Archive for the English food Category

Will & Cake royal wedding cake shop

Posted in Baking, Biscuits, Cakes, English food, Gifts, Out and about with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26/04/2011 by libbyplummer

Mini Royal Wedding cakesIf you want to celebrate the upcoming royal nuptials though the medium of cake then get yourself down to the Will & Cake pop-up shop at Maiden, 188  Shoreditch High Street, London.

William and Cake

The brainchild of Miss Cakehead, the shop will be open for one day only on Thursday 28 April 2011, the day before Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot. You’ll be able to take your pick from a wide range of sugar-coated regal treats including Will and Kate cake pops from Molly Bakes, mini replicas of William’s McVities Chocolate biscuit groom’s cake from Black Cherry Bakery and Mini Wedding Cakes from Leshie Loves Cake.

See Will & Cake for the full menu and to get your orders in.

Via: Maiden
Via: Miss Cakehead

Photos: Nathan Pask

Easter brownies with smashed up Cadbury’s Mini Eggs

Posted in American food, Baking, Cakes, English food, Recipes, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , , , , on 24/04/2011 by libbyplummer

I considered making zombie Jesus biscuits for Easter but I didn’t have time (next year, readers, next year). Instead I decided on some less blasphemous brownies. I topped the whole lot with melted chocolate and covered one half in Dr Oetker citrus strands and edible glitter. Stumped for inspiration for a Easter-based topping for the other half, I finally decided to smash up some Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, before adding some edible silver spray, just in case the brownies didn’t look quite camp enough.

Easter citrus brownies
The basic recipe (which can be used on its own, without the need to set about a bag of Mini Eggs with a rolling pin) is an old classic from my mum. As with most of the best chocolate cake recipes, the taste is accomplished with cocoa and sugar, rather than chocolate, which results in a tasty, moist cake rather than a greasy, sickly stodge, like many of the brownies that you get in the shops.

What you’ll need:
250g/8.82oz unsalted butter
325g/13oz caster sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
100g/4oz plain flour (sieved)
75g/3oz cocoa (sieved)
0.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt

For the topping (optional):
1 big bar of plain chocolate
Citrus sprinkles
Edible glitter
Cadbury’s Mini Eggs
Edible lustre spray

Makes 12 brownies

Easter brownie

What to do:
Grease and line a square brownie tin (roughly 10 x 10 inches, but it doesn’t really matter) and pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C (fan oven)/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and pour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture with a fork in betweeen each one. Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder (actual cocoa, not drinking chocolate), baking powder and salt and mix it all together.

Easter brownies

Pour into the tin and spread evenly using a spatula, then bung in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Once the cooking time’s up, remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool completely.

For the topping:
As I mentioned earlier, you can leave the brownies plain, or if you require some comically over-the-top seasonal topping then read on. First, pour a small amount of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down so that it’s simmering. Break the bar of chocolate into small pieces, drop into a heat-proof bowl and sit the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that there’s some distance between the water and the bottom of the bowl. Stir the chocolate until it’s all melted then pour over the cake and spread out evenly with a spatula.

Easter brownies

Then add whatever decorations you require before the chocolate sets. I used citrus-flavoured sugar strands from Dr Oetker, edible glitter, Cadbury’s Mini Eggs (which I smashed up in a bag with a rolling pin), and edible lustre spray.

Here on London Baking, I do like a tenuous link, so in honour of my smashed up Mini Eggs, here’s Smash it Up by The Damned. Happy Easter!

Pancake Day recipe

Posted in Baking, English food, Recipes, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , on 08/03/2011 by libbyplummer

English pancake

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that today is Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday. English pancakes are a doddle to make and are traditionally served with lemon juice and sugar. Here’s my simple recipe (actually it’s my mum’s recipe):

What you’ll need:

4 oz/115g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1/2 a pint/285ml of milk
Oil/butter for frying
Lemon juice, sugar or whatever for topping

What to do:

Sieve the flour into a bowl, and beat together with the salt, egg and milk. Grab a frying pan and either melt a tiny bit of butter or spray with it with some oil ( I use olive oil) over a medium hot hob. Once the fat is hot, dollop a spoonful of pancake mixture into the pan – how much you use depends on how big you want your pancakes to be.

Tilt the pan in all directions to spread the mixture around. The first side should be done after a few minutes, once you can lift the pancake away from the pan with a spatula and it’s looks golden brown. Now the important bit.

