Victoria sponge

I wanted to make a pink Victoria sponge for a series I’m planning for Valentine’s Day, hence the hearts confetti. I have beetroot powder and I thought the cake will turn out pink and beautiful. The beetroot powder is healthy so I really hoped it will be a great alternative to food colouring. The batter had a lovely colour, but after baking there wasn’t any trace of pink left. I should have used food colouring for baking, I know that now.

That being said, I still wanted to share the recipe because it’s different than the Classic Victoria sandwich I made last year. This time I’ve replaced a third of the white flour with wholemeal flour. I wasn’t sure if it will rise nicely, but it did. I’m always trying to make the dishes I cook healthier.

01 Victoria sponge

I am considering another twist to the recipe and if that one turns out just as good, I will share that too. It’s still cake, so it should be enjoyed in moderation, but if it tastes amazing and it has a little bit more fibers, why not making a mix of flour. For the cake I used shop-bought strawberry jam as I finished the one I made last year. I looked and got one that has the first ingredient strawberries and not sugar. It has a lovely texture, with bits, and the flavour is great. I baked the sponges in the new sandwich tins I received this Christmas.

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Ingredients for a cake with 8 servings:
– 225g soften butter
– 150g white flour
– 75g wholemeal flour
– 225g sugar
– 4 medium eggs
– 2 tsp of baking powder
– 2 tsp of beetroot powder (optional)
– 150g strawberry jam
– 300ml whipping cream
– 20g icing sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla paste
– 1 spoon of icing sugar to decorate and redcurrants

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Peanut butter and Baileys cheesecake

If you want to create something that looks and sounds fancy but it’s easy to make and you have leftover Baileys and biscuits from Christmas, this Peanut butter and Baileys cheesecake recipe is ideal for NYE. I’ve been meaning to share this recipe the last couple of days, but with the holidays I didn’t get the time to finish it. The recipe takes only 15-20 minutes to make and it’s a no-bake cheesecake, after is ready, just pop-it in the fridge and it will set in 1 hour or even less.

I used peanut butter biscuits, but you can use any biscuits you might have from Christmas or just plain shop-bought biscuits. You might find using peanut butter for the base a little difficult to mix, so switch to regular butter if you want to make your life easier.

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Ingredients for the pastry:
– 120g peanut butter biscuits
– 80g peanut butter
Ingredients for the peanut butter layer:
– 250g mascarpone
– 70g icing sugar
– 70g peanut butter
Ingredients for the Baileys layer:
– 250g mascarpone
– 50ml Baileys
– 50g icing sugar
– chocolate to decorate

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Chestnut and chocolate cake

I made Chestnut and Brussels sprouts last week. I made Chestnut mousse with apple and I loved that, so tasty, but this was the first time I’ve prepared whole chestnuts. I was delighted with their texture and taste, it is slightly different than the chestnut puree, as that one has sweetener in it. I thought they will be great in a cake too and I was right. This is how my Chestnut and Chocolate cake idea was born. I prepared the cake a few days ago, to celebrate my 5th anniversary of moving to UK.

 Chestnut and chocolate cake

Ingredients for the sponge:
– 300g plain white flour
– 3 eggs
– 100g demerara sugar
– 90g whole chestnuts
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 80g soften butter
– 80ml oil
– 50ml milk

Ingredients for the cream:
– 250g full-fat mascarpone
– 75g icing sugar
– 100g plain chocolate
– 50ml single cream
– 90g chestnuts

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Krantz cake

This is my version of Krantz cake, inspired by the cakes my grandmother used to make for me for my birthday. I made this cake last week and today I’m sharing it, as today it’s my birthday. My grandmother made this cake for me since I was a small child and until my 18th birthday.

She was making a cake inspired by the Frankfurter Kranz Cake. The original Frankfurter had a layer of jam along the buttercream and walnut brittle on top. My grandmother made the krantz cake with the walnut brittle incorporated in the sponge and in the buttercream inside the cake. She made a chocolate buttercream to cover the cake.

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I modified her recipe slightly by making a mascarpone cream to cut down on the fat. I used a similar recipe for my Orange and chocolate cake and I loved it. The rest is very similar to what I remember.

Ingredients:
– 75g walnuts
– 300g plain white flour
– 3 eggs
– 150g sugar
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 5 drops of hazelnut flavouring
– 100g soften butter
– 100ml oil
– 50ml milk
– 250g full-fat mascarpone
– 100g icing sugar (for the cream)
– 1 spoon of cocoa

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The British Crown Meringue Cake

My husband wanted us to do the British Crown Meringue Cake. I wanted to make the Picnic Fit for a Queen for the Great British Bake Off. So, we made them both. The other challenge was Victoria sandwich, but I’ve already made the Victoria sponge.

The British Crown Meringue Cake

After talking for a while, my husband said making the crown from meringue is the perfect interpretation of the task. I had to agree, even though it was scary. The first attempt didn’t work, but this is the second one and it’s stunning (I’m biased, I know).

The British Crown Meringue Cake

Ingredients:
– 8 egg whites
– 80g caster sugar
– purple gel food colouring
– 5g cream of tartar
– 300ml whipping cream
– 50g icing sugar
– 200g frozen pitted sour cherries

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Matcha & Rose Cake

My last bake for GBBO week 6, Botanical Week. I toyed with the idea of making icing flowers, but my icing never has the right consistency. While Mary Berry would not agree with me, there are a few things I would rather buy ready-made and this is coloured icing. I also bought some tools and I made flowers. I can’t emphasize enough how happy I am with how the flowers look. The butterfly was made with a stamp-tool, but the rest is pretty much free-hand, using basic cutters. I made leaves before by cutting them with the pizza cutter and embossing them with a table knife. If you want to use matcha only for colour, use less.
This bake is in collaboration with Tesco.

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Ingredients:
– 230g Tesco self-raising flour
– 200ml milk
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 50ml oil
– 2 eggs
– Rose water
– 1 tsp and a half matcha powder
– 250g light soft-cheese
– 50g icing sugar
– Tesco Ready To Roll Coloured Icing Red
– Tesco Icing Orange
– Tesco Icing Green
– Tesco Purple Pearls

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Classic Victoria sponge

The Great British Bake Off starts today. As last year, I’m going to bake at least one of the challenges each week. The show starts with Cake Week and the three challenges are: British classic cake as a signature, the technical challenge is a fatless sponge and chocolate work. There aren’t more details about the showstopper, but we’ll see them tonight.

Last series ended with a classic British cake and I’ve made a carrot cake, it wasn’t the best looking carrot cake, but it tasted delicious. This time I made a Classic Victoria Sponge as it can’t get more classic than that. I loved the cake, it’s delicious.

01 Classic Victoria sponge

I also made a little mistake, that was annoying. Instead of baking the sponge in two baking trays, I’ve baked them in a big one. As the recipe stated the temperature and baking time for one, I had to “wing-it”. The cake has risen, but I took it off the oven a minute or two faster than I should have and the middle sink a little. Next time I’m baking in two trays or I would leave it a little bit longer in the oven.

Ingredients for a cake with 8 servings:
– 225g soften butter
– 225g self-raising white flour
– 275g sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 300ml whipping cream
– 20g icing sugar + 1 spoon of icing sugar to decorate
– 400g fresh strawberries

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