Toad in the Hole & Gin & Lime Cake: Great British Dishes with Waitrose

gin lime drizzle cake recipe

I was set the challenge by Waitrose to recreate some good old Great British Dishes recently. I like to think that my cooking repertoire is fairly full of traditional British dishes that I will pass onto my girls as they grow older. There’s plenty of time in life for the fancy food but a family of 5 needs good solid meals to function on. These are the sort of dishes that take hardly any time to prepare and can be waiting for us when we get home from dancing/swimming/brownies/gymnastics …

Both of the recipes that I have come up with below started life off as quite normal recipes – I can never leave well along though, and constantly have to meddle with recipes.

toad hole onion chutney

I used Waitrose’s own ingredients for each and was really happy with the outcome – Even better, the kids loved both!

I love Toad in the Hole but have to admit, its sometimes not that interesting – I added some onion chutney painted onto each sausage and suddenly the dish was so much exciting. It takes mere seconds to do and you will think the chutney will slide off but somehow it doesn’t. If it was a weekend, I may have made my own chutney but this was a Wacky Wednesday and Waitrose’s Red Onion Chutney was just perfect.

Onion Chutney Toad in the Hole

Serves 5
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Wholesome family food Toad in the Hole made more interesting with the addition of onion chutney

Ingredients

  • 12 Waitrose Pork & Herb Sausages
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 8fl oz Milk
  • 8oz Plain Flour
  • 8 teaspoons Waitrose Onion Chutney

Directions

Grill the sausages until they are just about cooked - They will continue cooking as the Toad in the Hole cooks so you don't want them charred to start off with
Remove from the grill and leave to one side - Make sure the oven is preheated to 230C. Place an oven dish in the oven to heat up.
Whisk the eggs and slowly add the milk and S&P whilst continuing to whisk
Add the flour, a tablespoon at a time and whisk until all the lumps have gone and you have a smooth batter
Spread 1 teaspoon of onion chutney over the top of each sausage - doesn't have to be too tidy
Remove the oven dish from the oven and place the sausages at the bottom straightaway.
Pour the batter over the top and place straight back into the oven.
Bake for 30-40 minutes - I'm still constantly amazed that it rises and works every time but it does!
I serve with corn on the cob and onion gravy - I have to admit to the lazy way of making gravy on a weeknight: Chop 2 shallots finely, sauté in a small pan then add a pot of onion gravy and top up with boiling water. Tastes delicious and a lot less faff than making gravy from scratch!

onion chutney toad in the hole

I know that there isn’t much Gin in the Gin & Lime cake but wasn’t going to chance turning my girls into zombies so baked them a simple Lime Drizzle cake – More Gin cake for me & Mr C! They were very content with their very own cake too.

Gin & Lime Drizzle Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light fluffy lime sponge cake with a crunchy gin & lime topping

Ingredients

  • 8oz Butter (Leave at room temp for 15 minutes before using)
  • 8oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 3 Limes (Zest & Juice)
  • 10oz Self Raising Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Milk
  • 25ml Gin (I used Tanqueray from Waitrose as it was on offer)
  • 2oz Granulated White Sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 10" square cake tin (or 1x8" and 1x6" if you are wanting to do a gin-free cake for the kids)
Using an electric whisk, mix together the caster sugar and the butter until light and fluffy
Whisk the eggs and add, one at a time whilst still whisking on a medium speed. Then add the milk until combined.
Add the juice of 1 time and the grated zest of 2 limes
Turn the mixer down to a slow setting and add 1 tbsp flour at a time until just combined
Pour into the cake tin(s) - Divide if using 2 by putting 1/3 in the smaller tin and the remainder in the large tin and bake for approx 30 mins, until golden
Meanwhile, mix together the remaining lime juice, granulated sugar and gin (take 1/3 of the mixture away before adding the gin if doing a child friendly version)
As soon as the cake is out of the oven pour the sugar/gin mixture over and leave to cool in the tin.

 

Disclosure: I was asked to recreate Great British Dishes by Waitrose and sent vouchers to cover the cost of any ingredients bought. I have never used Waitrose home delivery service before but found their customer service exceptional. Our delivery driver was super polite and friendly. I found that there were some excellent offers on food and that the quality of the products we used was excellent.

Linking up with Lucy at SuperGoldenBakes for her Cook, Blog, Share linky

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Pear & Pecan Cake – Bake of the Week

pear & caramel cake

I’m back! Still fighting my way through the mountain of washing and emails, but at least I’m back in the country. We had terrible internet connection in France this year so it definitely resulted in an enforced break from social media – I’d like to say my internet problems are behind me now but that wouldn’t be true – We are really suffering from poor connectivity via BT who seem less than interested. Just typing this short paragraph has resulted in me turning off and on at the wall.

But less of the moaning, let’s get back to baking. Aaaand relax … feeling better already!

