Carly's Blog

I really enjoy spending my free time baking so I thought I'd set up a blog dedicated to just that :)

Monday, 27 December 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

For the base:
50g soft dark brown sugar
200g icing sugar
50g butter, softened
200g smooth peanut butter

For the topping:
200g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
gold buttons/dragees/stars to decorate

Place all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture takes on a sandy texture.  Mixing with a wooden spoon works just as well you just need to get your hands in there to make sure the butter isn't in big clumps.

Spoon about a teaspoonful of the mixture into the bottom of 48 gold petit four cases and press the mixture down as best you can in the bottom of each case.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, whilst stirring.  Once melted spoon teaspoonfuls of chocolate on top of each of the bases.

Decorate the tops with the gold decorations, then place in the fridge to set (minimum of 30 minutes.)

Mince Pies

140g cold butter, diced
225g plain flour
50g ground almonds
50g golden caster sugar
1 orange, zest only
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 - 2 tsp cold water
280g good quality mincemeat
1 egg, beaten
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 220'c/Gas Mark 6.

Rub the butter into the flour and add the almonds, caster sugar, orange rind and salt until the mixture is a bit crumbly.  Add an egg yolk and 1 - 2 tsp of water until it forms a soft dough, then put it into a plastic bag and chill in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2 - 3mm and cut out about 18 rounds (7.5cm) with a pastry cutter.

Place into a lightly greased 12 hole cake tin and spoon in the mincemeat evenly.  Re roll the left over pastry and cut out lids, these can either be round or a shape that fits on top.

Lightly brush the pastry tops with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the tins and place on a wire rack.  Once completely cooled dust with icing sugar.


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Baby Shower Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

280g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sunflower oil
4 tbsp melted butter or margarine
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I managed to get Daim bar chips so I used those)

Preheat the oven to 175'c and line a 12 hole muffin tin with liners. S
ift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients then add the eggs, milk, oil, melted butter, syrup and lemon juice and mix with a fork. Fold in the vanilla extract and the chocolate chips.

Spoon evenly into the muffin liners (I usually get about 18 muffins out of this mix) and bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes.

I also made Vanilla Cupcakes

140g butter, softened or soft margarine
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
200g self raising flour

Preheat the oven to 190'c/Gas Mark 5 and line a 12 hole muffin tin (again this mix usually makes about 18.)

Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the eggs then sift in the flour and fold into the mixture. Spoon into the liners.

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then pipe with buttercream.

Baby Blue Buttercream

225g butter, softened
1 tbsp cream or milk
250g icing sugar
blue food colouring

Place the butter and cream in a bowl and beat together, then gradually sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth, then add a few drops of food colouring at a time until you reach the desired colour.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Coconut Cookies

100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
1 large egg
100g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100g dessicated coconut
glace cherries, for decoration (cut in half)

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking sheet.

Using an electric whisk cream the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix well, then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, then add the coconut and mix well.

Using your hands roll the dough into walnut size pieces and place on a baking tray then slightly flatten gently using the back of your hand.  Place half a cherry on top of each biscuit and transfer to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


125g butter, softened
110g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4.  Using an electric whisk cream the butter until soft, add 110g caster sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.

Sift in the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt then gently mix together to form a dough.

Mix together the tbsp of caster sugar and cinnamon in a seperate bowl.  Using your hands roll the dough into walnut sized balls (it should make about 25) then roll in the cinnamon mix and place on a lined baking tray (you will need to do 2 batches.)  Space them out by about 3cm and flatten them down with the palm of your hand.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they feel firm around the edges.  Allow to stand for 2 minutes on the baking tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Carrot Cake Muffins

175g brown muscovado sugar
100g wholemeal self raising flour
100g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
zest 1 orange
2 eggs
150ml sunflower oil
200g carrots, grated
orange sprinkles, to decorate

