Category: Cakes

Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakes

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Ah the humble welsh cake. A teatime treat, that has been popular in Wales since the late 19th Century (or so Wikipedia tells me!).

I went to university in Wales, Bangor in North Wales to be precise and I have a lot of love for the country. The countryside is beautiful, the accents are amazing and they have some pretty good food. Welsh rarebit and bara brith to name a few. And obviously, the welsh cake is up there.

But that’s not the reason I made them! Actually, I saw on Facebook that someone had made a tower of welsh cakes into a beautiful arrangement for a substitute wedding cake! Aside from thinking it was a wonderful idea, it made me reallyyy want to eat some again. I’d never made them before, but I figured this was as good a time as any to learn how!

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They’re definitely a store-cupboard bake, which makes them so easy to knock up for an afternoon snack! I kinda see them as flat scones – they’ve got pretty much every ingredient just less of the milk and more of the currants. Don’t let ‘flat scones’ put you off though, these are delicious in their own right. Served warm with a smear of butter; they’re an absolute delight!

The method is super simple, sift the dry ingredients together – including a teaspoon of mixed spice which complements the currants perfectly. You then rub in the butter, and add the fruit. You then add the egg to form a dough. At this point you can add a splash of milk if its a little dry, but mine was fine without!

Then you’ll need to begin rolling out the dough and cutting out the little cakes. My dough was fairly sticky at first, so make sure to flour your surface area. When it came to cutting, I used a 2.25inch round fluted cookie cutter, which made 20 little welsh cakes.

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Now we come to the slightly tricky part, the cooking! It seems strange to say cooking when I’m talking about cakes, but these welsh cakes are cooked in a frying pan – or traditionally a bake stone. With a smear of butter in the pan, you cook them on either side for about 3 minutes on a medium heat. You need to watch your little cakes to make sure they’re aren’t browning too quickly, but they’re still cooked all the way through. It’s a tricky one to get first try, and mine were a little burnt. It’s nothing a sprinkling (or in this case a dollop!) of caster sugar can’t fix however, which is your last and final step. Aside from devouring them obviously!

Let me know how you get on, or if you’ve had welsh cakes before! 🙂

Welsh Cakes

Yield: 20 welsh cakes

Ingredients

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 110g currants
  • 1 large egg
  • a little milk, if needed
  • a little extra butter, for cooking
  • a little extra caster sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Firstly, sift together all the dry ingredients. Then rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add in the fruit, and mix to combine.
  • Beat the egg, and then add it to the mixture, mixing until it forms a dough. Add a little milk, if the dough seems dry.
  • Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Using the fluted cutter, cut the dough into rounds, trying not to twist the dough too much. Re-roll the trimmings until all the dough is used.
  • Next lightly grease the pan with butter and place over a medium heat. Cook the welsh cakes for 3 minutes on each side in batches until all are done. They should turn a medium brown on the outside and be slightly crispy.
  • Finally, sprinkle caster sugar over all the welsh cakes.
  • Notes

    Served best warm with butter.

    Adapted from Delia Smith's Welsh Cakes.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/06/05/welshcakes/

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    Chocolate? Check.

    Tons of frosting? Check!

    Salted Caramel? CHECK.

    Anyone else already hungry? I know I am, and I’ve eaten at least two slices of this beauty already! Sometimes you just need cake, and with a cocktail party on the cards for the Bank Holiday weekend it was the perfect excuse to try a new recipe.

    This chocolate layer cake with vanilla frosting and salted caramel drizzle is a decadent dream, and inspired by two of my new cake blogging crushes. Firstly, Tessa Huff of Sweet Style CA and Rosie of Rosie’s Dessert Spot – both make insanely beautiful cakes and are definitely worth a follow right now! Go!

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    This was my first attempt at a drip cake, and even though I’ve watched like a bajillion videos and read SO many blog posts on them, I think some more practise will be in order! Getting the right consistency of ‘drip’ and ensuring you add the right amount is trickier than I imagined it would be.

