Baked Jam and Cream Doughnut Sandwich

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I love eating baked doughnuts it’s much easier to make and less fattening. 

I decided to use the recipe I made for the mini cinnamon doughnuts and tweak them a little to make regular sized jam and cream doughnuts sandwich…yeh how amazing it’s like a Victoria Sandwich but in a doughnut form.

These are very simple and easy to make I recommend using this doughnut tin. I’ve used it a few times and it’s really good quality and doesn’t stick (although you have to grease it first).

When I make sugary doughnuts I love the process of dipping the doughnuts in butter and then in the sugar, it’s fun! The only problem with these doughnuts are (apart from being so yummy) is they are very delicate to handle once you make them into a sandwich, it’s probably best to serve them straight on a plate then letting people help themselves. I think for next time I would make larger doughnuts, instead of filling them 2/3 way I would fill them fully and add extra baking time. I think this would help give the doughnuts more structure and hold.

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Baked Jam and Cream Doughnut Sandwich
Yields 12
Delicious and moist jam and cream baked doughnuts
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
For the doughnuts
  1. 125g - plain flour
  2. 1 tsp - baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp - baking soda
  4. 1/4 tsp - salt
  5. 1/4 tsp - ground cinnamon
  6. 1 large - Egg
  7. 65g - light brown sugar
  8. 60ml - milk
  9. 60g - yogurt
  10. 30g - unsalted butter, melted
  11. 1 1/2 tsp - pure vanilla extract
For the sugar
  1. 200g - Castor sugar
  2. 1 tsp - ground cinnamon
  3. 115g - unsalted butter, melted
For the cream
  1. 1 small tub of double cream
  2. icing sugar taste
  3. 1 tsp - vanilla extra
  4. 1/4 -1/2 jar - Jam (any kind but I used strawberry)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 175°C and spray/grease a donut pan.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. In a another bowl whisk the egg, brown sugar, milk, and yogurt together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined.
  3. 3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix, the mixture will be very thick.
  4. 4. The best way to fill each donut cup is by using a piping bag, filling each doughnut cup 2 ∕3 – 3 ∕4 of the way full.
  5. 5. Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned, allow to cool for about two minutes and transfer to a wire rack set. Allow donuts to cool down until you can handle them.
  6. 6. In a two bowls big enough to dip the doughnut in, combine the sugar and cinnamon in one and melt the butter in another. Dip the donuts in the melted butter first then dunk into the cinnamon/sugar mixture coating all sides. Allow doughnuts to cool completely.
For the cream
  1. 1. In a stand mixer add the cream sugar and vanilla and beat until you achieve stiff peaks but be careful not to overheat.
To decorate
  1. 1. Make sure the doughnuts are completely cool.
  2. 2. Cut the doughnut in half on side pipe or spread the cream. On the other half spread the jam and carefully place the jam side on top of the cream side.
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Terry’s Chocolate Mousse

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I love eating mousse, it has a bubbly, light and airy texture. I really like the combination of chocolate and orange, it’s such an lovely taste I think the orange cuts into the sugar in the chocolate. I used Terry’s chocolate to make this as I really do think their chocolate orange do taste good for a cheaper alternative.

I have never made a mousse before and was excited about making it. I’m always sceptical about using raw eggs, but it is actually fine and nothing to worry about, but I would advise you make sure that you use fresh eggs or ones that are a maximum of 2 weeks old.

Mousse isn’t very hard to make surprisingly or maybe I hit a lucky streak with it as mine turned out well. It was difficult to know when to stop whisking the egg whites, I suppose I did judge that myself and maybe I could be wrong. I did it until I felt it was right as the instruction did say not to over mix and I did the bowl over the head test and it worked! I do think next time I would add the juice as It did make it a little too light. 

I did enjoy making the mousse and would make it again, it’s a great dessert and light after a   heavy meal. I would also like ti try only a chocolate mousse and see how that would taste.

