Baking Goodies

by Lany

I got into a baking mood, as you do, and decided that I had to bake ALL OF THE THINGS!

I made some “eton mess” cupcakes and some “chocoholic” cupcakes and an apple pie.

I fell in love with Eton Mess when I had it in a restaurant in Dublin last year, and when I spotted meringues at the local shop I knew what had to be done!

“Eton Mess” cupcakes

for cupcakes:
2 eggs
125g golden brown sugar
125g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
125g butter (room temperature)
1/2tsp vanilla essence
1/2tsp starwberry essence (if you can’t get it just use 1tsp vanilla)

for icing:
1 tin of strawberries or 14-16 fresh strawberries
2tsp golden brown sugar
100g butter
250g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1-2 meringues

Preheat oven to: 180deg C for an electric oven/170deg C for a fan oven/350deg F/ gas mark 3

Place cupcake cases into a bun tin, or use silicon cupcake cases.

To make cupcakes:
1. Whisk eggs and sugar together until slightly frothy
2. Gradually beat in the flour, baking powder and butter.
3. Beat in the essence(s). (You can also add food colouring here if you like, if you want to create a very “eton mess” look you could split the batter in half and add red colouring to one half and keep the other plain)
4. Divide mixture into the cases, filling each case to about 2/3 full, this should make about twelve cupcakes. (If you’ve split the mixture into half, add a spoon or so from each mixture)
5. Β Place cupcakes into the oven and wait for 15-20 minutes. (Mins usually takes 16 minutes)
6. Cupcakes are done when the top of the sponge is springy and not soggy.

To make icing:
1. Drain tinned strawberries/chop fresh strawberries.
2. Place these into a pot with the sugar, melt over the lowest heat setting, be careful as it burns quickly.
3. Mash or puree the strawberries when they’ve “melted” into the sugar, creating a strawberry sauce.
4. In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together, add the sauce and blend all together well.
5. When the cupcakes are cool spread the mixture on top (or pipe it on if you’re fancy!).
6. Sprinkle crushed meringue on top of the strawberry icing.

et voila, “eton mess” cupcakes!
If I do say so myself…they turned out quite well for an experimental recipe! xD

I also have a terrible sweet tooth, in particular I’m a chocolate fiend….so when I was messing around waiting for the cupcakes to cool for the icing to be made I decided to have a root around in the press and see what else I could make….found some cocoa powder and I was off!

“chocoholic” cupcake

for cupcakes:
100g self raising flour
150g golden brown sugar
40g butter (room temperature)
30g cocoa powder (I use Bournville powder)
120ml milk (whole milk)
1 egg
1/2tsp vanilla essence
1tsp instant coffee in 1tsp hot water (I used caffeinated hot chocolate in water)
100g plain chocolate chips

for icing:
350g icing sugar
225g butter
50g cocoa powder
splash of milk (whole milk)

Peheat oven to: 180deg C/170degC fan oven/350deg F/gas mark 3.
Place cupcake cases into a bun tin/use silicon cupcake cases.

To make cupcakes:
1. Mix the flour, sugar, butter and cocoa powder together.
2. Gradually add half of the milk to the mix from step 1.
3. In a separate container combine the rest of the milk, the egg, the instant coffee mix/caffienated hot chocolate mix, and the vanilla essence.
4. Combine the two until smooth.
5. Fold in with a spoon the chocolate chips and make sure they are distributed evenly.
6. Divide mixture into the cupcake cases, filling each case 2/3 full, this should make about 12 cupcakes.
7. Place cupcakes in oven and wait for 15-20 minutes until the top is springy and not soggy.

for the icing:
1. Beat the icing sugar the butter and the cocoa together.
2. Add a small bit of milk, not too much or it’ll get too sloppy. Just enough to make the mixture lighter and fluffier.
3. Spread generously onto the cooled cupcakes.

Enjoy your chocoholic treat πŸ˜€

I decided to make apple pie which is super easy and really quick to make.

for apple pie:
4 cooking apples (large) or 6 medium cooking apples
225g plain flour
125g butter (room temperature)
100ml water
Caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180deg C/170deg C/350 deg F/gas mark 3
Grease the pie tin/pyrex plate that you’re using.

to make the pastry:
1. Combine the flour and the butter, they make a crumbly mixture.
2. Gradually add some water, be careful as its really easy to add too much (If you do add too much even it out with flour) until the pastry comes together in a dryish ball. (You can place it in cling film in the fridge at this stage if you want to)
3. Split pastry into two and on a floured surface roll and flatten one part with a rolling pin until it is large enough to cover the bottom of your pie tin/pyrex plate.
4. Cut up and slice (thinly) the cooking apples and place them into the centre of the pie.
5. Cover the apple slices in caster sugar, quite a generous amount is needed as cooking apples are not sweet.
6. On the floured surface roll out the second half of the pastry to the right size, and gently drape it across the top of the pie.
7. Trim the excess pastry and press the pie together around the edges using your thumbs.
8. Place into the oven for 30-45 mins until baked through.

It should turn out to be a delicious pie!!

I was all ready to post pictures of the goodies but when I got a chance to have my camera charged all the cupcakes were gone and nothing but crumbs remained of the tart!! I suppose it’s a good sign!
Hopefully next time I try these recipes I’ll take some photos!

I was at a training course last week and had limited internet access, so apologies for not thinking of that before annoucing the quiltalong!!
If you haven’t seen it, we’re planning a quiltalong!! πŸ˜€
The next update will be about the plans or it and how to join in πŸ˜€
Sound be good fun- I’m an absolute beginner so if you’re one like me don’t be afraid to join in!! πŸ˜€
(the same goes for the more experienced quilters out there!!)

Floury hugs and smiles all round!

P.S.Β  Meringues are easy to bake too:
3 egg whites
175g castor sugar

Preheat oven to 150degC/300degF/gas mark 2.
Baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

1. Whisk the eggs, going from slowest setting, gradually getting faster so that air bubbles have time to form, don’t go too fast as this will collapse the air bubbles and the mixture will be overwhisked and be really grainy liquid-if this happens you have to start again.
2. Add the sguar spoonful by spoonful and as you do so whip the whites and the sugar until the mix becomes stiff and really shiny/glossy.
3. On the greaseproof paper place spoonfuls of the meringue mix(I think piping gives a better result but spoonfuls work just as well).
4. Place into oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 140degC/280degF/gas mark 1.
5. When the meringues look baked on the outside should take about 50mins to an hour; turn off the oven and let them in the oven until it’s cold(without opening the door moisture ruins meringues), this will take 2-3 hours but this makes the meringues set properly on the outside but chewy and soft (and cooked!!) in the middle.