    An excuse to practise by making another cake is hardly a trial though right? I’ve become a little (read ALOT) obsessed with layer cakes at the moment, and can’t stop watching videos of frosting being perfectly smeared onto stacks of cake. So apologies if it gets a little cake heavy round thee parts soon! Though, is an apology for more cake really needed??

    If you make any element of this bake though, go for the salted caramel drizzle. Its the PERFECT recipe, and makes more than you need which came in really handy for our household when my sister brought over brownies!

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    This chocolate layer cake recipe is SUPER moist! Its one of those bakes that needs to be left in the pans for a good 10-15 minutes after taking them out the oven. The sponges are also super bouncy, meaning you have to be delicate in transferring them to your cake stand. But once they’re cooled and encased in light fluffy buttercream they are so delicious – and even better the day after baking!

    This buttercream is so light and fluffy – but you have to be prepared to whip that butter for a good 5 minutes or so to ensure it! You need to whip the butter to the point where it looks like frosting, which is confusing for the mind when you decide to taste it!

    So have I convinced you that you need to try this yet?

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    Ingredients

      Cake
    • 312g plain flour
    • 82g cocoa powder
    • 2&1/2tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1tsp salt
    • 155ml vegetable oil
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2tsp almond extract
    • 340ml whole milk
    • 227ml hot strong-brewed coffee
      Buttercream
    • 500g unsalted butter
    • 1kg icing sugar
    • 1tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2tbsp whole milk
      Salted Caramel Drizzle
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 2tbsp golden syrup
    • 2tbsp water
    • 113ml double cream
    • 2tbsp unsalted butter
    • flaked sea salt to taste
    • 1tsp vanilla extract

    Instructions

  • For the Cake:
  • Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line three 8" baking pans.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Then set aside until needed.
  • Using a hand mixer beat together the oil and sugar for about two minutes. With the mixer still running, add the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extract ensuring you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
  • On a low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Again, ensure you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
  • Remaining on a low speed, stream in the coffee until just combined.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the three prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the sponges bounce back.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack in the pans for at least 10-15 minutes, before removing them from the pans to completely cool.
  • For the salted caramel:
  • While the cakes are cooling begin making the salted caramel drizzle by placing the sugar, golden syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir to combine.
  • Heat over a high heat, occasionally swirling the pan, until it turns a medium gold amber colour - this will take about 10 minutes. Once the caramel starts to deepen in colour, remove the pan from the heat. Slowly and carefully whisk in the cream, the mixture will bubble up so stand clear and keep stirring.
  • Add the butter, whilst continuing to stir until melted. Then add the salt and vanilla to combine, I added around 4 large pinches.
  • Pour into a heat-safe container (a pyrex bowl, jug or a jam jar will do) and set aside to cool and thicken.
  • For the frosting:
  • Put the unsalted butter into a large bowl and using a hand mixer beat for a good 6 minutes, until it is super creamy. Then slowly add the icing sugar in batches, beating continually with the hand mixer until all incorporated.
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract, and continue beating with the hand mixer until it is super light and fluffy.
  • For the assembly, place one sponge onto your cake stand and using a palette knife spread a layer of frosting on top. Repeat this with the next two layers.
  • Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream, and then using a cake scraper or a palette knife drag it around the cake to achieve a smooth finish, removing any excess buttercream.
  • Finally, pour the salted caramel over the top of the cake, coaxing it to slowly drip over the sides.
  • Notes

    Excess Buttercream - As you scrape the cake to achieve a smooth finish, you will undoubtedly remove alot of the buttercream. Rather than wasting this, you can place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Once you're ready to use the buttercream again, place in the fridge overnight to defrost completely.

    Adapted from StyleSweetCA's London Fog Cake.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/05/30/chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle/

    Black Forest Gateau

    Black Forest Gateau

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    Black Forest Gateau. The classic seventies dessert is a personal favourite of Craig’s, so when his 25th Birthday rolled around I knew what was gonna be on the menu!

