Author: <span class="vcard">aimeelf6</span>

Caramel Macchiato Cake

Caramel Macchiato Cake

Tea and toast. Cheese and crackers. Coffee and cake. Some pairings are just meant to be. But caramel makes everything better right?

If I’m not keeping it simple with an americano, my Starbucks order is always a caramel macchiato. The strong coffee mixed with vanilla and caramel just works so well. And why not turn the things you love into cake?!

caramel macchiato layer cakecaramel macchiato layer cake

I think coffee cake is really underrated. Usually paired with walnuts and a sickly sweet buttercream, it just doesn’t do it justice. This cake though is paired with the dreamiest silkiest buttercream you ever did taste. Its a classic swiss meringue buttercream with 175ml of glorious caramel. AHH. I could just eat the buttercream from the bowl. It was my first time using my KMix to make buttercream and oh god the difference. It just made it so light, and even easier to spread on the finished cake.

caramel macchiato layer cakecaramel macchiato layer cake

But, back to the cake! The sponge has instant coffee, a full cup of freshly brewed coffee AND a coffee soak to add when baked. So you could say I like coffee… though the caramel SMB cuts through it all to balance the bitterness out. Now I couldn’t call it a caramel macchiato cake without the signature caramel topping could I? I popped some caramel into a piping bag and went to TOWN. I promise you though, the cake really isn’t as sweet as it sounds with all that caramel flying around. I think thats why I love swiss meringue buttercream so much. It may be richer than regular buttercream with the additional butter, but its so much less sweet! No teeth-grinding icing sugar round here thank you very much.

caramel macchiato layer cakecaramel macchiato layer cake

The whole cake was actually surprisingly quick to make, I made it in an afternoon last weekend and I was enjoying a slice after dinner. I also didn’t make my own caramel for once, as it was a spontaneous bake and that sped the process up! I used a jar of Bonne Maman’s caramel and its really delicious if you fancy being lazy too. If not, my recipe for salted caramel here would work really well, just remember to omit the salt. Although salted caramel buttercream with coffee would be delicious too!

caramel macchiato cakecaramel macchiato cake

Let me know if you try it, it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon treat with, you guessed it, a cup of coffee!

Caramel Macchiato Cake

Caramel Macchiato Cake

Ingredients

    Cake
  • 390g plain flour
  • 2 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tsp instant coffee granules or espresso powder
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 67g soft light brown sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 188ml whole milk
  • 188ml strong, hot coffee
    Coffee Soak
  • 125ml water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1tsp instant coffee granules or espresso powder
    Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 150ml egg whites, room temperature
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 450g unsalted butter, room temperature cubed
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 175ml caramel (plus extra for drizzle)

Instructions

  • Firstly, preheat the oven to 175C/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line three 8-inch cake tins.
  • In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder and set aside.
  • Then using an electric mixer, beat the butter for a few minutes until smooth. Add both the sugars and increase the speed to medium-high. Keep mixing until the butter and sugars are creamed together and the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla extract followed by the eggs one at a time making sure they are each fully incorporated.
  • Then in alternating batches, add in half of the dry ingredients, the whole milk and the remaining dry ingredients mixing on low in between. Only mix until the batter is just combined. Then with the mixer on low, stream in the hot coffee and mix until smooth.
  • Evenly distribute the batter between the three pans, and bake for 24-26 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the tins for 10 minutes on a wire rack, before removing the cakes from the tins.
  • For the coffee soak, pour all the ingredients into a saucepan and place over a medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a slight boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool until ready to use.
  • For the swiss meringue buttercream, place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and gently whisk by hand to combine. Then place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisking occasionally heat the egg mixture until it reaches 160F (70C) on a candy thermometer. Once you've reached the right temperature, take the bowl off the heat and fit onto a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the mixture for 8-10 minutes until it holds medium-stiff peaks. When done, the outside of the bowl should have reached room temperature. Stop the mixer and swap the whisk attachment out for the paddle.
  • Then with the mixer on low, add in the butter a few cubes at a time, then the vanilla and finally the caramel. Once all incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 3-5 minutes until the buttercream is silky smooth.
  • To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges onto your serving plate, brush liberally with the coffee soak and spread on 1/4 of the buttercream. Repeat with the next sponge, and then place the final sponge on top brushing with the remaining coffee soak. Cover the entire cake with the remaining buttercream, smoothing or swirling as desired. Finally place the remaining caramel into a piping bag and drizzle over back and forth.
  • Notes

    Can be kept air-tight for up to one week.

    Adapted from The Cake Blog's Caramel Cuppuccino Cake.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2017/02/05/caramel-macchiato-cake/

    Pistachio & Raspberry Financiers

    Pistachio & Raspberry Financiers

    I’m backkkkkk! Sorry for the month hiatus, it wasn’t intentional! Who knew January was so busy!? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year though! I’m back with a french classic and one of my favourite treats ever! A pistachio & raspberry financier.

    pistachio & raspberry financiers

    I first came across the financier when I worked in London Bridge. I used to walk through Borough Market on my lunch break and would have to fight the urge to buy everything!! My favourite stall there was called Comptoir Gourmand and they sold the most wonderful array of french cakes and pastries, including a vibrant green pistachio financier. It was the best thing, my mouths watering even thinking of it!

