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Tag Archives: baking
  • Posted on April 13, 2017

    Extra spicy hot cross bun recipe

    We couldn't leave for Easter weekend without sharing with you our Hot Cross Bun recipe! We love the extra spices in this recipe and as they are traditionally eaten on Good Friday what better excuse to get baking!

    Extra spicy hot cross buns

    Extra Spicy Hot Cross Buns

    3 cups all-purpose flour

    1⁄3 cup stone-ground whole-wheat bread flour

    ¼ cup sugar

    1 teaspoon sea salt

    1 teaspoon apple pie spice

    ½  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

    2⁄3 cup currants

    1⁄3 cup golden raisins

    ¼ cup chopped mixed peel

    a 0.6-oz cake compressed yeast

    1 ¼ cups tepid milk

    1 large egg, beaten

    pastry cross:

    1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour

    1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

    2 teaspoons sugar

    ¼ cup milk mixed with

    3 tablespoons sugar, to glaze

    2 baking sheets, greased

    makes 12 buns

    Put the flours, sugar, salt, and spices in a large bowl and mix well. Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix in the dried fruit and mixed peel, then make a well in the center of the mixture.

    Crumble the yeast into a small bowl, pour in about half the milk, and stir until completely dispersed. Add to the well in the flour with the rest of the milk and the egg. Gradually draw in the flour to make a soft but not sticky dough. Work in a little extra flour or milk if necessary.

    Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 11 ½ hours.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, then punch down. Divide into 12 neat balls and set well apart on the prepared baking sheets. Slip the sheets into large plastic bags, inflate slightly, and let rise as before until doubled in size, 45–60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

    To make the pastry cross, put the flour, butter, and sugar in a bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until you get coarse crumbs. Stir in 1–2 tablespoons cold water to make a firm dough. Roll the dough out thinly.

    Uncover the risen buns, brush the pastry strips with a little water, then stick in a cross on top of the buns. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown. Heat the milk-sugar glaze in a pan until dissolved, then boil for 1 minute. Glaze the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.

    This recipe is from Traditional Pub Grub, available here.

    Traditional Pub Grub

    Photography © Ryland Peters & Small

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, easter, recipe for the weekend, good friday, holidays

  • Posted on March 23, 2017

    Sweet ideas for Mother's Day gifts

    Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day this weekend!  We know that she deserves something special, so for this week’s blog we’ve picked three fantastic recipes that will make the perfect homemade gifts…

    This peanut butter fudge recipe is so simple to make, it’s perfect if you’re running a bit short on time! Topped with chocolate chips and peanuts, it looks so tempting… just make sure you leave time for it to set!

    Peanut butter fudge from Miracle Mug Cakes

    Cheat's Peanut Butter Fudge

    500 g/2 ¼ cups smooth peanut butter (you want the least oily peanut butter that you can find)

    1 x 397-g/14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

    a pinch of salt

    100 g/2/3 cup icing/ confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    100 g/2/3 cup dark/bittersweet chocolate chips

    100 g/1 cup chopped peanuts

    a 28 x 18 x 4-cm /11 x 7 x 1.5-inch cake pan, lined with overhanging baking parchment

    MAKES 64 PIECES

    In a large saucepan, melt together the peanut butter, condensed milk and salt over a medium heat.

    Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir to loosen the mixture.

    Carefully add in the sifted icing/confectioners’ sugar and stir until fully combined and very thick.

    Empty the mixture into the prepared cake pan, making sure it covers the whole of the base – the weight of the mixture will hold down the baking parchment. It will be quite oily and you will need to use the back of a spoon to smooth the fudge out.

    Sprinkle over the dark chocolate chips, making sure they are spread out and push them in to the fudge slightly. They may melt a little but this is okay.

    Sprinkle over the chopped peanuts, pushing them in to the fudge, too.

    Allow the fudge to cool, then pop it in to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Once set, use the overhanging baking parchment to lift the fudge out of the pan.

