Saturday, 30 May 2015

Saturday Swally - Jack Julep

Jack Julep - Jack Daniel's and Mint

I am going to call this feature 'Saturday Swally'...

What is a swally you may be asking if you are not from Scotland?! Well, swally is a Scottish word for alcohol drinking, coming from swallow I assume. Check the ‘official’ dictionary definition.

The people at Jack Daniel’s got in touch recently and asked if I would like to try making a cocktail with their famous sour mash whiskey. It involved alcohol, so I of course accepted the challenge.

Over at the Jack Daniel's website there are lots of recipes to try with the drink – which would I choose?

I could have gone for a very straight-forward Jack and Coke, or a quite elaborate Lynchbourg Lemonade which sounds very refreshing.

Jack Julep - Jack Daniel's and Mint

However, I opted for a Jack Julep, made with a few sprigs of mint and a simple syrup to sweeten things up. I love minty drinks, such as mojito, so mixing Jack and mint I knew would be a great taste experience.

I had never made a simple syrup before and I was delighted to see it was, well simple! Boiling equal parts of water and granulated sugar, until the sugar dissolves, then letting it cool couldn’t be easier.

I poured my syrup into a server I usually use for keeping maple syrup for my pancakes, but this was a perfect vessel to keep it stored in the fridge.

When I was ready to make the drink, I muddled together the mint and simply syrup in the bottom of a couple of short glasses. I used the pestle from a pestle and mortar set (I think it’s the pestle, anyone know which is which?) and piled the glass high with crushed ice.

Jack Julep - Jack Daniel's and Mint

I poured my Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 over the ice and garnished with extra mint. I plunged in my straws and took a sip. I got a bit of sweetness, a bit of mint and of course, the excellent taste of Old No.7 coming through. This was a well-deserved drink on a Friday evening after a long week at work.

If you would like to follow this recipe, I used a tablespoon of the simple syrup with 4 tablespoon of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7. The amount of mint is purely down to taste, but I used a few leaves in mine.

If anyone else would like to send me alcohol for my Saturday Swally spot – then I certainly have no objections!!

Please drink responsibly.

Disclosure Statement: I have received payment for this post and money to cover the cost of ingredients. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Treat Petite May 2015 Round Up

Good evening and welcome to the 1st Eurovision Treat Petite contest round-up.
Bonsoir et bienvenue au 1er Eurovision Traiter Petite concours rafle .

It is with great pleasure I bring you the winning bakes in this year’s first contest. That would be everyone who invested the time and baked something from one of the 40 participating countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. The range of countries represented amazed me - did this year's deserved winner Sweden crop up? Have a look....

 First up we had Ros, The More Than Occasional Baker make us a lovely savoury Treat Petite, from our very own United Kingdom – Mini Pork Pies stuffed with quail eggs. They look as if they would be perfect for a picnic and Ros said they were much harder to make than they look.

Next we had laura from I’d Much Rather Bake Than representing the Netherlands with her Speculaas Spiced Cookies. I have used speculaas spice myself before and I can tell you it is delicious. All warm and aromatic. The cupcakes have speculaas both in the cake mix and in the frosting so it’s a double whammy. Laura is about to sit her exams I wish her good luck.

Angela at Garden Tea Cakes and Me, made Black Forest Chocolate Cupcakes. She uses a chocolate fairy cake mix to make these beauties then topped them with a vanilla buttercream and filled them with Damson jam. Black Forest of course represents Germany.

Next we have a string of French entries.

 Lucy the Baking Queen made her first attempt at choux buns – which look to me as if they are a success! She ran out of time so didn’t add crème patissiere, but used a combination of whipped cream and lemon curd. These look fab and any French patisserie would be proud to have them in the window.  

Next, my friend Janice from the Farmersgirl Kitchen made Double Chocolate Tarts or Tartlettes au Chocolat. These impressive chocolated based amd topped tarts are from a book Janice reviewed entitled ‘Teatime in Paris’ by Jill Colonna. These look so decadent and are perfect for a French Treat Petite Eurovision entry.

Kerene, The Dream Baker, made Chocolate Cream Puffs for her French entry. She used a recipe, she had used previously for chocolate eclairs. These are also known as profiteroles and look exceedingly lush!