I’m missing this week’s GBBO at the moment (recorded – don’t panic) but I have heard a rumour that pears feature quite heavily. Spooky that, they are here too!
We’ve gone all The Good Life here and have stripped our Pear Tree – we’ve never had such a good crop. I’m stewing away like mad to get them frozen. (Tip: My neighbour told me that stewing pears in lemonade is supposed to be excellent)

inside of a pear cake

This cake is perfect for a pudding at any time of year – Its even more delicious with homemade warm caramel sauce poured over it.

Pear Pecan Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 2 hours
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Light and sweet pear cake with crunchy pecans. Perfect served with homemade caramel and a side serving of stewed pears.

Ingredients

  • 6 Pears (Peeled and chopped into 1cm chunks)
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 250g Pecans (Chopped into small chunks)
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 400g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 225ml Vegetable oil

Directions

In a large pan, add the chopped pears, white and brown sugar and the pecans. Mix thoroughly until all combined and soak for 30 mins.
Heat on a medium heat until just starting to bubble and reduce the heat - Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Bring off the heat and allow to cool for another 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175C and line a 10" square cake tin
Sift the flour into the pear and nut mixture and add the vanilla.
Whisk the eggs and add while stirring each ingredient in thoroughly.
Add the oil and stir in until well combined - You will think that this is far too much oil but it will eventually mix in.
Add the cake mixture to the tin and bake for 1 hour until a skewer comes out clear.

pear caramel pecan cake

A massive thank you to the team that looked after Bake of the Week while I was away. I’m so grateful – I was really disappointed not to have been able to visit each post and share and comment as usual due to French internet but will catch up as soon as poss.

A quick roundup for last week’s Bake, hosted by Lancashire Food. I’m still stunned that people are joining in on a bank holiday week and the last week of the school hols – Was anyone else on their knees with exhaustion by the time the kids went back to school?

courgette loaf

I love the green speckles of courgette inside Lyndsey’s Courgette Loaf – Like hidden gems of goodness! She really has got this courgette loaf cooked perfectly.

smarties cookies

Hayley from Hay in a Day has tempted me to sit down with a brew and one of her monstrous homemade Smarties Cookies – I’m all in favour of monstrous sizes, none of this teeny weeny business this week!

Pauline from Pauline’s Occasional Bakes has made the cake I’ve had in my mind all day – I love love love ombre cakes and this pastel version is just up my street. I hear what you are saying about the amount of washing up it created though, Pauline! Just fabulous! Your friend is a lucky lady.

pastel rainbow cake

The new linky is now open for entries for Bake of the Week – expect to see it mentioned everywhere you go this week, I’m on a mission! Don’t forget to add the badge to your post and share the word that Bake of the Week is open for business. All entries will be commented on, tweeted, pinned to the Bake of the Week Pinterest Board and shared on Google+ – I’ll choose a featured entry for next week’s Bake of the Week roundup and will link to all entries.

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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com, A Mummy Too & Cook,Blog, Share

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Lemon & Lime Swiss Roll – Great British Bake Off 2014!

lemon lime coloured cake swiss roll rainbow

There’s much excitement in the Costello Household tonight – Series 4 of The Great British Bake Off is back! My girls have dictated that we MUST be sat down at 8PM to watch together. Of course, for any important viewing there has to be snacks – I’ve heard a little rumour that tonight is Cake night and Swiss Rolls may feature. So I’ve made my own – Looks horrendous doesn’t it?

I present to you the brightest Swiss Roll you’ll see tonight – Its not as risen as I’d like but that is due to some over zealous stirring when I was adding the colouring. Its based on my previous Swiss Roll which is a recipe I love but I wanted a summery version. We are off on a picnic tomorrow so this will no doubt be joining us.

There’s still time to have a go before series 4 starts at 8PM. Here’s how:

Lemon & Lime Swiss Roll

Serves 10
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 11 minutes
Total time 31 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
A tangy Lemon & Lime Swiss Roll perfect for a summery picnic

Ingredients

  • 125g Caster Sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons of extra sugar for decoration)
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Zest Lemon (plus half of its juice)
  • 1 Zest Lime (plus half of its juice)
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 5 tablespoons Marmalade (I used Lemon & Lime)
  • 284ml Double Cream (Whipped until thick)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray or Swiss Roll tray with Baking parchment.
Sprinkle the extra caster sugar evenly over the baking tray - the cake will bake on top of this
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and the sugar until thick, pale and fluffy
Add the zest and the juice - slowly folding through
Sift the flour & baking powder and fold in gently
Divide the mixture in half and colour one half yellow (mine is a bit orangey) and the other green.
Pour the mixture into 2 piping bags and snip a small hole at the top - Pipe even stripes lengthways down the tray. Hopefully your mixture won't be as runny as mine.
Bake for 11 minutes and remove from the oven.
As soon as the cake is cool enough to handle, roll up - its ok to do this with the baking paper still attached. It will unroll but this will still make it easier to roll when it is fully cooled.
As soon as fully cooled, spread the marmalade and the cream and roll as tight as possible - Ta-Dah!

