my bucket list of baking

Since so many lovely WordPressers are posting amazing recipes at the minute, I’ve decided to write a “Baking Bucket List” of things to bake throughout my next year at uni. Sharing with four girls and having a boyfriend who will literally eat huge quantities of everything and anything means I can pretty much get away with baking whenever I want, even if it doesn’t turn out the way I want it to.

So here are some of the things I desperately want to make, courtesy of WordPressers (and some others):

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction

Fudgy Cookies and Cream Oreo Brownies  thanks to Sall’s Baking Addiction

Sea Salt Caramel Sauce thanks to Modern Mrs Cleaver (I had something very similar to this in a restaurant recently, it was served with a kind of thick dark chocolate mousse and an orangey flavoured custard type thing (it had a name but I can’t remember)) DELICIOUS

Vegan Zucchini Apple Muffins (Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free – I plan on making these for my early morning breakfasts before uni!) thanks to Deliciously Ella

Party Rings thanks to Butcher, Baker (because I could literally sit my way through ten packets of party rings in one go and not feel in the slightest bit guilty – if I could make my own, that would just be heaven!)

Mince Pies thanks to Butcher, Baker (for Christmas time!)

Cinnamon Buns (no yeast) thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction

Skinny Peanut Butter Brownies thanks to Sally’s Baking Addicition

Nutella Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction…

 

…Can you tell I’m a fan of Sally’s Baking Addiction?!

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apology and carrot cake

I feel so bad that I haven’t posted on here properly in ages…but the truth is, I haven’t really been doing anything that’s remotely interesting to blog about…I’ve been working, doing a bit of running and counting down the days to seeing Pete (tomorrow!). Luckily though, I’m heading back to uni two weeks on Saturday so will have plenty of time to blog and will be doing lots to blog about!

For today though, I thought I’d share a recipe for carrot cake that I’m currently making to give to Pete’s family as a ‘thanks for having me’. I got the recipe from the BBC website which is great for every single thing you can think of making. The recipe calls for oil, instead of butter which I’m hoping will give it a much lighter taste than if I’d used butter…some of the reviews said the cake was too greasy, but I think it might be okay!

I was thinking about making a butter icing instead of the usual cream cheese icing however I thought that a lot of people probably wouldn’t enjoy a butter icing with carrot cake, so stuck to what the recipe suggested – mixing icing sugar and two tablespoons of orange juice and drizzle it over the top…

I’ve never actually made carrot cake before so I’m hoping this turns out okay. I also left out the sultanas, because again – I know some people aren’t keen on them…I didn’t want to ruin a nice present!

I think the only issue I’m going to have is with transporting it tomorrow, on seven hours of trains with three changes along the way! It might be a case of adopting the saying “it’ll still taste like cake, even if it doesn’t look like one”.

Chocolate fudge brownie cakes with cookie dough icing

*Drool* *Sugar coma* Aaaaahhhhh. What an amazing combo!

I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction which if you haven’t already discovered, you need to go and have a look. I don’t think  I’ve ever seen so many amazing recipes for cakes, cookies, fudge thingies etc combining peanut butter and cookie dough and chocolate and sprinkles and oreos and all things yummy. It’s like heaven. I just wish calories didn’t exist or I actually enjoyed exercising so I had an excuse to make everything on her website all at once. There are just no words to describe! I’ve used her recipes once before to make chewy M&M cookies which I convinced myself were healthy just because they contained oats…It’s like porridge…just with butter…lots of butter…and M&M’s.

Because Sally is American all her recipes use cup measurements (and also, sometimes annoyingly, she includes ingredients such as boxed brownie mix (such as in this recipe for oreo brownies) and sometimes there isn’t always a perfect UK alternative – but there’s always a way around it!).

