A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: frosting

Cherry and tonka bean layer cake

Cherry and tonka bean layer cake

The blossom is just starting to appear on my cherry tree and it reminded me that there was a little stash of last years fruit in my freezer. But what should I do with this treasure that I squirreled away? Make a delicious cake of […]

Squash & apricot loaf

Squash & apricot loaf

What better Autumn teatime treat could there be than a slice of sweetly spiced loaf cake baked with butternut squash and sweet dried apricots? This cake is deliciously moist (sorry, I don’t have another word for it!) and a little like a fruitier carrot cake. […]

Fairing lime creams

Fairing lime creams

Who would have thought that you could improve on a fairing? Well it turns out that you can! And all it takes is some creamy, tangy lime frosting. These will give some serious oomph to your morning tea break!

If you’re not familiar with them fairings are a deliciously spiced biscuit from my home county of Cornwall (we have all the best things down there!) They’re crisp on the outside, a little chewy in the middle and rich with brown sugar, golden syrup, cinnamon and ginger. The flavours go perfectly with the zesty lime in the rich creamy filling.

Ingredients
Makes approx 18
biscuits
175g plain flour
50g soft light brown sugar
50g white sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground all spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
filling
20g sugar
1/2 tbsp plain flour
20g cornflour
1 tbsp lime juice
50ml milk
50g butter
zest of half a lime

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
Sift the flour and spices with the raising agents. Add the sugars and use a whisk to combine it all. Use a small pan to gently melt together the butter, syrup and lemon juice. Don’t let it get too hot, you don’t want to burn the sugar. Carefully pour this into the dry ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon, resulting in a nice soft warm dough.
Pull off small chunks of dough and gently roll them into little nuggets, placing them onto a lined baking sheet. Remember you’ll need an even number as these are sandwich biscuits. Make sure that they are spaced apart a little to allow for spreading. Squish each one a little with a knife, don’t worry if the edges crack.
Bake for 10 minutes, by which time they should be golden brown and your kitchen should smell pretty glorious. Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool and firm up a little.

Whilst the biscuits bake and cool you can make the filling. Combine everything but the butter and lime zest in a small pan, making sure that there are no lumps. It’s a good idea to stir the milk in last to ensure that the lime juice doesn’t make it curdle. Gently heat the mixture whilst stirring until it turns into a very thick paste. Leave to cool completely.
Put the cooled paste it a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat it until it starts to become a little fluffy. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, with the mixer running, until you have a rich thick, creamy buttercream. Finally, mix in the lime zest. Use the buttercream to sandwich the fairing biscuits together. Store in and airtight container.

Blackberry & apple bundt cake

Blackberry & apple bundt cake

After producing a grand total of three apples last year the tree in my garden is positively groaning with fruit this year. I’m going to be making a lot of pies and crumbles! To start with though I thought that I would take advantage of […]

Summer berry sponge

Summer berry sponge

Happy summer solstice everyone! It’s the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, which means more hours of daylight (and hopefully sunshine) and as far as I’m concerned that’s cause for celebration. One year (a really, really long time […]

Rhubarb & custard cake

Rhubarb & custard cake

The upside of baking your own birthday cake is that you get to have exactly the cake you want. The downside of baking your own birthday cake is baking your own birthday cake!
I don’t actually mind to be honest, the kitchen is my happy place, so it’s no real chore to spend an hour or so in there creating a delicious treat to share with my friends.
I’ve adapted my recipe for fresh peach buttermilk cake for this. It makes such a lovely bouncy sponge and adding some tart (homegrown) rhubarb makes me love it even more than the original. The rich, creamy custard buttercream is quite literally the icing on the cake. So good!

Ingredients
serves 16
cake
175g rhubarb
50ml of vegetable/sunflower oil
150g sugar
2 eggs
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175ml buttermilk
frosting
70g sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
70g custard powder
200ml milk
200g room temperature butter, cubed

Grease and line a 9″ square cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 190°c.
Dice the rhubarb and toss it in 25g of the sugar. Roast the rhubarb in the oven as it pre-heats, until it is just tender.
Beat together the oil, sugar and salt until they are thick and pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour and raising agents. Add one third of this to the batter and briefly beat it in. Follow this with one third of the buttermilk and beat again. Repeat this until all of the flour and buttermilk have been incorporated and you have a thick, smooth batter. Drain off the juice and fold the rhubarb through the batter. (Don’t throw the juice away – it’s delicious added to a gin and tonic) Pour the batter into the prepared tin and use a spoon to spread it out and smooth off the top.