You can either be boring and flip it over using a spatula or, as tradition dictates, you can toss it in the air so that it flips over and the lands the other way up in the pan. Once you’ve done that, and no doubt scraped a couple of failed attempts off of the floor, cook the second side of the pancake as you did with the first.

Serve with lemon juice and sugar, or if you prefer, mix the sugar with a little cinammon for some added flavour. You can also use savoury toppings, such as cheese, if you don’t have much of sweet tooth.

(The pancake in the picture isn’t mine – it’s from Google images, let me know if it’s yours and you want a credit!).

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Party Rings

Posted in Baking, Biscuits, English food, Recipes with tags , , , , , , on 06/02/2011 by libbyplummer

Rock 'n' Roll Party RingsI’ve been wanting to try out some homemade Party Rings ever since I saw a recipe for them in Kate Shirazi’s Cookie Magic book. For the uninitiated, the Party Ring is a circular British biscuit (cookie, if you’re American) made by Fox’s that comes in a variety of pastel colour combinations. First introduced in 1983, Party Rings have been a staple of children’s parties ever since and are remembered fondly by most of us that grew up in the 80s (and 90s).

Original Party Rings

The following is just my basic biscuit recipe – it’s really the fancy icing that makes them Party Rings, in this case, Rock ‘n’ Roll Party Rings, thanks to the lack of a pastel pink and purple colour scheme. You can use whatever colours you like, but I decided on black and red to match my Marshall micro amp, along with a touch of blue because, er, I like blue. Don’t be put off by the fiddly icing as it really is much easier to recreate than it looks, in fact I made these during breaks in Saturday’s two Six Nations rugby matches.

What you’ll need:

For the biscuits:
90g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

For the icing:
300g icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
Paste food colouring

What to do:

First, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl using a fork, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. In a seperate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and then add to the original mixture. Stir together until it’s all combined. Once all mixed in, roll the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. If the dough feels a bit too sticky to be rolled out, then add a touch of flour. Leave the dough to chill in the fridge for about an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C (fan oven)/gas mark 4. Sprinkle some flour onto a chopping board or kitchen worktop and roll the dough out until it’s about 50mm thick, adding a touch more flour to the board as you go along to prevent it from sticking. Cut out circles of the dough, and then cut a hole in the middle of each one. I used the screwcap from a minature Jack Daniels bottle (yes, really) as it was the only thing I could find that was the right size. If you’re got a steady enough hand then you could cut the holes out freehand with a sharp knife. I also used a sharp knife to add grooves to each biscuit to match those found on the underside of the real thing. It doesn’t really make any difference to the taste, but it did kill a few minutes while I was waiting for the match to start up again.

Party Ring underside

Place the the cut-out circles (groove-side up) on a lined baking sheet (make sure they’re well spaced, or they’ll fuse together in the oven when the dough expands). I use a non-stick Teflon baking mat as it’s mega-easy to clean and can be used over and over again. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the biscuits are slightly golden around the edges and slightly soft in the middle (they’ll firm up while they cool). Once out of the oven, transfer them to a wire cooling rack and after they’re fully cooled down then you can make a start on the icing. Make sure they’re totally cool, or the icing won’t stick properly.

Party Rings with grooves

To make the glace icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add about four tablespoons of (not quite boiling) water from the kettle and mix together. If the icing is too thick, then add a bit more water (only add a tiny bit at a time). Next, separate the icing into different bowls and colour it. I use Sugarflair paste colouring as it’s much more effective than the liquid stuff. Make sure that you only add a bit at a time as you don’t need much (I use a cocktail stick and mix it in with a fork). Once coloured, you can use a knife to spread the icing on if you like, but I tend to just hold the biscuits upside down and dunk them in the bowl, a method I discovered some time ago by accidentally dropping a biscuit into the bowl. It’s best to ice the underside of the biscuits for a flat finish (i.e, the side that was on the bottom when they were in the oven). Next, take one of the contrasting colours of icing, get a decent dollop on a teaspoon and drizzle it across the biscuits in zig zags. Then, while the icing is still wet, drag a cocktail stick through the stipes you’ve made to create the marbled effect. It’s best to do a few biscuits at a time, so that the icing doesn’t dry in between.

Rock 'n' Roll Party Rings 2

Once you’re done, leave the icing to dry completely and you’re all set for your dazzling your friends with your double-tough take on a children’s party snack. Rock, and indeed, roll.

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