Claire, the Foodie Quine, a fellow North of Scotland food blogger, represents Ireland in the Eurovision with her Baileys, Pistachio and Cranberry Fudge. How good does Bailey’s sound in fudge?! I’m sold.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen has entered Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake Fingers and has provided a range of countries that these could represent as they contain dates, which are grown in Greece, Turkey and Israel. These could even represent the UK as Sticky Toffee Pudding is very British. Dom cut his cake into fingers (making it suitable for Treat Petite) and served the fingers with a toffee dipping sauce. Genius!

 Choclette over at Tin and Thyme entered her vanilla chardonnay biscuits sandwiched with vanilla chocolate ganache. Choclette says the ganache is French, hence they represent France. I also love the fact they contain chardonnay – perfect for a Eurovision party!!

My good friend ‘Fanny’ from Keep Calm and Fanny On – represented a medley of Eurovision entries with continental crepes – including twists on the UK, France, Italy and Sweden. Lots of Eurovision titles in the post– see if you can spot them all…

My entry was next, and I represented Italy – with Pistachio and Limoncello cookies. These are apparently a Southern Italian tradition. These are piped into the shape of a ring and I called them the Ultimate Party Ring!

Leia at Lemon & Lime Thyme is from Austria originally and knew she had to enter something from her homeland. She made very tempting looking almond-marzipan kepferl. These are pastry crescents which were the forerunner to the croissant. Filled with various different ingredients, Leia went for almond and marzipan for hers. This would be smashing with a cuppa.

Angela at Patisserie Makes Perfect went for a French inspired entry with her Mille-Feuille. A delectable layering of puff-pastry she made with French butter. For her filling she went alternative and made a rhubarb and custard filling. The icing on top of these is something to behold and is as camp as a Eurovision party!

Kate the Gluten-Free Alchemist flew the flag for the UK and Spain. She made ‘posh’Jaffa Cakes – Jaffa oranges are from Spain and Jaffa Cakes are inherently British – so take your pick. Either way these cakes look lush, tangy and a little bit boozy (thanks to some Cointreau!).  

 My pal Lisa at United Cakedom was feeling a bit Hungary (geddit?!) making these Hungarian inspired coconut roll biscuits otherwise known as KÓKUSZTEKERCS HÁROM SZÍNBEN .  The biscuits contain digestives, desiccated coconut, almond extract, cocoa powder and elaborately coloured buttercream. These are no-bake and sound like something kids would like to make.   

Camilla at Fab Food 4 All had some leftover pastry and concocted these banana Nutella pinwheels. Camilla represents Denmark with these Danish pastries, but I reckon the addition of gooey Nutella could make them double for Italy too. Tasty!

Becky from Mintcustard decided to support Australia with her twist on a popular Aussie kids party dish - Fairy Bread.  I haven’t heard of Fairy Bread before, but it seems very simple – bread spread with butter then dipped into hundreds and thousands (or sprinkles as some of you may say). Becky decided to make a biscuit version, cut them into triangles like posh wee sandwiches, then slather them with icing and hundreds and thousands. I love the idea and may give this a try soon. (I secretly hope Australia are allowed back next year…)

TheBaking Nana, although she doesn’t have a blog, entered two bakes – Banoffee Cupcakes (UK) and Black Forest Cupcakes (Germany) – which both look delicious I’m sure you will agree.

Now, I have kept this one to last. My co-host Kat, The Baking Explorer has been exploring the country of Sweden recently and returned not long ago. Inspired by all the tempting treats she saw in Sweden, she made gluten-free cupcake versions of a Swedish Princess cake known as Prinsesstårta . She said the cake was everywhere and after returning from Stockholm, knew she had to make these. I have left these ‘til last as Kat has brought us a bake from the winning country of Sweden! ‘Congratulations’ Kat even though Treat Petite isn’t a competition!

I have loved our trip through Europe and a big thanks to all who took part. Roll on Eurovision 2016!

Keep an eye on The Baking Explorer for next month’s Treat Petite.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Red Velvet Butterscotch Cake

This is another recipe made in my fantastic multicooker from Redmond. Have you seen my other ones for mini churros and chocolate bread witha lime curd swirl? Check them out if you haven't already.

