Monthly Archives: April 2009

Freshly Baked Scones – mmmmmmmmmm!

scones

You can have a batch of scones on the table in 20 minutes with Jane Hornby’s storecupboard recipe, perfect for unexpected guests, and you can adapt this recipe and add dried fruit, white chocolate, honey, bananas – anything you fancy really – trial and error is so much fun!

Ingredients

  • 350g self-raising flour , plus more for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter , cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • squeeze lemon juice (see Know-how below)
  • beaten egg , to glaze
  • jam and clotted cream , to serve

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  2. Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment. Put a baking sheet in the oven.
  3. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round about 4cm deep.
  4. Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. By this point you’ll probably need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
  5. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream. If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C/fan140C/gas 3) for a few mins to refresh.

Towering tall

For toweringly tall scones, always pat the dough out a bit thicker than you think you should. I say pat rather than knead because scones are essentially a sweet soda bread and, like other soda breads, will become tough when over-handled. Kick-start the scones’ rise with a hot baking tray and don’t leave the dough sitting around. If you like your scones with lots of juicy fruit, stir 85g plump sultanas into the mix at the same time as the sugar.

 

Jane says…

Scones are so quick to make that my mum would often emerge with a plateful before we’d even noticed she’d gone! I’ve borrowed her tip of using warm milk, and added a few tricks of my own for light scones that rise every time

 

Know-how

Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the milk sours it slightly, mimicking sharp-tasting buttermilk, often used in scones but sometimes tricky to find. The slightly acidic mix gives a boost to the raising agents in the flour and baking powder.

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Chocolate Easter Cup Cakes

easter-choc-cupcakes-646x800

Prep & cooking time: 35 minutes plus cooling
Makes 12

Ingredients


For the cakes
100g /4oz Butter or Margarine, softened
100g /4oz Caster Sugar
2 Medium Eggs, lightly beaten
100g /4oz Self Raising Flour, sieved
25g /1oz Cocoa Powder
For the Topping
100g /4oz very soft Butter
225g /8oz Icing Sugar
1-2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
To decorate
1 x 100g/4oz packet Chocolate Mini Eggs ( maybe buy 2 packs so you can eat 1 and still have some left to decorate the cupcakes!)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 and place 12 paper cases into a 12-hole patty or cupcake tin.

2. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together with a wooden spoon, hand whisk or in a food processor, until light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the eggs a little at a time until well incorporated. If the mixture begins to curdle, add a little flour.

4. Fold in the remaining flour and cocoa with a spatula until the mixture is well blended.

5. Place a heaped teaspoon of cake mixture into each paper case then bake for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

6. For the butter icing, place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until very soft. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat well with a wooden spoon until well mixed and very smooth.

7. Pipe or spread the butter icing onto the top of each cake then arrange three chocolate mini eggs in the centre of each.

8. Enjoy!

 

easter-choc-cupcakes-21

 

Courtesy of www.Recipes4us.co.uk

 

Nigellas Easy Victoria Sponge Recipe

I use this recipe for lots of different cakes! Yes you can do a Victoria sponge but you can also add different icing and add colours and cocoa if you want to change – just play around with it and you will see it so versatile and really delicious – and the best thing is that it is very easy to make!

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

275g each of self raising flour, castor sugar, butter (very, very soft)

5 eggs

2 tsps baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 200*C

Add butter and sugar to mixer, cream.  Alternate a couple of spoonfuls of flour and 1 egg until all added. add baking powder.

Add vanilla extract and milk until consistency of a thick batter. It is very difficult to go wrong with this recipe – but just be aware it doesn’t rise that much, so don’t panic.

Pour into cake tin (silicone is best) and bake in oven @ 200*c for 15-20 mins. Then turn down oven to 180*c and bake for a further 35-45 mins. you will probably need to cover with foil near the end to stop the cake burning. the 1st time you make this in your be careful as we know how ovens differ! Keep an eye on it and reduce heat a little if you think it is too hot!

Leave to cool in cake tin for a while then turn out onto a wire rack. Leave until completely cool to ice however you choose.

You can do the traditional Victoria sponge (the way the WI would do it) with only jam in the middle and icing sugar sprinkled on top (as above). Or add jam and buttercream to the middle.

For chocolate cake you can add 2 tbsp cocoa powder mixed to a paste with 2 tbsp boiling water!

Add food colouring if you want to make a a girlie pink cake, cover with pink icing and top with dolly mixtures!

pink-cake-slice

One for the boys…

Add blue icing and decorate with monster or dinosaur shaped sweets! Or if you are feeling adventurous make 2 cakes and cut out the shape of their favourite character …

igglepiggle-cake

And if this is all to difficult cover with buttercream icing and add a cake topper! Easy! You can choose any character or even a photograph!

lola-cake-fixed

Original recipe from nigella lawson, How to be a domestic goddess! – this book is full of great recipes!