White Chocolate & Strawberry Tiffin

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2018) and taken from Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas the winner of MasterChef in 2009.

Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.

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Makes 18

Ingredients:
250g butter
120g caster sugar
6 tblsp golden syrup
200g milk chocolate
100g mixed dried fruit and nuts (such as almonds, sultanas and cherries)
100g fresh strawberries, chopped
450g digestive biscuits, crushed
450g white chocolate

You will need:
30 x 20cm non-stick brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

Step One : Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and warm on a low heat until melted, stirring to mix together.

Step Two : In a mixing bowl, grate 100g of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture and fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Step Three : Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three quarters of it in a microwave on high, using a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between, until it is all melted. Now, add the remaining quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

Step Four : Remove the tiffin base from the fridge and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even. Now, melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three quarters of it, then adding the final quarter at the end).

Step Five : Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines Use a toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form a pattern. Return to the fridge for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.

TNT-OFFER-2019

Simnel Cake

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2014) and taken from The Baker’s Daughter by Louise Johncox.

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Serves : 10-12

Ingredients:
225g natural marzipan
175g caster sugar
175g butter
3 eggs
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
115g sultanas
350g currants
75g mixed peel
50g glace cherries (chopped)
1-2 tblsp milk
4 tblsp apricot jam
1 egg yolk, beaten

For the yellow icing (optional)
85g icing sugar
1 tblsp water
2-3 drops yellow food colouring

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oC / Gas Mark 3. Grease an 18cm round, 7cm deep cake tin and line it with baking parchment. Knead the marzipan on a board dusted with icing sugar until it softens. Divide into 3 equal portions. Roll out 2 of these into 18cm circles to fit the cake tin. Divide the remaining amount into 11 equal portions, roll these into 11 balls, cover with cling film and set aside.

Step Two : Cream the sugar and butter together. Add the eggs gradually, plus 1 tblsp flour if the mixture shows signs of curdling. Sift the flour, spices and salt into a large bowl. Add the sultanas, currants, peel and cherries. Mix the flour and fruit into the creamed mixture, adding a little milk, if required. Aim for a soft consistency.

Step Three : Place half the mixture in the tin and flatten. Place a circle of marzipan on top. Put the remaining mixture on top of this and smooth out. Put the tin on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 150oC / Gas Mark 2. Bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once baked, allow it to cool completely.

Step Four : Preheat the grill to medium. Gently heat the apricot jam in a pan until it’s warm, or in a microwave for 1 minute until it’s soft. Brush the top of the cake with the warm jam. Place the second circle of marzipan or almond paste on top. Decorate with the 11 marzipan balls. Brush the marzipan with egg yolk, then place it under the grill until the marzipan colours, just a little.

Step Five : If you like, you can add yellow icing. Simply mix the icing sugar, water and yellow food colouring to decorate your cake.

Coconut Wow Cookies

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (April 2019) and taken from Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life by Kimberly Snyder.

Coconut oil increases metabolism and provides sustained energy. Here, flakes accentuate earthy coconuttiness.

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Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups Gluten-free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk
1 cup coconut flakes

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oc / 325oF / Gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step Two : In a large bowl, whisk together the Gluten-Free flour mix, baking soda, guar gam, coconut sugar and sea salt. Make a well in the middle.

Step Three : In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, coconut nectar, vanilla extract and almond milk, and stir well. Pour the liquid into the well in the flour mixture. Stir in the coconut flakes.

Step Four : Shape about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a ball and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten it with the palm of your hand so it pushes outward into a flat cookie shape. Continue until all the dough is formed into cookies, being sure to space them out.

Step Five : Bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes, until they are golden brown. Transfer them from the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Gluten-free Marmalade Loaf with Cardamom Glaze

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (April 2014) and taken from The Ginger & White Cookbook by Tonia George, Emma Scott & Nicholas Scott.

