Sunday, 26 February 2012

Blackout Cake

Since it's my birthday today, I decided to make a 5-layered cake from my favourite baking book. Baked In America is worth every penny, each of their recipes providing gigantic quantities of deliciousness. The Blackout Cake is a moist layered cake with lots and lots of chocolate frosting. For "true chocoholics", a birthday is the perfect excuse to make this masterpiece. It takes a lot of ingredients, but it's a lot of fun to make, and even more enjoyable to eat. We had to cut thin slices, then halve them to create pieces small enough for one sitting! Being left alone with this cake could be another story, however - you've been warned. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

Boston Cream Cupcakes

 Boston Cream Pie involves a cake being filled with custard and topped with chocolate frosting. This is a cupcake version as found in the awesome Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days book. The vanilla sponge, which is very moist, is filled with a thick vanilla-infused custard - if that wasn't enough, there's another element to this masterpiece. Chocolate Frosting. Very rich and chocolaty, you could eat this as a dessert on it's own. It does use a lot of cocoa powder but it's worth it; the generous quantity of frosting means there are no scarce scrapings on the cakes - and what's even better is that you may have some left over. There's no shame in eating it with a spoon like I did. 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Hazelnut Rolo Cookies

 Rolos are delicious: chewy caramel encased in smooth milk chocolate. But why not take it to the next level of indulgence - bake them in a hazelnut-studded chocolate cookie dough. Yes, you read correctly. They are equally nice cold than they are out the oven, but you can't beat the gooey caramel that floods into your mouth when they are warm...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

Although I've never had "s'mores", I've heard about their famous elements of chocolate, biscuit and marshmallow. It had me at chocolate. The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days  book (a worthy addition to any baker's collection) has just the thing to fulfil your combined craving for chocolaty, gooey crunchiness all in one bite. A moist chocolate sponge is topped with melted-marshmallow-style meringue, with sprinkled biscuit crumbs and chocolate shavings hidden underneath. A traditional American treat in cupcake form - what's not to like? Next time, for added gooey indulgence, I might chuck some mini-marshmallows into the cake batter.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Apricot Almond Cookies

Yesterday, I had a dilemma. My craving for cookies was colossal, but there was some dried apricots that needed using up. Then the "lightbulb" moment came: I rushed to my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book and impatiently flicked through the pages. This recipe had been on my mental 'to bake' list ever since I bought the book, and now, the one time I have apricots to use, it springs to the attention of my somewhat sieve-like memory. It was meant to be - I wasn't in any position to refuse fate, so I pulled on my apron and hat, and happily rescued the apricots from the fridge. 
This is a cookie with a lovely chewy texture with a flavour to match. You can vary their softness depending on their baking time - if you want a softer cookie, take them out just as they begin to turn golden brown. If you want a bit of outside crisp to accompany the chewy insides, wait until they are golden brown.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes are very popular; a vibrant red sponge with a rich chocolaty flavour, usually topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. However messy they are to eat, they are certainly worth getting your face covered in cream cheese frosting, spilling it all down your shirt, sucking at the paper case to make the most of every last crumb of moist chocolaty sponge. Here's the recipe I always use for Red Velvet Cupcakes - perfect for Valentines Day, or any day for that matter.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Brownies

Raspberry and white chocolate are a match-made in heaven. So, imagine my delight when these flavours are combined with that of an intensely chocolaty brownie. The Fat Witch Bakery in New York is renowned for it's brownies, of which it has a range of flavours to suit anyone's taste. From brownies, to blondies, to bars, and countless variations of each, there's something to suit every brownie craving you'll ever have! In the future I hope to travel to New York, visit the Fat Witch Bakery and try every flavour they have. I shall call it "research". But for now, I'll just keep making the delicious recipes from their awesome book: Fat Witch Brownies. Their recipe for Blondies is to die for, but that's another post altogether...Anyway, this is a recipe from the 'Delicious Decadence' chapter of the book. Well titled chapter, I'd say.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Oatmeal Caramel Crumble Bars

Fridays are usually a good day, but yesterday was awful: Higher English prelim exams. *Shudders miserably* It's too depressing to reflect's still too soon. Let's just say I think know I've failed. 
But there's a light at the end of the tunnel, a cure to turn around even the worst of days: take that awful day of yours and smother it in a crunchy, oaty, nutty, chocolaty tray-bake oozing with a layer of caramel. It works!
'Baked In America' is one of my most cherished baking books. The smooth front cover, the enticing layout, the mouthwatering photos...I highly recommend it, if not for the delicious recipes then just for the pleasure of reading it.