For the icing: 
100g butter, softened
300g soft cheese
100g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre heat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.  In a large mixing bowl mix together the sugar, flours, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and orange zest.  Whisk together the eggs and oil then stir into the dry ingredients, with the grated cafrrot.  Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 20 - 22 minutes until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing beat the butter until really soft then beat in the soft cheese, icing sugar and vanilla.  Using a palette knife or cutlery knife swirl the icing on top of the cakes then sprinkle with decorations.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

For the topping:
50g softened butter
50g light soft brown sugar
7 pineapple rings in syrup, drained (reserve syrup)
7 glace cherries

For the cake: 
100g softened butter
100g golden caster sugar
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4.  For the topping beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, spread over the base and a quarter of the way up the sides of a 20cm round cake tin.  Arrange pineapple rings in the bottom of the cake tin and place a glace cherry in the middle of each one.

Place all the cake ingredients in a bowl along with 2 tbsp of the pineapple syrup and using an electric whisk beat to a soft consistency.  Spoon into the tin on top of the pineapple and smooth it out so it's level.  Bake for 35 minutes, leave to stand for 5 minutes then turn out onto a plate.


Thursday, 30 September 2010

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

For the brownies:
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
3 eggs
110g plain flour

For the cheesecake:
400g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

For the cream topping:
300ml whipping cream
100g icing sugar
150g raspberries, plus extra to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170'c/Gas Mark 3.

For the brownie melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.  Cream the butter and sugar using an electric whisk and one at a time add the eggs mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl after each addition.  Gradually beat in the flour and mix until smooth.  Pour the mixture into a 33cm x 32cm x 5cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and smooth over.

For the cheesecake mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and beat until smooth and thick.  Add one egg at a time scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl after each addition be careful not to overmix.  Spoon on top of the brownie mixture and smooth over, bake in the preheated oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light and golden around the edges.

Leave to cool completely then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight if possible.

For the cream topping beat the cream, sugar and raspberries until firm but not stiff.  Turn the brownie out onto a board and turn the cheesecake side up.  Spread the topping over evenly and decorate with fresh raspberries.
Raspberry and Almond Traybake

250g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
200g butter, diced
280g golden granulated sugar
50g dessicated coconut
2 medium eggs
350 - 450g fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4, and butter and line an oblong cake tin.  Tip the flour, ground almonds, butter and sugar into a food processor and mix until the butter is evenly distributed - or rub together by hand.  Remove 85g of the mix and stir in the coconut, then set aside.  Add the eggs to the remaining mixture in the food processor and mix quickly (or mix with a wooden spoon) it doesn't need to be very smooth.

Spread this mixture over the base of the tin then scatter half the raspberries over the top.  Sprinkle the coconut mixture over the top and bake for 45 minutes.  Dot the remaining raspberries over the surface and cook for a further 15 minutes until firm to the touch.  Cool in the tin and cut into slices.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Anzac Biscuits

85g porridge oats
85g dessicated coconut
100g plain flour
100g caster sugar
100g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Put the oats, coconut, flour and sugar in a bowl and mix.  Melt the butter in a small pan then stir in the golden syrup.  Add 2 tbsp boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda then stir into the golden syrup and butter mixture.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter mixture.  Stir gently to incorporate the dry ingredients.

Put tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheet with room for expanding.  Bake in batches for 8 - 10 minutes until golden then transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

White Chocolate Love Heart Cupcakes with
White Chocolate Frosting

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4oz white chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 160'c and line muffin tins with 18 cupcake liners.  In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.  In a small microwavable bowl melt the white chocolate be heating in 30 second intervals in the microwave and stirring inbetween.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the chocolate and vanilla extract.  Then alternatively add some milk then some flour and mix until just incorporated and no flour remains.  Pour into muffin cases and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp milk or cream
2 - 3 cups icing sugar
18 love heart sweets

Cream together the cream cheese and butter and melted white chocolate, then beat in the vanilla and milk.  Gradually add the icing sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.  Spread onto cupcakes and top each one with a love heart sweet.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Love Buns

For the buns:
125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract/essence
2 - 3 tbsp milk

For the topping:
2 egg whites
4 tbsp golden syrup
100g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence

Take everything you need out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature and preheat the oven to 200'c/Gas Mark 6.

