European Bakes : Golden Spoon Winner

Hello all,

Another day, another time where our hearts are broken. The atrocities in Nice have left us crestfallen, and so, so sad. As trite as it can sound, one of the things that we love about our little community of 5,378 (as of today) followers, is that everyone comes from different countries, backgrounds, faiths, beliefs, interests and… loves, and despite that, we all come together as one little community.

It warms our little hearts to see every bake, every tweet, every like/favourite, and we must remember that there is love out there, despite all the hate that sometimes feels all consuming.

We are going to carry on, and we are going to celebrate the good. So, onwards.

It feels somehow right that the winner of our European Bakes was a French bake, and the Golden Spoon goes to @beccawandering for her beautiful Honey and Vanilla Madelines. We love the elegance of this bake, and would love you to try it 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 whole egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

– Preheat oven to 190c (170c fan oven or gas mark 5).

–  Grease a madeleine tray with a non-stick cooking spray or a little butter and use a sieve to dust lightly with flour.

– Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl. Put the butter, egg yolk, honey and vanilla into a separate bowl and whisk together.

– Using a hand held whisk, whisk the two egg whites until stiff.

– Fold the butter mixture into the dry ingredients until evenly mixed, then gently fold in the egg whites until thoroughly combined.  Be careful not over mix (you want to keep the volume in the egg whites).

– Divide between the moulds and bake for 10-12 mins until golden brown and firm to the touch.

– Leave to cool in the moulds for a few minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

– Dust with icing sugar before serving, if you like.

 

Enjoy, and we wish you all peace and lots and lots of love.

Laura and Dominique xxxx

 

 

Game, Set and Match! Golden Spoon Doubles Champions!

Hello bakers!

We have doubles champions for Wimbledon Week!

Winning the vote and the Golden Spoon this week was the brilliant @foxtonm with her amazing Wimbledon themed Victoria Sponge.

We also decided to give special mention to @janetgbfan for her spectacular and brave Tennis Cake. *applause*.

Both ladies have given us their recipes, so revel in having another British Champion with these fab bakes – we would also love to see any attempts at recreating these… send them to us on @SundayBakeClub 🙂

Without any further rain delay, have a look below :

Golden Spoon Winner – @foxtonm’s Wimbledon Victoria Sponge :

@foxtonm

Well, I feel a bit of a fraud winning Wimbledon Week, as my cake was a simple (but delicious) Victoria Sponge filled with home made raspberry jam, whipped cream and the  sweetest strawberries I could find. So far so good with the Wimbledon theme. However, to turn this from traditional into kitsch, I used my trusty grass piping tip and garishly green buttercream to transform the top of the cake into Centre Court. I then added yellow macarons, filled with buttercream & lemon curd, each piped with a couple of curved lines of white chocolate to resemble tennis balls.