The RMC-M4502E multicooker is so versatile. If you are thinking it’s just a slow cooker, you’d be wrong, it is so much more! Don't get me wrong, it can be a slow cooker, but in this you can also steam food, fry, bake bread, cook pasta, cook meat, soups, stews, make cakes, you name it.
And that’s what I did this time in the multicooker – I baked a cake.

To give things a bit of a twist, I combined two cakes into one and came up with a red velvet butterscotch cake. These cake batters had very contrasting colours – one a beige golden cake colour, the other a crimson hue. After making them I transferred the batters to two separate piping bags and piped the cake batter directly into the bowl of the multicooker.

The bowl is removable, so I could do this on the kitchen worktop quite easily. The bowl has a high quality non-stick surface called Anato which is more scratch resistant than Teflon, which meant I didn't even need to grease the bowl. So I gaily piped my batter into the bowl and had a random design a bit like a sun burst. If you try this I’m sure you could come up with something even more elaborate!

I baked the cake for 30 minutes on ‘cake’ setting on the multicooker. I didn't pry before the time was up. When I popped open the lid, my cake had risen and looked fantastic. It was a bit like an art project, seeing how the colours melded together whilst baking, yet staying separate.

The cake popped out of the bowl with ease and I left it to cool. I split it in half when cool and spread some sweetened cream in between the layers.

The flavours of the cakes together we're a hit for my mum and Disneyboi who were my taste testers.

Each bite had a mix of everything going on.

This cake was so easy to make in the multicooker. I didn't need to switch on the oven, preheat or even grease separate cake tins. And the 3D cooking process of the multicooker, means that heat surrounds whatever is in the cooker, and left a very tender baked cake.

Having made this I can say that baking with a Redmond RMC-M4502E multicooker is so easy, fast and efficient! Plus the texture of the baked cake is lovely and light.

Here's how I made it…

Red Velvet Butterscotch Cake

Thumbnail Url Two cakes in one!
Red Velvet and Butterscotch Flavour
(Loosely adapted from BBC Good Food and Nigella)
Cuisine: Dessert Category: Cake Yields: 8" Cake
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:
Red  Velvet Cake Ingredients
  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 50 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium egg
  • 80 ml buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • Red food colouring
Butterscotch Cake Ingredients
  • 50 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 50 grams light brown demerara sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 grams plain flour
  • 25 grams cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
Filling Ingredients
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon granulated sugar (or more to taste)

  1. In a bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb for the red velvet cake.
  2. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat in.
  3. Stir in the flour mix and when combined stir in the buttermilk and vinegar. Lastly add red food colouring until you get a shade of red that you like – the amount will vary on the type you use.
  4. In another bowl, for the butterscotch cake, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy too. Beat in the egg, syrup and vanilla.
  5. Sift together the flours, baking powder and cinnamon then add to the wet mix. Stir until combined. Add milk until you get a dropping consistency.
  6. Transfer both batters to disposable piping bags and pipe directly into the bowl of the multicooker. Be as creative as you like.
  7. Set the multicooker to ‘CAKE’ for 30 minutes. After this time open the lid and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the bowl. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Slice the cake in half when cooled.
  9. Beat the double cream until thick, stirring in the vanilla and sugar.
  10. Spread the cream on the bottom half of the cake and then place the top half of the cake on.
  11. Enjoy your Red Velvet Butterscotch Cake

Disclosure Statement: I received the multicooker free to review. I have been paid to develop this recipe using the multicooker. This post uses affiliate links.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

That's What I Call New #6

This post was supposed to go out last week, but I had two power cuts last Saturday that put paid to that! And now I’m desperately trying to get ready for a Eurovision shindig tonight!

Nonetheless, this is the sixth instalment of my series, I like to call ‘That’s What I Call New’. A round up of a few things I have been sent to try out.

First off, a savoury sampling and it’s a Chicago Town pizza. Chicago Town have launched a new range of pizzas called The Takeaway which come to you with a dough that isn’t pre-cooked . It rises in your oven to give you that fresh Takeaway taste.

 I have to say I loved the pizza and so did Disneyboi. It had a taste, as if it were delivered rather than popped in the oven.  We tried the Stuffed Crust BBQ Pulled Pork flavour and loved the BBQ sauce in the crust. It wasn’t a thick, doughy pizza either which neither of us like.  All in an all a big hit. Available in most supermarkets. Pop over to the Chicago TownFacebook page for news, promotions and giveaways.

