Scones and more scones

IMG_6548I have just returned from a fabulous trip to the Isle of Arran in Scotland, where we explored the beautiful countryside, skipped stones, toasted marshmallows on the fire and of course eat!!
Whilst away I set myself the challenge of finding the best Scone on the island, so that if you ever decided to visit Arran (which you definitely should) you can taste the best of the best.

In 4th place: Janie’s – Too dry and the cream wasn’t freshly whipped. However the little jam pot is cuter that cute!

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In 3rd place: Coast – A good scone with fresh whipped cream, however not enough jam.

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The runner up: The Coffee Pot – A very buttery scone with a generous helping of velvety whipped cream. Definitely worth trying!

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The Winner: Machrie Bay – Arrive early for a fresh out of the oven warm scone, with fresh cream and a dollop of sweet jam. Crumbly perfection. Head down to Macherie Bay and you will not be dissapointed.

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Janie’s
Brodick , Isle Of Arran , KA27 8DD

Make sure you try Janie’s Billionaires shortbread and Lemon & Blueberry cake… gorgeous!

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Coast
Shore Road, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran, KA27 8PR

The Coffee Pot
Shore Road, KA27 8QL

The Cherry Pie & Chocolate fudge cake are also a must!

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Machrie Bay
Machrie Bay, Isle of Arran, KA27 8DZ

You cannot miss out on quite possibly one of the nicest cake’s I’ve ever eaten! 3 layer white and dark chocolate fudge cake…. i’m going to recreate this cake, so watch out for the recipe.

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Lemon Drizzle Mini Loaves

As some of you may already know, I have given up chocolate for lent…absolute nightmare. I’ve been dreaming about the stuff; chocolate bars, cake, biscuits, brownies and even hot chocolate!
The reason for this terrible decision was because I was becoming chocolate obsessed, I literally couldn’t go a day without having something chocolatey. So I thought why not test myself and give it up all together?
I am telling you this because all this no chocolate malarkey means fresh new fruity recipes. Like this one for example, exceptionally light zesty sponge topped with a sharp sweet drizzle and finished with (ever so easy to make) lemon curls. Very refreshing and very easy to make.

When life gives you lemons…. Make lemon drizzle loaves!

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Ingredients

Lemon sponge:
170g Stork tub, cold from the fridge
170g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tbsp milk
zest of 1.5 lemons

Drizzle:
175g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease a mini loaf cake tin with a little butter.

To make the lemon sponge, first cream together the Stork and caste sugar until fluffy and light. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs along with 2 tbsp of flour (to stop the mixture curdling) and mix.

Now add the remaining flour, milk and lemon zest and fold the mixture together until fully combined. Evenly divide the cake mix between your cake tin and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the cake tin. Next, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice until a thick pouring consistency is reached. Spoon the drizzle over the cakes whilst they are still warm.

Red Velvet Christmas Cake

First of all let me apologise for how extremely late I am blogging this Christmas recipe, but I can redeem myself because this cake can be made for any occasion. Especially with Valentines Day creeping up on us, this could be your  perfect bake!

Believe me when I say that this is probably the best cake I have EVER made. Want to know why?
Well the sponge is insanely moist (it’s a terrible word I know but I can’t describe it any other way), light, fluffy and melts in the mouth. Pair this with smooth velvety cream cheese frosting and you have a winner! Don’t waste any more time, scroll down and follow my method to make your own Red Velvet Cake.

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Don’t let the picture below fool you, it may look a little messy but the taste…… I need a slice now!

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Ingredients (make a 3 layer 8inch cake)

150g Stork tub, at room temp
300g caster sugar
300g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten into a jug
1 tsp vanilla extract
240ml buttermilk
1/2 tsp red food gel/paste
1.5 tsp white wine vinegar
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the cream cheese frosting:
140g unsalted butter, room temp
800g icing sugar
400g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease and line 3 20cm (8in) cake tins.

In a large bowl make your cake mix by first creaming together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Slowly mix in the eggs and the vanilla extract.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a separate bowl and stir. In a third bowl, mix together the buttermilk and red food colouring until completely dyed.

Pour a third of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar and mix until just combined. Now pour in a third of the red buttermilk and mix again. Repeat this process until all ingredients are well incorporated into the creamed mixture. Try not to overbeat the mixture at this stage.

In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda until it fizzes and bubbles. Then quickly fold it into your cake batter. Divide the mixture evenly between your 3 cake tins and tap each one lightly on the side to remove any air pockets. Smooth our the tops with the back of a spoon.

Bakes your cakes in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until you can insert a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and leave to completely cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Once your cakes are completely cool, make your cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl beat together the butter until light and fluffy. Next, drain of any excess liquid from the cream cheese then beat into the butter until just combined. *Be careful not to over beat as this will make the cream cheese loosen and turn into a liquid*. Now sift in half the icing sugar and beat together, add the remaining half and beat again until all ingredients are incorporated well.

