Father’s day whisky cake
This is a cake I made for AchicaLiving.com to celebrate Father’s day. My dad likes a drop of Whiskey and I thought it was a pretty manly way to make a cake – if you follow my meaning.
When I make a cake for Achica I have to make it ahead of time. It’s a planned post -usually weeks before it goes live, so I decided to soak the fruit and make the cake a few days later, but three days turned into three weeks and the fruits which were soaking in the whiskey were seriously alcoholic by that time! When I finally got around to baking the cake my in laws were popping round for a cuppa so they were my gineau pigs. They loved it. I cut a massive slice for my dad and took it round all wrapped up. I set it down on the table and said “Here’s a slice of whiskey cake for you” and his eyes literally lit up. So when we celebrated his birthday last week it was a no brainer what cake I was going to make!
- 200g dried apricots (cut into small pieces)
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 150ml whisky
- 175g butter at room temperature
- 175g brown sugar (sieved)
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 50ml whisky
- 200g self raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
For the topping(chocolate topping as seen on the AchicaLiving post)
- 50g butter
- 100g milk chocolate
- 1 tbsp whisky
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- For the best tasting cake place the fruits in an airtight container with the whisky and lemon zest and juice and leave to infuse for 48-72 hours. You can leave it for longer to give the fruits a stronger flavour.
- To make the cake, oil (with sunflower oil) and line an 8” cake tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC).
- Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl then add the yolks one at a time. Incorporate the whisky.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mix and combine well.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites till they form stiff peaks then fold them in till completely incorporated.
- Finally add the boozy fruits making sure to get every drop of whiskey out of the container and all the fruit is coated in cake mix.
- Pour into your cake tin and level with the back of a spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sides have come away from the tin.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting.
- Once the cake is completely cold place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over a low heat until they are completely melted. Stir continuously. Add the whisky then set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl then add the chocolate mix. Whisk until combined then add a little milk at a time. The ganache should look glossy.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes before covering your cake completely.
I came up with this cheesecake recipe after I was asked to make some Cheesecake for the Jewish festival of Shavout with the Synagogue’s Sunday school. A lot of the kids are really little so I wanted to make it as simple as possible. These chocolate ones (above) were my test run and after Beau and Darcey didn’t like the chocolate layer I decided to leave it out when I did the kiddie in plastic cups version at the synagogue. They would have turned out ok if I hadn’t completely forgotten to include the icing sugar. I was just about to put the kids cheesecakes in the fridge to set when I saw the bowl of ready prepared- sieved sugar just waiting to be added to the mix! It was too late to do anything about it! Well 4-5 year olds don’t really need more sugar in their diets do they?
So, I made these ones in pretty etched tumbler glasses and as the cake is so rich I felt that they were probably twice the size they needed to be. As a result I ate way too much cheesecake last week! I couldn’t open up the fridge without helping myself to a spoonful! I think chocolate cheesecake is one of my all time favorite cakes. EVER!
The no bake Vanilla chocolate cheesecake recipe
(makes 8-10 individual servings or one 9″ cake)
- 200g chocolate digestive biscuits
- 100g butter
- 1kg full fat cream cheese
- 100g icing sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 400ml double cream
- 150g dark chocolate
- Melt the chocolate in a bain marie then set to one side to cool a little.
- Place the biscuits in a sandwich bag then crush them into fine crumbs. Use a rolling pin to get every single bit.
- In a saucepan melt the butter then remove from the heat and add the crushed biscuits. Mix until all the biscuits are completely coated.
- Place a large spoonful of the biscuit mix in each glass container or spread out on a 9″ loose bottomed cake tin. Press down with the back of a spoon and place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes or more.
- In a separate bowl whisk the double cream until it is stiff then add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.
- Split the ingredients into two bowls and add the cooled melted chocolate to one and mix until completely combined.
- Place the vanilla cheesecake mix into one piping bag and the chocolate cheesecake mix into another.
- Pipe a layer of chocolate mix over the biscuit base then top with a vanilla mix. Continue till you use up all the mixes or you have eaten it all straight from the piping bag (or is that just me?)