    Slice the fudge into small squares and enjoy.

    NOTE You can store this fudge for around 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge, but it is best eaten at room temperature.

     

    For something a little bit more grown up, why not try these Pina Colada Jellies? These heavenly cubes, flecked with cherry and pineapple are the best part of a cocktail in a mouthful.

    Pina Colada Jellies from Party-Perfect Bites

    Pina Colada Jellies

    700 ml/scant 3 cups pineapple juice (not from concentrate)

    34 sheets of gelatine, softened in cold water for 5–10 minutes

    350 ml/1 ½ cups cherry juice

    400 g /14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

    300 ml/1 ¼  cups Malibu or other coconut-flavoured white rum

    80 ml/ 1/3 cup coconut cream

    25 x 18-cm/10 x 7-inch and 12 x 9-cm/4 ½ x 3 ½ -inch containers, lined with clingfilm/ plastic wrap

    makes about 120 cubes

    Heat 120 ml/ ½ cup pineapple juice to a simmer in a saucepan. Take off the heat, squeeze the water out of 11 sheets of gelatine, add to the juice and whisk. Add this to the remaining pineapple juice and whisk. Pour into the large prepared container and set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

    Heat 60 ml/ ¼ cup of the cherry juice to a simmer in a saucepan. Take off the heat, squeeze the water out of 6 sheets of gelatine, add to the juice and whisk. Add this to the remaining cherry juice and whisk. Pour into the small prepared container and set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

    Once both jellies are set, heat 180 ml/ ¾ cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Take off the heat. Squeeze the water out of 17 sheets of gelatine, add to the water and whisk. Add this to the condensed milk, along with the rum, 150 ml/generous ó cup water and the coconut cream. Mix, then let cool, but don’t allow it to set.

    Cut the pineapple and cherry jellies into 1.5-cm/ ¾ -inch cubes. Arrange the cubes in a container large enough to hold them all, then cover with the cooled coconut jelly to a depth of 2.5 cm/1 inch. Set in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch cubes to serve.

     

    These mini chocolate cheesecakes are sure to go down a treat with any chocoholic! This recipe uses vanilla and orange flavours, but you could choose any flavour you like to make these the perfect gift.

    Mini chocolate cheesecakes from Cheesecake

    FOR THE CAKE BASES

    55 g/4 tablespoons butter

    55 g/4 ½ tablespoons caster/ white sugar

    1 egg

    55 g/scant 1⁄2 cup self-raising flour

    grated zest of 1 orange

    FOR THE DRIZZLING SYRUP

    freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

    1 tablespoon icing/confectioners’ sugar

    FOR THE FILLING

    170 g/ ¾ cup mascarpone cheese

    170 ml/ ¾ cup crème fraîche

    1 tablespoon icing/confectioners’ sugar

    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

    TO ASSEMBLE

    400 g/14 oz. dark spiced chocolate (such as Green & Black’s Maya Gold)

    24 sugar flowers

    a 24-hole square mini brownie pan, greased

    a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle/tip (optional)

    24 paper petit fours cases

    MAKES 24

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4.

    To make the cake bases, whisk together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and whisk again. Sift in the flour, add half of the orange zest and stir through again. Put a small spoonful of mixture into each of the holes of the prepared brownie pan. (This is easiest done with a piping bag.) You only want a little cake mixture in each hole as when the cakes are baked you still need room to add the cheesecake mixture on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 10–12 minutes until the sponges spring back when you press with a clean finger.

    Simmer the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved, then drizzle a little of the syrup over each of the cakes. Leave the cakes to cool, then press the cakes down so that there is room for the filling on top.

    For the cheesecake filling, whisk together the mascarpone, crème fraîche, icing/confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and the remaining orange zest until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the cake bases, spreading in tightly using a pallet knife or spatula so that all the holes of the brownie pan are filled completely. Transfer the pan to the freezer and freeze until the cheesecake is solid, which will take about 30 minutes.

