Saturday, 28 May 2011

Chocolate Scones

This is a recipe which I have been asked for many times. With a lot of trial and error and I have came up with the below recipe for Chocolate Scones. A slightly more decadent than the traditional scone. Delicious when eaten still slightly warm with the chocolate melted inside.

The Ingredients:
360g NEILL'S®Self Raising Flour
90g Butter
40g Caster Sugar
180ml Milk
2tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence
1tsp Baking Powder
100g Chopped Milk/Dark Chocolate
1 Beaten Egg for brushing scones

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 200c
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter to a large bowl (no need to sieve flour)
Using your hands rub these ingredients together until you get a bread crumbs consistency
Heat the milk in a saucepan until luke warm (Do not boil)
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract/essence
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the milk while stirring.
Mix this together until a dough forms
Mix in the chopped chocolate.
Flour a work surface and pour out the dough
Sprinkle with flour, fold and turn, sprinkle with more flour. Do this 3 or 4 times until it becomes less sticky. This also helps spread the chocolate pieces evenly through the dough
No need to roll out this dough, simple press down until about 1.5 inches high.
Using a cookie cutter cut out the scones and place on a baking tray. This recipe makes about 9 or 10 Scones.
**Top Tip - Dip your cookie cutter in flour before making each cut. This stops it sticking as much**
Leave some space between each scone as they do expand slightly.
Brush the top of each scone with a little beaten egg. This makes them a nice golden brown.
Try not to get any egg on the sides of the scones as this will stop them rising.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 mins. Remove and allow to cool.
Be careful as the melted chocolate will be very hot when removed from the oven.

You're Done!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Strawberry Cake Pops

After we wrote our very popular Chocolate Cake Pop recipe we decided we would create a few more variations and the below recipe is one of them. These are strawberry flavour with a white chocolate coating and are super simple!

The Ingredients:
175g Caster Sugar
175g NEILL'S®Self Raising Flour
175g Butter
3 Eggs
2tsp Strawberry Extract/Essence
1 Drop of Red Food Colouring

Half a tub of ready made frosting such as Betty Crocker. I never use ready made frosting but this makes the recipe super easy. However if you prefer to make your own frosting you can use the frosting recipe here. You will only need about 1/2 of this recipe.
200g White Chocolate

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 180c
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
Add the eggs to the mix one by one ensuring each is combined before adding the next.
Stir in the strawberry extract/essence
Stir in the red food colouring, just enough to make it a nice pink colour
Stir in the flour.
Stir in the Vanilla.
Pour into a cake tin lightly greased and lined with baking paper.
Bake for 35 mins or until when a skewer entered comes out clean.
Allow to cool before spreading with jam and drizzling with coconut.

Now for the crazy part. In a large bowl using your hands smash your two cakes up until you get a bowl of what looks like breadcrumbs texture.

Take your frosting and add tablespoons at a time mixing well until the cake crumbs and frosting come together to form a dough which you can roll into small balls. These will form your cake pops.

The size of your cake pop balls are entirely your decision however I think 1.5 inches works best.

Now take your lollipop sticks which you can buy in most craft shops or get them even cheaper in this Amazon link to the left.

Now a trick. Before inserting the sticks into your cake pops you want to tip the end of the stick in some melted chocolate. This is a top tip for helping hold the cake pop on the stick!

Now for the fun part. Decorate these however you wish. You can be as elaborate as you want or as simple as you want. Simplest option which I have demonstrated here is to dip the cake balls into melted white chocolate. Be as creative as you want. I also added a dusting of edible glitter.

Place your cake pops in the fridge to cool and harden up. This wont take long. Then serve!

Perfect for children's partys and another top tip for displaying cake pops is to take a piece of polystyrene and cover in tin foil or coloured paper and simply stick your cake pops in it!

You're Done

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Amsterdam Live Blog !!

Our Live Blog is now active until Friday! We've finally arrived! In Amsterdam!!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Red Vanilla Sparkle Cupcakes

These cupcakes are incredibly simple to bake and decorate. This recipe makes around 24 frosted cupcakes.

300g Butter
300g Caster Sugar
5 Eggs, beaten
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
300 g NEILL'S®self-raising flour
2 tsp Red Food Colouring
450g of Icing Sugar
110g of Butter
0.5tsp Salt
3tbsp Milk
2tsp Vanilla

The How-To :
Preheat oven to 180 C
Cream the butter and sugar until light and smooth
Beat in the eggs one at a time
Now stir in the vanilla extract and food colouring
Sieve the flour and slowly add this to the mix. (Do not over stir)
Evenly divide mixture between 24 cupcake cases and place in the centre of the oven for aprox 20 mins.
Now to make the frosting.
Cream the softened butter in a bowl for aprox 5 mins until light and creamy.
In a separate dish mix the salt and the vanilla together.
Mix the salt and vanilla mixture into the creamed butter.
Turn your electric whisk onto the lowest setting and slowly add the icing sugar. The key here is to add it slowly. Making sure each addition is fully combined before adding the next. Continue until all the sugar is added.
Now combine the 3tbsp of Milk a tsp at a time. (you may not need all the milk. Add 1tsp at a time until you reach a smooth spreadable consistency.
Finally whip the frosting for aprox 2 mins on high speed until light and fluffy.
For a quicker method of frosting rather than piping the icing use a palette knife and simply spread on.
Decorate with sprinkles or edible glitter.

