Thursday, 22 August 2013

That time of the year - The Third Birthday Minion Cake

13:Well it's that time of the year and it has come around very quickly this year - the dreaded Birthday. Last year I cheated on the cake and managed to buy an egg free cake suitable for turning into a lorry for my chaps birthday. This year I'm going to attempt to make it from scratch - wish me luck! I'm planning a Despicable Me minion cake - I will update this post as I go along.

The Plan

The recipe:

The Design

Rather than putting this in a round cake as the recipe suggests I will be trying this in a rectangle cake tin to make the minion (mine is going to lye down rather than sit up, as per this: I want to make two cakes, sticking them together with some butter icing and jam to give it some decent dimensions. I will use marzipan and icing for the decoration.

As I'm a waste not want not kinda girl I'm planning to mix the left over crumb cakes to turn into some mini minions. (A combination of these How to make fondant minions and Crumbled Cake Mini Minions).

The Reality..

11:45am - Oven warming up, I had planned to double this recipe to cook twice in a rectangular cake tin, however double the recipe only filled the tin once, so my minion will now be a bit thinner than I thought. 
12:45pm - after discussions with mum and other half decided to make a second cake after all...without  the sweetened condensed milk I have tried a hybrid recipe using my flaxseed. 
175g self raising flour, sugar and margarine (again running out of butter!), 3 tbl flaxseed & 9 tbl water, 2 tbl orange juice, 1 tsp of baking powder. This is in the oven. Fingers crossed!
1:05pm - umm flatter than the first cake, as other half would say, more biscuit! Plus took out of tin too soon so broken all down in one corner
1:30pm cool enough to build....

  • Stuck the two cakes together using jam and butter, rebuilding the brocken corner at same time with the butter icing.
  • A thin layer of marzipan added to the cake, suck on with more jam. I think I've used nearly a third of a jar! Then covered the whole cake with some yellow icing I've mixed up. 
  • Hair done with liquorice cut in half, stuck with water
  • Eye was done by cutting out white icing with a cup, using the outside of the cup to make the googles with grey icing, once the grey icing was dry I coloured over it with a silver writing icing. The brown eye was created by melting chocolate and the black dot just left over icing.
  • Hands, roll a tube of black icing and cut with a knife twice to make the three fingers, then stretch out the top to fit over the ends of the arms.
16:00pm Done! Very tired now. Shan't be making the mini minions, haven't had lunch or anything so left over cake & a cuppa now!

Note - buy ready made black icing! I swear it feels half the time has been spent trying to get the icing black! 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Chocolate Oaties

This week we did two lots of baking, on Monday we did the apricot & coconut cake as an actual cake rather than cake pops, which didn't last two days thanks to visitors on Tuesday morning (I've updated the blog post with a photo of the proper cake)! Therefore on Tuesday afternoon when my little one asked about baking we decided to make some cookies. I did think about trying my egg free cheesecake recipe, but I would like to try that unwatched/ unhelped first! As we had some left over oats from a past recipe so I decided to use them for our baking. My little one loved the melted chocolate stage, and everyone was a big fan of the final product.

  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 125g rolled oats
  • 50g raisins (optional)
  • 1 tbl spoon golden syrup
  • 100g chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Preheat oven to 165C (fan assisted)
  • Measure butter and syrup into a saucepan & stick on a low heat
  • Add self raising flour, oats, raisins, bicarbonate of soda & sugar into a big bowl and give to little one to mix while you continue to melt the butter and syrup together.
  • Once the wet ingredients are melted and mixed, add to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon.
  • Get out two baking trays (I used non stick)
  • Roll into balls slightly smaller than golf balls (my mix made 14 cookies)
  • Put on tray & lightly press down
  • Cook for 15 mins, until golden brown
  • Leave in tray for 3 mins to 'set'
  • Put on cooling tray to cool.
Chocolate Topping
  • Melt the chocolate on a low heat (I've got induction, a 1 or 2 works best, I also used the saucepan from melting the butter & syrup together as butter gives chocolate a nice sheen, this did not work too much but did save on washing up!)
  • Once melted I let my toddler lick the spoon while I painted the biscuits
  • Using a pastry brush paint half the cookies with chocolate. 
  • Put back on the cooling tray. 

