Thursday, 30 August 2012

Coffee Cream Truffles

coffee creams just like you used to get in quality street

I have toyed with what to call these confections. They could be one of two things really.

But back to the start, and one of the great goodies I received a couple of weeks back from LittlePod, was coffee extract. It smelled divine and I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it. Who remembers coffee creams? You used to get them in Quality Street and many other chocolate selections. But not a sniff of java in any of the choc boxes now.

The closest you get is the coffee ones in Revels, and even then in the commercial they take the mickey out of them! But they were always my favourite and I miss them. So when I took a whiff of the coffee bottle, it conjured up halcyon days, sitting in front of the TV watching ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and scoffing said coffee creams.

My mind got to ticking and I thought a good way to make them, would be to use a cream cheese frosting type recipe, make it very stiff with the icing sugar, add the extract and coat generously with dark chocolate. Oh coffee creams, how I have missed you…

Yield: 36 (or thereabouts)

Ingredients:
113 grams full-fat cream cheese, softened
30 grams unsalted butter, softened
500 grams icing sugar
2 teaspoons coffee extract
300 grams Dark Chocolate, melted
2 bars Caramac, melted – to decorate

Method:
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. Next, add the coffee extract and mix to combine. Add your icing sugar, mixing until you get a thick, dough like consistency.



Using a melon baller, dipped in icing sugar, or just with a teaspoon, take balls of the truffle dough and with your hands, dusted with icing sugar, roll the dough into balls. Place on a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper and pop into the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.



Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water and remove from the heat. Allow it to cool a little. Then taking a toothpick or a small fork, stab the truffles and dunk into the molten chocolate, covering completely and drain the excess chocolate. Pop back into the fridge and allow the chocolate to set fully. To decorate I melted some Caramac bars and drizzled them over the truffles, then let them chill again.



The truffles should be kept cool until ready to eat, as in the heat they can get quite soft. And keeping them cool means that when eaten you get that satisfying crack when you bite into them. The coffee cream centre is sweet and a nice contrast to the bitter chocolate. The centre has a nice subtle coffee flavour, but if you wanted more of a ‘hit’ you could add another teaspoon.

Now I settled on the name coffee cream truffles, but they could have also been coffee flavoured cream cheese frosting truffles. In fact, replacing the coffee extract for vanilla, that’s what they would have been. But whatever you call them, go get creative and enjoy!


Note: If you can't find coffee extract, simply dissolve one sachet (you know the long thin sticks) of strong coffee with two teaspoons of boiling water. This will give your truffles a great coffee kick! And instead of Caramac, white chocolate works just as well.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cartoon Time - Bone Appetit!

Just watched 'Julie and Julia' again and it provided me with the inspiration for another cartoon, this time with Chip...


Monday, 27 August 2012

Watermelon Mallow Pops




Well, as you know by now, I love making marshmallows. And recently, armed with my new foolproofrecipe for them, I have been experimenting a bit more. I'm even getting a reputation with my co-workers kids as the 'Marshmallow Man', which does sound kind of sinister!! Anyway, I was looking through mystore cupboard at the ingredients I had and I came across my watermelon extractthat I had bought a while back at The Cake Decorating Company
 If you read my postabout the watermelon cake, you will know that a little goes a long way! And Ithought adding some to mallows would be a nice alternative to vanilla. And whystop there?? I dug out some food colouring and chocolate chips whilst I was atit.



Ingredients:

Watermelon Extract
Green Food Colouring
Pink Food Colouring
Mini Chocolate Chips

Method:
Spray a 9”x9” baking pan with baking spray. Make themarshmallows as directed in the link above – except substitute the vanillaextract for the watermelon, don’t add as much, as it is potent. Add a few dropsat a time until you get a strength of flavour you like. (These would be just as nice vanilla flavoured!)

Divide the white mallow ‘batter’, one third in one bowl, twothirds in another. Colour the one third with some drops of green food colouring(amount depends on the type you use) and add a few drops of the pink to the twothirds, stirring these well. Place the green mallow mix into a piping bag(or food bag with corner snipped off) and pipe around the perimeter of thebaking pan several times, adding on top of each layer, adding a bit of height.Next, spoon the pink mallow mix into the middle of the pan, and with an off-setspatula spread out towards the green mallow mix until they just meet. Becareful not to swirl the two colours. Lastly, sprinkle a few mini chocolatechips on top, to look like the seeds. I used a toothpick to push these down abit into the ‘batter. Lastly, sprinkle with the icing sugar/cornflour mixliberally and leave to set a few hours (overnight is best).



When set, carefully prise the mallows from the pan and on acutting board, sprinkled with more icing sugar and cornflour, carefully slicethe slab of watermelon mallow into wedges. Coat each wedge in even moresugar/cornflour. I inserted wooden sticks into mine to make pops, but these arejust as good eaten by hand. Kids love these - they are squidgy and sweet and the chocolate chips add a nice little crunch, so what are you waiting for? Go create…!



