Month: August 2014

Best for baking: Oxo Silicone spatulas

Oxo Spatula Best for baking: Oxo Silicone spatulas

I may have mentioned my mild obsession with spatulas before. Sainsburys were always my favourite and I had 5 at one point – just in case they stopped selling them. And guess what? They stopped selling them!!!! The reason I liked them so much was that they were really strong, very flexible at the tip. You can use them up to really hot temperatures and they come up like new in the dishwasher.

The new best spatula

In comes an email from the Oxo Good Grips press office about their new gizmos and gadgets and what should be there but a spanking new spatula! It’s fate. I’m currently down to three. They have new ones. It’s a match made in heaven. Three days later I received a large and small spatula in the post and you would have thought Christmas had come early from the over excited squeals coming from me. I really do need to get out more often if I get this excited about a spatula! But it was the fact that I expected one to be a good size but the second one was so tall and thin. Perfect I thought. I couldn’t wait to give them a good testing.

The testing

So, what can they do? Well, whether you’re baking or cooking they are so, so useful. As the head is made from silicone you can use it on any cook/bakeware. You can leave it sitting in a saucepan of simmering Bolognese if you want and the handle will be cool to the touch and the base will be ready to stir it all up. Let’s face it with a heat resistance of 600ºF/315ºC you can use it anywhere in the kitchen without it scratching, melting or damaging anything.

Oxo Spatula wipes cleanThe larger one is perfect for baking. You can scrape out every spec of cake mix from a bowl without a drop of licking the spoon (but that’s no fun!) The smaller ‘jar spatula is just that. Great for scooping out every morsel from any jam jar. I used it for that hard to get at bottom of the jar mayonnaise and it worked a treat.

OXO Good Grips Silicone Medium Spatula, Raspberry, £7, Amazon.co.uk

OXO Good Grips Silicone Jar Spatula, White, £13

 So the verdict? I love them, but I knew I would. I love it that the jar spatula one has such a long reaching neck that fits into any jam jar and can get into the tightest corner at the top of a jar. I love it that the ends are so flexible and that they’re both so versatile. They’re a baking kit must in this bakers opinion.

EmmaMT

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Disclaimer: The product in this post was provided by Oxo Good Grips for review. All thoughts and opinions and entirely my own.

The Squires cake show 2014

2I’m always surprised when people ask me if I ever run out of ideas on what to write about here on CakesBakesAndCookies.com. I mean I think of my little cake blog as a bit of a cake decorators/baker’s/cook book enthusiast’s magazine type blog. I write about what interests me (as I think you’re all like me) and what I’ve been up to, so how could I ever run out of ideas? I’m always crazy busy andthere’s always so much to see, do and bake!

Every now and again I’ll start writing a blog post and I get distracted before it get’s published – usually it’s because there’s a cake to decorate or a Bake off to watch or a new decorating book out. I’ve got a list of cakes I’ve decorated on a post-it note here on my Mac just waiting to be written about. When I check my ‘drafts’ folder at the mo there are 19 posts.  Some I wrote back at the very beginning (very cringe worthy) and some not so long ago. Which is where todays post comes in.

Back at the beginning of the year Mum and I went to the Squires Cake show. How on earth did this one slip through the net? Anyway, have you ever been? It’s really good. Of all the cake shows it’s one of the most intimate and friendly. I always come away inspired not only by the many cakes on display and by the entrants to the cake competition but also by the products available to buy – there’s always something new to discover.

There are always great free workshops – we saw Mark Tilling doing a chocolate demonstration. He was really great- funny, friendly and has a wealth of clever tips from tempering chocolate properly to making chocolate nests in under a minute! I so want to get onto one of his courses.

There are also loads of suppliers demonstrating how their products work on their stands. For me this is where you pick up the most valuable lessons. How to use this and how to apply that. They’re always happy to answer any questions.

In the main hall they have the Squires products and loads of the cakes that are in the new Squires book along with many of the decorators who appear in the book and teach at the Squires school.

In all we spent a little and learnt a lot. Inspiration all around. So here’s some of the fantastic cakes on show.

Enjoy!

13 4 5 6 8I’m already looking forward to next year!

 

EmmaMT

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Inspired Recipes : Stork Salted Caramel Marble cake

Stork Salted Caramel Marble cake. Nom nom nomHow many times have you bought some baking ingredients and seen a recipe on the side of the packaging and thought “Oooooo that looks good. I must make that some time!” and then used up the flour/sugar/butter and thrown the packaging away? Loads of times if you’re anything like me. Well, last week I picked up a tub of Stork margarine and when I went to make my cake there was a really tasty looking recipe on that paper lining you get just under the lid. “Right!” I thought. This Salted Caramel Marble cake looks totally deeelish so I AM going to make it. So I did. For camping!

