Vanilla and Chocolate Marble Traybake

As the weather is getting a bit colder, I thought I would post the recipe for one of my favourite comfort bakes at this time of year. This cake is super simple, yet super pretty, and it great for packing in your lunch box to take to school/work.

cake complete

Ingredients:

  • 225g of butter
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 275g of self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 30g of milk or dark chocolate
  • 30g of white chocolate

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), and grease a 30 x 23cm tin, and then line the base with baking parchment.

2) Measure the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, eggs and milk into a large mixing bowl, and beat until well blended.

cake mixer

3) Use a tablespoon to put dollops of the mixture into the prepared tin. You should leave about half of the mixture in the bowl for the next step.

4) In a mug or small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with 1-2 tablespoons of boiling water to form a paste. Add this paste to the remaining cake mixture and beat well.

5) Again use a tablespoon to dollop the chocolate cake mixture into between the blobs of vanilla. It should look something like the photo below.

cake blobs

6) Use a spatula to swirl the colours together a bit, also making sure to push the mixture to the edges of the pan.

cake swirled

7) Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes, until the cake has begun to shrink away from the sides of the pan.

8) Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, and then turn the cake out onto a wire rack so it cools more quickly.

9) Melt down the white and milk/dark chocolate in separate bowls, and the use a teaspoon or piping bags to drizzle over the cake. The more random the better!

cake chocolate

10) Leave the chocolate to set, and then cut into 21 slices.

cake drizzle 1

cake drizzle 2

This cake is a favourite in my house, and guaranteed to vanish from the cake tin before I’ve had a chance to have a second slice! It always stays lovely and moist, and is a quick and simple bake that looks like you put a lot more effort into it than you actually did.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and let me know in the comments if you try it out yourself.

Em x

cake complete

 

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The Perfect Oat and Raisin Cookies

Today’s recipe is one of my all year round go to cookies. Oat and raisin cookies have always been my mum’s favourite, so after many batches and slight tweaks to the recipe, I’ve now perfected it. These cookies have a slight crunch around the outside, and are lovely and chewy in the middle: yum!

Ingredients:

  • 100g of plain flour
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 75g of porridge oats
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 100g of butter
  • 40g of raisins

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), and grease 2 baking trays.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, oats and bicarbonate of soda, and then make a well in the centre.

3) In a saucepan, gently heat together the butter and golden syrup until melted.

4) Pour into the flour mixture, and mix well using a wooden spoon. Add the raisins and stir those through as well.

5) Shape the mixture into 12 even shaped balls, then place 6 on each baking sheet, spaced well apart to allow the mixture to spread. Then press them down slightly using a teaspoon.

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6) Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

7) Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for a few minutes, and then place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

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These cookies are lovely when they’re eaten fresh out the oven and are still warm, but they get even chewier if you leave them to cool completely, so either way they’re super yummy!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and let me know in the comments if you try it out yourself.

Em x

 

 

Summer Baking: White Chocolate and Raspberry Traybake

I often find that baking is more of an autumn/winter activity. There’s something so cosy about making warm gooey cookies, whilst all tucked up in an over-sized jumper, when it’s super chilly outside. However, recipes like this one make me want to carry on baking all year round. It’s a super quick and simple bake that anyone could follow, and the result is an amazing summery sponge, that everyone will love!

Ingredients:

  • 200g of self raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 50g of ground almonds
  • 100g of white chocolate
  • 200g of frozen raspberries (try to pick smaller ones if possible)

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), and grease and line the base of a 28cm x 18cm rectangular brownie tin.

2) Chop up the chocolate into chunks. You don’t want them to be too small, otherwise they will melt down and disappear.

9) Chocolate Chunks

3) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5) Sift in the flour and salt, and mix until well combined.

6) Stir in the milk, then sift in the ground almonds. Add the raspberries (some of which I like to crumble if they’re too big), and white chocolate chunks. Fold all this in, being careful not to overwork the mixture.

9) Mixing Bowl

7) Spoon this into the tin, and roughly level the surface. The mixture will be fairly stiff.

8) Bake for 50 minutes until golden, and then cool on a wire rack.

9) It should be okay to cut up after about half an hour, and is lovely served warm, but just as good when it’s completely cool.

9) All Stacked Up

9) Individual Slice

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! It’s perfect for eating in the garden if you have friends round for afternoon tea!

Let me know in the comments if you have any recipes that you think I should try out.

Em x

Ultimate Choc Chip Muffins Recipe

Chocolate chip muffins are a firm favourite for nearly everyone, and for a long time I have been looking for the perfect coffee shop style muffin recipe. I came across one on allrecipes.co.uk a couple of months ago, and have altered it slightly to produce what I believe are the perfect cupcakes. I added a melting nutella middle to make them super gooey, but you can always leave it out if you’re not a nutella fan.

5) Finished Product

Ingredients:

  • 250g of plain flour
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml of semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 100g of dark or milk chocolate chips
  • Nutella

Method:

1) Preheat your oven to 250°C, and prepare your muffin tin with 9 cases. You can use normal shop bought cases, but for the full coffee shop effect, I cut out 12cm x 12cm squares of greaseproof paper and pushed them into the muffin tin.