Marmalade has the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavours and, unlike a lot of gluten-free cooking, this cake doesn’t have a ground almond in sight, so it’s suitable for those with nut allergies too. A tawny Seville orange marmalade is the best to use.IMG_1835

Serves: 9

Ingredients:
175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
120g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
125g tawny Seville orange marmalade
3 free-range eggs, beaten
175g gluten-free self-raising flour

For the Glaze:
100g tawny Seville orange marmalade
Juice of 1 orange
Seeds from 6 cardamom pods

For the Icing:
150g icing sugar
Orange juice

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC / fan 160oC / Gas mark 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

Step Two : To make the glaze, place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil, then set aside the liquid to infuse.

Step Three : Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the orange zest, then the marmalade. Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time, then fold in the flour.

Step Four : Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-55 minutes, or until the loaf is pale golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. When cold, lift out using a blunt knife and transfer to a wire rack.

Step Five : Mix the icing sugar with a drop of orange juice – stir quickly until smooth. Add more juice if it’s too thick.

Step Six : Using a spoon or a plastic bag that’s been snipped at a corner, zigzag the icing over the loaf. Then drizzle with the glaze, and slice to serve.

Chocolate and Chestnut Cake

Cuts into 10-12 slices

Ingredients for the cake:
4 medium eggs separated
250g (8oz) caster sugar
90g (3oz) plain chocolate, grated
435g can chestnut puree.

Ingredients for the filling:
150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
30g (1oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp brandy, optional
Icing sugar, for dusting
two 20cm (8in) round sandwich tins, base lined with greaseproof paper

Step One : Set the oven to Gas 4/180oC/350oF.

Step Two : To make the cake: Whisk the egg yolks and the caster sugar together until thick and creamy. Fold in the chocolate and three-quarters of the chestnut puree.

Step Three : Whisk egg whites until stiff, then fold into the chocolate and chestnut mixture. Divide between the tins and level the surface.

Step Four : Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 20-25 mins, until they are firm in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.

Step Five : To make the filling: Lightly whip the cream and sugar together. Mix the brandy, if using, with the remaining chestnut puree, then fold the puree into the cream.

Step Six : Spread filling over one cake layer. Place the other on top. Dust with icing sugar.

Additional recipes for using Chestnuts can be found here …

Vanilla and blackcurrant sponge

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2016) and taken from the book River Cottage Gluten Free written by Nutritionist, cook and River Cottage teacher Naomi Devlin.

For a nut-free version of this moist, flavoursome cake, replace the ground almonds with 50g gluten-free white flour – the cake will be a little drier, but still delicious.

Serves:  10

Vanilla and blackcurrant spongeIngredients:

200g gluten-free white flour blend
100g cornflour
4 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp ground psyllium husk
100g ground almonds
5 tbsp milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
350g salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
350g light Muscovado sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs

For the filling:

Juice of 1 lemon
350g blackcurrant jam
450ml double cream, whipped until thick

Icing sugar, for dusting

You will need:
2 x 20 cm sandwich tins

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 180oF/Fan 160oC/Gas 4.  Line the base of the cake tins with discs of baking parchment and butter the sides.  Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder, psyllium and ground almonds together into a bowl; set aside.  Pour the milk into a small bowl and add the vinegar to curdle the milk.

Step Two:  In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together using an electric hand whisk or wooden spoon until light and fluffy (or use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment).  Beat in 1 egg, followed by 3 spoonfuls of the flour mix, beating well between each addition until the mixture is smooth again.  Repeat until the eggs are all in, then beat in the rest of the flour mix.  Beat in the curdled milk mix.

Step Three:  Scrape the mixture into the prepared tins and level the surface.  Let stand for 15 minutes, then bake for 28-30 minutes until golden, springy and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let stand for 10-15 minutes, then run a thin knife around the inside of the tin.  Turn out the cakes and place, right side up, on a wire rack.  Leave until cold.

Step Four:  Using a serrated knife, slice each cake in half horizontally to make four layers.  Stir the lemon juice into the blackcurrant jam.  Place one cake layer on a plate, spread with a third of the blackcurrant mixture and cover with a third of the whipped cream.  Repeat twice, placing the prettiest cake layer on top.  Sift a little icing sugar over the top and serve.

