Thursday, 30 May 2013

Rhubarb and Ginger Linzer Cookies

linzer biscuits

When I was given a jar of delicious Mackay’s Rhubarb and Ginger Preserve to try out the other week, I thought this would be great used as a filling for Linzer Cookies which I was desperate to make after seeing Anna Olsen make them on her TV show.

The rhubarb and ginger preserve is a tasty mix of sweetness and warmth. I thought this would compliment the tender dough used in Linzer Cookies. The cookies usually incorporate ground almonds into the mix giving a more delicate crunch. They are a bit like a posh ‘Jammie Dodger’ I always think as they have a jam filling with a little window cut out of the top biscuit

This recipe make around a dozen cookies, and can be cut into any shape, but remember to have a smaller cutter to remove the ‘window’ from the top cookie.

Yield: A dozen sandwich cookies

115 grams unsalted butter, softened
100 grams icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
45 grams ground almonds
150 grams plain flour (minus 3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons cornflour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 teaspoons of Mackays Rhubarb and Ginger Preserve

Line 2 cookie sheets with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Sieve together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks , lemon zest and vanilla and mix until slightly thickened. Add the ground almonds and stir in by hand. Add the flour mix and stir through until a dough forms. Split into two and place each bit of dough onto some clingfilm and wrap tightly before placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill slightly.

When chilled, knead slightly, then roll the dough to about ¼” thick. Cut out an even number of shapes and with the smaller cutter, cut out a ‘window’ from half the shapes. Place the shaped and shapes with windows on separate trays and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies with the cut out window will take slightly less time, so keep an eye on them. When the cookies just turn slightly brown they are ready. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

Sift icing sugar over the cookies with windows. Mix the preserve with a spoon to loosen it a little. Take the bottom part of the cookie, and spread on a teaspoon of the rhubarb and ginger preserve. Place the top part on and press together lightly. Repeat with all the cookies and allow to set a little before eating.

As said, these are delicate little biscuits. The almonds don’t provide much almond flavour, but do lend to the light texture of the biscuits. The preserve acts as a nice compliment. All in all, a lovely little cookie, for special occasions.

Disclosure Statement: I have not been paid for this post. I received the preserve free to bake with. Any views expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Spicy Cartoon Time

I was rootling around my spice drawer the other day...

Monday, 27 May 2013

Birthday Cake Rice Krispie Treats

Cake Batter Krispie Treats

It’s still birthday month here on Cakeyboi, so I though I would use up the leftover vanilla cake mix I used for my Birthday Cake BatterBark. I have made many versions of Rice Krispie Treats over the past year, so naturally I thought a Birthday Cake version of these was called for.

I actually read in my Food Network magazine recently that the hottest new flavour in snack-world is Birthday Cake. Loads of ice-creams and sweets are coming out with this new flavour variety in the US. Not sure it will catch on here in the UK however. And no one seems to know exactly what Birthday Cake flavour is(?) Well, to me it’s vanilla cake with coloured sprinkles!

These rice krispie treats are simple, as always, to make.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
200 grams white mini marshmallows
80 grams boxed vanilla cake mix
125 grams rice krispies
3 tablespoons coloured sprinkles

adapted from Seeded at the Table

Prepare a 9”x13” baking pan by lightly greasing. Melt the butter in a really large saucepan, then add the marshmallows, stirring until they are melted. Remove from the heat and add the cake mix, stirring through the mallows. Add the rice krispies and mix through with a wooden spoon. Lastly add the sprinkles and mix through.

Transfer to the baking pan and smooth over until they are level. Allow to set, at least 2 hours. When set, remove from the pan and cut into squares.

They taste of cake and sprinkles. Perfect rice krispie treats for a party celebration!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Cakeyboi Alphabet - S

We have reached S in the alphabet...

Syrup is a thick sugary liquid in cooking terms. The more common varieties are maple syrup, golden syrup and corn syrup (not good at breakfast time!). But whilst looking syrup up, other thick sweet liquids such as honey, treacle and molasses are also classed as syrups.

Medicated syrups are also common and make some medicines a bit more palatable. Syrup of Figs incidentally is rhyming slang for wig (just in case you were wondering about the 'toon above!).

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Dundee Marmalade Sticky Buns

Dundee Marmalade Rolls

These sticky buns were great fun to make. I just love getting to grips with yeast dough now. Must be Mr Hollywood's influence. These buns were a great way to showcase the fantastic Dundee Marmalade I received from Mackays whom I visited a few weeks back for a factory tour.

