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Food and Recipes Discuss cooking, your favourite foods, and share recipes here.

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Weekend Baking - April 13th 2018, 09:28 AM

Baking on a rainy day or even during a weekend is one of the most satisfying and comforting self-care activities you can do - and you get to eat it! Everybody loves cakes so mine don't hang around which is why I often make more than one.

Carrot Cake with Buttercream Frosting
-Recipe author unknown-

Because my darling is such a pig for buttercream, I have to make twice the quantity so as to spread it over the cake to twice the depth. Same applies with marzipan over Christmas cake, but this recipe should give more than enough frosting for the average person. The buttercream is utterly scrummy, so if nobody's looking, lick the bowl clean.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Serves 12, but realistically serves 6 with seconds

For the Cake

1 pound carrots (peeled and trimmed)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup flour (white whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups neutral oil (such as canola)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease 2 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Using a box grater or a food processor fitted with a shredding disc, grate the carrots. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and white whole wheat flours, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, use an electric hand mixer or whisk to beat together the oil, sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Beat in the eggs one at a time until they are fully incorporated. Whisk in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, beating well after each addition. Mix the batter just until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven until the cakes are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans, the tops are golden, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting

Now for the Buttercream Frosting

It will also pipe perfectly.
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins

Notes before we start: Frosting can be made 1-2 days in advance, cover tightly and transfer to the fridge. Remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature before frosting cakes (or cupcakes if making). Frosting will also freeze well for 2-3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting cupcakes/cakes.

1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons double cream or heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
pinch of salt, adjust to taste

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.

Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low speed at first, then increase to medium speed and continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts to come together.

Add in the cream (start with 2 tablespoons and add a little more if needed), vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing on medium-high speed for another minute or until everything is well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 14th 2018, 03:00 AM

This sounds good, especially the frosting!


   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 14th 2018, 03:12 AM

Buttercream frosting is my favorite. Thank you for sharing.


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Re: Weekend Baking - April 14th 2018, 12:43 PM

Coffee and Walnut Cake probably originated from The Women's Institute (WI) that was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. It's highly unlikely they used coffee granules as the stuff wasn't invented back then, but likely Camp Coffee Essence which was first produced in 1876 by Paterson & Sons Ltd and taken over by Schwartz who produce curry spices.

Camp Coffee is a brown liquid, consisting of water, sugar, 4% caffeine-free coffee essence, and 26% chicory essence. Legend has it that Camp Coffee was originally developed as a means of brewing coffee quickly for military purposes. But now we are in the 21st century, we use coffee granules of which I stress using a fresh unopened jar so as have the freshest possible tasting coffee. It's always good to keep a bottle of Camp Coffee Essence in your kitchen cupboard as a standby - the stuff is good in flavouring cakes - or put a strong shot of espresso into your cake/frosting mix if you prefer.

This is Nigel Slater's Coffee & Walnut Cake recipe; it tastes sublime. My only addition is using more coffee flavoured buttercream to sandwich in-between the cake because by now you must realise I'm a bit of a pig for it.

Nigel Slater is England's doyen food writer and cook. He is as adorable as his food. This is his website for your interest. https://www.nigelslater.com/

It takes an hour from start to finish and will keep for several days, sealed and at room temperature. Serves 8-10.

For the Cake
175g unsalted butter
175g unrefined golden caster sugar
65g walnut pieces
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp instant coffee granules

For the Filling
200g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
2 tsps instant coffee granules
60g walnut pieces

You will also need 2 x 21cm / 8.26 inch loose-bottomed sponge tins.

Beat the butter and sugar till it is light, pale and fluffy. You could do this by hand, but it is far easier and better with an electric mixer. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, line the base of two 21cm sponge tins with greaseproof paper and chop the walnuts. Crack the eggs into a bowl, break them up with a fork and add them a little at a time to the butter and sugar, beating well after each addition.

Mix the flour and baking powder together and mix into the butter and sugar gently, with the mixer on a slow speed or by hand, with a large metal spoon. Dissolve the coffee granules in 1 tbsp boiling water, then stir into the cake. Chop the walnuts and fold gently into the cake.

Divide the cake mixture between the two cake tins, smooth lightly, and bake for 20-25 minutes. I have noticed mine are pretty much consistently done after 23 minutes.

To make the frosting, beat the butter till soft and pale with an electric beater, then add the sugar and beat till smooth and creamy. Stir 1 tbsp boiling water into the coffee granules then mix it into the buttercream. Fold in the walnut pieces.

As soon as it is cool, turn one half of the cake upside down on a plate or board, spread it with a good third of the buttercream, then place the second half on top. Spread the remaining buttercream on top and round the sides.
   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 19th 2018, 02:13 PM

This sounds amazing! Thank you for telling us about this
   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 20th 2018, 03:58 PM

Cake

Birthday Cake?