Take one of your cooled red sponges and place it on a plate/cake stand/cake board. Dollop 2 large tbsp of your frosting on top of your cake and use a palette knife or icing spreader to spread the frosting evenly across the cake starting from the middle moving outwards. Now place your 2nd red sponge on top and do the same.

Finally place your 3rd red sponge on top and apply a very thin layer (crumb coat) of frosting all over the sides as well as the top of the cake. *Don’t worry if any crumbs are being pulled up by the icing, this is normal. We apply the crumb coat first so that it locks in any crumbs as it chills, meaning our next layer will be completely crumb-free*. Now place your cake in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes.

Remove your cake from the fridge and apply the remaining frosting all over the sides and top of your cake. Your aim is to have no red showing through the icing as you want the outside to be bright white but the inside to be vibrant red.

Now you can decorate your cake as you wish. I have decided upon a Christmas theme so I pre-bought a red ribbon to wrap round the cake and a few Christmas toppers (sooo cute!) to stick in the top of the cake. However, you could try sprinkling glitter on top or create sugar paste hearts (if you have a Valentine in mind). It’s completely up to you!

Malteser Mikado Celebration Cake

If you LOVE chocolate then this is the cake for you! Two layers of moist chocolate sponge sandwiched together and covered in delcious white chocolate buttercream, wrapped in biscuit twigs dipped in smooth white chocolate (otherwise known as Mikado’s), filled with crunchy Maltesers and finally tied together with a bow.
I have tried many chocolate cakes in the past and I have sometimes thought woahhhh this is far too sickly, what I wanted to achieve from this cake was a balance between flavours and textures. The white chocolate buttercream works very well to balance the rich chocolate sponge, as does the soft, moist texture of the cake and frosting compared to the added crunch from the Mikados and Maltesers. Below I have given instructions on how to recreate this cake for yourself, however I also can make this cake for you so please ‘like’ my Facebook page ‘Jessie-Cakes’ where you can find further information about prices and deliveries.
P.S – This was my first attempt of writing with icing, it was a lot harder than I thought! So please excuse the wobbly lettering, I have since improved!
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What you will need to re-create this cake:
1 chocolate sponge cake covered in white-chocolate buttercream, recipe can be found here
4 x boxes of White chocolate Mikado’s – sold at approx. £1.40 a box
1 x large bag of Maltesers (230g)
Any colour ribbon (royal blue would also look fab)
(I also covered a 10inch cake board with red sugarpaste and wrapped a ribbon round the edge, but this cake can sit on anything)
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 Okay so first of all begin by wrapping your cake in Mikado’s, making sure each twig is as close as possible to the other. Press each one lightly into the buttercream as this will help them stick. This is quite time-consuming but be patient it will be worth it! If some of the Mikado’s have snapped do not worry, personally I think having different sizes gives a good rugged effect.
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Keep Going…
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Nearly there…

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Ahhhh such a good feeling when you done! Now you have your wrapped cake…
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Next, pour the whole bag of Maltesers in the middle of the cake filling it entirely.

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Wrap your cake in ribbon and Sellotope together. Make a bow out of the ribbon and attach this using Sellotape or a double-sided sticky pad.
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 Finally, combine 4 tsp icing sugar with a little water to form a thick paste. Use a toothpick to mark out your lettering and then use a piping bag and very small round nozzle to pipe your lettering.
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Simple Chocolate Sponge Cake

This recipe is an essential for all bakers and is perfect for chocolate lovers. Once you have your two chocolately, moist, spongey cakes you are free to decorate as you wish. I decided to sandwich my cake together and cover entirely with White Chocolate Buttercream (recipe can be found below). However, there are many alternatives to cover your cake, such as cream cheese frosting, Sugarpaste or Strawberry buttercream. Get baking and get creative!

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Ingredients 

For 2x 8inch round baking tins:
255g Stork tub
255g Caster sugar
175g Self-raising flour
50g Cocoa powder
4 Medium eggs, at room temp & beaten into a jug
For the white chocolate buttercream (to cover the cake/12 big cupcakes):

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140g Unsalted soft butter
150g Icing sugar
100g White chocolate (cut into small chunks)
Method
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line 2 x 20cm/8inch round baking tins with greaseproof paper.
  1. In a large bowl cream the Stork and sugar together until light and fluffy. Next, pour in the eggs slowly along with a little flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling.
  2. Once all the beaten eggs are added, sift in the remaining flour and the cocoa powder and fold the mixture together with a large spoon/spatula.
  3. Divide between two tins and bake for 8 minutes. Your cakes are done when a skewer in the center comes out clean. Leave to completely cool.
  4. To make the white chocolate buttercream first cream the butter until fluffy and pale in colour. Sift in half the icing sugar and beat together until combines, sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat together until light and creamy.
  5. Finally melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once completely melted, leave to cool to room temperature. Then add to the buttercream and mix until combined, thick and  fluffy.
  6. Dollop a 1/4 of the mixture onto the top of one cake and spread over evenly using a palette knife or spreader. Sandwich the other cake on top and using the remaining buttercream start by applying in the center of the cake and smoothing out to the edges and down the sides. By using this method the buttercream with fill in any gaps and give you even coverage.