5) Cake Cases

2) Place a roasting tray full of water on the bottom of your oven. This will help to keep your muffins really moist.

3) In a large bowl, mix together all your wet ingredients; milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract.

4) Sift in the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

5) Ingredients

5) Add the chocolate chips, and fold everything together. Do not fold the mixture more than 15 times, otherwise your muffins will become too dense.

6) Use a dessert spoon to add one large spoonful  of mixture to each cupcake case. Then add your desired amount of nutella to each one; I used about half a teaspoon. Finally, top off each cupcake with another dessert spoon of cake mixture.

5) Pre Baking

7) Pop your cupcakes in the oven, and turn the temperature down to 170°C (150°C fan). The initial high temperature helps to give your muffins a crisp top. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

8) Leave to cool in the tin for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack for 10 minutes, and serve warm for the ultimate gooeyness!

5) Post Baking

5) Starting Picture

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! If you want to eat the cupcakes later, you can always reheat them in the microwave for 20 seconds to make them all yummy and melty again.

Enjoy!

Em x

Carrot Cake Recipe

I am a huge fan of carrot cake, always have been and always will be. It’s just so lovely and moist and the cream cheese icing is so yummy. After trying many recipes, I’ve now found the perfect one so you can experience its yumminess too.

5) Finished Cake

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 225g of self raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 150g of light brown muscovado sugar
  • 50g of chopped walnuts
  • 120g of carrots
  • 2 bananas
  • 150ml of sunflower oil

Ingredients for the Topping:

  • 175g of full-fat soft cheese
  • 50g of butter
  • 250g of icing sugar

Method:

1) Peel and the carrots and then grate them into a large mixing bowl.

5) Carrots

2) Mash the bananas in a small bowl and then add to the carrots.

3) Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, then add all the other cake ingredients and mix thoroughly.

4) Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin. Then pour the mixture into the tin and level the surface.

5) Before Baking

5) Bake at 180°C (Fan 160°C) for 50-60 minutes.

6) While the cake is cooking you can prepare the icing. Add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Begin sifting in the icing sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Once it’s completely smooth, leave the icing in the fridge to thicken up slightly until you need it.

5) Making the Icing

7) Once the time is up, use a skewer to check that the cake is cooked. Leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel off the parchment paper, and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

8) When the cake is completely cool, use a large knife to cut right through the centre of the cake to give you two layers.

5) Cutting the Cake

9) Place the bottom half onto a plate or serving mat, then spread a generous layer of icing on top.

10) Carefully lay the second layer of cake on top, and then pour the rest of the icing over the top of the cake. Use a palette knife to gently guide the icing to the edges to get a pretty dripping effect.

11) Lastly, add whatever decorations you like. Walnut halves are the traditional topping, but these orange rice krispie balls add a lovely pop of colour to the cake.

5) Finished Cake

5) Slice of Cake

I hope you enjoyed! Make sure to follow me on bloglovin (link here) so that you don’t miss my next recipe.

Em x

 

Cinnamon Soft Pretzel Recipe

Pretzels are always a snack I’ve enjoyed when I’m out and about, with Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Mr Pretzels being the obvious favourites. However, I decided it was about time I attempted to make my own and I have to say that I am very impressed with the results. I actually came across this recipe on instagram but it worked perfectly so I thought I would share it with you today.

2) Displayed

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of strong white bread flour  (120g)
  • 3 cups of plain flour (360g)
  • 1 and 1/4 tablespoons of fast action dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of water (350ml)
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder

Method:

1) Add the sugar and salt to a large bowl and stir together. Then add the flour and make a well in the middle.

2) Pour the water into the well and sprinkle the yeast over the top.

3) Knead to a soft dough for about 10 minutes, adding small amounts of water or flour if required.

4) Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for half an hour. You need a bit of warmth but not too much so I usually clear a space in the airing cupboard and leave it there.

5) Meanwhile, half fill a shallow bowl with water, add the baking powder and stir together.

6) After the dough has risen, pull off small handfuls of dough, knead to a smooth ball and then roll into a long sausage. Fold one end in, and then the other to make the traditional pretzel shape. This required a longer sausage than I expected so there’s a picture below for reference.

2) Dough Length.JPG

7) Line two trays with greaseproof paper. Dip the pretzels in the water and baking powder mixture and then lay them out on the trays. I made 7 pretzels but you can make them bigger or smaller depending on how doughy you want them.

2) Baking Trays.JPG

8) Leave them to rise for another half an hour while your oven heats up to 230 degrees (210 degrees for a fan oven).

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2) Three on a Tray.JPG

9) After they have risen, pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

10) My favourite topping is cinnamon sugar so I poured some sugar out onto a plate and mixed in some cinnamon. Add as little or as much as you like depending on how strong you like the cinnamon flavour.

11) Peel the pretzels off the paper, sprinkle with plenty of your cinnamon sugar and you’re done!

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I hope you enjoyed this recipe and your freshly baked pretzels.

Em x