 If you want to try my go to recipe for French macarons, do look at this this step by step guide by the very talented @bakingfanatic1
I’ve been lucky to have had consistent results using this method. However, if you’d prefer to give Italian macarons a go, here’s a link to @becksbake guide. In this method, you whisk hot sugar syrup into egg whites to produce a more stable meringue. Becky turns out magnificent macarons on a regular basis (just take a look at her Twitter pics) so this is a tried and tested recipe.
Thanks to everyone who voted – and good luck with mastering macarons!
Golden Spoon Runner Up and Special Mention – @janetgbfan’s Tennis Cake
@janetcbrown
Well I thoroughly enjoyed and  loved making this cake and have my sights set on making a different sporting event for the Rio Olympics.To all who would love to try this recipe. Advice : Breathe keep calm and give your icing plenty of time to set.
Love to all of the Sunday Baking Club Family and to the time you girls put into this thank you and  whom without this we wouldn’t have made and met some lovely chums.Thank you again for including me in best bits. Muchas Gracias. [Thanks Janet! It’s you guys and gals that make it all worthwhile! L&D xxx]
Ingredients
350g glacé cherries (Washed and dried) cut into quarters,1x 225 g tin of pineapple natural juice (drained and chopped)
350 g of dried apricots
350g sultana’s
Grated zest of 2 lemons
250g unsalted butter
250g Golden caster sugar
5 free range eggs (large) lightly beaten
250g self raising flour
75g almonds.
For the almond paste.
250g ground almonds
150g caster sugar
150g Confectioners sugar (sifted) and extra  for rolling
1free range egg
1 tsp almond essence.
Royal icing.
3egg white
675g Confectioners sugar (sifted)
Pink yellow and green food colour gel.
For the fondant
1kg of white fondant (green food gel colour)
A deep 23x15cm/9×6 rectangular tin double lined base and sides and well greased.
Method.
A preheated oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas3
Wash and drain cherries dry them and pineapple on kitchen paper
Place all fruits,nuts and zest in bowl and mix together
Use a separate bowl and cream butter and sugar together till fluffy and white.
Beat in 1 egg at a time and small amount of flour to prevent mixture from curdling
Fold in the rest of flour and almonds.
Add the fruit in a mix lightly.once all mixed together pour into tin.
Level the top,
Bake for 2 hours or till golden brown
And test with a skewer into the centre
After an hour cover top of cake with foil.
Leave to cool for 15/20 minutes in the tin.
Then put onto a cooling tray to completely cool.
Almond paste.
Mix almonds with the sugars
Stir in egg and essence
Knead it in the bowl until it comes together
Wrap in cling film put to one side.
Royal icing.
Whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl
Until frothy,
Mix in the sifted icing sugar a little at a time
Until all mixed and very stiff and white and its stands up in peaks.
Once mixed cover the surface of icing with cling film mustn’t go wrinkly.
Almond paste.
Roll out on surface dusted in icing sugar to
Be slightly larger than cake.
Cut out a 23x15cm/9×6 rectangle place on a silicon sheet dusted with icing sugar easier from silicon sheet to slip onto the cooled cake.(if not use baking parchment).
Fondant.
Colour your white fondant to your desired shade of green(or buy ready coloured)
Use same method as almond paste.
Carefully place the fondant onto the almond paste.
Royal icing.
Divide the Royal icing into 3 bowls
Colour one bowl pink
And one a light gold or yellow(in my case)
Leave third bowl white.
White Royal icing to make the net and bats.
Put most of the White Royal icing into a piping bag fitted with a number 3 writing  nozzle
Pipe the outline of a tennis court on top of the green fondant leave 2cm 3/4 inch gap around the edge.leave to set.
On sheet of greaseproof paper pipe the outline of 2 tennis rackets 5cm to 2 1/2 inches long
And the tennis net  12x3cm/4 1/2 X1 1/4 in (should be same width as court)
Spoon remaining icing into piping bag fitted with a no 2 nozzle and pipe the strings of the racket within the tennis racket outline and the strings of the net within the outline of the net.leave to dry until you can peel them of the paper.(in my case mine stayed on paper) not dried out in time.
Spoon Pink icing into piping bag with a number 8 star nozzle and the gold/yellow into piping bag with a number 7 star nozzle.
Pipe a double border round outside edge of the fondant.
Assembling together
With your cake  completely cooled and trimmed of any rough edges carefully lift your dried decorative iced layer of almond paste and fondant onto the cake (you can brush some warmed apricot jam) onto cake before putting your decorative layer on if want.(I didn’t)
Pipe a line of white icing across the middle of the court peel the paper of the net and assemble onto the line of icing.So it is upright on the cake,lay the dried tennis rackets either end of the court and roll a small piece of fondant into a ball.
Optional make two tennis players out of fondant (hubby did). I can’t do modelling still practicing.
I’m sure you will agree, these are both fantastic recipes, and two very worthy winners! We look forward to your Girl Power Bakes this weekend!
Laura and Dominique xxx

Pride Bakes : Your Golden Spoon Winner!

Hi Bakers!

