Friday, 23 January 2015

Fat Friday #26 Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate



This recipe has been a long time coming. I was asked back in 2014 for a decent recipe for a salted caramel hot chocolate. I've been testing and tasting various different combos and I found one that finally works. Its thick, creamy, on the right side of salty and with an intense hit of chocolate. If this hot chocolate recipe screams FAT FRIDAY!!! 

Recipe: Makes 2 large servings (Caramel recipe loosely adapted from Primrose Celebrations by Lisa Stuart and Martha Swift and the Hot Chocolate Recipe very loosely adapted from Boutique Baking by Peggy Porschen)

Caramel:
·110g granulated sugar
·3 tablespoons water
·125ml double cream
·1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

Hot Chocolate Mix:
· 125g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
· 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, (plus a little extra for dusting on top)
· 125ml whipping cream
· 300ml whole milk
· 2 tablespoons of the above salted caramel sauce

Equipment:
·Saucepan x 3
·Fine sieve
·Serving glasses or mugs
·Heatproof bowl
·Measuring jug
·Whisk
·Wooden Spoon

Caramel Method
1. Place the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan on a medium heat. Do not stir the mixture but just swirl it once and a while.
2.While the granulated sugar is boiling, pour the cream and salt in a small bowl to heat gently.
3.Once the granulated sugar has turned an amber colour, remove from heat and immediately add a little cream.
4. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, be careful as it may spit.
5. Add the remaining cream in small amounts, stirring constantly. Once all the cream has been incorporated, transfer into a separate bowl to cool.

Hot Chocolate Method
1. Place the cream, milk, salted caramel sauce in a saucepan and simmer.
2. Place the chocolate into a mixing bowl and sift the cocoa powder.
3.Once the cream mixture is hot, pour over the chocolate and cocoa powder and whisk until fully incorporated.
4. Return the mixture to the saucepan again, just to heat again. Taste to see if you like the amount of salted caramel. Add a tablespoon at a time if needed.
5. Pour into mugs or heatproof glasses. Consume and enjoy the chocolate hit.
6. (Sieve a little cocoa powder on top of each glass using a stencil and sieve. To add optional cuteness)

Have an amazing weekend!
Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 16 January 2015

Fat Friday #25 Mini Florentine Bites



 
Yay its Friday! Its time for this weeks Fat Friday. This week its a petit four called Mini Florentine Bites. Most of us know that Florentines are caramel that traditionally have almonds and cherries in. However, this recipe calls for a sweet pastry which provides a base for the Florentine mix. Also, the pastry is covered in a layer of dark chocolate, this makes it look very impressive.
 


Florentine Bites  (recipe kindly provided by my pastry chef)
Recipe: Makes 40 small pieces (depending on cutting size)

For the pate sucre
· 260g plain flour, plus a little extra
· 100g icing sugar, plus a little extra
· 30g ground almonds
· 125g unsalted butter
· 2 eggs
· 1 tsp milk

Florentine mixture
· 52ml Whole milk
· 79g granulated sugar
· 42g glucose
· 42g honey
· 105g unsalted butter
· 126g sliced almonds
· 42g pistachios
· 42g Candied peel
· Pinch of salt
Equipment:
· Saucepan
· Whisk
·  Mixing bowl
· Fork
· Wooden spoon
· Sieve
· Rolling pin
· Knife
· Baking sheet lined with silicone paper
· Baking beans
· Saucepan
· Sugar thermometer
· Wooden Spoon

 For the pate sucre:
1. Place the flour, icing sugar, almonds and butter in a mixing bowl, rub the mixture together
2. Add the 2 eggs and mix well. Cover and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 180c/350f/ Gas Mark 4.
4. Dust the work surface with icing sugar. Roll out the pastry to about 2mm thick.
5. Line the tray with the pastry, letting it hand over the sides. Cover with silicone paper and fill the tart base with baking beans.
6. Bake blind for 20 minutes or until the case is cooked through and lightly golden. Remove the baking beans and silicone paper.
 
