This is the last post from Thailand…

I loved the little dessert spots in malls in Bangkok.

Marvelous Cream was one of my faves, a Japanese themed cafe with fruits teas and desserts as well as ice cream and waffles. It was in a huge airport themed mall on the Japan floor.

I loved the little quotes on the menus. So Japanese.

Waffle-marshmallow sandwich anyone?

We did visit this all a few times, mostly because it was very near to us and also to escape the heat now and again.

I ducked in here almost every time to grab a fruit tea, they were amazing.

I love the packaging.

You got instructions with this dessert.

Yes that is my flavour.

So delicious.

I wish we had these dessert bars here. I’ve said that a lot haven’t I?

Herman Friendship Cake

August 1, 2011

Bear with me on this recipe, I think it’s lovely but some people have thought it strange!

This cake comes from a recipe called Herman the German.

Basically you get given a little starter of yeasty cake mix, which you then look after, feed and grow it for 10 days by feeding the yeast.

You then split it into four, bake one part into a cake then give the other three parts away to friends who carry on the cycle.

It gives really tasty, moist cake and you can add whatever you want at the end.

If you want to start the cake…

1 packet Dry Yeast
2 cups lukewarm Water
2 cups Flour

In a glass or plastic container, dissolve yeast in warm water then add flour and beat till smooth. Cover and let stand at room temperature 48 hours. This makes two cups of the starter.
Use one cup of Herman and give the other cup to a friend, that’s two Herman cakes out in the world!

Below are the exact instructions I was given by my colleague Liz who passed Herman to me…

“Hello, my name is Herman. I’m a sourdough cake, if I have come to live with you it’s because one of you friends believes that you will keep me alive and then introduce me to more friends. I’m supposed to be kept on a worktop for 10 days without a lid on…
You can’t put me in the fridge (or I will die). If I stop bubbling, I am dead…. Follow the instructions in how to keep me alive below; it’s been a pleasure meeting you”

 Day 1: Herman has come to live with you, first of all pour him into a large mixing bowl, cover loosely with a tea towel.

Day 2: Stir well

Day 3: Same as yesterday (easy huh?)

Day 4: Herman will be very hungry!! Add 1 cup of plain flour, sugar and milk and then stir well.

Day 5-8: Stir well

Day 9: Hungry again, add the same as Day 4 and stir well…

… Then divide the mixture into 4 equal amounts and give 3 away to your friends (only trustworthy ones please) with a copy of these instructions. Herman no. 4 will stay with you.

 Day 10: Herman’s hungry again… Stir well and add the following:

1 cup of sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder 
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup of cooking oil
2 cooking apples (in chunks)
1 cup of raisins (optional)
½ cup of walnuts (optional) 
(other optional ingredients pineapple, cherries, chopped chocolate etc)

Method: Mix everything together & put into a large greased roasting tin.
Sprinkle with ¼ cup of melted butter and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes at 170-180 (gas mark 5).
When cold cut into finger shaped pieces. Freezes well and is delicious warm with cream and custard… enjoy!!

I added to mine almond essence, ground almonds, flaked almonds, white chocolate chunks and raspberries. Delicious!

Give it a go, start one with your friends and see how far it spreads!

This is waaaay to easy not to bake every weekend, imagine… banana bread with chocolate hot from the oven with real butter, coffee and the weekend papers. Heaven.

You need;

75g unsalted butter, softened
4 ripe bananas
200g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
170g flour, I used buckwheat but plain works too

Preheat the oven to 180c

Grease a 30 x 23 cm bread tin.

Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract.
Add the bicarbonate of soda and salt and finally mix in the flour.
(I then added really dark chocolate nibs)
 

Pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for 1 hour, remove and cool on a wire rack.

So good!

It is a good breakfast, if you leave out the chocolate even better kept me full for hours.

 This recipe was sent to me by Sarah at Anubis Therapies (@AnubisTherapies on Twitter) after she made it and I comment on how amazing it sounded… so I made it!

It was one of my girlfriends birthdays last week so decided, as she was coming for dinner, I would make her this as a birthday cake…

You need;
225g Butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
225g golden b sugar
4 eggs, beaten
250g self-raising flour, sifted
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
25g ground almonds
200g fresh blueberries
Optional Topping:
Juice of 2 lemons
115g caster sugar

 Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease and line the base of a 20-cm/8 inch cake tin. 

 1. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. 

 2. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour towards the end to prevent curdling. 

 3. Beat in the lemon rind, then fold in the remaining flour and almonds with enough of the lemon juice to give a good dropping consistency.