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Re: Weekend Baking - April 23rd 2018, 02:25 AM

I am definitely attempting the carrot cake with buttercream icing tomorrow


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Re: Weekend Baking - April 23rd 2018, 06:05 AM

Carrot cake


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Re: Weekend Baking - April 23rd 2018, 06:04 PM

While in Monaco last weekend in-between concerts, Mandy and I visited a tea house and there enjoyed not only one of the loveliest post of tea ever, but nearly swooned over a most delicious cake generously served up on a white porcelain platter. So impressed I was that I asked the proprietor if she would give me the recipe. She said the recipe was by Thomasina Miers, but instead of using 'baking chocolate', used chopped up pieces of Valrhona chocolate - and that just made the cake all the lovelier. Guess what, homies - I found the recipe!

Banana Bread with Toasted Walnuts and Dark Chocolate
Recipe by Thomasina Miers


Most of the sweetness in this recipe comes from the bananas and dark chocolate chips, and it needs very little butter, as it uses milk instead. It takes a little while to prepare, but it will keep for a week in a tin. You can even slice it and toast or grill it after a few days if you want it hot.

Serves 8

125g softened butter
120ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp lemon juice
150g walnuts
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
tsp ground cinnamon
A couple of pinches ground allspice
200g dark brown soft sugar
2 eggs
250g mashed ripe bananas (2 medium bananas)
A few drops of vanilla essence
150g 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or use high cacao chips, OR, Valrhona)
2 small loaf tins

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 and leave the butter out to soften. Mix the milk with the lemon juice and leave aside. Butter and flour a couple of small loaf tins and line their bases with baking paper.

2. Put the walnuts on a baking tray and warm through in the oven until they are lightly toasted (about 5-8 minutes) then leave to cool.

3. Sift the dry ingredients flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and allspice into a bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and half the sugar with an electric beater or wooden spoon until it is pale, light and fluffy.

4. Gradually add the eggs and a tablespoon of the flour mixture, then beat in the rest of the sugar, the bananas and the vanilla essence. Beat the remaining dry ingredients into the mixture adding the milk bit by bit.

5. Roughly chop the walnuts and fold into the mixture with the chocolate.

6. Pour into the loaf tins and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a metal skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out of the tins on to metal racks.
   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 23rd 2018, 07:02 PM

I absolutely love banana bread!


   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 24th 2018, 04:37 AM

I love banana bread. I always wonder if it would be possible to replace the walnuts with something else, do you have any thoughts? I can eat it with walnuts but they aren't my favorite.

I'd still be willing to try this if there is not a substitute but you seem to know a lot about baking/cooking so I figured I would ask.


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Re: Weekend Baking - April 24th 2018, 06:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by .:Bibliophile:. View Post
I love banana bread. I always wonder if it would be possible to replace the walnuts with something else, do you have any thoughts? I can eat it with walnuts but they aren't my favorite.

I'd still be willing to try this if there is not a substitute but you seem to know a lot about baking/cooking so I figured I would ask.
I never add walnuts to my banana bread because none of my siblings are massive fans of nuts in banana bread and they can't bring nuts to school either. In the recipe that I use, I omit the nuts and chocolate chips and use cacao nibs instead.

You could subsitute walnuts for cacao nibs (what I use instead of chocolate chips) or raisins. You can also use a different nut if you want but in my opinion, it's not necessary.
   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 24th 2018, 07:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melancholia. View Post
I absolutely love banana bread!
We might have a couple more. Though if the bananas become too brown and overly sweet, we put it out for the birds to peck up. They love bananas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .:Bibliophile:. View Post
I love banana bread. I always wonder if it would be possible to replace the walnuts with something else, do you have any thoughts? I can eat it with walnuts but they aren't my favorite.

I'd still be willing to try this if there is not a substitute but you seem to know a lot about baking/cooking so I figured I would ask.
I learnt cooking through grandma showing me, and Mandy was keen to watch, too. Our mum wasn't the greatest of cooks, but she taught us how to be frugal, meaning how to use what's left in the fridge and kitchen pantry and work a recipe around what we have.

You could always substitute walnuts for chopped pecans. Or what about Macadamia nuts? They can be very expensive so look out for broken pieces - much cheaper.
   
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Re: Weekend Baking - April 24th 2018, 10:02 AM

Here is another recipe using bananas, by Angela Hartnett called Liz's Banana Bread, but looks more like a cake to me. By the ingredients though, I imagine it would taste rather good.

Disclaimer: Be sure to follow any laws regarding alcohol purchase where you live. Do not purchase alcohol if you are under the legal age. Also, the alcohol is used for cooking purposes only and is not intended for abuse. Use discretion when purchasing alcohol. (This recipe contains rum)

Makes 1 loaf (12 slices)
100g sultanas
75ml rum
4 small, ripe bananas
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
tsp bicarbonate of soda
tsp salt
25g butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
60g walnuts, roughly chopped

Put the sultanas in a bowl with the rum and leave to soak.

Grease a 900g loaf tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas mark 3.