Dundee, where I was born, is famous for it’s Marmalade, first produced in the 18th Century, by the Keiller family. Story has it, Keiller, a local grocer bought a cargo-load of Seville oranges which were too bitter to sell. So his wife used them to make marmalade, rather than the, then normal, quince. It was a success story and now Mackays are the only remaining producers who still make Dundee Marmalade locally, in copper pans, of course with its signature chunks of Seville orange rind.

These buns are a twist on a cinnamon roll type bun, with the filling comprising of the marmalade, brown sugar and pistachio nuts. I then slathered a delicious icing all over the top. I found a recipe for sweet-roll dough in my Food Network magazine and tweaked the filling from The Pioneer Woman website.

Dough Ingredients:
125 ml whole milk
2 ¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
60 grams granulated sugar
60 grams unsalted butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
275 grams plain flour
¾ teaspoon salt
adapted from Food Network magazine, May 2013 issue

Filling Ingredients:
8 tablespoons Mackays Dundee Marmalade
40 grams unsalted butter, softened
40 grams pistachios, chopped
75 grams dark brown sugar
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Icing Ingredients:
30 grams unsalted butter, melted, cooled
250 grams icing sugar
Juice of 1 large orange
Zest of the orange

Dough method:

Warm the milk in a saucepan to no more than 40oC. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast on top, and a pinch of the granulated sugar. Leave it to do it’s thing for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the cooled, melted butter, egg yolk, vanilla. Add this to the yeast and mix together. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, making a well in the centre. Add the wet ingredients and stir until a dough forms. Tip this onto a floured work surface and knead for about 6 minutes. Place in a lightly buttered bowl and cover with clingfilm. Place in a warm spot and let this rise for 1 ½ hours. After this time, knead again for a couple of minutes and return to the bowl, but covering directly with a piece of greased clingfilm. Cover the bowl as well. Chill this in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but I left mine overnight and it was fine.

Take your dough and roll out on a floured work surface to an oblong, 10”x18”. Spread the softened butter all over this, except for 2cm at one of the long ends. Then spread on the marmalade, top with the pistachios and brown sugar. Begin rolling the dough from the long end with the filling and roll tightly until you get to the end with no filling. Wet this with water and pinch to seal the ‘log’. Taking a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 equal pieces and place each piece with the swirl upwards,  into a buttered 9”x13” baking pan. Cover with clingfilm and let rise for an hour. Preheat your oven to 180oC. The rolls will begin to touch one another this is fine. Pop into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Cool them in the pan for 10 minutes before moving.

In a bowl whisk together the melted butter, icing sugar and orange juice. Start with less OJ than you think you will need and add drops until you get a thick but pourable consistency. Pour this over all of the buns and sprinkle with the orange zest. Allow the icing to set before you tear away at them.

These actually get better the next day as the flavours all meld together. The pistachios compliment the punchy marmalade, and the dark brown sugar almost has a caramel like note. These will disappear in a flash, so make sure the baker gets one!! Enjoy…

Disclosure Statement: I have not been paid for this post. I received the marmalade free to bake with. Any views expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Monday, 20 May 2013

Blue Velvet Cake for Eurovision

chocolate and blueberry cake

The Eurovision Song Contest was here again. And we didn’t win again!
My friend Ewan always throws a party for the event and this year’s ‘do’ was a select gathering of us boom bang-a-banging, skirt ripping Europop fans.

Personally I don’t know what the BBC have been thinking the past few years. Firstly we no longer get a chance to vote for the act we, the British public, would like to represent us. This year we had Bonnie Tyler foisted upon us. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bonnie and her ‘Total Eclipse’ is a favourite of mine. But for the past two years we have had pensioners representing us (Englebert last year). It’s almost as if the BBC don’t want the extra expense of hosting the event, alongside part funding it. Anyhoo, I digress!

Every year for the party I make a flag cake with the host nation’s flag atop. Last year was Azerbaijan, have a look and see my effort. This year was Sweden, which was a tad easier thanks to foam bananas and blueberries.

I usually make a yellow cake with cream cheese frosting. But I decided to change things up a bit this year and make a Blue(ish) Velvet Cake with a slightly different cream cheese frosting, which incorporates whipping cream. Blue Velvet cake is like Red Velvet, only it’s dyed blue and I’ve put a few blueberries through mine. The cake also has cocoa in it, so the colour isn’t a bright blue, more an aqua blue!

