Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lemon Iced Gingerbread

Another holiday favourite.... actual gingerbread either on it's own or I decided to shake it up a bit and pop a bit of lemon butter icing on top... delicious :) Ask Orla!! x

150g butter, 200g golden syrup, 200g treacle, 125g dark muscovado sugar, 2tsp grated ginger, 1tsp ground ginger, 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1tsp bicarb of soda(dissolved in 2tbsp warm water), 250ml full fat milk, 2beaten eggs, 300g plain flour
GAS 3 or 170C
Grease sides and line a dish 30X20X5 Cm
  • In a saucepan over a low heat(it burns quickly!), melt butter, sugar, syrup, treacle, gingers, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Take off heat and cool slightly, mix in the milk, beaten eggs, and dissolved bicarb
  • Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour over the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed.**It'll be a very liquid batter.
  • Pour into tin and bake for 50-60mins, keep an eye. Until it is risen and firm
  • Cool in the tin! Ice if you like or don't ice if you don't like :)
Lemon Butter Icing
200g icing sugar, 100g butter, grated lemon zest and 1tbsp lemon juice
Beat together

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baileys and White Chocolate Cupcakes....MMMMM

I think white chocolate and Baileys is a match made in heaven :) the cupcakes are yoghurt cupcakes, super moist, sweet and oh so nice. I tried so hard to make Snow White butter icing, I ended up using a white shortening in place of the butter, clear vanilla extract but the baileys still added a creamy tint.... still though they turned out really well!

115g butter, 220g caster sugar, 1 egg, 250g flour, 5g baking soda, 2g baking powder, 175ml natural yoghurt, 60 ml melted white chocolate

normal a ratio of 2:1 sugar to butter, but the shortening demands you use 10% less than the recipe
200g icing sugar, 90g shortening, 1/2 tsp clear vanilla and a good dash of baileys

I honestly don't think i ever fully follow a recipe for butter icing. Once i have the sugar and butter beaten together(2:1) i mix in flavours until it tastes right and if i need to add more sugar to firm it up i do... so play around with it

Happy Baking and Happy Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Cake!

Now every year I debate about whether to make a christmas cake or not, generally it's left there 'til March!! It's just one of those things thats forgotten about what with every other type of sweet and cake around the place :) But this year I made a cake (recipe adapted from Rachel Allens Bake) and it was a hit. The cake itself was light and moist, really full of fruit and whisky obviously! I'd say you'd get drunk after a few slices.. happy days! I'm not going to type the recipe as it involves many many ingredients but it's very simple to make. E-mail @ jennifer.omahony@gmail.com if you'd like it. I decorated the cake using almond paste and a ready to roll white fondant icing. I made holly cutouts and stuck them on, iced it and placed silver baubles around the outline.. it was loverly! And half of it was gone before Christmas Day... Madness!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas is coming.....

So this weekend we switched on the Christmas lights at work, and they set up the Winter Wonderland in town and I came home Saturday evening to find my fantastic bauble loving Mother adorning every inch of the house with something festive, and I thought the only thing that could add to this would be the aroma of all things spice wafting through the house I decided make gingerbread cookies, and it was delish if I may say so myself! Here’s the tried and tested recipe and a couple o pics of my creations ….. Happy Baking!

Gingerbread Biscuits.

450g Plain flour (extra for dusting), 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground mixed spice, 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 115g butter room temp (extra for tray greasing), 100g golden syrup, 115g light muscovado sugar, 1 egg beaten
Preheat the oven to 160C gas 3, and grease 3 large baking trays and away you go !

Sift the first 4 ingredients*all the dry ones!* into a large bowl. Place the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan over a low heat, stir constantly until melted together. Leave to cool a bit and pour into the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg too. (If the liquid is piping hot and you add the egg, it’ll scramble and believe me spicy floury scramble egg ain’t the result you’re going for!!) Mix all this together to form a dough which will be kinda sticky but it’ll firm up as it cools down.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 3mm thick and using your fav cookie cutters stamp out your biccies! I made one tree cuz i didnt have a cutter and i free hand cut it, which got old after the first one haha! I also made snowmen, angels and holly. Place the shapes on the prepped trays and re-knead any dough and cut until its all used up. If using edible baubles or currants etc for decoration press them into the cookies now, before baking. Pop them in the oven then, for 15 to 20 mins until firm and lightly browned.

