The Cake and Bake Show

A little (ok, a lot!) on the late side now, but I visited The Cake and Bake Show at Earl’s Court the other week and wanted to share a few photos of my day. All photos were taken on my phone so they may not be the best!

It was a first for me, and I didn’t really know much about it before buying my ticket- but as the name suggests it was right up my street! Everywhere you looked there were stalls of delicious treats and stands of things to buy for your own baking adventures. Alongside that were talks and demonstrations from baking greats like Eric Lanlard. I was fortunate enough to watch one of his masterclasses and definitely learnt a thing or two. There were also plenty of previous Great British Bake Off winners and contestants including the fantastic James Morton.

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The cakes on sale  were a total feast for the eyes. It was quite hard not to buy everything!

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The cakes on display were very impressive and there was definitely inspiration for whatever style of cake you like to bake.

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There was an impressive cake catwalk and cake tables that looked like a Pinterest post!

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It was a great day with lots to look at, buy and inspire. I made a few purchases, got a few samples and a load of recipe cards that I can’t wait to try out!

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Blueberry Bonus

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This bake, the white chocolate and blueberry tray bake deserved a cheeky little second post simply because there were so many gorgeous pictures of it from the photo shoot. So many delicious photos that needed to be shared, just like the tray bake itself.

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It really is the perfect afternoon tea or party item because it can be cut into bite sized chunks meaning the love can be spread to even more people.

The bake itself is soft and moist with burrows of blueberries hiding inside. The white chocolate frosting makes it decadent and the blueberries on top; well they make it look that extra bit fancy! Having said that, the cake itself without frosting would make a great little lunch box treat wrapped in some Clingfilm.

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As the weather changes I may even try this tray bake using a more ‘seasonal’ fruit, I’m pretty confident it would work with blackberries or even plum.

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If you like blueberry and white chocolate as a combo, check out my post Wedding Cake wonder and watch out for other things coming up!

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Thanks again to Michelle Wildman for the delicious shots.

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Chewy White Chocolate Squares

IMG_2932Rich and chewy, yet so easy to make. These  sweet little squares of tastiness came about by accident! I was throwing ingredients together to experiment with tray bakes, and thankfully it paid off.

You will need:

IMG_2909110g Butter

75g White chocolate

150g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

140g Plain Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

100g White chocolate chopped

Method:

Preheat the oven at 180c and line a 9″ by 9″ tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and white chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. IMG_2912Add the sugar and mix well.

IMG_2914Add the egg and vanilla, then mix.

Add the flour and fold.

Chop the white chocolate chunks then fold in. IMG_2919Pour into lined tin.

Bake for around 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean (you know the drill!) The top should be golden brown but it may still seem very soft. This makes them chewy. Allow to cool and cut into squares. With a 9″ by 9″ tin I got 16 (generous) bite sized pieces. IMG_2926I found the next day the white chocolate flavour came out even more. So great to bake a day ahead. IMG_2936Then eat, share and enjoy!

Blueberry and White Chocolate Tray bake

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Blueberry and white chocolate- one of my favourite combinations, ever…and what could be scrummier than a tray bake to share with all your friends!

It really doesn’t need any hype or chatter; it’s that good let’s just get to it!

To make the tray bake you will need:

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125g unsalted butter

225g caster sugar

2 eggs

250g soured cream

300g self-raising flour

1/2 a teaspoon baking powder

200g blueberries

200g white chocolate

To make the topping you will need:

50g butter

300g icing sugar (and a little extra for dusting)

200g cream cheese

100g white chocolate

100g blueberries

Method:

Preheat your oven at 180c and line a rectangular tin with baking paper.

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time and beat.

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Stir in the soured cream, then fold in the sieved flour and baking powder.

Chop the white chocolate into chunks and fold it in, then fold in the blueberries lightly.

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Pour into your rectangular tin and bake in you oven for 40-45 minutes. The top should be golden and a skewer should come out clean. Set aside to cool.

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For the topping:

Beat your softened butter and sieved icing sugar for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and light.

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Melt your white chocolate and set aside to cool (slightly)

Beat in the cream cheese, again until light and fluffy.

While still beating, pour in your slightly cooled chocolate until fully combined.

Spread your delicious frosting over the tray bake sponge and garnish with some blueberries.

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Only thing left to do is lightly dust with icing sugar and cut into squares. Simply yummy!

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Thanks for www.michellewildman.co.uk for the stunning pictures that really capture the ‘yumminess’ of this bake.

Chocolate Guiness Cake

I can’t help it….. I keep making this!

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Time and time again an occasion calls for a chocolate Guinness cake. It’s rich, moist and chocolatey, keeps well and freezes a charm.

I’ve made this recipe for birthdays and weddings, and even used it as a cupcake recipe without changing anything (it makes loads!) It is simply one of my most loved and made recipes. I have made it so many times, to the point where I generally forget to take photos! The photo above wasn’t the finished product, with a bit more swirling of frosting and a sprinkle of cocoa powder it was ready to be a birthday cake! So not the best looking example but the most tasty! So without further ado…

You will need:

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250ml of Guinness

250g butter

80g Cocoa powder

400g Caster Sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp of Vanilla extract

140ml of Buttermilk (I tend to make my own)

280g Plain Flour

2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda

1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder

For the icing:

50g butter

250g-300g icing sugar (depending how sweet you like it)

300g Philidelphia (Cream Cheese)

Cocoa powder or grated chocolate for dusting/garnish

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Method:

Preheat your oven at 170c and line a 23cm cake tin with baking paper. I like to line the bottom circle and around the edges also.