coloured cakes
I’m entering this into one of my favourite links – Jenny from Mummy Mishaps is hosting The Great Bloggers Bake Off – Sadly I can’t partake every week but I’m in when I can!

gbbo badge

I’m also linking up to Karen from Lavender & Lovage and her Tea Time Treats linky:

Tea Time Treats

 

Apple & Pineapple Eve’s Pudding – Bake of the Week

apple pineapple eve's pudding cake

I knew I loved this dish long before I knew it was called Eve’s Pudding. Many moons ago, my primary school used to serve this on really rare occasions. I don’t remember much about my school dinners but I do recall just loving this – it was the sweetest of all the desserts. Those dinner ladies certainly didn’t skimp on the added sugar! Most people would have this served with steaming hot custard (or maybe lumpy cold custard if that’s how your school serves it) but I’m strictly an ice-cream girl!

I had some fresh pineapple left over from the weekend so used that up too – it doesn’t need pre cooking, just cut into thinnish strips so it cooks evenly with the apples in the oven. I would have been tempted to add some coconut flavouring but I had none so cinnamon it was – I will try the coconut one day for the true tropical feel.

Eve’s pudding has changed over the years – It is now basically stewed apples with a Victoria Sponge on top but in the 1800′s when it was first recorded, the sponge mixture used breadcrumbs and egg. Ew! It then went onto incorporate suet – To give the dish it’s proper name we should be using ‘Mother Eve’s Pudding”. Raisins are rather popular to be included but I wanted to bring out more of the pineapple so omitted them.

Apple & Pineapple Eve’s Pudding

Serves 6-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Light and fluffy sponge cake with a fruity base - Tropical Eve's Pudding

Ingredients

  • 3 Apples (I used Pink Lady) (Peeled and chopped into chunky slices)
  • 100g Fresh Pineapple (Chopped into medium chunks)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 175g Caster Sugar
  • 175g Butter
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 175g Self-Raising Flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 160C
Cook the apple in a medium pan with 2 tbsp water until just starting to soften - approx 3 minutes. Take off the heat and stir through the cinnamon.
Line the bottom of a medium oven dish with the pineapple and add the apple on top.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Sift in the flour and combine using a figure of eight to keep the air in, until just mixed through
Pour on top of the fruit mixture and bake at 160C for 45-50 minutes - It should be golden and a skewer inserted should come out clean.
Perfect served hot with custard or eaten later served with ice-cream.

apple pineapple eve's pudding

It feels like ages since I did a Bake of the Week roundup – Great to see so many entries once again.

My featured Bake of the Week is this wonderful Light Sponge Cake with yogurt and raspberries from My Little Italian Kitchen – There are so many fruity bakes around at the moment. Soft fruits are definitely in abundance! I love how much creamy innards there are in this bake – Alida has definitely not scrimped on her offerings.

yogurt raspberries swiss roll

I’ve done a round up of the many fruity bakes entered into last week’s Bake of the Week …

bakes of the week round up

1. Celebrating National Cherry Day we had Eileen from ET Speaks From Home with these really cute Cherry & Chocolate Chip Muffins
2. One of the best flavour combinations and presented so perfectly in tray bake form from Jenny at Mummy Mishaps, White Chocolate & Raspberry Traybake
3. I have GOT to try these Raspberry & Cointreau Tarts – Just a genius combination from The Lass in the Apron.
4. Beautifully presented – Who could resist Kirsty from Hijacked By Twins’ Chocolate & Apricot Cream Cakes?
5. I’ve never seen Blackcurrant Focaccia before but will definitely be trying this recipe from Baking Queen 74.
6. Another wonderful combination of Peach & Streusel Traybake from Tales from the Kitchen Shed.
7. Fiona from Coombe Mill sacrificed her Gin & Tonic Lemons for this dazzling Lemon Drizzle Cake – We appreciate it!

There were yet more non-fruit delicious bakes this past week too ..

bake of the week online baking group

8. It may be simple but its still mouthwateringly appealing! Tomato & Mozzarella Tart from Julie’s Family Kitchen.
9. Like most households containing children, our has its fair share of loom bands so I did chuckle when I saw Garden, Tea, Cakes and Me’s Loom Band Cake – Its a piñata cake too – genius!
10. And let’s not forget, the relatively healthy with Anne’s Kitchen’s Coconut Brownie Cake – I NEED to get my teeth into those chunks of coconut!

The link for this week’s Bake of the Week is now open! I’m being helped in the kitchen for the next few weeks by my children – I’m bearing up! The link to add the badge to your post is here …

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I’m joining in this week with a few links … A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week, Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays, Otilia Stocks Foodie Fridays and of course, Lucy’s Cook, Blog, Share.Bangers & Mash’s Spice Trail – where they are celebrating Summer Spice – I’m entering my Tropical bake as its as summery as I get!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com recipe-of-the-week

Romanian Mum

 photo 9af5d0df-b279-4c3c-92ad-fc98f562a39a_zpsaca21226.jpg spice trail food link up

 

Chocolate Piñata Cake

piñata birthday cake

EDIT: The story behind the Chocolate Piñata Cake …Maybe not the neatest or best decorated cake I’ve ever made but certainly one of the quickest. I’d made the cakes on Friday morning (2 shallow and one deep in case you are interested) then I had 15 minutes to decorate on the Friday afternoon before we went out to celebrate Millie turning 12. It was at this point I discovered I had no icing-sugar – so I used powdered Fondant Icing (I’m thinking its nearly the same) to make the buttercream.

