Strawberry Fresh Cream Cake

Flavor doesnt have to be complicated, this cake is simplicity itself just a basic 2 layer sponge cake with fresh strawberry’s and fresh cream. Decorated with a few mint leaves and edible flowers.

We went and picked our own Strawberry’s from the farm down the road, but I must admit to tasting more than a couple before putting any in the basket.

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Similar to :

orange cake

chocolate orange cake

Ingredients:

5 eggs minus the shells, weighed

= Weight of Self raising flour.

= Weight of Caster Sugar

= Weight of salted Butter

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1 Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

600ml Double or whipping Cream


Procedure:

Put a bowl on the scales and zero the scales.

Crack the eggs into the bowl and weigh them.

then add equal weights of flour, caster sugar and butter, along with the salt, baking powder and vanilla extract.

Whisk till all is combined and smooth.

Poor into 2 lined 200mm tins and cook at 170° in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Reliece from the tin and place on a cooling rack.

When cooled, level the cakes with a cake saw.

whip your cream and spread a thin layer of cream on the bottom layer and cover with thinly sliced fresh strawberry’s add more cream on top of the strawberrys and spread out evenly.

Add the second layer of cake and cover with the rest of the cream, taking your time to get an even coating.

Place strawberry’s every where you think needs them.

If you have some edible flowers, and a few tender mint shoots they will make your cake stand out.

Berry Cheesecake

Who doesnt like a great pudding, the only rules are that its sweet and look awsome, This cheesecake uses Hobnobs instead of the traditional Digestives and gives it a unique taste that will take your guests by surprise.

Berry Cheesecake

Other great sweets

Chocolate Orange Cake

Raspberry and White Chocolate Loaf

Mars Bar Cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1 packs Hobnob biscuits.
  • 75g Butter.
  • 1Tbsp     Honey.
  • Zest & Juice of half a lemon.
  • Zest & Juice of 2 limes.
  • 1 Punnets Blackberys.
  • 300 g sugar.
  • 2 Tubs Mascapone Cheese.
  • 300ml    Double cream.

 

Procedure:

  • Crush the Hobnobs into crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan over a low heat. Mix together the biscuit crumbs and melted butter, mixing thoroughly.
  • Press the biscuit crumb mixture into a large, loose-based flan tin, and place in the fridge for an hour.
  • Place the cream cheese in mixing bowl. Add the sugar, zest and juice of half the lemon and lime zest and juice. Mix together thoroughly.
  • Whisk the double cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whisked cream into the cream cheese mixture. ( the stiffer the peaks the firmer your cheesecake will be).
  • Optional: you can add some pureed berries to the mixture at this point or whole berries if you wish.
  • Put the combined mixture into the loose-based flan tin lined with biscuit crumb mixture.
  • Chill overnight in the refrigerator until set.
  • Whizz berries in a blender to make a puree and spread over the top of the cheesecake.

Plum Syrup / Jam

Awesome flavor in these little jars of Plum syrup. Pored over pancakes or drizzled over pork chops in the final minutes on a BBQ this is a definite winner, especially if you found yourself a plum tree.

If you substitute the sugar for jam sugar, guess what? you will make jam instead of syrup.

Plum Syrup

 


Ingredients:

Plums (as many as you have collected)

Sugar (granulated)

Lemon Juice


Procedure :

Day 1

Wash the plums in a bowl and discard any rotten plums, leaves, twigs or debris.

Put them in your largest stock pot and add 1/4 inch water to the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the plums have broken down to a mush. ( do not fill more than a 1/3rd the pots capacity).

Put a colander lined with a muslin cloth over another large pan and poor the plum pulp into it and leave overnight (cover the lot with a net or large cloth to keep dust and fly’s out.


Day 2

The following morning take the juice and measure it back into the pan and for every cup of plum juice add a cup of granulated sugar and a tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice and bring to the boil while stirring continuously.

Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes

There will probably be a thin pink film on top by now remove this and discard it by poring the syrup through a muslin cloth again.

Ladle into sterilized jars and seal.