Bake the cake for around 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and then leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
You can start to make the frosting whilst the cake bakes. Combine everything but the butter in a pan, making sure that there are no lumps. Gently heat the mixture until it turns into a very thick paste. Leave to cool.
Once the custard mixture has cooled transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it until it starts to become a little fluffy. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, with the mixer running, until you have a rich thick, creamy buttercream. Either spread or pipe this onto the cooled cake, depending on how fancy you’re feeling!

The best darned frosting in the world!

The best darned frosting in the world!

I’m a bit funny about frosting, I find it can be a bit hit or miss. All too often it’s too sweet and sugary or it can be grainy rather than silky smooth, or worst of all it can become crusty with a hard sugar […]

Lemon and eldeflower cupcakes

Lemon and eldeflower cupcakes

I haven’t baked cupcakes in forever. I’m not sure if it’s because they went out of style a little bit or because I’m a pretty greedy person and I’d rather bake one big cake that can be cut into generous slices! These aren’t as sweet […]

Praline and cream cake

Praline and cream cake

praline cake

It wasn’t until I travelled to Charleston SC that I thought of praline being anything more than the chocolate seashells that Mr Colonial Cravings receives for Christmas every year. But in Charleston we tried some very tasty crunchy little clusters of caramelised pecans. I think the European ones are usually made from almonds or hazelnuts and ground very finely before they become those little chocolatey indulgences. The caramelised pecan version are what I associate with praline and cream ice cream, the inspiration for this cake!
I’ve shamelessly hijacked the decoration idea from the mojito cake that Jax shared with us all this summer (although hers was far neater than mine!)

praline and cream cake

Ingredients
praline
150g pecans
125g sugar
sponge
350g plain flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
50g cocoa powder
120g butter (softened)
300g sugar
pinch of salt
300ml milk
3 eggs
buttercream
225g butter
375g icing sugar
3 tbsp cream

chocolate praline cake

Start by making the praline so that it has plenty of time to cool and become crunchy. Cover a sheet pan with oiled foil or a silicone mat and set it aside. Put the sugar in a wide non-stick pan and gently heat it until it melts and caramelises. If you want to decorate the top of the cake with any whole pecans then set them aside now and roughly chop the rest. Carefully stir these into the caramel and immediately pour them out onto the prepared tray. Leave these to cool and harden whilst you bake the sponge.
Pre-heat the oven to 190°c and grease and line three 18cm (or similar) sandwich tins. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa in a large mixing bowl and then whisk in the sugar and salt. Beat the butter into the mix.
In a separate jug whisk together the eggs and milk. Beat the liquid into the dry ingredients in two batches and then divide the batter between the three prepared tins and level off the tops. Bake the sponges for 20 minutes, by which time they should have risen nicely. Let them cool in the tins for a couple of minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Soften the butter for the frosting by beating it a little. Add the icing sugar and cream and beat again until you have a thick fluffy frosting. Now to crack on with the cake construction!
If necessary trim the sponges to give them nice level tops and then sandwich them together with about a quarter of the buttercream between each layer. Use the remaining buttercream to coat the top and side of the cake. Make the top nice and smooth but don’t worry about the side too much as long as there’s enough frosting coating them for the praline to stick.
Put the caramelised pecans into a food processor and pulse them until they are quite finely chopped. Gently pat them into the sides of the cake, making sure that they stick in a nice even layer. Decorate the top of the cake with any pecans that you set aside earlier or just leave it plain.

praline cake

Very Berry Battenburg

Very Berry Battenburg

This is my fruity summer twist on a traditional battenburg, which is a very British cake. Much as I love marzipan I do think that this makes a lovely change. I’ve used fruit purees to create the different colours and flavours for the sponges. I […]