Remove and leave to cool on the trays for a few mins, and transfer to a wire rack. Make sure they’re cold when decorating!

For the icing, I made up 4 little bowls white, black, green and red. You’ll need a piping bag, coupler and a small nozzle attachment. 100g icing sugar to 4tsp water usually gets the consistency you need, add more sugar if its too runny thou or a little more water if too thick (be light handed with the water!)

Pipe away using your own creativity, i piped around the edges just to outline, and using the different coloured icings i did the snowman detail.

Happy Baking xxx

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mums Birthday

Revenge of the Death By chocolate!! The chocolate ganache cake has fast become a staple favourite in my hosue :) I altered the topping slightly for this version by putting mini smarties on top and had sparkler candles on it as a finishing touch. It was again devoured, cakes really do not last long around here!

Follow the same recipe as Pams Birthday cake find it here and decorate whatever way you want, use your favourite chocolates or sweets. Another sweet I've used would be white maltesers or white buttons etc.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gotta love halloween!

Halloween is probably one of my favourite times of the year! I love dressing up , decorating the house and baking random cakes to decorate! Work was a bit mad so I only got to make one cake and it was the plainest cake possibly imaginable, so Im not even gonna write down the recipe! It was just a basic basic sponge with butter icing and a bit of jam and I covered it with ready to roll icing dyed orange*. I was impressed with how it turned out though after I drew a spider web on with Wilton Black Icing Pen ... niiiiice :)

* I used Colourflair dye in Melon find it here as I had it leftover from the Watchmen Cake and mixed it with a bit of regular red food colouring :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pams Birthday

The last couple of years birthdays have meant Marks and Spencer Chocolate Ganache Cake! But I'm so over buying cakes when they're easy enough to master at home with a bit of practice. Pam obviously wanted a death by chocolate cake and nothing else would do so i made a double layer chocolate cake sandwiched and fully covered with chocolate ganache. Then on top there was aero bubbles and chocolate sprinkles and it was surrounded by chocolate fingers.... served with whipped cream OH MY GOD could not eat for a day :)

175g butter, 175g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 250g self raising flour, 1tbsp cocoa powder, 50g plain choc melted
Gas 4 or 180C

Line and grease 2x 20cm tins

  • Cream the butter and add the sugar. Beat until soft light and fluffy
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well each time
  • Fold in the flour and cocoa powder until mixed thoroughly and stir in the melted chocolate
  • Fill tins and bake until sponge bounces back or a skewer comes out clean. 20 to 25 mins
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack and cover with ganache and decorate
Simple Chocolate Ganache
450ml Double Cream ********IT HAS TO BE DOUBLE! i had serious issues when i used single cream
375g Plain Chocolate

Bring the cream to the boil and stir in the chocolate, keep simmering and stirring until the chocolate is melted.
Leave to cool and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until set and firm. Then whisk the mixture until light and fluffy.

****I made this ganache a couple of times and the 2nd out of a few times i had to use single cream. It didnt set at all in the fridge and therefore wasn't spreadable at all as it was still so runny! I beat in icing sugar 50 g a time until it firmed up to a piping consistency. It'll be a good bit sweeter but still tastes amazing.... chocolate cream and sugar like... what's not to love!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Coffee Love

Aswell as cakes I have little obsession with coffee, having worked in coffee shops for the last 7 years it was impossible not to develop that obsession! But i've become somewhat of a snob, and I annoy everyone with my rants about the perfect milk and combination of tastes and service ( especially service!!) Here' s just a few pics of coffees I've made, lattes and white mochas, Ill get back to ranting some other time!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hummingbird Birthday!