 4. Fold in three-quarters of the blueberries and turn into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface, then scatter the remaining blueberries on top and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Drizzle Topping:
To make the topping, place the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and mix together. 
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick it all over with a fine skewer and pour over the lemon mixture. 
Leave to cool in the tin until completely cold…

And if you’re feeling really naughty serve with some cream!

The same week that we went blackberry picking there was a charity afternoon tea organised at my office, so I said I would donate 10 scones thinking I would use my blackberries up this way…

This blog post over at http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/ inspired me… however mine are not gluten-free.

The recipe yielded so much more than I thought it would, maybe the blackberries stretched it out… I made quite a mess and used every tray we have to cook them all.

I made some normal size and some mini ones…

You need;
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder (or cream of tartare, this makes them really light and fluffy)
1tsp bicarb soda
pinch salt
50g butter
25g caster sugar
125ml whole milk (plus extra for brushing)
1 egg
plus I used about 250g blackberries (maybe a little more)

1. Grease two baking sheets.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and add them to the flour and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and milk.
2. Use a blunt knife to mix everything to make a soft dough. Add your blackberries.
3. Sprinkle an area of your work surface with flour and put the dough onto it. Roll it out until the dough is about 2cm thick – it might make only 2 or 3 scones but believe me, it’s worth it. You will need flour on your rolling-pin as well as the blackberries make it quite sticky.
4. Cut circles from the dough with the cutter. Squeeze the scraps into a ball and roll them out again. Cut more circles until you have run out.
5. Put the circles onto the baking sheets, leaving no space between each one. Brush the tops with a little milk and the egg yolk mixed together.
6. Bake the scones for 7-10 minutes on the top shelf of the oven. They will rise and turn golden. Lift them onto a wire rack to cool.

A great excuse to get my cake stand out…

Biggie thought they looked delicious…

I had enough to take 15 into work, plus one extra for each of my team (mini ones) and even another 10 for the Boy to take to his work!

I am using fruit in scones more often, they were yummy, so soft and the fruit had all caramelised on the outside and gone all gloopy inside.

I ate mine plain with some coffee in the morning, they didn’t even need anything on top!

I made these cupcakes for my godson, his Mum and Grandmother, and they went down a treat! This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery book, this is a really cute cupcake shop in London one of the first! Well worth a visit. You can buy the book here.

The book is really good, all the recipes are easy to follow and simple. The only complaint I have is that they don’t tell you what your recipe should look like at various stages, but some would see that as a good thing as it stops you from fretting and you just get on with baking. I have never had a problem with any of the recipes.

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch salt
40g unsalted butter – room temp
120ml whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
12 large strawberries chopped into small pieces
200g digestive biscuits
1 quantity cream cheese icing (recipe below)

12 hole cupcake tray

makes 12

Preheat oven to 170c

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment or use a handheld electric whisk and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined

Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat on a medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side with a rubber spatula)
Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated

Divide the chopped strawberries between the paper cases. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them into a food processor, process until finely ground. When the cupcakes are cold spoon the cream cheese frosting on top and finish with a sprinkling of finely ground biscuits.

Icing

300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter room temp
125g cream cheese

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on a med speed until the mixture comes together and is well-mixed.
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
Turn the mixer up to med-high speed.
Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny

Chocolate Mousse Cake

June 14, 2010

This cake is great for people who can’t eat gluten as it has no flour, this also makes it super light (although it is very rich) serve with raspberries and creme fraiche (or cream if you’re feeling naughty!)

This recipe is from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess, and requires a little effort through a water bath to cook the cake but it is so worth it!

Ingredients:
11 oz. dark chocolate
2 oz. good quality milk chocolate
¾ cup unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
A pinch salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and put a kettle on to boil. Line the inside of a 9 inch springform tin with silver foil, make sure that the foil is pressed well to the sides to form a smooth surface.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter together and allow to cool. In another bowl, beat the eggs yolks and sugar until very thick and pale, they should form ribbons when lifted with the whisk. Stir in the vanilla and salt and then the cooled chocolate mix. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they form soft peaks, lighten the chocolate mix with a beaten in dollop of the whites before folding in the rest of them.

3. Pour the cake batter into the foiled cake tin and place the whole thing into a larger roasting dish. Add hot water from the boiled kettle into the roasting tin until it comes about 1 inch up the side of tin. Cook for about 50 minutes – 1 hour.

4. When the cake has cooled, slowly peel off the foil. The outside of the cake will be cooked and dry and the inside will be soft and moussy.