I cut out a circle in the middle of the deep middle tier and poured the chocolates in – Warning! This type of cake used LOADS of sweets. I used 2 packs of Mint Aero Bubbles, 2 packs of maltesers, 1 pack of Chocolate M& Ms and 2 packs of White Chocolate Buttons. To decorate around the outside I used Maltesers, More White Chocolate Buttons and a packet of Jelly Babies. This is not the cake for dieters!

Next time I make a Piñata cake, I will think more about the outside decoration but for such a quick cake, I’m rather chuffed!

There’s still some left in the fridge – want some?

Cadbury’s Twirl Ice-Cream Cupcakes – Bake of the week

cadbury's twirl ice-cream cupcakes

There’s not just Cadbury’s Twirl ON these cupcakes, there’s Twirl IN them too! AND in the sauce! A triple dose of chocolatey-ness!

Last week, Cadbury’s asked me if I could find it within myself to come up with a recipe using their chocolate bars. I managed to drag myself off the sofa to stick the oven on & came up with my good old Chocolate Cupcakes. Its been a fair old warm week in St Helens (not often I get to say THAT!) so the recipe needed an injection of cool with some ice-cream to even out the creamy chocolate. I’m a bit obsessed with Baked Alaska’s so went down the route of hidden ice-cream in the cupcakes. Dead easy, just scoop out about 1/3 of the cupcake and insert a tablespoon of ice-cream then squeeze the lid back on.

hidden ice-cream cupcakes

I wondered if the cupcakes wouldn’t be quite chocolatey enough but they were great. Lovely and light with plenty of taste – the added chocolate sauce and crumbled Twirls definitely helped though!

cadbury twirl recipe

 

Cadbury’s Twirl Hidden Ice-Cream Cupcakes

Serves 16
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 18 minutes
Total time 28 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
These cupcakes are perfect for freezing before the sprinkle of extra chocolate bar and sauce is added.

Ingredients

  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 4 Eggs (Separated)
  • 3 packets Cadbury's Twirl
  • 2 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
  • 4 tablespoons Double Cream
  • 4 tablespoons Milk
  • 200g Self-Raising Flour
  • Vanilla Ice-Cream (Approx 1tablespoon per cupcake)

Directions

Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 170C and line 16 cupcake mould with cupcake cases. I like fairly substantial sized cupcakes so if you want to make smaller ones, you may get up to 20 out of the mixture.
Using an electric mixer,cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg yolks, one at a time - Scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix through.
Crumble one of the Twirl bars into a microwaveable bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons water and melt at 20 second intervals until just melted. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Add one tablespoon of the SR Flour & 1 teaspoon of cocoa at a time until just all combined.
Whisk the egg whites until they come to stiff peaks.
Mix the chocolate into the butter/sugar/egg mixture and fold in the egg white mixture.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and allow to cool
Chocolate Sauce
Crumble one of the other Twirls and the remaining teaspoon of cocoa powder into a small pan and add the cream/milk - Melt on a low heat until the chocolate is just melted.
Decoration
Using a small teaspoon, scoop out about 1/3 of the cooled cupcake and replace with a spoonful of vanilla ice-cream. Try to press down the top of the cupcake that you have just removed - You may not be able to use it all, just the crispy 'lid' will disguise the ice-cream. Crumble the last remaining Twirl and use to sprinkle over the cupcakes. Add a drizzle of the sauce. Eat immediately.

One of my most favourite flavours ever, has to be Passion Fruit. Its really not used often enough for my liking – I have awarded Bake of the Week to Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins for her Passion Fruit Cake which looks simply oozing with taste! Kirsty was one of our first and most prolific entrants for Bake of the Week – it is completely lovely to see her back after a short break.

passion fruit cake recipe

Plenty of other entrants too for which I’m very grateful – Especially as time has been against me this fortnight with posting. Anyone else sooo relieved that school is coming to an end?

Lots of lemon around in the baking world at the moment – some delicious looking fruity bakes in general too. I’m always in awe of people who can get a successful strawberry bake without sogginess!

online baking group

1. All About You Blog – Courgette & Lemon Cake – This looks so light and fluffy, just mmmm :-)
2. Julie’s Family Kitchen – Toffee Shortbread - Anything with toffee in it, is a winner for me – These are definitely on my To Be Baked List.
3. Hay in a Day – Lemon Tart - I’m in awe of the pastry skills of this woman! So thin and that tart looks so neat.
4. Lancashire Food – Ginger Zinger Cake - Another speciality flour for the GF bakers!
5. Baking Queeen – Lemon & Blackberry Cake - Brilliant combination of flavours, I bet this has real zing!
6. What Claire Baked – Strawberry & Lemon Roulade - I think I’m a little bit addicted to roulades – I love how awesome they look but how quick they are to prepare.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help host Bake of the Week during the holidays – I will be in touch over the next few days.