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Terry's Chocolate Mousse
Yields 6
Terry's Chocolate Airy Mousse
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g - Terry's chocolate*
  2. 100ml - water
  3. 4 - eggs
  4. 2 tbsp - caster sugar
  5. 1 tsp - orange oil (optional)
  6. Juice of 1/4 orange and zest of an orange
Instructions
  1. 1. In a heat proof bowl (if you have a large bowl use that as the whipped egg whites will be placed in that) add the chocolate broken in the segments with the water. In 30 sec intervals heat the chocolate in the microwave until nearly melted. Then add the orange oil and orange juice be stir until fully mixed.
  2. 2. Meanwhile separate the eggs and in a medium bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Then add the sugar and continue to beat until the point at which they begin to form harder, stiffer peaks, careful not to over beat.
  3. 3. In the chocolate mixture bowl, using the hand beaters (no need to wash them) add one egg at a time and mix until fully cooperated and repeat until all eggs are used.
  4. 4. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three parts. When fully incorporated gently place the mixture into glasses of your own choice, place them in the fridge and leave to set for an hour or so.
  5. 5. Add grated orange zest when ready to serve.
Notes
  1. * Terry's Chocolate Orange is 157g I used one whole dark orange and the rest milk so the orange mousse as some of the people who were eating it don't like too bitter chocolate. However I found I could of used all dark chocolate.
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Salted Caramel Cupcakes

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I enjoy eating cupcakes (apart from overly sweet buttercream) but I’m not very good at making them, the best ones I’ve made were my Red Wine Cupcakes and Guinness Cupcakes these were chocolate based surprisingly and turned out well, but my attempts of normal vanilla cupcakes haven’t gone down so well :s.

I usually leave the cupcakes to the experts, I know the trend of cupcakes is dying out slowly but I want to be great at making them as I have been asked a number of times to make cupcakes. The perfectionist in me wants to get them right first before I can say I’m finally happy for them to be given to people, so I’m on a quest to find that perfect recipe to make cupcakes. 

I have tried a number of american recipes out and looked into the recipes in detail, reading their reason why they think they have the perfect recipe but it all depends on how it works when you try it. 

The original recipe was based on a chocolate cupcake but I used the basic vanilla recipe and made these into salted caramel as I was visiting my family and I know my sister in law has a major obsession with salted caramel. I would say this recipe is easy to follow and the mixture turned out fine, my only flaw with this recipe was that I found they were over baked. So I want to try them again and bake them for less time. I did think it was odd that the temperature was set low at 160°C fan, usually it’s about 175°C. I do need to experiment on the buttercream as I did find it overly sweet, although the texture was great and held well.

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Yields 24
Vanilla cupcakes with a salted caramel filling, salted caramel buttercream and topped off with crunchy caramel biscuits
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Cupcakes
  1. 430g - plain flour
  2. 3 tsp - baking powder
  3. 265g - granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp - salt
  5. 375ml - milk
  6. 125ml - vegetable oil
  7. 125g - butter
  8. 2 tbsp - greek yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
  9. 1 tsp - vanilla extract
  10. 2 - large eggs
Buttercream
  1. 250g - softened unsalted butter (room temperature)
  2. 500g - icing sugar mixture (sifted)
  3. 2 tbsp - milk
  4. 1 tsp - vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 cup - caramel sauce
Optional
  1. 6-8 crushed lotus biscuits or any other caramel tasting biscuits
  2. caramel sauce for drizzle
Cupcakes
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low and allow it to mix for a couple minutes.
  3. 3. In a large jug combine all of the wet ingredients (except the butter) oil, milk, yoghurt, vanilla and eggs in a large jug and whisk well.
  4. 4. Add softened butter into dry ingredients and mix until the batter appears grainy with a sand-like texture to it. Next, add 2/3 of your wet ingredients in a slow and steady stream to the bowl until no dry ingredients are visible, stop the mixer. Mix on slow until the batter appears smooth. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
  5. 5. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers and fill each paper 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20-30 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. 6. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Buttercream
  1. 1. In a stand mixer soften the butter and mix for 5 minutes so it gains some volume and goes pale in colour.
  2. 2. Add half the icing sugar and caramel sauce and mix on medium for 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the icing sugar along with 2 tbsp of milk and a tbsp of vanilla extract.
  3. 3. Continue mixing for 5 min until it's all well combined.
Piping
  1. Using a piping bag and tip, pipe the cupcakes according to how desire. Sprinkle with crushed
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Baked Chocolate Orange Doughnuts

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I recently brought a regular size doughnut pan and was so excited to try it out. I do owe a really mini doughnut pan but I found most recipes use regular sized pan.

