#Recipe Brazilian bakes & candies

Think of Brazil and no doubt the usual plethora of images will spring to mind- sundrenched beaches, feather-bedecked soca dancers and copious churrascaria. What doesn’t come to mind is a wealth, and often unexplored world, of baking. From breads to cakes to sweet treats there’s no shortage of tasty culinary treats to try.

So you may be asking yourself how does a Irish native, now resident in Canada, come to be waxing lyrical on all bakes Brazilian? I recently made the acquaintance of a native Brazilian via the wonders of a social media. A mutual bond over adoption matters, cultural appreciation (makes a change to hear those two words together huh?) and adventures in food was formed, and here we are! Insight from someone who grew up in a culture always trumps even the best research you can do. There is something satisfying about knowing that this is how “it” actually is, in everyday life, rather than some interpretation of “it” from the vaults of some Lonely Planet-esque archives.

The recipes here are essentially in two parts- bakes and sweets. The Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheesebread) is definitely worth trying out. Served warm from the oven they are an ideal breakfast morsel, or even snack through the day. Freezer-friendly and gluten-free they are also a handy reserve should any gluten intolerant friends swing by. The Pudim de Queijo and Bolo de Fuba Cremoso share a common theme in that they are both prepared making use of a tall blender. Apparently this is a common feature in Brazilian baking as stand mixers are not that common. For the Pudim de Queijo think creme caramel and Catalan flan. To be honest though to hold it in comparison is to do the Pudim injustice. The addition of the cheese to the flan mixture rescues it from the overpowering (and somewhat cloying) sweetness to which it’s European counterparts often fall prey. Cheese also a feature in the recipe for Bolo de Fuba Cremoso. When baked the combination of cheese, cornmeal and coconut result in veritable kitchen alchemy that allows for a crispy topping, smooth interlayer and deliciously crumbly base. Believe me, once you try a slice of this alongside a strong coffee, breakfast will never be the same again!

The Dochinos de Leite Moca here are all variations on a theme of Brazilian candies. Made using boiled sweetened condensed milk they are sure to prove popular not only with the little ones in your life but all the grown-ups. The final sweets will usually keep for a week in a container in the refrigerator. These dainty mouthfuls of scrumptuous sweetness look  (and taste) like they required hours of kitchen toil instead of the mere minutes needed in reality. The longest part is the cooling time! I cannot emphasis how much these candies are worth the minimal effort.

Many thanks to Bernardo (and his Mum!) for the guidance, patience when it came to answering my numerous questions, and encouragement when things literally went belly up! Muito obrigado meu amigo.


Pao de Queijo (8)

Pao de queijo

Makes approximately 40

Ingredients

  • 500g cassava starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 400g grated cheese (150g Gruyère; 150g mozzarella; 100g sharp red cheddar such as Red Leicester)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line 2 cookie baking trays with baking parchment
  2. In a bowl mix the Gruyère and mozzarella cheeses, Set aside until needed
  3. Combine the water & oil in a pan and bring to boil over heat
  4. Place cassava starch in a bowl of a stand mixer
  5. With the mixer running, carefully pour over boiling liquid in stages and mix to combine
  6. Leave to cool, until you can touch the side of the bowl
  7. With the mixer running, add in eggs one at a time
  8. Add in the Gruyère/ mozzarella cheese mix in thirds and mix until combine.
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and fold/lightly knead in the sharp cheddar.
  10. Roll dough into 3cm wide sausage shape
  11. Cut into smaller 1 inch pieces and roll into balls using wet hands
  12. Place the dough balls on lined baking trays, spacing about 2 inches between
  13. Bake at 400F for 20mins until puffed and lightly golden

– The baked rolls/ puffs are best eaten straight away, after cooling slightly.

*Once the dough had been shaped into balls, they can be frozen in a bag or under cling wrap and baked from frozen. Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 30 mins until puffed and lightly golden

Pao de Queijo (1)


Pudim de Queijo (3)

