Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

IMG_5049I was subjected to two wonderful realisations last weekend….1) The days are (finally) getting longer and 2) we have an abundance of rum! 😀

With this in mind, I set to digging out a recipe I have been wanting to try for a while. Lovely sunny little cakes doused in rum and loaded with coconut – a match made in heaven!

I originally found this recipe on the BBC food website, but as always, i’ve made my own amendments to the recipe!
I know that some people aren’t a big fan of coconut *sob* so if you want to give these a whirl but coconut isn’t your thing….just leave it out 🙂

Although they are ‘mini’ they are certainly filling and one will easily feed two….unless you are greedy like me, in which case, you would never dream of sharing!

Please note: you will need six ramekins for this recipe

 

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For the topping:

  • 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rum (I used a spiced rum)
  • 6 canned pineapple rings (keep some of the juice!)
  • 6 glacé cherries

For the cake:

  • 140g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 65g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp of the pineapple juice

Recipe:

1. Start by preparing your ramekins, you will need to make sure these are really well greased. I just used a thin layer of butter but you can also use a grease and release cake spray.

2. Next, heat the butter, sugar and rum in a small saucepan over a low heat until dissolved and bubbling for a few minutes to ensure it has thickened slightly.

3. Divide the butter, sugar and rum mixture equally between the 6 ramekins.

4. Add a pineapple ring with a glacé cherry in the middle to each ramekin.

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5. Now heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

6. Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.

7. Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour, baking powder and coconut.

8. Next, add the vanilla essence and the pineapple juice.

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9. Finally stir in the milk and divide the mixture between the ramekins. Put them on a baking tray and cook for 30-40 mins until risen, golden and springy to the touch.

10. Remove from the oven and set them aside to cool in the ramekins for around 10 minutes

11. To remove the cakes from the ramekins, gently run a knife around the edge of each cake before placing a plate on tip and tipping the ramekin upside down.

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Tip: You may have to tap the cakes out or run the knife around the edge again but they should come out fairly easily.

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Love S & P xx

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Banana, Blueberry & Coconut Bundt Cake

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is an all natural coloured blueberry glaze. Allllllll natural…!

I baked this little beauty on a hot sunny day last August. It followed on from the success of the gin cake….i’m obsessed with bundt tins! I really loved making this cake, it was easy to make and easy on the eye! Tasted  pretty damn good too!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

255g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large free range eggs
270g golden caster sugar
2 over ripe bananas (mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml corn oil
285g of blueberries
100g toasted coconut, (Optional: plus 50g more for sprinkling on top)

To make blueberry glaze:

75g blueberries
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
450g icing sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat your oven to 175c (350f) and lightly grease your bundt pan with butter before dusting with flour.

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2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set to one side.

3. In a separate bowl, cream your eggs and sugar until light and fluffy!

Tip: Don’t skimp on this part!

4. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and oil and mix until well combined.

5. Pour the cake batter in to your bundt tin.

Tip: The batter will seem very thick and gloopy – its ok!

6. Bake the cake for round an hour (start checking after 45 minutes). The cake will be ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean and free of cake batter.

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7. Set your cake aside to cool completely

8. To make the blueberry glaze: Place the blueberries, water and caster sugar in to a pan and heat until the mixture boils and the blueberries burst.

9. Remove from the heat and push the mixture through a sieve; set aside to cool.

10. Once the blueberry mixture has cooled, sift in the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.

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Tip: If the glaze is too thick, add a tbs of water at a time to achieve a pouring consistency.

11. Pour the glaze on top of you Banana, blueberry and coconut cake and sprinkle with left over coconut!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Love S & P xx

Green & Black’s Chocolate Strawberries

10388123_10152068654042096_7259499987072648998_n10155894_10152068713207096_8251646066935708489_n10390550_10152068739327096_1962195154212776210_n10343688_10152503516813023_8931396454492136735_nNot quite a recipe as such but some very pretty photographs I took of my yummy srummy Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!

