Tuesday, 24 April 2012

52 Recipe Challenge - Week 41.

This is going to be the last of my Easter baking inspired posts for this year as I realise it was ages ago now but I had bought all the ingredients so I thought I may as well make this recipe as well...  At the beginning of the month I had a link to a blog posted on my facebook wall, that blog was full of gorgeous looking baking which I wanted to try.  It was the Raspberri Cupcakes blog and the recipe I decided I'd give ago was the Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Easter Egg recipe.

Obviously as with all of these recipes you're probably best following the original recipe if you decide to make it yourself and you can go straight to it if you click here.

To make this recipe you will need:

A packet of hollow chocolate eggs (I had about 13 and used 8 as a few got damaged in transit.)
150g Cream Cheese
30g Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Lime Juice the original recipe says lemon juice but I only had lime..)
1/2 tsp Vanilla flavouring
The recipe says use125ml of Whipping cream but I just used a tub of double cream
1 Passion fruit,
1 tbsp Apricot Jam,
A knob of Butter

To start off with I got the chocolate eggs out from where I had stashed them, then unwrapped them and tried to put them in my fridge's egg holder but soon realised that my chocolate eggs were smaller than real eggs... at least it got me to clean it!

So instead I dug out my egg cups and a Tupperware box and set about trying to cut the tops off the eggs without completely destroying them. By doing this I ended up with lots of chocolate debris and 8 usable eggs.

Once the chosen eggs were cup up I put them in the fridge to chill and got out both the cream cheese and cream.  I poured the cream into my food processor and put the cream cheese and icing sugar into a big mixing bowl.  Then I took a wooden spoon then combined the cream cheese and icing sugar, then I rooted out the vanilla flavouring and lime juice and added them to the mix.

When they were mixed together I turned the food processor on and whisked the cream for a few minutes until it had stiffened.

Next I added the cream cheese mix and whipped the two up together in the food processor before spooning some of it into the eggs I prepared earlier.

After I put the cheesecake mix into the chocolate egg shells I put them back in the fridge for a bit whilst I tidied up and sorted out the fake yolk. To make the fake yolk I cut open a passion fruit scooped out it's insides and rubbed the pulp in my sieve to get the juice out and leave the seeds.

Then when I'd juiced the passion fruit I added some butter and apricot jam to the bowl then I cheated by microwaving the lot for 30 seconds, gave it a stir mixing it then microwaving it again for another 30 seconds and re-stirring.  When the yolk mixture was combined I scooped a bit of the cheese cake mix out of the eggs and dribbled the yolk mixture in. After the yolks were added I put the eggs back into the fridge to set.

I ate about three of these and shared the rest, whilst I prefer them to cadbury's creme eggs I don't think I perfected the yolk as it had a bit of a buttery after taste and due to my alterations to the recipe I ended up with an excess of cheesecake mix... Ooops!
So I experimented with cheesecake cupcakes as well, which were less successful.

 Can't win them all I suppose!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

52 Recipe Challenge - Week 40

This week I baked again, this time I made some mini egg cookies as I bought the mini eggs intending to bake with them over Easter and didn't find the time. 

I decided to make the mini egg cookies after being inspired by a blog post on Jo's blue AGA about Easter Cookies.

I made these as I had some time off work and decided I fancied baking and it seemed like the perfect opportunity! The only ingredient I didn't have that Jo used was the chocolate popping candy spread so I have left this out.

To make my take on these cookies you will need:

200g butter
300g  sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
360g plain flour
pinch of salt
2tsp baking powder
A big packet of mini eggs about 360g

I started off my lining my baking tray, turning on the oven and then consulting the recipe.  The recipe on Jo's 
blog said to use 300g of soft brown sugar but I only had about half that amount so I substituted half of it for 
caster sugar and then added the butter and tried the sugar and butter together.

I decided this was done around the time my arm started to ache and looked at the recipe again where it said 
to add the eggs a bit at a time and decided instead to just sift the flour, salt, baking powder, eggs and vanilla 
essence in all at once.  I stirred this mixture up with my wooden spoon until it combined to form a clay like 
At this point I spooned some of the mixture on to my lined baking tray then got the mini eggs from the 
cupboard  and popped some of them on top of the cookie mixture.

I had fun arranging them into patterns! I guess that's my latent artistic tendencies getting the better of me...
Then I put them in the oven at 170c for 7 minutes and took them out and whacked the tray on the hob, 
breaking one cookie in the process. Oops! Before returning them to the oven for another 8 minutes.
After 8 minutes I got the cookies out and put them on a wire rack to cool and then put another batch in the 
oven and repeated the process.For the last batch I decided to see what would happen if I didn't tap the tray
 half way through cooking and they didn't seem to be a great deal of difference. They spread out a bit but I 
probably put too much dough on the baking tray again as I needed to finish baking and leave the house... 

The cookies all worked out ok... some of them were less successful than others and sadly had to be put out 
of  their misery. Others got the opportunity to go to town and be shared. (Although, not before I nearly 
smashed them to crumbs dancing with them in my hand bag.) The boyfriend says they are up there with his
favourite chocolate chip cookies and will be requested again next Easter.