Pudim de queijo

Makes 1, serves 12

Ingredients

Caramel

  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Pudding

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (300ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can whole  milk (use the same can as sweetened condensed milk to measure)
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a pan over a medium heat combine the water and fine sugar.
  3. Increase heat and bring to the boil, without stirring, for about 10mins. The liquid should thicken and turn a deep amber color
  4. When the liquid has turned deep amber, remove from heat and pour into an 8inch circular baking pan
  5. In a blender mix the condescended milk and milk for 2 mins
  6. Add in eggs and mix to blend again for 2 mins
  7. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix for a further 2 mins
  8. Pour into prepared caramel pan and place the filled baking pan in deep roasting tray large enough to take the pan
  9. Cover the filled pan with aluminium foil, and fill the roasting tray with water to at least 3/4 level with the pan
  10. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 50 mins
  11. After the aluminium foil from the pan and continue to bake for a further 10 mins
  12. Remove the baked pudding from the oven and the roasting tray. Leave to completely
  13. Turn the cooked pudding out by placing a large plate on top of the pudding and quickly inverting. It may requirement a gentle shake for it to come out
  14. Keep the turned out pudding refrigerated until serving

Pudim de Queijo (6)


Bolo de Fuma Cremoso (3)

Bolo de fubá cremoso

Makes 1 , serves 12

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups fine sugar
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl add the fine sugar, cornmeal, flour, shredded coconut and mix to combine
  3. In a large blender combine the eggs, milk, melted butter, and baking powder, Parmesan cheese and mix until well combined
  4. Pour the liquid mixture in to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir/whisk gently to combine well
  5. Pour to cake batter (which will be quite running into a 9inch spring-form cake pan
  6. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 mins until the top of the cake is golden brown and the sides pull away from the pan
  7. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely in the pan before removing the pan collar
  8. This cake goes particularly well with a strong, early morning coffee

Bolo de Fuma Cremoso (1)


Dochinos (2)

Dochinos de Leite Moca

Each recipe makes between 15-20

This little sweet bites were traditionally served at children’s parties, are astoundingly easy to make and even better to eat!

Brigadeiro

Ingredients

  • 300ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg yolk

To finish

  • A selection of chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles to finish

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and loosens from the pan. (It will take between 8-10 mins)
  2. Pour the hot mixture into a heat-proof bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  3. When the mixture has cooled , grease your hands with oil and shape a teaspoon of the mixture into a round ball shape in your hands
  4. Roll the ball of mixture in sprinkles of your choice to coat and place on a lined baking sheet
  5. When all the brigadeiro have been rolled transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and allow the to chill and firm for at least 2 hours

 

Beijinho

Ingredients

  • 300ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 1egg yolk

To finish

  • 100g unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Whole cloves (optional)

Method

  1. Combine the milk and egg yolk in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and loosens from the pan. (It will take between 8-10 mins)
  2. Pour the hot mixture into a heat-proof bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  3. When the mixture has cooled , grease your hands with oil and shape a teaspoon of the mixture into a round ball shape in your hands
  4. Roll the ball of mixture in the shredded coconut to coat and place on a lined baking sheet. Stud each beijinho with a whole clove
  5. When all the beijinho have been rolled, transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and allow the to chill and firm for at least 2 hours

 

Cajuzinho

Ingredients

  • 300ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 30g unsweetened shredded coconut

To finish

  • Fine sugar
  • Roasted peanut halves

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and loosens from the pan. (It will take between 8-10 mins)
  2. Pour the hot mixture into a heat-proof bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  3. When the mixture has cooled , grease your hands with oil and shape a teaspoon of the mixture into a “horn” shape in your hands
  4. Roll the cajuzinho in fine sugar  to coat, stud the larger end with a peanut half and place on a lined baking sheet
  5. When all the cajuzinho have been rolled,  transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and allow the to chill and firm for at least 2 hours

Dochinos (5)

 

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#Recipe Station Cold Brew Coffee Company- Food Collaboration

Title 2

Before moving to Canada I’d never really heard of cold brew coffee. I guess it was something that maybe slipped under the radar of my London life in the deluge of Hoxton Hipsters, deconstructed menus and “free-from” frenzies. But here in Toronto it’s huge. In fact “huge” is too small a word to relay how prominent it is. Now that the “Unicorn” and “Fraken-Frappe” craze has passed, “Cold Brew Coffee” is THE thing- each and every coffee shop having their own take on it.

I’ve tried (quite) a few and hand on heart, whilst the other one is holding my coffee, the best one I’ve tried is by the team at Station Cold Brew Coffee. Available in a variety of formats from the travel-friendly stubby to their innovative “Nitro Can” to the customisable concentrate (and so much more) there’s something to suit coffee-lovers galore. You can find out more about them here. You can also catch the team on Dragon’s Den airing September 28th at 8.00pm EST/PST on CBC.

