Blueberry Pancakes

 

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American blueberry pancakes are so fluffy and fruity. Serve on their own or with golden or maple syrup. These are so easy to make and with the following tried and tested step by step instructions, you can’t go wrong!

Makes 6 large fluffy pancakes

Ingredients:

200 g Self raising flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

200 ml milk

1 teaspoon butter

1 tablespoon oil

125 g fresh blueberries

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Method

1) Place the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a large measuring jug. This makes it easier to pour the batter later on.  In a smaller measuring jug, measure the milk, add the egg and whisk with a fork or manual hand whisk to combine. Pour the egg milk mixture onto the dry ingredients in the larger jug and whisk until combined and no lumps. The batter should be thick but pourable. Add the blueberries and combine carefully.

 

20141128_192102 2) Set a non stick frying pan to heat up on the stove on medium heat. Place the butter in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Add the oil and mix together.  This is going to be the frying fat. Place a very small amount on the hot pan before frying each pancake.

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3) Pour on 1/6 of the batter to form a circle shape about 11 cm in diameter.  It will rise and get bigger as it cooks. Cook for 30 seconds or until the top starts to set slightly. Use a flat spoon to check the underside.  Turn the pancake when the bottom is a light golden brown.

20141128_192424 4) Turn down the heat to slow and cook the second side for about 2 minutes, checking the underside for the desired colour. Flip again and cook the first side on slow for about a minute.  A good tip is to have two pans going at the same time as there can be some waiting around when cooking the second side (washing a second pan takes much less time than the waiting around.  This is particularly handy during busy breakfast times)

 

20141128_193026   5) Remove the pancake and place on a kitchen towel. Cook all the pancakes in the same way. Serve with golden syrup or topping of your choice. Absolutely mouth watering!

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Cappuccino Cake

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This take on the classic tiramisu dessert is absolutely satisfying for all cream cake and coffee lovers. It’s not overly sweet, allowing the flavours of the coffee, cocoa and mascarpone to come through , It has a wonderfully fluffy creamy texture and is light enough for a perfect dinner party dessert.

Serves 12-16

Ingredients

Two nine-inch genoise sponges cakes

1 1/3 cups of coffee, made a cup at a time using 1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2/3 cup of boiling water.  You can make up the coffee using an espresso machine if you like. I don’t like the taste of instant coffee if Im drinking it but it works well in desserts.

Cocoa powder for dusting

600 ml double cream

300g mascarpone cheese

4 tablespoons of icing sugar

milk as required

1 tsp caramel extract (optional and can use any extract that will go well with coffee e.g vanilla, hazelnut, toffee etc)

Method

Lay one of the sponges on a cake board or a serving plate. Prick holes on the top of the cake using a fork. Make up a cup of coffee as above and use a large spoon to drizzle the entire cake with coffee, making sure to soak the edges of the cake. Leave the cake aside to cool down while you make the mascarpone filling.

To make the Filling:

Whip up 400 ml of the cream to soft peaks.  Add all the mascarpone, icing sugar and extract. Combine carefully using the slow setting on an electric whisk. It will thicken quickly so be very careful not to over whip. use the extra 200ml of cream and small splashes of milk to thin the mixture if it starts to thicken which it will as we leave it to work on the rest of the cake.

Put one-third of the mixture onto the soaked sponge using a piping bag to get an even covering. Do not use a spatula as the soaked sponge is very delicate and it will crumb as you try to spread it.

Dust the top of the filling with a generous amount of cocoa powder.

Place the second sponge on top and repeat the process of soaking in coffee (make a fresh hot coffee).

Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Thin the remaining mascarpone cream with double cream and milk until its piping consistency. Place into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. I used the Wilton 1M.

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There is no need to crumb coat the cake. Just pipe the rosettes directly onto the cake. It’s not a tall cake so only one row of rosettes are needed for the sides. Pipe a second row to cover the junction between the top of the first row and the top edge of the cake. Cover the top of the cake in rosettes filling in any gaps between the roses by piping small stars. Use the following video if you’re unsure of how to pipe rosettes.

Set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

This cake will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. It slices nicely and plates well as it isn’t too tall so it wont topple!

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Funnel Cake

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Funnel Cake with Strawberry Sauce and Fresh Double Cream

So winter is approaching, it’s still dark at breakfast and my daughter has PJ day at school. If my daughter can wear her PJ’s and dressing gown to school in the rain and cold, then I can have Funnel Cake for breakfast! So that’s what I did.  I woke up early and made this extravaganza and told myself it will count as breakfast and lunch ( I ended up eating lunch as well anyway..shhhh!).