    When the cheesecakes are frozen, melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Remove the frozen cheesecakes from the freezer and, one at a time, dip them into the warm chocolate. Transfer to a wire rack to set, with a sheet of foil underneath to catch any chocolate drips. Before the chocolate sets, affix a sugar flower to the top of each cheesecake. The chocolate will set quickly given the frozen temperatures of the cheesecakes – if it sets too quickly you can simply attach the flowers using a little extra chocolate. Once set, place each chocolate in a petit fours case and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve, by which time the cheesecake will have defrosted.

     

    In order, these recipes have been taken from,

    Miracle Mug Cakes by Suzy Pelta, available here.

    Miracle Mug Cakes by Suzy Pelta

    Party-Perfect Bites by Milli Taylor, available here.

    Party-perfect bites by Milli Taylor

    Cheesecake by Hannah Miles, available here.

    Cheesecake by Hannah Miles

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with homemade, baking, Mother's Day, gift, chocolate, quick, sweet, recipe, gift ideas, cheesecake, fudge

  • Posted on March 16, 2017

    Irish Stout Cake for St Patrick's Day

    In celebration of St Patrick’s day, what better recipe to share than one that uses everyone's favourite Irish drink - Guinness. This stout cake really showcases the rich, dark nature of the classic Irish ‘perfect pint’ and by adding extra malt, it creates an even more sensational bake.

    Irish Guinness Cake from LOLA's recipe book

    Irish Stout Cake

    50 ml/3 ½ tablespoons dark Irish stout (we use Guinness)

    250 g/2 ¼ sticks butter

    400 g/2 cups white sugar

    100 g/1 cup cocoa powder

    30 g/3 ½ tablespoons malt powder (we use Horlicks)

    150 ml/ ¾ cup sour cream

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    2 teaspoons bicarbonate of/ baking soda

    275 g/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour

    CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

    25 g/ ¼ stick butter, softened

    100 g/ ¾ cup icing/

    confectioners’ sugar

    200 g/7 oz. cream cheese

    grated chocolate, to decorate

    23-cm/9-inch springform cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 1 LARGE CAKE

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Put the stout and butter in a large pan set over gentle heat. Don’t let it boil, just let the butter melt through the liquid. Add the sugar, cocoa and malt powder to the warm

    butter-stout mixture and whisk gently to get rid of any lumps. Add the sour cream and stir in – this will cool the mixture sufficiently so that you can add the eggs and then the vanilla extract. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are completely incorporated.

    Add the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and then begin to add the flour, little by little, stirring each time until fully incorporated.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50–60 minutes. A skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre. Turn out, them allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.

    To make the cream cheese frosting, place the softened butter in a large bowl and add the icing/confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese. Using a stand mixer or handheld electric whisk, slowly and carefully beat everything together. Once combined, increase the speed and whip until you have a soft and fluffy frosting.

    Place the cooled cake on your serving plate and loosely spoon over the frosting – we like to use a very informal swirl technique, but this is entirely up to you. Sprinkle around the top edge with grated chocolate to finish.

     

    This recipe is from LOLA's A cake Journey Around the World, available here.

    LOLA's A Cale Journey Around the World

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, St Patrick's Day, sweet, cake, LOLA's, irish, guinness

  • Posted on March 7, 2017

    Win a Hotpoint Microwave and 'Miracle Mug Cakes and other Cheat's Bakes'

    In celebration of the brilliant new baking book by Suzy Pelta, Miracle Mug Cakes and other Cheat's Bakes, we've teamed up with our friends at Hotpoint to offer you a piping hot prize!

    Miracle Mug Cakes and other Cheat's Bakes Hotpoint Microwave

    For your chance to win this gorgeous Hotpoint Ultimate Collection microwave and a signed copy of Suzy's book, simply enter your name and email below before Tuesday 14th March. This is the perfect prize for anyone who enjoys tasty treats but loves recipes that can be whipped up in no time!

