Treacle Tart

So at the weekend I made my Treacle Tart for World Baking Day as mentioned here. The first thing I have to say is that I didn’t use the recipe on the website. I did start to, but the pastry turned into a great big mess, it was too dry and it wasn’t even possible to roll it out. So instead I found a new recipe and started again. And I have to say it worked perfectly. What do you think?

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The recipe I used is from DK’s The Cooking Book –

For the pastry
175g plain flour
85g butter
1 tsp caster sugar
egg yolk

Rub the flour and butter together to form breadcrumbs. Add the sugar. Mix the egg yolk with 3tbsp of cold water and add to the mixture. Combine to form a dough.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface into a circle shape. Then place into a greased tin. Use a fork to prick the base all over. Now chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

For the filling
8 tbsp golden syrup
zest of 1 lemon – grated
1tsp lemon juice
pinch of ground ginger
4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Warm the syrup, lemon zest and juice in a pan. Add the ginger.

Place the breadcrumbs in the pastry case, then cover in the syrup.

Leave for 5 minutes before baking in a preheated over – 190C (375F/Gas 5) – for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with custard. We’ve been eating this all week, as it’s been so miserable that a wintery pudding fits right in!

Lau xx

A Peanut Butter Cake – talk about a revelation

Today I’m going to share a recipe with you that elicited the following comments from my work peeps.

That cupcake blew my mind.

Wow, these are good!

These are the best things you’ve ever baked!

High praise indeed, especially from my often used guinea pigs taste testers. I have to admit that I would have to agree with them on the recipe below, as the cakes that were produced were out of this world and the flavour combination is my new favourite. Hence the use of the word REVELATION. Honestly, I can’t believe how utterly amazing these cakes are – new favourite baked item I think! So anyway, back to today’s post.

cakes

As previously mentioned Sunday was World Baking Day which, for two super keen bakers, was the perfect excuse for us to get into the kitchen and make something scrumptious. We mentioned in this recent post that we were going to make a Treacle Tart as well as the most amazing looking Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake and we did just that. And the results – pretty darn good I think! I will leave Lau to talk through her delicious Treacle Tart and I will instead share the sensational Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake with you all.

Before we start I have a small admission to make – I didn’t follow the recipe on the World Baking Day site exactly, which I think is technically cheating. The logic behind this was two-fold, firstly I didn’t think a layered cake would be easily transportable when it came to sharing the cake with work peeps (cupcakes were definitely in order). The second change that I made, which made sound Fiona logic, was to remove the toffee chocolate sauce from the top of the cakes as I felt that on small cupcakes this might be a bit too sickly – I think I made the right call to be honest as the icing to cake ratio is pretty much perfect on my cakey morsels.

So down to the real business, how to make them! If you want to make the original layered cake version, which let’s be honest looks pretty darn impressive then you can find that here. If you want to do my version, then read on…

Ingredients:

DSCN0684For the glorious cakes themselves

  • 525g plain flour
  • 4.5tsp baking powder
  • 1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 225g margarine
  • 150g peanut butter
  • 525g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1.5tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk
  • 187g chocolate chips

For the peanut butter frosting

  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 0.5tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5tbsp peanut butter

For the cake:

  • Start by setting the oven to 180°C and preparing your cupcake cases – the mixture makes 40 cakes (yes seriously)!
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  • In a new bowl (make sure it’s the biggest one you own as there will be a LOT of cake batter to fit in!) use an electric mixer to cream the margarine, peanut butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Next slowly add the eggs to the margarine mixture a bit at a time. Make sure you mix well before adding the next lot of eggs in.
  • Then add the vanilla and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the cake mixture a bit at a time and alternating between the two.
  • Once smooth fold the chocolate chips into the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, ensuring that you only fill them half full (VERY IMPORTANT to ensure they don’t overflow – not that I’m talking from experience of course :P)
  • Bake for 30 minutes and until a skewer comes out clean. Move onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing:

  • Cream the margarine and sugar together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.
  • Add the cream cheese, vanilla, salt and peanut butter and mix until combined.
  • Spread on to the cakes once the cakes have completely cooled.
  • Enjoy and wonder at the fact that you’ve never tried this flavour combo before.

