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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tutorial 2, Basic sponge.

This recipe has been a good friend to me over the years, I am sharing it with you as it is easy to make with not much fuss. It is versatile and can be adapted to almost any flavour.

The basic methods in cake making are creaming, rubbing, whisking and the all in one method. These are used as different ways to incorporate the fat,eggs and flour in your recipe. Depending on the ingredients, type of cake will depend on what method you will use. This recipe uses the Creaming method.

CREAMING METHOD = Mix the sugar and fat together until white and fluffy, then add eggs, followed by dry ingredients.

RUBBING IN METHOD = Rub the fat with the flour until crumb like, add any other dry ingredients, add the wet stuff.

WHISKING = Whisk the eggs and sugar to full volume, fold in other ingredients extremely carefully.

ALL IN ONE = Like it says in the title mix all the ingredients together at once in any way.

BASIC SPONGE.

(Makes aprox 18 cupcakes, 2 loaf tins, 1x 6inch round cake.)

What you will need -:

200g Margarine/veg spread/butter.

200g Caster sugar

2 drops of vanilla essence.

4 Eggs

200g Self rasing flour.

Oven gloves,Scales, sieve, bowls, cooling wire, cake tin/cupcakes cases/loaf tin, spoon, grease proof paper, palette knife and a small knife. Oh nearly forgot washing up stuff…boo

Method-:

1,Pre heat your oven to 175c grease and line your cake tin or prepare your muffin tin with the cupcake cases.

2, Soften the fat slightly in the microwave for aprox 15 seconds add the sugar and vanilla and mix really well, you will notice the fat turn pale. This will add air and also your mix is less likely to split when the eggs are added. Cake mixes split due to the eggs not mixing with the fat and causing the fat to set into hard lumps. As you know fat goes hard when cold. Some chefs leave eggs at room temperature to aid the mixing process.

3, Beat your eggs together then add them one at a time to your sugar and fat mix, mix well after each addition. This will avoid your mix splitting and also beat more air into your cake mix. Remember Air= light fluffy cakes plus you get more volume out of you mix this way. We want to avoid splitting the mix as it will make the cake mix heavier and also fat lumps melt in the over and the baked cake will have holes in where a chunk had melted. Don’t worry if your mix splits add a little flour to bring it back. How do you know if its split? I will resemble sick…lovely.

4, Add your sieved flour, sieve the flour to avoid lumps and produce air particles. Mix until all the ingredients have come together. Do not over mix at this stage as you will work the gluten (stretchy bit) in the flour and run the risk of the sponge becoming heavy.
5, Use the mix as required. Avoid getting mix on the sides of the cake tins as drips will cook first and burn they may even prevent you cake from rising or fall into your cake.
6, Bake cupcakes at 175c aprox 10 minutes. Larger cakes will take 30-40 mins at 155c. DO NOT OPEN or BANG the OVEN DOOR while the cake is rising. This would be like someone dropping us into a cold bath our reaction would be to scream and flop, just like our dear cake in the oven.

7, These are the tests to see if the cakes are ready, Appearance = should be a sandy golden colour Feel = when pressed the sponge should bounce back like a “sponge ” ah ha!!! …. yes this probably is where it gets it name from. Then finally The knife test = Place a small knife into the centre of the cake it should come out clean with no cake mix on it. If you are worried about the cake getting too much colour on the top turn the oven down 5c, failing that cover with foil until the cake passes the knife test.

8, Remove the cake from the baking tin and place on cooling wires this helps to prevent condensation forming in the tin and in turn .. soggy sponge, nasty and a shame.

9, When cool decorate however you like, I recommend strawberry jam and butter cream/fresh whipped cream then a light dusting of icing sugar to finish.

10, Now you can either invite friends round and eat with a cup of tea, or eat the whole thing yourself!!

I hope you have fun making this recipe, even more fun eating what you make. Also that this recipe becomes your friend too.

Rose xxx

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Raspberry, chocolate and lemon curd tart.

Good evening all,

I hope your well and just think we are two days closer to the weekend yeyh!!

I have noticed that I tend not to write much on my blog mid week. However I have found an app for my phone that allows me to post short messages. This is great as I can chat to you while I’m travelling home from work. Let me add here I take public transport.

This is one of my cakes from this weeks Selection at work.
A bit of an experiment however I think it worked.

I piped some lemon curd into a pre baked tart case.
Then Poured on top of that some ganache then let it set. For those of you who are un-familiar with that term ganache is basically chocolate and cream.
I boiled a bag of raspberries with sugar to taste, strained then added another bag of raspberries then set with gelatine.
When the ganache had set I carefully poured a spoonful of the raspberry mix on top.
To finish I broke a bit of tempered and coloured white chocolate into a shard and placed on top of the tart.

