Mini Cheesecake with Blueberry and Vanilla

INGREDIENTS

BASE
  • 100g digestive biscuits
  • 35g unsalted butter, melted
TOPPING
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 250g soured cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest and juice of ½ an unwaxed lemon
  • 36 blueberries, plus extra to serve
Instructions

  1. Preheat your kitchen appliance to 170º C/300º F/Gas mark three.
  2. To make the bottom, begin by finely crushing the biological process biscuits – you'll try this in a very kitchen appliance, or by pop them into a bag sealed with a clip and bashing with a kitchen utensil.
  3. Place the crushed biscuits in a very bowl, add the liquified butter and blend till totally combined. Divide equally between the twelve holes and move with a teaspoon to create a fair, compact layer. Refrigerate for ten minutes.
  4. To make the topping, mix the cheese, eggs, 100g of the cream, 75g of the powdered sugar and therefore the cornstarch in a very bowl and whisk till sleek. Add the flavorer, lemon rind and juice and whisk to mix.
  5. Divide the mixture between the twelve holes and push 3 blueberries into every. Bake on the center shelf of the kitchen appliance for twenty minutes or till simply set. take away from the kitchen appliance and leave to rest for five minutes, leaving the oven on.
  6. Beat together the remaining soured cream and caster sugar. Carefully spoon this mixture on top of the cheesecakes and return to the oven for a further 5-8 minutes until set but not coloured.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before chilling. To serve, decorate with fresh blueberries and a light dusting of icing sugar.

Chocolate cake



INGREDIENTS

CAKE
  • 300g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 150ml boiling water
GANACHE
  • 200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 225ml double cream
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 25g caster sugar
BUTTERCREAM
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened and diced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Instructions

Cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Cream the butter with both of the sugars until pale and light, this will take 3-4 minutes in a free-standing mixer.
Gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla extract.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and boiling water and mix until smooth.
Divide the cake batter between 3 x 20cm sandwich tins and bake on the middle shelf of your preheated oven for about 25 minutes until well risen, firm and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the tins for 2-3 minutes then carefully turn out onto a wire cooling rack leave until cold. Meanwhile, prepare the Ganache and Buttercream (below).

Ganache

Put the chocolate into a bowl.
Put the cream, butter and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling.
Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and leave for 5 minutes until the chocolate has melted.
Stir until smooth then set aside until thick enough to pipe.

Buttercream

Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt, either in the microwave on a low setting or over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and leave to cool slightly.
Put the sugar and egg whites into a second heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Using a hand whisk, whisk until the mixture is thick, glossy white, hot to the touch and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. This will take about 3 minutes.
Using a spatula, spoon the mixture into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and whisk until the meringue has doubled in volume, cooled and will stand in stiff, glossy peaks – this will take roughly 3 minutes.
Gradually add the butter to the cooled meringue mixture, beating constantly until the frosting is smooth. Fold in the vanilla and melted chocolate .

Assemble the cake

Place the first cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 2-3 tbs of buttercream.
Top with the second cake layer and spread this with ganache. Top with the third cake layer and gently press the layers together.
Using a palette knife, spread the sides of the cake in an even layer of ganache.
Fit the Silicone Piping Bag with the larger star-shaped nozzle and fill the bag with the buttercream.
Pipe buttercream rosettes in a circle around the top, outer edge of the cake. Pipe a second circle of buttercream rosettes 1- 1.5cm inside this, leaving space for a circle of piped ganche. Continue like this until you reach the middle of the cake. Pipe a ring of buttercream rosettes around the base of the cake.
Wash and dry the piping bag and fit with the smaller star-shaped nozzle. Fill the bag with the ganache and pipe rosettes between each circle of buttercream so that the top of the cake is completely covered.

