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

Motorbike Helmet Cake

A few weeks back, I was asked if I could make a motorbike 3D helmet cake for a client’s husbands birthday.

Not having done a ‘Skid-lid’ before, I wasn’t sure were to start. I started by ‘googling’ it, but no one had info or step by step guide. So with a little bit of imagination and artistic creation, I started…

I used 3x 10″ sponge, 2x 8″ sponge (1 stacked on top of the 3x 10″ and the other was cut to form the front) and 7″ dome cake and a lot of buttercream!

Here are some photos of how my cake took shape.

motorbikehelmet-1500 motorbikehelmet-1501  motorbikehelmet-1503  motorbikehelmet-1504  motorbikehelmet-1505

And the finished cake…. Ta Dah!

motorbikehelmet-6807

Cupcake Bouquet

Cupcakebowquet1-3217

The newest addition to Emmm’s Cakes portfolio – Cupcake Bouquets

A beautiful and yummy display of elegant buttercream cupcake roses formed into a bouquet.

The perfect table center piece for tea parties and wedding functions, that can also be used as wedding favours.

These beautiful little cupcakes, full of yumminess, can be made to your favourite flavour and colour.

http://www.emmmscakes.com

Exploding Star Cake

40thstarcake-6800

My version of an exploding cake with stars. I made this for a family member, who though it was amazing.

Underneath the icing and decorations is a classic victoria sponge cake filled with locally sourced strawberry jam and homemade vanilla buttercream.

I had to resist myself from eating it before it made it to my cousin’s!

Summer Choux Time

Who can resist a mouth watering Choux bun, profiteroles and or eclairs as the ultimate treat. Forget about calories, just enjoy the wonderful sensations coming from your mouth.

Apparently in ‘The Mail on Sunday’ ‘You’ magazine, eclairs are the new bakery fad. And if The Savoy hotel, in London, are serving them and creating a stir, it must be true.

So I’m jumping on the band wagon…!

Here are my lemon iced choux pastry delights, brilliant for any occasion.

Lemon iced Choux
Lemon iced Choux

Mellow Cupcakes

It’s Sunday, my day off but I’m getting all itchy from not baking and creating something yummy in my kitchen.

So with a little help from my daughter, we baked these luscious mellow cupcakes!

Mellow cupcakes
Mellow cupcakes

Chocolate heaven recipe

Here’s my recipe for my chocolate heaven fudge cake.


For the sponge – 

283g baking marg

283g caster sugar

283g S.R flour

5 eggs

100g cocoa powder

3-4 tbsp milk


For the icing – 

250ml whipping cream

3 tbsp golden syrup

350g good dark chocolate (broken up into small pieces)

1 tsp vanilla extract

75g chilled butter (cut into cubes)


Method – pre heat oven 180 degree C (fan oven 160)

1 – cream butter & sugar together.

2 – beating eggs (one at a time) 

3 – add flour & cocoa (a bit at a time) add milk at end til it slowly drops of spoon/beater


Pour into greased and lined 3x 6″ tins. Bake for 30-40 mins

Allow to cool on a wire rack before filling and icing.


Icing –

1- put cream & golden syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil.

2- put chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. As soon as the cream mix has come to the boil, pour immediately over chocolate and set aside for 1 min

3- using a small whisk, place in the middle of bowl and stir with very small motions until it starts to look thick and glossy. Don’t be tempted to stir to quick or large motions because it’ll make it dull and grainy. It will also add too much air which won’t make the icing keep as long. Once cream and chocolate are fully combined add vanilla and butter. 

4- mix until well combined. Again don’t beat or too much air will be added.

5- set aside until it is firm.


Once cake is completely cool and icing firm

Fill cake with the chocolate icing and crumb coat. 

Chill in fridge for 30mins before second coat of icing. Smooth out with pallet knife. Top with chocolate shavings and truffles.


I hope you enjoy x