Tuesday 30 April 2013

AlphaBakes "A" Round up

It's time for the AlphaBakes "A" round up again. If you thought A was all about apples and almonds, think again! As usual you've all astounded me by your creative and delicious entries so thank you to everyone who participated. Sit back, relax and enjoy these mouth watering recipes! 

First up is Caroline's mum, Jacqueline with a squidgy spiced apple cake. 

Next is Lauren from A Baked Thesis with her apple and ginger pie with walnut pastry. She made this as a treat after their annual Easter Egg Hunt and what a treat it is. Served warm with custard or ice cream or both. The pie has apples, sultanas and crystallised ginger. 

Next is Louisa from Chez Foti with an anchovy, parmesan, purple sprouting broccoli tart. The broccoli comes from her own garden which she finally harvested after a year. She made her own peppered pastry and filled it with purple sprouting broccoli, anchovies and an eggy, cheesy, creme fraiche layer. 

My co-host Caroline from Caroline Makes made a Martha Stewart apricot cheesecake. It's a baked cheesecake with apricot puree and a biscuit base. 

Kat from Life of a Cupcake Baker sent in this delicious looking apple crumble cake. I love apple crumble and making it into a cake form is even better! Look at that lovely crumble layer on top. 

Next is Olivia from Liv a Little Bakery with her almond cookies. She describes them as deliciously crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. She also gives option of adding cherry for a bakewell cookie or white chocolate for a naughty treat. 

Time for a healthy treat from Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes with her Cinnamon Apple Crisps. They are only 50 calories per portion and quick and easy to make at home. She also made parsnip crisps previously which are also worth checking out. 

Caroline's mum, Jacqueline is back with an apple and blueberry cake.  It has cake mix on the bottom,sliced apple and blueberries pushed into mixture, and a crumble mix on top.

Keeping it in the family, Caroline's sister, Clare is next with an Almond and Amaretto Cake.  It has ground almonds in with the cake mix and crushed almonds on top, and an amaretto buttercream in the middle. She made up this recipe herself and it was a very light and fluffy cake.

Next is my own offering with these Afghan biscuits.  An Afghan biscuit is a traditional New Zealand biscuit which contains cornflakes and chocolate, topped with chocolate icing and half a walnut. The origin of the recipe and name is unknown but apparently it's a Kiwi classic. It tastes like a cross between a brownie and a cookie and proved to be very popular.

Jean from Baking in Franglais sent in these cute cardamon friands. Friands are little cakes made with whisked egg white, icing sugar and ground almonds. These are flavoured with cardamom and lemon which sound really refreshing. 

Caroline is back again with Mom's Apple Cake. It's not a recipe from her mum but one from the Outsider Tart Baked in America. She made this as a thank you to her neighbours for feeding her cat when she was away. It looks like a lovely sponge with lots of fruit baked in it. 

Eira from Cookbooks Galore was looking for a recipe to use up her jar of local honey and decided on an almond and honey cake. It has lemon zest for added zing and a lovely honey glaze. 

Next is Anneli from delicieux with her pick and pluck artichokes with anchovy & garlic mayonnaise. This a recipe from her mum with a little tweak of her own.  She made her own mayonnaise and added in some anchovies and a clove of garlic. It was quite strong but paired well with the artichoke leaves. She has a great step by step pictorial guide on how to prepare this dish on her blog.

Next is Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen with Chocolate Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting.  Wednesday is pudding night in her household so it was a good opportunity to try out the avocado frosting which has been filed on her to try list. The cake is vegan and has lots of interesting ingredients (to me anyway) such as hemp milk, coconut oil and agave. 

Claire from Under the Blue Gum Tree wows us with her pastry skills with these Apricot and Almond Scrolls.   They are made for her brother in law who challenged her to replicate Sainsbury's pastries for her blog. I have to say they look a lot better than the shop version and I'm sure they were tastier too. 

Another entry from me with an apple and toffee cake.  It's a really moist cake with a crispy edge from the melted fudge. It's yoghurt based cake which makes it healthier and a very easy mix all in one recipe. 

 Suelle from Mainly Baking sent in an Apricot, Marzipan and Cranberry cake. It's a quick and easy recipe packed full of dried fruits and marzipan. She also added a honey glaze and flaked almonds on top. 

Next is Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog with a delicious pudding with a very long name but aptly describes the pudding. She made an apple and orange pudding with a ginger chocolate crunchy oat topping. I love this recipe as it can be easily adapted with lots of variations. 

Eira from Cookbooks Galore is back with some Almond Praline Creams.  The recipe comes from a book from a charity shop called 'The Encyclopedia of Baking'. It tasted like a cross between a cake and a biscuit and looks a little like whoopie pies. 

