Thursday, 24 January 2013

Maltesers: The lighter way to enjoy chocolate...

...although probably not if you stick a cake and a large quantity of chocolate buttercream underneath them!

This is a truly heavenly cake, and, true to my name, is deliciously decadent! A rich chocolate sponge with a hint of maltiness covered in the most divine chocolate buttercream. It has to be tried by all in my opinion! 

The Ingredients for the cake:

 Butter, caster sugar, dark soft brown sugar, eggs, Horlicks, milk, plain flour, cocoa, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda.

 In a bowl put the caster sugar, brown sugar, and the eggs, and beat together.
Next, in a small bowl or mug, heat the butter, milk and Horlicks until the butter has melted and the Horlicks dissolved. The add this into the sugar and eggs mixture and beat in.
 Add the plain flour, cocoa, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda to the mixture and beat thoroughly. 
 The mixture will be fairly thick and smooth - pour into two prepared cake cases (around 20cm) and bake in the oven (180) for 25-30 minutes.
 Once cooked (check in the normal way - a cake skewer inserted should come out clean), leave to cool in their tins for a few minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cold. Once cold make up the buttercream and sandwich the two halves together.

 The Ingredients for the buttercream:
 Icing sugar, butter, Horlicks, and cocoa powder; maltesers for decoration.

Place all the ingredients into a food processor, place the lid on and blitz until you have a smooth and fairly thick buttercream.
 Spread half the buttercream onto one of the cakes and then sandwich the two halves together.
 Use the remain buttercream to cover the top of the cake.
 Arrange maltesers on the top of the cake in a pattern of your choosing!

And there you have it! Beautiful!

As an aside: Apologies for not posting recently but I have been rather busy actually getting my shop ready for opening! Very exciting! I will hopefully do a post here on how it is all progressing, but for now why not use the link at the top of my page to go to my Official Website and find out much more about what's going on!
You can also follow me on Twitter for regular updates, and you can like my page on Facebook too! Once again there are links for these things at the top of the page!

Thank you!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Not just your standard cherry cake

My mum, and indeed so am I, is a huge fan of anything that involves glace cherries, which leads to a great many things being made with them! Coupled with that is a love for anything involving almond, so it is extremely handy that the two things go so well together! A little while ago I did a post involving cherry and almond flapjack, and the list of things I have crated involving the two ingredients is rather long so I won;t put them all down here. This post is for what appears to be a simple cherry cake, but it packs an almighty punch of rich, nutty almond sponge with a zesty lemon kick, punctuated with beautiful sweet, artificially red cherries, and finished with a crunchy sugar top - it is a favourite in the Appleby household, and definitely deserves its own post on this blog.

The Ingredients

 Butter, caster sugar, glace cherries, ground almonds, plain flour, baking powder, eggs, zest and juice of 1 lemon, and sugar lumps for the top.

To start, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until it is smooth and pale.
 Then put the creamed mixture to one side, take the glace cherries and cut them into quarters. You do not need to worry about washing them.
  In another large bowl, place the quartered cherries and add to them a spoonful of plain flour and the ground almonds. For this recipe I grind my own almonds because I feel it adds to the flavour and texture of the cake - this is obviously down to personal choice and if a smoother sponge is wanted then finely ground almonds should be used.
 Mix the cherries thoroughly with the flour and almonds so that they are well covered.
 Leaving the cherries on one side, into the creamed mixture add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Then add the remaining flour and the baking powder and mix well.
 Next, add in the cherries.
 Finally, mix in the lemon zest and juice.
 Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin - the tin used is a round springform tin, around 20cm/8 inches. I use cake release spray, which I absolutely love, but you can just butter and/or line the tin if you prefer.
 Level out the tip of the cake with the back of a spoon or a spatula and then sprinkle the crushed sugar cubes all over the top of the cake. The sugar cubes want to be in a variety of sized lumps, evenly spaced over the top of the cake.
 Cook in the oven for 1-1 and 1/4 hours, when cooked it will have nicely risen and browned, and started to crack on the top.

And there you have the finished product.

The sugar cubes are such a brilliant touch because they give the entire cake a crunchy topping without being overly sweet. The lemon in the cake tones the sweetness down also, which is definitely needed because of just how sweet the glace cherries are, and there are lots of them in this cake! It might seem like it is just a standard cherry cake but it is genuinely so much more - I haven't met anyone (yet!) that hasn't tried it and absolutely loved it!


Friday, 14 December 2012

A Christmassy treat #1

I have been completely absent from the blog for an entire month! I feel this is awful behaviour! I have, however, been ridiculously busy! That is my excuse and I am sticking to it! Life is only going to get busier though it would seem because not only is it the week before christmas but I found out today that I will actually be getting the keys for my new premises on Monday! Very very exciting but also rather stressful!

Now, next week is not only a week of finishing the christmas shopping, wrapping presents, and making beautifully decadent Christmas treats for family and friends, it is also a week of clearing, cleaning and possibly even decorating! I think there is still a little way to go before the doors will actually be opening to the masses though! However, over the next few months, this blog will be featuring fewer recipe posts and many more posts on the progress of the premises! I've been doing all sorts of grown up things like opening up a business bank account and sending off for business cards! Plus things keep arriving that are addressed to the 'Managing Director'! Just a tiny bit scared! 

As another point, I am also working on getting my official website up and running. You might notice that I have added it as a page at the top, and if you do go for a look, bare in mind it is very much a work in progress at the moment! 

As it is almost Christmas, I thought I would get back to my blog with a Christmas post! Hopefully I'll get a few more up over the week and then maybe after the Big Day itself too! My baking exploits are normally saved for the 27th, when the Appleby family have 'Day-after-Boxing-Day Tea'! Kicking off proceedings is a recipe for an Iced Ginger Cake. It really is a beautiful cake; a light, crumbly sponge with a lovely tangy ginger icing on top. I love using ginger and other spices at this time of year because they just taste and smell so festive! This cake is definitely a perfect christmassy treat!

The Ingredients

175g Butter, 175g caster sugar, 3 eggs, 1 tbsp treacle, 2 tbsp ginger syrup, 225g self-raising flour, 1 tsp ground mixed spice, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tbsp ground almonds, 2 tbsp milk, and 70g stem ginger. 

Start by creaming together the butter and caster sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
Add the treacle and the ginger syrup to the eggs and whisk.
In another bowl, mix together the flour and spices.
Alternately, add a little of the egg mixture and then some of the flour mixture, to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, until all mixtures are completely combined.
Next, add the ground almonds and the milk, and stir together until you have a smooth mixture.
Finally, chop the stem ginger into reasonably small pieces and add to the mixture, then mix everything together.
Spoon into a prepared tin and smooth the surface - note my use of silicone once more! I do always line the bottom of my silicone moulds though. If you don't have silicone, then make sure your tin is well greased/lined. 
Bake in the oven (160/Gas Mark 3) for 45-50 minutes, until the cake is well risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is completely cool, make up some glace icing with 225g of icing sugar and 1tsp of ginger syrup. 
Pour the icing over the cake - it will be runny so be prepared! If you don't like the consistency add some more icing sugar.
To finish, decorate the cake with edible gold balls.

It was enjoyed by all here in the Appleby Household, and I hope it will be enjoyed by my future customers also! If you try making it, I hope you enjoy it too!