Very Best Chocolate Cake


INGREDIENTS

CAKE
  • 2 oz (50g) cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 6 oz (175g) self raising flour
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
  • 4oz (100g) baking spread especially for cakes or soft butter
  • 10 oz (300g) caster sugar
ICING AND FILLING
  • 5oz (150g) Bournville chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 5 floz (150ml) pouring double cream
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 small bar white chocolate (optional)


Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160fan/Gas 4
  2. Grease 2 x 20cm (8”) push sandwich tins.
  3. First measure the cocoa and boiling water into a large bowl, and mix well to make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combined. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Cool for ten minutes. To turn out loosen the sides of the tin with a palette knife if needs be, then stand the tin on a mug or baked bean tin, hold the sides firmly and press down to release.
  4. For the icing and filling, pour the double cream into a saucepan and place over a medium heat until just simmering, remove from the heat, then add the chocolate and stir well until the chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth. Set aside and allow to become cold and almost set.
  5. Spread the tops of each cake with apricot jam. Sandwich the cakes with half the icing and spread the remainder on top. Take a small palette knife and draw large “S” shapes to give a swirl effect. Shave the white chocolate into curls with a potato peeler and arrange over the top of the cake if liked to decorate.

Mini Sponge Cakes


INGREDIENTS FOR 12 MAKES

SPONGE
  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
BUTTERCREAM
  • 150g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
FILLING
  • 6-8 tsp raspberry or strawberry jam


Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly grease the tin.
  2. To make the cakes, cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mixture is pale and light. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
  3. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and fold in until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
  4. Divide the mixture between the Mini Sandwich Tin and level with a teaspoon.
  5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 15 minutes until golden, well risen and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  6. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 2 minutes and then ease out onto a wire cooling rack and leave until completely cool.
  7. To make the buttercream, cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture is pale and light. Transfer to a piping bag.
  8. Cut each cake in half, and pipe the buttercream onto the bases, in dots (pipe one dot in the middle and the rest around the edge). Drizzle the jam over the buttercream dots, place the sponge tops on and lightly dust the cakes with icing sugar.

Rainbow cake


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
  • 375g butter, softened
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 375g self-raising flour
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • Selection of Wilton® Icing Colours
TO DECORATE
  • 700g Lakeland Vanilla Flavour Frosting
  • 3 mini chocolate eggs


Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Lightly grease the cake pans.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, flour and eggs in a bowl. Mix until well combined using an electric hand mixer.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly into 5 bowls then add your chosen colours using a cocktail stick – as only very small amounts are required, take care to add just a little at a time then keep adding a little more until you reach your desired shade.
  4. Transfer the mixtures into the pans, spreading them evenly then make a slight dip in the centre of each to help to achieve an even rise.
  5. Place all the pans in the oven, evenly spaced, and bake for 18 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. To assemble the cake, smear a small amount of frosting on a cake stand or plate to secure the first sponge. Spread a layer of frosting to the edges of this sponge then top with the next colour sponge. Repeat with the remaining sponges.
  7. Spread the remaining icing thickly and smoothly all over the sides and top of the cake and then draw a palette knife around the sides to create ridged rings. Place the chocolate eggs in the centre on top of the cake.

Very good cake for parties


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
  • 330g unsalted butter, softened
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Star Kay White Gold Star Vanilla Extract
  • 330g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
STRAWBERRY COMPOTE
  • 250g fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic syrup
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
  • 300g unsalted butter, softened
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Star Kay White Lemon Extract
  • 2 drops Yellow Food Colouring
TO DECORATE
  • 350g Renshaw Chocolate Flavour Microwave Fondant Icing
  • 1 tsp Star Kay White Orange Extract
  • 350g chocolate mini eggs


Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Grease and line the bases of three 18cm loose-based sandwich tins with baking parchment.
  2. To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract. Gradually sift and fold in the flour and baking powder using a large metal spoon.
  3. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins, levelling the surface with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the tins, peel off the baking parchment and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the strawberry compote, add the strawberries, icing sugar and balsamic syrup to a medium saucepan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until the berries are softened but still holding some of their shape. Set aside to cool.
  7. Using a serrated bread knife, level the top of each cake and discard any off-cuts.
  8. To make the buttercream, place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale, light and fluffy.
  9. To assemble the cake, begin by spooning a small amount of buttercream onto the centre of a cake stand or plate to hold the first cake in place. Spread a layer of buttercream over the top of the cake, then a layer of strawberry compote, and repeat with the second cake.
  10. Place the final cake on top, then spread buttercream thickly and smoothly all over the sides and top of the cake. Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes, then apply a finishing coat of buttercream all over to give a smooth finish. Chill the cake again for 15 minutes.
  11. Warm the chocolate fondant as per the instructions. Mix in the orange extract and spoon onto the centre of the cake, allowing the fondant to trickle down the sides.
  12. To finish, decorate the top of the cake with the chocolate mini eggs while the fondant is still soft.

Ombre Cake With Caramel


INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CHOCOLATE & VANILLA SPONGES
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 115g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp cocoa, sieved
  • 1 tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract
FOR THE HAZELNUT, COFFEE & CARAMEL SPONGES
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 10 drops hazelnut flavouring
  • 3 tbsp chopped roasted hazelnuts, finely ground
  • 1 tbsp Nielsen Massey Coffee Extract
  • 10 drops Lakeland Natural Buttery Caramel Flavour
FOR THE FROSTING
  • 700g white frosting
  • 20 drops Lakeland Natural Buttery Caramel Flavour


Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and lightly grease the 5 pans with Cake Release.
  2. For the chocolate and vanilla sponges, place the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a bowl and mix until well combined. Divide the mixture evenly into two bowls then add the cocoa to one and the vanilla to the other and mix each gently until combined.
  3. For the hazelnut, coffee and caramel sponges place the butter, sugars, flour, baking powder and eggs in a bowl and mix until well combined. Divide the cake mixture evenly into 3 bowls then add the hazelnut flavour and ground hazelnuts to one, the coffee extract to the second and the buttery caramel flavour to the third and mix each gently until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixtures into the pans, spreading them evenly then make a slight dip in the centre of each with a spatula to help to achieve an even rise.
  5. Place all the pans in the oven, evenly spaced, and bake for 18 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Place the frosting into a mixing bowl, add the flavour and mix until combined.
  7. To assemble the cake, smear a small amount of frosting on a cake stand or plate to secure the chocolate sponge. Spread a layer of frosting to the edges of it then top with the coffee sponge. Repeat with the hazelnut sponge, then the caramel and finally the vanilla.
  8. Smooth a thin layer of frosting all over the cake and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Place the remaining frosting in a piping bag with a flower nozzle and pipe swirls over the sides and top of the cake.

Tip: If the sponges have any crusts around the top, trim with a serrated knife before layering with icing to ensure that the cake does not topple when decorated.

Spiced chocolate and dried fig cake


Ingredients
  • 4 oranges
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 50 ml whisky or brandy
  • 150 g clear runny honey
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 260 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g dark brown sugar
  • 50 g ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons quality cocoa powder
  • 100 g quality dark chocolate (70%)
  • 300 g dried figs
  • 120 g hazelnuts
  • 50 g crystalised ginger
CHOCOLATE GLAZE
  • 25 ml clear runny honey
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 25 ml whisky or brandy
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 125 g quality dark chocolate (70%)
  • 75 g unsalted butter (at room temperature) , plus extra for greasing


Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  2. Finely grate the zest of 2 oranges into a large bowl, then squeeze in the juice of all 4 - you need about 150ml.
  3. Measure the oil, brandy and honey into the bowl. Crack in the eggs into a mug, lightly beat with a fork, then tip into the bowl.
  4. Sift the flour into a separate large bowl, then add the sugar, nuts, spices, cocoa powder and big pinch of sea salt.
  5. Chop the chocolate, halve the dried figs, and then roughly chop the hazelnuts. Finely dice the crystalised ginger, then tip into the bowl of dry ingredients, along wth the figs, nuts and chocolate.
  6. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until well combined (be sure not to overwork it as the cake may become a bit too dense).
  7. Transfer to a buttered tin and place in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. Rotate the tin in the oven, then continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Test the cake by briefly removing it from the oven and pressing gently in the centre – it should feel rather firm without any sinking. (The skewer test won’t work here as there is so much fruit and chocolate.) Then listen to the cake: it should be silent; if you hear a crackling or hissing, bake for a little longer.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 to 30 minutes. Flip to release from the tin. (If using a springform tin, you can leave it to cool completely in the tin before releasing, but bundts are best released while the cake is still warm.)
  10. To prepare the chocolate glaze, place the honey, sugar and whisky or brandy in a pan. Squeeze in half the orange juice, then measure in the orange blossom water, and 40ml of cold water. Bring to a rapid boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Rest for 3 minutes.
  11. Finely chop the chocolate and dice the butter. Add the chocolate to the pan and whisk to combine, until melted.
  12. Next, add the butter a little at a time, mixing continuously until everything is melted and looking lovely and shiny.
  13. Allow the glaze to cool slightly before drizzling all over your cake to serve (you can make the glaze a day ahead if you like – gently warm it up just before drizzling).

Apricot, root veg cake with honey yogurt icing


Ingredients
  • 70 ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil , plus extra for greasing
  • 2 medium carrots , (100g)
  • 1 beetroot , (100g)
  • 2 parsnips , (100g)
  • 1 orange
  • 120 g quality maple syrup
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 150 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 pinch of mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 60 g dried apricots , preferably unsulphured
  • 40 g pumpkin seeds , plus extra to decorate
  • edible flowers , to decorate (optional)
YOGHURT & HONEY ICING
  • 150 g cream cheese
  • 150 g Greek-style natural yoghurt
  • 25 g clear runny honey
  • ½ teaspoon quality vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon


Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease the base and sides of an 18cm loose-bottomed cake tin with a little rapeseed oil, and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Peel and grate the carrots, beetroot and parsnip into a large bowl. Finely grate the zest of the orange and add two-thirds to the veg (reserving the rest for the frosting) along with the maple syrup, eggs and rapeseed oil. Fold in the flour, spice, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  3. Finely dice the apricots, then add to the bowl along with the seeds. Mix everything until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the tin after 20 minutes, until the top is light pinky-golden and bounces back when pressed lightly, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the icing, whisk together all the ingredients except the lemon, and most of the reserved orange zest, until completely smooth. Squeeze in a tiny bit of lemon juice and whisk in. Cover and pop in the fridge until needed.
  6. When the cake is completely cool, transfer to a plate or stand, then finish with the icing, smoothing it all over the top of the cake with the back of a spoon.
  7. Decorate the cake with the remaining orange zest, extra pumpkin seeds and edible flowers, if you like, then serve.
  8. This cake will keep for up to five days in a sealed container in the fridge.

Raw chocolate cake


Ingredients
  • 300 g pecan nuts
  • 150 g medjool dates
  • 150 g dried figs
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 5 tablespoons raw cacao powder , (see note)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
BASE
  • 60 g cacao butter , (see note)
  • 150 g hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1½ tablespoons raw honey
ICING
  • 200 g coconut oil
  • 120 g cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons raw dark agave nectar , (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons bee pollen , optional


Method
  1. Line a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. To make the base, shave the cacao butter very finely into a small bowl, then place in a large bowl of hot water and allow to melt (it melts at about 34ºC, so is still considered raw).
  3. Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until very fine, combine with the other base ingredients and press into the tin. Chill while you make the filling.
  4. Blitz the pecan nuts until very fine, then add the remaining ingredients (remember to destone the dates) and blitz until everything comes together. Press into the tin and chill for at least 3 hours.
  5. Combine the icing ingredients and chill for about 20 minutes to set a little, stirring once or twice.
  6. Run a round-bladed knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin. Spread the icing on the cake with a palette knife and dust with the bee pollen (if using).