I have already mentioned that I think Station Cold Brew Coffee is the best and since I only work with the best, we teamed up to do a collaboration. You’ll find here a collection recipes showcasing their wonderful caffeine-laced beverage. Ranging from sweet to savory the recipes feature Station Cold Brew Coffee in unexpected, but always delicious, ways. I do hope you enjoy!

Station Brewnies (7)

Station BREWnies

A few years ago one of my brownie recipes picked up an Observer Food Monthly award for Best Readers Recipe. The recipe combined chocolate, chilli…oh, and crispy bacon! It’s a pretty good example of my recipe development ethos- think outside the box! This recipe for Station BREWnies is kind of a redux, a 2.0 version combining chocolate, crispy bacon, and this time, coffee. I hope you enjoy!

Makes 9 or 12, dependent on selected baking tin

Ingredients

Brewnies

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 ½ oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/3 cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups packed, golden yellow sugar
  • 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup 100% unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup pecan pieces

Ganache

  • 2 oz semi-sweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Bacon shards

  • 3 strips of unsmoked bacon (or 4 if making 12 brewnies)
  • 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons golden yellow sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Station Cold Brew Concentrate

*Equipment note:

This mix will yield 9 Brewnies if made in an 8”x8”x1.5” deep proprietary silicone brownie pan, or 12 brewnies if made in a standard 12”x9”x1”deep baking pan

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and grease, or line, the baking pan if using. If you are using a proprietary silicone brownie pan there is no need to prep it (see Equipment note above)
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thickened, fluffy and increased in volume
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt
  5. Add the cold brew concentrate to the cooled chocolate/butter mixture, and stir to combine
  6. Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  7. Sift in the dry ingredients, and fold together.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecan pieces until well combined.
  9. Pour your mixture into your chosen pan and gently spread to level the surface.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins if using deeper proprietary brownie pan, or for 20-25 minutes if using shallower baking pan
  11. When done remove from oven and leave to cool completely in the pan before removing or cutting into squares

Bacon (Step 1)

  1. Chop each bacon strip into 3. You should end up with 9 or 12 pieces (depending on your final number of brewnies) and place in a bowl
  2. Add the cold brew concentrate and mix with the bacon pieces. Set aside and leave to soak
  3. Chop the pecan pieces until fine. Add to a bowl with the sugar and mix. Set aside until needed

Ganache

  1. Gently heat the heavy cream in a in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Don’t let it boil- you want it just hot enough to bare putting a finger in. When ready, remove it from the heat, add the chocolate pieces and stir to melt
  2. Continue stirring until the mixture is well combined and glossy. It will look a little separated and mottled at first but if you keep stirring it will come together in a uniform mixture. Set aside to cool and thicken

Bacon (Step 2)

  1. Set your oven to medium high broil
  2. Remove the bacon pieces from the cold brew concentrate and dredge in the pecan/ sugar mixture. Press so the mixture sticks
  3. Place on a foil lined baking tray, top each piece with any additional pecan/ sugar mixture and place until the broiler grill under they start to crisp and bubble. DO NOT leave unattended as they won’t take long and you don’t want them to catch!
  4. Remove when done and leave to cool

To finish

  1. Once all components have cooled you are ready to assemble
  2. Smear the top of each brewnie with some ganache and top with a bacon piece
  3. Serve and enjoy. They go particularly well with an ice-cold Station Cold Brew!

**The “done-ness” of the brewnies can be checked by inserting a skewer, cocktail stick or toothpick into the mixture about 1” from the edge. It should come out with a little mixture/ crumbs attached.

Station Brewnies (5)


Kickstarter Overnight Oats (2)

Kickstarter Overnight Oats

We’ve all been there. You’ve hit the snooze button too many times so now you’re rushing around in a manic frenzy. One sock on whilst you jam a slice of toast in your mouth and running out the door is never a good way to start the day! These overnight oats massively cut corners and give you a filling and satisfying breakfast. Combining a hearty helping of oats and fruit with your (much needed) cup of coffee you’ll be making those meetings in no time at all!

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Quick Oats
  • ½ cup Jumbo Oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • Berries, to taste
  • Nut and seed mix, to taste

Equipment

1 medium Kilner jar or Mason jar

Method

  1. Place the quick oats and jumbo oats in a Kilner jar or Mason jar and stir to mix
  2. Add in the almond milk, cold brew concentrate, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir well until all ingredients are well mixed
  3. Close the jar and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 7 hours minimum
  4. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and stir. Add the berries, nuts and seeds to top
  5. Serve and enjoy a tasty kickstart to your morning routine!