    I love the dense moist texture, and the pistachio flavour just works so well. I’d always had it on my mental ‘to-bake’ list and I finally ticked it off last week! So a little history lesson for you here, the financier was created by a Parisian baker who worked in the financial district of the city. He wanted to create a bake for his customers that they could eat on the go and wouldn’t be crumbly and messy like a croissant. And so the financier was born. The name makes sense now right? Just to add to their banking background they are also traditionally made in a rectangular shape to resemble a ‘gold bar’. Obviously, this only really works if you stick to the original recipe and don’t turn them green!

    pistachio & raspberry financiers

    Pistachio and raspberry is one of my favourite flavour combinations, and the fresh raspberries in these financiers give such a tart hit. Financiers are actually really easy to make, and you can keep the dough chilled in the fridge for up to three days which is perfect if you want to prep ahead. And means you can impress visitors by having a fresh batch of cakes whipped up in minutes! I made 12 small cakes, but you could make 6 large instead – and actually I think next time I would just make the 6. Quality over quantity ya know?

    pistachio & raspberry financiers

    For the recipe I used a 50:50 ratio of ground almonds and ground pistachios. As I was adapting a recipe I didn’t want the pistachio’s higher fat content to change the bake too much. Now I’ve not seen ground pistachios in any supermarkets round me (though I have seen Sainsburys stocking ground hazelnuts which is exciting!), so I just blitzed my own. I was worried that the nuts might release too much oil as I blitzed, but actually it was fine and got to the same consistency as supermarket ground almonds really quickly.

    One key step to the financiers is to brown the butter, which essentially means to heat the butter in a saucepan until it turns a golden brown colour. This gives a wonderfully nutty flavour to the bake which I think is so unique.

    pistachio & raspberry financiers

    I think these are a delight with a cup of tea on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The perfect bake for the miserably cold days we’ve been having recently!

    Pistachio & Raspberry Financiers

    Yield: 12 small or 6 large

    Pistachio & Raspberry Financiers

    Ingredients

    • 120g unsalted butter, diced
    • 50g ground almonds
    • 50g ground pistachios
    • 25g plain flour
    • 125g icing sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • 4 large egg whites
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 12 raspberries, quartered
    • 20g pistachios, chopped

    Instructions

  • Heat the butter in a small pan over a medium heat and cook until the butter has foamed and then turned golden brown. This will take a little while, so stick with it. Pour the browned butter into a small heatproof bowl and set aside.
  • Put the ground almonds, ground pistachios, flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl and mix together until combined. Then add the egg whites and vanilla extract and stir to form a thick paste. Pour in the slightly cooled butter and stir until you have a smooth batter. Press a sheet of clingfilm onto the surface of the batter and put into the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 6 and lightly grease your mini-loaf pans or place your mini-loaf cases onto a baking tray. Spoon the batter evenly into the pans/cases, filling them half full. Press 4 quarters of a raspberry into each financier and top with chopped pistachios. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they have started to brown around the edges. Leave to cool in the pans for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely, or just place the cases onto the wire rack straight away to cool.
  • Notes

    Batter can be kept covered in the fridge for up to three days before baking.

    Financiers keep up to two days in an air tight container, but taste best on the day of baking.

    Recipe adapted from Edd Kimber's Patisserie Made Simple.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2017/01/23/pistachio-raspberry-financiers/

    Chocolate Christmas Bark

    Chocolate Christmas Bark

    chocolate-christmas-bark-1 chocolate-christmas-bark-2

    Its less than a week to go guys!! I’m so excited!! Yet also so stressed that I haven’t finished everyones presents yet. That’s the only problem with making and baking presents, it always takes so much longer than you imagine! But this chocolate christmas bark is the perfect quick gift, that actually looks quite fancy!

    Chocolate bark is ALL over Pinterest, especially at Christmas time. Its not really a very common treat over here in the UK, but I love how simple yet creative chocolate bark can be that I had to give it a go. You could literally chuck anything you like on there, its completely up to you.

    I wanted to make mine really festive, so I added dried cranberries, pistachios, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, golden raisons and sprinkles!! Sprinkles at Christmas is just a given right?

    chocolate christmas bark

    You could easily make the chocolate christmas bark as gifts if you tempered the chocolate. That way you don’t need to store the bark in the fridge, and instead they can sit pretty under the tree! Tempering isn’t as hard as it sounds, so long as you have a digital thermometer. You can get them really cheaply on Amazon, so if you think you’ll get into a bark making mood it might be worth investing!

