Thursday, 23 February 2017

Chocolate Butterscotch Poke Cake

Chocolate sheet cake, poked and filled with butterscotch flavour pudding. Topped with a chocolate cream topping and chocolate chips.

Apparently Poke Cake’s are the latest baking craze to come over from the US! Who knew? And what exactly is a Poke Cake?

Well, a poke cake is essentially a sheet cake, baked, then with holes poked in it. The cake is then smothered in a topping such as jelly (jello), pudding or condensed milk for example. This topping sinks into the holes and makes for a moist cake. You top the cake with some other topping such as buttercream and it’s ready to devour.

Chocolate sheet cake, poked and filled with butterscotch flavour pudding. Topped with a chocolate cream topping and chocolate chips.


Sound good? I’ve made one before actually, a couple of years back. A strawberry orange sprinkles poke cake, which was a strawberry flavoured sponge with sprinkles flecked through it. Then I poked the necessary holes and filled the cake with orange flavour jelly. When the jelly had set I topped it with a cream cheese frosting. It was almost like a trifle cake and was gorgeous.

So, my next foray into poke cake making (as it’s now an apparent craze?) is this chocolate butterscotch cake. I made a chocolate sheet cake in a pan tweaking a gorgeous recipe from OMG Chocolate Desserts.

I used the end of a wooden spoon to poke the cake and then used butterscotch Angel Delight as my filling. I used a couple of packs which called for a total of 600ml of milk, but I only used 500ml to make the pudding thicker.

Chocolate sheet cake, poked and filled with butterscotch flavour pudding. Topped with a chocolate cream topping and chocolate chips.

Once this was poured over the cake, I fridged it (overnight in my case, but a couple of hours is fine). To finish I made a chocolate cream topping also inspired by OMG Chocolate Desserts and then finished it with assorted chips I had. Luckily I had butterscotch chips leftover, chocolate chips and swirly white and milk chocolate chips.

Chocolate sheet cake, poked and filled with butterscotch flavour pudding. Topped with a chocolate cream topping and chocolate chips.

I actually took this to the latest meeting of the Dundee Baking Club, which I am a co-host of. It went down very well I am pleased to say.

Chocolate sheet cake, poked and filled with butterscotch flavour pudding. Topped with a chocolate cream topping and chocolate chips.


The butterscotch pudding is soft and creamy and pairs well with the moist chocolate cake. The creamy chocolate topping finished it off perfectly and the chips add a bit of texture.


Why not join in the latest baking craze and start poking your cakes?!



print recipe

Chocolate Butterscotch Poke Cake
Chocolate cake with butterscotch flavour pudding and a chocolate cream topping
Ingredients
  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 100 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 450 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 250 ml 0% fat plain Greek yoghurt
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
  • 250 ml water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 2 packs of Butterscotch Angel Delight (or other brand)
  • 500 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
  • 500 ml double cream
  • 70 grams icing sugar
  • 50 grams chocolate chips
Instructions
Grease and flour a 9”x13” baking pan and preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan).In a large bowl, sift together the flour, 75 grams of the cocoa powder, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Stir in the granulated sugar.In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, yoghurt, vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract.Add these wet ingredients to the dry and mix until a batter forms. Pour in the water and slowly stir this in to achieve a wetter batter.Pour this into the baking pan and bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.Allow the cake to cool then with the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes over the cake. Don’t over do it as you still want the cake to hold together. (I made about 30 holes evenly spaced in my cake, see the pic).Make the pudding as directed on the packet using a sixth less milk than it tells you too.Pour this over the cake until all the holes are filled and the top is slightly covered. You may not need all of the pudding mix.Make the topping by beating the double cream until it thickens slightly then add the icing sugar and remaining cocoa and vanilla. Beat until it is thick and a spreadable consistency.You’re welcome :)
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:1 x 9"x13" cake.

Chocolate sheet cake, poked and filled with butterscotch flavour pudding. Topped with a chocolate cream topping and chocolate chips.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Quick and Easy Garlic Chilli Flatbreads

Unleavened flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli. Cooked on a griddle. Perfect for dipping or enjoying with a curry.

