Posts Tagged ‘cake’

Cakes & Bakes: Coffee pecan cake

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

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home made coffee & pecan cake | H is for Home

Justin has just declared this cake one of the best I’ve ever made – in fact one of the best he’s ever eaten – and he’s tried a few… so you must give it a try!

Coffee and pecan cake batter in cake tins

It’s a decadent coffee pecan cake.

Coffee and pecan cake sandwiches before icing

It’s moist & light – the honey roasted pecans and muscovado sugar give it a toffee-like depth of flavour which is very apt for bonfire night.

Making coffee mascarpone icing

A coffee liqueur-infused mascarpone cream frosting adds a really luxurious touch.

Slice of coffee and pecan cake

It’s garnished with more crushed pecans and chocolate-coated coffee beans. A very attractive cake with a taste to match!

Coffee pecan cake
Serves 8
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the cake
  1. 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
  2. 175g/6oz golden caster sugar
  3. 3 large eggs, beaten
  4. 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  5. 1tsp baking powder
  6. 2tsp instant coffee granules/powder
  7. 60g/2½oz pecans, chopped
For the icing
  1. 500g/1lb mascarpone
  2. 100g/3½oz muscovado sugar
  3. 4tbsp coffee liqueur, such as Tia Maria or Kahlúa
  4. handful pecan halves and a few chocolate-covered coffee beans, to decorate
  6. cheese soda bread ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C/355ºF/Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease a pair of 20cm/8in loose-bottomed tins and line with non-stick parchment paper
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, and beat well after each addition
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder together before folding into the batter using a large metal spoon
  6. Mix the coffee with a tablespoon of hot water and fold into the cake mix with the chopped pecans
  7. Divide the cake mix equally between the two tins ensuring the surface is level
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes away clean and the surface of the cake is slightly springy to touch
  9. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in their tins before turning them out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely
  10. Drizzle the flat side of one cake with a tablespoon of the coffee liqueur
For the icing
  1. Beat the mascarpone together with the muscovado sugar and the rest of the coffee liqueur until smooth
  2. Sandwich the cooled cakes with a third of the filling before covering the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the icing
  3. Sprinkle the top with the pecan halves and chocolate-covered coffee beans
Adapted from Tesco realfood
Adapted from Tesco realfood
H is for Home Harbinger
Adding coffee and pecans to cake batter

Cakes & Bakes: Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

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Home-made honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart

We have some friends that live nearby who are having their kitchen renovated. For the next few weeks, all they’ll have to cook on is a single-burner camping stove.

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart ingredients

We’ve been in the exact same position in the past – it’s such a drag! We invited them round to ours for dinner tonight so we thought we’d cook them something that they can’t currently make at home.

Glazed figs before being put in the oven to roast

Justin’s making the main course – chicken breasts filled with a fennel, pastrami and chicken mousse with a spinach and pine nut lasagne – and I’m making the dessert.

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart before going into the oven

In keeping with the loosely Mediterranean theme, I’ve cooked a honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart. You can buy ready-made shortcrust pastry to make the base, but it’s really easy to make yourself at home – a 2-minute job… honest!

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart before going into the oven

I’ve not made this tart before – I hope it’s a hit tonight!

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart
Serves 4
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Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
  1. 500g/18oz pack shortcrust pastry at room temperature or make your own
  2. 4 ripe fresh figs, stalks trimmed
  3. 1tbs lemon juice
  4. 1 tbs clear honey
  5. 100g/3½oz softened butter
  6. 100g/3½oz golden caster sugar
  7. 100g3½oz ground almonds
  8. 1 medium egg yolk
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  2. Grease a shallow, loose-bottomed 20cm flan tin
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly-floured work surface
  4. Line the tin, carefully pushing it into the base & sides and making sure the pastry comes above the rim. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  5. In the meantime, halve the figs lengthways and put them cut side up on a roasting tray
  6. In a small measuring jug, combine the lemon juice and honey before pouring the liquid over the figs
  7. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until just soft
  8. Drain off the juice (if any) and reserve
  9. Remove the pastry case from the fridge and prick the base all over with a fork, line with a circle of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes
  10. Remove the paper & beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden
  11. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2 Leave the pastry case to cool slightly before filling
  12. In a food processor or using an electric beater, cream the butter and sugar until smooth & pale
  13. Add the ground almonds and whizz briefly to combine
  14. Add the egg yolk and 1 tbsp of the reserved fig juice and whizz again until smooth
  15. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the marzipan evenly over the pastry case base
  16. Gently press the figs, cut side up, into the almond mixture
  17. Bake for 1¼ hours or until the top turns golden all over
  18. Leave in the tin for 15 minutes before removing sides and transfer to a wire rack to cool
  19. Serve cool or cold with crème fraîche or clotted cream
Adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine
H is for Home Harbinger

Cakes & Bakes: Apple & sultana strudel

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

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Bowl of home-made apple & sultana strudel with ice cream | H is for Home

Some say life’s too short to stuff a mushroom, I say life’s too short to make home-made filo pastry. I’m more than happy to whizz up a quick batch of puff, shortcrust or hot water pastry – I think it tastes much better than shop bought. Filo, at least to me, is just that little bit too finicky and time-consuming to make from scratch.

Apple & sultana strudel ingredients

Peeled & cored Bramley apples

That’s why I picked up a pre-made pack of filo for my apple & sultana strudel.

Uncooked apple & sultana strudel filling mixture

Cooked apple & sultana strudel filling mixture

Yes, I know that filo (or phyllo) is Greek and apple strudel (or apfelstrudel) is German, but the former is the closest thing to the type of pastry traditionally used to encase the filling. Apparently you should be able to read a newspaper through it, it’s so thin!

Brushing melted butter between sheets of filo pastry

Spooning apple & sultana strudel filling mixture on to filo pastry

The filling is quick to make, I added sultanas to my apples, but you could try adding walnuts, dates or figs instead. The trickiest part is the assembly. Place the pastry onto a clean tea towel or baking parchment before filling and use it to help with rolling.

Uncooked apple & sultana strudel

Cooked apple & sultana strudel

It’s best served hot, and always with cream… or ice cream… or both!

Apple & sultana strudel
Serves 4
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 2 Bramley apples
  2. 50g/1¾oz sultanas
  3. 30g/1oz soft brown sugar
  4. ½tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 80g/3oz butter
  6. 270g (6 sheets) pre-made filo pastry
  7. 1tbs Demerara sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6 and grease a large oven tray
  2. Peel, core and chop the apples into large cubes
  3. Put the apples into a large saucepan with the sultanas, soft brown sugar, ground cinnamon and 50g/2oz of the butter
  4. Cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring to combine well, until the apple just begins to soften
  5. Set aside to cool
  6. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the remaining butter (about 5-8 seconds)
  7. Fold the pastry sheets over in half, laying them out onto a clean tea towel or baking parchment
  8. Unfold the pastry sheets, one by one, and brush the top of each sheet with the butter using a pastry brush
  9. Using a slotted spoon to drain off the cooking liquid, place the apple & sultana mixture on the pastry forming a line along the long edge
  10. Sprinkle the rest of the pastry evenly with the Demerara sugar
  11. Using the tea towel/baking parchment as an aid, roll the pastry into a log shape, tucking in the ends so the filling doesn't fall out and place it onto the greased oven tray
  12. Brush the top with melted butter and bake for 30-35 minutes
  13. Serve hot
H is for Home Harbinger