Friday, 31 January 2014

Lemon and Blueberry Giant Cupcake

Today is Chinese New Year so Happy New Year to everyone who is celebrating today. This is not a typical Chinese New Year cake but it is a celebration cake which I actually made for a colleague's birthday recently. It's still Jan and we are still on the health kick so this is a lighter lemon and blueberry cake made with low fat yoghurt. It's filled with homemade lemon curd and topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting. The cake was light and moist due to the yoghurt and full of blueberries which are good for you! The lemon curd was absolutely divine and I think it was the highlight of the cake. 

 ready to go in the oven 

 homemade lemon curd filling 

 Love the colour of the blueberries! 

For the cupcake
200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
75g golden caster sugar
250g blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs
150mls low fat yoghurt
50mls sunflower/vegetable oil

For the icing
100g butter
200g icing sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon (optional) or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Lemon curd
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
115g sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
85g butter

  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda in a medium bowl.
  • Stir in sugar, blueberries and lemon zest. 
  • Add eggs, yoghurt, oil and lemon juice in the centre and mix well. 
  • Divide into a giant cupcake mould and fill it to about 2/3 full. 
  • Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool completely before decorating. 
  • To make the lemon curd, place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium pot, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks and pinch of salt.
  • Place the pot over a medium-low heat and add the butter.
  • Stir the mixture with a whisk. You may want to use a spatula to scrape down the edges. 
  • Cook the curd until the butter is melted and the mixture is the thickness of warm hot fudge. 
  • Remove from the heat and immediately pour into the fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. 
  • Press through the sieve leaving any cooked egg bits in the strainer.
  • To make icing, mix all ingredients in an electric stand mixer until smooth. You can make lemon or vanilla icing - I ran out of lemons so made a vanilla icing here. 
  • Cut the bottom half of the cupcake in half and fill with lemon curd.
  • Put more lemon curd in between the top and bottom half of the giant cupcake.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting around the outside of the bottom half of the cupcake.
  • Arrange chocolate fingers as shown.
  • Pipe rosettes on the top half of the giant cupcake and decorate with sprinkles. 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

AlphaBakes "Y" Round up

Where has the month gone to? I hope everyone had a good January and that 2014 is treating you well so far. Last month we had the letter X which was very timely in December. If you've missed the round up, you can check it out here. Lots of lovely "X-mas" goodies and one or two original ideas for X. This month was the letter "Y" which is much easier and we've had a fair selection of entries.

First up is Jacqueline's Greek Lemon Yoghurt cake.

Next is Jean from Baking in Franglais with a Yorkshire Curd Tart with cranberries. She bought a jar of Creme Fraiche in France and it was curdled so she used it to make this delicious tart. It is traditionally made with currants but she used cranberries as that's what she had to hand. The tart was given the stamp of approval by their friends who are former residents of York so that's high praise indeed.

My co-host Caroline from Caroline Makes came up with Yema which is a traditional Filipino custard candy made from condensed milk and egg yolks and sometimes flavoured with crushed peanuts. She rolled hers in colourful sprinkles and warns that they are incredibly sweet but quite tasty.

Elizabeth from The Law Student's Cookbook has a tasty savoury treat for us in the form of a baked spinach artichoke yoghurt dip. The inspiration for the dip comes from her favourite spinach dip from Safeways but this is a much healthier version. She also made a no knead rosemary lemon bread to go with it. Sounds delicious!

Olivia from Liv a Little Bakery made Yorkshire Ginger Nuts which looks perfect with a cup of tea. It's a Mary Berry recipe which she adapted slightly. 

Stuart from Cakeyboi made healthier cupcakes and frosting. These bite sized treats contain Truvia sweetener with no butter or sugar! The frosting is fat free Greek Yoghurt with Truvia sweetener and blueberries. 

Next is my own entry with Yorkshire Tea Biscuit or Fat Rascals. It originated in Yorkshire and is similar to a scone in taste and texture. It contains mixed dried fruit, orange and lemon zest and spices. 

Welcome to Tracey from Dilsy Does who made a giant Yorkshire Pudding with parmesan which will easily feed 4-8 people depending on how hungry they are! 

A most unusual Y entry comes from Suelle from Mainly Baking who made a Green Tea Layer Cake with Yuzu Frosting. Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit with a unique flavour and was the predominant flavour of the cake here although it was only used in the frosting. 

My co host Caroline is back with a gorgeous Bellini Bundt made with peach yoghurt, peaches and champagne. She got this beautiful bundt tin for Christmas which happens to be the exact same one that I received for Christmas :) She also got a new job - congratulations! and made this cake to leave her colleagues with a lasting memory of her cakes. I'm sure they will be sad to see her go and her new colleagues will no doubt be delighted!

