Bundts, Bundts and More Bundts.

I’m getting just that teensy weensy bit obsessed with collecting Nordicware Bundt pans now. I think it needs to stop or else I will need a kitchen extension!  I just love the interesting shapes that the pans come in and how you can make a cake into a showstopper bake by using one of the pans.  I still see pans I want and the wish list is getting longer and longer by the day!

This post is to share some of the more recent bakes I have made so far this year using my bundt pans.  For recipe inspiration I can recommend the fabulous website by Rachel McGrath the Bundt Queen herself.  She has lots of ideas and fantastic flavour combinations to try out.  I would recommend looking at her Bundt recipe page and also adapting and creating your own ideas from her Build a Bundt recipe.

Rachel’s feature on her blog called Bundts on The Brain is a great insight into the history of the Bundt:

http://www.dollybakes.co.uk/p/bundts-on-brain.html

Here are my new bundt pans I have been getting excited about!

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The Heritage Bundt pan. I’ve been after this for ages, such a pretty design.
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My two loaf bundt pans: a lemon loaf one and a gingerbread man one.
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A pretty rose bundt pan. I haven’t had much success with this, tried to bake a white chocolate and raspberry bundt in it a few weeks back and it just wouldn’t come out of the tin. When I finally got it out, the top part fell out leaving half of it welded to the bottom! Try and try again I suppose!
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For Valentine’s Day I baked a chocolate and chocolate themed bundt heart cake. It featured Sugar and Crumbs‘s chocolate and coconut icing sugar which worked really well in both the mixture and the chocolate glaze. To top the cake I added miniature sugarpaste hearts.
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Connected with a previous blog post written in conjunction with Sugar and Crumbs, I baked this Jaffa Orange Bundt cake. This recipe was adapted from one in the latest Hummingbird Bakery recipe book and looked fab baked in my Heritage bundt pan.
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Bundt cakes are those baked in pans manufactured by Nordicware and not necessarily a cake with a hole in the middle. This sticky lemon loaf cake baked from one of my Nana’s old recipe books went along to a Clandestine Cake Club event in February.
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I spotted the Nordicware Pineapple Upside down cake pan on Ebay in March and just had to have it. Luckily it was a Buy It Now option but I did have to send for it from the USA. It was worth it to bake one of my family’s favourite desserts in such a pretty way.  The recipe itself I used from an American website but I am not sure if I got the quantities right having to use baking cups!
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Back in January I wanted to experiment with some Monin coffee syrups I was given just before Christmas. So I used one of Dollybakes’ recipes to bake this Cinnamon and Apple Bundt Cake with apple flavour glace icing.
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For my hubby’s birthday in January I baked my usual carrot cake recipe in a traditional bundt pan and decorated it with cream cheese frosting, chopped nuts and some ready made carrot decorations.
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My heart shaped bundt pan gets used at all times of the year, not just for Valentine’s Day! I baked Jamie Oliver’s Sticky Toffee Pudding from his latest book Comfort Food in my pan instead of in a traybake tin.
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My piece of sticky toffee pudding with some sauce drizzled over. Perfect for a cold February dessert.

Keep watching this space, there will be more bundts to come in the future!

Happy Baking.

Love Sam xx

Baking With Reeses Peanut Butter Chips.

Here’s yet another blog post I’ve forgotten to write about over the past few weeks.  I had only been in my new job a couple of weeks and baking was the last thing on my mind.  Though I do like to bake a cake or a pudding on a Sunday to go with our lunch.  I don’t know how they’d managed to stay in my baking cupboard as my two teenage kids are always nicking things out of it!  I had found a large pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips back in January and sneakily hid them behind a bag of flour hoping my kids wouldn’t look behind it!  I intended to do lots of baking with these little beauties!

My family adore brownies and they always go down well for pudding on a Sunday.  I put half the packet of peanut butter chips into my regular brownie batter. What’s more is that the chips did not melt but you got an instant hit of peanuts which contrasted beautifully with the dark chocolate in the brownies.  I insisted on putting the remaining brownies in the freezer or else we would have scoffed the whole lot there and then!

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Chewy and gooey Peanut Butter brownies baked with Reeses Peanut Butter chips into the batter.
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Chocolate and peanut butter heaven…. don’t mind if I do!

If that wasn’t enough peanut butter to be going on with, I had half the packet to finish off.  So a few days later I thought about what I could bake with the remaining pieces. I adore peanut butter cookies and could eat them all day long.  So I planned to bake some cookies to stick in the freezer.  But they didn’t quite get there.. well some of them did!  I adapted a recipe I had for peanut butter and chocolate cookies but was angry to find that the bar of dark chocolate I had in my baking cupboard had now turned from a 100g one to a 50g one! So I had to add something else to the chocolate, I ended up tipping in 50g of raisins instead.