Lastly and by no means least, you may remember that Irecently posted Coconut Fruit Salad with Chocolate Balsamic Dressing for the ‘NoCroutons Required’ challenge over at ‘http://www.tinnedtomatoes.com/’.Well, luckily I won! I will be receiving my prize soon, and I’ll be displayingmy winner’s badge very proudly! Thanks Jac.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Trifle Cupcakes


trifle cupcakes



I recently saw some lovely looking Scottish raspberries in the supermarket – we are lucky to get great berries up here – and I wondered what could I conjure up with said rasps?

I bought a small punnet and took it home. Later whilst having a look online, I saw that the Alphabakes challenge this month over at ‘The more than occasional baker’ and Caroline Makes (hosted by 'The more than occasional Baker' this month) is the letter ‘T’. It then hit me – Trifle! Everyone has their own version of trifle, and mine’s uses raspberries. I always make it at Christmas and although it is still summer I thought trifle shouldn’t just be for Santa time – let’s have a portable version – Trifle Cupcakes, that can be eaten anytime of the year!



Now as I said, my trifle uses raspberries. I tend to place sponge fingers in the bottom of my dish, with rasps dotted around. I then pour on some raspberry jelly - no booze in mine - just pure sweetness. When that has set I spread on some thick luscious custard and when that has thickened sufficiently, I add whipped cream on top, finished with a final garnish of crumbled Flake – heaven! I can almost hear Noddy Holder screeching in the background – but these are actually very summery cupcakes!

Ingredients:
Yield: 6 large cupcakes (muffins really!)

Cupcakes:
110 grams softened, unsalted butter
110 grams sugar
2 eggs
I tsp vanilla extract
100 grams plain flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Filling:
6 raspberries
Prepared sachet of raspberry jelly
Prepared custard (out of a tin, sachet, pot, you choose!)
Small pot of double cream - whipped
1 Flake, crumbled

Preheat your oven to 180oC. Place 6 muffin liners in a muffin tray. Sieve together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale yellow in colour and totally combined. Add the eggs one at a time, combining after each addition. Add the vanilla extract (I used the LittlePod vanilla paste I was sent recently) and mix until slightly thickened. Next slowly fold in the flour mix until this is just combined, don’t over mix. Fill the muffin liners about 2/3 full, dividing the batter equally. Pop these into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave the muffins to cool completely, removing them from the pan after 10 minutes. I left mine over night so they went quite firm, this makes them easy to scoop out the core.



To ‘core’ them I took a paring knife and cut out a section from the tops, then with a melon baller, I scooped out the filling, leaving enough cake, so the muffins held their shape. 

I then placed a raspberry into each hollowed out cake and smooshed them down with the end of a measuring spoon, so they were flat against the bottom. Then with the melon baller, I scooped out balls of the jelly and popped this on top of the raspberry. I then filled a piping bag with the custard (although you could use a spoon) and filled the rest of the cake with custard. I placed the whipped cream into a piping back and piped on a swirl, on top of the custard. I then finished with the crumbled flake.



I left my cupcakes a few hours before I enjoyed, so the filling could settle and meld together slightly. But when I bit in, oh my goodness, fresh raspberries, yummy vanilla sponge, with the coolness of the jelly and creamy custard. And the topping of cream and flake was decadence itself.

Remember trifle is for life, not just for Christmas - Go and create!!


I am also entering my recipe for Cupcake Tuesday hosted by Hoosier Homemade!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Vanilla Bean Lemonade with LittlePod




I was recently sent some goodies from LittlePod to review. They are a company who specialise in quality vanilla products and I was lucky enough to be sent their natural vanilla paste, bourbon vanilla extract and coffee extract. I’ll be trying out recipes with the extracts soon, but I couldn’t wait to use the paste.



It comes in a metal tube, and has at least 20 pods crammed in there. Now I had never seen vanilla paste before but then I saw a recipe on the Food Network using it, and I thought to myself this is fate. I had to make the vanilla bean lemonade. And so, this is Cakeyboi's first venture into drinks!

It’s very simple to put together and is very very refreshing.

Adapted From Food Network

Ingredients
125 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
90 grams sugar
90 ml water
1 tablespoon Little Pod vanilla paste
1 litre sparkling water
Crushed ice
Sliced Lemons





                                                                                      Method:
Make a simple syrup, by mixing the water and sugar in a saucepan, heating it until the sugar has dissolved. Remove this from the heat and allow it to cool completely.



In a jug combine the lemon juice and vanilla paste, stirring well. Add the simple syrup and sparkling water, again stirring well. Add ice and your drink is ready! Garnish with some lemon slices. The vanilla seeds mixed through the drink are a lovely touch.




