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Tag Archives: baking
  • Posted on November 23, 2017

    Vegan Salted Caramel Cake recipe

    Epic vegan cake anyone? This sweet, salty, caramel number hits all the right flavour notes.

    vegan Salted Caramel Cake


    1 quantity of Vegan Chocolate Sponge mixture (see below) baked in three greased and lined 18-cm/7-inch cake pans for 30–35 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick/toothpick comes out clean, then cooled

    1/2 quantity of Brilliant White Buttercream (see page 21, but replace the water with 2 tablespoons of the vegan salted caramel sauce)

    2 teaspoons mixed gold, silver and bronze cake sprinkles (optional, see vegan tip)

    2 teaspoons rock sea salt

    200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar

    5–6 blackberries

    few sprigs of lemon thyme

    edible gold spray (optional, see vegan tip)


    For the vegan salted caramel sauce

    250 g/11/4 cups caster/superfine sugar

    150 ml/2/3 cup coconut milk

    2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch

    rock sea salt, to taste

    baking sheet, greased with sunflower oil

    SERVES 20


    For the vegan salted caramel sauce, place the sugar in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of water, place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the coconut milk (be careful as it will bubble). Return to the heat; mix the cornflour/cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water and stir in to the pan, simmer for a further 5–7 minutes until thickened. It will thicken further on cooling. Add salt to taste. Set aside to cool completely (see cook’s tip).

    If necessary, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Sandwich together using 350 g/12 oz. of the buttercream – the bottom side of the top cake should be facing up. Place the cake on a serving plate. Crumb-coat (see page 11) the cake using the remaining buttercream. Smooth and remove the excess buttercream with a palette knife/metal spatula.

    Mix the cake sprinkles (if using) with the 2 teaspoons sea salt. Set aside.

    For the caramel shapes and shards, gently heat the sugar in a pan until melted and golden. Shake the pan towards the end to allow any unmelted sugar to melt. Spoon half the caramel onto the greased baking sheet, then drag it outwards with the back of the spoon to create a rough square shape with one thinner, uneven side. Sprinkle the cake sprinkle mixture over part of the rectangle. Use the spoon to drizzle the remaining caramel into spiral shapes and zig-zag patterns. Leave to harden. Break the square shape into shards.

    When ready to serve, push the caramel shapes into the top of the cake, drizzle with the caramel sauce and decorate with the blackberries and lemon thyme sprigs. Spray with the edible gold spray (if using).

    Cook’s tip: You’ll have some caramel sauce left over; it’s great served with the cake for those wanting an extra drizzle! It’s so delicious you’ll want to pour it over every cake and dessert – keep any remaining sauce in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week or allow to cool for 5 minutes, reserve what you need for the cake and ladle the remaining sauce into a sterilized jar. Seal and allow to cool. It will keep for up to 3 months.

    Vegan tip: Always check ingredients on individual products to ensure they are suitable for a vegan diet. Different brands may vary.


    Vegan chocolate sponge

    1 large ripe banana, 115 g/ 4 oz. peeled weight

    250 ml/1 cup soya milk

    75 ml/5 tablespoons vegetable oil

    425 g/generous 2 cups

    caster/superfine sugar

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

    115 ml/scant 1/2 cup maple syrup

    575 g/generous 41/4 cups self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted

    75 g/3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon baking powder


    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Place the banana in a large bowl and mash until creamy. Add the soya milk, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, white wine vinegar and maple syrup. Beat with an electric hand whisk until combined. Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold through until combined. Transfer to greased and lined pans specified in each recipe (if using 18-cm/ 7-inch cake pans, ensure they are at least 4.5 cm/13/4 inches deep and lined with a 1.5-cm/2/3-inch collar). Bake for the time specified in each recipe.


    Brilliant white buttercream (vegan)

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. vegetable fat such as Trex or Cookeen, at room temperature

    1 kg/7 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    MAKES 1.5 KG/3 LB. 5 OZ.

    Place the vegetable fat in a bowl with the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons water and a few large spoonfuls of the icing/ confectioners' sugar. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined, then whisk in the remaining icing/confectioners’ sugar in manageable batches, until smooth and spreadable. Add another 1 tablespoon of water, if necessary.