    Double Choc Brownie Mug Cake

    One lucky winner will be selected at random to win both items. More details about the microwave and Suzy's book below. Good luck!

    ABOUT THE MICROWAVE

    The Hotpoint Ultimate Collection MWH 33343B combination microwave performs like a best-in-class oven for supreme cooking in your home. Boasting Hotpoint's Multiwave Technology, the Ultimate Microwave boasts two emission plates that guarantee full heat distribution for quick, evenly cooked food.The microwave also includes Dynamic Technology so you can crisp or steam meals at the touch of a button. There's even a hot fan-aired cooking option for Sunday roasts.

    Hotpoint Microwave open Hotpoint Microwave side view

    The Hotpoint Ultimate Microwave makes the most of your kitchen space with a vertical opening door, offering additional practicality in your home.For a complete, high quality solution to microwaveable cooking, the Hotpoint MWH33343B is the perfect choice.

     

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Indulge your inner child (or your actual children) with these 28 recipes for mug cakes and cheat's bakes. The book includes recipes for Nutella and Peanut Butter, Crushed-up Cookie, and Hidden Oreo mug cakes so there's plenty to delight little ones; while the Boozy Strawberry Center, After Dinner Mint and Café Latte mug cakes put a sophisticated twist on these simple bakes, making them perfect dinner party desserts!

    Miracle Mug Cakes Signed Copy

    Suzy guides you through with plenty of handy tips and tricks and has included ideas for fridge cakes, ice cream sandwiches, garbage cookies and other cheat's bakes too. Whatever sweet treat your craving and whatever the occasion, you will be able to whip something up in a matter of minutes - making this the ultimate quick baking book for sugar lovers everywhere! Find out more here

     

    Suzy Pelta Logo   Hotpoint logo Black - container

    Huge thanks to Suzy Pelta and Hotpoint for teaming up with us on this fantastic prize!


    This post was posted in Competitions, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, kids, sweet

  • Posted on January 25, 2017

    Win a gluten-free baking bundle!

    We’re completely thrilled to be publishing a beautiful gluten-free baking book by Victoria Hall at the end of this month and are celebrating the release with a bundle giveaway in partnership with Real Foods!

    Simply answer the baking question below for your chance to win This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall and a selection of Real Foods ingredients needed for making Victoria’s delicious gluten-free Florentines.

    Gluten free baking bundle giveaway prize

    Selling a huge selection of naturally healthy and ethically sourced ingredients, Real Foods are one of Victoria’s favourite websites for buying gluten-free flours and other baking ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, chocolate, dried fruit and more. This brilliant baking prize bundle includes Doves Farm all-purpose gluten-free flour, Equal Exchange dark chocolate and If You Care baking parchment; as well as light brown sugar, flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, mixed peel, glacé cherries and a re-usable cotton organic bag from Real Foods with beautiful artwork by Edinburgh Sketcher.

    The competition closes on Tuesday 31st January and there will be one lucky winner. Good luck!

    Florentines

    Florentines are not quite a traditional cookie, more a suspension of nuts and fruit in a crisp but ever-so-slightly chewy caramel. Swathe the underside of these discs in dark chocolate and you have yourself a very elegant addition to your cup of tea. As robust as they are pretty-looking (thanks to being set with both caramel and chocolate), once completely cooled, they can be easily packaged up in a cellophane bag, decorated with a ribbon and given as a gift. My mum, in particular, would thank you for them.

    From start to serve: 1 hour l Prep: 10 minutes l Bake: 6–8 minutes

    Florentines

    30 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    75 g/ ⅓ cup soft light brown sugar

    30 g/2½ tablespoons plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour

    50 g/3 tablespoons double/heavy cream

    75 g/¾ cup flaked/slivered almonds

    25 g/3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts

    50 g/3 tablespoons mixed peel, chopped

    75 g/¾cup glacé cherries, chopped

    200 g/6½ oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silicone baking sheets

    MAKES 12

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    In a saucepan set over a low heat, melt together the butter, sugar and flour. Add the cream to the pan, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. The mixture should be smooth and caramel in colour when you remove it from the heat.