Kickstarter Overnight Oats (3)


Pork n Beans n Joe (3)

Pork n Beans n Joe

Pork and beans is one of my all time favourite recipes. Comforting, filling and so tasty it begs to be on everyone’s “Know How” list. This recipe came from the mental image of a Wild West campfire. The cowboys surrounding it comparing stories and scars whilst filling their hungry bellies. And what  better way to wash it down? A cup of joe!

Dependent on serving portions, usually a good serving of 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup shallots, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 4 slices thick cut peameal bacon, or pork loin, chopped into pieces
  • 1 tin (540ml) tin white kidney beans or haricot beans
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (pasatta)
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (I use maple mustard)
  • ½ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • Salt and Pepper, to season

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C
  2. Lightly fry the garlic and shallots in a tablespoon oil in a skillet.
  3. Add the bacon pieces and continue to fry until browned. Remove from heat and leave to cool until needed
  4. Empty the contents of the beans tin (incl water) into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients
  5. Stir well to combine
  6. Add the bacon/shallots/garlic mixture, season with salt and pepper stir well again
  7. Transfer to complete bean mixture to a baking dish (mine is 9 ½” diameter x 1.5” deep) and place in preheated oven
  8. Bake for 50-60mins, stirring occasionally
  9. The liquid will reduce and the overall mixture thicken. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy! Try topping with cheese shreds, and serving alongside crusty loaf

Pork n Beans n Joe (1)


Early Bird Cinnamon Rolls (1)

Earlybird Cinnamon Rolls

Saturday mornings mean cinnamon rolls in my house. I guess you could say it’s become somewhat of a tradition since my family and I moved here to Canada. Mornings (in general!) also mean something else to me – coffee. In the words of wise Chief Hopper (Stranger Things) “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation”. The recipe for these rolls combines my favourite things of a weekend morning- cinnamon rolls slathered in cream cheese frosting and coffee. Definitely cause for contemplation.

Makes 12

Ingredients

Roll dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons quick rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup fine sugar

Filling

  • 2 teaspoons fresh cardamom seeds, crushed finely
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

Glaze

  • 1 cup (8 oz block) cream cheese
  • ¼ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • Zest 1 orange

Equipment

12”x9”x1”deep baking pan

Method

  1. Gently heat the milk and butter over a medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Remove and leave to cool.
  2. When cooled, add in the cold brew concentrate and olive oil, stir to combine and set aside until needed
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer (with dough hook attachment in place) combine the flour, yeast (to one side) and salt (to opposite side)
  4. Add the egg and start the mixer on a low setting
  5. Pour the liquid mixture into flour mixture in a steady stream
  6. When all the liquid has been added increase the setting to medium and mix for 8 minutes, until all the mixture comes together into a dough ball and the bowl sides are clean
  7. While the dough is mixing lightly oil a large bowl
  8. After 8 minutes of mixing remove the dough from tip the dough from the mixer bowl into the pre-oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling wrap. Leave to rise until doubled in size
  9. While the dough is rising, make the filling
  10. In a bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, cardamom seeds and cinnamon
  11. Beat (either by hand or electric beater) until fully combined and fluffy. Set aside until needed
  12. When dough has doubled in size, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface
  13. Punch and knead the dough, for about 5 mins, until all the air has been expelled from it (called “Knocking Back”)
  14. Stretch and shape with your hands into a long rectangular shape, approximately 16” x20”
  15. Spread the butter mixture over the dough, covering the entire surface
  16. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough into a tight log shape
  17. Trim off the uneven ends and then slice the remainder into 12 equal slices
  18. Place the roll slices into your prepared tin, cut side up, in a 3 x 4 arrangement
  19. Cover with oiled cling wrap and allow to rise until double in size again, about 45- 60 minutes
  20. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C
  21. Bake the risen roll sin your preheated oven for 25- 30 mins, until golden. (If the rolls start to brown too quickly at the edges, cover with foil and continue to bake until all are baked)
  22. Remove from the oven when baked and set aside to cool while you make the glaze
  23. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine whip the cream cheese and butter until fluffy
  24. Add in the cold brew concentrate, orange zest, 1 cup of icing sugar and whip until well combined
  25. Add in the second cup of icing sugar and whip until smooth and well combined
  26. Spread the cream cheese topping over the warm rolls to your preferred thickness
  27. Serve warm and oozing the topping!