This really is thirst quenching and pleasantly sweet with the lovely vanilla taste. It’s almost like drinking a lemon meringue pie!! The paste is great and I will definitely be using it in lot's of things. 

(And if you are so inclined, you could substitute some of the sparkling water with vodka – for a more adult spin on this.) Enjoy…



Disclosure Statement: I received the ingredients free, to review them. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Froot Loop Banana Cream Pie - for United Bakes of America




My friend Gem, over at Cupcake Crazy Gem has a monthly challenge – United Bakes of America - where she challenges folk to bake something from an American recipe book, with a particular state in mind, or using an American ingredient. As a fellow Yankophile, I was definitely up for the challenge!



A few weeks back whilst in the supermarket, I was in the cereal when my heart literally skipped a beat – surely not I thought?! But my eyes were not deceiving me – Froot Loops - my ultimate favourite cereal! Kellogg's are trialling them in the UK and they have been altered for the UK market, so no artificial colours or flavours. This means they aren’t exactly the same taste as the US ones and the colours are more muted. But hey, I’m not complaining. It was just great to see Toucan Sam staring at me from the bright red box!



And I wanted to use the Froot Loops in a recipe. I had seen a different Froot Loop Pie over at Easybaked and that gave me all the inspiration I needed. I had a box of American Jello banana cream pudding mix which I had bought in London a few weeks back and my Froot Loop Banana Cream Pie was born.

Now -  only the crust is actually baked, so I hope Gem lets me off with this one!

Ingredients:

Crust:
100 grams of crushed froot loops
113 grams of unsalted butter, melted
125 grams of sugar

Pie Filling:
1 banana, sliced
Box of Jello Banana Cream Pudding Mix
Milk

Topping:
One package of Bird’s Dream Topping
Quarter pint of milk
2 generous tablespoons of marshmallow Fluff

Method:
Preheat your oven to 180oC. In a bowl mix together the crushed Froot Loops, butter and sugar with a fork. Place this into an ungreased pie dish and press down to form the crust. Pop this into the oven for 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool completely.



To make the filling, spread the sliced bananas over the bottom of the pie. Make the pudding mix with a quarter less milk than specified, to make it slightly thicker. Pour this over the bananas and smooth over this. Pop into the fridge to set.



For the topping, make up the Dream Topping as directed and add the marshmallow fluff. This gives the topping a slightly fluffier dimension. I piped this onto the top of the pie, but you could just spread it on with an off-set spatula. I added some more Froot Loops on top to decorate.



The crust of the pie was delicious with the sweet fruitiness of the cereal and the bananas, combined with the pudding mix was deliciously creamy and even creamier with the Dream Topping. I ate a quarter of the pie in one go!



If you can’t get hold of Jello Banana Cream Pudding mix, I would suggest using banana flavour Angel Delight, again using slightly less milk. And if you are in the US, use Cool Whip for the topping – but we don’t get that in the UK (although we did for a while in the 80’s).

Enjoy!! 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Coconut Fruit Salad with Chocolate Balsamic Dressing - plus meet Chip the Dog




It is supposed to be a summer month(!) and what is more refreshing in the summer than a fruit salad? I love the fact that you can add whatever fruit you fancy to a salad, anything goes really! I’m sure there is probably an art to making a good one, but I reckon if you like what you are putting in, you can’t go wrong!

Jac over at vegetarian site Tinned Tomatoes, has a monthly challenge called No Croutons Required where she states one ingredient a month to be used in a salad or soup. You have to make and then submit your creation to her challenge. For the month of August Jac’s ingredient of choice is coconut. I love coconut, so wondered if a fruit salad might be allowed in her challenge?!



To make mine a bit Cakeyboi – well, you didn’t think I would just leave it at the fruit did you?? – I made a sweet and tangy dressing from dark chocolate and balsamic vinegar. If you have never tried balsamic vinegar and strawberries, you are missing out. The tang of the sweet balsamic is a perfect compliment to the uber sweet strawberry!



To make the salad I chopped strawberries, kiwi, grapes, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, added blueberries and finally coconut chunks. These were already prepared in a handy little pack and the coconut was deliciously creamy to eat on it’s own. I placed the mixed fruit into individual dishes and set about making the dressing.

I took 50ml of balsamic vinegar and 50 grams of caster sugar and in a saucepan heated the two up, until the sugar had dissolved, I removed the pan from the heat and added 15 grams of dark chocolate chips. The residual heat from the sugar melted the chips when stirred in. I let this cool and when ready to serve, spooned the dressing over the salad.



The fruit salad was delicious and the dressing added a lovely depth of flavour with a slight sharpness. One to give a try on these hot balmy summer nights. Enjoy!!



Oh – and with the use of chocolate chips in the recipe, I thought it would be a good time to introduce Cakeyboi’s dog Chip, who you may see popping up from time to time!