The linky to next week’s Bake of the Week is now open – Please add the badge to your post and spread the word about our group. If you have chance and can comment on some of the other entries, that would be fab too! I’m so behind this week so I am going to leave this link open until a week on Monday – 28th July (Where did July disappear to?)

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Many Thanks to Cadbury’s who supplied me with plenty of bars of chocolate to help with this recipe (and some extra for the writing up part too!). Cadbury’s have asked me to share details of a competition available where you can get a sculpture of your favourite item made IN CHOCOLATE! Entry is through special promotional packs of chocolate (including Twirls) For more details please visit http://www.freethejoy.cadbury.co.uk/ There’s also the change to win other prizes worth up to £5000!

As usual I’m entering this recipe into Emily’s Recipe of the Week, Vicki’s Tasty Tuesdays and Lucy’s Cook, Blog, Share

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Toffee & Pecan Roulade – Bake of the Week

toffee pecan caramel roulade

Remember the caramel recipe from last week? I promised that there would be follow up recipes, using the leftover caramel (well, the bits I didn’t eat straight off the spoon!). This is a dessert that me & Mr C buy as our treat once in a while. It bugs me every time I buy it though, because I know that I could make it.

And I finally did! And it was fantastic. And it was twice the size and at least half the price of the shop bought version!

 

Toffee Pecan Meringue Roulade

Serves 8-10
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 18 minutes
Total time 33 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
Much bigger than the shop-bought versions! This meringue roulade is easy to make and so deliciously light. Serve with loads of caramel sauce and a sprinkling of pecans.

Ingredients

  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 260g Caster Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon White Vinegar
  • 100g Pecan nuts (Chopped into small pieces)
  • 284ml Double Cream
  • 6-8 tablespoons Caramel (See Coconut Sponge with caramel sauce post for recipe details)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 160C and line a suitable oven tray or swiss roll tray with baking parchment
Whisk the egg whites until you get stiff peaks
Slowly (and I mean really slowly) add the sugar - No more than a dessert spoon at a time. Keep mixing at a medium speed. You should still have a fairly stiff mixture.
Very gently, fold in the cornflour and the vinegar.
Spread evenly on the baking tray and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle on 30g of the pecan nuts on top of the meringue & Bake for 16-18 mins until golden
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Use this time to whisk your double cream until it is thick. and get your caramel out of the fridge to help it spread more easily.
Turn over the meringue onto another piece of baking parchment (some of the pecans will fall off) and peel away the cooked paper gently. Using a knife, cut about 1cm in (only 1/2 way through the meringue) - This will help the meringue roll more evenly.
Spread the caramel over the meringue - I ended up with some areas that had huge blobs but this adds to the taste. Spread over the cream too and sprinkle the remaining pecans over the cream.
Start to roll, using the paper to guide you and keeping the roll as tight as you can.
Eat a huge chunk with a cup of tea (even at 24C a cuppa tastes brilliant!) and keep the rest in the fridge. Will keep for up to 2 days.

Let me know how you get on – I’m particularly intrigued how people that usually buy this find the homemade version!

 

  portion toffee pecan roulade

Huge variety of bakes for this week’s Bake of the Week. It was really difficult to choose one that struck me. I’ve gone with Eileen from Et Speaks From Home’s Lavender Shortbread. I was watching Breakfast news this morning (a very rare occasion in-between episodes of Ben & Holly) and they were reporting from a field of lavender. The news reporter was pretending to like the lavender biscuits she was eating all in the name of tv. There would be no preceding with Eileen’s biscuits – they look wonderful. Such an event bake and fantastic photos!.

lavender biscuits

Chocolate featured massively in this week’s bakes. Here are the entries …

chocolate bakes

1. Cadbury’s Marvellous Mix Ups Piñata Cake from Mummy Mishaps. How amazing does this look? I bashed my first edible piñata this week and loved the experience!
2. Delicious looking and so neatly presented Cocoa Molasses Fudge from The Lass in the Apron
3. Jen from Mum In The Madhouse has been baking with her kids this week and produced these luxurious Chocolate Pots. And guess what? She even says they are healthy-ah! Does that mean we can have 2?
4. I can’t get over Marie’s Snickers Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies with their gooey centres – Just pure bliss!
5. If you go over to the Chocolate Log Blog today, you sure of some Chocolate Waffles with Lemon Curd & Strawberries – The colours in this post are incredible!
6. Rocky Road was and still is, one of my favourite things to make with the kids 0 Mummy Whiskers has incorporate Alpha Bites into her Alphabet Rocky Road (the baked ones not the frozen potato version!)