It’s actually very easy and quick to make.  I made the strawberry sauce beforehand (see recipe below)

To make the funnel cake I used an online video which was excellent:

http://youtu.be/WjOnYKlghM4

I made 1/3 of the recipe in the video which was enough to make 4 funnel cakes. Measurements for 1/3 is as follows:

Ingredients

1 egg

1 cup – 2 tbsp.  milk

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 tsp salt

1 cup plain flour

I mixed it all together in a measuring jug.  I didn’t have a funnel of the size recommended in the video so I used a piping bag and just snipped the end off to make a 6mm hole. You can use a strong food bag if you don’t have a piping bag. And yeah, just follow the video. It’s really simple and quick. I was amazed at how well they came out.

Strawberry Sauce

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Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Ingredients

300 g strawberries

1 tablespoon of sugar

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp cornflour/starch

pinch of salt

Method

Place 1/3 of the strawberries in a pan with the sugar, corn starch and salt. Cook for a few minutes on low /medium heat until the strawberries soften.  Add the lemon juice and switch off.  Place this mixture into a blender and liquidise to get out any lumps.  Pour this back into the pan and bring back to the heat.  When it boils, turn off the stove and add the remaining strawberries.  Cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator until required.

Assembly

Place the hot fried funnel cake on a serving plate and dust lightly with icing sugar. Add some of the cooled strawberry sauce on top and finish with a generous serving of whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Eating this for breakfast is at the readers risk ;)

Tiramisu Cupcakes

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Tiramisu Cupcake

A cupcake version of the delicious Italian coffee dessert.  I have made this in a cake version (the header picture) using layers of genoise sponge and a similar cream filling, the only main difference is that I used more mascarpone in the cream filling of the cake version to make it more richer.

There are three main components to this cupcake: the cupcake, the coffee and the mascarpone cream topping.

To make the cupcakes:

Ingredients

8 oz softened butter

7 oz caster sugar

1 vanilla bean pod (but if you don’t have a pod, you can use extract as most of the vanilla flavor will be overtaken by the coffee)

4 eggs at room temperature

10 oz self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

a small splash or two of milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and line 2 cupcake trays with paper cases (approx. 20)

Cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the vanilla seeds and beat.

While the vanilla infuses into the butter mixture, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.

Add the eggs into the creamed butter/sugar mixture one at a time, beating each one in before adding the next

If you are using an electric mixer, do the next step by hand.  Use a spatula to mix in the flour 1/3 at a time, adding a splash of milk ( about a couple of tablespoons)  in between. Finish by using the electric mixer for a 5 second blast to make sure it’s all mixed in.

Load up 20 or so cupcake cases using an ice cream scoop.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until springy to the touch or when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool down completely.

The next step is to soak the cupcakes with coffee.

Ingredients

1 heaped tablespoon instant coffee

1 tablespoon sugar

300 ml boiling water

cocoa powder to dust

Prick each cupcake with a fork.

Method

Place the coffee and sugar into a measuring jug, pour in  the boiling water and stir.  Alternately you can make up 300ml of fresh ground coffee (2 cups in the espresso machine). Don’t forget to add sugar!

Using a tablespoon, pour 3 to 4 spoons of coffee onto each cupcake. Dust each cupcake moderately with cocoa powder  Allow to cool. In the mean time, make up the cream topping.

To make the mascarpone cream topping:

Ingredients

300ml double cream (cold)

150g soft cheese preferably mascarpone cheese (room temp)

4 tablespoons condensed milk (room temp)

Method

Whip the cream until very soft peaks. Do not over whip.  You want it to a stage where it’s still very floppy and can’t hold any shape yet.  Add the mascarpone and condensed milk. Combine carefully being careful not to over whip.  The end product should be soft peaks.  If you have over whipped, loosen with normal milk and another tablespoon of condensed milk.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle/tip or just cut of the top of the bag.  Pipe a generous amount onto each cupcake. Alternately, if you are very neat, you can spoon the topping on.  Using a hot palette knife*, flatten the topping, trying to make it as smooth and level as you can. Pipe and smooth a few at a time and work fast as the topping may start to set making it hard to pipe out. When they are all done, let them set for ten minutes.

To make the cocoa dusting design use a cappuccino stencil or any thing clean and flat that can be used as a stencil.  I used a grid design. Place the stencil on the cupcake and dust with cocoa powder using a fine sieve. You can if you like, not use a stencil at all and just dust the tops for a more simple look.

Cool and store in the fridge, removing ten minutes before serving.

*to make the palette knife hot, place in boiling water for a minute and wipe off the water before using. Place back into the water after each use.

These cupcakes are easy to make, you don’t need fancy equipment and you can dress them up or down as much as you like. And above all they taste absolutely dreamy!