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake (original recipe by Sugahero)

I found this recipe last weekend by Sugahero so all credit must go to her for this one. I altered it a bit by only doing three layers instead of four,  but that’s only because I dropped one of the layers, bummer

This Chocolate Orange Cake is the ultimate cake for chocolate-orange lovers! Moist chocolate cake layers are brushed with an orange syrup, and filled with a bright, tangy orange buttercream. It’s topped with a shiny chocolate glaze and chocolate orange slices.

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Read recipe here

Basic Muffins

These little muffins are so easy to make you can get the kids to make them.you just need to do the clearing up 🙂

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Ingredients:

1 egg

120ml milk

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

200g plain flour

100g caster sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


 

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease muffin tin or use bun paper cases.

Beat egg with a fork. Then stir in milk and oil. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Add egg mixture to flour and stir until flour is moistened. BATTER SHOULD BE LUMPY. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

You could even halve the amount of sugar and add some grated cheddar, these are great

Raspberry and White Chocolate Loaf

A lovely tea loaf to enjoy with a nice cuppa whilst in the garden during the summer months or that Autumnal evening while watching the sun set, excellent as toast with melting butter dripping through it. This really is one of my favorite breads to snack on when I crave something sweet. It can be a meal in its self. Try tearing off small bits and scooping some yogurt out of a pot.

Raspberry and White Chocolate


 Ingredients:                    

500g Bread Flour.

320ml Tepid Water.

1 Sachet Yeast.

1 tsp Salt

25g Soft Butter

1 Punnet Raspberry’s

1 Pack White chocolate buttons


Procedure:

  • Place the flour, yeast, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl ensuring the salt and yeast are on opposite sides of the bowl as the salt will start to kill the yeast.
  • Mix in the water and butter and mix with your fingers until all ingredients are combined into a rough dough ball.
  • Throw some olive oil onto a work surface and spread it about liberally and tip the dough ball onto it and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, this will take around 10-20 minutes.
  • Put the dough ball into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or Clingfilm to prove, and double in size, this will take around an hour – hour and half.
  • This time flour a work surface and tip the dough ball onto it  and knock the air out of it
  • Flatten out the dough into a rough rectangle at about 5mm thick and seal the nearest edge to you to the work surface.
  • Spread the Raspberry’s and white chocolate buttons  all over the surface and press into the dough with the palm of your hand, lightly bruising the Raspberry’s
  • Roll the dough up starting at the furthest edge from you and roll towards you, tightening the dough as you roll, then tie the elongated dough into a simple knot and leave covered to prove again for an hour or so or until doubled in size
  • Dust again with flour or sprinkle with some sesame seeds and slash the loaf with a sharp serrated knife.
  • Put into an oven preheated to full and place the baking tray with the bread on it in the oven along with an old tin with some hot water in it, and turn the oven immediately down to 180 degrees for 35-45 Minutes.

Orange cake

OK, so here’s the deal, My stepdaughter has a new food mixer for Christmas and wanted to start baking cakes. Not a problem, but she has it in her head that I am some sort of baking expert,(i’m not, far from it in fact) But I said I will judge her work honestly (In our house, honesty always when dealing with food) She made a Vicky sponge and to be honest for a first try I thought it wasn’t to bad but did have some areas that needed addressing, It was a little dense and the cream in the middle was a little over whipped, but as I said, I’m no cake maker, but I thought if I’m going to critique her cakes I had better have some knowledge to back it up, so I found several recipes on line and picked out 2 different but similar ones and combined them, and I am a bit of a sucker for oranges so came up with this one. It worked the cake was light and airy and just the right flavor and the cream was whipped to perfection ( I always over whip normally ) Im just waiting for her to finish work and come home and judge my work.

Flexi-2

 

Flexi-3

 

Flexi-1-2


 Ingredients:

3 or 4 eggs minus the shells, weighed

= Weight of Self raising flour.

= Weight of Caster Sugar

= Weight of salted Butter

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1 Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Zest of 1 Orange

300ml Double or whipping Cream

Shredless Marmalade


Procedure:

Put a bowl on the scales and zero the scales.

Crack the eggs into the bowl and weigh them.

then add equal weights of flour, caster sugar and butter, along with the salt, baking powder, Orange zest and vanilla extract.

Whisk till all is combined and smooth.

