10 SECRETS TO BETTER BAKING…

10 secrets to better baking –

  1. Leave your cake on a wire rack in the tin you have baked it in for 5 minutes before you turn it out.
  2. When making your cake, leave the eggs and fat our overnight so that they will be at the same temperature.
  3. For a really moist fruit cake, use marmalade instead of candied peel.
  4. For an extra rich, tasty fruit cake, use cold coffee instead of milk.
  5. Measure all your ingredients accurately.
  6. Bake your cake immediately once mixed as the baking powder begins to act as soon as its combined with liquid.
  7. Leave scones for a minute before you pop them into the oven as resting them allow the baking powder to become active.
  8. To make sure the essence you use adds flavour to the whole cake, mix it into the egg before adding the egg to the mixture.
  9. When baking cakes, always sift the flour first as this will incorporate air and will create a light bake.
  10. NEVER open the oven for at least the first half of the baking time as the cold air will interfere with the rising of the cake.

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GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC LOAF CAKE FROM GOOD HOUSEKEEPING…

I am sure by now that my readers know that I love making my loaf cakes and the easier the recipe the more the cake is made. Last week I held a fund-raising coffee morning for Cancer Research and made two Soggy Orange Loaf Cakes and some homemade biscuits for the everyone to enjoy.

I had so many people asking for the recipe for the Soggy Orange Loaf Cake that I was told I should have printed the recipe off and charged for a copy of it and that way I could have made more money for the charity. I will remember that next time.

The recipe I am covering today was one a friend send me the link to on Facebook as she knows how much I love making my loaf cakes. Its’ a Good Housekeeping recipe and is available from their website but also on their Facebook page where you can also watch it being made. As like all my others, it’s very easy to make.

GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC CAKE…

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  • 200 g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 200 g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated zest 1 pink grapefruit
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) gin

FOR THE SYRUP AND TOPPING

Ingredients

  • 75 g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 75 ml 1 pink grapefruit tonic water, we used Fentiman’s Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water
  • 3 tbsp gin
  • 100 g (3 ½oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • Red or pink food colouring

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line base and sides of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment, making sure that the parchment comes up at about 4cm (11/2in) higher than the sides of the tin.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy, about 3min. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition.
  3. Fold in flour, baking powder and grapefruit zest (reserve remaining grapefruit for later), followed by the gin. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 55min-1hr or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: Half the grapefruit and squeeze the juice from one half only. Gently heat the caster sugar and tonic water in a small pan, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil for 1min. Remove from heat and mix in the gin and 1tbsp grapefruit juice.
  5. When the loaf comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and slowly drizzle over half the gin syrup mixture. Leave to soak in for 10min then drizzle with remaining syrup. Leave to cool in tin on a wire rack.
  6. Cut the remaining half the grapefruit in half again, then slice a couple of thin half-moons from one of the halves. Lay the slices flat on a board, and cut along the segment lines into small triangle shapes. Put the triangles on kitchen paper to dry.
  7. Using the tin as a guide, run a knife horizontally along the top of the loaf cake to cut off the rounded top. Invert the cake on to a serving plate and peel off the parchment. Mix the icing sugar with enough grapefruit juice (about 11/2tbsp), to make a slightly thick but pourable icing. Use a cocktail stick to add a very small amount of food colouring to the icing, to tinge it a pale pink (repeat if necessary until you get the desired shade). Spoon icing over the cake and decorate with the grapefruit triangles.To store

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days if without grapefruit decoration (or about 3 days with grapefruit slices).

     

     

#RECIPE OF THE WEEK – EASY CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE…

This week’s recipe of the week is Olive Magazine’s Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake…

Super easy and quick to make, this gooey chocolate cake number is perfect for when you need to bake a last-minute treat for a special occasion.

Ingredients…

  • self-raising flour 150g
  • cocoa 30g
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • muscovado sugar 175g
  • butter 175g, softened
  • eggs 3
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • dark chocolate 50g, melted

FUDGE ICING

  • butter 200g, softened
  • icing sugar 200g
  • dark chocolate 200g, melted 

Method:

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 170C/gas 4. Line and butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.

Put all cake ingredients into the food processor and whizz until smooth. If the mix is a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water and whizz again.

Divide between tins, level and bake for 30 minutes or until springy. Leave for 5 minutes then cool on a rack.

Clean the food processor. Whizz the butter and icing sugar, add the chocolate, whizz again, then sandwich and ice the cake.

Tadah…now pop the kettle on and enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee with a slice of this deeeelicious cake, Enjoy

TOP FIVE BAKING MAGAZINES WORTH SUBSCRIBING TO …

Baking Heaven Magazine – Bringing you the ultimate sweet AND savoury bakes, Baking Heaven magazine is serious about baking. Filled with perfect pastries, colourful cakes, decadent desserts, scrumptious savouries and tempting treats aplenty, this is Britain’s best-selling baking magazine, perfect for beginners to experts! It is jam (sandwich)-packed with delicious treats for every baking enthusiast. From creamy desserts that are to die for to baking with a savoury touch, a Baking Heaven magazine subscription covers all the best bakes in the world. With over 101 delectable recipes in every quarterly issue, this will become your essential guide to baking sweet and savoury goodies all year round. Baking Heaven magazine focuses on a specific topic in each issue to help you polish your skills in that area, from irresistible cheesecakes to Scandinavian baking. You’ll become the master baker in no time.