    This is a boozy cake. There’s no getting around it, so if alcohol isn’t for you you might want to skip this one! It also makes the cake a little on the pricey side, so save it for a celebration.

    Anyway, onto the actual cake! This is choc-a-block with filling, and packed with flavour! You’ve got the cherry brandy soaked sponges, kirsch plumped cherries and a lot of whipped cream. Surprisingly though its not too rich, mainly because the whipped cream cuts through it all!

    So the trickiest parts to the Black Forest Gateau are as follows:

    • Cutting the sponges into four! The batter doesn’t yield huge cakes so cutting each into two was a little tense at times. But use a serrated knife, keep a steady but slow hand and turn the cake as you go.
    • Stacking the filling covered cakes! As you have to spread the cherry mixture onto the soaked sponges before stacking, when you do come to stack them its tricky! In hindsight, I definitely shouldn’t have stacked them on the opposite side of the kitchen to where they were cooling… But you live and learn!
    • Assembling! So as you can see from the slightly ‘rustic’ appearance of the gateau I didn’t exactly assemble the cake to perfection. But rustic = cute and handmade right? Tips I learnt from this was to really make sure the cherry filling is evenly spread so the cake doesn’t fall down at the sides. Otherwise the cakes like to split, just like mine did 🙁

    All in all the Black Forest Gateau went down a treat, and I definitely urge you to make it next time you want to celebrate!

    Black Forest Gateau

    Ingredients

      Cake
    • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 160g self-raising flour
    • 65g cocoa powder
    • 1/2tsp baking powder
    • 4 medium eggs
      Filling
    • 340g jar of morello cherry jam
    • 1 x tin of black cherries in syrup, drained
    • 2-3tbsp kirsch
    • 100ml cherry brandy
    • 500ml double cream
    • 50g dark chocolate, plus more for decoration
      Decoration
    • fresh cherries

    Instructions

  • Firstly, preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
  • Put the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and thick. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins ensuring the batter is level. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until cakes are beginning to shrink away from the sides. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, until turning them out onto a cooling rack.
  • Once the cakes are completely cool, cut each in half with a serrated knife and then place onto a board cut sides up.
  • For the filling, place the jam in a saucepan with the cherries and kirsch and place over a low heat. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring, until the jam has melted and the cherries begin to swell. Then leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the cherry brandy over the chocolate sponges, then spread three of them with the cherry mixture and leave to cool. Making sure that the sponge without the cherry topping is from the top half of one of the cakes.
  • Then whip 300ml of the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Transfer one of the sponges with the cherry topping to a cake stand or plate, and dollop a third of the whipped cream gently on top of the cherry mixture. Sprinkle with a little of the grated chocolate.
  • Top with another cherry covered sponge, and repeat the cream and chocolate layer. Do this again wth the remaining cherry covered sponge. Place the final sponge on top, with the top surface facing upwards.
  • Whip the remaining 200ml of the cream until soft peaks form, then spread the cream on top of the cake. Place a few fresh cherries on top, and then cover with the remaining chocolate.
  • Keep the cake chilled until ready to serve. Best served on the same day it's made.
  • Notes

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/04/10/black-forest-gateau/

    Disclaimer: Please note that some links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I only endorse products that I myself use and would recommend.

    Speckled Egg Layer Cake

    Speckled Egg Layer Cake

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    Easter is my absolute favourite time of year for tasty treats. And Mini Eggs are the cream of the crop. Am I right?

    So when I saw a few cakes on Pinterest embodying the speckled mini egg charm I knew I had to make my own version!

    This speckled egg layer cake looks so festive and would be the perfect centrepiece on an Easter Sunday table. The speckled outer layer is ridiculously easy to create too, meaning you look like a professional without spending hours in the kitchen!

    Both the cake and frosting are flavoured just with vanilla. Vanilla is such a wonderful punchy flavour – but only if you use a quality vanilla extract! Please steer clear of wishy washy vanilla essence – it really lacks the pizazz needed for this cake. You can always make your own vanilla extract if you like; just pop a couple of vanilla pods in with a small bottle of vodka (yes vodka!) and leave in a cool place for 2/3 months. My mind was blown when I realised this was how vanilla extract was made, especially considering how easy and cheap it is to do!

