Baking made simple · cake

Autumn basket of carrot cake

 

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“Autumn is in the air, with a moist carrot cake”

What better way to get your spirits up, with the end of Summer. Than to have that warm smell of toasted nuts and cinnamon spices. And of course an autumn vegetable, like carrots. To give you a delicious moist carrot cake. πŸ˜‹

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To get the aromas in the kitchen. Toast the walnuts before you add it to the cake. Just make them golden, so watch them closely to avoid them burning. Another option of nuts to use are pecans πŸ˜‹ or try out your favourite nut and share!

The only thing that takes long to prepare, is grating the carrots. Other than that mix everything together. If you don’t have an electric mixer it’s easy to mix by hand too.

I’ve added buttermilk to my recipe, as an extra touch to give that added moistness.

I’ve also reduced the sugar quantity in this recipe. I found having both caster sugar and light brown sugar, can make the cake too sweet if too much is added.

For the frosting I recommend a soft frosting in between the layers. But if you are going to do piping decorations. Use a frosting with more butter and icing sugar. As it holds better, making piping patterns on the cake later easier to hold its shape. While I was piping the basket onto the cake. I had to put the cake and frosting in the fridge half way during piping to cool the mixture down. I think my kitchen was too hot on that day too. So definitely keep space in your fridge.

Ingredients for cake
400g plain flour
200g caster sugar
200g light brown sugar
450ml sunflower oil
2& 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs
500g carrots
2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate soda
1& 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
150g walnuts

Cream cheese frosting inside layers
250g cream cheese
50g butter
25g icing sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract

Cream cheese frosting for piping
250g cream cheese
120g butter
4 cups icing sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract
Gel paste food colouring to give the colour on the basket

 

1. Set your oven to 160 degrees Celsius and grease 2 round tins
2. Grate the carrots
3. Chop the walnuts and roast on a frying pan. (Make sure they don’t burn).
4. Mix together the flour, brown sugar, caster sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, soda bicarbonate.
5. Mix in the oil and vanilla extract.
6. Whisk separately the eggs and add to the mixture. Along with the buttermilk.
7. Once the mixture is mixed well. Stir in with a spoon the carrots and walnuts.
8. Pour the mixture in your greased trays making sure equal quantities in both.

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9. Put in the oven for an hour to 1hour and 10 mins. Check with a knife that’s it’s baked before you take it out.
10. Once cooled level the cakes with a knife.

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Cream cheese frosting
1. Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Put the non piping one in between the layers.

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Look out for my blog in the week on how to decorate this moist cakeπŸ€—

 

 

 

Baking made simple

Creating a last minute surprise

 

I’ve always loved baking for my loved ones and people at work.
When I think of baked things it reminds me of joyous times like celebrating occasions to simply hanging out with friends. Bringing out a cake always brings an exciting thrill through the air and smiles all round. Wouldn’t it be great to achieve this without having to do much work 😝

Whenever I bake I always mix up extra mixture so that I can get enough mixture to make an extra cake. Once cooled wrap the cake well in foil and a plastic bag. And pop it in the freezer. If you have a last minute event or friends popping over. Defrost it the night before. Mix up my favourite chocolate and coffee mascarpone frosting. Ice it with with a beautiful lined effect, you don’t even need a spatula if you don’t have one. I use the handle of my grater. If you have some fruit in the garden or house. Place it on as decoration. πŸ€— you have a wonderful cake without lots of extra work.

The extra layer I had was from the coffee cake mixture I was making for a tiramisu layer cake.

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Be creative and have some fun, teasing your friends that you’ve been at it all morning!

 

 

Baking made simple

Bestemor Bread!!! #Quick & easy to make #Great for the kids!

img_5001-1My husband’s Bestemor (Grandma) from Norway. Has never bought bread from a store. She only knew what’s best for her…..to make homemade bread. This recipe had never been written down. It had just always been in her head. The bread is just delicious. Nothing like what you buy in a store. It’s like that warm nostalgic bread, you get at the start of dinner, in an amazing restaurant.

A few years ago, I asked her to show me how she makes it. With the help of my mother-in-law, we wrote it down in Norwegian.

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Unfortunately she was in hospital, for a period of time. So Besterfa (her husband) was at home on his own. His version of cooking is putting a frozen pizza on a frying pan 😫. So my mother-in-law and I, attempted to bake the bread for him. The feedback we got, was it didn’t taste the same, as it didn’t have enough salt πŸ˜….

The other day my sister-in-law and I were trying to work out, what bread we could give our 8 month old babies. I remembered I had this recipe in the cupboard. We found it, luckily still readable. And tested the recipe out. With half the mixture, we didn’t add any salt and used unsalted butter (for the boys). I recommend if you do this, make a different decoration on top, so you know which one is which. My sister-in-law came up with, an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds on ours!! What a great idea πŸ’‘

So while my parents entertained the boys. We made the bread. We couldn’t believe how quick it was to mix up. Its perfect, because we didn’t have to wait for it to prove. You just put it straight into a cold oven and turn the heat up πŸ˜ƒ. One hour later, that glorious smell of baking. Had the boys drooling over the bread. All of us stood round the bread in the kitchen, testing it out πŸ˜‹.