Good Food is guaranteed seasonal goodness inside every issue, the ever glorious Good Food is a serious contender for the top spot. Good Food magazine is the UK’s top selling food magazine, a must-have addition to any kitchen for those who love to cook and eat. Packed with over 100 recipes, from easy everyday suppers to impressive three course banquets for two; it’s like having Ainsley Harriet resident in your kitchen!

Page by page, Good Food magazine will make your mouth water and tummy rumble. With stunning photography that makes you wish you could pick food straight off the page and top tips from celebrity chefs, this magazine will boost your culinary skills to the delight of your friends and family.

Olive

Olive Magazine is filled with seasonal ideas as well as fantastic features on trending cuisine, dishes to try and new recipes you’d never think to make just waiting to become a family favourite! With themes in every issue, you’ll never be bored with the gastronomical temptations on every page. Innovative and creative, the team at Olive keep readers guessing by mixing up traditional dishes with new twists as well as suggestions for alternatives for your classic roast dinners and midweek meals.

Delicious Magazine is the perfect pick for those looking for a mouth-watering monthly bible for foodies, guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling with every issue. Find inspiration for midweek meals, featuring healthy, budget-friendly dishes the whole family will enjoy. Looking to impress? Discover entertainment menus in every issue with emphasis on tasty, easy meals with a seasonal twist to astound your family and friends. Packed with top tips from your favourite chefs and step-by-step guides on everything from soufflés to sauces.

Free From Heaven Magazine is a new bi-monthly healthy lifestyle magazine featuring over 100 seasonal, free-from recipes in every issue!

Whether you chose to eat a specific diet as part of a healthy lifestyle option, or you have intolerances to certain produce such as dairy, gluten, sugar, or eggs, the great range of tempting and nutritious recipes in this beautiful magazine will help you enjoy varied and tasty meals every day of the week.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LOAF CAKE RECIPE?…

A few years ago I published this book on ‘Over One Hundred Tips on Baking Cakes’which I am now in the process of updating and adding ‘loaf cakes recipes’, to the book.

If you have a favourite loaf cake recipe and would like to be featured in my book which will include the link to all your media sites then please pm me asap so that I can get it done for final print on November 5th. The book is also available at a local tea shop.

If you have any of your own copyright free pictures then please send these as well.

Look forward to hearing from some of you.

FOODIE HEALTH BOOSTS USED IN YOUR KITCHEN…

Help your immune system in the winter by keeping in your store cupboard some health boosters. Honey has natural anti-fungal and antibacetrial properties. Garlic has natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties as well. Tumeric acts as an anti-inflammatory. Ginger also contains natural anti-inflammatories. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which helps infection-fighting white blood cell activity. […]

via FOODIE HEALTH BOOSTERS OFTEN USED IN THE VILLAGE KITCHEN… — The Village Kitchen…

AFTERNOON TEA IN STYLE…

As I not only write on this Afternoon Tea Blog but also for a local Tea/Coffee shop I have the best excuse ever to go and try out different afternoon teas and write a blog post about them.
 
Today I went quite local to me to Cockliffe Country House Hotel – which is a 17th century former farmhouse set in the heart of rural Nottingham, bordering the historically significant Sherwood Forest. Situated in the heart of Burntstump Country Park.
 
They specialise in banqueting and conferences, and offer a peaceful and private environment in 3 acres of private grounds.and is well known in the area for it’s intimate restaurant experience.
 
There was a choice of an afternoon tea menus –
 
A freshly baked plain scone and sultana scone with clotted cream and traditional preserve. A selection homemade pastries and cake to include; Double chocolate brownie Traditional Bakewell Tart Carrot & Walnut cake and a selection of Traditional sandwiches Scottish smoked salmon & cream cheese Honey roast ham & wholegrain mustard Rare roast beef & horseradish Lincolnshire poacher & red onion marmalade. A choice of free flowing tea or Coffee for £18.95p
or a Joseph Perrier Champagne Afternoon Tea of A Traditional Cockliffe Afternoon Tea served with a Rhubarb & stem ginger tart and a glass of chilled Joseph Perrier champagne for £21.95pp
or a Traditional Cream Tea Homemade plain & sultana scone, Devonshire clotted cream and Preserve served with free flowing tea or coffee for £5.95pp
 
We had the Champagne Afternoon Tea. The sandwiches were fresh and delicious especially the Rare roast beef & horseradish. The scones were warm and tasty and far to many cakes to choose from. I managed the double chocolate brownie and the carrot and walnut cake which was excellent and my friend had a lemon curd tart which she really enjoyed. There was still so many cakes left over that I asked for a doggy bag to bring home for hubby to enjoy (which he did). All in all a lovely afternoon tea but a shame that we were the only customers in the Restaurant.