So i wanted something different and decided to make this classic hummingbird cake ! I was sceptical at first when i looked at the ingredients but it turned out to be a super moist cake that was full of flavour! My mum hates nutty cakes but even she loved it... win win!

300g caster sugar, 3 eggs, 300ml sunflower oil*, 270g peeled mashed bananas, 1tsp cinnamon, 300g plain flour, 1tsp bicarbonate soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 100g tinned pineapple chopped into small bits, 100g pecans or walnuts and a few extra for on top!
Gas 3 or 170C
Grease and line 3 x 20cm tins
  • Beat the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon together until incorporated ** might look curdled at this stage dont worry! 
  • Slowly add the flour, bicarb, salt and vanilla and beat everything until well mixed
  • Stir in the pineapple and nuts, until evenly dispersed 
  • Pour evenly into 3 tins and smooth over (lift tins 3inches off counter and drop!)
  • Bake for 20 - 25 mins until sponge bounces back or cake skewer comes out clean
  • Cool in tins slightly and turn onto wire rack.. cool some more!
  • Ice! .........
Cream Cheese Icing
600g icing sugar , 100g softened butter, 250g cream cheese

Beat sugar and butter together until smooth, add in the cream cheese and beat again for about 6 mins until light and fluffy. Sandwich cakes and ice all over aswell . Scatter with chopped nuts.... Devour!

* dont use other oils like olive oil etc as they are too strong in flavour

Friday, September 18, 2009

Joes Birthday!

So one of the first movies myself and Joe went to see was Watchmen, so I decided for his birthday cake I would attempt to make the smiley face badge into a cake! God I was running around the kitchen like a blue arsed fly trying to get it perfect... it was hilarious! The cake itself was a white chocolate cake with vanilla butter icing, covered in bright yellow fondant icing with a bit of raspberry jam underneath for good measure! It was the blood spatter on it that caused me the most grief, one wrong move and I would have ruined the whole cake covering! So I practiced dropping candle wax and royal icing from a height to try get it right but nothing worked properly so i eventually dabbed it on with my finger .... after all that!!

The real icing on the cake was Joes reaction :) well chuffed! xx

225g soft butter, 225g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 250g plain flour, 2tsp baking powder, 50g white choc melted, 50 ml milk
Gas Mark4, 180C , 350F
Grease and line 2 x 8inch spring form tins
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the vanilla and then eggs one by one, beating well in between
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently
  • Add the milk and cooled melted chocolate and combine thoroughly
  • Put mix into the two tins evenly and bake for 20 to 25 mins
  • Cool on a wire rack and sandwich with vanilla butter icing. Jam the tops and sides and cover in ready to roll fondant icing(dyed yellow!)**. Using a black icing pen draw on eyes and smile and dab on the blood spatter with royal icing (icing sugar red colouring and water).
Vanilla Butter Icing
150g butter softened, 300g icing sugar, 1tsp vanilla, dash of milk.
Cream together

** I used Sugarflair colour in Melon available HERE

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A little about me and baking..........

Where do I start! I guess my love for baking started when I was a kid, my mum used to have us help her in the kitchen every time she got a notion to bake which was probably every weekend! We always baked cupcakes and she taught me how to make a mean flan :) Mum used to bake all our birthday cakes from scratch aswell and they were always unbelievable, I have a vivid memory of being in the dining room in our old house with the buttercream and chocolate finger cake standing proud in the middle of the table..... mmmm.... until it was devoured by 20 hungry 7year olds!
Another baking inspiration is my Nana Noreen. She used to mind us after school when we were kids, and a couple of times a week we'd bake something in her tiny kitchen. I mean TINY! With the table and fridge and appliances etc there was about a foot of walking space.. hilarious!
So recently, in the last year I suppose, I've kickstarted my interest in baking again. Last Christmas people actually got me baking tins as presents haha :) I've become more interested in decorating aswell so now my cakes aren't just slapped with a dollop of icing, they're carefully piped i swear!