Fingers crossed you like them as much as we do….

– Fi xx

A call for advice…

Greetings my favourite lovely people. We have a big favour to ask you all. We are after some information about Gluten Free eating in the UK (mostly London). Our lovely cousin and his wife are arriving in the UK for a few weeks on Sunday and they are both Gluten Free. Now the whole Evans family want to be as accommodating as possible so we’ve been reading around the subject and found lots of interesting stuff. In fact, we’ll be testing out these GF Bourbon biscuits in the not so distant future so keep an eye out for those.

Amazingly Pizza Express have just launched their GF menu, it’s like they knew we would have cause for it soon, weird right. But I’m wondering if there’s anything anyone else can share that maybe we haven’t found via Google. For example any great GF restaurants that they should check out when they’re here. Any bad experiences with places that they should definitely avoid? Or any hidden GF shops that they should peruse?

Any help would be muchly appreciated.

Thank you Lau xxx

Lemon and blueberry squares

You know sometimes you fancy baking something but you really feel like you shouldn’t as you’ve had enough chocolate to last you a lifetime? But yet you still have a hankering for cake? When that’s the case the answer is a morsel of something sweet and cakey that’s also super light and wonderfully moist. Or as I like to call it the taste of Spring.

That’s where these lemon and blueberry squares come in. They are refreshing and tasty and most importantly they taste like Spring. So even when the sun’s not shining – basically the last few months – you will still be able to feel the warmth on your skin by just smelling these. It’s not a secret that I like this combination of flavours, lemon and blueberry just works so well together, it’s like chocolate and peanuts or sweet and sour. A winning combination. We’ve dabbled with this flavour in the past, see the Skinny Lemon Cupcakes post, but to be honest somethimes those ingredients are a faff and the method is more than you can be bothered to do. Yet again, that’s where these come in as they are the easiest things to make in the entire world – honestly they are simple pimple. Plus as I liked to remind everyone who ate one of these: they are practically one of your five a day as there’s so much fruit packed in each square. Seriously I tried that line numerous times, I’m not sure anyone agreed though!

So anywho back down to business, this recipe is by Donal Skehan and was in a recent issue of delicious. magazine – we didn’t make any changes apart from leaving off the topping. If you want to make these delicious morsels simply read on!

Ingredients:
250g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
225g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g softened butter
3 tbsp milk
zest of three lemons
250g blueberries

And all you do is:
Make a well in a mixing bowl with all the dry ingredients
Add the eggs, milk, butter and lemon zest and beat altogether with an electric hand mixer until smooth
Add the blueberries
Put the batter into a greased and lined tin (25cm x 30xm)
Bake in the middle of the oven on 170 for 35 minutes
Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack

The recipe in delicious. magazine suggested that you add a lemon juice and icing sugar style icing, but for me the cake is plenty sweet and lemoney enough without it, so we ignored that piece of advice!

Enjoy the taste of spring and don’t feel guilty, each square is packed with fruit after all!

-Fi xx

Warming Sausage Casserole

As we’re still in the deepest darkest depths of Winter, oh no sorry scratch that, what I meant to say is that: now that we’re in MAY and Spring has disappeared this recipe is absolutely perfect for those lovely evenings spent freezing on the sofa. This was actually a recipe created by the littlest sibling of us CBE bloggers but we of course stole it put our own twist on it to make it blog ready. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super quick, incredibly cheap and full of flavour, three key indicators of a pretty awesome meal if you ask me!! We hope you enjoy it and thanks to the sisterling for the awesome meal suggestion.