Thursday, 16 August 2012

{REVIEW} The Parlour Café Dundee




I recently went to the Parlour Café in Dundee's West End with some friends for an after work get-together and I wanted to write a little bit about how great it is.



I have been there several times in the past and always enjoyed it. It’s a funky little café near to Dundee University, with it’s pleasingly boho décor. It’s not the largest of settings, but this lends itself to a cosy atmosphere. There is no sign outside and the Parlour is known through word of mouth and it’s good reputation. It serves a variety of food, mostly vegetarian, the range of which is exceptional.



But being Cakeyboi, I have to rave about the baking. The sweet treats served up are a sight to behold. They will have you salivating, as the waiting staff effortlessly reel off what the plethora of baked goods are. We almost gave our waitress a round of applause for remembering everything, as there was so much!



My friends and I had a mix of lovely coffee, tea and juice to drink. And we all had one delicious treat each. I plumped for a peanut butter cookie – crunchy PB too! It was gone in a flash as I almost inhaled it. Other’s at my table had banana toffee muffins, orange and lemon muffins and individual lemon meringue pies. Also on offer was frangipani tart, brownies, caramel shortcake, carrot cake and a brown sugar and fudge cake, which looked amazing.


The offerings change frequently, so there is always something new to try each time you visit. In the past I have had a lovely slice of hummingbird cake (my first ever) and red velvet cake. It’s definitely not your typical Scottish fare, which is probably why I love it so much! If you've never been - get yourself down there!



The Parlour Café even has it’s own cookbook which includes both savoury and sweet recipes.

The Parlour Café
58 West Port
Dundee, DD1 5ER
Phone: 01382 203588

Disclosure: I was not paid or sponsored by The Parlour Cafe.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Orange Chiffon Cake for Clandestine Cake Club




It was that time of month again – Clandestine Cake Club, where members take along a cake to a secret location revealed at last minute. This month’s theme was ‘Feels Like Summer’ and the location was the Westport Bar in Dundee. We had the function suite to ourselves, to fill our faces with yummy cake and talk about cake. Heaven.

Now, I have a thing about the colour orange, no idea why, but I love it. I have lots of orange in my kitchen, on my desk at work, my iPhone case is orange etc. I don’t know if it stems from the preponderance of orange in the 1970’s when I was growing up, I had orange checked flannelette sheets on my bed, we had vivid orange cushions on our brown waffle effect sofa…anyhoo I digress. Summer to me feels orange and I had recently looked at some recipes for chiffon cakes. These are very light cakes baked in a special pan, made largely with egg whites, and inverted when cooling so the cake doesn’t implode on itself. Sounds convoluted I know. But I thought an orange chiffon cake would be perfect to say it should feel like summer! So off to Amazon I popped to buy an angel cake pan.



Ingredients:

4 Large Egg Yolks
15 g Sugar
50 ml Groundnut Oil
50 ml Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
70 g Plain Flour (minus one tablespoon), sifted
1 tablespoon Cornflour
Zest of 2 Oranges

80g Sugar
8 g Cornflour
4 Large Egg Whites

Method:
Preheat your oven to 160oC. Have a 7” angel cake pan ready (look for them on Amazon or Ebay if you don’t have one) – do not grease it!

In a bowl sift together the plain flour and corn flour 5 times! I know, but the recipe calls for cake flour, which we don’t get in the UK. So do this and it will give you something akin to cake flour!
In a bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs yolks until slightly thickened. Next add the oil, orange juice and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Add the flour mix and orange zest and stir to combine. The mixture will be fairly thick.



Next beat the egg whites until they get a bit frothy, then add the cornflour and sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Take a quarter of this meringue mix and carefully fold into the sticky wet mix, then add the rest of the meringue, folding it in very carefully so as not to get rid of the air in the meringue. When no white streaks of fluff are seen then you are good to go. Spoon the batter into the angel food pan and bake for 50 minutes, the cake will rise quite high during baking, but fall slightly toward the end. Remove from the oven and carefully turn the pan upside down balancing it on some upturned drinking glasses (or similar). 



Leave the cake for an hour to cool completely. Then with a sharp knife, loosen it from the pan, it should come away fairly neatly.



To decorate I made a simple icing from 125 grams of icing sugar and some orange juice, adding a tablespoon at a time until I got a nice drizzling consistency. I then added some orange segments for a final flourish.



The cake club was great fun, chatting to new friends and meeting co-host Becca’s lovely parents from Melbourne. There was a lovely lemon and prosecco cake, eton mess cake and many more. My cake was a hit and ‘eaters’ loved the lightness of it. Now I have invested in the angel cake pan, I guess I will have to try differing versions – stay posted…!


Westport Bar
66 North Lindsay Street
Dundee
DD1 1PS

01382 221634
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...