Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

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Slice of triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

I consider myself something of a greedy chocoholic (who edges the cake knife round a few millimetres when no ones looking to get a bigger piece). But faced with this triple chocolate cheesecake, a small slice was sufficient… even for me! 

Triple chocolate cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

It is is the richest, most decadent chocolate fantasy I’ve ever made or eaten. A quick tally of all the ingredients brings it in over 2 kilos!

Oreo cookie cheesecake base | @hisforhome

There’s a base made from crushed Oreo cookies…

Melting dark chocolate in a glass bowl | @hisforhome

Melted dark chocolate and cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

…a thick, intense dark chocolate middle layer…

Adding melted dark chocolate to cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

Uncooked triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

…and a sweet, white chocolate ganache topping (with dark chocolate flakes to decorate of course!)

Triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

It was a real winner with everyone who tried it… and there’s now a note in my recipe file for “must make again!”

Triple chocolate cheesecake
Serves 10
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For the biscuit base
  1. 2 x 154g packets Oreo cookies
  2. 60g/2oz unsalted butter
For the cheesecake filling
  1. 3 x 280g tubs cream cheese (at room temperature)
  2. 165g/6oz icing sugar
  3. 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 300g/10oz dark chocolate
For the ganache topping
  1. 180ml/6 fl oz double cream
  2. 175g/6oz white chocolate
  3. Extra dark chocolate for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. Put the Oreo cookies into a food processor and pulse until they have turned to fine crumbs
  3. Put the butter into a microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften
  4. Combine the butter with the Oreo cookie crumbs and spoon the mixture into the base of a 28cm/11inch spring-form cake tin pressing it firmly & evenly with the back of the spoon
  5. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside to cool
  6. Break the dark chocolate into pieces, putting them into a glass or pottery bowl
  7. Put the bowl into a saucepan of water (just enough so that the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water) and heat on a low flame until the chocolate has melted
  8. While waiting for the chocolate to melt, put the cream cheese, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and combine well
  9. Break the eggs into a measuring jug, whisk lightly until just combined before adding little by little into the cheese/sugar/cocoa mixture, stirring after each addition
  10. Add the melted dark chocolate to the mixture and combine well
  11. Pour the mixture on to the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 60 minutes
  12. Switch off the oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar and allow the cake to cool for half an hour
  13. Put the cake on a wire rack until it has cooled completely
  14. Break the white chocolate into pieces, putting them into a glass or pottery bowl with the double cream
  15. Put the bowl into a saucepan of water (just enough so that the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water) and heat on a low flame
  16. When the chocolate has begun to melt, stir the mixture well and allow to cool until it has thickened but still pourable
  17. Pour evenly over the top of the cake allowing some to drip down the edge
  18. Serve at room temperature or refrigerated
  19. Keep refrigerated and consume within 3 days
Adapted from Oh My God Chocolate Desserts
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Jam Roly Poly

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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Bowl of jam roly poly and custard | @hisforhome

We do love a hearty pudding on a cold winter’s day – and what could be better than jam roly poly?

Jam roly poly ingredients

I have to confess that I needed two attempts to perfect this week’s bake.

Jam roly poly pastry mixture in food processor

Roly Poly ‘Mark I’ was a disaster. There wasn’t enough jam to start with. Also I rolled up the pastry way too tightly. Last and certainly least, I boiled it. A method I’d read in a few recipes. It was so bad that Justin spat it out declaring it was the worst thing I’d ever made! Ever!!

Rolling out jam roly poly pastry mixture

I’m pleased to report that Roly Poly ‘Mark II’ was a triumph!

Adding jam to the rolled out roly poly pastry

 The ingredients were blended gently, then rolled not too tight… with plenty of filling.

Rolling up jam roly poly

Sugar was sprinkled over the surface (another omission in the earlier version).

Rolled up jam roly poly with top brushed with milk and sprinkled with granulated sugar

And finally it was baked to a wonderful golden brown, the hot jam oozing through cracks.

Freshly baked jam roly poly

After allowing to cool slightly, it was devoured – with lashings of custard of course!

Bowl of jam roly poly and custard | @hisforhome

And the official verdict from the chief taster? “Superb – I could eat that all over again!”

Jam roly poly
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 300g/10½oz self raising flour
  2. 75g/2½oz (vegetarian) suet
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 180ml/6fl oz cold water
  5. 4 tbs fruit jam or jelly (raspberry, strawberry etc. I used a jar own my home made blackberry jelly)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. In a large bowl or food processor mix the flour, suet and salt
  3. Add the cold water and combine to form a stiff dough
  4. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough into a rectangle
  5. Liberally spread the jam leaving a 1cm gap along each edge
  6. Roll up along the short side and brush the long edge (and ends if desired) with milk to seal
  7. Grease a large baking tray and put the roly poly on it, putting the join at the the bottom
  8. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  10. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving with custard
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Japanese cheesecake

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

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Slice of Japanese cheesecake with quince jam | @hisforhome

Last week we shared a Taiwanese bread recipe; this week we’re staying in that general geographical area with this Japanese cheesecake.