Following our beautiful Pride week bakes, we are very pleased to announce that our winner is….. @BecsBakes with her beautiful Rainbow Caramel Shortbread!

@becsbakes

Becky has been so lovely and has shared her recipe with us – have a try, and celebrate that love is love 🙂

Rainbow Caramel Shortbread

Makes enough for a 29x18cm shallow baking tin

Base

190g butter

75g caster sugar

265g plain flour

Caramel filling

125g butter

50g caster sugar

2 tblspn golden syrup

1 x 196g can condensed milk

Topping

200g white chocolate

food colouring

hundreds and thousands

sugar coated chocolate beans

 

Method

Grease and line with parchment paper a 29x 18 cm shallow baking tin.

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan).

To make the base

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy

Add the flour and combine gently until the mixture binds together.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to form a smooth dough.

Roll or press gently into a shape roughly the same as the tin then put into the tin.

It may break as you transfer it but don’t worry just press into the base of the tin making it as level as possible getting into the corners.

Prick all over with a fork and bake for 25- 30 mins until very light golden brown.

Remove from the oven but leave in the tin to cool completely.

To make the caramel filling.

Place all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan

Place over a gentle heat and stir until dissolved.

Bring to a gentle boil for 5-10 mins, stirring continuously, making sure you get all the sticky bits at the bottom.

Don’t worry if you get some dark brown bits at the base of the pan just keeping stirring.

Cook until a lovely golden brown and thickened.

Cool slightly then pour over the shortbread base.

Smooth all over with a warm pallet knife., and allow to cool completely.
Topping.

Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie or in short bursts in the microwave.

In 5 small bowls add about 1 tablespoon each of the melted white chocolate.

Add your choice of food colouring to each bowl, I use Sugarflair pastes as you only need to add a little which reduces the risks of the chocolate seizing or thickening too much. I used orange, pink, green, blue and yellow.

Transfer each colour into a separate disposable piping bag.

Cover the cooled caramel filling with the remaining white chocolate, tap the tin gently on the worktop to even the chocolate out over the top.

Snip a little off the end of the disposable bags and drizzle each colour randomly over the top, alternating the colours a couple of times to get an even but random pattern. Cut through the pattern gently with a cocktail stick to marble the colours together.

Finish with a sprinkle of hundreds and thousands and the coloured chocolate beans.

Allow to cool completely – finish off in the fridge if you can’t wait any longer to eat them!

Cut into squares with a warmed sharp knife.

Devour at a great pace!!!

 

Great recipe Becky, we can’t wait to make this (and dive our face in it).

Remember to vote for your best bits from Wimbledon Week… and join us for our European week this week.

Laura and Dominique xxx

 

Boozey Golden Spoon Winner!

Good evening all,

We are tipsy with excitement (ok, maybe that’s the wine) to announce that the WINNER of our Boozey bakes week was…. @foxtonm with her beautiful Chocolate Génoise Cake with Chambord Mousse! Perfect excuse to go Chambord shopping if you ask us!

@foxtonm – Chocolate Génoise Cake with Chambord Mousse

@foxtonm – Chocolate Génoise Cake with Chambord Mousse

Joyce has been ever so kind and has shared her amazing recipe with us… enjoy!

Chocolate Genoise Sponge
5 eggs
150g caster sugar
110g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
25g butter, melted then cooled a little, plus extra for greasing
Chambord to drizzle over the sponge cake
• Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Lightly grease and line the base of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment
• Whisk the eggs and sugar together for 4-5 minutes, or until thick, pale & fluffy.
• In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder, then gently fold it into the egg and sugar mixture until just combined. Pour the melted butter slowly down the side of the bowl into the mixture and fold in, without knocking too much air out of the sponge.
• Divide the mixture between the 2 prepared cake tins. Place the tins onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and springy to the touch.
• Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before turning out onto a wire rack. Drizzle some Chambord over each half of the cake – as much as you dare – and leave to cool completely.
 