The final produce waiting to set

Update 01/07/2016: I've just done this again, added 40g chopped cashew nuts, 40g chopped dry dates and a mashed banana. This meant adding more flour and oats. Did this ad hoc during the mixing stage. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Apricot and Coconut Cake in Cake Pop Maker

Last week I took the kids to see the grand parents rather than do the usual cooking thing, this was due to them being 'missing' for the last 6 weeks visiting my brother in Australia. This week our cooking experience has occurred on Thursday as I had to work on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

I have tried to be daring again this week, by not even starting with an egg free recipe, rather a lovely cake recipe off the BBC website ( Very brave after trying my own, adapted, egg free Blueberry (or strawberry) crumb cake in the pop cake maker (tasted ok but were a bit flat)! On starting this recipe I was hoping that the apricot would act as a structure to hold up the pop cakes (as the strawberries did when I modified the Blueberry crumb cake to be strawberry crumb cake!). This turned out to be the case, the cakes were very airy but kept their shape. However this trial was more error to start with! My little boy enjoyed the final product but the in the first batch some cakes tasted kind of fizzy (see the second point under notes for more info).

  • 200g fresh apricots chopped small (this worked as 4 stoned apricots, which I then sliced one way & the other)
  • 275g self raising flour
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 125g softened butter
  • 100g soft margarine
  • 1 & a half bananas (mashed) (substitute for 2 of the 4 eggs required for recipe)
  • I used milk, but guessed-emated based on recovering mix (see second point in notes) - I would say get half a cup and slowly add until the consistency seems right (a whole cup is too much - see my notes from 19th August!)
  • Measure all dry ingredients into large bowl (dry)
  • Mix the margarine and butter, then add the puree (wet)
  • Add the dry & wet ingredients together
  • Beat well for 2 min
  • Add to pop cake maker (or look in notes for how to cook in oven)
  • Leave to cool on wire rack
  • I have modified this recipe in two main ways, first is obvious - I removed the four eggs, the second is I added butter with the margarine as most agree that butter gives a better taste to baking than margarine does. 
  • The first time I tried this I substituted 2 of the 4 eggs with a baking powder & vinegar mix that I added last. It made some of the cakes taste almost fizzy (not sure if it was because I mixed them together first & the mix was then absorbed by the apricots, or due to too much baking powder & soda in the mix). To 'repair' the mix for second cooking I picked out all the fresh apricots, added in dry, as I had run out of fresh, added more flour, coconut & some milk. They turned out MUCH nicer! 
  • If using the oven preheat to 160C/ 325F (Gas mark 3), pour mix into a 2 litre loaf tin that has been well greased. Bake for 1 & 1/2 hours or until skewer comes out of cake clean. 
  • Leave to cool in tin for 10min and turn out 
Below is our third attempt, I added too much milk so added more flour to balance it out. Ended up making a batch of pop cakes on the first day, refrigerating the mix for a couple of days & then cooking in the oven. This took about 1hour 15 mins at 165 C. This was very yummy, more moist than the cake pops, but also more banana tasty. Think if doing it this way need to wizz the banana rather than just mash it. Might try some proper fruit purée next time....
The cake straight out of the oven, it was very yummy!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Chocolate & Marshmallow Cornflake Cakes

Well, this baking weekly effort has been hard to maintain. Mainly as we have to keep eating it & I'm still trying to lose some of that illusive baby weight. So will admit to finding other things to do with our days!

I have been trying some proper home made dinners, they don't really need to go in this blog as they never had egg in the original recipes. Mind you I still might add them as notes on what I did, what worked and what has failed. At the moment the notes are in magazines!

I know this recipe doesn't have egg in it anyway, and I know that there are loads of these recipes out there.. Still, added this one as it is our first step back to baking for a while, and although it is a non egg recipe anyway I wanted something that slowly introduced us back into cooking this week, with a non baking option. Straight to fridge!

Plus this is a tweaked recipe, I've cut out a little of the syrup as seemed too much & added the marshmallows. As far as I can work out from forums etc the syrup is for added sweetness & leaves the cakes slightly sticky, you could miss it out if you want the final cakes to be more 'solid chocolate'.

  • 80g Cornflakes
  • 50g butter
  • 50g mini marshmallows
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 2 1/2 tbl spoons Golden Syrup

  • Melt together the butter, chocolate & syrup (with induction just put ingredients straight into a saucepan and heat on 2 or 3 for around 5 mins)
  • Put cornflakes & mini marshmallows in a very large bowl if you've got a little one doing the stirring! I let my little one do a bit of mixing here before adding the chocolate mix
  • Add the melted chocolate mix to the dry ingredients
  • Stir until everything is covered in the chocolate
  • Spoon into approx 12 cupcake cases.
  • Put in fridge & let to 'set' (approx 2 hours)