It’s National Dessert Day tomorrow (*shrugs* apparently… When’s National Naming Days Day, I wonder?), not that I need any excuse to scoff sweet things, of course – especially around this time of year. I’m already on to my second pack of Fiendish Fancies, and today I decided to make some Halloween-ish Macarons. I’ve made them a couple of times before and they’re a bit fiddily, but there are a few short cuts you can take to make the job a little easier (like buying butter cream rather than making it yourself, shh!). I mean, alright, they’re not going to win any awards or put Ladurée out of business, but they taste good – and that’s all that matters, right?
Salted Caramel Macarons
- 125g icing sugar
- 125g ground almonds
- 90g egg whites
- 110g caster sugar
- A couple of drops of orange food colouring
- Pre-made Buttercream icing
- Salted Caramel Flavoring (yep, you can buy it!)
- Melted chocolate to decorate
- Whisk together the caster sugar and egg whites to form stiff white peaks, then add the food colouring.
- Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into the mixture, then fold in.
- To get a perfect coin shape use a piping bag and nozzle, but you can do just as good a job with a pointed spoon and a steady hand. Pipe out onto a lined baking tray, then leave to rest for 15 minutes.
- Bake at 160° for about 10 minutes.
- Sandwich with your flavoured buttercream, drizzle with chocolate, then scoff!
I’m going to carve up my pale pumpkin this weekend (although it’s meant to be really hot here in Wales – very un-Halloween like!). Have a lovely weekend everyone! 🙂
Am I too late for Autumn bakes? I’m pretty sure everyone’s more interested in seeing mince pies, puddings and Christmas cakes right now but, oh well. If you’ve got an apple hanging around at the bottom of your fruit bowl looking a little too wrinkly to eat on its own, then here’s something you can make with it – and it’s perfect for eating warm, submerged in a bowl of custard. It’s still custard season, right?
Apple, Cinnamon& Salted Caramel Cake
- 1 apple (peeled, cored and chopped into little chunks)
- 120g self raising flour
- 120g butter
- 100g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 100ml milk (if needed)
- 75g chopped walnuts
- 75g chopped pieces of salted caramel
- Set your oven to 180° and grease a deep, round cake tin of your choice.
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar and then slowly add the eggs.
- Sieve in the flour and cinnamon and then fold in the chopped apple. If the mixture is looking a little dry then add a little milk.
- Put the cake in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and scatter the chopped walnuts and salted caramel over the top.
- Pop the cake back in the oven for a further 10 minutes (or until an inserted skewer or knife tip comes out clean).
- Best eaten swimming in hot custard – but that’s just me! 🙂
My brother has recently become obsessed with cheesecake – so obsessed in fact, that while I was away in Madeira he sneaked into my house to borrow a cake tin so he could try and make one himself. Long story short, he forgot to use full fat milk and sadly, it collapsed. Everyone’s first cheesecake is a disaster; when I was twelve I tried to make one I’d seen in a magazine, but I used cottage cheese and the wrong kind of cream and just ended up with a bowl of goop with chopped bananas floating in it. Bleugh! Even my Mum and Dad refused to eat that one, and – let me tell you – they’ve bravely eaten a lot of my kitchen disasters over the years. When I told them I was planning to make a cheesecake for my brother’s birthday I think they probably had flashbacks to the banana goop cake.
Thankfully since then I’ve mastered the Mallow Cake. It tastes like a cheesecake, it’s got a creamy texture like a cheesecake, but there’s no soft cheese to be found in the ingredients. It’s basically a mix of milk, marshmallows and whipped double cream, and it’s really easy to adapt with any flavours, base or toppings you fancy. Cheat’s Cheesecake. 🙂
- 300g of crushed biscuits (I used Oreos)
- 50g melted butter
- 150g plain marshmallows
- 125ml full fat milk
- 250ml double cream
- Blitz the biscuits in a blender and then stir in the melted butter. Transfer the mix into a cake tin with removable sides and press down to create the base.
- Put the marshmallows and milk in a saucepan and melt together over a low heat. Don’t let it boil! Remove the mix from the heat once it’s light and foamy.
- Whisk the cream to stiff peaks and then fold in the marshmallow mix (at this point you can add any flavours you fancy!).
- Pour the mix into the cake tin on top of the base and then allow it to set in the fridge for at least four hours, but overnight is preferable.
- Once the cake is set, remove from the tin and decorate. I added salted caramel sauce and chopped toffee popcorn.