An absolute treat that most definitely calls for luxury! I used the best strawberries I could possibly find (Marks & Spencer) and some very indulgent Green & Black’s Milk and White Chocolate! Mmmmmm…..! 🙂

These were a (very) quick treat to take around to Zoe’s for an impromptu BBQ (making the most of the sunshine in the UK) so I didn’t have time to properly temper the chocolate. Instead I went with the tried and tested method of melting the chocolate in a bowl over the hob!

1) It only takes a few moments but its dead easy, simply place the roughly chopped chocolate in a bowl. Half fill a saucepan with hot water, and put the bowl over it, making sure that the bowl does not touch the bottom of the saucepan.

2) Slowly heat the water, ensuring it does not boil. Stir regularly using a flexible spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly. This way means that the chocolate is slightly thicker than it would be if you had tempered it but it’s still easy to work with! 🙂

3) Once the chocolate has melted, pour it in to a ramekin and grab your strawberries!

4) Dip your strawberries in to the melted chocolate and coat about half of the strawberry, place on to a sheet of baking paper to set and continue the same process with the rest of your strawberries.

5) Once you have finish place the baking tray with your strawberries on greaseproof paper in to the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

6) For the white chocolate decoration, simply follow the same melting directions and very carefully pour the melted white chocolate in to a piping bag (that is opened up over a tall glass) and leave for around 15 minutes for the chocolate the cool and slightly set.

7) Remove the strawberries from the fridge and decorate however you wish with the white chocolate before popping them back in to the fridge for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy with fizz!!!! Any excuse!

Love S xx

Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake…

IMG_3881Ahhhh…..back to reality….with a bump! Back at work this week and I’m spending most of my time chasing my tail.

Oh well, it was worth it 🙂

Some lovely friends had us over for dinner last Monday and they cooked us Jamie Oliver’s Crispy Parma Pork – It was completely delicious and afterwards we played a zombie board game! We survived! Woo! Thank you Pete & Nat! ♡

For some reason, its taken me an age to write this post…I have been busy, but no more so than usual. We’ve been to 3 gigs this week so that might have something to do with it! We have been lucky enough to see We are Scientists, Chvrches and Maximo Park 🙂  All amazing and all worth a listen (I’ve chosen some of there more popular tracks).

As much as I apologise for making you wait for this recipe…..it is most definitely one worth waiting for! I am often asked for this recipe and it is one of my most requested! Its the perfect balance of yummy zest and soft, gooey blueberries! Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For the sponge:

225g Unsalted butter (softened)
225g Golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
250g Self raising flour
Finely grated rind & Juice of 1 lemon
25g Ground almonds
200g Fresh blueberries

For the topping:

Juice of 2 lemons
115g of Golden Caster Sugar

Recipe:

1. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch square cake tin and preheat your oven to 180c/350f/Gas mark 4.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

IMG_38503. Gradually add in the beaten eggs, a little at a time.

Tip: Add a little of the flour towards the end to prevent curdling.

4. Beat in the lemon rind, flour and ground almonds.

5. Slowly add the lemon juice, a little at a time. You will need around 75-100ml.

6. Fold in 135g of the blueberries, distributing as evenly as possible, and pour in to the prepared tin.

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7. Once you have poured the mixture in to the tin, smooth the surface and scatter the remaining blueberries on top.

8. Bake in the over for an hour and firm to the touch, or until a skewer inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean.

9. To make the topping, place the lemon juice and sugar in to a bowl and mix together.

Tip: You will need to make the topping 10 minutes before your cake is due to be removed from the oven.

10. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer (go deep!) and pour the lemon mixture all over the cake.

11. Leave the cake to cool in the tin until completely cool.

12. I decided to add some smatterings of icing to mine, so I just whipped up a bowl and used a fork to ‘flick’ the icing across the cake.

13. Serve & Enjoy!

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Love S & P x

Christmas cakes

Finally finished decorating my Christmas cakes! It was pretty full on trying to marzipan, ice and decorate 6 cakes in 8 days but they are finally done!

Some I kept really simple (sometimes less is more!) and some were a little more intricate. All of them were designs I hadn’t tried before and i’m really pleased with how they have all turned out:)

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make my own marzipan but my step dad absolutely adores marzipan so no doubt I will attempt to make some for his birthday in February……

Enjoy!