For the Florentine mixture:
1. Combine the milk, sugar, honey and glucose in a saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar.
2. Heat until the mixture reaches 120c on a sugar thermometer. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in the butter and salt until completely melted.
4. Stir in the almonds and pistachios and peel.

To assemble:
1. Pour the florentine mixture into the blind baked pastry and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
2. Turn the cooked Florentine out onto parchment paper and a chopping board.
3. Melt some dark chocolate and smooth on top of the pastry and using a textured buttercream smoother, swirl a design on it.
4. Place in the fridge to set.
5. Once set cut into pieces.

What is your take on these updated Florentines? Would you make them?
Have a great weekend!
Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 9 January 2015

Fat Friday #24 Mulled Wine Cupcakes


 Its been 24 weeks since Fat Friday has graced this blog. Do you remember the first Fat Friday? The title did not even grace the screen at this stage. But here we are! I'm hoping that in 2015, there will be more blog posts will continue and there will be plenty more! But back to this Fridays post.
If your feeling the January blues, why not bring back some of the Christmas magic? These mulled wine cupcakes have a hint of spice and chocolate. Along with the icing it makes these cupcakes a real festive treat... in January...
Recipe Name: Mulled Wine Cupcakes (Recipe adapted from Primrose Celebrations by Lisa Thomas and Martha Swift)
Recipe: 12 cupcakes 

Cupcakes:
·90g butter
·200g soft dark brown sugar
·50g granulated sugar
·1 egg plus an egg yolk
·175ml mulled wine (try this recipe)
·1 teaspoon orange juice
·¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
·1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·¼ teaspoon salt
·½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
·50g cocoa powder
·140g plain flour
Buttercream:
·50g unsalted butter
·Juice and zest of ½ orange
·¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
·175g icing sugar
·125g mascarpone

Equipment:
·12 hole muffin tin lined with tins
·Hand whisk/wooden spoon
·Bowl x 3
·Knife
·Chopping board
·Saucepan x 2
· Jug
·Sprinkles
 
Cake
1.Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Line the muffin tray. 
2.Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3.Add the egg and egg yolk, one at a time and mix,
4.Add the mulled wine and orange juice and mix until evenly combined.
5.Fold in the dry ingredients with a metal spoon until just combined.
6.Carefully spoon the cake mixture into the paper cases. Add a piece of chopped up galaxy bar to each cupcake and push it down into the cupcake.
7.Bake for 20 minutes until slightly raised and golden. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the muffin tray for 10 minutes. Then place on a wire rack to completely cool.

For the butter cream
1.Place the butter, orange juice, zest, cinnamon and half of the icing sugar in a bowl and beat with a hand whisk until smooth.
2.Add the remaining icing sugar and beat again.
3.Beat the mascarpone on a medium speed for about 30 seconds until just combined.
4.Place in the fridge until you’re ready to ice the cupcakes.

To finish
1.Ice the cooled cupcakes with a swirl or with a piped rose and sprinkle with sprinkles or glitter!  

Do you keep the festivities going after Christmas? Hope your all having a great New Year so far!
Bake On! Penny x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

What I got For Christmas 2014

I'm very lucky to have friends and family who know me very well. They know that getting food and baking related gifts is always a winner. I'm so grateful for all my gifts this year, and I thought I would share with you readers what I got. (Its also a thank-you post as well :))  
One of the coolest notebooks that I've ever received is the 'Notes of a Baking Genius'. Which sums me up perfectly! Which my friends Lucy and Ben got me. I'm also in love with my cute cupcake little diary which I'll be documenting my blog post dates and college deadlines (Thanks Nan and Gramps). The baking dvd and book combo my mum got, when I have a moment I'll have to watch it (Thanks Mum!) Also, the tea towels my Mum got me as well, which are very pretty.
 I got the Great British Bake Off Showstoppers (thankies Sofia!) which I've been browsing for my next bake. Also, I got the latest Primrose Bakery book which is all about Christmas cakes and bakes (again thank you Mum). I haven't had a chance to look at this one, but I'm looking forward to reading it. Another fantastic gift is the green tea-towel which has written on here: "1. Bake Cake, 2. Accidentally eat it all myself." Again, Lucy and Ben nailed it, thank you!

