Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas Time.. Mistletoe and Wine... and CAKE!

'Swiss Roll' was always a popular choice to make in food-tech at school years ago, but before now I hadn't attempted it since!
I have briefly posted a couple step-by-step photos to show you how each stage should look!
The sponge should be very thin- about 7mm thick.
Make sure you remember to roll it up now- starting from the longest side, use the greaseproof paper to guide you.
Leave for a few minutes then unroll, and spread your filling-I used fresh double cream.
The cake was to be kept at my mum's house and her fridge tends to freeze so it made it taste like icecream!
Roll the cake up again once filled!
Don't worry if the sides crack- this can easily be covered with icing.
Decorate as you please!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Choc'mas!

Nothing says Christmas 2011 like home-made gifts.
And when they are made out of chocolate that's even better!
 I've made a selection of dark, milk, white,and, dark chocolate and orange flavoured chocolate shapes.  Put them in a festive gift bag, like below, and they make great gifts!
Or if you need something for the grown ups why not create a selection jar! 
I have filled my jar with all the home-made chocolates mentioned above, mini bite-size candy canes, and chocolate coins! This gives a real festive twist! 
Before I give the jars out I will wrap them in tissue paper with a festive red ribbon around and put into a nice gift bag.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Mince Pie Mayhem!

Mince Pie Mayhem!
I had recently had requests for Mince Pies but as I had not made my own pastry in a while I thought I would try a test batch one night whilst babysitting my little brothers at my parents house.
This called for some inspiration:
- With no cookie cutters/ pastry cutters I used a soup can! 
Turned out to be the perfect size for my bun tin!
- As the lids had to be smaller, a baby's beaker turned out perfect!
Ingredients for Pastry:
- 200g sifted plain flour
-40g golden caster sugar
- 125g cold butter
- 1 large egg
Butter your bun tin or use foil cases
In a large bowl, sift the flour then add the sugar.
Cut the butter into small chunks.
Rub the butter and flour/sugar mix between your fingers lightly until it resembles bread crumbs.
Add in the egg and knead until dough-like.
Tightly wrap the dough into clingfilm and put in the fridge to chill for an hour
Once chilled, lightly flour a surface and roll out your dough
Using a cookie cutter, pastry cutter (or soup tin!) cut out your base circles.
Press each pastry circle into the bun tin.
Stir the mincemeat and then spoon into each pastry base in the bun tin.
Using a smaller pastry cutter (or child's beaker!) cut out smaller pastry circles to use as lids.
Put on top of the mincemeat and press lightly on the edges to seal.
Brush with an egg or milk to get a nice golden colour!

Bake for 20 minutes until golden at 200 C/ 400F.

Tip: Use a fluted pastry cutter to make pretty edges on your pies.
Make mini mince pies and put them on a tray to be nibbled on Christmas Eve with family and friends!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sticky Fruit Flapjack

Definitely a winter favourite!

This flapjack is really easy to make- and takes hardly any time at all! 
You probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboards too!
175g Butter
175g Golden Syrup
175g Soft Brown Sugar
300g Oats
1 tablespoon of Cinnamon
A small sprinkling of Lemon Juice

I added chopped sticky cherries and raisins. Try adding banana and chocolate chips for something different!
Set your oven to 150 (130 Fan assisted)
In a glass bowl, measure out the butter, syrup and sugar.
Put this mixture in the microwave for 4 minutes.

In the meantime, weigh the oats out into a large bowl.
Add the cinnamon and lemon juice to the oats.

When the sugar mix is done, take out of the microwave and stir.
Pour the wet mix into the large bowl of dry mix.
Mix together well!
Add your desired filling!

Pour your mixture into a lined rectangular cake tin or slightly deep baking tray.
Flatten the mixture slightly.

Put in the oven!
Bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes turn the oven up to its full heat and bake for another 5
(This gives a wonderfully crunchy top layer, whilst your flapjack remains soft and sticky inside)

Enjoy whilst warm!  (The smell wafting from your oven in the last 10 minutes will make it hard not to)
(The gannets living in my household meant there wasn't any left to cool!)
Top Tip:
For Christmas, why not try filling some small jars with homemade goods such as chocolate truffles (blog post to come soon), shortbread, gingerbread or flapjack!

*Wrap in tissue paper and add a festive bow*