    For more fabulous cake recipes and decoration ideas, check out Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo.

    fantasy cakes

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

  • Posted on November 14, 2017

    Fantasy Cakes - from sketch to cake

    We are so excited that Angela Romeo's brand new baking book, Fantasy Cakes, is out this week! If you like baking we think you're going to love the fun, colourful and pretty spectacular designs for every occasion!

    We wanted to know more about how Angela makes these amazing cakes, from the first initial sketch to the delicious finished product and her tips for how to make them yourself. So, over to you Angela...


    Fantasy Cakes

    1. When/how did you get into baking these fantastic cakes?

    I’ve got to say my mum always baked great cakes and I was never very far away when she was! I would be simply hanging onto her apron (literally!), helping fold in flour, weighing ingredients or helping with the most important of all jobs ‘licking the bowl!’ Me and my brother always had fab homemade birthday cakes as kids. From mini football pitches, to 3 little ducklings, to a baby in a crib (!), to Hansel and Gretal-style houses, there was never a shortage of fanciful cakes in our house. I can’t forget to credit my dad as I only recently found out, whilst developing the recipes for this book, that it was my mum who did the baking of those cakes and my dad who did the decorating! My mum will freely admit he’s the more creative-arty one so that does makes perfect sense!

    In my working career I’ve also had some great baking briefs particularly at Seven publishing whilst working as the Senior Food Editor for Creative Services for Sainsbury’s. From designing and developing cakes for social media video such as an Easter cake with the ultimate ‘Wow!’ factor to a Halloween pumpkin-shaped cake. When a brief like that came in I would immediately pick up my pen and start scribbling designs with crazy-style enthusiasm!

    As a food team we went on to write the Sainsbury’s Cake cookbook which I loved designing and making a proportion of the cakes for from a Dragon cake to a Fairy Tale Castle cake to a Chocolate box cake. It enhanced my love for making imaginative, creative cakes using readily available products and that were also achievable.


    2. Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs?

    I get inspiration from everywhere, from friends or families favourite hobbies and passions to certain trends that keep popping up, for example ‘flamingos’ - I subconsciously start thinking how would I make a flamingo cake? (as you do!) I normally start to think of it in the literal sense - an actual flamingo-shaped cake, then the practical side of my brain steps in and says, ‘Whoa! Those skinny legs holding up a cake? That’s a bake-off style nightmare! I’d need the hubby to construct an iron leg-shaped stand for me!!’ So it may sit at the back of my mind for a while - then I could be using a leaf nozzle for another project and suddenly think - ‘OOOooh what if I used two tones of pink buttercream in this piping bag? That would make a great surreal nod to flamingo feathers especially if you piped them round the bottom of a cake! Oh! And that ‘water’ on that swimming pool cake I saw on Pintrest the other day that would make a great flamingo pond!’


    3. How many times do you have to practice the cakes before they are perfect?!

    I nearly always make a sketch of how I imagine the finished piece to look. For most cakes, I would practice the various techniques that are included in the design until I’ve mastered them. I don’t know if it’s because I studied fine art but I approach it a bit like an art project - researching and developing the different elements and then bringing it all together as a one-off. Obviously if you’re writing a recipe for it you may need to make the whole finished piece a few times to ensure the details are correct, which of-course also gives you a great opportunity make little improvements. But I also think it’s also very important with cake decorating to know when to stop.

    Fantasy Cakes

    film lover cake


    4. What is your favourite kind of cake to make/do you have a favourite in the book?

    As you’ll see from the book I love 3 layer cakes - I love a tall cake not only because it gives great impact but also because it gives you another surface as well as the top to work on. The deep sides are great for setting-a-scene or theme or for showing-off drips and drizzles. They also provide ample space for adding piped textures and of course it’s extra space and a great excuse to add more sprinkles(!)


    5. Do you have any tips for all the bakers out there

    1) Always read a recipe through from beginning to end before starting so you don’t have any surprises along the way.

    2) For fan ovens always remember to reduce the temperature by 20ºC or refer to the manufacturers instructions.