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Gorgeously moreish peanut butter and raisin cookies.

I was very impressed with the cookies.  They tasted chewy and there was a good balance of the peanut flavour against the sweet chocolate and raisins.  I ate a couple with a cup of tea and although they tasted fab I regretted it thinking of all the calories in them.  So I saved some for my family and the rest got stuck in a box and put in the freezer before I demolished those as well!

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Only half the cookies made it to the freezer!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Sticky Lemon Loaf Bundt Cake

Here is all about a cake I baked several weeks ago back at the end of February but forgot to blog all about it.  I was due to go along to the Pudsey and West Leeds Clandestine Cake Club event which was in Horsforth.  The theme for that month’s event was “Now That’s What I Call the 1980s”.

Being a 1980’s teenager I was inspired to bake and create a showstopper cake.  I thought back to all the pop groups I loved, the food we ate and what was in fashion at the time.  But all this was going to take up a lot of my time which i didn’t have much of during that week.  So something simple had to be found quickly!  Though a chocolate Rubik’s Cube cake would have been a fab idea if I’d had the time!

I phoned my mum and she thought of Pineapple Upside Down Cake which she remembered baking. Most of the things my mum and my Nana Mary (my Mum’s mum) baked were traditional things and not necessarily linked to the 1980s.  Nana’s fruitcake was legendary as she used to leave it in the oven for too long so it dried out.  Bless her.  I don’t think she ever realised that we served her fruitcakes with custard to add some moisture!

Nana and I had lots of things in common in that we both loved cooking and baking as well as sewing and knitting.  When I was 9, back in 1981 I remember Nana looking out a few recipe books for me to help me get into baking.  One was a Tate and Lyle Golden Syrup book which I still have to this day.  Along with some of her other recipe books which I inherited after she died, I treasure them.

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The Golden Syrup Cookery Book which my Nana gave to me when I was 9.

So, after lots of recipe browsing I had to bake something from of one of my Nana’s 1980’s cookbooks and the Golden Syrup one was perfect.  Not too many faffy, over fussy and complicated recipes and one I could adapt to bake with one of my Nordicware Bundt pans.  I settled for a gorgeous Sticky Lemon Loaf recipe as I remember my Nana baking lemon cake and also making delicious lemon marmalade.  Whether this was the recipe she used, I don’t know but I wanted to try it.

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A few weeks back I treated myself to two new Nordicware Bundt Loaf pans- a lemon loaf one and a gingerbread man one.

To bake the lemon loaf cake I was thankful that my scales can convert to imperial measurements as my Nana’s book showed all the quantities in pounds and ounces.  This didn’t worry me as I don’t mind what measurements I use.  I greased my new Nordicware lemon loaf bundt pan and dusted it with a sprinkling of flour.

In a bowl I sieved in 40z of self raising flour then into a medium saucepan I melted together 20z margarine, 2 oz caster sugar and 4oz of golden syrup.  Once this had melted and then come off the heat to cool down a little I mixed together 1 large egg and 2 tbsp milk in a small jug. This was then combined and mixed together with the syrup mixture.  To give the cake its lemon flavour I grated in the zest of a large lemon.  Finally in went the flour and the mixture was beaten until smooth. The mixture was poured into the loaf pan and then baked in my oven for about 160oC.  The recipe gave the oven temperature in Farenheit, my 0ven indicator only shows Celsius so I guessed!

The loaf cake stayed in the oven for about 25 minutes to half an hour.  It was a Monday morning when I baked the cake and I needed it that night for the club.  I was teaching that afternoon at a school over half an hour’s driving distance away and was panicking I would not have time to get myself sorted out and put on some sort of glaze on top of the cake to make it look spectacular. When it came out of the oven it looked a lot darker than I was expecting and I hoped it would look better with some sugar syrup on it to show off the lemon decorations of the loaf pan.

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The cake came out of the oven looking a lot darker than expected!

Almost straightaway I made up a sugar syrup using freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar.  This was then poured onto the cooling cake and brushed over the top of the lemon pattern carefully so that it would be even.  It melted into the cake and was left to cool while I was out at work in the afternoon.

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I loved the lemon details on the loaf pan and was so glad that the cake came out intact!
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To “lift” the cake a bit and make it more like a lemon drizzle cake I added a lemon sugar syrup to it. It made the cake very sticky and moist.