Raspberry mousse
200g raspberries & 1 tablespoon icing sugar
A glug of Chambord – up to you how generous you are!
3 gelatine leaves
180ml whipping or double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
Optional: Additional raspberries to set in the mousse
• Puree the raspberries and place in a saucepan along with the icing sugar.
Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 4-5 minutes.
• Heat the puree and icing sugar until it just reaches boiling point. Taste, to check the sweetness and add more icing sugar if required. Leave to cool slightly and stir in the Chambord.
• When the puree has cooled a little, squeeze out any water from the gelatine leaves and stir into the puree ensuring all the gelatine has dissolved. Leave the mixture to cool but not set.
• Whip the cream and icing sugar until the soft peak stage.
• Stir the cooled raspberry puree mix into the cream.  Leave in the fridge until it is just about starting to set around the edges.
Building your cake
• Line a 20cm springform tin with a few layers of baking parchment and line these with acetate if you have it (I didn’t, but think it would give the cake a good finish).  It needs to be tall enough to contain your two sponge cakes plus a layer of mousse.
• Put one of your sponge cakes in the bottom of the tin and pour over the mousse, adding raspberries if you like.
• Put the other cake on top of the mousse and press down gently. Refrigerate until set – at least 2 hours.
Topping
• Whip 250ml of whipping or double cream with a little icing sugar until it forms soft peaks. Stir in some sieved raspberry purée until you get a shade of pink similar to the colour of the mousse. You may need a drop of red food  colouring too.
• Top the cake with swirls of raspberry cream and sift some cocoa powder over before serving.
We would love to see you all try this, feel free to share your attempts with us!
Lots of boozey love,
Laura and Dominique xxx

Marvellous Meringues : Your Golden Spoon Winner!

Hello everyone 🙂

We loved seeing you all whipping up a storm and creating some drool-worthy meringues. We are very pleased to announce our winner is…. @SammieFeasting with her beautiful Hazelnut Raspberry Vacherin! Yay!

When telling her that she won, she told us :

There a little story behind it. I have my mum’s cookbook which she pasted in recipes from magazines etc. I remember from a really early age looking at the picture of the Hazelnut Vacherin & being told that it had been made for my sister’s christening. Ever since I’ve wanted to make one. I couldn’t find a recipe I like so made one up!!

We think she did a fab job 🙂 She has been very kind and has shared her recipe with us below – enjoy (we will be)!

Sammie

@SammieFeasting – Hazelnut Raspberry Vacherin

 

RecipeHazelnut Raspberry Vacherin serves 10-12

150g Blanched Hazelnuts

5 Large Free Range Egg Whites – at room temp leave out of the fridge for 2 hours before using

275g White Caster Sugar

2tsp Corn Flour

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1tsp White Wine or Cider Vinegar

300g Fresh Raspberries

600ml Double Cream

3-4tbsp Frangelico – hazelnut liquer – optional [optional??!! – Laura and Dominique xx]

Method: Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan, gas mark 1

Making the hazelnut meringues:

  • Place the hazelnuts into a dry pan, heat until the nuts are golden and have a toasted aroma. Set to one side to cool.
  • Line three baking trays with baking parchment. Draw a 20cm/8″ circle, in pencil, on to the paper. Turn the parchment over. The circle will enable you to create even meringue circles for your Vacherin.
  • Into a large very clean bowl add all 5 egg whites.
  • Whisk until the egg whites have reached the stiff peak stage. When you remove the whisk the egg white will stand firm when the whisk is held up.
  • Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously. It really is worth taking your time over this stage, as it is the sugar and egg white combined that give the meringue it’s structure.
  • Once all the sugar is added the meringue should be glossy. I check for undissolved sugar by rubbing a little of the meringue between my forefinger and thumb. It should feel smooth, if it feels gritty continue whisking.
  • Add the corn flour, vanilla extract and vinegar. Whisk into the meringue.
  • Roughly chop the cooled hazelnuts either in a food processor or with a knife. You need a crumbly texture of mixed sized pieces, not finely ground like almonds.
  • Reserve 3 tablespoons of the chopped hazelnuts for the topping. Add the rest of the hazelnuts to the meringue mix. Fold the hazelnuts into the meringue.
  • Divide the meringue mixture evenly between each baking tray, placing it in the centre of the circle.
  • Using an offset palette knife, spread the meringue to fill the disc, ensuring it is an equal thickness. Then run your palette knife flat around the outside edge of the meringue disc, creating a clean finish.
  • Place all three meringues into the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, then rotate the trays, moving the bottom to the top and the top and middle one shelf down. Trust me this helps achieve evenly baked discs.
  • Bake for a further 45 minutes. Total baking time 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Creating the Hazelnut Raspberry Vacherin:

  • Pour the cream into a large bowl, add the frangelico if using and whisk until the cream has reached the thick but still floppy stage.
  • Place the first meringue disc, flat side up, on a cake stand or flat plate.
  • Spoon over one third of the cream and spread over the disc.
  • Add one third of the raspberries, starting around the edge and then in the centre.
  • Place the next meringue disc on top, again inverted with the flat side facing up.
  • Add the cream and raspberries as before.
  • Place the final meringue disc on top with the flat side down.
  • Spoon the cream into the centre of the disc, add the raspberries and sprinkle over the reserved hazelnuts.

Well done Sammie!

We will shortly be announcing the winner from our boozey bakes, so keep voting, and we look forward to seeing your Pride bakes this weekend.

Laura and Dominique xxx

Chelsea Flower Show Bakes… Your Winner!

Good evening bakers!

The voting has closed, the votes have been counted and verified… and your Golden Spoon (or should that be Gold Medal?!) winner is…. @HayleyDaviez with her beautiful triple chocolate muffins!

Hayleydaviezs chocolate cupcake

Hayley has been very kind and has shared the recipe she used, topped with chocolate buttercream… Have a try for yourself! (This makes 12 muffins – make sure you post us some…)

  • 175g dark chocolate, melted
  • 125g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 125g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 65g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 325g self-raising flour
  • 125g light brown soft sugar
  • 365ml milk
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, milk and vanilla together. Add to the dry ingredients and fold until well combined.
  4. Quickly stir melted chocolate into the batter, then fold in chopped chocolate.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with grated chocolate or dust with icing sugar before serving.

Great bake Hayley!

We have also announced our lovely baking challenge for this Sunday – French bakes! Hope you have fun, and we are looking forward to seeing your bonne cakes!

 

Laura and Dominique xxx

Amazing Apples : WINNER!

Hello all,

After the votes have been counted – we are very pleased to announce that the Golden Spoon Winner for Amazing apples is…

@foxtonm with her amazing Apple and Cinnamon Cake!

foxtonm

Joyce has been very lovely in sharing the recipe, so we are all looking forward to baking this one (especially can’t wait to try out the apple slices!)!

Apple & Cinnamon Cake

Ingredients

175g softened, unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

75g soft light brown sugar

225g self-raising flour, sifted

1tsp baking powder

2 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp ground cinnamon

50ml plain yogurt or sour cream

2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into smallish pieces (I used Bramleys)

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 175° C.

Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions.

Fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon followed by the yogurt / sour cream. Gently stir in the pieces of apple.

Spoon mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about an hour, checking progress after half an hour and covering the top of the cake with a sheet of kitchen foil or baking parchment if it is browning too quickly. The cake may take longer to bake if the apples are particularly juicy. It is ready when a cake tester comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

Remove and allow to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes before turning out.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Top with buttercream (I used Sugar & Crumbs Salted Caramel Icing Sugar to make this), drizzle caramel artistically across the top and decorate with dried apple slices.  Sit back and watch the cake disappear!

I used Liz Earle’s method of drying apple slices – highly recommended. Link below.

https://lizearlewellbeing.com/articles/recipes/dried-apple-rings-recipe/ …

Keep your eyes peeled for the next baking challenge, and do use our lovely discount code provided by itsabakingthing.com 🙂

Dominique, Jo, Claire and Laura xxx