Kate from the Gluten Free Alchemist baked some Gluten Free Lemon, Basil and Cherry muffins. She wanted to make something with lemons and had some frozen cherries from her orchard in her freezer to use up hence these muffins. She also decided to experiment with adding basil and I have to say that the combination sounds delicious. 

It's back to me again with Apple, Pear and Raspberry Yoghurt Muffins. These are healthier muffins as it has no butter and contains spelt, wholemeal flour, fat free yoghurt and lots of fruit. They were quite tasty and will be good for breakfast on the go or a healthier snack. 

Fiona from Let Them Eat Cake! looked to her fiance for inspiration for this month's entry. He suggested Yellowman which is essentially cinder toffee in Ireland so she made Yellowman and chocolate cookies. She made her own yellowman then crushed it up into a vanilla cookie with chunks of chocolate thrown in. 

Alexandra from The Lass in the Apron made a Yum Yum Cake which is a spice cake with raisins that contains no eggs or milk. She kept coming across it in old cookbooks and I can imagine it was popular in the olden days as it's quite a frugal cake to make. 

My co-host Caroline from Caroline Makes is back with Yorkshire Curd Tarts. The recipe is from Weight Watchers and it's a healthier version with cottage cheese. 

Next we have Seville Orange Yoghurt Sponge Drop Cookies from Cakestall. These bite sized treats contain homemade Seville orange curd in between the drops. 

Dom from Belleau Kitchen made a gorgeous Greek Yoghurt and Spelt Loaf. The yoghurt makes the bread really soft and gives it a good height too. He has a step by step tutorial to his fail sae low knead technique on his blog if you need some tips.

Finally we have a Honey & Walnut Yoghurt Semolina Cake from Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog. The inspiration comes from basbousa which is an Egyptian dessert in the form of a syrupy cake made from semolina and honey. It's light and moist with a slightly chewy texture and tasted predominantly of honey and walnuts. 

That's the end of the Y round up - thank you to everyone who participated. Make sure you check out Caroline's blog on 1st Feb to find out which letter we are using. There are only 2 left - Z and U so it's a 50/50 chance! 

Monday, 27 January 2014

SRC: No Bake Healthy Fudge

It's Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day again. My group (Group D) had a holiday during December so it's been 2 months since my last Secret Recipe post. A quick reminder if you are unfamiliar with this challenge - each blog is assigned another blog in secret and the idea is that you choose a recipe to make from your secret blog and reveal it on the same day. It's a great way to discover other blogs and it's undoubtedly one of my favourite blog challenges.

This month my assignment is The Wimpy Vegetarian. It's a lovely blog written by Susan who lives in San Francisco. She enrolled in culinary school after many years in business and has a passion for vegetarian food. She is currently writing a cookbook that focuses on recipes for vegetarians and omnivores so you don't have to cook two separate meals which is what she did initially with her carnivorous husband.  

She has a wide variety of recipes but of course I headed straight for the dessert section. I bookmarked a few to try but ultimately I decided to make her No Bake Healthy Fudge. I made this early in January when everyone was still recovering from the excess of the festive season. Almost everyone was on a diet of some sort but they still wanted treats albeit healthy ones. I was also quite busy and did not have a lot of time to bake so this recipe was absolutely perfect. It's my first time using coconut oil and it certainly won't be my last. I don't like coconut but this does not taste of coconut at all and it's a much healthier option. The fudge was absolutely delicious. I had numerous requests for the recipe and it's a great recipe for parties as it's healthy, no bake, gluten free, vegan and it can be prepared in advance. 

I also bookmarked a few other recipes which I can't wait to try such as Rustic Zucchini Bread with Brown Rice, salted peanut butter cookies with chocolate nuggets, strawberry cream cheesecake tians and blueberry buttermilk corncake. Do head on over to Susan's blog and say hello! 

I will be taking a general blog holiday in February so will be back with another SRC recipe on the last Monday of March.

 honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder, coconut oil and homemade vanilla extract 

 place in the fridge to set 
 slice and sprinkle some sea salt on top 

Recipe from the Wimpy Vegetarian

250g/1cup  peanut butter
200g/1 cup coconut oil
64g/1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 - 5 tablespoons honey (adjust to taste) 
4  teaspoons vanilla extract
sea salt for sprinkling (optional) 

  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Stir until melted.
  • Pour into a square tin and place in the fridge for a few hours but preferably overnight until set.
  • Turn out and cut into slices.
  • Sprinkle sea salt flakes on top before serving. 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Parsnip and maple syrup cake

I've been wanting to bake this cake since November last year and finally got round to it. At that time, I was looking for a gluten free recipe and somehow this came up in my google search but it is definitely not gluten free although it can be adapted to be gluten free. Anyway, it has been in my bookmarked recipes for months and I'm so pleased I finally got a chance to try it out as it was absolutely stunning. Everyone loved the cake and kept asking for the recipe. I omitted the pecan nuts as someone in the office is allergic to them but I would definitely recommend them as it will complement the flavours of the cake well and give some added crunch and texture. The cake is quite sweet from the parsnips, apple and maple syrup but not overly so and it paired well with the mascarpone cheese filling. I'm not sure that everyone would have guessed it had parsnips in them if I didn't tell them. 