Put all the ingredients for the buns (except for the milk) into a food processor and blitz until smoth.  Pulse whilst adding the milk down the funnel to make a smooth consistency.

Divide the mixture into a 12 hole muffin tin lined with muffin papers and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, they should have risen and be golden on top.

Let them cool down in the tin on a wire rack and then carefully take them out of the tin to cool.

To make the topping put all the ingredients (apart from the vanilla and sprinkles) in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, whisk everything with an electric beater until the icing becomes thick and holds peaks like a meringue (this should take 5 minutes or so.)

Take the bowl off the pan and onto a cool surface and keep whisking while you add the vanilla, then keep whisking until it cools a little.  Spoon some over each bun and then dollop another spoonful whilst swirling, straight away shake over your sprinkles as the icing sets quickly.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

For the cake:
150ml milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract/essence
3 eggs
200g caster sugar
175g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the filling:
125ml double or whipping cream
125g raspberries 

For the ganache icing:
150ml double cream
150g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 tbsp golden syrup
125g raspberries

Preheat the oven to 170'c/Gas Mark 3 and grease and line two shallowish 23cm tins .

Pour the milk into a small pan with the butter and heat until warm and the butter has melted, when hot add the vanilla.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, light and frothy.  Meanwhile combine the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda.  Go back to the eggs and sugar and continue to beat and pour in the hot buttery vanilla milk and when incorporated slowly fold in the flour mixture.  

Divide this mixture between the two tins and bake for about 20 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack and let cool in their tins for about 10 minutes before turning out of the tins.  Leave the cakes until cool before icing.

To make the filling whip the cream until thick but not stiff add the raspberries and crush with a fork through not too finely.  The cream should turn pink in a rose-white mottled pattern.  Sandwich the hearts with the raspberry cream.

To ice put the cream, chocolate and golden syrup into a pan over low to medium heat and when the chocolate seems to have all melted into the cream take off the heat and whisk by hand until you have a smooth, glossy texture.  Pour over the cake then spread over the top and the sides of the cake.

Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining raspberries (hole side down.)

If you have a boyfriend that's a bit of a video games geek you can get away with 'tasting' a piece and making a 'Pacman' cake :)
White Chocolate and Honeycomb Cheesecake

85ml melted butter, plus extra for greasing
200g ginger biscuits, whizzed to fine crumbs in a food processor
1 tbsp golden caster sugar

For the filling:
900g full fat soft cheese 
250g golden caster sugar 
3 tbsp plain flour 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
3 large eggs 
1 egg yolk 
284ml soured cream 
300g white chocolate, melted 
3 crunchie bars, trimmed of their chocolate and choped into pieces

Preheat the oven to 170'c/Gas Mark 3, line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper.  For the biscuit base stir the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs and sugar until evenly mixed.  Press the mixture into the base of the tin and bake for 10 minutes.  Leave to cool while you prepare the filling.

Increase the oven temperature to 200'c/Gas Mark 6.  Using a food processor/electric whisk beat the cream cheese until creamy, then gradually add the sugar, flour and vanilla extract.

Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time.  Add the soured cream and melted white chocolate and whisk to blend but don't over beat.  The batter should be smooth, light and a little airy.  Then stir in the chopped crunchie bars.

Brush the insides of the tin with melted butter and place it on a baking sheet, pour in the filling and bake for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 110'c/Gas Mark 1/4 and bake for a further 25 minutes, or until the filling wobbles slightly when you shake the tin.  When it has reached this point turn off the oven and either open the door for a cheesecake thats creamy in the centre or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture.  Either way leave to cool in the oven for 2 hours, it may crack slightly as it cools.