    Stir in the almonds, chopped nuts, mixed peel and cherries until evenly distributed and everything is coated in the caramel.

    Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes; this will allow it to cool slightly and prevent over-spreading in the oven.

    Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart – they will spread to about 10 cm/4 inches in diameter. Flatten each mound slightly, then bake in the preheated oven for 6–8 minutes until golden all over and the edges begin to darken.

    Remove from the oven. Using the tip of a spoon, gently push the lacy edges of the Florentines towards the centre to create a more circular shape. Be very careful not to touch them at this stage, as the sugar will be extremely hot.

    Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

    Once cool, melt the chocolate in a jug/pitcher in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine until molten and smooth and then coat the underside of each Florentine with a good layer of chocolate, setting upside down on a wire rack to cool.

    As the chocolate begins to set, use a fork to create the traditional wavy pattern on the underside of each Florentine and then allow to harden completely before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

     

    This is Gluten Free by Victoria Hall

    This recipe is taken from This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall. Available now to pre-order.


    This post was posted in Competitions, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, 2017

  • Posted on November 11, 2016

    Vegan Baking!

    As November is World Vegan Month, we’ve decided that all our new recipes on this little blog will be vegan-friendly. Since, it’s cold and dark outside, we’ve also decided that we’re going to spend the weekend baking, and we don’t anyone to miss out! So, because it’s Friday and we’re feeling generous, here’s not one but two vegan recipes from our new book Brownies, Blondies & Traybakes. Enjoy!

    Cocoa Energy Bars

    Energy and protein bars are everywhere you look and it’s easy to understand why. They are the perfect snack for when you’re on the go and need to curb hunger pangs. These are made with unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate fix and almonds for added protein.

    75 g/½ cup sliced dried figs

    150 g/1½ cup rolled oats

    35 g/¼ cup oat flour

    25 g/⅓ cup chopped almonds

    120 g/1½ cups crisped rice cereal

    50 g/⅓ cup dark/bittersweet chocolate chips

    3 tablespoons brown sugar

    4 tablespoons cocoa powder

    50 g/¼ cup almond butter

    60 ml/¼ cup coconut oil

    115 g/⅓ cup brown rice syrup

    80 ml/⅓ cup almond milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    an 18 x 28-cm/7 x 11-inch baking pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

    Makes 12

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Pulse the figs and oats together in a food processor and transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, almonds, crisped rice cereal, chocolate chips, sugar and cocoa powder and mix well. Set aside.

    Melt the almond butter, coconut oil, rice syrup, almond milk and vanilla in a small pan set over a medium heat. Pour over the oat mixture and mix well so all the ingredients are well-coated.

    Pour the bar mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely before cutting into equal bars.

    Ginger Cashew Granola Bars

    Shortcuts are always handy when cooking around a busy schedule. Because the granola is pre-made here, this tasty tray requires only assembly, and a bit of patience while the bars stick together!

    200 g/1¾ cups plain store-bought granola

    60 g/½ cup well-chopped cashews

    40 g/¼ cup well-chopped crystallized ginger

    80 g/1 cup crisped rice cereal

    50 g/¼ cup almond butter

    115 g/⅓ cup brown rice syrup

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    a 20-cm/8-inch square baking pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

    Makes 12

    Mix the granola, cashews, ginger and crisped rice cereal together in a large mixing bowl. Add the almond butter, rice syrup and oil and mix well so everything is well-coated.

    Press the sticky batter into the pan and put in the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours. Remove and cut into bars before serving.

    Variation: Candied citrus peel is a great alternative to crystallized ginger in this recipe and gives the bars a tropical burst of tangy citrus flavour.

