Raspberry Cupcakes

Raspberry Cupcakes 2

Happy National Cupcake Week Everyone!

Raspberry Cupcakes

Makes 12

Ingredients:
120 g plain flour, sifted
120 g caster sugar
50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 ½ tsp baking powder
120 ml milk
1 large egg
pinch of salt
6 fresh raspberries, chopped into small pieces

For topping:
250 g mascarpone cheese, cold
4-5 tbsp icing sugar, more if raspberries are on the sour side
6 fresh raspberries, chopped into small pieces
3-4 tbsp Framboise liqueur or any other raspberry liqueur

Also you will need: 12 cupcake cases and cupcake tin

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Place paper cases in cupcake tin.

Put flour, caster sugar, butter, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using handheld electric whisk beat on a slow speed till nicely combined.

In separate, small bowl beat an egg, milk and vanilla essence. Slowly pour into flour mixture and beat slowly for few minutes until all is well mixed.
Place paper cases in cupcake tin and divide chopped raspberries between 12 paper cases.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

Let the cupcakes cool completely before putting topping.

For the topping:

In a large bowl place mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. Using handheld electric whisk beat very slowly. Then add chopped raspberries, raspberry liqueur and gently beat for 1 minute. Juices will release at this point and your frosting will get nice, pinky colour.

Pipe or spoon over each cupcake and serve!

Bon appetit.

Advertisements

French Madeleines

French Madeleines

It is French Open season so why not to try this French yummies!?!
Well I am off. Show time …semis are going to be exciting: Nadal to face Djokovic …can’t wait! Vamos Rafa!

French Madeleines

Ingredients:
150g self-rising flour
130g caster sugar
150g butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
icing sugar for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 220°C (fan).
Lightly grease and dust with flour a madeleine tray.
In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Then add flour, baking powder and gently whisk. Slowly add the melted butter and beat away until the mixture is smooth.
Put a generous spoonful of the mixture in each mould so that it is just about a level with the tops.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes but be aware that they can go from not cooked to burned in a very short time. They should be well risen and brown round the edges.

Cool on a wire rack. Re-grease and flour the tins and repeat until all the mixture has been used up.
Sprinkle icing sugar on a top and serve.

Bon appetit.

Babka

Babka

Babka (Easter Lemon Cake)

Ingredients:

250 g plain flour
150 g unsalted butter, melted
50 g margarine, melted
250 g caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 level tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
finely grated zest 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 orange

For the drizzle topping:
juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
6-8 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp brandy, optional

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).
Lightly butter and flour tin or tins; depending on a size. I used 2 rice rings approx. 19cm. But I expect you can use savarin cake moulds, rum baba moulds or kugelhopf tin.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, then add melted butter and margarine and very slowly mix through. Gently fold flour, baking powder and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff and glossy and gently add them into flour and egg mixture and using handheld electric whisk beat on slow speed.
Stir in gently vanilla essence, lemon and orange juice and spoon the mixture into the tin/tins.
Bake for 40-55 minutes; depending on a tin size. Make sure that it is golden brown and check with a skewer if it is baked through.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the lemon glaze, in a small jug mix together the lemon juice, brandy and icing sugar until smooth, runny paste consistency is achieved. Then pour over the cake and sprinkle with raisins, currants and candied orange peel.

Bon appetit.

Focaccia bread with spinach & romano peppers

Focaccia bread with spinach & romano peppers w

Well. I was told that it might be tricky and I might not succeed the first time so I had my hesitations ( it took me three days to find a strength and make it …three looooong days)  but actually it turned out beautifully. Had no problems whatsoever. Fare un tentativo and enjoy!

Focaccia bread with spinach & romano peppers

Ingredients:

500 g strong white bread flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2X7g sachets dried yeast
400 ml cold water
1 tsp dried oregano
2-3 handfulls spinach, rafly chopped
red romano peppers, cut into strips
extra olive oil for drizzling
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Put the flour into large mixing bowl. Add yeast, salt, olive oil, oregano and half of the water. Mix gently with a wooden spoon. Then with your hands, knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes, gradually adding the remaining water. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic for another 5 minutes and then place in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Then turn out the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface. Put few drops of olive oil also on your hands. Divide dough into two portions. Add spinach to one portion and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Then place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Flatten to around 5cm thick oval or whatever shape you prefer.
Repeat the same with second part of the dough. And again leave in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan).
Scatter and gently press in romano peppers, coarse sea salt and drizzle olive oil. Bake one of the doughs for 20-25 minutes in a middle of the oven. When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil. Then cook another one.