If chocolate isn’t your thing, there were plenty of other bakes available too. Seriously, I’m bowled over by how many of you play along with my in Bake of the Week – Thanks loads!

bake of the week linky part 2

7. I actually gasped when I saw this masterpiece: A Brazilian Baked Custard Coconut Flan from Vohn’s Vittles – Oh how I wish I liked Custard! The shape is so precise – a centrepiece for any celebration! Fantastic.
8. The colours again on this Strawberries & Cream Cheesecake look so inviting. I love that very pale pink – so very different to the colour of shop bought cheesecakes.
9. Rebecca from AAU Blog made me chuckle with her No-Bake Muesli Bars – Now that’s how to make breakfast appealing!
10. A throw back to my childhood with In the Playroom’s Easy Jam Tarts – Again, Anna has been baking with the kids this week.
11. Another wonderful creation from Jenny at MummyMakesCakes – An Elsa’s Ice Palace – I know many a young lady who would LOVE this!
12. And last but in no way least, the most luscious Strawberries & Cream Naked Cake from Lucy at SuperGoldenBakes – I know the stress of making these naked cakes and to get the bake so even and neat show true skill. Just WoW! (PS Its up to you if you want to eat it whilst naked!)

The linky is now open for next week’s – I know I’m late so I’m giving you until Tuesday morning to enter before I close the link). If you would be so kind to add the badge to the bottom of your posts, that would be fantastic. Thanks x

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REQUEST: I’ll be off on my hols in a few weeks and would love Bake of the Week to continue in my absence. If anyone is interested in hosting for a week, please shout! You seriously can’t do any worse a job than me! Thank you!

I’m linking up as usual to a few fellow links:

Emily at A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week, Vicki at Honest Mum and Lucy at SupergoldenBakes

tasty tuesdays CookBlogShare recipe-of-the-week

Toasted Coconut Sponges with Caramel Sauce – Bake of the Week

toasted coconut sponge with caramel sauce

This Caramel sauce is definitely my new addiction. Paired up with the delicious taste (and chewiness) of Toasted Coconut in a light sponge – You have a dessert made in heaven.

These little cake are just as good made into a large cake (I have a large version cooling in the kitchen as I type) and again work equally well with Buttercream frosting but with the caramel sauce?? Just wow!

The great news about the caramel sauce is that it is super easy to make, makes tons and I will be producing loads of recipes over the next few days that you can use it in. Or you can just eat it from a spoon on its own! Slurp!

thick caramel sauce recipe

 

Toasted Coconut Sponges with Caramel Sauce

Serves 10+
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light toasted coconut sponge cake with a smooth, creamy thick caramel sauce

Ingredients

  • 185g Unsalted Butter
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract (plus one teaspoon for the caramel sauce)
  • 220g Self Raising Flour
  • 180ml Milk (I use Semi Skimmed which works out fine)
  • 100g Toasted Dessicated Coconut plus extra for decoration (Cook on a baking tray at 180C for 6 minutes - Keep folding over to ensure an even toast)
  • 200g Granulated Sugar (Caster is too fine and will burn more easily)
  • 90g Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 120ml Double Cream

Directions

Sponge Cakes
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 9" cake tin if you are making a large cake or use cupcake liners if making cupcakes. I used a silicone mould and greased it using butter and sprinkling plain flour round the mould.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the first lot of butter and the caster sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes)
Beat the eggs and add them one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla.
Alternate adding a spoonful of the flour and a splash of milk until it is all used up and just combined.
Add in the toasted coconut and fold in gently.
Bake for approx 40-50 minutes for a large cake and 18-22 minutes for cupcakes
Thick Caramel Sauce
Meanwhile you can be making the caramel sauce. In a large pan, add the granulated sugar and heat. Keep stirring with a spatula (Be careful not to get any on you!) It will turn into a liquid - Do not worry if you get some crystals - As soon as these have dissolved you will know its ready.
Take off the heat and add the soft butter. Stir through quickly and put back on a slow heat until it has just melted. Remove from the heat again.
Add the last tsp of vanilla and then the cream, Whisk with a small hand whisk until all combined and allow to cool.
Once the cakes have cooled, drizzle a tbsp of caramel over each one and sprinkle some more toasted coconut on top. This is gorgeous served with vanilla ice-cream.
Place any leftover caramel sauce in a sterlized jar and place in the fridge. It will thicken up as it cools completely.

Can you believe a week has gone since my last Bake of the Week roundup? It only seems like yesterday but still lovely to see people getting involved.

While this week’s recipe from me is focussing on mini sponges, I’m going to choose My Little Italian Kitchen as this week’s Bake of the Week. Alida shares with us her Almond Chocolate Speculaas which she describes as Addictive Mini Bites. I’m sure they are! Congratulation also go to Alida for winning the Uniform Foodies Challenge that I got involved with a couple of weeks ago.

almond chocolate cakes

Its that lovely season when Berries are ripe and so good to include in bakes – Let me present you with The Berry Collection!

