Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Victoria Sponge Cake

Going out to watch the Grade 8 boys as well as the Grade 7 boys play rugby on rugby day is probably one of the highlights of my day. We spent half of Comm Skills class watching the Grade 8 boys play and they were good! Well, good enough to be winning 8-3 in the final two minutes of the game. The Grade 7 boys were also awesome, playing the day before. We were watching their semi-final game, which they should've won 4-3 except due to the high number of high tackles the referee gave the game to the other team. Rugby originated in England and this week, as a tribute to rugby I will be making a English desert - Victoria Sponge Cake. *England uses weird measurements and ingredients so I will be altering this recipe*

Mary Berry's Victoria sponge cake

Cake
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder

Filling and topping
about 4 tbsp. strawberry or raspberry jam
a little caster sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two loose-based 20cm cake tins, 4cm deep, then line the bases with non-stick parchment.
Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and beat for about two minutes, until just blended; an electric mixer is best for this, but of course you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon.
Divide the mixture between the tins and level the surface with the back of a spoon or a plastic spatula.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until well risen and golden. The tops of the cakes should spring back when pressed lightly with a finger. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then run a butter knife or blunt knife around the edge of the tins to free the sides of the cakes. Turn the cakes out on to a wire rack, peel off the paper and leave to cool completely.
Choose the cake with the best top, then put the other cake top-down on to a serving plate. Spread with the jam, put the other cake on top (top facing up) and sprinkle with caster sugar to serve. 

Recipe courtesy of The Telegraph and Mary Berry

Jocelyn's review
Sometimes, I think England wording is so confusing, like how they call pants trousers!!! I've gone through this recipe and translated most of these words for you but some words need a little clear up. Caster sugar cannot be substituted but can be made. Click here for the caster sugar recipe. Self rising flour is also special but does not pop up commonly in recipes, so I suggest you make it. Click here for self-rising flour recipe. This is a good recipe, it will just easily fall apart and can be a little dry if you're not careful. Drop the jam onto the cake, then carefully, gently, spread it with a butter knife otherwise the cake will peel apart. 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Rainbow Swirl Slice and Bake Cookies

I was at a track meet today, and man, it was pouring rain! So obviously I came home wet and miserable and started my homework. Me being me, I'm easily distracted. I was looking around on the web for a new recipe and found the 'rainbow swirl slice and bake cookies'. This cheered me right up, reminding me every time after it rains, there's always a rainbow!


Rainbow swirl slice and bake cookies

250g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 egg
2 1/2 cups plain flour
Purple food colouring gel
1/4 cup bright stars sprinkles
1 egg white, lightly whisked

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg. Beat until just combined. Stir in flour, in 2 batches, until just combined. 
Divide dough in half. Using food colouring, tint 1 portion bright purple (or other colour of you choosing). Knead plain dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with purple dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
Roll plain dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Remove top sheet of baking paper. Cut dough into a 30cm x 40cm rectangle. Set aside. Repeat with coloured dough. Remove top sheet of baking paper. Turn purple dough, baking paper-side up, on top of plain dough. Remove baking paper. Using baking paper as a guide, roll up dough from 1 short end to form a log. 
Place sprinkles on a sheet of baking paper. Brush log lightly all over with egg white. Roll in sprinkles to coat. Wrap in baking paper. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper. 
Unwrap cookie log. Using a flat-bladed knife, cut into 1cm-thick slices. Place, 3cm apart, on trays. Bake, 1 tray at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are just starting to turn light golden. Stand on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking wire rack lined with paper to cool completely. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of Taste

Jocelyn's review
According to taste.com, the author of this recipe says you can keep the cookie logs in the freezer for up to 2 months, as well as let the cookie logs defrost for 15-20 minutes. I think this recipe is great! The cookies are a little bit on the hard side, but don't touch them until they're cool, otherwise, your perfect (or perfect-ish) cookie will be ruined. The sprinkles may look nice, but I find they're too sweet for my taste. I would just bake them without he sprinkles, but still add the egg white though!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Chocolate Cupcakes

If you happen to live in my part of the world and share my religion, you would know that Easter just passed! Easter bunny, Easter eggs and the death/rising of Jesus Christ. Good stuff, however, there's little a occasion where a cupcake can't sweeten (unless it's a funeral, which then people are too sad to eat cupcakes). So why not make cupcakes? These ones are partly my own creation and are Easter themed, making it a perfect after-easter sweet.