I’ve really got a taste for chocolate and orange baked goods and I thought this would be perfect to try on my first regular sized doughnuts. I love doughnuts but love it more knowing that these are baked and not fried so less fattening! So maybe instead of having one, you can have two right??

In the original recipe, the didn’t use ganache but I wanted a bit of luxury added to these babies so I added the ganache! with luxury added comes more calories but oh well! 

These doughnuts, I felt weren’t as fluffy as the first mini cinnamon doughnuts I made but they still tasted nice. I’m still excited to try more different doughnut recipes! So watch this space!

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Baked Chocolate Orange Doughnuts
Yields 12
Chocolate and Orange Moist baked doughnuts with a thick ganache
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
13 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
13 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup + 2tbsp - plain flour
  2. 5 tbsp - cocoa powder
  3. 3/4 tsp - baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp - baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp - salt
  6. 43g - butter
  7. 1/3 cup - chocolate chips
  8. 1 tsp - espresso coffee (diluted in a little bit of water)
  9. 1 - egg
  10. 3/4 cup - buttermilk
  11. 1 tsp - vanilla
  12. 3 tbsp - orange juice (I added)
  13. 1 tsp - orange extract
  14. zest of 1 orange
Icing
  1. 4 oz - chopped dark chocolate
  2. 1/2 cup - cream
  3. 1 tbsp - orange juice
  4. knob of butter
  5. Extra zest for decoration (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. 2. If you need to make buttermilk, make and let it sit.
  3. 3. In a small saucepan heat the butter until melted (whilst that's melting go to step 4). Add the chocolate chips, coffee, orange juice and vanilla and mix until combined. Leave to cool for a few mins. Then add the brown sugar, orange zest and egg. Stir until combined.
  4. 4. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt.
  5. 5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold, don't over mix. Pour the ingredients in a zip lock bag and make a small incision. Pipe each doughnut hole until it's 2/3 full.
  6. 6. Bake for 13-15 min, until springy. Leave on a wire rack to cool.
Ganache
  1. 1. Whilst it's baking, make the ganache. Place the chopped dark chocolate a heatproof. In a small saucepan add the cream and bring it a simmer. Add the cream to the chocolate and stir and add the orange juice, stir a little more. Then leave for 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Leave to cool.
To decorate
  1. 1. Wait until the doughnuts were completely cool before applying the ganache.
  2. 2. Holding the doughnut, dip the doughnut in the ganache, then swirl and then pick it up.
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Cheesy Courgette Frittata

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Whilst I was grating the courgettes for the courgette scones I was making. I overgrated and I decided the left over courgettes would be great for making into a frittata or was it a tortilla? I had to check what the difference is between them…thanks to google…this is the difference.

The main difference between a tortilla and a frittata is in how the eggs are finished. Both preparations begin with the eggs and filling, cooked stovetop in a frying pan. But whereas the frittata is finished in the oven, Spanish tortillas are flipped and finished on the stovetop.  Google

So in the end I made a frittata, I didn’t realise that was the only difference between them is that it?!

This frittata was so simple and easy to make and would make a easy dinner if your busy. It does take a long time to cook, but prep work is simple and you can leave it in the oven whilst you get on with other things.

You can also experiment with flavours and ingredients as long as you have enough eggs. I think this is a good way of getting rid of vegetables that are stuck in the back of the fridge. To make it more luxurious is to add some good cheeses.