I'm entering this to Bookmarked Recipes hosted by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes.

I'm also sending it to Made with Love Mondays hosted by Javelin Warrior.

Finally to Tea Time Treats guest hosted by Jane from The HedgeCombers and run by Karen from Lavender and Lovage. The theme this month is eggs, eggs, eggs! This would be the perfect tea time treat and of course contains eggs!

 cook butter, sugar and maple syrup 

 add flour 

 add grated parsnips, apple and orange zest


Recipe from BBC Good Food 
The only change I made was to omit the nuts.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Cinnamon, Fruit & Nut Mix Cookies

These cookies are inspired by a pack of fruit and nut mix with cinnamon dusted milk chocolate almonds that I found in the shops. I decided to add in more cinnamon, some chopped chocolate as I had a bit leftover and leftover berry mix (raisins, sultanas and dried cranberries). I also used wholemeal flour and oats to make it seem healthier! They were absolutely delicious. I love the cinnamon which was strong but not overpowering and it was the perfect balance of fruit, nut and chocolate. 

I'm sending this to the Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... who has chosen the theme "Spices" The recipe contains quite a bit of cinnamon which is perfect for this time of the year. 

I'm also sending this to the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. I used up my leftover chocolate and berry mix. 

An original recipe by bakingaddict

225g butter
220g dark brown sugar
180g wholemeal flour
250g oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
2.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs
150g fruit & nut mix with cinnamon dusted milk chocolate almonds
70g chocolate, chopped
100g berry mix (raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries)

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line 2 baking trays.
  • Cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes.
  • Add in egss one at at time a mix well.
  • Mix in flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and oats.
  • Finally stir in the fruit, nuts, chocolate and berry mix. 
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, place round balls of dough spaced apart on a baking tray.
  • Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • The cookies will harden as they cool. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Apple, Pear and Raspberry Yoghurt Muffins

I created this recipe based on ingredients I had in my fridge/cupboard.  I tried to make this as healthy as possible by incorporating fruit, wholemeal and spelt flour and a minimal amount of sugar. I even left the skins on the fruit for added fibre!  The end result was quite tasty although it was slightly dense in texture, almost like a bread and butter pudding. The sprinkling of chocolate chips and mini cornish fudge balanced out the flavours well and were a delightful hidden treat if you got some in your muffin! I'm sure it would have tasted a lot better with butter but these are a reasonable substitute if you want to watch the calories. 

I'm entering this to AlphaBakes which is hosted by myself and Caroline from Caroline Makes. The letter this month is "Y". You can use the letter Y as the name of the bake/dish or as the main ingredient. The Y here is of course yoghurt. 

I'm also sending this to the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. I created this recipe to use up the end of bags of flour, chocolate chips, mini cornish fudge and leftover fruit in my fruit bowl. 

And to Treat Petite hosted by Kat from the Baking Explorer and Stuart from Cakeyboi. The theme this month is "Free From".  This recipe is free from butter/oil/fat and plain flour. 

And to Four Seasons Food hosted by Louisa from Eat Your Veg and Anneli from Delicieux. The theme this month is Virtuous Food and eating this definitely makes me feel virtuous.


 wet ingredients, dry ingredients and fruit 

 love the colour of the fruit 

 ready to go in the oven 


An original recipe by  bakingaddict
Note - the quantities may seem odd as I used up what I had leftover but feel free to change it around or make substitutions.

Makes 12 muffins 
150g spelt flour
150g wholemeal flour
85g dark brown sugar
50g honey
2 eggs
165g fat free raspberry yoghurt x 2
70g fresh raspberries
1 apple - cored and chopped
1 pear - cored and chopped
20g mini cornish fudge
20g dark chocolate chips
50g milk chocolate chips
flaked almonds to decorate (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Sift the flours in a medium bowl and stir in brown sugar, mini cornish fudge pieces and chocolate chips.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add yoghurt and honey and mix. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and finally stir in the fruit. 
  • Spoon into muffin cases and sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds on top if using. 
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.