    The cake can be baked in advance, just wrap the cooled sponges tightly in clingfilm and then assemble the next day with the frosting. The frosting is super simple to make, and can be made as thick or thin as you like! I wanted a fairly smooth edge to my cake, so I kept it pretty thick so it would hold in place well. To adjust the texture, simply add more cream to thin it or more icing sugar to thicken.

    As I was going for the speckled mini egg look, I tinted my frosting a pale green. You could go for any ‘typical’ mini egg colour that you’d like though. Lilac, dusty pink or even a stark white! To create the speckled look, I simply mixed 1tsp of cocoa powder with a couple of teaspoons of water until I created a paste. Using a pastry brush I then flicked the brush to create specks all over the frosting. You can coat it as much as you like at this point to create your desired effect.

    So there we have it! My speckled egg layer cake! I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, and any excuse to eat more mini eggs works in my eyes! 😉

    Speckled Egg Layer Cake

    Ingredients

      Cake
    • 431g plain flour
    • 3/4tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1tsp salt
    • 345g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 350g caster sugar
    • 4 large eggs, room temperature
    • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
    • 3tsp vanilla extract
    • 360ml buttermilk
      Frosting
    • 287g unsalted butter
    • 580g icing sugar
    • 80ml double cream
    • 3tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8tsp salt
    • green gel food colouring (or colour of your choice)
      Decoration
    • 1tsp cocoa powder
    • 2tsp water
    • mini eggs to decorate

    Instructions

  • Firstly, pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C and grease and lightly flour three 8-inch cake tins.
  • In a large bowl, briefly whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Then set aside. Next, using an electric mixer beat the butter on a high speed until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Then add the sugar and beat on a high speed for 5 full minutes until creamed together well. On a medium-high speed, add one whole egg at a time, beating well after each addition until all 4 whole eggs are mixed in. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Using a low speed on the electric mixer add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Ensure you only mix until everything is just incorporated, over mixing will result in a close-textured greasy sponge. The batter will be quite thick! Finally, whisk the 2 egg whites until thick, foamy and soft peaks form - about 3 minutes by hand. Then gently fold into the batter.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into each cake tin, then bake for around 25 minutes or until the sponges are baked through. Test by inserting a toothpick into the centre of the cake - if it comes our clean, the sponges are done. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack.
  • For the frosting, beat the butter on a medium speed until creamy in a large bowl. Add the icing sugar, cream, vanilla extract and salt - mixing on a low speed initially. Increase to a high speed and beat for 3 full minutes once the mixture has begun to incorporate. Add more icing sugar if the frosting is too thin, or more cream if the frosting is too thick. Also, add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet. Finally, gradually add the food colouring until you get to your desired colour. Add a little at a time, as the colour can change surprisingly quickly!
  • To assemble, place one cake on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with frosting. Place the second sponge on top, and again evenly cover with frosting. Finally, place the third sponge on top and spread a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake to create a crumb coat. Place the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.
  • Then place 3/4 of the remaining frosting into a piping bag, cut of the end and pipe a ring on the top of the cake and one large ring around the centre of the side. Spread this out with a palette knife, to create an even layer on both the top and sides. Then using a side scraper, run it around the edge of the cake at a sharp angle until the desired smoothness is achieved. This may take a little while to achieve.
  • Next, put the remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe stars evenly around the top edge of the cake.
  • Finally, mix the cocoa powder with water in a small bowl to create a paste. You may need to add more water/cocoa powder to achieve the desired paste. Then using a pastry brush flick specks all over the cake. I achieved this by dipping the brush into the paste, and then running my finger down the bristles. You may want to practise this a few times in the sink first! Then, top each piped star with a mini egg.
  • Notes

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/03/23/speckled-egg-layer-cake/