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Cheesy Courgette Frittata
A fluffy and lovely courgette frittata with mozzarella and cheddar
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 - eggs
  2. 1/2 cup - grated courgettes (squeeze out excess water)
  3. 1tsp - dijon mustard
  4. chill flakes to taste
  5. 1 tsp - dried parsley or fresh parsley would be even better
  6. 1/2 tsp - garlic powder
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl, crack all 4 eggs and whisk. Add the seasoning then add half the grated courgettes and mix until combined.
  3. 3. Pour the egg mixture into a well greased cast iron or dish that can be put in the oven. (If you don't have a ovenproof pan).
  4. 4. Place the rest of the grated courgettes and randomly scatter the teared mozzarella.
  5. 5. Leave to cook for 35-40 mins.
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Cheesy Courgette Scones

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Well I never knew you could make scones with courgettes, who knew? but then again, I think there are so many scone recipes that I’ve come across. I loved the kale and blue cheese scones I made. They were unusual also and really tasty!

I like courgettes, they are quite versatile and best of all they are the original sprizialise  vegetable. These scones were quite tasty and with the addition of courgette, they were healthy right?

I adjusted the original recipe and omitted the sugar and replaced the sour cream with greek yoghurt which worked out fine.

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Cheesy Courgette Scones
A delicious cheese and courgette savoury scone.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
22 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups - plain flour, divided plus extra for dusting on surface
  2. 3/4 tsp - salt
  3. 1 tbsp - baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp - baking soda
  5. 113g - unsalted butter, VERY cold and cut into tiny pieces
  6. 1 large - egg, beaten
  7. 1/2 cup - greek yoghurt
  8. 2/3 cup - zucchini, grated and drained (measure the courgettes once they are drained)
  9. 11/2 tsp - dijon mustard
  10. Pepper to taste
  11. 1 tsp - dried parsley
  12. 1 tsp - garlic powder
  13. chilli flakes to taste
  14. 3/4 cup - sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
  15. Extra cheese for topping
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 205°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 2. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, parsley, garlic powder, pepper and chilli flakes.
  3. 3. Cut the butter into small cubes then quickly work it into the mixture (using your fingers) until it resembles a breadcrumbs. Add the grated courgettes and cheese and toss into the flour.
  4. 4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yoghurt and dijon mustard, then add to flour mixture. Gently fold them into dough with a spatula until combined.
  5. 5. Pour the shaggy dough out onto a clean, floured work surface and shape the dough (you will have to work/knead it quite a bit to get it together) then use the scone cutter. Repeat the process until all the dough has been used. Place the scone on the baking tray and sprinkle the top of each scone with a little cheese.
  6. 6. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until cooked through and the tops are golden brown.
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Mini Orange, Pistachio, Cardamon and Honey Cakes

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This cake looked incredibly tempting and the thought of adding fresh orange juice and zest was just refreshing and I felt like eating a refreshing cake at the time.

I did however adjusted this recipe and added some extra twists. I gave it more of a middle eastern touch, with the use of honey, cardamon and pistachio. I love, love, love, pistachios, not only is the green colour so striking and vibrant they just taste amazing! (however the colour wasn’t so vibrant in my photographs :()

These little cakes were such a delight and would be loving in the afternoon sitting outside. They were very moist with a sticky top, nutty bite and zesty taste. I wanted to try to balance the flavours and make sure they wasn’t one flavour that was more prominent over the others. As I was experimenting with flavours I was guessing with measurements. When I first tried the cake I thought the taste of cardamon didn’t come through, same with the taste of honey. But the next day the cakes flavours came out a bit more. In the end of the day I still wanted this to be based as an orange cake with a few extra flavours.

I do feel that next time I should add some honey within the cake and more honey as glaze on top so it seeps through a bit more.

Overall I would make this cake. It’s simple and looks quite striking.

