26 Jun 2015

Raspberry, Almond and Custard Cake Recipe

Raspberry, Almond and Custard Cake fresh from the oven

The custard layer for this cake is made from Birds Custard Powder, in this house we love it. Posh custard out of a carton isn't suitable, neither is low fat, out of a can, ready made or a fancy version of home made.........it's just got to be yellow custard powder made with milk and cooked without any lumps!

Last time I made this cake I used frozen raspberries and they all sank to the bottom of the cake, so let's forget the fact that I ruined a perfectly good bake.  This time round I used fresh and they stayed on top of the cake.  I also baked the cake on a conventional setting rather than the fan setting and this allowed the cake to rise gently without the cake batter rising and burying the raspberries.

So, if you are looking for a large cake that's easy to make and love the bright yellow stuff, then maybe this recipe will be perfect for you too.

A slice of raspberry, almond and custard cake

It's best to make the custard the day before you make the cake.

You will need:  22cm deep springform tin greased and lined sides and base

250g salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind
330g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
75g plain flour
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or from a carton
60g ground almonds
150g fresh
20g flaked almonds

For the Custard:
2 tablespoons custard powder
55g caster sugar
250ml milk
20g butter, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the custard: Place the custard powder and sugar in a small saucepan, gradually stir in the milk. Cook, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Wet a  piece of clingwrap and press over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Place in the fridge until cold.
2. Preheat oven to 170°C.
3. Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Gradually fold in the flours, orange juice and ground almonds.
4. Spread two-thirds of the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Dollop small spoonfuls of custard over the cake batter. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over custard, carefully spread with a small spatula to completely cover the custard. Sprinkle over the raspberries followed by the flaked almonds.
5. Bake for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until cooked, if it shows signs of getting too brown cover the tin loosely with a piece of foil and bake for a few minutes longer until cooked.  Cool the cake in the tin.
6. Serve the cake with whipped cream just as it is.
7. Store in the fridge.
Adapted from an Australian Women's Weekly recipe.

Are you yay or nay when it comes to Birds Custard?

Bird's Custard is an egg free alternative to custard and The Black Country Bugle tells the story about the famous brand.

For more raspberry inspiration:
Raspberry, Chocolate and Almond Cake
The Perfect Raspberry and Almond Cake
Mini Raspberry Cream Brownies

21 Jun 2015

Raspberry and Coconut Scones Recipe

Raspberry and Coconut Scones Fresh from the Oven

I came across this scone recipe on the BBC Good Food website and they looked so temptingly delicious I thought I'd get the pinny on and see how they turned out.

Coconut and raspberries are a delightful combo, these light and fluffy scones are amazing and all you need is a dollop of whipped cream for the perfect mouthful!

Raspberry and Coconut Scones Recipe

Raspberries are one of my favourite berries and I love the sweet/sharp flavour. They are the cooks friend, you can use them fresh or frozen and they liven up even the humblest of bakes.

Slightly adapted recipe:

200g self-raising flour
25g desiccated coconut, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
50g cold salted butter, cut into small cubes
25g golden caster sugar
100ml buttermilk
1-2 tbsp full-fat milk
50g frozen raspberries
1 egg, beaten

You will need: Large baking tray dusted with flour.

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
2. Place the flour in a bowl with the coconut and salt. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in. Pour in the buttermilk and milk. Mix with a knife until the mixture has almost come together,add the raspberries and mix again, trying not to break up the fruit too much.
3. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead a little to bring it togetherv– don’t overwork or the scones will be heavy. Pat the dough into a square about 4-5cm deep.
4. Cut into 4 pieces, shape them back into squares.
5. Place onto a baking tray, brush with egg, sprinkle with a little coconut.

Raspberry and Coconut Scones Ready for the Oven

6. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and risen. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
7. Either eat on the same day or freeze the cooked scones.

For more scone inspiration you may also like:
In Search of the Perfect Scone Recipe
Fresh Berry Scones
Blueberry Breakfast Scones

13 Jun 2015

Little Apple and Almond Cakes Recipe

Little Apple and Almond Cakes with Creme Fraiche

These little cakes remind me in taste and texture of almond macaroons which I ate as a child.  They are easy to make and taste delicious.

My tins (in the photograph below) have removable bases and were given to me by an elderly lady who had been an avid baker but found she was baking less and less. The tins are old, well used and I love them. I'm sure you too have baking tins that have been passed onto you.

If you need a dessertcumcake recipe that is inexpensive to make then look no further......

Slightly adapted recipe from Mary Berry's Absolute Favourites.

