Happy 2021! We’re excited to enter the New Year and have a fresh new start! To kick off New Year, we want to share six brilliant recipes that you can try at home. Check them out!
1. Sponge cake
Ingredients for a 20 cm cake
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 rounded tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 175g soft butter
- 175g golden caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- A little sifted icing sugar, for dusting
For the filling
- 6 passion fruit
- 250g of mascarpone
- 1 level dessertspoon golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 200ml fromage frais
- Preheat the oven to 170C.
- Take a very large mixing bowl, put the flour and baking powder in a sieve and sift it into the bowl, holding the sieve high to give it a good airing as it goes down. Add all the other cake ingredients (aside from the icing sugar) to the bowl and whisk everything with a spoon or an electronic whisker together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins, level it out and place the tins on the centre shelf of the oven. The cakes will take 30 to 35 minutes to cook, but don’t open the oven door until you’ve reached the 30 minutes mark.
- To test whether the cakes are fully cooked, touch the centre of each cake’s exterior lightly with a finger: if the cake’s exterior doesn’t leave an impression and the sponge springs back, it’s ready.
- Next, remove the two cakes from the oven, then wait about five minutes before turning them out onto a wire cooling rack. Carefully peel off the base papers, which is easier if you make a fold in the paper first, then pull it gently away without trying to lift it off. Now leave the sponges to get completely cold, then add the filling.
- To make the filling, first slice the passion fruit into halves and, using a teaspoon, scoop all the flesh, juice and seeds into a bowl.
- Next, in another bowl, combine the mascarpone, fromage frais, sugar and vanilla extract, using a whisk. Then, fold in about two-thirds of the passion fruit.
- Place the first sponge cake on the plate or cake stand you are going to serve it on, then spread half the filling over it, drizzle the rest of the passion fruit over that, then spread the remaining filling over the passion fruit. Lastly, place the other cake on top, press it gently so that the filling oozes out at the edges, then dust the surface with a little sifted icing sugar.
2. Celebration chocolate mousse cake
For the chocolate cake
- 25g cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- 3 tbsp boiling water
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g self-raising flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 100g margarine, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tbsp brandy
For the mousse
- 300g dark chocolate (no more than 40-50 percent cocoa solids), broken into squares
- 450ml whipping cream
- 225g fresh raspberries and blueberries
- Double cream
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease the tin with margarine and line the base and sides with baking paper. You need to line the tin right to the top even though the sponge will not fill it.
- For the chocolate cake, measure the cocoa powder into a large bowl. Pour over the boiling water and mix to a paste with a spatula. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and the eggs and margarine and beat until smooth using a hand-held mixer.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface with a palette knife. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the cake feels springy to the touch.
- While the cake is still hot, brush the brandy over the top of the cake. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
- Meanwhile, for the mousse, place the chocolate in a bowl and melt over a pan of gently simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Stir continuously, taking care not to let the chocolate get too hot. Set aside to cool a little.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Carefully fold in the melted chocolate until smooth and not streaky.
- When the cake has cooled, and while it is still in the tin, spoon the chocolate mousse on top and level with a palette knife. Cover the cake tin with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, and preferably overnight, until the mousse is firm.
- To serve, carefully remove the cake from the tin and transfer it to a flat plate. Dust the top with cocoa powder, then pile the raspberries and blueberries into the centre. Finish with a light dusting of icing sugar. Cut into wedges and serve with pouring cream.
3. Chocolate tart
For the pastry
- 175g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 80g icing sugar
- 140g butter, diced
- 2 medium free-range egg yolks
For the filling
- 750g milk chocolate
- 260ml double cream
- 120ml amaretto
For the topping
- 200g blanched almonds
- 250g caster sugar
- 100g dark chocolate, finely grated
- 75g coffee beans
For the coffee cream
- 1 teaspoon freeze-dried coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
- 3 teaspoon coffee liqueur
- 200ml double cream
- 50g caster sugar
- For the pastry, sift the flour, cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the butter and rub together using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and mix together until it forms a dough. Add a little ice-cold water if the pastry feels dry. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 170C
- When the pastry is rested, lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough into a circle about the thickness of a £1 coin. Lay the pastry over the tart case and gently push down to line, taking care to get the pastry right into the edges. Line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Place the tart on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove the baking parchment and beans and place the tart back in the oven to cook for a further 10-20 minutes, or until the base looks dry. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool. Once cooled, trim the pastry to tidy up the edges.