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Mini Orange, Pistachio, Cardamon and Honey Cakes
Yields 11
Amazingly moist zesty orange and pistachio mini cake.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
13 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
13 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup - plain flour
  2. 1/2 cup - granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp - baking powder
  4. 1/8 tsp - baking soda
  5. 1 tsp - ground cardamon
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 1/4 cup - yogurt
  8. 1/4 cup - oil
  9. 1 tsp grated - orange zest
  10. 1 - Juice of one orange
  11. 1 - egg
  12. 1 tsp - vanilla extract
  13. 1 tbsp - orange marmalade
  14. 1/2 tsp - orange oil (optional)
  15. 15g - finely chopped pistachios
Glaze
  1. 1/2 cup - orange juice
  2. 2 tbsp - honey
Decoration
  1. extra finely chopped pistachios (optional)
  2. Icing sugar
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray and line 12 mini Victoria sponge tin or grease an 6" round tin.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cardamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. 3. In a stand mixer or bowl whisk together yogurt, olive oil, egg, juice, orange zest, marmalade, orange oil and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. 4. Add sugar and whisk again until fully combined.
  5. 5. In small batches add the floor mix into liquid mix and fold finally adding the chopped pistachios. Make sure no flour streaks remain, don't over mix!
  6. 6. Once the batter is nicely combines pour it into the prepared baking tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 13 minutes for mini cakes or 25 - 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  7. 7. Whilst the cake is cooking, in a small saucepan, add the honey and orange juice and simmer for 5 minutes. Check if the cakes are done by using a cake tester and if it come out clean it will be done. Once they are, straight away poke tiny holes using the cake tester and then pouring the orange juice mix over each cake. Leave to cool.
  8. 8. Once completely cooled, finish it off by dusting with icing sugar and sprinkle with extra pistachios.
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Eggless Blueberry Jam Crumble Bars

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One of my aunts love, love, love my mincemeat crumble bars, actually not just her but a number of people love them too! They are rich, buttery, sticky and gooey. I usually make them at Christmas time but sometime even during other seasons as they are so yummy. They have ground almonds in which I think make them so much more yummy. The crumble topping gives it texture. These bars are easy to make and even easier to eat, they down quite quickly.

This time I thought I would replace the mincemeat with Blueberry Jam, I’ve always wanted to replace the mincemeat with something else and thought the sound of blueberries and almonds work really well.

The recipe is on this link, just change the mincemeat with blueberry jam or strawberry jam, apricot, cherry or whatever jam you prefer!

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Mini Maderia Cake

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Maderia Cake is one of my friends favourite cake and I decided to make it for him. I personally prefer a Victoria sponge cake they are much more lighter and spongier.

I really like mini cakes and try make them when I get the chance as I think they’re so cute. 

The mixture of this cake is quite thick and the cake itself is dense too. After looking through a few recipes, I ended up using Nigella’s recipe as I liked the fact it used a whole lemon juice whereas others only used lemon zest. I thought this would make the cake more moist but I found it was a bit dry and had a very eggy taste. I really wasn’t a fan and felt a bit disappointed in giving it to my friend.

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Mini Maderia Cake
A lemon dense mini loaf cake.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 240g - unsalted butter (softened)
  2. 200g - caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
  3. 1 - zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  4. 3 large - eggs
  5. 210g - self-raising flour
  6. 90g - plain flour
Icing
  1. icing sugar
  2. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. 1. Grease a mini loaf tin and preheat the oven to 170ºC.
  2. 2. In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy and add the lemon zest.
  3. 3. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each.
  4. 4. Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and, finally, the lemon juice.
  5. 5. Place the mixture in the loaf tin and sprinkle with caster sugar (about 2 tablespoons should do it) as it goes into the oven, and bake for 15 minutes or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
  6. 6. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the tin before turning out.
For the icing
  1. In a small bowl add the icing sugar and mix with lemon juice until it reaches the right consistency.
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Ian Bake Off’s Colossal Carrot Cake

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As a bake enthusiast I’m a real avid Bake Off fan and watch it every year. Last year, as every year was so nail bitting. I really wanted Tamal to win but unfortunately Nadiya got it. I still think that Tamal’s showstopper had a lot more skill and looked amazing compared to Nadiya’s. Anyway, I was really interested in the Carrot Cake that Ian made although I was not impressed at all with the final presentation, like…what happened? totally went wrong! Paul and Mary was so highly complimentary of his carrot cake and mentioned it was one of the best they’re tried! I thought if they liked it so much, it’s got to be something special.