Makes: 6

You will need:  six tins with removable bases measuring approximately 7cm or a muffin tin

75g butter, melted
100g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
½ tsp almond extract
1 x Braeburn apple, peeled and thinly sliced
15g flaked almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Grease the inside of the tins with butter and dust with flour. Place the tins on a baking tray.
3. Pour the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, flour, egg and almond extract and mix until smooth.
4. Spoon a little of the mixture into the base of each tin, arrange a few apple slices over the cake batter and spoon the remaining cake mixture on top, level with the back of a teaspoon.
5. Scatter the flaked almonds over the cake mixture. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until risen and golden.

The baked apple and almond cakes

6. Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, remove the cakes from the tins. Serve warm (reheat in a microwave) with crème fraîche or ice cream.

Mini Apple and Almond Cakes

7 Jun 2015

Cheese and Spring Onion Quiche Recipe

Cheese and Spring Onion Quiche

Do you remember the quiche I made a while back?  I've taken the same pastry recipe because it works every time and the same savoury custard filling because it's delicious.  This time, however, I've used a combination of spring onions which saves cooking onions, Leicester cheese for colour and because I grew up in Leicestershire and miss the local Leicester cheese, and cheddar cheese because it's always in the fridge. This time though I've used a 20cm deep tin instead of the 23cm tin I used in the last recipe.

My chive flowers are just for fun.  When I picked them they were in a tight bud and all you have to do is gently rub the bud between your fingers and they will gradually open. Place your fingers on top of the flower and gently stroke the bud open to reveal the flowers. Carnation buds sometimes refuse to open and you can use this trick with them too.

This is a fairly quick and easy recipe and after all who wants to spend loads of time in the kitchen when the sun is shining.

225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
140g cold butter, diced
1 tsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk

For the filling:
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
75g Red Leicester cheese, grated
75g Mature Cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
300ml double cream

You will need: 20cm loose base fluted tin 2.5cm deep

1. Add the flour, pinch of salt and the butter into the bowl of a food processor and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Now add the icing sugar, egg yolk and 3 tbsp cold water, to form a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Roll out the pastry and line the tart tin. Cover the tin with crumpled baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Cook for 20 minutes, remove the paper and beans. Brush the pastry base with beaten egg and cook for 5-10 minutes more until the tart case is pale.
3. Turn the oven down to 160ºC.  Scatter over the spring onions and cheeses over the base of the tart case. Whisk together the eggs and cream, season. Pour into the tart case and cook for 40-45 minutes or until just set. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

If you like this post you may like these recipes too:
Cherry Tomato, Cheese and Red Onion Marmalade Quiche
Cheese, Onion and Potato Quiche with Wild Rice Salad
Roasted Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Quiche

1 Jun 2015

Black Forest Muffins Recipe

Black Forest Muffins Recipe

I remember Mum buying frozen Black Forest Gateau, it was considered posh and definitely not an everyday cakecumdessert, we always ate this on high days and holidays. I love a bit of 70's nostalgia, but looking back, I'm not quite sure what the gateau was actually made from!

Fast forward and today we still love the magical combination of chocolate and cherries, hence these delicious muffins.

Tinned cherries can sometimes lack in flavour and I added a few drops of cherry flavouring (purchased from Lakeland) to the cake batter.

You will need: 12 hole muffin tin lined with 12 muffin/tulip cases

Makes: 12
250g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
2tsp baking powder
175g caster sugar
pinch of salt
175ml milk
2 large eggs
100ml sunflower or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
few drops of cherry flavouring (I used Lakeland)
425g can pitted black cherries, drained

140g unsalted butter, softened
280g icing sugar,sieved
1 tbsp milk
grated chocolate and fresh cherries to decorate

Optional: Kirsch to brush over the cooked muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
2.Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir in the sugar. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the cherries, and mix gently together. Now add the cherries and fold in carefully trying not to break up the fruit.
3.Using an ice cream scoop place the mixture into the cases.
4. Bake for 20 mins or cooked. Cool for 10 mins, brush with kirsch, then transfer to a wire rack and leave until cold.

To make the buttercream:
1. Place the sieved icing sugar into a large bowl followed by the softened butter and milk.  Using either a handwhisk or stand mixer beat together for a good 5 minutes until the mixture is white and a light texture.
2. Using a piping bag and large plain nozzle pipe swirls on top of the cooled muffins.
3. Decorate with a whole cherry and grated chocolate.

Black Forest Cake
Jamie Oliver's Chocolate Love Cake
Cherry Jubilee Queen of Puddings