I haven’t made flatbreads before but wanted to give them a whirl – so this weekend I decided to take the plunge and rustle some up in the kitchen.

A flatbread can be a bread which is not leavened, i.e. doesn’t have anything in it which will make it rise, such as yeast. However there are types of flatbread such as pita breads which do incorporate some leavening.

Unleavened flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli. Cooked on a griddle. Perfect for dipping or enjoying with a curry.


There are various types, which seem to vary depending where in the world you are. Focaccia, is technically a flatbread, as is a soda farl. They can very a lot. A naan bread is another type I think we are all familiar with.

I found a recipe on line by cafedelites.com , which looked fairly simple but I wanted to tweak it a little. It incorporated yoghurt in the dough and some garlic powder. I wanted some heat in my flatbreads so added a touch of hot chilli powder too.

I was so surprised at how easy they were. Simply sift together the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients. Mix them into a dough and allow that to rest a little.

Unleavened flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli. Cooked on a griddle. Perfect for dipping or enjoying with a curry.

Once rested the dough is cut into pieces and each piece is rolled into a flat disc, as flat as you can get it.

Unleavened flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli. Cooked on a griddle. Perfect for dipping or enjoying with a curry.


A frying pan, or griddle is then heated and lightly oiled and the dough is tossed onto the heat and allowed to cook for a couple of minutes before turning over.

I have to admit, this smoked something rotten, and the house was full of plumes of smoke. Disneyboi came downstairs to ask what on earth I was doing. The resulting breads however were well worth the fug, which dissipated quickly.

Unleavened flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli. Cooked on a griddle. Perfect for dipping or enjoying with a curry.

I like the bits which puffed up in the pan and charred on the outside, a little blacker than the rest. I think these are the tastiest bits.

Unleavened flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli. Cooked on a griddle. Perfect for dipping or enjoying with a curry.


They are great for tearing up and serving with dips, such as houmous or a mango chutney, or enjoying with a curry like a naan. Give these deceptively simple flatbreads a go and you can tweak the flavours as much as you like.




print recipe

Quick and Easy Garlic Chilli Flatbreads
Easy flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli
Ingredients
  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 75 grams plain Greek yoghurt (I used 0% fat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 280 milk
Instructions
In a large bowl sift together the flour, garlic, chilli and salt.In a jug, whisk together the yoghurt, oil and milk. Pour this into the dry ingredients.Transfer to a floured work surface and knead the dough a little, just for a minute or so.Pop back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel or a bit of clingfilm. Leave this to rest in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.After this time, remove the dough and break it up into eight equal amounts.Roll each piece of dough as flat as you can with a floured rolling pin. It should be sort of see through.Heat a large frying pan or griddle and grease lightly with some oil or spray with some oil.Place a flatbread dough disc onto the heated pan and let it cook for a couple of minutes on one side. You can see the bread lightly change colour as it cooks.After the couple of minutes, lightly oil the exposed side of the dough then flip it over and cook for another couple of minutes.The flatbread should be blistered and blackened in parts. Transfer to a cooling rack and repeat the process for each flatbread.Enjoy them warm, or cool, either is good.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: 20Total time: Yield:8 flatbreads.

Unleavened flatbreads flavoured with garlic and chilli. Cooked on a griddle. Perfect for dipping or enjoying with a curry.
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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Crispy Nutella Mini Meringue Pies

Puffed rice cereal and Nutella in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue

This recipe for crunchy Nutella mini meringue pies is surprisingly simple yet tastes so good.
It’s really like a rice krispie cake in a pie shell, topped with mallowy meringue. A flavour explosion of different tastes and textures which I know you will love.

Puffed rice cereal and Nutella in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue

It’s an ideal treat to take along to a kid’s party or equally good to take a bash for grown-ups – who doesn’t love the chocolatey hazelnut taste of Nutella? Combining it with the flaky pastry of the pie shell and soft vanilla marshmallowy toasted topping will have everyone asking for the recipe. Please direct them here!!

