Stuffed French Toast
I love french toast and I have yet to find a place in London that serves it better than I can make it myself. I stopped ordering it for brunch because it’s always disappointing.
Lemon & Strawberry Fraisier
Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.
Strawberry & Basil Chiffon Cupcakes
If you read my blog often enough you’ll know I like to experiment with different flavor combinations. It’s very rare for me to make plain vanilla or chocolate cake. These cupcakes don’t have any butter but they’re lovely and spring like.
Strawberry Shortcake Skewers
I made some Strawberry Shortcake Skewers to serve at my Brunch Party! This is a recipe from On a Stick! I made my own pound cake from Joy of Baking. I bought the fruity cocktail sticks from Party City a few years ago.
You can buy a pound cake or make your own. Cut it into cubes and place on a cocktail stick with a fresh strawberry. Serve with a little sweetened whipped cream on the side.
Perfect summer party food!
Lorraine Pascale’s ‘I Can’t Believe You Made That’ Cake
Like everyone else on the planet I watched Lorraine Pascale’s Baking Made Easy on BBC1 and immediately ordered her book so I could effortlessly make beautiful dishes too.
I decided to make this at the last minute so I didn’t have any chocolate cigarillos. Not something you can pick up at Tesco and I didn’t have the desire to make any from scratch so I used dark chocolate Cadbury’s biscuit fingers.
I decided at 8pm on Saturday that we
wanted needed chocolate cake. As it wasn’t going to a special occasion I didn’t follow Lorraine’s directions and dirty ice the cake and then ice it again. The biscuits covered the whole cake so I only did one layer. I also didn’t have a cake board the right size so I prepped it in my cake dome which got a little messy. I am seriously going to invest in a decorating turntable!
I sent a picture to my sister in the US who hasn’t seen the show and she said…You made that?
I got sent some chocolate from East India Company to bake with. They have an online store and also a store in Mayfair (7-8 Conduit Street).
They sent me this hot chocolate. It says it can be used for cooking. I used it for the chocolate frosting but it was too sweet I thought. The cocoa content says 58% and I usually bake with 70-85% chocolate. I don’t think I would use this for baking in the future. This might matter to some people but it was not Fairtrade or Organic. Of the two major brands of cocoa powder that are sold in the shops (in the UK) one is organic and the other is Fairtrade.
I made hot chocolate with it and it tasted much better, rich but not sickeningly sweet like some of the powdered stuff you find that’s loaded with extra sugar. The chocolate is not powdered but little thin flakes so they melted really quickly.
Overall, I wouldn’t buy from East India for baking ingredients, but I like their website and I think that it would be nice to buy someone something as a gift. The history of the company is interesting and they’ve got some quirky stuff. The chocolate cinnamon leaf bar looks rather intriguing. I could see myself walking into the shop when I was in the Mayfair area.
I Can’t Believe You Made That Cake
adapted from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale
200g butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
140g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 packs biscuit fingers (or 75-80 chocolate cigarillos)
250g butter, softened
500g icing sugar
100g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
strawberries (or any fruit), diced for decoration
1. Preheat oven to 180 C and grease and line a 20cm baking tin with parchment paper. Cream together the butter and sugar until they are pale.
2. Add half the eggs and half the flour and mix well. Add the rest of the eggs, flour, salt, cocoa and baking powder and beat until combined.
3. Spoon batter into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until a skewer in the middle comes out clean.
4. Make the frosting while the cake cools. Whisk together the butter and icing sugar until fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and whisk for another 2 minutes.
Not sure if it was the chocolate I used but it was a little stiff. I should have added a teaspoon or two of milk to loosen it up
5. Once the cake is completely cool remove it from the tin. Make the top of the cake even by leveling it with a serrated knife. Turn the cake upside down on your cake board (use a dab of frosting as some glue). Cut the cake horizontally in half.
6. Sandwich with a layer of frosting. Spread half the frosting on the top and sides (this is the dirty layer). Place in the fridge to set. Spread the rest of the frosting on in a smooth layer.
7. Push the biscuits/cigarillos into the frosting making sure they are vertical and touching the bottom. Decorate the top with some chopped strawberries, other fruit or even flowers.
As Lorraine suggests, serve with a satisfied grin!