Love S & P x

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Rudolf’s Favourite Christmas Cake

Its so very nearly time for Christmas and I couldn’t be more excited!!

I’m one of those rather annoying people that tends to get very excited about the festive period very early……..so much so that my lovely work colleagues have banned me from saying the “C” word – (Christmas, obviously) – meanies!

I get reprimanded every time I say it and a tally mark added to the white bored. So, obviously I got carried away today about how happy I was that I had made my lovely Christmas cake last night and in doing so I managed to get myself 2 extra tally marks on the board before I’d even realised what I’d said!! Bah!

Scrooges!!

Beisdes, what’s not to love?! I love fairy lights all year round (I could never have enough fairy lights in my life) especially at Christmas though, I love the films, the snow, the feeling of cold on my face whilst being snug and warm in my oversized coat and fluffy ear muffs, I love the food…and the wine! And who could forget all of the extra time I get to spend with my family?! With all that to look forward to I don’t see why I shouldn’t be excited from August onwards! The second half of the year is best anyway 😉

This year I am making 6 Christmas cakes because who doesn’t like a challenge?! 5 x 8inch ones and 6inch-er.

Its a bit of a hybrid recipe and I have to admit that I took the foundations of this cake from the lovely Delia. I hope you enjoy, let me know how you get on 🙂

Top Tip: For best results you will need to start prepping this cake the night before baking it.

Ingredients needed for the boozy fruit…

IMG_1262Ingredients needed for the cake…

IMG_1279Ingredients:

For the boozy fruit
(Made at least 12 hours before baking)

  • 450g of Currants
  • 175g of Sultanas
  • 175g of Raisins
  • 80g of Glacé cherries (finely chopped)
  • 80g of Mixed peel (finely chopped)
  • 4tbsp of good quality brandy!

For the cake
(8inch round)

  • 225g of sifted plain flour
  • 225g of soft brown sugar
  • 225g of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 0.5 tsp of grated nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp of mixed spice
  • 0.5 tsp of cinnamon
  • 50g flaked almonds (crushed up a bit)
  • 4 eggs (fresh)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of black treacle
  • Grated rind of 1 Lemon
  • Grated rind of 1 Orange
  • Grease proof paper
  • Brown paper
  • String

Recipe:

1. First thing is first – add all of the ingredients from the boozy fruit list to a bowl big enough for all of the ingredients. Use your hands to mix it all together before adding 4 tbsp of branding to the fruit and covering with a clean tea towel. Leave for at least 12 hours

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2. Next, start prepping your cake tin (I definitely learnt this from Delia!). Line around the tin with 2 layers of baking paper. Grease the tin before adding the baking paper.

Tip: Cut a length of baking paper, enough to sit around the inside of the tin and fold it in half length ways. Fold it back 1 inch along the length and snip it at intervals, cutting at a slight angle. It will help the baking paper to sit flush against the tin. Then use the base of the cake tin to cut out a double layer for the bottom of the tin.

3. You will then need to tie brown paper around the tin with string to protect it during its long slow bake.

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4. Preheat your oven to 140c/Gas 1

5. Next add 225g of butter (at room temp) and 225g of soft brown sugar to a stand mixer (or you can use an electric hand mixer) and beat together until light and fluffy.

Remember: Don’t skimp on this part!

6. Next take your 4 eggs and beat them in a separate bowl. You will need to add this to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time, preferably whilst still mixing, to prevent the mixture from splitting.

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7. Once all of the beaten egg has been added to the butter and sugar mix you can then sift in 225g of plain flour. Mix until all has been incorporated.

8. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice. Mix until all has been incorporated.

9. Add the soaked fruit to the cake mixture along with the 50g of almonds, the grated zest if the orange & lemon and 1.5 tbsp of black treacle. Turn the mixer to a low speed to mix these ingredients in.

