Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Carrot Cake with Orange Icing

I feel like it's been a while since I last baked, when really it was only last weekend! I apologise for being a bit MIA in terms of baking this holiday; I didn't expect to be so busy and admit my baking equipment is starting to feel a little bit under-appreciated. I still have a lot on for the next couple of weeks but in the meantime I'll leave you with this lovely carrot cake and promise to try and keep up with my baking attempts!

This is one of my favourite ever cakes and this particular recipe is the best one I've found. I tend to give this cake away as a gift and so far, everyone appears to have loved it so fingers crossed it keeps performing! The addition of the orange icing on top gives the cake a bit of extra oomph but it's still delicious without.


175g light muscovado sugar
175ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
140g grated carrots
100g raisins
Grated zest of 1 large orange
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
50g icing sugar
2-3 tablespoons of orange juice


1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line an 18cm round cake tin.
2) Place the sugar, oil and eggs into a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
3) Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.
4) Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices and lightly mix. 
5) Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. To make sure it’s done insert a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. If not, place it back into the oven for another few minutes and keep checking.
6) Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully before decorating.
1) Place the icing sugar in a bowl then gradually add the orange juice until the icing becomes slightly runny but still quite thick.
2) Drizzle over the cake.

Friday, 19 July 2013

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cupcakes

These are lovely summer-y cupcakes to go with the nice sunny weather we're getting at the moment in England! It does mean that you might get a bit warmer with the oven on and making the buttercream but it is definitely worth it. 

I love raspberries; I personally think they're better than strawberries just because they're so lovely and juicy and definitely a summer fruit so this buttercream is perfect for some summer baking. Raspberry and white chocolate is also a perfect combination so I couldn't resist these.

I'm not coping very well in the heat, but these only go in the oven for 20 minutes and at quite a low heat so it doesn't warm you up too much! And you should have some left over raspberries to munch on while you make them!


115g salted butter
115g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
140g self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
Raspberry buttercream:-
150g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
7/8 raspberries depending on flavour required
White chocolate buttercream:-
150g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp hot water/milk
Grated white chocolate


1) Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cake cases.
2) Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3) Add the vanilla essence, egg and 1 tablespoon of flour.
4) Mix until well combined then gradually add the remaining flour, mixing well and adding the milk if the mixture is dry.
5) Divide between the cake cases and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden.
6) Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Raspberry buttercream:-
1) Beat the butter until light and fluffy then beat into the icing sugar in small batches. Don't worry if the mixture looks dry as the raspberries will add some moisture!
2) Place the raspberries in a wire sieve then crush gently with a spoon to push the juice through into the buttercream. If you don't want a really strong raspberry flavour then add a couple less, or for an extra strong taste a couple extra!
3) Mix the juice into the buttercream thoroughly then place in the fridge for a few minutes before icing the cakes.

White chocolate buttercream:-
1) Beat the butter until light and fluffy then beat into the icing sugar in small batches with the hot water or milk.
2) Grate the white chocolate into the mixture, adding as much as required for your personal tastes.
3) Place in the fridge for a few minutes before icing the cakes.

To decorate the cakes, use a small star nozzle and a piping bag to cover the whole of the cake. If you want to dollop it on, go for it! I much prefer a bit of a messy buttercream decoration! Then sprinkle the raspberry buttercream cakes with grated white chocolate and place a single raspberry on the white chocolate buttercream cakes.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Chocolate Profiteroles

So I managed to have a pretty busy couple of weeks, meaning it's been over two weeks since my last post! I had a lovely time on holiday and finally graduated (after 4 years!) from university last week so I've been a bit preoccupied. Also, the lovely summer sun has made an appearance in England for a change so I'm afraid I've been lapping it up instead of baking!

I did however managed to make some lovely chocolate profiteroles. This was a joint effort between me and the other half, so this is a bit of guest post because he is a bit of an expert at making them now. Thankfully this does mean that they are very yummy!

They're surprisingly easy to make really; it seems quite complicated to make the choux pastry but it is really easy and they are perfect for a summer dessert as they are served cold. And as I mentioned when we were making them, everyone loves chocolate and cream! This recipe makes really large ones so these can easily feed 4/5 people quite nicely.


60g butter, in cubes
150ml water
75g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml double cream, whipped
Chocolate ganache:-
150g plain chocolate
150ml double cream


1) Preheat an oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7. 
2) Place the butter in a saucepan with the water and heat until the butter melts. Bring the mixture to a boil but don't burn the butter.
3) Take the saucepan off the heat and sieve the flour into the mixture.
4) Stir the mixture vigorously until the it forms a soft ball, then allow to cool slightly.
5) Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition to form a smooth, shiny paste.
6) Butter a baking tray then sprinkle with water.
7) Place 12 spoonfuls of the pastry onto the tray, spacing well apart.
8) Bake at 220C for 10 minutes then reduce to heat to 190/Gas Mark 5 for another 20 minutes.
9) Poke a hole in each profiterole then allow to cool on a wire rack.
Filling and ganache:-
1) For the chocolate ganache, gently melt the chocolate with the double cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth and shiny.
2) Pipe the whipped cream into each profiterole then place in a large dish or individual bowls and drizzle with the chocolate ganache.