- Pop in the fridge to firm up for at least an hour. You can make this cheesecake a day ahead.EmmaMT
The Classic Victoria Sandwich – Made Healthier
(Guest post by Amelie Cartwright)
Most bakers have a recipe of some sort that they will always come back to, and it’s something that they will always have no trouble preparing for birthday parties or other special occasions. Be it a simple vanilla cupcake recipe or their grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, every baker needs to have a go-to recipe.
If you’ve yet to find yours and are searching for a recipe that’s both simple to make, but still elegant and versatile, then this recipe for a classic Victoria sponge might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a rather easy cake to make and assemble – a simple stack of two sponge cakes filled with any filling and frosting of your choice. The classic Victoria sandwich has become something of a staple of British bakeries, and Blair Smethurst, Quality and Innovation Development Chef for M&S, has even released a short video tutorial for baking lemon Victoria sponges. You can see it here ( EmmaMT here!- I love what Blair does with the lemon glaze)
This recipe, however, adds a twist to the classic Victoria sponge by making it much healthier. The original recipes are overflowing with sugar and fat, but some simple substitutions can cut half of the fat out of the finished product without sacrificing its taste.
· 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil, plus some extra for greasing
· 175g of self-raising flour
· 1 ½ tsp of baking powder
· 140g of golden caster sugar
· 25g of ground almonds
· 2 large eggs
· 175g of natural yoghurt
· 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
· 25g of melted butter
· 4 tbsp of your favourite fruit conserve or jam
· Icing sugar, for decorating
Preheat your oven to 180 deg C, and lightly grease two 18cm sandwich cake tins and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, tip the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, and ground almonds together and mix well and form into a mound. Make a well in the centre.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the yoghurt and the vanilla. Pour this mixture, as well as the oil and melted butter, into the well in the mound of dry ingredients. Stir briefly together until the mixture is well-combined.
Divide the mixture evenly among the two baking tins and level the tops. Bake both cakes together for 20 minutes, until they’ve risen and started to come away slightly from the sides of the baking tins.
Remove the cakes from the oven, and use a round-bladed knife to loosen the sides from the tin. After a brief cooling period, turn them out and peel off the parchment paper. Allow them to sit on a wire rack, and leave them to cool completely.
Assembling the cake is also a breeze: simply put one of the cakes on a serving plate, and use your favourite jam or conserve. Frugal Feeding has some great ideas for homemade jams, which could really take your Victoria sponge to the next level. Pile on the other cake to finish your sandwich, and dust with icing sugar!
Thanks to my lovely friend Amelie Cartwright for writing this guest post. It’s made me very hungry! EmmaMT
Last week we had Friday night dinner at my mum’s house and as she was making meat I wanted a dairy free pudding to take with. Have you seen the pears that are in season at the moment? I don’t normally reach for pears when I want a fruit snack but Tim sliced some up after dinner a few nights ago and they were so good I now can’t leave them alone!
So that made it really easy to choose what I wanted to bake for pudding. I made this pear and almond cake. It’s quick and easy to make but as I did it when we’d just got back from school the kids where a little tired and hyper (not a good combination) and as we had my nephew home too I wasn’t properly concentrating when I was doing the baking. Sometimes when things go a bit wrong you discover a whole new technique. I forgot to only use some of the oil and sugar to coat the pears and used the whole lot. I had to scrape it all off and re layer the pears, but the up side is that there was a lot more sugar on them than I originally intended there to be, but the outcome was amazing! So, it just goes to show you can mess up to a good end!
Pear and Almond pudding
- 4 pears
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 180g brown sugar
- 2 eggs- beaten
- 130g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp Almond essence or extract
- Line an 8″ baking tin with greaseproof paper and pre heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
- Cut the pears in half and remove the stalks and cores. Place them face down in the baking tin.
- Mix the oil and sugar together in a bowl and take a quarter of the mix and brush it over the pears. It will be quite thick and bumpy – don’t worry. Set to one side.
- In another bowl mix all the other ingredients. Add the remainder of the sugar and oil mix then pour the whole mix over the pears.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pudding is golden brown on the top. A skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack until ready to upturn onto a plate to serve.
- Tastes best warm served with some dairy free soya ice cream.