 80 grams best-quality cocoa powder
  • 350 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300 ml sour cream

Butter Cream

  • 110 grams soft butter
  • 160 grams icing/powder sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 160 grams milk chocolate

Ganache

  • Good quality dark chocolate (I used green and blacks)
  • Double Cream

Decorating:

  • A load of kitkats 
  • Pink Fondant
  • Ribbon (for holding on the kitkats)

Method:

  1. Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 180°C and line and butter two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins with removable bases.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs and the rest of the ingredients – baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, vanilla and sour cream – until you have a smooth, thick batter.
  4. Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time or cook them separately.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and, in their tins, let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out. Don’t worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing.
  6. Now for the butter cream:
    • Place the butter and icing sugar into a large bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.
    • Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces, over a bain-marie (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Once melted, stir with a wooden spoon and place to one side.
    • Add the milk to the butter and sugar mixture, and mix thoroughly.
    • Add the melted chocolate and beat furiously until light, smooth and shiny.
  7. Once your cake has cooled, level it off using a bread knife so that the two layers sit comfortably together. Next, secure the bottom layer to the board or plate you will be using to display the cake using a spoonful of the butter cream; smother a generous amount onto the top and put on the second layer. Hold a little back to smother the sides of the cake. This will help the KitKats stay in place.
  8. Now for the ganache: 
    • In a bain-marie, melt the chocolate. At the same time heat your cream in a pan over the hob. Once the chocolate has melted, take the cream off the heat and pour in the chocolate. Mix thoroughly until thick and combined.
    • Leave to cool.
  9. Next, mix the ganache and pour over the cake allow a little to go over the sides as it will help the KitKats stick. I used a spoon to make swirls in the mud. Now you can get out your KitKats and stick them around the cake, making sure not to leave any gaps.
  10. Pigs in Mud Cake
  11. Once this is done, secure the KitKats with a ribbon.

For the Little Pigs

Try and make these in a cool room, and don’t play with the fondant to much or it will start to dry out. I started by making the little pigs bums. I did this by making little balls, adding a little indentation to represent their bottom cheeks and putting a little hole to later support a little tail.
Fondant Pigs
You can then make little bellies with a hole for a belly button.  Faces consist of a large of fondant with a smaller ball for a snout and little teardrops for ears. Make sure you also make little holes in the head to put the ears into otherwise they can slide off.  For the trotters I also used a tear drop shape and put indentation on one end.
I also made two pigs that sat up against the edge of the cake. These I made by putting together a big ball and a little ball like you would a snow man. I then stuck on the snout and ears, made an impression for the eyes and belly button and made some little sausages for arms.
Fondant Pigs
Last, place your pigs into the mud.
pigs in mud

Honeycomb and Chocolate Naughtiness

DSC_2559

Ingredients:

For the honeycomb:

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g / caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • Flavourless oil (such as vegetable oil), for greasing

For the topping:

  • 120g bar Cadburys dairy milk
  • Double Decker bar
  • Handful of raisins/sultanas
  • Knob of unsalted butter

Method:

1. First, make the honeycomb. Have a wire whisk and an oiled baking tray set out on the side. Put the sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and put on a very low heat. Warm gently for 10 minutes, until all of the sugar has disolved, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon.

Once the sugar has completely melted, turn up the heat to medium. Once the mixture has started to boil, leave to bubble without stirring until it turns golden-brown. Turn off the heat under the pan. Cover one of your hands with a dry tea towel or oven glove for protection, then take hold of the pan handle. Add the bicarbonate of soda and quickly whisk in for a couple of seconds only. The mixture will froth vigorously and you need to take great care as it’s extremely hot.

Quickly pour the mixture into the middle of the oiled baking tray. Don’t spread it out or touch. Sprinkle on the raisins and leave it to cool. This should take about 30 minutes.

stage1

2. Next, chop the double decker into small pieces and melt in a bain-marie with a teaspoon of butter. Once the mixture has melted, use a wooden spoon to smooth and spread across the honeycomb in the tray.

Chocolate Honeycomb

3. Next, melt your Cadbury’s dairy milk bar over a bain-marie. When the chocolate is smooth and shinny, pour onto the honeycomb and, using a pallet knife or the back of a spoon, smooth over your honeycomb and leave to set.

4. Once set, eat as it is or with some ice-cream.  I’ll be having it with some Ben & Jerry’s

Strawberry Cupcakes

DSC_2458

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 340g Plain flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 170g Unsalted butter
  • 230g Caster sugar
  • 100ml Milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 large strawberries 

For the Butter Cream:

  • 5 Large strawberries mushed or blended
  • 170g Butter
  • 240g Caster sugar
  • 3 Egg Whites

Recipe makes about 16 Cupcakes

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180c and line your cupcake pan with paper liners.

2.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. Next, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the vanilla extract. Next, mix in the flour mixture in tree parts, alternating with the milk, and beat until just combined; set aside.