Cake Ingredients:
250 grams self raising flour
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
340 grams granulated sugar
370 ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
250 ml buttermilk
Blue food colouring
100 grams fresh blueberries

Frosting Ingredients:
225 grams full fat cream cheese
115 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500 ml double cream

Cake Method:
Grease and line a 9”x13” cake pan. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
In a bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa and bicarb.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs and vinegar until smooth and creamy. Add one third of the flour, incorporate and then add half the buttermilk, mixing that in. Repeat with another third of the flour, last half of buttermilk, then last bit of the flour. Lastly add blue food colouring to get a shade of blue you are happy with. I highly recommend paste or gel food colouring rather than liquid as a little goes a long way. Lastly, add the blueberries and mix through by hand.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick and when it comes out clean from the centre then it’s ready. Allow to cool in the pan before removing and placing on a cooling rack.

When ready to frost, add the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla to the bowl of a mixer and mix with the whisk attachment until smooth. With the machine turned on, add the cream slowly until the frosting becomes thicker and gets to a spreadable consistency.

To make my Swedish flag cake, I cut the cake in half, then frosted the bottom layer, before adding the top layer of the cake and frosting a thin layer all over. Place in the fridge to set. When firm, remove from the fridge and frost with all of the remaining cream mix. To decorate I used more blueberries and cut foam bananas. You could use pineapple for this to if you wanted.

Store the cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Because of the cream, this does need to be kept cool and eaten within a couple of days. Like it would last that long...

Next years cake - the Danish flag should be a doddle!!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Cakeyboi Alphabet - R

R is for Rock Cake

rock cake cartoon

Rock cakes are a small fruit cake, popularised in Great Britain. They have less eggs and sugar so were promoted by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War, when these commodities were scarce. They were also bulked out by oatmeal at the time, which was easier to come by. They have quite a rough, jagged appearance, hence the name Rock Cake.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Clandestine Cake Club Dundee turns one too!

As well as Cakeyboi turning one this month, the Dundee branch of the Clandestine Cake Club turned one at the end of April.

I wanted to feature the Clandestine Cake Club this month, as had it not been for the CCC, I would never have started my blog. A friend last year mentioned that the club was starting up in Dundee and as soon as I heard, I fired off an email to the organisers. Jac of Tinned Tomatoes fame (number 1 UK food blog you know!) and Becca from Becca Bakes.

The Clandestine Cake Club has a mission statement - Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake. It's not a competition, just a great way to meet other like-minded baking lovers, and try everyone's cakes.

Sadly I was too late in applying and my name was popped on the reserve list. But lo and behold, I got an invite two days before the event saying somebody had pulled out. I rustled up a Hummingbird cake (below) as the theme of the first meeting was fruit. 

And it was there I met a whole new gaggle of foodie friends. One friend, Linley asked if I had a blog. Something I had never considered before. Blogging was a bit of a mystery to me. But I mulled it over, and a couple of weeks after that first Cake Club, I dipped my toes in the proverbial bloggy water. I haven’t looked back since.

The Cake Club has grown in numbers over the past year, and the various themes have been great. They’ve included, fruit as I said, ice cream flavours, the autumn, sweet shop, Love! And the last meeting held had the theme of pink.

For this I made one of the first cakes I featured on Cakeyboi, my Watermelon cake. It’s basically a yellow cake recipe, dyed pink, with chocolate chips added. 

To make the watermelon, I made my marshmallowfluffy frosting, dyed this green and added watermelon flavouring. And my watermelon cake took life.

The array of cakes at the last meeting was delicious and very appealing on the eye. Much better than mine, but I always say I am not a cake decorator – an art I have yet to master. The cakes included pink lemonade, raspberry cheesecake cake, harlequin cake, bagpuss cake, fraisier cake. They were delicious and I was stuffed as usual as was my guest, Charmaine who accompanied me to this meet.

Above - Bagpuss Cake!
Becca's beautiful cake

The meeting was held in the Mercantile bar in Commercial Street Dundee. It has recently re-opened and is a great place to spend an evening. They often have live music and they do lovely bar food too!

If you fancy joining the Clandestine Cake Club, pop over to the website and look for your nearest location.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Eurovision Cartoon Time

As I'm sure we all know, it's Eurovision this weekend, so I thought this one was rather apt!!
Good luck Bonnie (think you're going to need it!!)

eurovision cartoon

Monday, 13 May 2013

Cakeyboi Cupcakes AKA White Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Butter Frosting

Since I created Cakeyboi a year ago, I have often wondered what flavour he might be. So, with it being his first birthday I thought it was about time I set about making a Cakeyboi cupcake!

I thought long and hard, asked friends what flavour he might be, what flavour his frosting might be. And I came up with white chocolate coconut cupcakes with a tangy lemon butter frosting.

Quite a mouthful I know – but a delicious one! I tweaked a few recipes and came up with this original one of my own (frosting from allrecipes). I used cute little blue and white striped cases to look sort of like Cakeyboi’s colours, although of course he usually wears a plain white cupcake case. This recipe makes 12 cakeyboi’s.