 Next I was sent some new flavours of popcorn to try from Tyrrells. Tyrrell’s are perhaps better known for their crisps and various other snacks. But they have decided to branch out into the popcorn direction and have launched with four delicious flavours of Poshcorn – sea salted, sweet and salted plus two new flavours ‘Coconut and Caramel’ and ‘Lemon Cupcake’. I was sent a bag of each flavour to try and enjoyed them all. 

My favourite was the coconut and caramel with both flavours coming through well. The Lemon Cupcake I thought would be more ‘cakey’ but I still enjoyed it even though I found it less sweet than expected. The salted and sweet and salted flavours were lovely too.

 Now, remember the Fabulous Bakin’ Boys who bring us delicious cupcakes, muffins and other tasty treats? Well, they have renamed themselves The Fabulous Bakers and they have ‘reformulated’ their products to contain only real fruit and natural ingredients with no artificialness going on whatsoever!

I was sent a selection of their new snacks to try. These were their Apricot and Almond White Chocolatey popcorn bars and Raspberry and White Chocolatey popcorn bars. Also oaty cereal bars in Banana Brunch flavour, Berry Good Things flavour and Mango and Pineapple flavour.

I can tell you now all of these were delectable! The popcorn bars were fun and crumbly in your mouth and both came in at under 145 calories each. 

The oaty cereal bars were moist and chewy and very flapjack like. My personal favourite was the Banana Brunch bar which tasted like a cross-between banana bread and a flapjack – very addictive.

Check out the Fabulous Bakers website for full information on their new ranges. They are available in most supermarkets coming in at around £1.79 for a pack of four.

Now, I'm off to get ready for the Eurovision Party! Have fun everyone if you are watching...

Disclosure Statement: I received all of the above products free to try and was not expected to write a positive review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Blackberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream

blackberry cake with lemon buttercream

If you are a regular Cakeyboi visitor then you may be familiar with the fact that I am not averse to using food colouring and artificial flavourings on occasion.

Some of you may baulk at that, but I can honestly say it’s not something I have sweated over very much in my life. If it were that bad, I’m sure the Food Standards Agency would have banned it all by now.

I thought I would try and give a cake natural ‘pop’ for a change however and my initial plan was a blueberry cake. As my local supermarket were fresh out, I plumped for plump, juicy blackberries instead. And I’m glad I did.

I used pureed blackberries to add the flavour to the cake, plus the intense dark purple of the berries changed the cake batter to a lovely shade of mauve.

The flavour and the colour were both quite subtle, quite a contrast to the sometimes garish colours and flavourings I use.

To go with the lilaccy cake, I decided to pair it with a lemon buttercream. Flavoured with real lemon juice and zest, I really was going au natural! The buttercream was not subtle though and the lemon flavour was so tangy, it puckered one’s lips.

blackberry cake with lemon buttercream

Here’s how I made this lovely, natural flavoured cake…

Blackberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Thumbnail Url Cake flavoured with blackberries 
and decorated with lemon buttercream
Cuisine: Dessert Category: Cake Yields:  8" cake
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:

Cake Ingredients
  • 400 grams granulated sugar
  • 113 grams unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (it's natural)
  • 250 grams plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250 ml milk
  • 120 grams pureed blackberries (about 125 ml) (plus more to garnish)
Buttercream Ingredients

  • 113 grams unsalted butter
  • 30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 500 grams icing sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and flour two 8” cake tins.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla then the eggs, one at a time until incorporated into the batter.
  4. Add one third of the flour mix and stir in. Add half of the milk, mix this in then repeat the process with the other third of the flour, the other half of milk, finishing with the last third of flour. Mix in the pureed blackberries and stir them through completely.
  5. Divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 35 mins. The cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the cake pan. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and incorporate fully.
  8. Decorate the cake with the frosting. I split each cake in half to have four layers and covered each layer with buttercream.
  9. However you decorate your cake garnish with blackberries and enjoy!!

blackberry cake with lemon buttercream

I am entering this cake into this month's Love Cake hosted by Ness at Jibber Jabber UK. The theme this month is 'Colour Me Pretty' and as this cake is naturally coloured I think it fit's the bill perfectly.

Love Cake logo