    Brownies, Blondies & Traybakes is available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with vegan, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, quick, sweet, healthy, 2016

  • Posted on October 6, 2016

    Pizza Month for all!

    October is National Pizza Month. Far be it from us to argue with a whole month dedicated to pizza, especially as we’re very excited about our new book Craft Pizza by Maxine Clarke, so we thought it was high time we shared a recipe with you. Since we’re inclusive sorts, and we don’t want anyone to miss out on cheesey pizza-y goodness, we’re sharing one of the several gluten-free recipes from the book. You’re welcome.

    Quinoa piadine with burrata, artichoke and lemon and olive tapenade

    This gluten-free quinoa dough is very versatile – make one large pizza-size or small snack-size piadine. It can even be stamped out into mini bases for cocktail nibbles. It is a great alternative to pizza dough, is more like a crisp tortilla and has a lovely nutty flavour. Quinoa flour is readily available in health food shops.

    125 g/1¼ cup quinoa flour

    125 g/1 cup buckwheat or brown rice flour

    ½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of/baking soda

    25 ml/1 ¾ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    approximately 175 ml/¾ cup warm water

    250 g/9 oz. burrata cheese, roughly chopped

    200 g/7 oz. artichokes preserved in oil (or grilled/broiled artichokes from a deli)

    LEMON AND OLIVE TAPENADE:

    50 g/2 oz. preserved lemon, skin and flesh finely chopped

    50 g/2 oz. stoned green olives, finely chopped

    25 ml/1 ¾ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or chilli oil for a fiery kick), plus extra to drizzle

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra to garnish

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    a testo, terracotta bakestone or a large, heavy baking sheet

    a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet

    Makes 2 thin piadine (25–30 cm)

    Sift the flours and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the olive oil and a pinch of salt to taste. Gradually add the warm water mixing with clean hands until you have a soft dough. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Divide in two, shape into balls, pop into plastic bags and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

    Put the testo, terracotta bakestone or a large, heavy baking sheet on the lower shelf of the oven. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7 for at least 30 minutes.

    To make the lemon and olive tapenade, mix the preserved lemon, olives, olive oil and basil together. Season to taste and set aside.

    Remove the dough from the bags, roll out each ball into a 25–30-cm circle on non-stick baking parchment and slide this onto the pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. Lightly spread the bases with half the tapenade. Scatter the burrata over the bases, leaving a 1-cm rim around the edge. Arrange the drained artichokes on top, brush with the remaining tapenade, then season.

    Working quickly, open the oven door and slide paper and pizza onto the hot bakestone or baking sheet. If you are brave, try to shoot the pizza into the oven so that it leaves the paper behind – this takes practice!

    Bake for 5 minutes, then carefully slide out the baking parchment. Bake the piadine for a further 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crisping. Remove, from the oven, scatter with extra basil and drizzle with extra olive oil. Eat immediately.

    Craft Pizza by Maxine Clark is available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, savoury, recipe for the weekend, cheese, vegetarian, Gluten-free, Pizza, 2016

  • Posted on September 29, 2016

    Tiramisu with a twist...

    Sometimes life calls for dessert, and sometimes it calls for Dessert with a Capital D. This is one such pud! Why do anything in half measures? Hannah Miles’ latest book, Layered Desserts is crammed with indulgent treats from all around the world, and each and every recipe would make a great dinner party ‘pièce de résistance’. So whether you’ve got the whole family round for Sunday lunch, or just a few friends over for an intimate supper, impress them with Hannah’s twist on an Italian classic…

    Or if peanut butter & jelly is more your thing, check out this decadent recipe tutorial on The Pantry's youtube channel.

    Toblerone Tiramisu

    While Italians will probably shudder at the thought of including Toblerone in their national dessert, I love the hints of almond and honey crunch that it adds. If you are short of time you can replace the Toblerone cupcakes with store-bought sponge fingers or trifle sponges instead for equally delicious results. I hope you enjoy my take on this classic layered dessert.

