Sunday, 31 August 2014

Strawberry, raspberry and redcurrant tart

I can't believe I totally forgot to add this to the blog! This got lots of positive comments when eating it. It looked pretty too. I made this mainly on my own but the little ones did help with the pastry and jelly mixing, and adding the redcurrants. I will say be patient to get the jelly right before pouring it - otherwise it leaks into the pastry. This used mixed fruit from the garden


Shortcrust Pastry

225g (8oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) butter, diced
50g (2oz) lard, diced
3-4 tablespoons chilled water
Pinch of salt (optional)


2 tablespoons Custard powder (I used Birds)
50ml whole milk


70g strawberry jelly (unmade up, I used half a pack of Hartley)
120ml cold water
120ml boiling water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
300g strawberries (hulled and halved)
100g raspberries
50g redcurrants



  • Add salt to flour
  • Rub in the fat using your fingers, until the mix looks like breadcrumbs 
  • Sprinkle the water over the surface 
  • Stir in using a round-bladed knife until it sticks in large lumps
  • With one hand collect the mix to format a ball
  • Knead lightly for a few seconds, don't over handle
  • Roll out, flour work surface and rolling pin. Roll in one direction, turning the pastry occasionally. It should be about 3mm thick. 
  • Place in the tin, trim and then let it rest in the fridge (covered by foil/ greaseproof paper) for 30mins.
  • Preheat oven to 200C
  • Place a circle of greaseproof paper in centre and weigh down with dried lentils/beans/ceramic pastry balls
  • Cook for 10min 
  • Take out greaseproof paper and weights. Press down any raised areas of pastry and return to the oven for a further 5-10mins, until lightly browned.
  • Leave to cool.


  • Make up the strawberry jelly by adding it to the boiling water and the caster sugar. Stir until dissolved
  • Add the cold water
  • Allow to cool until almost set, might want to keep stirring to ensure lumps don't occur. 
  • I put mine to set in the fridge, but might be best to just set outside while doing the Custard (I did mine after the custard which was the wrong order for me!) Then put in fridge.


  • Heat the custard powder and milk in a pan on a medium heat, whisk out any lumps.
  • Slowly add the cream, sugar and vanilla.
  • Keep stirring until it thickens
  • Remove the custard from the heat and allow to cool

Finishing the Topping

  • When the pastry and custard have cooled, pour the custard in to the pastry case and put in the fridge, for approx 20min. 
  • Lay the strawberry halves and raspberries onto the custard, fill the gaps with the redcurrants.
  • Pour the nearly set jelly over the strawberry halves/ redcurrants 
  • Top with more fruit 
  • Put in fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Chocolate Cake with raspberry layer

Well it has been a while! I have been baking but not recording it, sorry. Life has been busy but getting some down time thanks to the oldest off with chicken pox, so balancing working at home with making sure he is entertained. Yesterday this was done by doing some baking. We modified two recipes into one, the first was which we saw being made on Cbeebies the day before, the second was a bigger version, for a full family cake. This made one loaf tin and three cup cakes as little guy can never wait for big cakes to be finished!! Each worked well, but the cupcakes did get wet thanks to the raspberries in the bottom.


(I didn't go diary free, just egg free)
  • 160ml Milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla Essence
  • 85g Butter
  • 2 tbsp. Golden Syrup
  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 35g Cocoa Powder
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • Handful of raspberries
If you don't go down the raspberry route, and want a plain chocolate cake in a round 9 inch tin...
  • 1 small tub of cherry yoghurt (I used a soya yoghurt which was lush)
  • 1 large beetroot (the cooked, vacuum packed version)
Add both these to the milk and liquidise (then add the bicarb of soda). Mix in as much liquid as you need.


  • Grease the tin with some butter, I would recommend that you use some greaseproof paper in the bottom too (I didn't and the cake/raspberries did stick a little to the bottom, so I had to scrap it out and spread it back over the base of the cake)
  • Pre heat oven to 190C/ 170C (fan assisted)
  • Mix together the milk and the bicarbonate of soda in a cup
  • Mix together the flour and cocoa powder in a "dry bowl"
  • Cream together the  butter, sugar, syrup and vanilla essence "wet bowl" (big bowl)
  • Slowly add some of the milk mixture and dry bowl mixture into the wet bowl, continuously mixing. (Little chap helped add these, I would then stir, he would add more etc)
  • Once you have a smooth, but slightly stiff mixture you are ready to put in the tin
  • Take a handful of raspberries and layer them at the bottom of the tin, then add mixture on top. Smooth the mixture out as otherwise the cake will be "lumpy" on top as it rises. 


  • I would  be tempted to try the raspberries on the top of the cake next time, or even all through the mixture. The raspberries helped with the moisture of the cake.
  • This was very nice with ice cream and extra raspberries.
  • The cupcakes took around 15 mins
  • The cake took around 45 mins
  • The raspberry free round (9inch) cake took around 40 mins. Just keep checking it!