*Breakfast Make Ahead

If you want to start your day in a tasty Station Cold Brew way, these can be made up to step 19. Place the cling wrap covered rolls in the refrigerator and let them have their second rise overnight. In the morning, remove the rolls and allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before final baking. You can also make the cream cheese topping the night before, cover with cling wrap and have it ready for spreading on the baked rolls.

Early Bird Cinnamon Rolls (2)


Coffee & Walnut Cake (3)

Coffee & Walnut Bundt Cake

Here is a revamp on that classic British baked staple- the Coffee & Walnut cake. I’m sure Mary Berry would spit out her battenburg at the thought of tampering which such a classic (if she were ever to read this?) but irreverence can sometimes taste oh so delicious! Spiking the cake with blackcurrant provides a pleasing tangy contrast to the delicious sponge. The glaze and nuts are just an excuse to add more of that wonderful coffee flavour. If you like Coffee and Walnut cake, I’m sure you’ll love this.

Makes 1 large bundt cake

Ingredients

Bundt Cake

  • 3 ¼ cups cake & pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 sticks butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup blackcurrant conserve

Syrup

  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup

Glaze

  • 1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Station Cold Brew Concentrate

Candied Walnuts

  • 14 walnut halves, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate

Equipment

  • 10-Cup bundt cake tin

Coffee & Walnut Cake (7)

Method

Bundt Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350/180
  2. Prepare your bundt tin by coating either liberally with softened butter and flour, or cake release spray. Ensure every crevice receives ample coating
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Sift into a different bowl. Set aside until needed
  5. In a skillet over a medium height, lightly toast the walnuts. Stir them frequently to make sure they don’t catch and burn. Remove from the heat an skillet, leave to cool for a few minutes, then roughly chop. Set aside until needed
  6. In a jug combine the sour cream, coffee concentrate and vanilla extract. Set aside until needed
  7. Fill a piping bag with the blackcurrant jam. Tie and set aside until needed
  8. After 10 minutes of creaming the butter/sugar, reduce the beater speed to slow and add the eggs one at a time, alternating with 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture
  9. Increase the beater speed to medium and continue to add the flour mixture 2-3 tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between. The mixture will get quite thick and stiff
  10. Once all the flour mixture has been added, add in the liquid coffee mixture, pouring in a steady stream. Continue to mix until well combined
  11. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cooled, chopped walnut pieces
  12. Fill the bundt tine with half the cake batter. Using a teaspoon or small spatula knife create a shallow trough in the middle of the batter, all the way around the tin
  13. Pipe the jam into the trough all the way around the tin
  14. Add the remaining cake batter ensuring that the jam ring is completely covered. Gently level the surface of the batter
  15. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 mins. You can test with a skewer but be aware that you may hit the jam ring so some jam may come out on the skewer. You just don’t want any cake batter
  16. When baked remove from oven and set aside to cool on a rack

Syrup

  1. While the baked cake is cooling prepare the syrup. In a jug add the coffee concentrate and maple syrup, and whisk well to combine
  2. After 10 mins of the cake cooling use a skewer or cocktail stick to make random holes over the surface of the cake
  3. Drizzle it over the cake 1 tablespoon at a time until it has all been added
  4. Allow the cake to cool fully

Candied Walnuts

  1. While your cake continues to cool, make the candied walnuts to top the finished cake
  2. In a saucepan add the dark brown sugar, coffee concentrate, walnuts and heat over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to high and continue to heat for 5-8 minutes – stirring frequently to ensure the walnut laves are coated in the sugar mixture
  4. Remove from the heat and carefully place the mixture on a lined parchment tray. Using the forks separate each of the nuts, allow to cool and set. *Please be extremely careful here as the molten sugar mixture can burn. DO NOT attempt to separate the nuts using your fingers!

To finish the cake

  1. When the cake has fully cooled, invert and remove it from the tin
  2. In a large jug combine the icing (confectioners) sugar and coffee concentrate. Whisk until you have a smooth, viscous liquid.
  3. Drizzle the glaze over the bundt cake in a desired pattern. You can cover the cake surface completely or drizzle in strands. Using a spoon may help you here.
  4. When the glaze has been added, place the candied walnuts on the surface in a pattern to your liking
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Coffee & Walnut Cake (22)

*The cold brew coffee concentrate used in the recipes in this post was supplied free of charge by Station Cold Brew Coffee Company.

