Recipe: Pimms Sponge Cake

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Made this delicious sponge for my dad’s birthday cake to have something different from the norm. This was my first birthday cake and so thankfully it went down very well and was  a 10/10 all round!

Ingredients:

For the sponge

225g unsalted butter

225g golden caster sugar

4 medium sized eggs

1 tsp almond extract

zest of 1 orange

225g self raising flour

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

2 tbsp skimmed milk

For the syrup

300 ml pimms

100g caster sugar

2 tbsp orange juice

For the cream

200g light mascarpone

100ml double cream

2 tbsp icing sugar

Zest of 1/2 orange

1 tbsp of juice

For the inside and the topping

400g strawberries, sliced downwards

Fresh mint leaves

1/2 cucumber (in ribbons)

Zest of half an orange

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 fan, 180 conventional or gasmark 4
  2. Grease 2 8″ sandwich tins and line with greaseproof paper
  3. Whisk butter and caster sugar together until smooth
  4. Add the egg slowly whilst continuing to stir until the consistency is pale and fluffy.
  5. Add the almond extract and orange zest.
  6. Add the flour, baking powder and milk .
  7. Pour into sandwich tins.
  8. Bake for approx 25 minutes until golden.
  9. Whilst the cake is cooking, make the pimms syrup.
  10. Put the pimms, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and warm on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  11. Once dissolved, boil briskly for 15 minutes until syrupy then set aside to cool.
  12. Make the mascarpone cream – combine the mascarpone, icing sugar, orange zest and juice in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  13. Put one layer of cake on the cake stand and drizzle with 2 tbsp of pimms syrup.
  14. Pipe the cream on the cake and decorate with strawberries.
  15. Add the top layer and pipe the remaining cream and add strawberries, mint and cucumber for decoration.
  16. Drizzle over the rest of the pimms syrup.

NB – to make the cucumber ribbons, use a sharp knife slice thinly down until you reach the core and then bend the cucumber into a ribbon shape.

Recipe: *Easter Special* Vanilla & fruit sponge topped with frosting & sugar strands

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As much as I love being healthy and do so 99% of the time, every now and then you have to have something naughty.

This is a recipe for the easter cake i’ve made this year which is a vanilla based cake filled with dried fruit and drizzled in icing/buttercream and sugar strands.

Ingredients:

For the sponge

175g golden caster sugar

175g self raising flour

3 medium eggs

175g unsalted butter

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Vanilla extract

75g sultanas

75g glace cherry halves

For the topping:

Frosting (I used a tube of sainsburys designer white icing)

100g icing sugar

1 bag of mini eggs

Hundreds and Thousands

Pink food colouring (or colour of your choice)

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180oc/160oc fan
  2. Grease a 7inch round cake tin
  3. Put all the ingredients for the sponge in a bowl together and mix well until smooth and fluffy
  4. Pour into a tin and bake for approx 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
  5. Leave to cool
  6. Mix the 100g icing sugar with 1 tsp of warm water adding more if necessary until a thick consistency is made
  7. Stir the icing with food colouring until your desired colour is reached
  8. Start by decorating the outer rim of the cake with frosting
  9. Use a palette knife to then spread the icing into the middle of the cake
  10. Decorate with mini eggs and hundreds/thousands
  11. EAT AWAY

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake (Mothers Day Special)

Lemon cake is always a favourite in my household and so I decided to make this far healthier version as a treat for my mum. It’s super light and fresh and substitutes in yoghurt as a healthy alternative!

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Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 75ml rapeseed oil
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • zest of two lemons
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 225g 0% fat natural yoghurt

For the syrup

  • juice of two lemons
  • 85g caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160c fan/180c
  2. Grease and line a large circular cake tin (around 20x5cm)
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder, almonds, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl
  4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and stir in the yoghurt and oil
  5. Pour into the main mixture and stir together
  6. Spoon into the cake tin and cook for approx 40 minutes
  7. Heat the lemon juice and sugar for the syrup on a low heat until a syrupy consistency is reached
  8. When the cake is cooked then make holes over the top with a skewer and drizzle over the lemon syrup so it absorbs in

Optional….

I chose to add some icing to make it look prettier which you can do by mixing 100g icing sugar with 1-1/2 tbsp of warm water.

Recipe: Healthy Apple Oaty Muffins

These are great to make whether as a snack or even as a breakfast as they have a delicious oaty wholemeal taste!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup wholemeal flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup golden caster sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

2 medium eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup fat free greek yoghurt

2 apples (grated)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c fan/200oc conventional
  2. Grease a 12 hole muffin tin and put to one side
  3. Mix the flour, soda, powder, cinnamon, salt and oats together in a bowl
  4. Combine the eggs, apple sauce and yoghurt in a separate bowl and then add to the flour mixture
  5. Fold in the grated apples
  6. Serve into the cases and cook for 20-25 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean)

Recipe: Cranberry & Pistachio Mini Loaf Cakes

 

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I made these little loaves for some family who came round to visit, perfect accompaniment for an afternoon tea break.