130 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of  soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
225 grams granulated sugar
60 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
160 grams cream of coconut cream
100 grams white chocolate chips (lightly dusted with flour)

500 grams icing sugar
120 grams unsalted butter, softened
30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1-2 tablespoons milk
adapted from AllRecipes

Preheat your oven to 180oC and line a 12-cup cupcake tray with paper liners.
In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarb. Set aside.
In a bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until the mixture begins to look slightly thicker.

Add one third of the flour mix and beat into the wet ingredients until just combined. Add half the coconut cream, mixing this through. Add another third of flour, coconut cream so on, ending with the flour. Lastly fold through the white chocolate chips by hand. Divide the batter between the cases and bake into the oven until risen and golden, about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre. Allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, zest and juice some lemons to get the amounts above. In a bowl, beat together the softened butter and icing sugar, lemon juice and zest, until smooth. Add enough milk to get a smoother, pipeable consistency. If not using an icing bag, place the frosting in a food bag, snip off the corner and pipe on top of the cupcakes. Pop these into the fridge to allow the frosting to set up.

And there we have Cakeyboi cupcakes. I popped some candy eyes onto mine (I've also taken a photo of the cupcake without the eyes, for the squeamish amongst you!!) and a candle of course - it was for his first birthday. I have to admit I did feel a bit guilty eating the cupcake, but he was delicious, and he has lived to tell the tale! Enjoy…

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Cakeyboi Alphabet - Q

The alphabet has reached Q and I really did puzzle over this one, but then I remembered Cakeyboi's sweetheart - the Great British Bake Off judge - and so much more! - Mary Berry, the Queen of Cakes.

I remember Mary on TV when I was a wee lad, she was always making delicious looking meals on some show I can't quite remember the name of. And I was thrilled last year when I got to see her in person at the Good Food Show in Glasgow. She seems such a lovely person, it's no wonder Cakeyboi has a crush.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Jam and Custard Hand Pies

jam and custard turnovers

What’s a hand pie? It’s basically what we in the UK call a turnover. It’s pastry, semi-circular in shape and can have a sweet or savoury filling. And you can hold it in your hand, unlike a messy slice of pie!  Of course I am going for a sweet filling, and I decided to use the delicious Single Farm conserves from Mackays, which I was given to try out the other week.

The Single Farm conserves come in three flavours, strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant. The berries are grown on Scottish farms, nearby to Mackays factory, which I visited the other week. The flavours of the berries in these conserves are amazing (because they are grown in Scotland of course), and are delicious on top of toast or a bagel. But I thought I would pop them in my hand pies. And, as a little Cakeyboi twist, I added some vanilla custard because who doesn’t love jam and custard together?

These are embarrassingly easy to make. I bought ready rolled puff pastry (life is way too short to make your own puff pastry, I always say), I bought  a packet of instant custard powder and had my trusty Single Farm conserves waiting in the wings. I used all 3 so I could have a nice variety for everyone to try. My sheet of puff yielded 6 hand pies, but this all depends on how big or small you make them.

One pack of ready rolled puff pastry
One pack of instant custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mackays Single Farm Conserves
1 egg
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoon water
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 180oC. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Make your instant custard powder according to instructions, but reduce the amount of water by a quarter, so it’s nice and thick. Add ½ teaspoon of the vanilla (to crank up the flavour) and mix through . Allow to cool a little. Unroll your sheet of puff pastry and cut out circles 5 inches in diameter approximately.

Place a heaping tablespoon of the custard (more if you are game) in the middle of the pastry circle and spread out a little, stay at least two centimeteres from the edges. Add a heaping tablespoon of your favourite Single Farm conserve on top of the custard spreading out a little also.

Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and then gently fold the pastry over to make a semicircle. With a fork, crimp the edges so they seal together. Poke a couple of holes in the top of the pies, to allow steam to escape, and brush the tops with more beaten egg.

Place in the fridge for 15 minutes, then place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the hand pies are golden brown in colour. Jam may escape during baking, but don’t worry, there will still be plenty left inside.

Make a thin glaze for the pies, with the icing sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and enough water, to get a loose consistency. As soon as the pies come out of the oven, brush with the glaze and sprinkle sugar over them. The glaze should dry in very quickly. Which is good, as these are best eaten hot.

Jam and custard turnovers

The fruity conserves and vanilla custard together are a perfect pairing of sweet and warming, plus the crispness from the pastry make these hand pies one to try.

Disclosure Statement: I have not been paid to write this post. I received the conserves free to use in baking. Any views expressed are my own.