And I think they go great with a cuppa, all in all not a bad afternoon's work!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

More things I've been doing when I haven't been blogging...

Recently I realised that my blogging has become a little haphazard and obviously there's no one to blame but myself for this...

I did tell myself it was because I was tired adjusting to early starts at work or from going to the gym after work but it's probably from going to gig's like the Summer Camp gig at the Harley the other week.

  Or maybe because I was making dark chocolate and cherry fudge?

The rays of sunshine the other week were quite distracting too...

As was the eater bake off at work and the snow...
Maybe I'm a bit easily distracted? What's that? Sure I just saw something shiny then...

All that's really left to say is thanks for sticking with me and Happy Easter!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

52 Recipe Challenge – Week 39.

Easter Baking!

This week I decided to take part in my work’s Easter bake off.  The Easter bake off, inspired by the Great British Bake Off was announced by email last week and so I got thinking about what to bake.  Initially when I think of baking around Easter I think of chocolate crispy cake nests with mini eggs in them and I thought that’s a bit too simple to make for a bake off. So I looked on the internet and the blogs I follow were full of baked Easter treats!  There were mini egg cookies, mini simnel cakes , crème egg cupcakes and hot cross buns.... I wanted to make them all!

In the end I bought the ingredients for them all but once I had finally escaped the big ASDA and got my kitchen in a fit state to bake in I didn’t have a lot of time to bake so I tried to make two recipes.
The ones recipes I tried this week were the Creme Egg Surprise recipe from the Domestic Sluttery blog and Hot Cross Buns from Yasmin Limbert’s blog.  I didn’t take many pictures in the end as I got into a bit of a flap... so I’ll just tell you about the hot cross buns as I managed to get a few pictures of them!

The original recipe can be found here or by using the links above, I would advise you follow that rather than my misadventure!

To make the buns you will need:
500g Bread Flour                                              
15g Yeast                                                          
60g Butter                                                        
40g Sugar                                                          
10g Salt                                                              
1tsp Cinnamon                                                     
1/2tsp Nutmeg                                                    
1/2tsp Cardamom                                                
100g Raisins                   
250ml Warm Milk
2 Eggs

For the crosses you will need:
2 tbsp Plain Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
For the glaze you will need:
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Water

To start off with I measured my flour, raisins, salt, sugar and spices and put them into my food processor with the dough hook attachment in place. 

 After that, I cracked my eggs into mix, warmed some milk and put that in too before turning on the food processor to knead the dough together.  Once I thought the mixture was combined into a dough I tipped it into a floured mixing bowl and beat it until I decided that I had finished kneading it and put the bowl in a warm place and covered it with a plastic bag whilst I worked on my crème egg cupcakes.

When an hour had passed, I looked at the dough and decided that it looked like it had risen and tried to form it into 12 buns before placing them on to a lined baking tray, placing them in a warm place again and covering them for another hour.  

The next time I checked on the buns I was puzzled, they hadn’t risen or changed at all... how could this be? Then it slowly dawned on me, I had forgotten to add the yeast! Of all the ingredients to forget!

So I got the buns put them back into the mixing bowl and kneaded them together then added the yeast whilst kneading and then covered the bowl and left it over night. The morning after, I got up and kneaded the dough again before forming it into buns, covering them and leaving them on the top of the oven to rise, as I got ready for work.

About half an hour later, after I had a shower I uncovered the buns and this time they had risen!  Once this was established I looked for my piping equipment to pipe crosses onto the hot cross buns but it was to no avail.  I hunted around my kitchen but I couldn’t find the attachment which connected the nozzle to my piping equipment.  In the end time got the better of me so I called off the search and got on with the baking.  I cracked an egg into a cup, quickly beat it then brushed it over the buns.

Next I mixed up some plain flour, sugar and a tiny bit of water to make the crosses and then used the spoon I mixed it with to apply the crosses to the buns.  It didn’t look massively professional... in fact the crosses reminded me of the use your vote advertising! Still there’s a lot to be said for rustic baking I decided as I finished applying crosses to my buns and put them in the oven at 220c.

I put three buns in a little tray first they took about 10 minutes to cook so I turned temperature down a little for my seconds larger batch to ensure I didn’t burn them they took about 15 minutes to cook.
After taking the buns out to the oven, I put some sugar in a cup and stirred in a dash of boiling water to make a glaze then brushed this over the top of all the buns. 

  Once this was done I made a quick cuppa and drank about half whilst getting ready for work, popping to the shop for icing sugar... finishing icing the cupcakes and fishing the cake/ roses tins from the top of my cupboards.

Somehow I managed to choose some to take to work, get the bus and enter both the hot cross buns and the crème egg cupcakes into the bake off.  Unsurprisingly neither entry won but they were against stiff competition such as bunny cakes, gluten free brownies and zombie cupcakes. They still managed to raise a bit for charity though, which was the main reason for the competition.

I adapted Yasmin’s original recipe slightly because she used orange extract and cinnamon cranberries; so I substituted raisins for cranberries.  As I didn’t have orange extract I left that out too.

I think I’ll make this again as I enjoy the taste of these but I’m not sure my boyfriend enjoys them as much but that just means there’s more for me!