    3) Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven. Some ovens can run hotter or cooler than the dial/ digits reflect.

    4) Remember that most ovens will have hotspots and cooler areas. The most even temperature is in the centre of the oven. The top, bottom and rear corners can be a little unpredictable.

    5) Always ensure you use a kitchen timer – it’s easy to get distracted.

    6) A tip close to my heart is when you start tinkering with a cake at the very end of decorating it, trying to get that very last bit absolutely perfect. It probably is perfect to everybody else. I would advise to ‘step away from the cake’ (if that phrase enters your head then do exactly that!).

    7) Always allow yourself plenty of time, there’s nothing worse than baking and decorating in a hurry or a bout of ‘midnight-baking’ is never a good place to be!

    8) As generally most cakes need to cool completely before decorating, I would always try to bake the cakes the day before decorating. And if a design allows it (such a drip cake that doesn’t have anything pressed into a buttercream base) you could also, once the cakes have cooled, layer the cake and buttercream the sides so it’s well prepped for the next stage. This will also make it airtight so the cake will happily sit on the side in a cake box (providing you use a buttercream that doesn’t contain milk), until you are ready to complete it with your drips, drizzles and toppings!


    You can buy Angela's book Fantasy Cakes here!

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, cake decorating, author interview

  • Posted on October 17, 2017

    Behind the Scenes - Fantasy Cakes

    As a special mid-week treat, we're letting you in on what goes on behind the scenes in our photoshoots, with these sneak peak pics from our brand new baking book coming out next month! These photoshoots are hard, serious work and never involve any taste testing ... Ok, we wouldn't believe us either! This particular photoshoot involved lots and lots of cake!


    All the prep is done so the photoshoot can run smoothly...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    On your marks, get set...BAKE!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Some have to be taste tested...of course!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Now it's time to get messy!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Sneak peek of the finished product before it's photographed for the book...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Everything coming together after a busy day...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Thanks to all the team!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Keep an eye out next month for Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo.







    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, sweet, cake, sneak peek, fantasy cakes, photoshoot

  • Posted on September 14, 2017

    Genoise sponge with raspberries

    This light and airy sponge cake hails from the Italian city of Genoa. Created with no chemical raising agents, the cake’s incredible lightness comes solely from ultra-whipped eggs. Feel free to decorate your Genoise sponge as you choose, but we think it is a perfect way to use up all the delicious fresh raspberries that are being harvested at this time of year. The simple light sponge and cream will perfectly compliment the tangy raspberries - delicious!

    LOLAs raspberry Genoise_sponge

    Genoise sponge with raspberries

    30 g/1 /4  stick butter

    6 eggs

    200 g/1 cup caster/granulated sugar

    160 g/scant 1 1/4  cups plain/ all-purpose flour

    25 g/1/8 cup cornflour/cornstarch

    250 ml/1 cup double/heavy cream, softly whipped

    400 g/14 oz. fresh raspberries

    icing/confectioners’ sugar, to dust

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



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

    Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

    Place the eggs and the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk and large mixing bowl) and beat together on a high speed until trebled in size and a light and creamy colour. This will take about 5 minutes.

    Carefully sift the flour and cornflour/ cornstarch onto the egg mixture and slowly fold in using a metal spoon to combine.

    Gently fold through the melted butter – you do not want to lose all the air that you have whisked into the eggs at this point, so take your time to combine everything.

    Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared cake pan and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until well risen, golden and springy to the touch.

    Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slowly run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake. Turn it onto a wire rack to cool completely and remove the baking parchment while still warm.

    Using a serrated knife, slice horizontally through the middle of the sponge to create two even layers. Spoon the whipped cream onto the bottom layer of the sponge and arrange half of the raspberries in a circular pattern. Place the other layer of the sponge on top, then decorate with the remaining raspberries. Lightly dust with icing/ confectioners’ sugar.

    Serve straightaway with a cup of tea or glass of champagne if you wish – delicious!


    For more tempting cake recipes, check out LOLA's A Cake Journey Around the World.