Family Camping

Last weekend my family- that’s the Moomah and Poopah, my sister, her husband and son and Tim, me and the girls all went off on a camping trip to Suffolk. Now, if you live here in the UK you’ll know that it was rather wet and windy last weekend but that didn’t dampen our spirits (but it did dampen our clothes on Sunday. Actually soaked would be a better description) We had a really lovely weekend. Lots of marshmallows around the camp fire (no there wasn’t any sining) and lots of laughter. And lots of eating. I wanted to take a cake with as a treat so I baked the Stork Salted Caramel Marble cake on Thursday night and wrapped it in foil as soon as it was cool then made the icing topping Friday morning and popped it in a jam jar ready for the off. Our car was so jam packed with equipment that I had a sleeping bag and football at my feet for the entire three hour journey up there –  so a sticky cake wasn’t going to happen till we were there. I have to say I’ve never covered a cake whilst in a tent before (some may say I’m cake obsessed!) There I was hunched over the low table smearing the salted caramel icing over the cake with a plastic spoon. Was it worth it? Oh boy yes it was! Salted Caramel Marble cake The cake was incredibly light and fluffy. It tasted great.  Tim loved the salted caramel topping and combined with the dark and white chocolate cake it was a total hit on a rather chilly and windy evening. This cake is my attempt at glamping.

Slice of Stork Salted Caramel Marble cakeStork’s Salted Caramel Marble cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 175g Stork
  • 175g Caster sugar
  • 175g Self raising flour (sieved)
  • 3 Medium eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 55g plain chocolate- melted
  • 55g white chocolate – melted

Salted Caramel icing Ingredients

  • 250g light soft brown sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 140g Stork
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except for the chocolate and beat well until smooth. Split the mixture between two bowls and add melted dark chocolate to one and white chocolate to another.
  2. Alternate spoonfuls of mixture into a greased bottom lined 20cm (8″) cake tin and gently swirl through the mixture with a skewerMaking marble cake
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven 170ºC, 160ºC fan for 50-60minutes. Leave to cool.
  4. To make the icing place sugar, cream and salt in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Bubble for 3-4 minutes not stirring. Cool for 10 minutes, beat in stork. Chill until firm.
  5. Split the cake and sandwich together with half the icing. Cover the top with the remaining salted caramel icing.

I should point out that the original recipe on the packaging had a delicious looking chocolate ganache topping with truffles to finish. Although it looked amazing it was a step to far for camping so I just added the icing on the top and it was soooo good. What’s more it stayed soft for a few days. So where is the craziest place you’ve decorated a cake? I’d love to know.

EmmaMT

p.s. Thanks to Stork for allowing me to share your recipe with my readers. I’m sure they’ll love it!

Gluten free cookies from a box!

Gluten free cookiesThe first house that Tim and I ever lived in together was with some friends on a farm. There were four guys and me and each weekend all the girl friends would descend. I was at uni at the time and one weekend one of the girlfriends suggested that we make the men folk a cake. She proceeded to take out a box from the cupboard saying “I think we just need an egg and some butter?” I had never seen a cake in a box before!  Growing up in a traditional Jewish household we always baked and cooked from scratch. What on earth was a cake doing in a box?

I think I may have offended the girlfriend in question when I suggested we actually bake a cake (without the box) as it would taste better and really didn’t take much more effort. It did taste better! And I don’t think I’ve ever baked from a box before today!

Phil Vickery cookiesA while ago I went to the Squires Cake show and was given a few products to try out. In the bag was a Phil Vickery gluten free Chocolate chunk cookie mix. In a BOX! Not only is it gluten free but it’s dairy free too. I popped it in the cupboard for when I had a school cake sale to bake for. I always like to ensure the coeliacs don’t miss out. But yesterday we had Evie round to play and as she is a gluten free kid I decided to bake them right away.

Just add an egg

All you have to do is whisk up a little oil and one egg then add the dry mix from the box. Knead it with your hands to combine, roll it into a sausage and then cut slices to bake.

Baking Gluten free cookies

Once sliced I made them rounder and baked them. Luckily I left quite a bit of space around each one as they spread out quite considerably. I sliced enough to ensure each kid had two after dinner. They were really good. Just the right amount of delicate crunch on the outside and soft gooeyness on the inside. Not the normal graininess you get with gluten free baking

The verdict from the four girls around my dinner table last night? Double thumbs up!

EmmaMT

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