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This eats well, a balanced mixture of crispy and smooth textures. With a sweet and sour taste from the lemon and sharpness from the raspberries. All brought together with a big hug from the chocolate.
Mmm

Goodnight folks
Rose xxx

Slatterys

Good evening,
Hope you have had a nice weekend and are enjoying your last few hours of relaxation before the week starts.

Last week was much more eventful than I first imagined. Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday or pancake day as it is more popularly known as these days. Work decided we would have a live cooking station and myself and the head chef would make pancakes to order for our customers.   Also celebrity chef Andrew Nutter was joining us as he was going to be filmed to promote his involvement with the sports relief event the BBC are organising .
I was ordered by the film crew to put pancake onto cook when they went live on air … No pressure there . Meanwhile  serving our customers came second to lunchtime news being filmed, luckily as employes of the BBC the customers were very understanding. I managed to ignore the camera,  stay focused and serve the customers. Later that evening I received a text and a Facebook message by friends telling me they had seen me on TV agh!!! However my husband, parents and myself missed it.

On Thursday a few of the pastry chefs from the company I work for all met up organized by the development and regional chef manager. I was over the moon as we met at Slatterys in Whitefield, near Bury. We met to talk about company objectives (the boring bit) then we got a talk by the man himself “John Slattery” then a tour round the kitchens. Now lets just pause for a minute here ……. this was my 3rd visit to the shop and the first time I went I turned into a little girl and started screaming. On the left hand side of the shop there is a magnificent display of sugar and chocolate wedding cakes. At the back of the shop there is a window so the customers can have a nosey at work in progress. There is also a chocolate display and counters with chocolates, cakes and other goodies for sale. So to meet the man himself and get to see where all these wonderful pastry and confectionary items were created and produced was an absolute gift.

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After our tour we then went back to the room where the meeting had been before the tour and there lay 8 types of cake mmmmm!!! Thursday afternoon re-started the spark inside me that had been dampened due to everyday life. Thank you to John Slattery for sharing his world with us all and giving me more inspiration and confirming that I did make the right  career choice 17 years ago. I would reccomend Slatterys to everybody and is a great destination place, however if you plan on eating in the cafe you  will need to book 2 weeks in advance. I have heard the Hot chocolate is a must have, if you ask me everything is.

I think I may have to make myself a baileys hot chocolate now.

Goodnight

Rose xxxx

http://www.slattery.co.uk

Tutorial 1, Chocolate lips.

What you will need-:
100g White chocolate
Edible glitter
Pink food Colour (paste oil based)
Bowl (microwave proof)
Spoon
Cocktail stick/small knife.
Palette knife.
Cotton wool/kitchen roll.

The most important thing to remember when working with chocolate is …. Chocolate and water don’t like each other so will not mix. Make sure all equipment used is completely dry before use. If you mistakenly get water into chocolate lumps will appear that will not melt out.

1,Break the white chocolate into pieces and place 2/3s into your bowl. Place into microwave and melt the chocolate. Be carful not to overheat and stir constantly to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Overheating the chocolate will damage the sugar particles and lumps will also form.

2, When all the chocolate has melted stir in the remaining chocolate, this will cool your chocolate down.

3, Prepare the chocolate mould by wiping with either Cotten wool or kitchen roll to increase the shine of the chocolate and get rid of any dust/chocolate. Cotten wool is better as there is less chance of it leaving any residue.

4, Sprinkle some edible glitter into the chocolate and using a cocktail stick/small knife swirl some food colour into your chocolate.

5,When the chocolate feels cold to touch pour into the mould, tap the underneath of the mould to get rid of any air bubbles. Then smooth over with a palette knife and leave until the chocolate goes dull. When dull place in fridge and leave to completely set. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

6, When the chocolates are ready they will slightly come away from the sides of the mould. To de-mould twist the sides of the mould turn the mould over and tap slightly. The chocolates should just fall out. If they stick try again but tap harder. If they still don’t come out or appear dull put them back into the fridge as they need longer to set.

7, When the chocolates have been de-moulded store them in a airtight container or cover well with cling film. In a cool dry place. If you leave them uncovered in the fridge the moisture will cause them to condensate.

8, Now the best bit… Eat them!!!

Have fun
Rose xxx

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A little note to say Hi.

Hello!!

Hope you are all well this evening and enjoying your weekend.

I’ve been busy with a few things this week, last Saturday I met with two friends to discus both of their wedding cakes one in May and the other in one in October. So two more weddings to look forward to.