    Its a case of ensuring the chocolate heats, cools and then heats again but to exact temperatures. Not too tricky! Then you can make slabs of chocolate christmas bark to your hearts content. So have I tempted you? Chocolate! Pistachios (my fave!)! Cranberries! Can it get anymore christmasy!?

    chocolate christmas bark

    There isn’t really an exact ‘recipe’ to my chocolate christmas bark, as you could really use anything you like! But I’ve given some guidelines below!

    Chocolate Christmas Bark

    Chocolate Christmas Bark

    Ingredients

    • 400g milk chocolate
    • 100g white chocolate
    • 120g mix of dried fruit and nuts (I used the Waitrose Fruit & Nut Mix)
    • handful of chopped pistachios
    • handful of sprinkles

    Instructions

  • Firstly, line a large baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  • Put three-quarters of the chocolate in a bain-marie and melt on a very low heat. Stirring ocassionally, melt the chocolate slowly until you reach 45C on a thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring continuously until the chocolate has melted and it has lowered in temperature to 27-28C.
  • Return the bowl to the heat and stirring constantly, heat it for 1 minute or until it has increased to 28-29C. Spread the chocolate evenly onto the prepared baking paper. Scatter your dried fruit, nuts and sprinkles over the chocolate.
  • Then repeat the tempering process for the white chocolate and drizzle over the chocolate bark.
  • Leave to set at room temperature, and then break into shards. Store in an air-tight container.
  • http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/12/20/chocolate-christmas-bark/

    Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

    Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

    iced gingerbread biscuits

    Iced gingerbread biscuits are such a staple at Christmas.Their simplistic yet versatile nature makes them a favourite among children and adults alike. Whether you’re making gingerbread houses, tree decorations or just a teatime treat like mine, the signature spiced smell just spells Christmas to me!

    I’ve never actually dared to make a gingerbread house, its always seemed like an awful lot of work and stress to me! But this gingerbread recipe is my absolute favourite, and perfect to turn into cute festive treats with the icing being the cherry on top!

    iced gingerbread biscuitsiced gingerbread biscuits

    When baking my iced gingerbread biscuits, the first thing you should know is that they’re very forgiving. The dough can be re-rolled if you get in a pickle and it doesn’t make the biscuit chewy and tough. And shall we say ‘rustic’ icing just makes them look more personal and homemade in my opinion. Just what Christmas should be about! I’ve always been more of a ‘maker’ than a ‘buyer’; there’s just something so special about spending time making something you know someone will love! Or in this case, enjoy eating! At Christmas I definitely become a feeder…guilty!

    The biscuits are lightly spiced and have a good snap when you bite into them. They do get a little softer as the days go on, but i’ve found they keep well for up to a week. And in some ways I sort of prefer them when they get a little softer! But with that in mind they can easily be made as a present, so long as they’re wrapped up air-tight…and you don’t eat them all first!

    iced gingerbread biscuitsiced gingerbread biscuits

    I realised only as I’d started to bake these that I didn’t actually have any Christmassy cutters – something that I need to rectify! So I used a circle cutter for my ‘snowflakes’, and cut a star out of baking paper and used that as a makeshift template. Both worked really well (in my opinion), and actually I think the circular ‘snowflakes’ have a certain charm.

    The icing I wanted to keep quite simple, I think with iced gingerbread the simpler the better looks wise and taste! They have a whimsical, oldy-woldy sense about them don’t you think? Making the icing took me back to being a little girl and adding the icing to the chocolate fairy cakes my mum had made. I always wanted to be involved when mum was baking…to lick the spoon obviously 😉

    Let me know if you make these, for yourself or as a gift! I’ll be back with another festive recipe soon!

    iced gingerbread biscuits

    Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

    Yield: 20 Biscuits

    Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

    Ingredients

      Gingerbread
    • 350g plain flour
    • 1tsp bicarb
    • 2tsp ground ginger
    • 1tsp ground cinnamon
    • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
    • 175g light soft brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 4tbsp golden syrup
      Icing
    • 250g icing sugar

    Instructions

  • Firstly, pour the flour, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and unsalted butter into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then pulse in the sugar until combined. Or if you don't have a food processor, rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then whisk in the sugar until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together and then pour into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture clumps together. Or, using a wooden spoon mix the wet ingredients in with the breadcrumb mixture until it clumps together.
  • Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until combined and smooth. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
  • Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C/350F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Roll the dough out to 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out circles and stars (or any other festive shape you like) and place on the baking trays leaving a little gap between them.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden-brown. Leave them on the baking tray for 10 minutes and then place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
  • For the icing, mix the icing sugar with two/three tablespoons of water until you have a thick icing. You want it to be thick enough so that it doesn't run off the biscuits when you decorate. Pour the icing into a piping bag, and snip off the end so you are left with a small hole to pipe from.
  • Decorate your biscuits as you wish, and leave to set at room temperature.
  • Notes

    The biscuits can be kept stored in a sealed container for at least a week.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/12/09/iced-gingerbread-biscuits/