Another couple of lovely gifts I got were from 2 good friends of mine, unfortunately I was too stupid to take any pictures of them. I opened them up at different times before Christmas and, I tend to get a bit over excited, so I ripped them to shreds. Firstly, I received a pretty blue owl mug and Instant Chai Latte mix that I got from Chloe. I wish I had taken a picture of the whole thing wrapped up because it was so pretty. Many thankies Chloe! Also, my friend Zoe knows me very well in my love off all things coffee related and she got Starbucks Hot Chocolate Mixes *Homer Simpson Drool*. Thanks Zoe!! I'm also very lucky in getting my first ever blowtorch, which is a girly pink! I also got 2 adorable little heart shaped crème brulee pots with the blowtorch! Thanks Chantelle and Nicky, I can't wait to use this!

Lastly, Rob got me the coolest thing ever: a Rice Cube! (didn't take pictures was to busy being a child and opening them up). Its a cute little device that makes sushi simple. I can't wait to start playing with it. Rob also got me a traditional bamboo steamer, presumably to go with my Rice Cube. Thank you so much Rob!

The next gift has nothing to do with baking at all, but it definitely deserves a mention. Its a zombie desktop shooting set! I've got a pencil gun with rubber band shots and zombie rubber targets. I keep getting distracted cause they need to be shot at! (Lucy and Ben woo!! Thank you very very much for this!)
I did get more pressies but they were more skincare related and there are plenty of blogs that showcase beauty and make-up bits. This be a foodie blog and make-up is not really my domain anyway.

Did you get any food related gifts this Christmas?
Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 2 January 2015

Fat Friday #23 Salted Caramel Cupcakes


Happy New Year Folks! Oh my goodness! Its the new year already? Oh crap, here come the new year resolutions. I might do a separate post on my new year resolutions (if any!). So this is the first Fat Friday of 2015.... take that diet new year resolutions! Also I have to apologise for the lack of a photo. The file got corrupted during editing and I had to delete the original, so sorry about that. Great start to the new year, enjoy this recipe!


Recipe: 12 cupcakes (Recipe adapted from Primrose Celebrations by Lisa Thomas and Martha Swift)   

Cake:
·110g unsalted butter
·225g golden caster sugar
·2 large eggs
·1 vanilla pod, with the seeds scraped out
·120ml whole milk
·150g self-raising flour
·125g plain flour
·1 bar of caramel galaxy chocolate bar

Buttercream:
·110g granulated sugar
·3 tablespoons water
·125ml double cream
·1 teaspoon Maldon salt
·200g butter
·400g icing sugar
Equipment:
·12 hole muffin tin lined with tins
·Hand whisk/wooden spoon
·Bowl x 3
·Knife
·Chopping board
·Saucepan x 2
·Jug
 
 Method
1.Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Line the muffin tray. 
2.Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3.Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until combined.
4.Place the vanilla seeds and milk in a jug.
5.Combine the flours in a separate bowl.
6.Add the flour and milk mixture in thirds, one at a time and mixing in between, into creamed mixture.
7.Carefully spoon the cake mixture into the paper cases. Add a piece of chopped up galaxy bar to each cupcake and push it down into the cupcake.
8.Bake for 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the muffin tray for 10 minutes. Then place on a wire rack to completely cool.
For the butter cream
1.Place the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan on a medium heat. Do not stir the mixture but just swirl it once and a while.
2.While the granulated sugar is boiling, pour the cream and salt in a small bowl to heat gently.
3.Once the granulated sugar has turned an amber colour, remove from heat and immediately add a little cream.
4.Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, be careful as it may spit.
5.Add the remaining cream in small amounts, stirring constantly. Once all the cream has been incorporated, transfer into a separate bowl to cool.
6.Once the salted caramel sauce is cooled, beat it with the butter. Add about half of the icing sugar and beat until combined.
7.Add the rest of the icing sugar until smooth.

To finish
1.The cooled cupcakes with a swirl or with a piped rose and sprinkle with glitter and decorations that you like.

How did you enjoy your new year? Did you do anything special?
Bake On! Penny x
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