Chocolate Cupcakes
This is the cupcake, but not the icing
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour. baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing when cool.

Jocelyn's review
Great recipe, though you have to be careful not to over mix some of the ingredients, it has to be just right. Not too hot, not too cold, just right! - Goldilocks. If baked at the right temperature for the right amount of time, these cupcakes are delicious! However, if you're not careful, they can come out dry and crumbly... I would not recommend this recipe for someone who has not baked before. For others, give it all you've got!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Wonka's Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight Chocolate Bar

We just finished our production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! I wondered if I would be able to make some of those treats myself, so I looked around on the internet and found this:

Monday, 27 February 2017

Croissants

Croissants
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F)
3 teaspoon white sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg
1 tablespoon water



Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy and frothy.
Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk. Blend into flour along with yeast and oil. Mix well; knead until smooth. Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume. Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate and chill 20 minutes.

Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily. Pat dough into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Smear butter over top two thirds, leaving 1/4 inch margin all around. Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that. Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. 

Roll out to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold in three again. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours. Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle, and fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours.

To shape, roll dough out to a 20 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut in half crosswise, and chill half while shaping the other half. Roll out to a 15 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut into three 5 x 5 inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally. Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 7 inches long. Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking sheet, curving slightly. Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash.

Bake in a preheated 475 degrees F oven for 12 to 15 minutes

Jocelyn's review
Me personally, I suck at making stuff rise. I have yet to try this recipe and will get back to you then.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

French Macarons

Love is in the air! Valentine's Day was a few weeks ago and I found this perfect french macaron recipe. Let me just tell you, macarons are super tricky so make. If you can bake these you can bake almost ANYTHING!! This recipe is also great because it gives you different choices for the filling...


French Macaroons

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. Measure the confectioners' sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.

Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.
Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.
Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.
Add the food coloring and extract (see below). Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.
Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).
Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a "foot," about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).

Almond-Raspberry:
Tint the batter with 2 drops neon pink gel food coloring; flavor with almond extract. Fill with seedless raspberry jam (you'll need about 3/4 cup).

Mint-White Chocolate:
Tint the batter with 2 drops mint green gel food coloring; flavor with mint extract. For the filling, microwave 3 ounces chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop mint green gel food coloring.

Blueberry Cheesecake:
Tint the batter with 3 drops royal blue gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons blueberry jam.

Lavender-Honey:
Tint the batter with 2 drops violet gel food coloring; flavor with almond or vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon ground dried lavender.

Pineapple:
Tint the batter with 2 drops lemon yellow gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, press 3/4 cup pineapple jam through a sieve, discarding any large pieces.
Photograph by Levi Brown

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Jocelyn's review
Love, love, love this recipe!! Don't get frustrated with this recipe if it doesn't work well the first few times. Macarons are finicky! Here's a video with a few tricks on how to make your macarons work:

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Tips

I realized that some of you don't/can't bake. Hopefully you will find these tips helpful and slightly informative!


Things you should have as a beginner baker

Some sort of mixer

Image result for measuring cups
Measuring cups - at least 1 cup,
1/2 cup, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon
 








Related image
Baking pans






Cooling rack










Image result for oven
Oven


Image result for metal mixing bowls
2 or more bowls
 for mixing














Baking Ingredients for a beginner

Image result for sugar
Sugar
Image result for flour
Flour












Image result for baking powder
Baking Powder

Image result for baking powder
Baking Soda

Image result for salt
Salt


Image result for clubhouse vanilla extract
Vanilla Extract