Bake of the week berries

From Left to right:

bake of the week

As usual, we also had some really individual bakes: From Left to Right ..

  • Brazilian Banana & Chocolate Chip Tapioca Cake – A super gluten free bake made using tapioca flour. This lady is ingenious with her creations!
  • A wonderfully neat BritPop cake from Julia at WannabeFoodie. Julia did a brilliant job keeping me company at BritMums and I think she’s still sane!
  • A #BoredomBake (her words, not mine) from Claire at Life, Ninja Killer Cat in the form of this delicious looking Carrot Cake

The link is now open for this week’s Bake of the Week. Don’t forget to spread the word – I will spread your posts all across the internet too! Any bakes welcome as usual – Savoury or sweet – as longs it has been near an oven, that is fine. I’ll be doing my Baking round up for Foodies100 over the next coming days so will be looking closely for any flavour combinations that you use. Its my chosen topic of the month.

Casa Costello
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As usual I’m linking up to a few people…

Emily at A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week, Lucy at SuperGoldenBake’s Cook Blog Share, and Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday

tasty tuesdays CookBlogShare recipe-of-the-week

Cherry Streusel Loaf Cake – Bake of the Week

cherry loaf cake bake of the week

The Costello Kitchen was closed for a few days last week (to baking – we still manage to eat other things than cake!). BritMums and school stuff seemed to take over. The ovens are back on with a vengeance today though.

I started with something hearty and easy to make – I reckon we can get away with calling this Cherry Loaf Cake ‘rustic’ – Is that code for ‘A bit of a mess’?

I’ve got the knitting needles out as you can see from the photo above – I’m determined this will be a calmer week and I’ll get some relaxation time. Its not looking likely so far though!

Cherry Streusel Loaf Cake

Serves 10
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party
Light summery sponge cake with hidden cherry gems and a crunchy streusel topping - Perfect for picnics!

Ingredients

  • 1oz Plain Flour
  • 1oz Butter (Very cold - cut into small chunks)
  • 1.5oz Demerara Sugar
  • 0.5oz Flaked Almonds
  • 6oz Melted Butter (Left to cool for at least 5 minutes)
  • 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs (Whisked)
  • 1 Zest Lemon
  • 100g Greek Yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Curd
  • 7oz Self-Raising Flour
  • 4oz Glace Cherries (Cut into quarters)
  • 1 tablespoon Plain Flour

Directions

Streusel Topping
In a medium bowl, mix the plain flour, Demerara sugar & cold butter chunks with a knife. Then rub together with your fingers until just combined - you want some small chunks of butter and sugar remaining. Add the almonds and quickly stir through. Leave to one side.
Cherry Loaf Cake
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a alb loaf tin - I use Lakeland disposable loaf tin liners - Brilliant!
Using an electric mixer, whisk the melted butter and the caster sugar until creamy.
Add the eggs gradually whilst still mixing.
Stir in the lemon zest, greek yogurt and the lemon curd ( I like a really lemony taste - You can get away with just 1 tbsp of curd if you like more of a subtle lemon flavour)
Stir in the self raising flour until just combined. Do not over-work the flour.
Roll the cherries in the 1 tbsp of plain flour.
Add a layer of cake mixture to the bottom of the tin, then add a handful of cherries spread out evenly.
Keep alternating the cherries and the cake mixture until it is all used.
Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the top of the cake mix and bake for 50 minutes.
After 50 minutes, reduce the heat to 150C and bake for approximately 15-20 mins more - until a skewer comes out clean.

Last week was the best week ever for Bake of the Week. I love that we are getting so many participants and even lovelier that people are starting to comment on other people’s posts.

The star bake for last week was Mummy Makes Cakes. Jenny must have been working on her party for months – Read the rest of her post for her other Frozen inspired ideas but for now just marvel at these lovely Snowflake cookies. I love how acceptable it is for snowflakes and snowmen to still be around in June this year, thanks to Frozen!

snowflake frozen cookies

Thanks loads to the other bakers from last week – Links to all the photos are under the collage as usual. We will hopefully hit 100 Bakes of the Week this coming week – Could you be number 100?

baking on line group

1.Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Bars from Allotment 2 Kitchen. Welcome to the gang!
2. Date & Cashew Chocolate Drops from The Lass in the Apron. I love the photos on this blog – I get lost for hours!
3. I’m definitely going to make these Mini Lemon & Lime Sandwich Cakes by Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins – Delish!
4. Looking for a healthy but tasty breakfast? Try banana & raisin muffins from Hellie’s Corner
5. A warm welcome to Leeks & Lemoni with her Strawberry & Orange Muffins – Just lovely!
6. Julie’s Family Kitchen gave us some Triple Chocolate Cookies. I had the brief pleasure of meeting Julie on Saturday (while I was racing to a meeting) I can confirm she is just as lovely as her bakes but I am gutted we didn’t get chance to meet up again :-(