Meringue Yule log

The log is made from a spongy Pavlova-like meringue, rather than the usual sponge.  This allows you to make the log the day before, if desired.  Use leaf-shape or star cutters for the decoration.  You can also add soft fruit like raspberries (thawed, if frozen) or chopped marrons glacés to the filling.

White chocolate Yule logIngredients:

4 large free-range egg whites
120g (4oz) caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract
600ml (20 fl oz) double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp lemon curd
200g (6 ½ oz) white chocolate, chopped

Serves:  8     Prep time:  30 mins, plus time to cool and decorate     Cook time:  30 mins
Cals per serving:  626     Fat:  48.5g

Step One:  Heat the oven to 150oC (gas mark 2).  Line a Swiss roll tin with non-stick baking paper.  Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until they form stiff peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar, beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy.  Beat in the cornflour, white vinegar and vanilla extract.  Transfer the meringue to the tin, spreading it evenly with a flat-bladed knife.

Step Two:  Bake for about 30 minutes, it should feel dry and springy when ready.

Step Three:  Remove from the oven and set aside for 1 minute only before turning out onto a sheet of baking or greaseproof paper lightly sprinkled with icing sugar.  Allow to cool.

Step Four:  Whip the cream and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks.  Spread the lemon curd thinly over the meringue and then spread with about half of the cream.  Use the greaseproof paper to roll the meringue up (from the short edge) into a log.  Place the log seam side down on a platter.  Spread the remaining cream over the outside of the log and refrigerate until ready to decorate.

Step Five:  Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of very hot water (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water), stirring occasionally until smooth.

Step Six:  Spread the chocolate over a sheet of baking paper to a thickness of about 3mm (1/8 in).  Place on a tray and refrigerate until set.  Use a leaf or star cutter to cut shapes from the set white chocolate (you may have to return it to the fridge occasionally) and decorate the top of the log.  Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

Tip:  If making the meringue a day before, cover with cling film overnight.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Gingerbread Tree

gingerbread treeRecipe courtesy of Easy Living

This is based on a classic gingerbread recipe.  Cut a tree shape from a thick sheet of paper to use as a template.  As gingerbread softens slightly with storage, make this the day before serving.

Serves:  6    Preparation Time:  30 mins, plus time to cool and decorate     Cook Time: 30 mins
Cals per serving:  745     Fat:  18.9g

Ingredients:  125g (4oz) unsalted butter; 4 tbsp golden syrup; 175g (6oz) brown sugar; 350g (11oz) plain flour; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda; 2 tsp ground ginger; ½ tsp mixed spice; pinch of salt; 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten; 2 egg whites; 1 tsp lemon juice; 350g (11oz) icing sugar, sifted

Step One:  Place the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat.  Cook, stirring, until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Step Two:  Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  Pour in the egg and melted butter mixture and mix well.

Step Three:  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.  Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step Four:  Heat the oven to 180oC (Gas Mark 4).  Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Step Five:  Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 5mm (¼ in).  Using a template, cut out two full tree shapes.  Keep one whole and cut the other in half lengthways.

Step Six:  Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Step Seven:  To decorate, make icing by beating the egg whites with electric beaters until foamy.  Gradually add 1 tsp of lemon juice and the sifted icing sugar, beating until the mixture is thick and smooth.  Spoon into a piping bag, attach a fine nozzle and pipe decorate shapes on to the gingerbread trees.  Use the icing to stick the whole tree to the base of a plate and then to attach the two half trees, using the icing like glue; you may need to hold them in place with a small object such as a glass while the icing dries.  Dust with icing sugar to serve.

 

Scandinavian Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon bunsRecipe Courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2016) and taken from a book called Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe.

Although best eaten warm, these cinnamon buns are good for a few hours after baking.