This bread also tastes great once stored in the freezer. Just pack it in a clear food bag, and put that in a carrier bag. Take it out the night before you need it, to let it defrost…… delicious for breakfast or lunch.

INGREDIENTS

1kg of plain flour

2 cups (256g) of wholemeal bread flour

1 cup (128g) of oats

4 teaspoons of sesame seeds (remove from kids bread if allergic)

2 teaspoons of salt

700ml milk

100g yeast live (Norwegian) or if dry Β yeast use quantity required for 1.4kg of flour on the packet

500ml water

METHOD

1. Mix together all the dry ingredients.

2. Heat 400ml milk with 500ml water to about 37 degrees.

3. In 300ml warm milk add the yeast and mix well.

4. Mix the milk and yeast into the dry ingredients. Then pour in the rest of the wet ingredients.

5. Mix till you get a dough that’s not too dry and not too sticky. If too sticky add a little more plain flour. If too dry add a little more warm water.

6. Divide the mixture into 3, and make them into bread like loaves. Place onto baking parchment on a tray. Sprinkle more sesame seeds on top. And make a few dents on the top.

7. Use salted butter to put blobs on tops and on the sides. To give them a nice golden look.

8. Place the tray in a cold oven. Turn the oven up to 180 degrees for 30 minutes. After this time turn the oven up to 200 degrees for 25 minutes.

9. Take out of the oven once you can tap it. It should give a hollow sound.

Be creative, by adding extra seeds or dried cranberries!! Enjoy!! πŸ€— for breakfast, lunch or dinner!!

Baking made simple

Baking a Baileys Delight

This one is so a night in chilling, with drinks with your girls πŸ˜ƒ or boys

WhatsApp best place to throw in ideas. So I asked my best friends to tell me what kind of cake they wanted. They came out with chocolate…… Baileys …. cupcakes. So I did as they said but with a twist. I added the bottle of Bailey’s. At first I thought this is going to be hard to get the picture of the Bailey’s bottle to look real. But everything is possible with “edible icing pictures!!” And you can order it to your door online.

Getting the pieces to shape your cake

1. I had to work out how to make the shape of the bottle. I had 3 different sized circle cutters i found in my Mums kitchen 😝.

2. I baked my Baileys and chocolate cake mixture (recipe below) in a flat 12×9 inch tray, so I was left with a rectangle shaped cake 1inch high.

3. I scraped the left over batter to make 6 mini cupcakes (2 to put on top of the cake as the lid. The rest were there to eat while I decorated the cake 😝you can also make more to decorate around the Baileys bottle when you serve).

4. Once the cake was cooled I chilled it in the fridge for an hour. This made the cake less crumbly. I used the circle cutters to make 5 big circles and 1 of each of the smaller circles.

5. I made a mascarpone and Baileys frosting. This I used to layer the cake. And added black colouring to the rest of the mixture. This covered the outside of the cake.

6. Before you start assembling the cake make sure you have you serving plate and that you have space in the fridge for it and to be able to take the height of your cake (up to 9inches).

7. Make sure your cake to assemble are still cold so it’s less likely to break.

Assembly time!

1. Double check all your layers are straight. If any are at an angle you will have a wonky cake 😩

2. Place the 5 layers of the largest circles one on top of the other using the mascarpone frosting in between the layers this will hold it together. Take 2 wooden skewers check they are shorter than the height of your cake. If too long cut them before you go to the next step. Those skewers can be really hard to cut. I had to snap mine and then take off any wooden spikes. Insert the 2 wooden skewers through your cake. Make sure the cake looks straight and not like the Leaning Tower of Pizza.

3. Now you can add your medium sized circle and then the smallest. Finally take 2 of the cupcakes out of the cases and place them on top of the cake.

4. You now have a shape like a bottle. To make it more bottle-like. Use a serrated knife to curve the bottle neck.

5. To get the black coloured frosting I would recommend a black gel paste is great to use as the colouring is less likely to leak out of the icing than liquid colouring. Add the amount you need to get a black colour.

6. Put your crumb based icing on. This is just a thin layer of icing. Put the cake in the fridge to chill. This step is so important otherwise it’s a nightmare to add your final layer of buttercream. As it will get all little cake crumbs on the outside and will be difficult to get a smooth frosting.

7. Once cooled take your black buttercream and add a thick amount of it onto your cake with a spatula. I found it easier with a knife as it was nice and slim to get around the cake.

8. On the top of the cake put a thin layer of the white mascarpone frosting. I then used a sheet of kitchen towel to smooth out the frosting. Once you are happy with a smooth finish.

9. Cut out the shape of your Bailey’s label and place it on the cake. And use a knife to make the lines on the lid of the bottle.

Now you and your friends just need to decide how to cut it and indulge.