Cake, Sweet

Cherry scones recipe – because you can’t always go out for afternoon tea

I love going out for afternoon tea, it’s one of my favourite pastimes (I’ll write about some of my favourite ones) but alas it’s expensive.

It doesn’t stop me wanting one though!

Although it’s easy to buy or make cupcakes and Victoria sponge you need your scones freshly made.

Therefore I decided I wanted cherry scones… And had to make some.

The only thing I don’t like about scones is the baking soda in them as it means I can only eat one before they make my teeth feel fluffy, but this recipe doesn’t use any so you can eat as many as your stomach can handle.

These are definitely best eaten warm, but if not all straight away then the second day is good too. You can just butter them but to really enjoy them then good jam and clotted cream is best. I didn’t have any clotted but I did make whipped cream.


Yummy warm cherry scones

The original recipe I used came from the Good Food website (link below), however I did swap the raisins for glacé cherries so I have altered the recipe to be what I did.

BBC Good Food fruit scones

For the inside filling I used a tub of extra thick double cream mixed with a little vanilla extract and a good strawberry jam.

Perfect!

Ingredients

350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
85g butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp caster sugar
175ml milk

+ a little to glaze

Glacé cherries – I think I probably used about 6 cut into little bits

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.

  2. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid (milk and vanilla) and cherries and combine it quickly – it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Flour the dough and your hands, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round shape about 4cm deep.

  3. Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. I always make a little odd shaped one with what’s left of the dough – you don’t want to waste any!

    I always make a little odd shaped one with what’s left of the dough – you don’t want to waste any!

  4. Brush the tops with milk being careful not to get it down the sides, then put into the oven.

  5. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top.

    Finally serve with your choice of tasty insides.

Cake, Sweet

Earl Grey Tea Bread

Surprisingly for someone who loves tea as much as I do, it took me until my 32nd birthday to try tea bread.
I don’t know why I never had this before its lovely! And as you’d expect from the name it goes perfect with my copious amounts of tea.

My boyfriend bought me my first ever one as a birthday present and it came from an expensive artisan shop so when I tried it it was beautiful. The next one I tried was from Aldi – I never noticed it in there before but now I suddenly saw it.

Now, had I tried the Aldi one first I’d have loved it but as I had the Buxton tea bread it just didn’t taste anywhere near as good.

As usual this prompted me to try and make my own version. I used this recipe but changed the tea.

Good to know – Tea Loaf

This is the recipe I have used for my base but instead of Roobios I have used a lovely loose Earl Grey tea to infuse my fruit. I left it for about 5 hours to soak and I also added some extra mixed spice and some cinnamon. To top the cake off, for the last 20 minutes I have sprinkled the cake with a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you how this has come out yet because although the cake looks and smells amazing, it says to wait at least two days!

I’m stuck looking at a lovely hot cake which I can’t eat. I really hope it’s worth it because I don’t have much restraint for resisting cake but if it makes it special then it’ll be worth it.

Cake, Sweet

My 2013 Christmas Cake

The celebrations might be over but Christmas isn’t officially finished till all the decorations have been put away and… you’ve eaten all of the Christmas Cake!

I love a rich fruit cake and our Christmas cake is the only cake that I spend 2 months loving crafting.
Feeding the cake is fun and seems to be a challenge to get as much alcohol in it as possible.

This year our cake was drowned in brandy.

image

I really wanted to spend a lot more time decorating our cake after spending so much time making it but like everyone else I came down with a winter cold.

Suddenly my plans became a rush to try and get the cake decorated so it was at least covered. I went for a simple design and decided to make it a bit more personal with a little Darth Vader head.

Next year I will think a bit more of the design but I was just glad to have something done.

Cake, Sweet

Alice’s Party cake – In the Night Garden

I created two first birthday cakes for my daughter, the first was a small zebra cake to take with us to the Safari Park (as seen in my last post) then the second one I made was a lot larger for her birthday party.

Alice isn’t really into much at the moment, being only 12 months old so far, but she will stop everything she is doing to sit down and watch an episode of In the Night Garden.  It is also a great theme for a cake as there are loads of colours and simple characters to make.

I decided to be brave and have a go at making a figure for on the cake – Maka Paka!

image

I have only ever made one figure before and that was a rather sad looking teddy bear which was far too fat and sunk down after a few weeks.  It wasn’t my finest cake decorating moment so I don’t know what possessed me to try again but I did.  I think he actually came out ok, not perfect by a long way but he had the general appearance, though his eyes were quite big giving him a ‘chibi’* look.  He managed to make it to the party without his head or any other limb falling off so I think that was a bonus!

image
Sorry for the poor photo, it was late at night when I finished.

I also made circles of icing of the other characters and places them around.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a clear image in my head of what the final piece would look like but I hoped that when I started to put it together I would get an idea.  The cake board I bought was too large, the cake didn’t seem high enough and the green colour icing I made was a little too bright but I thought that I had come this far… I was going to finish the cake!

So this is it, my final In the Night Garden cake.  There are lots of little bits that I would have changed on it but for my first time trying to do something like this I was happy with it and so were the family and friends who came along.In the Night Garden Cake

The cake itself was a simple sponge filled with seedless raspberry jam and a buttercream.  It is strange how when you put these ingredients together and use fondant icing then it always tastes shop bought?  It was soft and moist and held together well when cut so I am pleased with how it tasted as well as looked.  Next year I guess I am going to be doing this again, I wonder what she will like next time.

*as in the Manga meaning of Chibi – cute, small, big eyes.

Cake, Sweet

Happy first birthday Alice – The Zebra Cake

Unfortunately there’s been a lot going on over the past couple of weeks which have caused me to be forgetful in updating my blog.

I’ve celebrated my daughter’s first birthday, been made redundant from my job and but also been offered a new job!
Although its been pretty rubbish to lose my job, I want to speak about the happy thing – Alice’s first birthday.

I haven’t done too much baking recently except to bake for her birthday party but I definitely did plenty of baking for that.
I made 2 birthday cakes, both sponge with buttercream and fondant icing.

The first one, that I will talk about today, was a small cake I made, enough to feed 6 hungry adults and a little lady, I think this equated to an 8″ cake.  I didn’t want it to be too large or fancy as we were taking it to West Midlands Safari park and I needed it to survive the car journey and trip round the animals. 
image

This is one of the reasons why I decorated it with a zebra theme, simple but effective.

I iced it with white fondant icing and then used edible airbrush paints to hand paint on the stripes.  I was a bit worried it would look a little old for her but it was linked to her day out.

I coloured the royal icing, that I used to pipe the writing with a baby pink but on the cake it seemed to come out white.
I was quite pleased with the end results and the advantage of painting the cake was that you didn’t have to colour icing black – which is a pain to do.

I should have used my big camera (Canon 50d) to do some good photos but the house was so full of things for the party that there was barely room to store the cake!

Anyway, I’ll finish this on one of my favourite jokes:
What’s black and white and eats like a horse?

…a zebra!