Ginger Beer Cake

This week saw national ‘kiss a ginger day’! As a ginger myself I do love to cook and bake with ginger. Recently I’ve been experimenting with using fizzy drinks in my bakes and the outcomes have been delicious. So I thought this recipe is just perfect to share with you this week.

So let’s get started…

The ingredients you will need are:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150ml ginger beer
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 5 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dark brown sugar to sprinkle on top

This is how we do it….

  1. Preheat oven to 150C / 300F / gas mark 2.
  2. In a large bowl, put the sugar, oil, golden syrup and eggs in together and beat until well mixed and the lumps of sugar are dissolved.
  3. In a separate bowl, place all the dry ingredients together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients gradually, making sure each time you mix well to remove any lumps.
  5. Add the ginger beer gradually, until well mixed in.
  6. Then pour into a greased and line 2lb loaf tin.
  7. Bake for approximately 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. Once the cake is firm to the touch, remove from oven.
  8. Sprinkle immediately with a little dark drown sugar to decorate, then allow to cool for 10 minutes, before placing on the cooling rack.
  9. Served best with your favourite cuppa.

The Best of 2020

We are part way into 2021 now and I feel it time to reflect on last year’s cake creations. I asked myself this question… “What are my top 5 favourite cakes of 2020?” And these are my chosen 5

I didn’t just select these cakes purely because they look the best (but it didn’t have a small part to play..) But also for the enjoyment they brought to me in making them and to the people who received them. It does seems sad that I have only selected 5 as my best, as I can tell you it was a hard pick! And who could forget the array of 50 christmas cakes, made for clients and the local shops. But these five where a learning curve, where I used new products, like sugar paste and modelling fondant and new techniques, as well as testing my modelling skills. I’m proud to say that each topper is handmade and done by eye and each cake inside is made using quality ingredients with free range eggs and no added preservatives, ensuring that you get that authentic homemade cake taste that is delicious.

Moving on… “How to make 2021 cakes as better than 2020’s?” is now the question for this year and I look forward to embracing what new challenges, recipes and newly required skills are to come.

Healthier Beginnings!


Happy new year to you all! It’s January, and to many of us, imparticularly me, that means a healthier start to the new year. But hang on, I’m a cake maker, how can I have a healthier year if I bake all those tasty treats, that are full of refinded sugar and butter laced? And yes I am always tempted to eat, sorry I mean ‘test’, what I bake.

So this has got me thinking….?. Is there such a thing as a ‘healthy’ cake/bake/treat? Well to be honest, no there isn’t, in such, that’s why they are called ‘treats’. But wouldn’t it be great if we could maybe reduce the impact slightly and bake a tasty treat, that is ‘lower in fat &/or sugar’?

This has lead me on to doing some investigating. I have researched on the Internet and some baking magazines to find these so called ‘healthier’ treats. The search hasn’t been hard, as most celebrities and top chefs have either brought a book out or an article on healthy living.

I starting off with trying to find my favourite bake, the ‘chocolate brownie’. At this point I’ve either got you intrigued or laughing your head off at the darfed idea of a ‘healthier’ brownie. Come on it has chocolate in it…!

I was surprised with what I found. There are lots of different variants on the web but the one that really caught my eye was in a popular Sunday newspaper supliment, “You”. I was reading about Davina McCall and there was an article taken from Davina’s new book ‘Smart Carbs’.

The exert talks about ‘smart carbs V dumb carbs’ and how we can make wiser choices, not just with sweet treats but also with meals.

So scanning through, there it was, Davina’s “Chocolate and banana traybake”… now they look good!

Here is the link to ‘You magazine’ online for Davina’s Smart carbs if you would like to see all of her recipes, they do look good!

But I just had to have a go that this chocolate and banana traybake recipe!

Davina’s recipe uses a 24cm x 24cm tin, which makes approx 16 squares or cut smaller for less calorie intake. You can find the exact amounts used, in the link above.

For myself, I used at 16cm square tin and these are the amounts of ingredients I used to make 9 squares of loveliness! I have also changed a couple of ingredients as I didn’t have the exact ones in my store cupboard.

Ingredients

134g whole meal plain flour

35g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

120g low fat butter/margarine

100g honey

2 small ripe bananas, mashed

4 eggs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C for a fan oven or 180 C otherwise. Grease and line your tin
  2. Put flour straight into a bowl and add sifted cocoa, pinch of salt and baking powder into that bowl.
  3. In a small pan, melt gently the butter and honey together. once melted remove from heat and mix in mashed bananas.
  4. In a separate bowl, break eggs and whisk until frothy (you may want to use an electric mixer for this) Then add the dry ingredients, then butter, honey and banana mixture and fold in until well mixed. It should be quite runny.
  5. Pour mixture into tin and bake for about 30 mins or until it has risen and is springy to touch.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10mins before transferring to a wire rack and cut into squares.

You can store in an airtight container for a few days (if they last that long!) or freeze them and consume within a month.

These are excellent once frozen because you can get one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave, on a non-metallic plate, for a minute or 2 and serve warm with berries, fat free natural yoghurt or creme fraiche. Mmm scrummmy!