Japanese cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

Separated eggs | @hisforhome

This cake is also known as a soufflé cheesecake – it gets this airy texture from the separated eggs.

lining a cake tin with parchment paper | @hisforhome lining a cake tin with tin foil | @hisforhome

Cheesecake mixture after adding the cream and eggs | @hisforhome

A stiff meringue is made from the whipped egg whites and sugar, and is then folded into the mixture at the end.

Japanese cheesecake mixture after adding the flour, rum and lemon juice | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake meringue | @hisforhome

To finish the cheesecake, the recipe calls for an apricot glaze. We have all manner of home made jams & jellies in the cupboard, so I decided to make a plain version of the cake – then experiment with the different flavours of jam for each slice.

folding meringue into Japanese cheesecake batter | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake batter in cake tin | @hisforhome

Apricot might indeed be perfect, but you never know…

Japanese cheesecake | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake with jars of jam and jelly | @hisforhome

…it could be blackcurrant, wild raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry or quince!

Japanese cheesecake
Serves 8
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Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
For the cheesecake
  1. 400g/14oz cream cheese
  2. 60g/2oz caster sugar
  3. 60g/2oz butter, cubed
  4. 6 egg yolks
  5. 200ml double cream
  6. 10 ml/2 tsp lemon juice
  7. 1 tbsp dark rum
  8. 80g/3oz plain flour
  9. 3 tbsp apricot jam + 1tsp water (to glaze)
For the meringue
  1. 6 egg whites, refrigerated
  2. 100g/3½ granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Before you start, bring all your ingredients to room temperature
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into the fridge
  3. Grease & line the bottom and side of a 25cm/10inch diameter spring form cake tin with parchment paper
  4. Cover the base & up the side of the tin with tin foil, making it water-tight
  5. Place the tin in an oven proof dish large enough that it can sit flat & level
  6. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF/gas mark 3
  7. Put the cream cheese and caster sugar into the bowl of an electric food mixer
  8. Using the K-beater attachment, mix on a medium speed for about a minute until there are no lumps
  9. Add the softened butter and mix, again on a medium speed, until there are no lumps
  10. Add the egg yolks a little at a time before adding all the double cream. Combine
  11. Add the lemon juice and rum. Combine
  12. Sift the flour before adding to the mixture. Combine
  13. Put the mixture into a large bowl, before thoroughly washing and drying the food mixer bowl
  14. Put the cold egg whites into the mixer bowl and, using the whisk attachment on a high speed, whip them into stiff peaks
  15. Slow the speed to medium and (while still moving) add the granulated sugar a little at a time to the egg white
  16. Boil half a kettle-full of water
  17. Carefully fold the meringue, half at a time, into the batter using a large metal spoon
  18. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the top with the back of the spoon
  19. Carefully pour the boiling water into the large oven-proof dish containing the cake tin before putting it into the oven
  20. Bake for an hour at 160ºC/320ºF/gas mark 3 before lowering the temperature to 150ºC/300ºC/gas mark 2 and cooking for another 30 minutes
  21. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar, leaving the cake in the oven for 20 minutes
  22. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely in its tin on a wire rack
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Hokkaido milk bread

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

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Hokkaido milk bread | @hisforhome

I discovered Hokkaido milk bread a few months ago and have had it on my ‘to bake’ list ever since.

Hokkaido milk bread ingredients

It looked like it would be very similar to a Warbie’s milk roll… or brioche if you’re more upmarket! :-)

tangzhong mixture

The recipe for this bread is originally from Taiwanese Yu Fen Chen’s (Yvonne Chen) book 65°C Bread Doctor.

Hokkaido milk bread ingredients

Apparently, the secret to the bread’s softness is using a kind of roux or flour & water/milk paste called tangzhong; heating it to 65ºC.

Hokkaido milk bread dough

It’s an easy but not a quick loaf – good things come to those who wait…

Hokkaido milk bread dough quartered

…there’s a 15-minute electric knead, 2 proves of up to an hour each time, a 20-minute ‘rest’, a bit of dough origami before finally baking for 30-40 minutes – phew!

Hokkaido milk bread balls

I put the loaves in the oven, took the dog for his evening walk and on re-entering the house, the aroma was even more amazing than normal bread; maybe it was the added sugar, maybe it was the tangzhong.

Hokkaido milk bread rolled Hokkaido milk bread folding

Hokkaido milk bread flipped Hokkaido milk bread rolling

The recipe quantities below makes 2 small loaves – the tins I used measured 19cm x 9 cm x 6cm tall. I made one plain loaf and one where I added a handful of raisins.

Hokkaido milk bread dough rolled with added raisins

I’ve found variations online where grated cheese or finely chopped bacon were rolled in; I reckon chocolate chips would be a good addition!