I used a shop bought ready rolled shortcrust pastry – so easy – and cut this into circles to line a cupcake tray with. I blind baked the shells and then let them cool fully. That’s all the baking that is required for this recipe.

Puffed rice cereal and Nutella in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue

Next I melted some coconut oil and mixed this with the Nutella. This makes the Nutella softer to combine through the crisped rice cereal and makes it set up better once the mini pies are ready to devour.

I spooned the cereal/Nutella mix into the pie shells then transferred these to the fridge to set up whilst I made my meringue.

Puffed rice cereal and Nutella in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue

In my Sage Scraper Mixer Pro I beat together two egg whites, some sugar, vanilla extract and cornflour then piped the resultant mallow on top of each crispy pie combo. Pipe as high as you dare!

Puffed rice cereal and Nutella in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue


To toast these I used my trusty kitchen blowtorch to lightly brown the outside. You could also pop these under the grill (or broiler depending where you are) and brown the meringue that way.

Puffed rice cereal and Nutella in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue


And it’s as simple as that. Give these a go and let me know what you think.

Here’s the recipe




print recipe

Crispy Nutella Mini Meringue Pies
Nutella and crisp cereal in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet of ready rolled short crust pastry
  • 60 grams puffed rice cereal
  • 20 grams coconut oil, melted
  • 100 grams Nutella
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan).Cut circles from the sheet of pastry, enough to fill each cup of a 12-hole cupcake tray.Line the tray with the circles of pastry and line each one with a bit of baking paper and pie weights, dry beans or rice to blind bake the pastry.Pop in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the edges are browned.Remove each pastry shell and allow to cool on a cooling rack.In a bowl mix together the coconut oil and Nutella until smooth and add the puffed rice cereal. Stir this until everything is combined fully.Spoon the cereal mix into each pie shell, so it is full and slightly heaped. Pop these in the fridge whilst you make the meringue.In a mixer, beat the two egg whites and cornflour until soft peak stage.Pipe or spoon the meringue mix on top of each pie. Lastly toast the outside of the meringue with a kitchen blowtorch or place under the grill. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Chill time: Total time: Yield:12 mini pies.

Puffed rice cereal and Nutella in a pie shell topped with toasted mallowy meringue

I'm entering these mini meringue pies into this month's Treat Petite hosted by Kat, The Baking Explorer.


Monday, 13 February 2017

Cheddar Kale and Bacon Quick Bread

Quick bread made with cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, onions, kale, sriracha sauce baked into a loaf.

As seems to be happening more these days, I was in the mood for baking something savoury. And I was wandering about the aisles of the supermarket looking for some inspiration.

I spotted kale in the veg section, a vegetable I love, especially kale chips. They are a healthier snack and I can devour them to the point they are probably no longer healthier.

Quick bread made with cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, onions, kale, sriracha sauce baked into a loaf.

Anyhow, I decided to combine the veg with cheese, bacon and onion in a quick bread.  Quick bread is a bread which isn’t made with yeast, but other leavening agents such as baking powder or bicarbonate of soda (apparently). I think of it like a savoury cake really.

You blend together your dry and wet ingredients like you would a cake. And you can make your quick bread sweet or savoury.

I began making mine by frying off a pack of bacon lardons, then slowly frying an onion until it was browned and sweetened. I then fried some kale until it was wilted and soft.

Quick bread made with cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, onions, kale, sriracha sauce baked into a loaf.

I whisked together my wet ingredients of oil, sour cream and eggs. I then incorporated the dry ingredients of plain flour, baking powder, soda, oregano and salt.

To this mix I folded through grated sharp cheddar cheese, the fried onions and bacon making sure they were well distributed through the batter. (At this stage I added some sriracha sauce, mostly because my husband likes things to have a bit of a kick. Any hot sauce would do, but you can forgo this entirely if you prefer). Lastly I incorporated the kale and transferred the mix to a greased and lined loaf tin.