Tuesday was a busy a day lots of different things happening that all turned out wonderful. For the hot dessert at work I made chocolate pizza with chocolate sauce, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, glace cherries,  chocolate rice krispies and toffee sauce topping. We had mixed reactions but sold them all, I personally thought they were well worth using my daily calories up on. After work I then took and passed my driving theory test I scored high so was extremely chuffed. Just as though the day couldn’t get any better I was greeted with a bunch of flowers (Tulips my favourite) and a valentines card from my Hubby when I arrived home. We then took our little pooch out for walkies and headed off  to Boundary park to watch Oldham Athletic. Normally I give this football team the kiss of death as every time I go and watch them they loose or draw games they should of won. But as it was a lucky day they won 2-1. If all that wasn’t enough we then went for lovely curry where I banned us from using our phones so we could for once have a conversation uninterrupted by social networks, sports results etc.

            

As I work in the BBC building at media city we from time to time  get involved in events and celebrations that the BBC hold. Today is CBeebies 10th birthday party the whole of the Media city and Salford quays area has had an open day to the public, some of my work colleagues have been serving hot dogs, burgers and ice cream. The part I played in the celebration was making the birthday cake. I havent made a cake so big before and took me an hour longer than I though it would to make it. The hospitality manager bought the edible transfers for the cake from classic catering but the rest of it was my handy work. On Thursday it was rumored that the BBC were going to cut the cake live on TV so I texted friends and family to inform them of this. However I haven’t heard anything confirming it had made it onto the TV (I will keep you informed)

          

Yesterday was the start of my weekend I’d been looking forward to seeing my sister and nephew all week.  We went out for a bite to eat came home then took Cassie out for a walk to a place called Daisy Nook that is not too far from where I live. It always amazes me that I live in such a built up area then a few minutes drive/20 min walk away is a lovely open national park with lots of history bordering  Oldham and Ashton-under lyne. When Carol and James went home I made some cakes for Jamie’s club night “Kissing just for practice”  Jamie and his friend started this night in 1997  held at the Star and Garter pub in Manchester. The night is dedicated to a band from Glasgow called Belle and Sebastian it was designed to show appreciation and love of all things B&S, and related music and all things twee. Kissing just for practice is a lyric from their song “seeing other people” taken for the album “If your feeling sinister.” I must admit in the 90’s I let  Belle and Sebastian pass me by and didn’t quite get them, prefered my music slightly heavier. However in recent years have started to warm to and listen to their music and can now understand the hysteria that goes with them. So I made some little cupcakes with all of the things mentioned in mind, they were handed out to people on arrival at the door. Well a wife has to help her husband in any way she can. We got home at 5am needless to say I’ve had a day of recovery from last night and the past week.

         

Rose xxx

Cupids back in town.

Good morning folks, yesterday I thought it was about time I made something for you. As Valentine’s is just around the corner I headed off to Asda to see what I could find. I got a nice surprise.

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Cupcake cases £1.14 for 100
Chocolate lip moulds £2.00
2 Cupcake presentation box £2.00
Cava £5.00
Heart chocolate £1.00
Rose petals £1.00 a box.

So I decided to  make red velvet cupcakes, White chocolate kisses and a red velvet butterfly cake.

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The above is what I produced, I took lots more photos and will be giving you the cupcake recipe, Plus step by step instructions. In the next few days I hope to add another section at the top of the page called “recipes” That section is where I will be sharing with you recipes and helpful tips.

I put together I little sharing platter I’m sure you Valentine would be over the moon to find this when they get back from work on Tuesday. The people who Jamie bought the house from left us random items under the kitchen cupboard. Two left over bathroom floor tiles were included on this list I used one of them (after cleaning well) to present my items of indulgence.

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I think that Asda may put the price of the Cava up before Tuesday so if you fancy having a go at this to pop down to your local Asda soon as.  Jamie and Cassie both came downstairs lured by the smell of  the cakes baking. First Cassie came down smelling the air near the oven (Photo of her below putting her I’m cute face, please give me food) followed five minutes later by Jamie who wanted cake!! I had to fight them both off in order for me to top, decorate and photograph the cakes.  Lets just say there isn’t much of the butterfly cake left. I will be giving the boxes of  cupcakes  to two of my lovely friends

Have a nice day

Rose xxx

Love is in the air.

It is that time of year again folks where society and the commercial world has us all declaring our unedifying love for each other by the aid of showering each other with gifts. I believe life is too short to save it all for one day more love should be shown, time set aside to share special moments with our loved ones throughout the year. However I will be looking forward to doing something with my husband this year the first Valentine’s as a married couple.

I have been busy at work producing a range of cupcakes, truffles and biscuits that have been wrapped and presented nicely. I hope to busier than usual on Sunday when I arrive at work.

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A little thought to leave you with, tradition has it that on the 29th of February is the day where woman ask their men to marry them. So ladies maybe something to consider? Guys who are in relationship maybe getting a big surprise at the end of the month.

Goodnight Rose xxx