I’m a real carrot cake fan ever since my dad got me in to it. I usually am known for my carrot cake and have made it on regular occasions this is the recipe I’ve used. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for quite a while and as it was Easter weekend I thought what a great time to try it.

As for Ian’s carrot cake, I’ve never come across or have made a carrot cake using butter, most carrot cakes use oil, which I think gives it that moisture boost. 

Overall I found Ian’s Carrot Cake nice/good but I won’t go as far as to say it was aaaaaamazingly or mind blowing or the best carrot cake I’ve ever tried. I found the cake was very spiced maybe a tad too much and I do like my big flavours but I felt it lost out on the taste of the carrots. I also found the cake heavier then the cake I make as well. However it was still moist and had a nice texture. Making the carrot cake did take longer then the recipe I use as there was extra melting, zesting and juicing. But there was a few things I would add to give my carrot cake that extra flavour like the orange zest and cloves. I think for the extra work making this cake I didn’t think it was any better then the cake I make. I will be sticking to my cake but adding a few extra bits which was nice to discover.

 

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Ian's Colossal Carrot Cake
Serves 12
Ian Bake Off Carrot Cake
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g - unsalted butter
  2. 280g - light brown muscovado sugar
  3. 4 - eggs (large)
  4. 1 tsp - orange oil
  5. 320g - self-raising flour
  6. 2tsp - bicarb
  7. 2tsp - cinnamon
  8. ½tsp - nutmeg
  9. 2 tsp - ginger
  10. 1 tsp - cloves
  11. ½ tsp - salt
  12. 320g - grated carrots
  13. 160g - sultanas
  14. 100g - pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
  15. 1 - orange, zest and juice
  16. 1tsp - vanilla
  17. 1tsp - orange liqueur
For the glaze
  1. 1 - orange juice
  2. 50g - caster sugar
For the icing
  1. 125g - unsalted butter
  2. 250g - icing sugar
  3. 1tsp - vanilla paste
  4. 1 - capful orange oil
  5. 2 tubs (180g) - cream cheese
For the cake
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan. Grease and line two base of a 8" springform cake tins*.
  2. 2. In a saucepan melt the butter then whisk in the sugar, eggs and orange oil until smooth and well combined.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground spices. Add the butter mixture into a stand mixer and then slowly add the flour mix until combined. Fold in the carrots, sultanas, pecans, orange zest and juice.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle (check after 45 minutes and cover the top of the cake with baking parchment if the cake is browning too much). Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, put the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze. Brush the top of the cake with the glaze while it is still warm.
  6. For the icing, slowly beat the butter and icing sugar together using an electric mixer. When combined, add the vanilla paste and orange oil. Continue to mix for another few minutes until light and fluffy. With the mixer on the slowest speed, add the cream cheese bit by bit until just incorporated.
  7. Set aside a quarter of the icing and add a little orange food colouring, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a basket weave nozzle. Set aside a few tablespoons of the icing, mix in the green food colouring and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. (The coloured icings will be used to pipe a carrot shape on top of the cake.)
  8. Cut the cooled cake in half horizontally and spread a third of the plain icing on the bottom layer, then replace the top. Neatly cover the top and sides of the cake with icing. Set aside to allow the icing form a crust. Transfer any remaining plain icing into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle.
  9. For the decorations, pipe a carrot on top of the cake using the orange and green icings. Pipe stars of the plain icing around the bottom of the cake. Decorate the sides of the cake with the pecan halves, using a little extra icing to help them stick.
Notes
  1. *I used two 8" cake tins instead of one tall 9" as I prefer to cook two smaller cakes then one big one but you can still use the 9" just adjust the cooking time to 50-60mins.
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