10. The mixture is now ready to be spooned in to the prepared cake tin! Once all of the mixture has been transferred across in to the cake tin, smooth it down with the back of a spoon.

photo11. Finally – take a large piece of baking paper and fold it half – ensure a small hole – around the size of a £2 coin has been cut out of the middle of the parchment and place over the cake tin before putting it into the oven.

IMG_133712. This cake will take around 4 hours to bake.

Tip: To test if your cake is ready simply remove from the oven and press in the centre of the cake – if it springs back its good to go. If it leaves an indent it needs to go back in for a little while longer.

13. Let the cake cool in the tin for around 45 minutes before removing from the tin and leaving the cake to cool completely on a rack.

Voilà! 🙂

IMG_1338Remember: Once your cake is cool you should use a skewer to poke several holes in to the top and the base of the cake so that you can then ‘feed’ brandy to Christmas cake. A couple of tablespoons every fortnight or whenever you see fit will help your cake mature nicely.

Tip: Wrap your cake in brown paper tied up with string and then wrap around a double layer of foil before storing in an airtight container. Only bring out to feed and decorate.

IMG_1339IMG_1340I hope you like the recipe! Icing and decorating blog to follow in December! Hopefully I can make it look as good as it tastes! 🙂

Love S & P x

Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake – Gluten Free!

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So this was the first cake I made with Penny – what a team!

My timings were a little off, well, only in terms of me thinking how long it would take. Im putting it down to the habit of having to use a fork to mix everything back before I got Penny. Could it get any more amateurish?! No, didn’t think so……

I know this recipe might sound a little odd but it is definitely worth a try! The cake compliments the topping perfectly! I made this one using Gluten free self raising flour but it works perfectly with normal self raising flour too! Perfect for Halloween, Bonfire Night, Autumn and Birthdays in general! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the toffee apple topping

  • butter, for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced in ½in wedges
  • 1 large orange, zest only
  • 75g dried cranberries

For the cake

  • 225g salted butter, softened
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour (Gluten Free or normal)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 60ml/4 tbsp whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Recipe:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 180C/350F/Gas4
  2. Grease and line a 10inch round spring form baking tin.
  3. To make the toffee apple topping you will need to put a medium sized pan over a high heat and add the sugar along with 3 tablespoons of water – cook this until all of the sugar melts and you are left with a lovely looking amber colour.Tip: Some recipes say not to stir the sugar at any point and I agree but have found that sometimes a swift shake of the pan will even out the sugar allowing it to cook all at the same time without any of it burning.
    Remember: The toffee should be an amber colour – any darker and you will have burnt it!
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the toffee in to the baking tin – make sure you completely cover the base of the tin.IMG_9704
  5. Quickly and carefully place the apple wedges in rows on top of the toffee topping – you will need to work quickly before it sets! I would recommend a good 2 or 3 ‘rows’ of apple slices!
  6. Once you have placed your apple over the toffee, sprinkle around a third of the orange zest evenly on top before adding the cranberries in to fill any gaps.
  7. Now to start making the cake! Add the butter, remaining orange zest and sugar to a stand mixer and beat together until pale and fluffy – alternatively you can use an electric hand mixer (or a fork if you have the time and energy!).
  8. Sift together your flour and bicarbonate of soda and then start adding a table spoon of the flour mixture to the butter mixture along with one egg. Ensure that you have mixed until combined and then repeat this process until all of the flour and eggs have been used.
  9. Once it is all completely mixed together stir in the milk and a couple of drops of vanilla essence.IMG_9705
  10. Your cake is now ready to be poured into the caketin on top of the toffee and apple slices. Simply smooth down the with a spatula and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in to the centre of the cake comes out clean.Tip: I would also recommend placing some foil on the shelf underneath the cake as when the toffee heats up again, some amounts can ‘leak’ out of the tin and make a mess of your oven!
  11. Once your cake is cooked – use oven gloves to remove from the oven.  Place cooling rack or a wire rack over the tin and quickly flip it over – Be careful not to burn yourself! You may need some help with this – your helper should also wear oven gloves – Once you have flipped your cake, you should remove the tin and allow it to cool completely on the cooling rack.
  12. Enjoy!

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Love S & P x