Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel Bundt Cake

Recipe based on (LINK)

So I have been eyeing this recipe up from across the virtual room, and decided to give it a go seeing as I'm in a bundt and ring cake phase.

The instructions were very clear, however I would amend the instructions to adding the dry mix to the egg mixture, rather than the other way around that was directed. I found doing it that way made it difficult to stir.

I managed to mess up royally - twice - after adding too much baking powder to the first dry mix (2 tablespoons rather than teaspoons), I decided to bag that mix for another time, and make another dry mix. So... second time lucky? No chance. Instead of using self raising flour, I used plain flour. So ironically, I ended up adding another 5 teaspoons to the dry mix in a bid to convert the plain flour into self raising.
batter. tin was buttered, floured, and cocoa'd

This all seemed like a crafty plan, however the self satisfied smile was soon on the other side of my face after the cake sank like the Titanic after I checked it at my usual 40 minute mark.

turned out cake after 20 mins cooling in tin.
I was feeling pretty low at this point, as my cakes have lost their quality, and frustratingly I don't quite know why. I bought a new hand mixer as the variable speed switch on my old one has stopped working and therefore it only operates on one speed.

I digress. I decided to plough on, because as much as I dislike presenting food (or anything) not quite to my standard, I dislike waste more (obviously I am a tupperware fan), so onwards!

The caramel is the crowning glory of this cake, and was the best caramel recipe I have ever used, but beware: it is potent! It tastes so rich that it glides down your throat in a way that would make you believe it had alcohol in it. I used about 25g of lys sirup, and 25g of the real deal: Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup.

Melting chocolate, and making caramel
I managed to decorate the cake as directed, however omitted the almonds in case of nut and seed allergies. As you can see from the final picture, the cake was very covered in chocolate shavings... for that reason I would halve the chocolate used for it.

Final Product
Available at Samara's Baked Goods

Monday, 23 March 2015

Red Velvet Layer Cake

Based on recipe from Hummingbird Bakery.

For those who saw my awful attempt at a multi-coloured cake, may wonder why I go back to this. I am one of those people who wonders too.

Anyhoo, I am getting a bit more interested in cakes of a more interesting format, e.g. ring, bundt, and stumbled across a Red Velvet Bundt recipe through one of those 'you may be interested in...' links.

Having tried the Hummingbird Bakery recipe for cupcakes, and the unfortunate multi-coloured cake, I was wary of trying a new set of ratios, so figured I'd use the 'old faithful' instructions, and stick the batter in a bundt.

I chickened out, as I have had a bad experience when making a spontaneous bundt, and opted for a layer cake instead.

I made a spare cupcake to crumble over the top, which was inspired by the bundt recipe.

The result was a very even light cake. I could probably have levelled the layers, and used more icing inbetween them, however I feel that is a waste of cake, and I wasn't sure how much I'd have left to ice the rest of the cake.

There She Is!
Overall I was pleased, however I need to learn to be more generous with icing.

There is something in red food dye that irritates my mouth, so I couldn't really have the cake.

A Slice of Life
Available at Samara's Baked Goods

Monday, 9 March 2015

Coffee Cake... 2nd attempt

Recipe base from Hummingbird Bakery Book.

So I have returned to the scene of the crime.

I really have no rational reason as to why I decided to try doing this cake again... after a hiatus of many months, I have been trying to motivate myself into baking and thought it would be a cop-out to make an old reliable like Spiced Pound Cake, and instead do something that I am yet to perfect.

Please let it be noted that I dislike coffee flavoured foods.

Amendments/Mistakes made to the recipe:
  • Replaced approximately 200g of unsalted butter with Milda (which I believe is like Stork). Reason? To use it up.
  • Doubled the number of teaspoons of instant coffee granules* for the essence as last time the coffee taste was barely noticeable.
  • Forgot to reserve a tablespoon of aforementioned coffee essence for the icing.
  • In a bid to soften the butter for the icing more hastily, I ended up melting it
  • Thinking the icing was too stiff, I added spray cream to it. Only to remember later that it needed milk. Which I then also added.
  • Still not making chocolate shavings, so used chocolate drops.
The Making
I softened the butter for about 15 seconds on the low heating setting in the microwave.
The fact is that I need to buy a larger mixing bowl. Using my largest bowl to mix such a voluminous mixture is an exercise in futility, which I discovered when spooning out the mixture into the tin, and finding a 'section' of inadequately unmixed batter.
I only have one shelf in my oven, so ended up leaving the cupcakes for over an hour before they went in the oven. Next time, I will consider using one of the roasting tin shelves as well, although I am wary of using a 'solid' shelf, and not entirely sure if it has a (negative) effect on the bake.
The big ring cake itself took - what I deem to be - an unreasonably long time to bake when compared to the instructions. The colour came on well, however there was far too much wobble, so I had to use my beloved foil hat to protect it from burning, and bake for at least a further 30 minutes, if not more. I cannot blame the size of the cake for this either; the cupcakes took around 30 minutes to bake as opposed to the usual 20.
When cooling, I left the cake for around 10-15 minutes in its tin, the right way up, then for a further 20 minutes or so upside down in its tin, before eventually turning out.

The Verdict
The texture was actually quite good, and I was suitably impressed by the fact that the cake was still fairly moist, despite having to bake it for at least 30 minutes longer than recommended. 

The Happily Ever After?
I could probably add some cream to the batter to keep the cake less crumbly, especially with the longer bake.

Result of Procrastination