    LOLAs A Cake Journey






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

  • Posted on June 22, 2017

    Fig and honey ricotta cheesecake recipe

    We are feeling the summer vibes this week, so we turned to our lovely book The Mediterranean Table for our recipe for the weekend. Using ricotta makes for a pleasantly light-textured cheesecake, combined with figs and honey to give that Mediterranean flavour. Serve it for dessert or enjoy it with coffee as a mid-morning treat.

    Fig and honey cheesecakeFig and honey ricotta cheesecake


    150 g/5 oz. digestive biscuits/ graham crackers

    50 g/3 ½ tablespoons butter, melted

    750 g/3 cups ricotta cheese

    2 eggs

    2 tablespoons runny honey

    1/2 teaspoon orange flower water

    40 g/1/3 cup plain/all-purpose flour

    6 fresh figs, halved

    20-cm/8-in. loose-based cake pan

    SERVES 6


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

    Using a rolling pin, crush the biscuits/ crackers into crumbs. Use a large bowl to mix the crumbs with the melted butter. Next, press this mixture firmly and evenly into the cake pan to form a base.

    In a separate large bowl, mix together the ricotta and eggs. Stir in the honey, orange flower water and flour. Spoon the ricotta mixture evenly across the biscuit base. Now, press the halved figs, skin-side down, into the ricotta mixture.

    Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour until set.

    Remove the pan from the oven and cool, then cover and chill until serving. The cheesecake will keep for a few days, covered, in the refrigerator.


    For more summer recipes, check out The Mediterranean Table.

    The Mediterranean Table





    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, recipe for the weekend, sweet, summer

  • Posted on June 15, 2017

    Beer Soda Bread recipe

    Granted, dad's can be tricky to buy for, so this Father's Day, why not bake something for him instead? But we're not thinking cupcakes, we're thinking a delicious loaf of beer soda bread, especially as the 15th of June is National Beer Day!

    We've included the recipes for a sweet and a savoury version, so whether you're making bacon and eggs for breakfast in bed, a killer sandwich for a special lunch or simply toasting and covering with jam, this loaf is the perfect way to say 'thanks dad!' this weekend!

    beer soda breadBeer Soda Bread

    Soda bread is the quickest and easiest loaf to put together if you want some bread to go with dinner or, even better, to go with cheese and meats. The basic recipe is also ideal for experimenting with different beers and other ingredients, especially as it’s a forgiving loaf that doesn’t need the same kind of care as a yeast-risen bread. I have two favorite versions: one savory (Cheese, Onion, and Porter) and the other sweet (Dried Fruit and Dubbel).


    2 cups (250g) wholewheat (wholemeal) flour, plus extra for dusting

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

    1 tablespoon honey

    2⁄3 cup (150ml) beer

    1⁄3 cup (100ml) buttermilk or natural yogurt

    Plus your selection of additional ingredients (see below)

    Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC/Gas 6.

    Makes 1 loaf


    Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, and mix together well, eventually using your hands to form the mixture into a bread dough.

    Knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured work surface, shape into a round loaf, and place on a baking tray. Score a large cross in the top of the loaf. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes. To check if the bread is ready, turn the loaf over and tap the base—if it’s done, it’ll sound hollow.


    Recipe Variations...

    Cheese, Onion, and Porter

    Add 3/4 cup (75g) grated Cheddar cheese to the bread dough (reserving some to sprinkle on top of the loaf). Use some Porter for the beer element. Finely chop some rings of red onion and arrange them on top of the loaf before baking. Finally, sprinkle with a few sprigs of rosemary to serve.

    Dried Fruit and Dubbel

    Into the dough, add 1/2 cup (75g) of mixed dried fruit and a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Use a Belgian Dubbel as the beer. Sprinkle some brown sugar over the top of the loaf before baking.


    For more beer inspired recipes, check out Cooking with Beer by Mark Dredge.

    Cooking with Beer by Mark Dredge







    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with bread, baking, recipe for the weekend, recipe, gift ideas, father's day

  • 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





    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


    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


    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


    freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

    1 tablespoon icing/confectioners’ sugar


    170 g/ ¾ cup mascarpone cheese

    170 ml/ ¾ cup crème fraîche

    1 tablespoon icing/confectioners’ sugar

    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


    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




    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


    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



    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




    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!


    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.



    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

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