*Makes mental note to make oreo brownies*

So I’m going to do you all a favour and write the conversions of the measurements from cups to gramms so you don’t have to waste precious cake-time working it out yourself! 😉

For the brownie cake mix you will need (I halved these quantities because I’m the only one in the house at the minute, and it made 6 cupcakes – so this would make about 12):

115g butter

170g sugar

60g cocoa powder

85g self-raising flour

couple of drops of vanilla essence

2 eggs

a pinch of salt

You can probably get away with just shoving everything in the bowl and mixing it together, but Sally has specific instructions on the recipe which you might want to check out – I firmly believe the difference between brownies and cupcakes are in the way they’ve actually been mixed together so I did take a bit of time to follow her instructions so they were just right. I cooked mine for about 10 minutes (they were still a little wobbly when I took them out, but they firm up when cooling – just make sure it’s not too uncooked.

For the cookie dough frosting you will need: (again, I halved these quantites and it still made quite a lot, so I have a little tub in the freezer with some leftovers which I couldn’t stomach!)

115g butter

170g sugar

couple of drops of vanilla essence

140g self-raising flour

a pinch of salt

4 tablespoons of milk

Check out Sally’s page for the instructions for this – but I just mixed everything together and used an electric whisk to mix it.

TIP: Don’t use a different mixing bowl/spoon for the cake and the frosting…it’s all chocolate and it’s all yummy so it doesn’t really matter! Although I’m sure health and safety officials would have a freak if they found out I was mixing raw egg mix with the icing…I can confirm I haven’t died, so I’m sure it’s safe.

These cakes are just simply amazing (although mine weren’t as photogenic as Sally’s were!) and I can’t wait to eat the rest of them today!!

 

When In Doubt: Bake.

I have reached a level of boredom that has never been reached before. I’ve tidied my room, I’ve hoovered every piece of carpet in the house. I’ve tried (and so far, succeeded – to mine and everyone else’s amazement) to get fit. I’ve polished furniture, waxed the leather sofa and even considered tidying my brothers room (he has unopened Christmas presents from three years ago – mum is threatening some awful things if he doesn’t come home to do it). I’ve slept, I’ve read books, I’ve tried to come up with interesting things to blog about – and failed. And I have come to a conclusion.

When in doubt: Bake.

It being Fathers Day tomorrow, I do actually have an excuse, but I’ve been known in the past to bake stupid numbers of cakes/brownies/sweet things for them to sit in a tub for weeks and eventually be thrown out. So today, I baked a chocolate cake. A chocolate cake that has become famous in our family for being “Kristen’s mum’s chocolate cake” and is often the deciding factor in whether or not someone is going to attend my birthday parties. The recipe is from a book, but I don’t know which one. I just know my mum makes it all the time for every occasion: Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, People Leaving, Congratulations etc etc etc. It’s full proof. You need this recipe in your life!

You Will Need:

6oz Self Raising Flour

2 Pinches of Salt

3oz Cocoa Powder

4 Eggs

8oz Caster Sugar

8oz Butter/Margarine

6 Drops of Vanilla Essence

6 Tablespoons of Warm Water

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the cocoa powder. Add the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla essence. Beat with an electric whisk for two minutes. Add the warm water. Beat for a further minute. You’ll see it change to a lighter brown colour. Pour the mixture into a baking tin lined with butter/oil etc to stop it sticking.

Pop it in the oven for about 35 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. It might need a bit longer, just check it. If it starts burning before it’s ready, put a sheet of greaseproof paper over the top 🙂

For The Icing:

4oz Sugar

4 Fluid oz Milk

5oz Dark Chocolate

2oz Butter/Margarine

2 Tablespoons of Double Cream

Vanilla Essence.

Heat the milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Bring it up to the boil and leave it, without stirring for 8 minutes. Take off the heat and add the other ingredients. Leave to cool, then put it in the fridge for two hours to thicken. Make sure the cake is completely cool before spreading the icing. Cut the cake in half and spread some through the middle too.  YUM 🙂

 

Doughballs and Fajitas

A few days ago I said I was going to make doughballs…and I did! I found the recipe from here and the photo looks exactly like the doughballs we had in Pizza Express! I won’t bother rewriting the recipe, you can see it all on there! The first time I made them the oven had been on cooking my dinner for ages, so ten minutes turned the little balls into mini bread rolls! Hard on the outside and bready on the inside…they still tasted great but certainly weren’t ‘doughballs’ so keep checking them so they don’t get too hard.