1 garlic clove
1/2 an onion
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin green lentils
1 tin passata
red peppers
mushrooms
cayenne pepper
mixed spice
6 sausages
a handful of new potatoes

  1. Fry the garlic and onion until soft
  2. Add the spices (however much you fancy), mushrooms and red pepper and fry for five minutes
  3. Throw in the kidney beans, lentils and passata and leave to simmer down – about 20 minutes
  4. Meanwhile cook the sausages (fry, grill, bake, BBQ(!)) and boil the new potatoes.
  5. Once the potatoes and sausages are done, chop up and throw in with the bean mixture to soak up the flavours.
  6. Eat – see I told you it was easy peasy.

You might think it’s weird that there’s no rice with this dish but actually with the potatoes you don’t need any more carbs, I promise from one carb-aholic to another just the potatoes is fine!

p.s. I couldn’t include a picture as it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing dish or more true: I don’t have the photography skills necessary for making it look anything other than a tomato based bowl of stew!

World Baking Day is coming!

Next week it is World Baking Day (May 19th). Obviously here at Cook, Bake and Eat we are going to celebrate this wonderful day by, you guessed it, BAKING. We’re taking part in the World Baking Day Challenge to bake something we’ve never baked before. If you fancy taking part then head on over to here to get your recipe. Just click on your baking level and a recipe will be chosen for you.

I’ve ended up with recipe number 71 which is a Lisa Faulkner recipe for Treacle Tart – coincidently this is something that I’ve been thinking about making for a long time as my Mum makes a delicious one so I’m incredibly excited although also a tad worried about the pastry side of things!

Fi’s got number 78, the most amazing looking Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake. She’s a little bit excited about making this as it’s one of her all time favourite flavour combinations (see here) although she’s fairly scared about the fact it’s SIX layers of cake, eek!!

We will of course let you know how these go. Is anyone else taking part? What recipe are you turning your hand at?

Lau xxx

Lau’s favourites – eating out

So it looks like it’s my turn to discuss my favourite eateries, here we go…

  • The Diner – This is the go to place whenever the youngest sisterling is in town because sometimes you just can’t beat a burger and fries, and one things for sure sometimes that’s just what you fancy!
  • The Cinnamon Club – I’ve been here a few times for special occasions and I love it. The tastes and flavours in the Indian cuisine are gorgeous and the setting of the restaurant inside the old Westminster Library is pure genius as the walls of books adds something to the decor. Plus there’s a lovely bar downstairs which serves delicious cocktails – always a winner with me!
  • Eat – There just so happens to be an eat right across from my office and it’s become somewhat of a Monday morning ritual to check out the weekly soup and hot pots menus to work out what days I will be buying my lunch from there. My favourites are the Mac and Cheese hotpot, the lentil and smoky bacon soup. Plus they do a delicious turkey, spinach and cranberry sandwich.
  • Yo Sushi! – So i’m a big big fan of this sushi bar. It’s got a great menu with a wide selection of foods, they make it easy to work out the prices of all the dishes by the different coloured plates on the belt and they do great deals. Not only is there the weekly Blue Plate Monday deal but they sent you a voucher when it’s your birthday to enjoy a 1/3 off your bill. Why thank you very much!
  • Pret – Another eatery close to work this is also perfect for lunchtime offerings. It’s always a toss up between the chicken caesar and bacon artisan baguette or one of the salads from here. Plus Godfrey the gingerbread man always manages to find his way into my hands!
  • Nandos – Who doesn’t love chicken and chips? I was first introduced to Nandos way back at uni and ever since then I have been a Nandos convert. There’s just something about this simple menu and the ordering. Basically choose the spice of your chicken, what you want the chicken in (burger, salad, wrap, pitta, nothing) and then choose your sides. That’s it sorted. Plus i’m a tad obsessed with the perinaise.

So it turns out that there aren’t too many similarities between our two lists. I’m actually quite surprised by that as I was expecting to see more of the same places if i’m honest.

Lau xxx