BLACKBERRY SMOOTHIE

wpid-picsart_1406583148076.jpg

As blackberries are in season at the moment I decided to make a delicious smoothie with these shiny black berries.  This is the perfect smoothie if you want to try spinach or kale out but are unsure about the yucky green colour it can give, the blackberries give a lovely deep purple colour to the smoothie so that means you can’t see the green colour from the spinach and kale.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 100g of blackberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of Spinach
  • 100ml of Coconut milk (soya, almond or any other milk will do)
  • Handful of strawberries

METHOD

  1. Throw everything in your blender and mix. Add some ice cubes and blend again for extra coolness.
  2. Serve in a glass and enjoy.

 

 

Advertisements

BLACKBERRY BUTTERMILK SPONGE

wpid-picsart_1406492807023.jpg

I love blackberries and whats even better is they are in Season this month. I have also been really intrigued to use buttermilk in a recipe as I have seen it so many of my books, I have always wondered what sort of taste and texture it gives, so when I found this recipe I jumped at the chance to make it. The buttermilk added moisture to the cake a bit like yogurt does and also it gives a softer texture and more body to the cake. The blackberries also added nice bursts of fruity tartness throughout the cake.

MAKES: 1 Medium Cake.

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g Fresh blackberries
  • 125g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 Medium eggs, at room temp.
  • 100ml Buttermilk, at room temp
  • 200g Self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

 

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 180c. Prepare your cake tin with baking paper in the bottom and grease with butter round the side. Gently wipe the blackberries clean with kitchen paper.

2. Put the butter in to a bowl and beat it until its soft, add the sugar and beat it until its creamy (if you have an electric mixer use that, it will make your life easier). Once the mixture has been beaten add the vanilla extract and beat again until the mixture is pale and fluffy.

wpid-picsart_1406491528051.jpg

3. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl with a fork until combined, then gradually add to the butter mixture beating well after each addition so it doesn’t curdle. Add about a third of the buttermilk and gently fold in to the mixture with a metal spoon, then fold in a third of the flour. Fold in the rest of the buttermilk and flour in 2 batches.

4. Scrape the mixture in to your prepared tin and spread evenly. Scatter the berries over the top and gently press them into the mixture so they are partially sub-merged. Sprinkle evenly with the demerara sugar. Place in the heated oven and bake for 35-40mins until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

wpid-picsart_1406492163949.jpg

5. Set the tin on a cooling rack, run a round bladed knife around the sponge to loosen it from the tin then gently remove the cake from the tin. Leave to cool a bit.

6. You can eat the cake warm or room temperature. Enjoy.

wpid-dsc_0377.jpg

Source: The Great British Bake Off Everyday.

ANGEL FOOD CAKE WITH LEMON CURD

wpid-picsart_1405782247614.jpg wpid-picsart_1405782906404.jpg

I am making a conscious effort to challenge myself with bakes that intimidate me so I can become better at baking. I have already tackled my weak area of biscuits and crackers, now I have decided to tackle Angel Food Cake. Angel Food Cake is a tricky cake to make as it contains no fat and it only gets its lift from the egg whites so it’s really important to whisk the egg whites properly and maintain the lift in them throughout the mixing process. However I had a trusty gadget on hand to help me we this and that was the wonderful KITCHEN AID 🙂 I was staying at my mums house so I had the perfect excuse to make this cake and try out the kitchen aid.

I was originally put off making an Angel Food Cake as it uses so many egg whites and I kept thinking to myself what the hell am I going to do with all the egg yolks. So I found this recipe that manages to use up all the yolks. If you feel like a bit of a technical challenge this is definitely the cake to try. Good Luck 🙂

MAKES: 1 Large Cake (Serves 12-14 people)

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 10 Large Egg Whites (don’t panic I know this is a lot and you are probably wondering what am I going to do with 10 Egg Yolks, well my fellow bakers we are going to use them in the lemon curd yes ALL 10 of them so this means nothing will go to waste).
  • Zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons.
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon juice.
  • 1 tsp of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt

FOR THE LEMON CURD

  • 10 Large Egg Yolks
  • 325g Caster Sugar
  • Zest of 2 large Lemons
  • Juice of 4 large lemons – Approx 200ml-225ml (use juice from the 2 lemons zested for the cake)
  • 175g of unsalted butter

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 4-5 tbsps of Lemon Curd
  • 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract

 