Peel and mash the bananas you need about 300g in all.

Sift the flour with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

Melt the butter, then mix it with the sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, then add the flour mixture and stir well. Add the mashed bananas, walnuts, sultanas and rum.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 4560 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, before turning out. Store in an airtight cake tin.

   
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Re: Weekend Baking - May 3rd 2018, 04:57 PM

Mediterranean Quince & Apple Tart

Recipe author unknown.

These hard but fragrant fruits are usually in season during the months of autumn, but lately I've been seeing them appearing in Spanish village markets so perhaps someone is growing them earlier? I don't know, but quince is memorably delicious and especially so when Membrillo is made from it. For that, I'll find the recipe when my life is a bit quieter over the weekend.

This tart needs a good hour of your time, but it really is rather special. Serve it with double cream if the idea appeals.

SERVES 8

For the crust:
butter 100g, at room temperature
sugar 80g
egg 1, lightly beaten
plain flour 200g
lemon 1
quinces 500g
caster sugar 2 tbsp
maple syrup 3 tbsp
sweet apples 750g

For the top:
plain flour 150g
butter 75g
demerara sugar 75g
egg 1, lightly beaten
You will also need a 22cm tart tin with a removable base

Make the pastry crust: dice the butter and put into the bowl of a food mixer or processor with the sugar. Cream till light and fluffy, then add the egg, mix thoroughly then spoon in the flour. Bring the dough into a ball it will be quite soft then place on a generously floured work surface or board. Knead briefly, it will make it easier to work. Roll out the dough to fit the tart tin, pushing it carefully into the corners and up the sides, patching any tears as you go. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Put a baking sheet in the oven and set at 200C/gas mark 6.

To make the filling: squeeze the lemon into a mixing bowl. Peel, core and chop the quinces into small pieces, tossing them in the lemon juice as you go to stop them browning.

Place the chopped fruits in a deep pan, add the sugar and maple syrup, cover with a lid and leave over a low heat for 15 minutes until tender enough for you to easily insert a metal skewer into them. Check regularly and lower the heat if necessary, particularly towards the end of cooking when the syrup has reduced.

Meanwhile core and dice the apples; there is no need to peel them. Stir them into the quinces as soon as the quinces are almost tender. Continue cooking, covered with a lid, for 5-10 minutes or until the apples are just soft. Set aside.

Make the topping: put the flour and butter into the processor and blitz till they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Or rub the butter into the flour with your fingers. Add the sugar and the egg and mix briefly to a moist, crumbly texture.

Fill the uncooked tart case with the apple and quince mixture, setting aside any juice, then scatter over the crumble topping. Some of the fruit will show through. Lift on to the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes till the crust and pastry are crisp and golden. Allow to settle a little before serving with a trickle of the reserved juices.
   
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Re: Weekend Baking - May 11th 2018, 10:36 AM

Pte Sable Biscuits

Now, to make these delicious shortcrust bikkies you can use a food processor to cut down the prep time, but processors work far too quickly and you will lose that lovely sandy texture that makes them so appealing. It's not a lot of bother doing the biscuits by hand, and if it's a rainy day then so much the better. I love baking on rainy days, but also early in the morning of a day that promises heat and sun. Getting the baking done will mean throwing my trotters up on the garden table, sipping an ince cold drink and pigging a plate of these wonderful morsels.

Essential To Know: Use the best unsalted butter you can find. Don't skim on quality! The better the butter, the better my biscuits are going to taste. I've used Normandy butter that was hand churned by a tanned French woman, so bought a lot more butter than usual. Glad I did because they came out so lovely that I regretted not making double. Now, I make double and you'll soon know why when eating them!

Another Tip: I never used a biscuit/cookie cutter. Instead I either cut the dough into disks or, use a 2 in / 2 cm diameter jam jar and pat the disks out. Choice is your's.

Make Ahead

The biscuits can be kept in a tin at room temperature for about 5 days if you prefer or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 1 month. However, beware of biscuit thieves. Mandy or young Sophie.

Ingredients

1 1/4 sticks (5 oz; 140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Slightly rounded 1/2 cup (125 g) sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour

Put the butter in the work bowl of a food processor (if you must) fitted with the metal blade and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the butter is smooth. Add the sugar and process and scrape until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the egg and continue to process, scraping the bowl as needed, until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the flour all at once, then pulse 10 to 15 times, until the dough forms clumps and curds and looks like streusel.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the ball in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap the disks in plastic. If you have the time, chill the disks until they are firm, about 4 hours. If you're in a hurry, you can roll the dough out immediately; it will be a little stickier, but fine. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (4 and 7 mm) thick. Using a 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) space between them. (You can gather the scraps into a disk and chill them, then roll, cut, and bake 'em later.)

Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are set, but pale. (If some of the cookies are thinner than the others, the thin ones may brown around the edges. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Now grab a glass of chilled milk, a handful of biscuits and vanish.
   
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