Pour the Guiness into a saucepan and also tip in the butter. On a fairly low heat, melt the butter until you have a gorgeous brown liquid. Remove from the heat and tip in the sugar in one go, stirring until it has all combined.

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Sieve the cocoa powder into a bowl and add to your butter mixture a few spoonfuls at a time, mixing well- and it does need a lot of mixing so there are no pockets of cocoa powder remaining.

Whisk your eggs and add your vanilla and buttermilk and mix (really) well.

Add your egg mixture to your chocolatey liquid and mix to form quite a gloopy mixture!

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Sieve your dry ingredients into a bowl or stand mixer bowl and pour in your chocolate Guinness gloop slowly as you mix. Be sure to scrape down the sides regularly and mix well as I sometimes find the flour seems to like staying in clumps! Don’t be alarmed- just keep mixing.

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Once fully combined, pour into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for around 50 minutes. Keep an eye on it near the end, the sponge should be springy and soft but a skewer should come out clean.

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Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. The sponge will be very moist and soft so have your serving plate or box ready for a quick transfer!

For the frosting you will to put room temperature butter in a mixer and beat until smooth. Add your icing sugar and once mostly smooth add your cream cheese and vanilla extract to the mix. Beat until white and light and fluffy. It is then ready to spread over your completely cool cake. Dust with cocoa or grated chocolate and you are done.

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I find this cake is best made the day before you want to serve it, which can be quite handy. It also works well with other various icings other than cream cheese, so be adventurous! Here is a slice of a chocolate Guinness cake I made into super chocolatey celebration cake.

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Thanks to the Hummingbird Bakery for this amazing recipe. http://www.hummingbirdbakery,com

Edd Kimber’s Fudge Brownies

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In honour of the start of this years Great British Bake Off, I thought I would post a recipe from the first ever winner of the series- Edd Kimber.

I’m always up for trying a brownie recipe as they vary so much, and this one is from his first book, The boy who bakes. I’ve tried this recipe a few times and it’s one of my favourites as the brownies are really rich and gooey. I have also tried it with a couple of variations (which I prefer!) so I will include them but put them in italics so you can chose how you want to make them. Enjoy!

IMG_0997You will need:

180g Plain Flour

3 tablespoons Cocoa Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt *optional

300 Dark Chocolate (at least 60-70% cocoa solids) *I like to do half dark and half milk or use something like Bournville that would be classed as ‘semi-sweet’

200g Unsalted Butter

150g Caster Sugar

220g Light Brown Sugar

4 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

*I like to add around 300g White chocolate chunks to the mix for added yumminess!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160c (180 if not a fan oven) and line a baking tin (23 x 33cm is suggested)

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder.

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Melt your butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of water. Once they have melted add the sugars and mix in until combined. Remove the bowl from the heat.

IMG_3260Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until all combine and you have a beautifully thick mixture.

Fold in your flour and cocoa lightly until only just combined. If you’re adding chocolate chunks- this is the time to do it!

IMG_3267Pour your batter into your tin and smooth so it’s level.

IMG_3271Edd’s recipe says to bake for 30 minutes. Whenever I have made these I find they need a few extra minutes (although I have always made double batches which I probably why!) So I’d say around the 30 minute mark check them. They should still be fairly wobbly and soft but only a few crumbs should come out onto a skewer. Leave to cool completely before removing from the pan or cutting. I know it’s tempting not to wait, but trust me its worth it!IMG_0995Check out Edd’s website www.theboywhobakes.com is a favourite of mine.

bakingandjoy- the photoshoot

Baking, photoshoot, Chelley,

My very talented friend Michelle Wildman is branching out into business portraits, so we joined forces to combine delicious cakes and photography genius!

I chose some delicious recipes that I was looking forward to sharing and would be visually pleasing for the purposes of a photo shoot, then set to work at making them! The day before the shoot was spent in the kitchen happily mixing, baking and icing to create a rosey pound cake, blueberry and white chocolate tray bake, purple ombre angel cake and experimental gin and tonic cupcakes. You can expect to see these recipes featuring on my blog in the upcoming weeks.

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On the day I could breathe a sigh of relief as the majority of my work was done! Michelle worked her socks off to get the best light, angle  and image of each baked delight, all I had to do was cut the cakes and step back and watch the magic happen!

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We had loads of fun shooting outside, including dodging the passing showers and flapping away some curious bees. It has lead to some beautiful but natural foodie pictures, and she even took some of me!

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I’m so happy with the wonderful shots Michelle got and I can’t wait to feature the fruits of her labour in upcoming blog posts!

Check out Michelle’s blog post about the shoot too-

http://michellewildman.co.uk/beautiful-lady-beautiful-cakes/