Best served warm. Bon appetit.

Bara Brith

Bara Brith

Bara Brith

Ingredients:

250 g self-raising flour
100 g raisins
100 g sultanas
200 g dark soft brown sugar or dark brown muscovado sugar
300 ml strong hot tea, strained
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp butter, for greasing
optional: butter for serving

Place sugar and fruit in a bowl and pour over the hot tea. Stir well and leave to stand for 3-4 hours or overnight if possible.
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C. Lightly grease the cake tin and line with greaseproof paper. Use 1 kg (2lb) loaf tin.
Stir the flour and egg into fruit mixture and stir well. Then turn into the tin and bake for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hour. Leave to cool in a tin for 10-15 minutes and then transfer on a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve with a butter.

Maple syrup and Pecan Muffins

Maple syrup and Pecan Muffins

Maple syrup and Pecan Muffins

Ingredients:

350 g plain flour
150 g caster sugar
70 g butter, melted
350 ml milk
100 – 120 ml maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
200 g pecan nuts, chopped and 12-14 halves to decorate
muffins cases and muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Place paper cases in muffin tin. I always double line with paper cases.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In separate bowl place milk, egg and vanilla essence and gently whisk with a handheld electric whisk. Then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat on slow speed. Add melted butter and beat until incorporated. Stir in all the chopped pecans and 3/4 maple syrup, reserving some for drizzling over the top of the muffins.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Place a pecan half in the centre of each muffin and drizzle remaining maple syrup over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool muffins on a wire rack.
Enjoy.

Pancakes with whipped cream and cherries

Pancakes with whipped cream and cherries

Pancakes with whipped cream and cherries.

Ingredients:
For the batter:
180 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
300 ml milk
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
salt, pinch
oil

For the cherry topping:
150-200 g cherries, pitted, juice reserved
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour

For the whipped cream:
150-200 ml double cream
2-3 tbsp caster sugar

In a small mixing bowl beat the egg with the milk.
Sieve the flour into a separate, large mixing bowl and add the baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the centre and gently pour egg and milk mixture and beat well until smooth (use a hand mixer). Beat in the melted butter. Then let the batter set for a 2-3 minutes. If too thick add 2-3 tbsp of milk.

Lightly grease a large frying pan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter into the pan to make pancakes about 9 cm across. Make two at a time. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake. Then turn over with a palette knife or wooden spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Place on a plate or serving dish and keep in a pre-heated oven while you make the remaining pancakes.

Topping:

To make the cherry topping: put the sugar in a saucepan with the cherry juice and bring to the boil. Dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir into the sauce. Simmer for a 2 minutes, remove from the heat and leave to cool for a while. If required add a bit of water.  Then add the cherries.

To make a whipped cream: in a large mixing bowl place double cream and sugar and whip till thick.

Place 1 tbsp of whipped cream on a warm, but not hot pancake, arrange cherries and spoon a bit of sauce over.

Bon appetit.

Pancakes with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries

Pancakes with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries

Happy Pancake Day All!

Pancakes with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.

Ingredients:
For the batter:
180 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
300 ml milk
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
salt, pinch
oil

For topping:
150-200 ml double cream
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
100 g blueberries
100 g strawberries, cut into wedges

In a small mixing bowl beat the egg with the milk.
Sieve the flour into a separate, large mixing bowl and add the baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the centre and gently pour egg and milk mixture and beat well until smooth (use a hand mixer). Beat in the melted butter. Then let the batter set for a 2-3 minutes. If too thick add 2-3 tbsp of milk.

Lightly grease a large frying pan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter into the pan to make pancakes about 9 cm across. Make two at a time. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake. Then turn over with a palette knife or wooden spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Place on a plate or serving dish and keep in a pre-heated oven while you make the remaining pancakes.

Topping:
In a large mixing bowl place double cream and sugar and whip till thick.

Place 1 tbsp of whipped cream on a warm, but not hot pancake, arrange fruit and voila all ready!
Bon appetit.