Monday, 22 December 2014

BakingBar's Simple Christmas Cake

If you still havent made a Christmas cake you may think its too late, but its not! We have developed a super fast and simple recipe for a delicious Christmas cake. The cake contains no alcohol (so is great if someone wants an alcohol free cake too). You can top this cake with marzipan and icing like the traditional version or you can opt for a more modern alternative and use our cinnamon frosting to coat your cake. This keeps the cake extra moist for days so you can prepare this cake now in time for Christmas day.

The Ingredients:
210g Soft Brown Sugar
190g Raisins
70g Butter
300ml Water
0.25tsp Ground Cloves
0.5tsp Nutmeg
2tsp Ground Cinnamon
0.25tsp Salt
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
250g NEILL'S® Plain Flour

The Frosting:
75g Butter
300g Icing Sugar
2tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Vanilla Paste / Extract

Recommended Equiptment:
Food Mixer (Recommended Bosch MUM46A1)
Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale
Palette Knife

The How-To:
The first step in this cake is the most important. We need to boil some of the ingredients, this makes the cake incredibly moist.

Add the water, butter, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for 5 mins occasionally stirring. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 165c.
In a large bowl sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt.

Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and slowly add the boiled mixture. Add this slowly as it is still VERY hot.
Slowly combine all the ingredients with a spatula ensuring no dry ingredients are left.

Pour the cake batter into a lined and greased cake tin (8-10 inches is perfect).

To get a good even rise out of your cake you may want to wrap a piece of baking paper around the edges of the cake tin. This also protects the top of the cake from too much direct heat preventing it from browning too much.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

If you opt for our delicious cinnamon frosting to cover your cake it is super simple to make. 
Beat the butter until soft and creamy. 
Slowly add the icing sugar, cinnamon, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy.

You can easily cover your cake with this frosting once it is completely cooled. Don't be tempted to start decorating when its still warm as the frosting will melt and run off.

You're Done!


Cinnamon and Raisin Cookie Cake

You know when you're eating a really great cinnamon and raisin cookie and you just don't want it to end, well we decided to make a bigger cookie, in the form of a cake. You cant get better than a cookie unless its a Cookie CAKE! In fact it looks like a giant extra thick cookie, but you slice it up like a cake. It's great for parties or family gatherings and is another great alternative for Christmas day if you don't like traditional Christmas cake. Here is our recipe for Cinnamon and Raisin Cookie Cake with Cinnamon Frosting.

The Ingredients:
The Cookie Cake:
170g Butter
55g Caster Sugar
150g Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Paste / Extract
220g NEILL'S® Plain Flour
2tsp Cinnamon
1tsp Bicarbonate Soda
135g Rolled Oats
150g Raisins

The Frosting:
35g Butter
150g Icing Sugar
1tbsp Milk
1tsp Cinnamon
1tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Paste / Extract

Recommended Equipment:
Food Mixer (Recommended Bosch MUM46A1)
Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale

The How-To:

Cream the butter and sugars together for 3-4 mins on high speed until light and fluffy.

Beat in the Egg.

Beat in the vanilla paste / extract.

Sieve in the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate soda.
Beat the mixture thoroughly to ensure all the ingredients are evenly combined.

Stir in the oats and raisins.

Give the mixture a good stir to ensure the raisins and oats are evenly combined too.

Cover the bowl with cling film / wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 175c.
Line the bottom of a standard cake tin (8-10 inch is perfect).
Place the cookie dough into the cake tin and press down evenly.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 mins. The centre will remain soft (just like when you're making cookies) until it cools so don't worry.
Allow to cool completely in the cake tin before attempting to remove.
To make the frosting beat the softened butter until creamy. Slowly combine the icing sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla paste / extract and beat thoroughly until light and fluffy.
Pipe some decoration onto your cookie using a piping bag and nozzle.

You're Done!


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Lemon Tart

With Christmas just around the corner we wanted to give you some excellent dessert choices for Christmas Day if you're not too fond of the traditional Christmas pudding on offer. You dont have to feel left out, this lemon tart is quick and simple to prepare and keeps great for a few days in the fridge, perfect for the busy Christmas season.

The Ingredients:
80g butter
125g Plain Flour
4tbsp Icing Sugar
2tbsp Water

Lemon Filling:
200g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
30g Plain Flour
70ml Lemon Juice
1tbsp Fresh Lemon Zest
2tbsp Icing Sugar

Recommended Equiptment:
Pyrex Mising Bowls
Wooden Spoon
Tart Dish

The How-To:
First we need to make the pastry. Rub the flour, butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Bring this together into a dough by adding the 2tbsp of water. 

Handle the pastry dough as little as possible working it only enough to combine all the ingredients.
Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins.

Preheat oven to 180c.
Unwrap the pastry and gently push this into a tart dish (between 20-30cm is perfect size).
No need to roll out the dough, this creates a wonderful rustic look to your tart.

Place a round piece of baking paper on top of the pastry and fill with baking beans / coins or similar.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 mins until golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to safely remove the baking beans / coins.
In a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients. The order is not important.
Beat these together with a hand whisk until evenly combined.
Pour the lemon filling into the warm pastry tart.
Place back into the oven and bake in the centre for 20 mins.
Remove and allow to cool completely before removing carefully from the tart dish and dusting with icing sugar or decorate how you wish.
Store in an airtight tin or box in the fridge.

You're Done!