Cover loosly with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Pecan Pie 

275g plain flour
75g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, cold
2 large egg yolks

275g dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids, broken into pieces)
200g shelled pecans, chopped
3 large eggs, beaten
225g light soft brown sugar
250ml evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract/essence
50g unsalted butter, melted

To make the pastry, sift together the flour and icing sugar and cut the butter into cubes.  Then place into a food processor and mix together adding the egg yolks at the end to form a dough.

Carefully roll out the pastry, you will need quite a lot of flour on your worktop/board and rolling pin as it sticks easily.  The pastry needs to be very thin.  Lift it carefully into a tart tin and press into the base and sides, then trim away the excess, leaving a little extra as it will shrink slightly.  Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4, bake the pastry case blind using parchment/greaseproof paper and baking beans for 15 minutes.

Remove the beans and paper and return the pastry to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until it has developed a very light colour.  Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the filling.  Reduce the oven temperature to 160'c/Gas Mark 3.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of barely simmering water.  Mix together all the remaining ingredients for the filling then stir in the melted chocolate.  Spoon into the pastry case and return to the oven for about 1 hour.  Watch the pastry carefully and if necessary cover with foil to prevent it burning.

Chocolate Brownie Cake

100g butter
175g caster sugar
75g brown or muscovado sugar
125g chocolate (plain or milk)
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Pre heat oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.

Place the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar, chocolate and golden syrup in the pan and melt gently on a low heat until it's smooth and lump free, then remove the pan from the heat.

Break the eggs into the bowl and whisk with a fork until light and frothy.  Add the eggs, vanilla extract/essence, flour, baking powder and cocoa powder to the chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.

Put the mixture into the greased cake tin and place on the middle shelf of the oven, bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool for 20 - 30 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Serve with cream/ice cream and plenty of fruit.

It was extremely fudgy and very gooey!
Blueberry Lemon cakes with Cheesecake Topping

100g butter, softened (plus extra for greasing)
100g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
zest and juice of 1 lemon
140g self-raising flour
50g blueberries (I used pretty much a whole punnet)

For the topping:
250ml soured cream
25g icing sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Lightly grease a 12 hole deep muffin tin (or two 6 hole muffin tins.)  Cut out 12 strips of baking parchment each about 1.5cm wide and cut each strip in half, then lay inside each muffin hole to make a cross.  Trim the ends so they rise about 1cm above the hole (you need these as handles to remove the cakes.)

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4 and beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.  Beat in the eggs a little at a time, then add the lemon zest and half the juice.  Mix together well, then stir in half the flour.  Stir in the remaining lemon juice, then the remaining flour.

Spoon the cake mixture into the tins (about 1tbsp per case) then smooth over with the back of the spoon, sprinkle a few blueberrie over each cake then bake for 10 minutes.

To make the topping whisk together the soured cream, icing sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth.  Take the cakes out of the oven (they should be pale and just firm.)  Gently press down to make a flat top then spoon some cheesecake topping over each cake (the holes should fill almost to the top.)  Scatter over more blueberries, return to the oven and bake for 5 - 7 minutes until the topping is just set and only gives a slight wobble when tapped.

Leave to cool in the tin then gently ease away from the sides and lift out using the paper handles (wait til they have completely cooled and set.)

So easy to make, absolutely adorable and very tasty!!
Upside Down Berry Cake

200g butter
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
200g frozen mixed berries, defrosted
2 tbsp golden syrup

Heat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4 and line a deep 20cm cake tin with paper.  Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs and then fold in the flour and almonds, then fold in enough water to make the mixture spoonable.  Drain any excess juice off the berries and tip them into the base of the tin (I also tried one of each type berry and took the sour ones out) then tip them into the base of the tin and add the golden syrup, then spoon the cake mixture on top.

Bake for 1 hour or until the cake is cooked through and a skewer comes out clean.  Cool the cake in the tin, turn out and remove the paper.