Thursday, 14 May 2015

Raspberry and Apple Country Crumble Slice

I made this traybake with wholemeal flour for a change, something I've never used before but I've always heard is supposed to seriously pimp up any normal cake mixture. And I can safely say it does! The wholemeal flour definitely adds an extra nutty layer to the cake flavour and goes really well with anything fruity. Plus the use of less refined sugar and flour always makes you feel that tad bit healthier even if you are still eating cake ;). Here's my recipe:

For the cake:
250g / 10 oz light brown muscovado sugar
250g / 10 oz margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs (beaten together)
250g / 10 oz wholemeal self-raising flour
75g / 3 oz sultanas
1 green apple (Granny Smith’s)
50g / 2 oz raspberries (each one cut in half)

Crumble Topping:
 75g / 3 oz butter (chilled)
150g / 6 oz plain flour
40g/ 1 ½ oz demerara sugar

6 tablespoons icing sugar
3-4 teaspoons water (more or less, go by eye rather than recipe with this one)

1) Grease and line a 12 x 9 rectangular tray-bake tray with baking paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C / Gas 4.
2) Make the cake batter: Cream the margarine, vanilla extract and muscovado sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten egg and wholemeal flour bit by bit, mixing after each addition. Once combined, stir through the sultanas.
3) Make the crumble topping: Dice the butter and rub into the plain flour until a breadcrumb consistency has been achieved. Stir through the demerara sugar.

4) Spread half of the cake batter into the tin, leveling it off nicely. Peel, core and cut the apple into four wedges. With a vegetable peeler, peel length-ways down the apple wedge to get extra thin apple slices.

Use two apple wedges for the middle layer of fruit, distributing the thin slices evenly onto the cake batter.

 Follow with half of the raspberries. Spread the rest of the batter evenly over the layer of fruit. Peel the last two apple wedges and scatter slices over the top along with the rest of the raspberries.
Sprinkle the crumble topping over the top fruit layer, pressing down lightly. 

5) Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden, springy to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

  Top tip: Place a bit of foil on top of the cake after thirty minutes to prevent further colouring on the top – just because it looks golden and lovely on the top doesn’t mean it’s cooked all the way through yet!

6) Once baked, allow to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, before tipping out onto a cooling rack. Sprinkle liberally with more demerara sugar and cut into squares.

7) Make the icing: Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the water, until it reaches a thick pipeable consistency. Pipe or drizzle the icing over the squares with a spoon. Store in the fridge to retain the fresh flavour of the fruit. Simply eat with a cup of tea, or warm up in the microwave and serve with ice-cream or custard for a lovely dessert.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Chewy Red Velvet Cookies: Take 2

 So once upon a time I stumbled across a great recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies. See the recipe here. Back then I did traditional vanilla cookie dough with chocolate chips. But this time I added a little twist to the mix to make red velvet chewy goodness. I have made red velvet ones before but I didn’t think they were red enough; so this time I made sure to use a food colouring PASTE rather than the liquid stuff (Trust me, once you try pastes you’ll never go back). The great thing about making different flavour cookies is that for minimal ‘pimpage’ of the cookie dough, you get drastic results. In this case for red velvet cookies, simply take out 1 oz/ 25g flour and replace with 1 oz / 25g cocoa powder, add red food colouring, ALWAYS compliment with white chocolate chips and you’re sorted.

Anyways here’s the recipe as I have noted down in my recipe folder:

9 oz / 225g plain flour
1 oz / 25 g cocoa powder
7 oz / 170g butter (melted)
8 oz / 200g light brown muscovado sugar
4 oz / 100g caster sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg & 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz / 150g white chocolate chips (though the amount of chocolate one uses is obviously not set in stone…)
*red food colouring (pastes are more expensive but stretch further, but liquid form colourings are also good)

1) Preheat oven to 170°C / Gas 4. Grease and line a baking tray and set aside.

2) In a bowl mix the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and sugars together and beat until pale (an electric hand whisk does the best job here). Stir through the melted butter. Sieve in the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda until combined. Colour the dough with the red food colouring- how red you want them is really up to you. Fold through the white chocolate chips.

3) Take one tablespoon for each cookie portion and place four on the tray, spaced well apart. Flatten the heaps of dough slightly and bake in the oven for 10-12 mins, until the cookies are visibly set around the edges but still slightly doughy in the middle. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before placing on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. If you prefer a crunchier cookie, cook for a couple of minutes longer until the cookies are more set.