- For the filling, break up the milk chocolate and place into a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat.
- In a pan over a medium heat, bring the double cream and amaretto to the boil. Pour the cream mixture over the melted chocolate, whisking everything together well. Pour this mixture into the cooked tart case and cool to room temperature before placing the tart in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until set.
- For the topping, preheat the oven to 190C and place the almonds on a baking tray. Place in the oven and cook for 8 minutes to 10 minutes, or until they’re toasted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Line a tray or plate with baking parchment.
- Put the caster sugar and 50ml water in a pan over a medium heat and cook until the sugar starts to colour. Stir in the almonds and mix until the sugar coats the almonds to give a frosted appearance. Transfer the almonds to the lined tray or plate and leave to cool. Once completely cooled, roughly chop the almonds into pieces.
- For the coffee cream, mix the dissolved coffee granules and coffee liquor to a paste in a large bowl and add the sugar. Pour in the double cream and whisk to firm peaks, being careful not to over-whip it. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until needed.
- Check that the tart has set. If not, leave it in the fridge for a further 20 minutes. Once set, cover with grated chocolate and sprinkle with the coffee beans and frosted almonds. Serve with the whipped coffee cream.
4. Fruit and cobnut crumble cream
- 4 small pears, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4½ teaspoon caster sugar
- 2 medium cooking apples, preferably Bramley variety, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
- 16 blackberries
- 40g self-raising flour
- 40g plain flour
- 50g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 2cm/¾in cubes
- 25g soft brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 100g dried cobnuts or hazelnuts
For the cream
- 150ml double cream
- 100ml Greek yoghurt
- 100ml mascarpone
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground star anise
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix the pears, lemon juice and 1½ tablespoons of the caster sugar in a bowl. Spread the pears out on the baking tray, cover with aluminium foil and place in the oven. After 10 minutes, add the apples, cover with the foil again and return to the oven for 30 minutes. Crush the fruit with a fork, set aside to cool then fold in the blackberries.
- To make the crumble, place both the flours in a mixing bowl with the butter and brown sugar and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Spread out on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Add the remaining three tablespoons of caster sugar and the nuts to a non-stick saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for 5-6 minutes, swirling the pan regularly, until the sugar has melted and coated the nuts evenly and the mixture is golden-brown. Tip the mixture onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and set aside to cool. Once cooled, crush the nuts into a coarse powder.
- For the cream, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to soft peaks, taking care not to over-whisk.
- To assemble, spoon two thirds of the crumble into the bottom of the serving glasses. Cover with two thirds of each of the fruit mixture, cream and nuts. Add the remaining crumble followed by the remaining third of the fruit and cream. Scatter over the remaining nuts and serve at once, or chill for a few hours. If you are serving the dish chilled, scatter over the nuts at the last minute.
5. Jam shortbreads
- 85g icing sugar
- 170g plain flour
- 55g cornflour
- 30g ground almonds
- 225g butter, and extra for greasing
- Almond essence
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Raspberry or strawberry jam
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- Sift the icing sugar, flour and cornflour together into a bowl. Add the ground almonds.
- Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, a mixer or food processor, rub or mix the butter in until there are no visible lumps of butter. Add the almond essence.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, just to form a smooth dough.
- Butter a muffin tin. Roll the dough into small balls and place them in the muffin cups, flattening the tops slightly with your fingers. The dough should come about one-third of the way up the side of the pan. 6. Bake the shortbreads until they are a light gold colour, about 8-12 minutes. Remove them from the oven and, using your selected tool, make a small indentation in the top of each biscuit.
- Let the shortbreads cool for a few minutes, then turn the mould over and tap it over the bench so that the shortbreads fall out. Be gentle, as they are fragile while they are still warm.
- When all the shortbreads are baked and cooled, dust the tops with some icing sugar. Using a teaspoon, fill the indentation with jam or your chosen filling.
Ready to get your bake on? Shop at our online flour shop and select your favourite flour for your next baking session!