    FOR THE CUPCAKES:

    115 g/generous ½ cup caster/granulated sugar

    115 g/1 stick butter, softened

    2 UK large/US extra-large eggs

    100 g/¾ cup self-raising/self-rising flour

    30 g/⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    80 g/3 oz. Toblerone, chopped into chunks

    FOR THE CREAM:

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. mascarpone cheese

    500 ml/2 cups crème fraîche or sour cream

    3 tablespoons icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    TO ASSEMBLE:

    2 tablespoons instant coffee powder

    150 ml/⅔ cup amaretto liqueur

    200 g/7 oz. Toblerone, chopped unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

    12-hole muffin pan, lined with cupcake cases

    large glass bowl

    SERVES 8–10

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Begin by making the cupcakes. Whisk together the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold gently to incorporate. Half fill each cupcake case with the cake mixture. Divide the chunks of Toblerone between the cupcakes, placing them in the centre of each case, and then cover with a spoonful of the remaining cake batter. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until the cupcakes are firm to touch and spring back when pressed with a finger. Set aside to cool, then remove the cases.

    Dissolve the instant coffee in a shallow bowl with 250 ml/1 cup boiling water. Pour in the amaretto and leave to cool. While the coffee mixture is cooling, make the cream by whisking together the mascarpone, crème fraîche and icing/confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl.

    Soak half of the cupcakes in the coffee mixture. It is best to do this one at a time as the cupcakes can become soggy if they are in the liquid too long. You want them to absorb some of the liquid but still retain their shape. Place half the cakes on the bottom of the trifle dish, pressing them down with a spoon so that the cupcakes make a layer over the bottom of the dish.

    To assemble, sprinkle over half the chopped Toblerone and dust with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh sieve/strainer. Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over the top and dust with another layer of sifted cocoa powder. Soak the remaining sponges, as before, in the coffee mixture and place on top of the cocoa layer. Cover with the remaining Toblerone and dust with another cocoa layer. Spoon in the remaining mascarpone mixture and spread out in an even layer and dust with more cocoa. Chill in the fridge, preferably overnight, to enable the flavours to develop. This dessert will store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

    Layered Desserts by Hannah Miles is available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, baking, Hannah Miles, coffee, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet, 2016

  • Posted on September 15, 2016

    National Cupcake Week

    Next week is National Cupcake Week and we can’t wait. Make sure you’re following us on instagram where we’ll be sharing our #CupcakeoftheDay starting with this beauty from our new book, LOLA’s Cupcakes Forever. So, because we’re generous souls, and big fans of the cupcake, we suggest you start your week early and bake up a batch of these. Happy baking!

    Rainbow Swirl Cupcake

    These bright and cheerful rainbow cupcakes will bring a dose of fun to young and old alike. Our classic vanilla cupcake is transformed into a rainbow base and topped with a swirl of multi-coloured buttercream.

    200 g self-raising flour/1½ cups cake flour mixed with 3 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    175 g/1½ sticks butter

    250 g/1¼ cups caster/granulated sugar

    1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste

    3 eggs

    175 ml/¾ cup sour cream

    ⅛ teaspoon each pink, blue and yellow food colouring pastes (or any other

    colours you like)

    BUTTERCREAM

    150 g/1¼ sticks butter

    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

    350 g/3 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar

    3–4 tablespoons full-fat/whole milk

    ⅛ teaspoon each pink, blue and yellow food colouring pastes

    TO DECORATE

    Coloured sprinkles

    muffin pan lined with 12 muffin cases

    piping/pastry bag fitted with a large star nozzle/tip

    MAKES 12

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.

    Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk), and beat the mixture at medium to high speed for 1–2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure that all the butter and sugar is incorporated.

    Add the vanilla bean paste and mix. Mixing at low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.

    Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients, and mix, at low speed, until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and briefly beat at high speed until the mixture is smooth. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Do not over-mix.