Next is Christian from Cooking Around the World with an Arabian-styled Chocolate, Fig and Pistachio Cake. The A is a bit of a leap but we've had a few tenuous recipes on AlphaBakes so it only seems fair to include this. Plus the cake looks absolutely heavenly filled with spelt flour, lime, chocolate, honey, rosewater, figs and pistachios. 

From Arabia to Australia, Johanna from the Green Gourmet Girraffe sends us an apple cider cake. The apple slices are cooked in cider and spices before being added to the cake. She also arranged the apple slices to look like a rose on top of the cake. This recipe provided a few challenges and she almost didn't blog about it but I'm so glad she did as it's one worth bookmarking to try. 

Elizabeth from The Law Student's Cookbook made some roasted artichokes which are in season currently. It's a really simple recipe and looks stunning. 

Anne from The Gingerbread Mum made some Sugar Free Anzac biscuits for us this month. ANZAC day was on the 25th April and you can read more about the origins of Anzac biscuits on her blog. She wanted to make a sugar free version and used honey and applesauce which worked well. 

Natalie from Hungryhinny uses a very unusual ingredient in her cake and hopes that the title does not put people off. It's an Aubergine Chocolate Cake which is wheat, gluten and dairy free. She has a few other vegetable cake recipes on her blog if you are interested and would be keen to hear about weird and wonderful recipes.

Next is Katharine from Leeks and Limoni with Honey, Almond and White Chocolate Cupcakes. She had some honey given to her by a friend in Anglesey which has a floral scent and delicate taste.  These cupcakes perfectly showcase the honey and almond flavour. 

Fiona from Let them Eat Cake sent us two delicious entries. First up is Apricot Frangipane tart which is a double A entry for Apricots and Almonds. She baked them for Easter weekend and I'm sure everyone enjoyed it. 

Her second entry is apple sauce brownies which is an attempt at making brownies healthier. The brownies were still fudgy and chewy and you can't really taste the apples. 

Next is Laura from Laura Loves Cakes with these really cute Apple and Almond Bear Claw Pastries.  The recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery 'Home Sweet Home'. It's a yeasted pastry which needs to be proved and is filled with apples, sultana and cinnamon. I particularly like the bear claw effect. 

Continuing with the apple theme, we have Apple and Banana Muscovado Cakes from Caroline from Cake, Crumbs and Cooking. This is a lovely recipe that she made up based on ingredients she wanted to use. It was well received at work and looks great with the butterscotch bits on top. 

My mum made 2 entries for us this month. Firstly, almond cookies which are crumbly and buttery. Secondly, an apricot log which has chopped dried apricots, coloured marshmallows, toasted almonds, digestive biscuits, condensed milk mixed with some evaporated milk and rolled in desiccated coconut.  It's a quick and easy no bake recipe which is great for parties.

That's the end of the emailed entries but luckily I decided to check my twitter account and spotted 2 other entries. Michelle from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families made some Apricot Anzac Muffins to conquer the afternoon energy slump after a trip to the local park. They contain apricots and cinnamon and proved to be a huge success. 

Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen delights us with an Apricot Tea Bread. She soaked the dried fruits in White Tea with Pomegranate for 2 hours (or overnight) and then baked them into this fruity, chewy moist tea bread. There wasn't a strong taste from the tea, just an overall fruity flavour. 

And that's the end of the Amazing and Awesome "A" AlphaBakes round up. Remember to head on over to Caroline's blog on 1st May to find out what letter we are using next month. 

And here's another one -

The lovely Dom from Belleau Kitchen had a tricky time trying to bake something simple with apples. After 3 failed attempts he came up with these double apple cinnamon scones which contain apple butter. Perseverance seems to be have paid off in the end as these look heavenly. 

Quick reminder to please, please email your entries to us at alphabakes@gmail.com. Thanks :)


  1. What a great selection!! Anzac muffins... wow.

  2. So many recipes to try!

  3. fabulous round-up as always... I was sure i'd entered but knowing me I forgot to email you... oh well, here's the entry none-the-less http://www.belleaukitchen.com/2013/04/double-apple-cinnamon-scones.html... xx

  4. Great round up! Looking forward to tomorrow's letter :-)

  5. What a fantastic assortment of recipes - so many new things to try! I especially like the look of the apricot & almond scrolls. Yummy!

  6. lots of good entries.

  7. Thanks for adding me Ros, I could happily much through these entries :)

  8. This is a rally useful round-up giving lots of ideas as to what to do with all those apples come the Autumn - assuming we get any this year that is. Last year we had virtually none. Thanks Ros.

  9. Fabulous collection of recipes I can not believe I let Alphabakes pass me by in April - I must try harder for May!


  10. I am so angry with myself! I had it all planned out I wanted to make an apple crumble and I actually did but never got the chance to blog about it and enter it for Alphabakes I have been totally overwhelmed lately :( I'm so sorry!


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