I cooked a second batch last night for desert after Pete and I had dinner with two friends. We made fajitas! We just got one of the fajita meal packets and added chicken, peppers and onions…yum yum!

So tasty. Then we went out to the cinema to see the new avengers film…great day!

April Date and Oreo Cakes

Feel so bad that I haven’t posted in so long, but it’s been a hectic week! Now university is over for summer everyone is starting to head home…Helen is leaving tomorrow, and two other flatmates have already left…i’m staying until later in May though…Started packing yesterday and I’m suddenly realising how much stuff I’ve accumulated over this last year!

Yesterday Pete and I went on our April date…we went back to Xscape (where we had our first official date) which is an indoor activity centre – mini golfing, laser tag, bowling, skiing/snowboarding, arcade games, imax etc and LOADS of restaurants! Last time we went mini golfing – this time we went bowling and got three games for £6.99 each…

I even managed to win the second game!!

Then we played arcade games for a bit – air hockey, mario racing and some shooting game…and had dinner at Frankie and Benny’s (same as last time)…I meant to get photos of the food but forgot! 😦 I had a chicken carbonara pasta bake (delicious!) and Pete had bolognese gnocci…then cinammon waffles with chocolate sauce and pancakes with ice cream and caramel sauce for pudding…yum!!

Today was Helen’s last day so we decided to have a last ‘baking day’ (it was my attempt at using up all the ingredients in the cupboard…ended up just buying more stuff!) so we made oreo cakes 🙂

Oreo Cakes 

For this I use a really simple sponge mix which I use ALL the time for fairy cakes etc…I was going to make them all chocolatey with chocolate icing too, but cocoa powder is too expensive…

Costs: Cheap! Very simple ingredients that you’ll probably have in your cupboards/fridge anyway 🙂

Perfect for: Kids parties, adult parties, parties, eating alone, eating with friends, picnics, eating with family, looking at, sharing, giving as a gift

You will need (this makes about twelve little fairy cakes or one half of a full sponge cake – double the mixture for a whole cake/more fairy cakes or half for a small batch of fairy cakes):

4oz self raising flour

4oz sugar

4oz butter (margarine works the same)

2 eggs

vanilla essence (if you can be bothered/have it already – since being at uni I haven’t bothered)

For alternatives:

(For this recipe) 4 oreos

Cocoa powder for chocolate cakes

Raspberries

Chocolate chips

ANYTHING tastes good

Cream the margarine/butter and sugar together, add the flour and eggs (sometimes I just put everything together and mix it, sometimes I take my time and cream everything properly and sieve the flour – so long as you mix it well I’ve never really tasted the difference). Add a little milk if it isn’t creamy enough. Crush the four oreos into the mixture.

Spoon into cake cases (I use silicone ones because I don’t have a baking tray with the holes for cake cases – it saves the mixture melting and spilling over the paper cases) and bake for 20 minutes on 200 degrees celcius…

To be honest they don’t look that great here (I’ve popped them out the silicone cases already so they cool faster), and you can’t see the oreos but don’t worry, once they’re iced they’ll look AMAZING.

For the icing you’ll need margarine/butter and icing sugar (margarine doesn’t have as good a taste as butter does when it comes to icing, but it’s cheap and no one really cares) and some more oreos…you can add food colouring/cocoa powder if you want…

Once the cakes are cooled (they need to be completely cold otherwise the icing will just melt and ruin it all!) you can start to decorate them! 🙂 Mix the icing so it’s creamy and not too runny…spoon the icing on and spread it with the back of the spoon around the cake…don’t use too much (too sickly) but use enough that it looks thick and delicious…crush half an oreo over the top…put the cakes in the fridge so the icing sets a little…then serve 🙂

This is the first time I’ve used oreos etc in fairy cakes – usually I use little decorations like hearts or stars or glitter…but this was a nice change!! Yum 🙂

I’ll miss you Helen!