For further disclaimer information please see here

#BakeMumsDay with Dr. Oetker

IMG_3421

As a child I remember Mother’s Day was pretty much like every other day apart from two things. One – my father bought my mother flowers. This never normally happened. Two- I would rather unsuccessfully try to bake my mother something whilst keeping her completely in the dark. “Baking Incognito” if you will. This in itself was no mean feat given that my mother was (and still is despite her ailments) one of those archetypal Gaelic matriarchs who perpetually inhabit the kitchen, who know the correct oven temperature despite the dial markings having been eroded from years of use, and who insist that portion sizes are too small if you can still see the plate you’re being served on. Think Mary Berry meets Mrs. Brown. Yeah- there you have it.

Before I go any further I feel it only right I should clarify that by saying, “ …bake my mother something…” what I in fact mean is raiding the kitchen cupboard for what usually turned out to be a Green’s cheesecake packet mix and adding my own “special touch” to it. Yes, even as a nipper I was gustatorily experimental! A box mix enfant terrible! Said special touches ranged from grated chocolate topping to a hidden banana filling to that time where I added so much Baileys (I told you it was Baking Incognito!) that the final cheesecake was not as much sliceable as it was pourable.

Fast forward 30 years and now I’m the Gaelic “matriarchal” figure in my household, even down to intuitive temperature skills, but with added facial hair. People often ask me where I came up with the name “Mr. Mom’s”. It was actually whilst scrolling through my social media feed a couple of years ago on Mother’s Day that I noticed a post. It was from a woman wishing, “A Happy Mother’s day to all the Moms, Grandmas, and let’s not forget the Mr. Moms (in reference to gay male parents). I liked it, it resonated with me as a gay dad and it stuck. The rest, as they say, is history.
History that has led to my children being the first wave of my “tasting panel”. Even when their critique is not required it is doled out in precocious abundance. Baking with them is like looking at the world from an angle askew. Ingredients are suddenly wondrous and methods appear mystical- yet it all happens with a déjà vu tinged familiarity.

Mother’s Day for us is about the female influences and role models that our children have in our family. A chance for Granny and Auntie to step into the spotlight, and for me to step into the kitchen with the kids. Food gifts are something I completely endorse. To me a food gift is more than just the gift itself. It’s about the time taken to think how suitable it may be, the time taken to create it, and make sure it’s worthy of its recipient. Knowing that every step of the way the creator had the recipient in mind. And in the case of Mother’s Day in their heart as well.

To celebrate this Mother’s Day, Dr. Oetker has teamed up with GBBO finalist Ian Cumming to create a recipe book that encourages kids to get in the kitchen to create some tasty treats for Mum. Brimming with fun recipes and tips, it’s a great way to introduce your little ones to the wonders of the kitchen. All with adult supervision of course!
Dr. Oetker wants to encourage children to bake with their dad, grandma or auntie and create a special surprise gift for mum. To do this, they have created a fun and engaging Mother’s Day-themed recipe book especially for children, featuring illustrations of four simple recipes from Ian Cumming, GBBO finalist and dad of two.

One of the recipes are these adorable chocolate flowerpot cupcakes-

Chocolate Flowerpot Cupcakes

Developed by Ian Cumming, the man who showed a flair for innovative interpretation of bakes, gives a suitably endearing twist on the traditional chocolate cupcake. Whether they’re for mums or grandmas, these adorable “flowerpot” cupcakes are certain to charm on Mothering Sunday. Using some delightful touches from the Dr. Oetker range lends that extra special touch for that extra special mothering influence in your life. Because the Dr. Oetker decorating range is so easy to use they’re ideal for little hands in helping out. If your children are anything like mine you may find it a struggle to actually have a full batch of completed cupcakes without some “disappearing”!

The Bake Mum’s Day recipe book can be downloaded here www.oetker.co.uk/mothersday The team at Dr. Oetker asked me to lend a hand in providing some tips for you whilst making the recipe. After all there’s always room for a little Mr. Mom’s twist on things!

– Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This saves so many problems- from lumpy cupcake batter to possible splitting.