Quick bread made with cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, onions, kale, sriracha sauce baked into a loaf.

I popped it into the oven and after an hour I had a piping hot loaf of savoury goodness. I let it cool completely before slicing it. It was a great combination of all the flavours incorporated and would be ideal for a picnic. You can enjoy this on its own, but some houmous spread on top is also delicious.

Quick bread made with cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, onions, kale, sriracha sauce baked into a loaf.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe…


print recipe

Cheddar Kale and Bacon Quick Bread
Savoury quick bread with cheese, onions, bacon and kale
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 150 grams smoked bacon lardons
  • 120 grams chopped kale
  • 2 medium eggs 
  • 180 ml soured cream
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 125 grams grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (optional)
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and grease and line a loaf tin.In a large frying pan, fry the bacon lardons until browned. Remove and add the olive oil to the pan.Fry the onion slowly over medium heat, until soft and browned.Remove the onions, and in the remaining oil, slowly fry the kale until soft and lightly brown on the edges.In a bowl whisk together the soured cream, vegetable oil and eggs until smooth and blended.In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, pepper and bicarb. Add the oregano and then add this to the wet mix, stirring well with a spatula.Add the grated cheese and stir this through then add the onion and bacon, stirring this through.Add the sriracha at this point if adding.Lastly add the kale and mix this through until well combined.Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the loaf.Allow to cool fully before slicing up and enjoying.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: 1 hour 3Yield: 1 loaf


Quick bread made with cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, onions, kale, sriracha sauce baked into a loaf.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Free Cookbook from Voucherbox


I’m very excited to tell you about a new free budget-friendly cookbook available online. It features recipes from an elite selection of food bloggers – including myself!

The cookbook is broken into starters, condiments, mains and sweets (guess which section I feature in?!).

The bloggers featured in the 22 recipe book include Mandy from Sneaky Veg, Lela London, Chris from Tikichris and Rachel Phipps

All the recipes in the book, as said, are low-cost and start at 20p per person up to £2.70 per person. Inside you will find soups, dips, stews, curries, cupcakes, pancakes,my own inexpensive-to-make cinnamon maple apple crumble and more.

The cookbook is brought to you from Voucherbox and is free to access on their website.


Pop over and have a look to get your appetite whetted. 

Disclosure Statement: This post was sponsored by Voucherbox.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Banana Bread Caramel Layer Cake

banana bread sandwiched with fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel

We had our friends Elaine and Gary over for dinner on Saturday. They hadn't been to see the new house yet, so up they came and I made a meal of lasagne and garlic bread for us to enjoy.

As always, in the Cakeyboi household though, dessert is the main event and I decided to make banana bread pimped up slightly.

banana bread sandwiched with fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel

I had some frozen bananas in the freezer, which I find is the best way to use them in any baking. You defrost them and the skins turn black. The centres mush right down and slide out of the blackened skins very easily and are a much more concentrated banana flavour.

I set about making the banana bread batter, with some added cinnamon, and instead of baking it in a loaf tin, I split the mix between two 8" round cake tins.

How to sandwich my two layers of banana bread together? Well, I took inspiration from none other than Delia Smith, the original domestic goddess, and used her recipe for fudge icing. But, as it turns out, it tasted much more like Scottish Tablet!

banana bread sandwiched with fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel

I was in my element with this concoction of evaporated milk, butter and dark brown sugar, melted together then cooled. To this I added icing sugar and the result was a sweet, fudgy frosting which went nicely between the two layers of the cake and over the sides.

banana bread sandwiched with fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel

I went for that semi-smothered look on purpose, with bits of the cake still peeking through the thin coating of frosting. The last addition really took the cake to next level...

I bought a tin of caramel. It's just like the tins of condensed milk, but pre-boiled and caramelised for you. None of this boiling a sealed can in a water filled saucepan. Seriously, did people actually do that back in the day? It must have been so dangerous.

banana bread sandwiched with fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel


Thankfully now the caramel pops straight out of the can. I popped it straight on to the top of my cake, which I had chilled for a while, before eeking the caramel to the edges and letting it drizzle down. Pure food porn!