Classic Victoria Sponge

The traditional Victoria Sponge (also known as ‘Victoria Sandwich’) is a baking classic, it is named after Queen Victoria who would enjoy a slice with afternoon tea. The filling which typically consists of whipped cream with jam, is sandwiched between soft, light sponges and the cake has no topping apart from a light dusting of icing sugar. For my Victoria Sponge I have decided to change it up a bit by using sweet vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam as my filling, as I’m not a huge fan of whipped cream. I can admit that it is not the neatest of cakes but it sure does deliver in taste and besides… looks aren’t everything!
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My stepfather loves making homemade jams, these are just a few of them! 
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Ingredients (makes a 20cm round cake, approx. 8 slices)
For the sponge:
200g stork tub for baking
200g self-raising flour
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
175g icing sugar
88g unsalted butter (soft, at room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp strawberry/raspberry jam
Method
Preheat oven to 190C and line two 20cm round baking tins with baking parchment (see below for instructions).
  1. In a large bowl beat the caster sugar and stork together until light and creamy. Then gradually beat in the eggs along with a little flour each time. Once all eggs are added, sift in the baking powder and remaining flour and fold mixture together until all ingredients are combined.
  2. Divide equally between the cake tins and level out with a palette knife. TIP – to prevent uneven rising, lightly tap your baking tins on the side to release any air bubbles. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until cakes are a golden brown colour and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  3. Tip cakes out onto a cooling rack and peel of any baking parchment. Leave to completely cool.
  4. Whilst cakes are cooling, make up a simple vanilla buttercream by first creaming the butter until light and fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and beat together. Add the remaining icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat until mixture is creamy and light.
  5. When cakes are cool, take your first cake and use this as your base (choose the cake with a flatter top). Spread your buttercream all over the top of the cake evenly. Dollop your jam on top of the buttercream and spread it across evenly.
  6. Finally, sandwich your second cake on top and dust with icing sugar for a classic appearance.
How to line a round baking tin…
1. Place your baking tin on a piece of grease proof paper and draw round the tin with a pencil.
2. Take the baking tin off the paper and cut out the circle marking you have just made.

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3. Next cut out a long thick strip of grease proof paper (this will fit round the inner edges of your tin, so make sure it is long enough to reach all the way around, and thick enough to reach past the height of the tin).
4. Fold the top of one edge of the strip and make little cuts all the way across, roughly 2 cm’s apart. 
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4. Grease the tin with a little butter. Take the long strip of greaseproof and fit it inside the tin with the cut edges flat down on the bottom of the tin. Stick the paper to the edge of the tin.
5. Finally place the circle of greaseproof paper on top of the cut edges in the base of the tin and flatten down.
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Mini Medeira Loaf Cakes

Madiera cake is a classic in traditional English cookery dating back to the 18th century. This recipe makes a beautifully light and moist sponge cake flavoured with lemon and ground almonds, finished off with fluffy sweet vanilla buttercream.
Madeira cake is normally either a round cake or baked in a loaf tin, however I decided to make mini loaf cakes for a change and was very pleased with the outcome, super cute!
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Ingredients (makes 8 mini loafs or a 20cm/8inch round cake)
For the sponge:
175g golden caster sugar
175g stork (perfect for cakes) – use Stork margarine straight from the fridge
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
3 eggs (beaten into a jug)
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
For the buttercream:
150g unsalted butter (at room temp)
280g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease your baking tin.
  1. Make the sponge mixture by first creaming the stork and sugar together. Beat in the eggs slowly along with a little flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling. Add the lemon zest, ground almonds and vanilla extract and beat into the mixture.
  2. Finally add the remaining flour and milk and mix together until all ingredients are combined and your mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer mixture to your baking tin and bake in the oven for 15 mins for mini loaf cakes, or 30-40 mins for a 20cm round cake.
  3. Remove from the oven and check they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the cake/s. If it comes out clean then leave on the side to completely cool.
  4. Make the buttercream by creaming the butter until  fluffy and pale in colour. Add half the icing sugar and beat together until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat together for a good 5 minutes until very soft and creamy.
  5. Using a piping bag and star nozzle pipe dots of buttercream onto the cooled cake/s starting from the outside and working inwards until covered.

 

Creative creations!

—–Very quick post to channel my excitement over new purchases.. eeeek!—-

Today I found myself wondering into John Lewis and just couldn’t resist these adorable products. The individual tray bake is perfect for brownies/ mini banana breads/ mini lemon drizzle cakes… this list goes on! I just had to buy it, what a fab idea. Also the ‘Cake Tester’ was just too cute to not buy.

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