Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Vanilla crumb bar tray bake

I had leftover sour cream after cooking Mexican and wanted to find a new way to use it up. I didn’t want to make a savoury dish but fancied something sweet instead. I came across this recipe for Sour cream crumb bars from Crunchy Creamy Sweet which looked simple enough. And I had all the ingredients on hand to make half the recipe.

The result reminded me of the Vanilla slices you can get from Greggs. Creamy vanilla set custard in between thin layers of pastry, except here there is a shortbread type base and crumbly topping. Lovely. This is best eaten on the day or (kept in the fridge) the day after.


    for the crust and topping:
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 and 1/2 cup plain flour
    1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    for the filling:
    1 cup sour cream
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 tbsp plain flour
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
Grease and line a 8" square dish .  
2. Mix together flour, brown sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
Add melted butter and mix until dough forms.
Reserve about 3/4 cup of the dough mixture for the topping.
Press the remaining dough into prepared dish to form the crust. 
3. Place all filling ingredients in a bowl and mix until all combined.
Pour filling over the crust.
4. Sprinkle with the topping mixture.
5. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
6. Cool completely in pan.
Cut into squares.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Lemon meringue cupcakes

This Lemon meringue cupcake recipe is taken from the Primrose Bakery Book. These cupcakes proved such a hit when I first made them, that I made them again a second time in the same week! They’re something a little bit different - the meringue topping paired with the lemon curd is just a bit special.



For the cupcakes
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
90ml semi-skimmed milk
30ml juice of a lemon
1 tbsp sour cream
150g self-raising flour
125g plain flour
1 tsp grated lemon zest (roughly 2 lemons)
Approx. 12 tsp lemon curd

For the meringue topping
4 large egg whites
225g golden caster sugar


To make the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Line a muffin tray with muffin cases.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
2. Measure the milk into a jug, add the lemon juice and sour cream. Combine well.
3. Sift the flours into a bowl and stir together.
4. Add alternate amounts of the flour and the milk mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.
Add one-third of the flour and mix.
Add half the milk mixture and mix.
Add one-third of the flour and mix.
Add the remaining half of milk mixture and mix.
Add the remaining last third of flour and mix.
5. Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases,
filling them to about two-thirds full.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes.
To test if the cupcakes are cooked, insert a skewer into the centre and it should come out clean.
The cupcakes will appear quite a light colour even when cooked.
7. Leave the cupcakes in their tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Cool cupcakes completely.
8. Cut out a hole in the centre of each cupcake.
Place a teaspoon of lemon curd in the centre of each cupcake.

To make the meringue topping
9. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
10. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Add 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar and beat well until incorporated.
Add the remaining sugar and beat well again until the mixture takes on a glossy sheen.
Use immediately.
11. Pipe or spoon on the meringue icing over the surface of each cupcake.
12. Put the cupcakes on a lined baking tray
and return them to the oven for about 15 minutes,
until the meringue has set slightly and has a slight golden tinge.
13. Let the cupcakes cool again before serving.

PicMonkey Collage



PicMonkey Collage3

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Bread Pudding

I had some homemade bread that was getting to the stage where I would chuck it out to the birds. I had a look for things I could make with stale bread and came across Bread puddings. I’ve never eaten one before but have seen them on restaurant menus. To be honest, it’s never really appealed to me as other desserts seem far superior.

Anyways, I decided to give one a go. I went with this Bread pudding recipe. And I was very pleasantly surprised. It smelt gorgeous whilst baking and when it came out of the oven – buttery and vanillary with a hint of lemon and cinnamon. Flavours that go wonderfully together! It turned out like a custardy cake with a unique texture. A rich dessert that would be perfect for the colder evenings. Even though it’s Spring/Summer now, it got the ‘thumbs up’ from us both :-) So simple to make – I will be making this again!

I think I’ll try different fruit combinations next time. I like the sound of apple, raisins and walnuts. Yum! Love a recipe that is versatile and this one works with different fruits (dry or fresh) and the addition of nuts if desired. The addition of cream and soft light brown sugar makes the pudding more decadent. But you can use just milk and white sugar if you want.

I used the toffee sauce recipe from my Sticky toffee pudding recipe. I like a lot of toffee sauce with my puddings but if you don’t need a lot of sauce, just halve this recipe. The bread pudding would taste lovely with custard if that’s more your thing. Vanilla ice cream to go with the toffee sauce would finish it off perfectly for me.



Bread pudding
6 slices bread, preferably a day to a few days old
30g butter, melted
80g (1/2 cup) raisins, or fruit of choice
3 eggs, beaten
475 ml (2 cups) milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
100g (1/2 cup) white sugar, or a mix of caster sugar and light soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of a lemon
Toffee sauce
200g soft light brown sugar
200g butter
300ml double cream

1. Preheat the oven to 175° C / 350°F.
Grease a 8" square oven dish.
2. Tear up / cube the bread into small to medium sized pieces.
Then place them in the dish .
3. Drizzle the melted butter on top of the bread pieces.
Mix it up in the dish to cover all the pieces.
4. Sprinkle the raisins (or fruit / nuts) all over the dish.
5. Mix together the eggs, milk (and cream if using), cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest in a bowl.
6. Pour the bowl mixture all over the dish.
Mix it up again so all sides of the bread can soak up the mixture evenly.
7. Use a fork/spoon to lightly press the bread down.
This helps the bread absorb the mixture and to coat all the bread pieces.
8. Put the pudding in the fridge for up to an hour.
This helps the pudding to absorb all of the mixture.
N.B. You can skip this stage and bake immediately if you wish.
8. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden.
You can check when it is done by inserting a skewer / toothpick into it and it comes out clean.
9. Let the bread pudding cool for 10-15 minutes.
10. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the toffee sauce in a saucepan.
Heat until the sauce has come together and is smooth.
11. Cut the pudding into pieces and serve warm with the toffee sauce / custard / icecream.