To add a bit of height, I finished the cake with some chocolate curls things which were like chocolate Pringles. But this was entirely optional and you could top your cake with anything you fancy.

banana bread sandwiched with fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel

The cake went down well and Elaine took some home with her. A success I would say.

It tasted super banana(y) and the tablet tasting frosting really complemented the fruitiness of the cake. The caramel was just sheer indulgence and completely unnecessary, but oh so good!!

Here's how I made it...



print recipe

Banana Bread Caramel Layer Cake
Banana Bread Sandwiched with a fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel
Ingredients
  • 4 ripe, mushed bananas
  • 330 grams granulated sugar
  • 165ml vegetable oil
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 330 grams plain flour
  • 20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120 ml evaporated milk
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 50 grams icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoons milk (optional)
Instructions
Line the base of two 8" cake tins with greaseproof paper and grease the sides. Preheat the oven to 180CIn a mixer, cream together the oil and sugar until pale and creamy.Add the eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas beating these in.Sift in the the flour, bicarb, cinnamon and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients just until combined.Divide the mix equally between the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cakes Remove from the oven and allow to cool fullyIn a saucepan melt together the evaporated milk, butter and dark brown sugar then boil for about five minutes then allow to cool for about 10 minutes.Transfer to a bowl and beat in the icing sugar until a buttercream consistency is achieved. If the mix is too thick, add some milk to loosen it a little.Chill the cake in the fridge for around 10 minutes and open a can of caramel. Loosen the caramel by stirring it.Spoon four or five dessert spoonfuls of the caramel over the cake and let it drizzle down the sides by gently spreading it over the edges.Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 x 8" cake.


banana bread sandwiched with fudgy frosting and drizzled with caramel

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Chocolate and Cherry Cookies

Chocolate and Cherry Cookies or Black Forest Cookies - bursting with dried cherries and almond extract

These cookies can really have one of two names. Chocolate and Cherry Cookies, as that is what they incorporate, or the slightly fancier Black Forest Cookies.

Black Forest Gateaux, that retro dessert, combines the flavours of chocolate and ripe cherries to get that unmistakable flavour combination. To amp it up a little bit in this recipe I used almond extract. I find that almond extract, which I used to loathe as a child (but my taste buds have changed as I’ve gotten older) adds that extra bit of cherry flavour.

Chocolate and Cherry Cookies or Black Forest Cookies - bursting with dried cherries and almond extract

Take cherry coke for example, is it really cherry you are tasting or an almond sort of flavour? They kind of go hand in hand.


I used dried cherries in the cookies, which are sweet and chewy in the finished result. I added cocoa powder to the batter for the chocolate. You could throw in a handful of chocolate chips into the mix if you wanted, but I didn’t want to over gild the lily, so to speak.

Chocolate and Cherry Cookies or Black Forest Cookies - bursting with dried cherries and almond extract


For the final flourish I made a simple icing from icing sugar, some almond extract and water, which I drizzled haphazardly over the top.

Chocolate and Cherry Cookies or Black Forest Cookies - bursting with dried cherries and almond extract

Here’s how I made them.



print recipe

Chocolate and Cherry Cookies
Chocolate cookies with dried cherries and almond extract
Ingredients
  • 115 grams unsalted butter
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 185 grams plain flour
  • 20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150 grams dried cherries
  • 50 grams icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
Instructions
Line a couple of cookies sheets with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to 180C (160 fan)In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.Add the egg, vanilla and 1 teaspoon of the almond extract, beating these in.Sift in the the flour, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients just until combined.Add one to two tablespoons of milk if the mixture is too dry.Fold in the cherries and spoon tablespoon sized dollops onto the greaseproof paper, placing at least an inch apart.Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges turn a darker brown colour.Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.Make a simply icing from icing sugar, almond extract and a touch of water until it is a drizzling consistency.Drizzle over the cookies and allow to dry.Enjoy your cookies.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 20 cookies approx.



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