Have a go yourself and tell me what you think.

Happy Baking

Em x

Chocolate Cornflake Cakes

Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Friday’s’

I hope you have all has an amazing week trying out some great recipes.

This week is my all time favourite, chocolate cornflakes nests/cakes. 

It brings back memories of of when I was a kid making these. The best part was licking the bowl and spoon afterwards.

 It is now my turn to show my little one how to make these. We all know these are so simple and easy to make so let’s get started!

Ingredients

125g chocolate (either milk or dark. I used dark chocolate) 

50g unsalted butter

3 tbsp golden syrup

100g Cornflakes 

Mini chocolate eggs (to decorate)

Method

  1. Break up the chocolate into small chunks and place in a heat proof bowl
  2. The Grown up’s part – over a simmering saucepan of water, melt the chocolate and butter together with the golden syrup, until well combined.
  3. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly
  4. In a separate bowl, weigh out the cornflakes.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the cornflakes and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Using your hands or 2 desert spoons, scoop out mixture and put them into cupcake cases in a cupcake tray or baking tray.
  7. This is optional Using your finger, make a small hole to make a nest for the mini chocolate eggs.
  8. Allow to cool and set in the fridge before eating, if you and the kids can wait that long…

Happy non-baking

Em x

The Sceret To Pefect Buttercream

Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Fridays’ 

This week I’m going to let you into a big secret… How to make the perfect buttercream to top your cupcakes, cakes or simply as a delicious filling.

Ok so buttercream isn’t such a big secret, but I do get asked how I make it just perfect for piping and so tasty.

To start with, I used a electric mixer with a rubber paddle attachment, I know that’s cheating but you can do this by hand, with a wooden spoon but you may find you have muscles like popeye by the time you have finished. 

With only a few simple ingredients, you will have delicious and smooth buttercream. This recipe makes enough buttercream to top 24 cupcakes or fill and cover a 7 inch cake

Please do use real butter and not margarine, you will get such a better flavour and texture.

So let’s get started, you will need…

Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature (you can microwave for 10 seconds on a non-metallic plate if the butter still seems too hard)

500g icing sugar

2-3 tbsp Milk

Flavouring of your choice. My favourite is salted caramel.

Method

  1. Cut room temperature butter into small cubes and place in mixer.
  2. Either beat with a wooden spoon or in the electric mixer until the butter looks a lighter colour, almost white.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift icing sugar, then add this a tablespoon a time into the butter, with the electric mixer on slow speed, until all the icing sugar is mixed in.
  4. From time to time, you may find you need to add a small amount of milk to help loosen the buttercream. Do this by adding just a teaspoon at a time.
  5. Add flavouring to taste. With the salted caramel, I use a regular Carmel flavouring then table salt until I get the desired flavour.
  6. If using any colouring, mix this in now. Either in separate bowls if requiring many colours or straight into the mixing bowl if only one colour is required.

If you are finding the mixture a little too soft and it doesn’t want to hold its shape, pop the buttercream in the fridge for 20-30 mins. Then beat well again before using.

The brilliance of buttercream is that you can be so crative with it, it is so versatile. 

Here are some suggestions…

  
I brought this tulip tip recently and wow, it’s amazing and very clever. This is just perfect to make Mother’s Day cupcakes!

cupcake-6302
Or you can add a small shell of buttercream and ‘dunk’ into a bowl of coloured sugar.

If you don’t have piping tips or piping bags, you could just use and freezer or zip lock bag with just the corner cut off to desired size. Doing this will create a smooth swirl.

Happy baking
Em X

    Biscuit Brownie

    Hi and welcome to my blog, Scrummmy Friday’s. I hope you have all had a fabulous half term week and have experimented with some great recipes. If not here is one for you to try.  This recipe is great for kids to help with as it involves crushing biscuits with a rolling pin and scattering smarties and marshmallows!

        
    What you need is…

    Ingredients

    250g milk chocolate

    125g unsalted butter

    250g caster sugar

    300g plain flour

    4 eggs

    And you favourite packet of biscuits

    Here’s what to do

    Method

    1. Pre heat oven to 160C,  grease and line a 10 inch square tin.
    2. Using a heat proof bowl melt the chocolate and butter together over a simmering pan of water. 
    3. Add sugar and mix well
    4. Add eggs and beat thoroughly 
    5. Sift flour in a separate bowl, then add to wet ingredients and mix well
    6. Take 3/4 of your chosen biscuits and put them in a sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin.
    7. Fold the crushed biscuits into the mixture
    8. Spoon mixture into the tin
    9. Crush lightly the remained biscuits and scatter on top of the mixture and lightly press down and top with smarties and marshmallows.
    10. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until slightly firm in the middle of the bake
    11. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely and cutting up into squares

      

    by Emmm’s Cakes
      
    Perfect with a mug of tea!

    Happy baking

    Em X 

    Peanut Butter & Chocolate Muffins

    Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Friday’s’.

    This week, I had the pleasure of being entertained at a very good friend’s house and naturally I brought cake to the occasion.