Hokkaido milk bread dough in baking tin

This is quite a sweet loaf but the next time I make it I’ll omit the sugar and make hot dog rolls or burger buns. Watch this space for Hokkaido, the sequel! :-)

Hokkaido milk bread
Yields 2
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For the tangzhong
  1. 50g strong bread flour
  2. 250ml milk
For the dough
  1. 50ml double or whipping cream
  2. 55ml milk
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 540g strong bread flour
  5. 85g caster sugar
  6. 8g salt
  7. 10g powered milk
  8. 11g instant dried yeast
  9. 185g tangzhong
  10. 50g butter, softened
To make the tangzhong
  1. Add the 50g flour and 250ml milk to a medium-sized saucepan and mix with a whisk until there are no lumps
  2. Heat over a low-medium heat, stirring constantly. After a couple of minutes (and when it reaches the magic 65ºC) you'll notice the mixture thickening. Lower the heat and continue to stir until the tangzhong begins to come away from the sides & bottom of the saucepan and begins to form low peaks when you lift the whisk
  3. Put the tangzhong into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool while you make the dough
To make the bread
  1. In a mixing bowl (I used my Kenwood mixer as there's a lot of kneading involved!) add the cream, milk and eggs and combine for a few seconds
  2. Add the flour, sugar, powdered milk, yeast and tangzhong and, using the dough hook, mix for 3 minutes on a low setting
  3. Add the softened butter and salt and mix for a further 10-15 minutes, again on a low setting
  4. Remove the dough hook, quickly form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with clingfilm and allow to prove in a warm place until doubled in size (45-60 minutes)
  5. Grease 2 small bread tins
  6. Put the dough on a floured work surface, divide into quarters, form each piece into a ball, put them on to a floured oven tray, cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to relax in a warm place for 20 minutes
  7. On the floured work surface, one by one, roll each ball into a rectangle using a rolling pin
  8. Fold each rectangle of dough into ⅓s along the long sides, turn over so the overlap is on the underside and re-roll into a rectangle
  9. Roll up each rectangle along the long end and put into a baking tin with the end of the roll facing down to stop unravelling
  10. Cover the pans loosely with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for the 2nd prove for 45-60 minutes
  11. Preheat the oven to 175ºC
  12. Once proved, brush the top of each loaf with egg wash and bake for 35-45 minutes
  13. Allow to cool on a wire rack before eating
Adapted from 65ºC Bread Doctor
Adapted from 65ºC Bread Doctor
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Saffron loaf

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

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saffron loaf cake with a large mug of tea | @hisforhome

I’ve somehow managed to get to the wrong side of mid-40 without ever having tasted saffron, although Justin’s used it in some of the kitchens he’s worked in (he’s so windswept & interesting!).

saffron in a saucepan of milk | @hisforhome

It’s often added to rice dishes and sauces, but I obviously decided to give it my first outing in a cake!

cubes of butter on flour | @hisforhome

Saffron loaf is a traditional Cornish recipe. It’s a very straightforward bake; mix the dry ingredients, crumb in the butter, add the saffron-infused milk, form a soft dough, a short prove then pop it in the oven for about an hour.

flour and dried fruit mixture | @hisforhome

This isn’t a dainty cake. You can cut it into small, delicate pieces for a touch of refinement, of course… but we didn’t go down the Ritz afternoon tea route and had a large slice (with a scraping of butter!).

pouring saffron milk and yeast mixture on to dry mixture | @hisforhome

 A rustic pottery mug full of strong tea was the ideal accompaniment.

saffron loaf dough | @hisforhome

 It’s sweet & fruity with the subtle, yet distinctive, saffron flavour coming through nicely.

saffron loaf dough in baking tin | @hisforhome

A delicious late afternoon pick-me-up – a perfect way to satisfy that peckish stage between lunch & dinner.

Saffron loaf
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 0.1g saffron threads
  2. 125ml/4½fl oz milk
  3. 500g/18oz plain flour
  4. 10g/⅓oz dried, fast-action yeast
  5. pinch salt
  6. ¼tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  7. 250g/9oz cold butter, cubed
  8. 250g/9oz golden caster sugar
  9. 350g/12oz mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, currants and sultanas)
  10. saffron loaf cake ingredients
Instructions
  1. Grease a 1kg/2.2lb loaf tin
  2. Heat the saffron and milk in a pan over a medium heat until the mixture has turned yellow and is almost simmering
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and nutmeg
  4. Add the butter and sugar and rub in using your fingertips or pastry blender until it forms the consistency of breadcrumbs
  5. Stir in the dried fruit until well combined
  6. Add the yeast to the saffron milk mixture, stir well before adding it to the dry mixture
  7. Mix until the mixture comes combines to form a soft dough
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth
  9. Put the dough into the greased loaf tin, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour to rise
  10. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  11. Bake for an hour, or until the loaf is beginning to brown
  12. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing it from the tin on to a wire rack and allowing it to cool further
Notes
  1. Great spread with butter and/or thin slices of cheddar cheese. Have it toasted when it's a few days old.
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/