Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Lemon Layer Cake

My blogging has been terrible recently. I've logged on just now and my last post was the 11th September....aaages ago! There has been good reason for it however...it was my Mum's birthday, Karls birthday (more on that later!), I've been off work, I've been ill and I've been away for a few nights too...so all in all I've been quite a busy girly!

Back to my Mum's birthday though...I had been thinking for awhile about what I could bake my Mum for her birthday and in the end, knowing how much she loves Lemon Cupcakes, I thought I would attempt a Lemon Layer Cake for her.

I used the recipe in the Primrose Bakery book for the cake and butter cream, however I decided it needed something more so I made a batch of Lemon Curd from the Rachel Allen book Bake and put that along with the butter cream in the cake. I have never made Lemon Curd before but the fresh home made version was so much better than any of the stuff I've bought from the supermarket before!

The last few recipes I have attempted from the Primrose Bakery, although weren't huge disasters, didn't quite go to plan, so I was really nervous about making this cake for my mum. I had visions of her cutting into it and it being as solid as a brick or not cooked! Luckily, the recipe worked...the cake rose perfectly and was really moist. The butter cream was sweet and lemony and the lemon curd gave that little extra lemony flavour to the cake. This is a recipe I will most definitely be making again.

Lemon Layer Cake
Makes two 20cm cakes which can be sandwiched together

225g golden caster sugar
225g self raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
25g cornflour
225g unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons (otherwise use 3 lemons)

Preheat the over to 170C. Grease and baseline the two tins.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth.
Combine the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl.

Add the eggs to the creamed mixture one at a time mixing for a few minutes after each addition, alternating with the dry ingredients, and finally the grated lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat well after each addition but do not over beat.

Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until raised and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Once cool, sandwich the layers together with lemon butter cream icing and lemon curd and ice the top with more lemon butter cream.

Lemon Butter Cream
110g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 1-2 unwaxed lemons
500g icing sugar

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.

Lemon Curd
75g butter
150g caster sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a saucepan and heat very gently until the butter is melted.
Put the eggs and egg yolk in a bowl and beat thoroughly.
Pour the beaten eggs into the melted butter mixture and stir carefully over a low heat until the mixture has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon.
If the heat is too high the mixture will scramble. If this happens quickly push it through a sive.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a bowl.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Pear and Raspberry Crumble

I've been meaning to blog about this recipe for a little while. I got it out of last months Sainsburys Magazine. I love this magazine..there's always at least one recipe I want to make in every copy I buy and its only £1.40..what a bargain!

I made this recipe a few weekends ago as a simple dessert on a sunday night. I love crumbles - so quick and easy to make and they always taste so so good...proper comfort food for me!

Pear and Raspberry Crumble Recipe
Serves 4

3 large slightly unripe pears - 700g cored and thickly sliced
300g fresh raspberries (or blackberries..whichever you prefer)
60g caster sugar

For the crumble
100g cold butter, diced
225g plain flour
50g caster sugar

Preheat the over to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4. To make the crumble topping, in a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, or pulse them together in a food processor, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Butter a 1.2 litre oven proof dish and arrange the pears in it. Sprinkle over the raspberries and then the sugar.

With a large spoon, scatter the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake in the centre of the oven for about an hour. The crumble should just be turning golden and there will be some raspberry juice bubbling up around the sides.

Sprinkle with a little extra sugar and serve with ice cream like me...or custard or cream...all equally yummy!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Mars Bar Cupcakes

Last minute this weekend I decided I would bake some cupcakes. I've been wanting to try making Mars Bar Cupcakes for ages. I don't particularly like Mars Bars but I thought in cupcake form I would like them much better...and I did....these cupcakes are seriously yum!

I didn't actually have a recipe for these cupcakes. They are made up of a basic chocolate cupcake recipe with a chunk of Mars Bar baked into the centre. I then topped them with chocolate butter cream, caramel sauce, another chunk of Mars Bar and chocolate curls.

I so wanted home made caramel/toffee sauce on the top of these cupcakes and I set about making it using the recipe from the Primrose Bakery Cupcake. Toffee sauce just wasn't to be this weekend though. I made the recipe 4 times in total and used nearly a whole packet of sugar and every time it turned out wrong! Either I accidently boiled it too long and it turned back to sugar, or it was too runny or it was all grainy like sand..eugh...I don't know what was going wrong but it was a total disappointment and Karl was sent out on a mission at half 4 on Sunday to Tesco to find a decent toffee sauce! He succeeded and the cakes got coated in Tesco Finest Toffee Sauce. A bit of a cheat but tastes very good anyway!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

We Should Cocoa!

I have decided to enter the cupcakes mentioned in my last post (White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes) for the September 'We Should Cocoa'

Now, I really should have mentioned this in my last post....but after the whole disappointment of the cupcakes I really really wasn't wanting to enter them into anything and decided against the whole thing. However, after having a few days to think about it and hearing the positive feedback from Karl and Karl's family I have changed my mind..yet again.. and am going to enter them.

We Should Cocoa is the fab idea of Chele at Chocolate Teapot and Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog. The idea is to bake something with chocolate in it each month, incorporating the special ingredient that is suggested by the host. September's ingredient is raspberries and has been set by Chele.
Entries have to be received by the 25th of the month..so what are you waiting for?? Get baking!