4. In a clean bowl whisk the eggs whites until stiff, glossy peaks form. Then, gently incorporate the egg whites into the mixture.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cases, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 25minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

DSC_2437

6. Now for the butter cream. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

7. Remove from heat  and continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

8. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat until all air bubbles are eliminated. Add the strawberry puree and beat until combined. Continue to stir  with a rubber spatula until  smooth. Keep the buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

9. Now to decorate. Spread or pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake. I added some little sugar craft daisies that I found buying my cupcake cases. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Blueberry Crumble Muffins

DSC_2268

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 360g plain flour
  • 370g golden caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300ml plain yogurt
  • 70ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 70g unsalted butter, melted
  • 200g blueberries

For the crumble:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3tbsp of golden caster sugar
  • 4tbsp of plain flour

I made a lemon & yogurt spread/drizzle to accompany the muffins (not essential):

  • 4tbsps plain yogurt 
  • 110g softened unsalted butter
  • 200g  golden icing sugar
  • Zest 1/2 a lemon
  • Juice 1/2 a lemon
Method:
1.Preheat oven to 170c/325f, gas mark 3. Line a muffin tin with cases. This recipe makes about 16.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and combine.
3.  Next, in a separate bow, combine the milk, yogurt,  egg and vanilla extract. Then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Pour in the melted butter and beat until the butter is just incorporated, then beat until the batter is even and smooth.5. Finally, gently fold in the blueberries until evenly dispersed.6. Spoon the mixture into the cases until two-thirds full.
7. Now for the crumble topping. Bring all your ingredients together using a fork or your finger until you have fine crumbs. Then sprinkle over your mixture in the cases.
8. Now place your mixture the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the muffins to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
9. If you want to make the spread/drizzle. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl with the softened butter and mix. Then pour in the yogurt and the juice and zest of the lemon and mix again.

Et voilà

DSC_2250

Chocolate Malteser Cake

maltesercake

Unlike maltesers, this cake is not light. So any calorie counters replace all ingredients with air… or just get a life and dig in.

Ingredients:

I used a spherical tin but if you’ve got some great sculpting skills you could have a go at carving.

For the sponge (Nigella Recipe) 

  • 150 g soft brown sugar (muscavado sugar is best for flavour)
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175 ml milk
  • 15 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Horlicks powder
  • 175 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing and decoration:

  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cocoa
  • 100 g Horlick’s
  • 250 g soft unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 500g of  Maltesers

Method:

Make sure to leave your ingredients out for a couple of hours to come to room temperature. Buttercream is near on impossible to make using butter strait from the fridge.

1. Preheat the oven to 160c and butter and line your cake tins. I used the technique shown bellow to make sure I could easily remove mine from the tins.

linedtins

2. Whisk together the sugars and eggs until light and frothy. Heat the milk, butter and Horlicks powder in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Beat the milk mixture into the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients thoroughly. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two tins and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, by which time the cakes should have risen and will spring back when pressed gently. Let them cool on a rack for about 5-10 minutes and then turn them out of their tins.

Maltesercakehalves

3. Once your cakes are cool, you’ll need to level them up so they fit together nicely. Then carefully using a bread kniffe divide the sponge into four layers. You can now get on with the icing. I use a processor just because it makes life easier: you don’t need to sieve the ingredients. You may want to divide the quantities for the icing into two batches as it makes a fair bit which probably will not all fit into your processor. So,  place the icing sugar, cocoa and Horlicks in the processor and blitz to remove all lumps. Then add the butter and process again. Stop, scrape down, and start again, pouring the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running until you have a smooth buttercream.

4. It’s now time for the assembly. On your base/plate or whatever you want to present your cake on, put a small amount of butter cream in the centre to secure the cake.  Get the bottom layer of your cake and place it onto the butter cream and, using a pallet knife (or a butter knife), spread on a 1/2 cm of butter cream.  Do the same with the rest of your layers until you’re left with a ball.

Maltesercakelayers

5. Now  cover your cake with 1/2cm of the remaining butter cream. To cover the undersides of the cake with your maltesers you may want to chop a few in half. Then you can just go for it and cover your cake in maltesers. Make sure to press them in firmly but be quick as you don’t want them to melt.

Maltesercakebuttercream

Fancy Rice Krispy Cakes

fancrisecrispies

I loved Rice Krispy cakes as a kid, but they do lack inspiration. These are a bit more fun and the fruitiness of the raisins and strawberries takes the edge off the sweet marshmallows.  Perfect for parties or summer picnics (If summer ever comes).

Ingredients: 

For this recipe you will need a  28x18cm baking tin or similar to press the mixture into.

  • 50g Unsalted butter
  • 200g Marshmallows
  • 125g Rice Krispies
  • 200g Chocolate raisins
  • 360g Milk Chocolate (I used Cadburys)
  • Strawberries for decorating

Method:

1. Start by lining your baking tin with some cling film this will make the squares easy to remove.

2. Next, place your butter and marshmallows in a sauce pan on a low heat. Don’t worry if they look a bit like this, they’re supposed to.

marshmallowmix

Leave until the mixture is smooth and runny, turn off the heat and then fold in your rice crispies making sure they’re all covered. Add the raisins into the mixture, then spoon into your lined tray making sure to flatten the mixture. Now leave in the baking tray to cool, have a nice cup of tea and eat any remaining chocolate raisins. flatternrice

3. Now its time to melt the chocolate. Break up your chocolate into small squares and place in a  bain-marie. Never let the water boil just leave it at a simmer. Once your chocolate is smooth and runny remove from the heat and spread over the top of your Rice Krispies.

5. The time the chocolate takes to cool will depend on the chocolate you use.  But anywhere between 10-40minutes. You can put the tray in the fridge but if its still warm it will lose its shine.

6. When the chocolate is set, cut into squares and garnish with half a strawberry.  Alternatively you could use cupcake cases instead of a baking tray for this recipe. I would recommend doing this if your having a party as these are very sticky.