You’re Done!

Monday, 9 May 2011

WoodWick Candles launches new scent - Bakery Cupcake!!

We all know how temptingly delicious the smell of baking cupcakes is.......well a very well know luxury candle brand has captured this smell in their new Bakery Cupcake candle scent!

Woodwick candles are a unique range of candles which has made available to the UK market via their website from 2008. I myself have enjoyed these candles for years before this but having to venture into many gift shops in search of these illusive candles. Now they can all be easily ordered online. **This website is only for our UK readers at the moment**

So what makes these candles different from every other candle you have owned?

The first and most amazing feature of these candles can be found in the name itself ‘Wood’ ‘Wick’....yes that’s right the wicks are made out of wood. Well this has two plus points, the biggest is the fact that when it burns it crackles like an open fire. This is so relaxing to just lie and listen to while reading or just chilling out. The second huge plus point of the wood wick is the slow burning. The 10oz candles, which I consider small, burn for 100 hours! Similar candles I own of this size burn down within a few hours. The 22oz candles burn for about 180 hours. Woodwicks slow burning design means that even the smallest candles last for ages.

The design of these candles combined with the wood wick means that they have a clean burn with no smoke and that they burn down evenly rather than burning a tunnel down the inside of the candle like many do.

The 10oz candles are priced at £13.99 and the 22oz candles are £19.99. This might seem expensive for a candle but the length of burn time you get from these is truly extraordinary!

The customer service at is exceptional and they tend to your order in a very personal and efficient way.
I love the new loyalty rewards programme they now offer too. Excellent if you are a returning customer.
These Bakery Cupcake candles take pride of place in the kitchen at BakingBar. So it always smells like I have something baking in the oven.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Jam Pom Poms

This normally takes me 20-30 mins to prepare and then 20 mins to cook. Makes 12.

The Ingredients:
150 g butter
150 g sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
0.5tsp Strawberry Extract (optional)
150 g NEILL'S® self-raising flour

50g Desiccated/Shredded Coconut
Half a large Jar of Jam

The How-To :
Preheat over to 180 degrees C
Cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and light in colour
Beat in 1 egg at a time until well combined
Beat in the vanilla extract and strawberry extract (optional but makes these even tastier)
Sieve the flour and slowly fold this into the mixture. (Do not over-stir)
Evenly divide mixture between 12 cupcake cases and place in the centre of the oven for approx 16 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Now how to make them delicious!
In a small bowl beat the jam together with 3tbsp of cold water. This will make it easier to dip the cupcakes in.
Pour the coconut into a shallow dish so its easy to dip and roll.
When the cupcakes are cool. Remove from their cases, dip in the jam and roll in the coconut until completely covered.

You're Done

Farringdon Stackable Cooling Racks - Review

These are simply a great invention and something which every baker should have. How many times have you made cookies or cupcake and run out room on your cooling rack? I know I do it all the time!
Stacked 3 levels high this cooling rack takes up the same room as one but gives you the cooling space of 3. Perfect!

Not only does it save worktop space but it also folds down completely flat to allow you to store it away when not in use.

I simply cannot find any negatives about this product. I will probably be purchasing another one of these very soon.

I cannot seem to find the Farringdon brand in America but  I have found a Wilton stackable cooling rack which is identical. A link to both the Farringdon (for the UK) and Wilton (for the US) are below.

Wilton 2105-459 Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack
Faringdon 25 X 34cm Stackable Cooling Racks - Set of 3

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Dark Dusty Cookies

These are amazing dark chocolate cookies with a contrasting white sugar dusting.  

The Ingredients:
100g Caster Sugar
75g Dark Brown Sugar
190g NEILL'S®Plain Flour
175g Butter
20g Coco Powder
170g Chocolate Chips or finely chopped chocolate
1 Egg
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence
0.25tsp Salt
Some Icing Sugar for decoration

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 170c
Cream the butter and sugars together until smooth.
Beat in the Egg and make sure it is well combined in the mixture.
Stir in the Vanilla extract/essence
Sieve the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Coco Powder together in a bowl.
Slowly combine the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Place 4tbsp of this mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12/13 mins.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.You should be able to get about 10 large cookies out of this recipe.
Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar.

You're Done!
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