– If you’re using silicone flowerpot moulds (available from quality bake shops) I find it best if you “grease the mounds” beforehand with butter. For ease I just pop on a disposable glove, grab a finger-full of butter and apply. Using your finger makes it a lot easier than trying to use a brush or any other method to get into those fiddly crevices.

– When you remove the cupcakes from the oven, leave to partially cool (about 5 mins) remove from the flowerpot molds and leave to cool completely. While the cakes are cooling clean, rinse, and dry the molds. Then before you serve pop the cakes back into the molds. This means it’s so much easier for guests to get the cakes out nice and neatly upon serving.

– For some added texture I trim any domed top from the cakes, spread with a layer of Dr. Oetker chocolate cupcake icing, sprinkle on some crushed Bourbon biscuits (soil) and top with a swirl of Dr. Oetker cupcake icing as per the recipe.

– When you do have your children helping out, I find it saves so much mess and cleaning up if you have everything weighed out and in plastic bowls; plates; beakers. That way the little ones can actively enjoy getting the ingredients together and you don’t have to worry about them spilling heavy bags of flour, or breaking shells into the mixture.

Dr. Oetker Twitter Competition
For more family friendly recipes, head over to www.oetker.co.uk

They are also running a competition on Twitter to win a copy of the book as well as some baking goodies. To enter, just RT their competition tweet and follow @DrOetkerBakes

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This post is in collaboration and sponspored by Dr. Oetker.

#Recipe: Chocolate, Guinness & Black Garlic Bundt cake with Smoked Chocolate glaze

So I’ve (eventually) gotten around to posting this recipe- massive apologies for the delay. This cake first started out as an experiment using black garlic and was finished with a salted caramel sauce and served with forest fruits. I wanted to create something that looked and tasted indulgent but had a slight edginess to it- nothing too frou-frou! For me it was a Gothic romance in cake form. Time moved on and so did the recipe development. I replaced the salted caramel with a chocolate glaze but wanted to still keep my (signature) twist. And so liquid smoke was added. Depending on how much you use, this wonderful ingredient adds a tasty smoky flavour and in this case married really well with the black garlic of the bundt. It’s availble online or from good food ingredient stores.

iness; Chocolate and Black Garlic Bundt

The original version of the Chocolate, Guinness & Black Garlic bundt cake

Bundt cake mixture

375g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

70g unsweetened cocoa powder

225g butter, softened

110g unsalted butter, chopped and softened

600g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 eggs

125ml milk

125ml Guinness stout (from a bottle as opposed to a can)

6 cloves black garlic, chopped

100g dark chocolate chips or pieces

Chocolate glaze

12 Tablespoons icing sugar

4 teaspoons whole milk

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

*this mixtures makes enough for a very ample bundt cake (using a 25cm tin) or 2 standard sized ones (I used Nordicwares Fleur De Lis and Anniversary tins)

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To make the bundt cake

  • Preheat the oven to 170 C. Grease and flour  your Bundt cake tin(s)- or if your like me spray the inside with cake release spray.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa together into a bowl and place to one side.
  • In a jug combine the milk and the Guinness. Set
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter, margarine, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. (A tip here is to keep beating until you can no longer feel the sugar grains between you fingers).
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk/Guinness mixture. Mix to combine.
  • Add in the chopped black garlic cloves and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  • Pour into your prepared Bundt tin(s). Bake in the preheated oven for 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze

  • Combine all the ingredients in a jug and mix well to combine until smooth. The mixture should fall easily from  your whisk and leave a slowly sinking trail in the bowl. If you find the mixture too stiff add some more milk in 1/2 teaspoon increments.

To finish

  • Place the cake on a cooling rack with some foil or baking parchment underneath to catch the drips.
  • Drizzle or paint the glaze onto the fully cooled cake until coated.
  • Spinkle with finishing decoration of you choice.
  • Slice, serve and enjoy!2015-11-18 16.55.00-1

 

 

Recipe- Cherry, Vanilla & Black Pepper Black Forest Gateau

 

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So once again the nation is gripped by Bake Off fever as another 12 amateur bakers take their place in the signature white tent. In unison the nation raises it’s rolling pins, lines it’s pans and no doubt sales of KitchenAid mixers goes through the roof. The first week saw the bakers tackle “Cake” – A maderia cake; Mary’s Walnut Cake and a Black Forest Gateau. Of these three, it’s the Black Forest Gateau that has a special place in my heart. Along with apple pie it’s the other shining beacon of childhood memory that still hasn’t waned. My mother took great pleasure in baking these for special occasions when guests visited. The menu was ritualistically devoid of any variance and reliably (repeatedly?) consisted of :

Starter

Melon Boats: a wedge of honeydew melon, diced sideways and garnished with a slice of orange and glace cherry. Unbeknownst to the guests I could tell their social standing in my mother’s eye from this starter alone. The presence of the cherry meant you were in my mother’s “good books” and the meal would be a welcome flex of her culinary muscle. The lack of a cherry wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just meant your visit would be embraced with civil tolerance and laced with healthy side order of platitudes. “‘Tis a far way from shiny cherries they were raised.”