Makes about 12

Ingredients:  1 tsp active dried yeast; 45g caster sugar; 200g plain flour; pinch of salt; 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom; 1 egg; 40g butter, plus extra melted butter for glazing; 1 egg, lightly beaten; 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus a little extra for dusting; 175g raisins; icing sugar, for dusting

Step One:  The day before, mix the yeast, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 70ml lukewarm water in a medium bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Stir in half the flour, ten leave to stand for about an hour, or until roughly doubled in size.

Step Two:  In a large bowl, combine the remaining flour with the salt and cardamom.  When the pre-dough is ready, add it to the flour, along with the egg.  Mix until you have a dough.  Put the butter between two sheets of baking paper and bash it with a rolling pin to soften.  Fold the butter into the dough and knead until fully incorporated, then cover and rest for 10 minutes.  Knead the dough again, then cover and rest for another 10 minutes.  Repeat once or twice more, until you have a firm, smooth ball of dough.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step Three:  Next day, knock back the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Flatten into a rectangle about 25 x 10 cm.  Brush with the beaten egg, then sprinkle over the remaining sugar, followed by the cinnamon and raisins.  Roll up the dough into a long sausage, like a Swiss roll, then cut into slices about 2 cm thick – you should get about 12.  Nestle the slices into a greased 23cm baking dish or tin, cover with a tea towel and leave until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Step Four:  Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF) and sit a roasting tin on the lowest shelf.  Put the buns in the oven, pour a cup of water into the tin and reduce the temperature to 180oC.  Bake the buns for 10-15 minutes until golden, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  While still warm, brush with melted butter, then dust with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Stollen

StollenRecipe courtesy of Easy Living

Stollen is a Christmas spiced bread originating from Germany that’s loaded with dried fruits and filled with a thick layer of marzipan.  A great gift idea too.

Makes 3 loaves

Ingredients:  75g (2 ½ oz) raisins; 75g (2 ½ oz) golden sultanas; 25g (¾ oz) currants; 50g (1 ¾ oz) candied peel, finely chopped; 50g (1 ¾ oz) natural glace cherries, quartered; Grated zest and juice of 2 clementines or 1 orange; 2 tblsp brandy; 50g (1 ¾ oz) blanched almonds, roughly chopped; 550g (1 lb) strong white bread flour, plus extra for rolling; ½ tsp salt; 1 tsp ground mixed spice seeds from 5 cardamom pods, ground; 40g (1 1/4  oz) caster sugar; 250ml (8 fl oz) milk; 15g (½ oz) active dried yeast; 100g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 large egg, beaten; 450g (14oz) marzipan; Icing sugar, for dusting

Step One: Place the raisins, sultanas, currants, peel and cherries in a medium-sized bowl. Add the clementine or orange zest and juice and the brandy and leave to soak for an hour or so until the fruit has absorbed almost all of the liquid.  Add the chopped almonds and mix well.

Step Two: Sift the flour, salt, mixed spice, ground cardamom seeds and caster sugar into the bowl of a free-standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Warm the milk, add the dried yeast and stir well. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the yeast has formed a thick foam on top of the milk, then add to the dry ingredients with the softened butter, vanilla and the beaten egg. Knead the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Add the soaked fruit and nuts and mix again until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Step Three: Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball.  Place in a large, clean bowl, cover with cling-film and leave in a warm, draught-free place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.

Step Four: Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface again and knead lightly for 1 minute.  Divide into three even pieces and roll each piece out to the size of a rectangle, roughly 20 x 15cm (8 x 6in).  Divide the marzipan into 3 even pieces and roll each one into a log 15cm (6 in) long.  Place a marzipan log just off the middle of each piece of dough, brush the edges with a little milk, then fold the dough over the marzipan and press to seal.

Step Five: Arrange the Stollen on non-stick baking sheets, cover loosely with lightly oiled cling-film and leave in a warm, draught-free place until doubled in size.  Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).

Step Six: Bake the stolen, one at a time, on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until risen and golden brown.  Cool on wire racks, then dust liberally with icing sugar before packaging into cellophane parcels tied with colourful festive ribbon.  Stollen will keep for a week or so if wrapped well in foil or kept in a tin and is delicious warmed and sliced for breakfast.