Ingredients:

225g unsalted butter

225g caster sugar

1 large orange

50g pistachio nuts (buy them unshelled if possible to save time)

125g fresh cranberries

1 tsp baking powder

225g self raising flour

4 medium eggs

Mini loaf cases x 10

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160oc fan, gasmark 4 and arrange the mini loaf cases on a baking tray
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until the mixture is light and fluffy
  3. Add the eggs one by one and then add the flour/baking powder
  4. Fold in the nuts and cranberries but keep approx a quarter aside to use for decorating
  5. Spoon the mixture into cases and top with the remaining nuts and cranberries
  6. Cook for approx 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
  7. Pierce the loaves and drizzle over with the juice from the orange

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Sponge Cake

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20151031_133953_resizedMy boyfriend had his birthday this weekend and so I made him a lemon drizzle cake. I’m not going to pretend that this is the healthiest cake you could make because it’s not but it is simply delicious and definitely worth making for a cheat day or a birthday 😉

Ingredients:

225g unsalted butter

4 medium eggs

One can of light condensed milk

55g ground almonds

5 lemons

225g self raising flour

1tsp of baking powder

1tbsp of poppyseeds

200g of icing sugar

Method:

1)Heat oven to 180/160f fan/gas mark 5.

2) Grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin.

3) Put the butter, eggs, milk, almonds, baking powder, flour and poppyseeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and whisk together until smooth and light in colour.

4) Bake for 50-55 until the cake turns golden.

5) Prepare the lemon syrup by mixing the the juice of 3 lemons with 100g of icing sugar in a saucepan on a low heat.

6) Make holes all over the cake using a skewer and pour the syrup over the top so it is absorbed into the sponge.

7) Leave the cake to cool.

8) Once cool then make the icing by adding the juice of one lemon to the leftover 100g of icing sugar and mix until a thick pouring texture is formed. (Ensure you add the juice slowly and that the mixture does not become too runny)

9) Drizzle over the icing and it is ready to serve!

Recipe: Greek Yoghurt Fruit Flan

Super easy to make and I am always looking for creative new ways of incorporating greek yoghurt in recipes as I am a big fan!

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Ingredients:

15 medjool dates

1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews

1 cup fat free greek yoghurt

Assorted fresh fruit to top (I used raspberry, blueberry, satsuma and strawberry)

 

Method:

  1. Spray a cake dish with non stick spray (i use spray olive oil)
  2. Soak the dates in warm water for a minimum of 10 minutes, drain them then deseed and chop in half
  3. Pulse the dates and nuts until a dough is formed
  4. Press the dough into the tin ensuring the sides are also covered
  5. Spread the yoghurt on the dough
  6. Decorate with fresh fruit
  7. Chill in fridge until serving 🙂

Recipe: Apricot, Pistachio & Yoghurt Loaf

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This recipe combines two of my favourite things – apricots and pistachios so it was bound to be a hit! This is one of my favourite things i’ve baked to date and is delicious as a snack or as a dessert.

Ingredients:

For the loaf –

150g fat free natural yoghurt

150g golden caster sugar

2 medium eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

210g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

125g dried apricots

 

For the topping –

75g icing sugar

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp of chopped pistachios

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven 180oc, fan 160oc, gas mark 5
  2. Grease a loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper
  3. Whisk the yoghurt, oil, caster sugar, eggs and vanilla extract
  4. Mix in the flour, baking powder and apricot until a thick batter is formed
  5. Pour into the loaf tin and cook for approx 55 minutes (use the skewer test to tell when the loaf is done)
  6. Leave to cool
  7. Mix together the lemon juice and icing sugar to form a thick icing
  8. Drizzle over the loaf and sprinkle with pistachios
  9. Serve!

Recipe: Almond & Apricot Buns

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These aren’t a super healthy treat but as cakes go they aren’t too bad and i’ve always loved chelsea buns!!

Ingredients:

(For the Buns)

450g strong white bread flour

2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast

50g caster sugar

150ml warm skimmed milk

1 medium egg, beaten

50g unsalted butter – melted

1 tsp salt

(For the Topping)

25g melted unsalted butter

85g dried apricots – chopped

85g flaked almonds

25g caster sugar

2 tbsp apricot jam

Method:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl amd mix thoroughly
  2. Make a hole in the centre of the mixture and pour in the milk, water, egg and butter
  3. Mix together to form a dough and knead until it is soft and springy
  4. Put the dough into another greased mixing bowl, cover with a damp towel and leave to prove for an hour. It should roughly double in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 200oc/180oc fan and grease a deep 23cm cake tin
  6. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead before rolling out to form a rectangle (approx 20x30cm)
  7. Brush the dough with the butter and sprinkle the almonds, apricots and sugar over the top
  8. Roll the dough up tightly as if making a swiss roll
  9. Divide into 8 portions using a sharp knife so they make pinwheel shapes
  10. Put into the greased baking tin and cover with a damp towel before leaving to prove for 20 minutes
  11. Bake for 10 minutes
  12. Lower the oven by 20oc and cook for a further 10 minutes until the buns turn golden brown
  13. Melt the jam in a saucepan with a tbsp of water
  14. Brush over the buns to glaze them and top with some more flaked almonds

Recipe: No Bake Raspberry Cheesecakes

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This recipe is based on making two cheesecakes 🙂

Ingredients

100g fresh raspberries

1 tbsp of low sugar blackcurrant squash

3 digestives

125g light soft cheese

50g fat free greek yoghurt

1 tbsp agave nectar

 

Method

  • Soak the raspberries in a bowl with the squash and put to one side
  • Crush the digestives and split between two glasses
  • Mix the cheese, nectar and yoghurt and spoon into the glasses
  • After the raspberries have had some time to soak (around 30 minutes) then put in the glasses
  • Cover with cling film and store in the fridge