METHOD

1. Heat your oven to 170c. Place the oven shelf near the bottom of the oven.
2. Sift the flour and 100g of caster sugar in to a bowl, mix and set aside.
Put the egg whites into a very large bowl and whisk on high speed for 1 minute until frothy. TIP: When whisking egg whites it’s very important to not get any fat in to the whites or they won’t rise properly. I would suggest getting two bowls plus the bowl you are using to whisk the egg whites in. First crack the eggs one at a time over the first bowl, put the egg white in this bowl and the egg yolk in the other. Check the egg white has no yolk in it and pour it in to the whisking bowl. Then repeat with the rest of the eggs. Set the yolks to one side until needed for the lemon curd. 

wpid-picsart_1405780981141.jpg
3. Add the lemon zest, juice, cream of tartar and salt, continue whisking for 3 minutes until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Whisking on high speed add the remaining sugar (200g) a tablespoon at a time, then whisk until the whites form firm but not stiff peaks.
4. Sprinkle a third of the flour mixture over the egg whites and carefully fold in with a large metal spoon or plastic spatula so you don’t knock the air out. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture in 2 batches folding in gently until everything is carefully combined.

wpid-picsart_1405781538241.jpg
5. Transfer the mixture to an ungreased angel food cake pan. I didn’t have one so I used a ridged bundt cake tin however I would not suggest using this as the ridges causes some of the mixture to stick to the pan. Then run a knife through the mixture in order to remove any large air pockets. Place in a heated oven for 45-50mins until a skewer inserted in to the cake comes out clean.

wpid-picsart_1405626678095.jpg
6. Remove from the oven straight away and immediately turn it upside down, if you don’t have an angel food cake tin (which has 3 legs attached) then use a jar to support the centre hole so that the surface of the cake is exposed to the air to cool. Leave the cake to cool for 1 hour, then run a palette knife around the inner and outer edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan.

wpid-picsart_1405627717988.jpg
7. Meanwhile make the lemon curd. Mix together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a large pan. Cook gently over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, make sure to stir thoroughly so the eggs don’t scramble. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken enough to coat the back of your spoon/spatula. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and smooth.

wpid-picsart_1405630429933.jpg
8. Strain the lemon curd through a sieve into a large jug. Fill two sterilised glass jars with the curd and seal each with a lid. When the curd is completely cold, store the jars in the fridge for up to 2 months. If there is any left over keep it to one side to use for the topping.

wpid-picsart_1405782640995.jpg
9. When the cake is ready to assemble, whip up the cream with the vanilla extract until it will form soft peaks when the whisk is lifted. Spoon the cream over the cold cake using a palette knife, coat the top and sides making sure to smooth as you go. Drizzle lemon curd over the cake and serve. The cake won’t keep for long because of the cream, however if your family and friends are like mine you don’t need to worry about that.

Source: The Great British Bake Off Everyday.

CREAM CRACKERS

wpid-picsart_1405282085404.jpg

I love crackers, they are the perfect snack covered with cheese, pickle anything you like really. However when it comes to making biscuits and crackers I am not the best, therefore I decided to challenge myself despite the impending fear that this would be my first public failure on my blog. These cream crackers were so easy and I didn’t need to worry as they turned out better than expected (however with my track record with biscuits and crackers the standard wasn’t very high to beat anyway). You can have a look at the pictures and decide for yourself if you think they look yummy.

MAKES: Approx 24.

INGREDIENTS

  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 15g Unsalted butter, cool but not hard
  • 1 tsp Seas Salt Flakes
  • 1 tsp of Cumin seeds or 2 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsps of double or single cream
  • 3-4 tbsps of room temperature water

METHOD

1. Sift the flour and sugar in to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter in to small pieces, add to the bowl and use the breadcrumb method by rubbing the mixture between your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine crumbs (hence the name Breadcrumb Method). Stir in the seeds (whichever you decide to use) and salt.
2. Add the cream and 3 tbsps of water to start of with. Using a round bladed knife mix everything together, adding more water a little bit at a time until the dough becomes soft but not sticky.
wpid-picsart_1405280047393.jpg
3. Lightly dust your worktop with some flour and knead the dough for 5 seconds to make it a little bit smooth. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it to rest for 30 mins at room temperature.

wpid-picsart_1405280393600.jpg
4. Near the end of the relaxing time, heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly dust the worktop and rolling pin with flour, then roll out the dough to make a very thin sheet. Trim the sides to make each side straight and then prick the dough all over with a fork. Using a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough in to squares and then place on a baking tray(s).

wpid-picsart_1405280499299.jpg
5. Place the tray(s) in the heated oven and bake for 15-17mins until the crackers are a light golden colour, don’t worry if they shrink a little. To ensure an even bake rotate the baking tray(s) halfway through the baking time.
6. Remove from the oven and leave to firm up on the tray(s) for a few minutes, then transfer the crackers to a wire rack and leave to cool. Store in the airtight container and eat within 5 days.

wpid-picsart_1405282208538.jpg

Source: The Great British Bake Off Everyday.