Main course

Mixed Grill: this is basically a fancy fry-up. For dinner you say? Who was I to argue with my mother? The plate’s contents stretched well beyond the realms of your average breakfast fry-up to include pork chops; steak; chips and, if my mother was feeling particularly whimsical, calves liver. Like I said- I didn’t argue.

Dessert

Black Forest Gateau: this was the piece de resistance; the bee’s knees; the dog’s…you get the picture. Well it was, in my eyes. The cherries had to come from a tin (with obligatory bashed edge); the sponge had to made with Cadbury’s cocoa and soaked in syrup from said tinned cherries; and the cream had to whipped to the point of being cloud-like, but not too much, and finished with a liberal sprinkling of Cadbury’s Flake. It really was the stuff of childhood memories!

I digress. It’s because of this Black Forest Gateau and it’s inclusion in the first episode of The Great British Bake Off that I drew inspiration for my first recipe in what I’m calling my #TheGreatBeaardedBakeOff (see what I did there?…)

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Cherry, Vanilla & Black Pepper Black Forest Gateau

200g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

280g caster sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

80g unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

240ml semi-skimmed milk

2 tablespoons good quality chocolate extract, I use Nielsen Massey

300ml double cream

2 tablespoons qood quality vanilla extract, I use Nielsen Massey

1 tin (425g) black cherries, retain the syrup

1 vanilla pod, seeds scrapped

200g fresh black cherries, pitted

50g caster sugar

3 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

To decorate

cocoa to dust

8 fresh cherries, with stalks attached

1 egg white, lightly whipped

caster sugar

Frosted cherries

  • Brush 4 of the fresh cherries with the whipped egg white.
  • Roll in caster sugar and leave to dry on baking parchment until needed.

For the cherry compote filling

  • Combine all the pitted fresh cherries; sugar; water and lemon juice in a saucepan and heat over a medium heat.
  • Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes until the fruit has broken down to a pulp.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. (The compote filled pan can be placed in cold water bath to speed up cooling time).
  • Set aside and continue.

For the cherry syrup

  • Pour the syrup from the tinned cherries into a pan.
  • Add in the vanilla pod seeds and vanilla pod.
  • Heat gently for 10 minutes and then allow to cool.
  • Remove the pod, set aside to cool.

To make the chocolate sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160c (fan)/350F/Gas 4.
  • Line 2 x 8inch cake tins with cake release spray and baking parchment.
  • In a stand food mixer bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and black pepper. Use the paddle
    attachment and mix until the mixture resembles dry sand in texture.
  • In a separate jug/bowl combine the eggs, milk and chocolate extract and lightly whisk to combine.
  • With the mixer on a low speed, pour the liquid ingredients in a steady stream until about 100ml remains in the jug.
  • Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Scrape down the bowl sides and add remaining egg mixture, then continue to mix on a medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour finished batter into the 2 prepared tins.
  • Bake on the middle shelf for about 20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre of the cakes.
  • Allow to cool in the tins for 10 mins, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a clean bowl of a stand mixer, combine the double cream and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk until light and fluffy.

To assemble the gateau

  • Slice each sponge layer in half, either using a knife or cake slice wire.
  • Place the bottom layer on a stand or plate, brush liberally with the cooled cherry syrup, and spread with the cooled cherry compote.
  • Place a second sponge layer on top, brush liberally with the cooled cherry syrup, and spread with half the whipped cream and topped with the tinned cherries.
  • Place a third sponge layer on top, brush liberally with the cooled cherry syrup, and spread with the cooled cherry compote.
  • Place the final sponge layer on top of this and pipe/ spread with the remaining whipped cream.
  • Dust with cocoa.
  • Arrange the 4 frosted cherries and 4 fresh cherries on top.
  • Slice, serve and enjoy!

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