Poor into a lined tin and cook at 170° in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Reliece from the tin and place on a cooling rack.

When cooled, cut the cake in half and spread orange marmalade on the base (not to thick).

whip your cream and spread over the marmalade and and carefully replace the cake top.

Dust with Icing sugar.

 

Hot Water Crust Pastry

This pastry is great for pork pies and other pies of that type, and is so easy to make you dont have to go and buy it.

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There are loads of recipes for this type of pastry all calling for differing amounts and ratios of water too fats, some recipes use an egg, but it really isn’t needed and you run the risk of the egg scrambling, I use this recipe as its easy and effective and no hassle and will make a perfect pie.


 

Ingredients:

500 g Flour
200 ml Water
120 g Butter
70 g Lard
1 level teaspoon Salt


 Procedure:

  1. Place the flour into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the water, butter, lard and salt into a saucepan and heat over a medium heat, stirring as the fat melts. Once it comes to the boil, take the pan off the heat and pour it the bowl with the flour.
  3. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are combined. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rest and cool for 1 hour.
  4. After 1 hour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten into a rectangle.
  5.  Fold the dough into thirds by taking one side of the dough into the centre and pressing down with your fingers.
  6. Then lift up the other side of the dough and bring it over the top. Press down again with your fingers.
  7. Flatten the dough out again into a rough rectangle and repeat the same process once more.
  8. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and place onto a baking tray. Cover it with clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  9. The dough is then ready to be rolled out and used in your preferred recipe.

 

Homemade Natural Yogurt

The missus sent me up the shops back in March for a tub of Greek yogurt, and while contemplating the price whilst in the checkout queue I thought that £1.85 was a bit expensive for a tub of what is essentially gone off milk!

So I made a decision, I would buy this tub and then keep it going.

Fried Chicken-1-5

After I got home and handed the tub of yogurt over to the boss and said “dont use it all leave me a tablespoon in the bottom of the tub” which she did whilst looking at me strangely, I just smiled and put some milk in a pan and put it on a low heat then added the warmed milk to the original pot of yogurt and put it in the airing cupboard overnight. In the morning it had set lovely so it went in the fridge for an hour or so to chill.I then served it up with some muesli and a hand full of blackberry’s,  and there you have it healthy nutritious and tasty.

Natural yogurt with honey and homemade blackberry syrup

Natural yogurt with honey and homemade blackberry syrup

 

I have since improved my technique which I will share with you.


Equipment I use:

My largest pan (stockpot)

a storage pot (to make and store the yogurt in)

Large round pastry cutter (to stand the storage pot on)

Thermometer (for, erm , measuring temperature)

Clean towel (for insulation)


 

Ingredients:

500ml  milk or enough to fill your storage pot (any type, skimmed to full fat)

1 Tablespoon of natural yogurt (live)


Procedure:

First of all wash all your equipment then place the pastry cutter in the bottom of the stock pot then balance the storage pot on top and fill with milk to within 20mm of the top.

Top up the stock pot to near enough the same level as the milk with the hottest water you have from the tap and keep an eye on the temperature of the milk.

Natural homemade yogurt

As soon as the milk temperature reaches 46o C you need to lift your storage pot out and cool the water in the stockpot to 46o C by removing hot water and replacing the same amount of cold water back and giving it a stir.

When both the water in the stockpot and the milk are both at 46 put the storage pot with the milk in back onto the pastry cutter in the stockpot and carefully stir in a tablespoon of yogurt.

Fried Chicken-1-3Place the stockpot somewhere warm, I use my oven which I preheat on full wack for 60 seconds then keep the door closed to keep the heat in and leave it for about 6-8 hours.

By then the bacteria has done its thing and you can put the storage pot in the fridge to chill for an hour or so then serve as you see fit

This never ending tub of natural yogurt has been on the go since March and still going strong.

You could always buy a yogurt maker, but wheres the fun in that 🙂

So give it a go, If you like Natural yogurt in your smoothies then this will do the job and is also great for marinading meat in or making dressings and dips.

A truly versatile product that wont cost the earth

If you want Greek yogurt then simply strain it through muslin cloth for 1 hour to drain off some of the whey and thicken it up.