    Now for the fun part! Divide the mixture evenly between 3 bowls, and add one of the food colouring pastes to each bowl. Mix them all thoroughly until well blended.

    Take a teaspoonful of one batter and place into each muffin case.

    Repeat with the other colours, until all the batters have been used up.

    Now take a cocktail stick/toothpick (or use the end of a knife) and swirl the batters together slightly in a figure of eight.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, until well risen and a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the buttercream, place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk), and beat until soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix again, until combined. Sift in half of the icing/confectioners’ sugar and, mixing at low speed, mix until incorporated. Add the second half of the sugar, then beat slowly until all the sugar is incorporated. Add the milk, a tablespoonful at a time, mixing at medium speed, until the buttercream is light and fluffy. If the icing is too stiff, add a little more milk.

    Using the same technique as for the cake batter, divide the buttercream into three equal portions and colour each portion with one of the three food colouring pastes, mixing until blended.

    Spoon one of the buttercreams down one side of the piping/pastry bag leaving space near the nozzle/tip to add the other colours, if possible. Repeat with the second and third colours. You should have a full piping/pastry bag that will allow a little of each colour to be piped onto each cupcake, creating a rainbow effect.

    Pipe a swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake, and decorate with coloured sprinkles.

    LOLA's Cupcakes Foever by the LOLA's Bakers is available here. Happy Baking!

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, cupcakes, recipe for the weekend, sweet, cake, LOLA's cupcakes, 2016

  • Posted on September 8, 2016

    Success Cake!

    Today is the launch of the new book from London’s Scandinavian Kitchen and it’s a cracker! Brontë Aurell has gathered together everything you need to fika and inspire hygge in one handy book, and it’s all beautifully illustrated by Pete Cassidy’s gorgeous photography. To celebrate we wanted to share an appropriately titled recipe for you to try this weekend. Enjoy!

    Suksesskake SUCCESS CAKE

    Ah, how I love the names of cakes from Norway. Suksess means success, so this cake really does talk itself up a bit and sets expectations high! It does not disappoint. You may wonder where you might have tasted something like this before – the base and topping are very similar to that of the infamous Daim tart available in many supermarkets the world over (and in those big stores that also happen to sell Swedish bookcases). Add melted Daim and extra chocolate on top, and it all falls into place. This cake is wonderfully gluten-free, too.

    200 g/2 cups whole almonds

    160 g/1½ cups icing/confectioners’ sugar

    5 egg whites

    a pinch of salt

    TOPPING:

    5 egg yolks

    100 ml/⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon whipping cream

    100 g/ ½ cup caster/granulated sugar

    150 g/1¼ sticks butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature

    milk chocolate curls, to decorate

    2 x 20-cm round cake pans, greased and lined with baking parchment

    SERVES 8

    Preheat the oven to 160°C (325˚F) Gas 3.

    Roughly grind the almonds in a food processor, leaving a few chunkier pieces in there. Combine the ground almonds with the icing/confectioners’ sugar and set aside.

    In a stand mixer (or using a hand-held whisk), beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until lightly stiff. Add the ground almond mixture and gently fold in until incorporated.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for around 35–40 minutes or until light brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn out carefully onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

    Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the egg yolks, whipping cream and caster sugar into a saucepan over a low heat. Bring just to the boil, whisking constantly – as soon as you see the first bubble, quickly take the pan off the heat. To check the mixture is thick enough, dip a spoon in it, then run your finger through the back of the spoon; if the line stays, the mixture is ready.

    Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature. Then slowly beat in the room-temperature butter using a hand-held electric whisk, a little at a time, until you have a nice thick, glossy topping.

    Spread ⅔ of the topping mixture onto the first almond base, add the top layer of almond cake and spread the remaining topping on the top. Decorate with chocolate curls and serve chilled and sliced.

    ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge by Brontë Aurell is available here.

     

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, Book Launch, recipe for the weekend, sweet, Scandinavian, 2016

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