    My friend really likes peanut butter and chocolate combination. This inspired me to make peanut butter & chocolate muffins.

    Using a classic Marry Berry recipe, The American muffin, I made a few changes to create these gorgeously tasting muffins.

    This recipe makes between 9 – 12 muffins, depending on how big your muffin tin & cases are.

        Ingredients
    250g self raising flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    115g peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

    75g caster sugar

    25g dark chocolate chips

    3 medium eggs

    1 tsp vanilla essence

    250ml milk

    Method

    1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C and line your muffin tray with large muffin cases
    2. In a large bowl, sieve flour and baking powder then add the peanut butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
    3. Add sugar and chocolate chips
    4. In a jug measure milk then add to that the eggs and vanilla and whisk together
    5. Add wet ingredients to dry and mixed well. The mixture should have a lump consistency and be runny.
    6. Spoon into cases filling then quite full.
    7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and firm to touch.
    8. Leave in to muffin tray to cool slightly before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely or eat them when they still slightly warm – delicious and yummmy scrummmy!

    With these muffins, I decorated with solid milk chocolate hearts. I placed the hearts on the moment they came out of the oven so they melts slightly to help the hearts stick.

    Happy Valentine’s Day 
    Em x

    Love Heart Cookies

    Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Friday’s!’ 

    This week I thought I would spread a little love as Valentine’s Day not far away.  I thought I would make my classic shortbread heart cookies. These cookies are very simple to make and taste truely wonderful. These are a great treat or a perfect gift for that Valentine…?

      

    Ingredients

    125g unsalted butter (at room temp)

    200g caster sugar

    1 large egg

    200g plain flour, plus extra for rolling.

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    A jar of your favourite jam, in my case, raspberry

    Method

    1. Line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper.
    2. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together well.
    3. Add egg and beat well
    4. Add vanilla and mix in well
    5. Gradually add flour. You may need to use your hands to kneed the mixture by the end.
    6. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick.
    7. Using a large heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out your shape and place it straight onto the baking tray. Then using a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the middle of half your larger hearts. Remember you will need to make pairs as these are sandwiched together. If you accidentally miscounted, never mind they taste just as yummmy on their own.
    8. Place the trays in the fridge for 30 mins to chill. This will help the cookies to keep their shape when baking.
    9. Whilst the cookies are chilling in the fridge, pre heat the oven to 150C
    10. Remove cookies from fridge and place straight into the oven and bake for 15-20 mins or until the edges go a light golden brown. 
    11. Allow to cool for 10 mins on the trays and then lift and put them in a wire rack to completely cool. Don’t worry when you get them out of the oven that they seem soft, they will harden when they cool.
    12. In a small saucepan, warm a few teaspoons of your favourite jam. This helps it to spend easier.
    13. Take your cooled heart shaped cookie (without the heart shaped hole) and spread the jam on and then place the other cookie (the one with a heart shaped hole) on top and allow the jam to go cold setting the cookies together.

    And there you have it, the best tasting shortbread heart! 

    Em X

    Quote “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt” – Charles M. Schulz


    For The Biscuit Lovers

    Hi and welcome to my blog “Scrummmy Friday’s” As you well know (if you have been following me) 2016 means a ‘healthier beginning’ for me. I am a cake maker and decorator and I find I’m snacking on what I have baked. So I have beenresearching  better option recipes to try to help me on my diet. I am a believer of having something that you crave to help aid the diet. “Little and often” But I wanted to aid my weight loss with ‘better’ options.

    At the moment I’m loving Davina McCall’s recipes, from her latest book ‘Smart Carbs’ There are really great recipes including main meals, deserters and snacks/treats.

    I am a biscuit fan and love to dunk a biscuit in my cup of tea. So this week I have made Davina’s ‘Hobby Nobby Biscuits’

    His recipe make approx 24 biscuits and here’s how to make them…

    Ingredients 

    200g butter (I world recommend using butter as if you opt for low-fat margerine, the  biscuit is likely to crumble before it reaches your mouth) 

    175ml maple syrup

    300g wholemeal flour or wholemeal spelt flour, plus extra for dusting

    250g oatmeal

    50g porridge oats

    Pinch of salt 

    2 tsp baking powder

    Method

    1. Put the butter in a saucepan and melt over a low heat, then stir in maple syrup. Set aside
    2. Put flour, oatmeal, oats, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and mix the dry ingredients.
    3. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and pour in butter and syrup, then gradually work in the dry mixture until you have a coarse dough.
    4. Roll the dough into 2 balls and wrap with cling film and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.
    5. Pre-heat oven to 200C or 180C for fan oven. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Using a 7 inch cookie cutter, cut out your cookies and place them onto a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. You can use a small cookie cutter and that will give you more than 24 biscuits. If you don’t have a cutter, you can use a glass but it is tricky to get the dough out at times.
    6. Bake the biscuits for about 15-20mins or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

    These do look good and if you cut them out using a 7 inch cutter then they are approx 175 calories per biscuit. 

    Happy baking

    Em X

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