bake of the week entries

7. A really unusual but brilliant idea to use Chickpea flour for a GF Chocolate Coconut Cake from Chocolate Log Blog
8. For people needing No Dairy bakes, Romanian Mum, Otilia serves us with this Easy Peasy Chocolate Dairy Free Cake
9. Welcome to the gang to Emily from A Mummy Too with her bright and cheery Apricot & Custard Danish Pastries
10. Jenny from Mummy Mishaps shares with us these ultra neat Ice-Cream Cone Cupcakes – Gorgeous!
11. Wow, Mummy Whiskers, this Strawberry & Custard Sponge Cake wouldn’t last long around our house. Just divine!
12. Lucia from Torta di Rosa has made the most perfect looking Strawberry Jam Rustic Tart this week. Bit different to the jam tarts I make with the kids!
13. A lovely summery bake from Mami Tales with her Greek yogurt & Lemon Curd Tart
14. Another one for my ‘To Be Baked’ list – I can’t resist Amaretto & this Amaretto Chocolate Torte looks amazing from Lancashire Food
15. A beautiful combination of Lime & Coconut with this Luscious Drizzle Cake from Blue Kitchen Bakes.

The link is now open for your entries – Please attach the badge at the bottom of your post.

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As usual, I’m linking to A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week, Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday & the award winning Super Golden Bakes‘s Cook, Blog, Share and The Spicy Pear and her cohorts Delicieux & Eat Your Veg for Four Seasons Food.
recipe-of-the-week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Peach & Almond Loaf Cake – Bake of the Week

Peach Almond Loaf Cake

Another instalment in the Use Your Loaf recipe collection. Celebrating all that is good and versatile about the beloved Loaf Tin. This is one of my nicest bakes – I am so pleased every time it turns out. Particularly, as peaches sometimes have a tendency to make a cake a little soggy. The secret of this one is to keep cooking on 170C for longer than you think it needs. The temperature isn’t high enough to make it turn too dark – I particularly like the summery colour of this cake.

I used tinned peaches in this particular bake but fresh peaches work equally well. The honest truth is, that I’m still not feeling 100% so didn’t haven’t the energy to go shopping for fresh.

Peach & Almond Loaf Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 55 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue

Ingredients

  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 150g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 30ml Milk
  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 50g Flaked Almonds
  • 1 Small Tin Peaches (approx 200g) or 2 small fresh peaches

Directions

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a Loaf Tin - I use disposable loaf tin liners from Lakeland - They are fab!
Using an electric whisk on a medium speed, cream together the sugar and butter until pale and smooth (about 2 mins)
Add the eggs, one at a time, continually whisking and using a spatula to clean down the sides of the bowl so thoroughly mixed. Add the Almond Extract.
Reduce the speed to low and add the milk and flour alternately, a little at a time.
Chope the peaches into 1cm chunks and drain well - You might want to place in some kitchen roll to drain off the excess syrup/juice if using tinned peaches.
Mix through the flaked almonds and pour into the loaf tin
Cook for 45-55 minutes until a skewer comes out completely clean. I then leave the cake cooking for a further 5 minutes to make sure the inside is thoroughly cooked - This recipe can take it.
Serve with raspberry ripple ice-cream and a sunny afternoon!

Wonderful to see so many regular people taking part in last week’s Bake of the Week: Passion Fruit Poke Cupcakes definitely got people talking!

I met the lovely Eileen from ET Speaks From Home this week and can confirm that she is just as fab in real life as my friend in the computer! She has provided some delicious Scones this week.

easy-bake-scones

I love the thought of making my own pitta breads – Eileen also shared her post on when she made hers. She makes it look sooo easy!

pitta bread recipe

Another friend, Claire shared with us these divine Rose & Raspberry Brownies – How luxurious do they look?

rose raspberry brownies

There was more brownie love in the form of Chocolate Hot Cross Bun Brownies – a genius combination from Mummy Mishaps

hot cross buns brownie recipe

There was more luxury in the form of a Malteaser Chocolate Malt Cake from Hijacked By Twins. This looks so rich!

melatease chocolate Malt Cake

And an incredible Eggless Chocolate Cake that cost only 90 pence from Searching for Spice – Not that’s economical!

90 p chocolate cake

I’m a sucker for anything rainbow and completely love these rainbow cupcakes from Mummy Makes Cakes – Both sponge and frosting!

Rainbow-cakes-300x225

I really love the pattern that the oranges make in Madhouse Family Reviews Orange, Polenta & Olive Oil Cake – I feel an upside down cake coming to the Costello house very soon!

orange, polenta, olive oil, Cake

Massive thank you to everyone who entered last week – The new Bake of the Week link up is now OPEN! I’m extending the closing date until Tuesday 27th May due to the late start and the bank holiday. Don’t forget to spread the word and lets see what everyone bakes up over the weekend.

Here’s the badge to place on your post – tell the world you are part of the Bake of the Week Team!

Casa Costello
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I’m entering this recipe into A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week

recipe-of-the-week