Against all the other cakes at Cake Club this month mine looked very plain and boring but I was glad it tasted ok. There were lots of delicious cakes to try this time: from a delicious Pac Man cake to a gorgeous Blueberry Ripple Bundt cake as well as a very scrummy Marathon (not Snickers!) cheesecake!

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Just some of the delicious cakes at Pudsey and West Leeds Clandestine Cake Club event “Now That’s What I Call The 1980s”.

My friend Sharon used her gingerbread man bundt pan to bake Wham! in cake complete with Choose Life t-shirts!  I was a Wham! fan back in the day so it was great to think we were eating George Michael’s arm or Andrew Ridgeley’s leg!

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George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in cake form!

To read about the Clandestine Cake Club event you can find out more about it here:

https://humbugshouse.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/clandestine-cake-club-february-2015-now-thats-what-i-call-the-80s/

To find out more about the fun we have at Clandestine Cake Clubs in the UK and all over the world:

http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Chocolate Malteser Cake

Anyone who knows me knows I have a terrible addiction to Maltesers.  I don’t know why I do, I just love them.  These big “sharing” bags are a big joke to me as they have resealable tops.  How can this be possible?  I’ve never resealed anything that has chocolate inside it!

I can't get enough of Maltesers. Does anyone else have the same problem?
I can’t get enough of Maltesers. Does anyone else have the same problem?

Last month my baking cupboard had many packs of Maltesers in it because they were supporting Comic Relief this year with their Bake Yourself Silly campaign. for Red Nose Day 2015. I always love to get involved with Comic Relief and baking is one of my ways of doing my bit.  The Maltesers website has some brilliant baking recipes to use for fundraising and I was keen to have a go.

I’m now working as a primary supply teacher in various schools in my area.  One of the schools I work in regularly was going to have a Comic Relief bake sale on the day after I was working there.  I brought in two dozen cupcakes and a batch of Malteser Rocky Road for the stall.  The school were over the moon with them and on the following Monday when I was next teaching there, they said all the cupcakes and Rocky Road sold out.  What a relief.

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I baked two dozen vanilla cupcakes for the bake sale. The cupcake cases and toppers came in a special pack from Sainsburys.

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I used Lorraine Pascale’s fridge cake recipe which is in one of her books. Unfortunately it was meant to have marshmallows in it. I found my kids had nicked my mini marshmallow packet to use in their hot chocolate!

I also tried baking some cheeky Red Nose Day Empire biscuits, which were shortbread rounds sandwiched together with jam. They were finished off with white glace icing, a big glace cherry red nose and funny faces piped on with melted Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

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My cheeky Red Nose Day Empire Biscuits.
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Mary Berry’s fantastic new book.

After all this baking I was still left with a whole packet of Maltesers.  Knowing me, this packet sitting there in the cupboard would be taunting me every time I went to get something else out.  What could I do with it?  I had recently bought a copy of Mary Berry’s latest book “Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites” and had already decided what I wanted to cook from it.  Although I love baking I was glad to see there would be lots of other delicious savoury recipes to try.  But one recipe I just had to try was the Malted Chocolate Cake.

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Mary Berry’s Malted Chocolate Cake was a perfect treat to serve on Mother’s Day.

I chose to bake the chocolate cake on Mother’s Day. Although I wouldn’t be seeing my Mum until the following weekend I was spending time with my own husband and two teenagers.  Normally they would bake a cake for me but both of them were busy with schoolwork so I baked it myself! After all you are meant to spend time doing things on Mother’s Day that you enjoy the most and baking to me is just that!

The Malted Chocolate Cake was very simple to bake in two 8″ sandwich tins and involves using cocoa powder and chocolate flavoured Ovaltine to get the malty taste.  The chocolate buttercream was the same.  I was also impressed that it wasn’t too sweet which both my daughter and hubby commented on when they ate some.

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The finished Malted Chocolate cake.

After the cake had cooled enough I made up the chocolate icing.  It did not need real bars of chocolate melted in the mixture but the chocolate flavour once again came from cocoa powder.  I always try to use a good brand of cocoa powder in my bakes, such as Green and Blacks.

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Oh, go on then, don’t mind if I do! The diet starts AGAIN tomorrow!

Now, you’re probably wondering what happened to the remaining Maltesers which were left over after adorning the top of the cake.  Well, I was a kind mum to my kids and shared them out equally between the two of them.  I don’t think they were expecting that to happen with my track record.  The cake itself got eaten over the next few days, it kept well in an airtight tin.

Happy Baking.

Love Sam xx