Peanut Butter Marshmallow Recipe by Jenny @ Bake

(Image Credit: Jenny of BAKE)

(Image Credit: Jenny of BAKE)

A few months ago I shared my recipe for s’more cupcakes and my slightly over dramatic sad tale of how I had never had a proper s’more.  Well those days are over! Because quite by chance I found a packet of graham crackers in a Chinese import store of all places, in Chinatown, whilst wandering around central London. Continue reading

S'mores Cupcakes (Image Credit: Jenny @ BAKE)

S’mores Cupcakes Recipe by Jenny @ Bake

 

S'mores Cupcakes (Image Credit: Jenny @ BAKE)

S’mores Cupcakes (Image Credit: Jenny @ BAKE)

One summer, when I was about seven and growing up in a small English seaside town, I became completely fascinated by s’mores.  I can’t quite remember which book or show I first discovered them in, but I was obsessed.  There is no English alternative,not even something close, which probably due to graham crackers not being available here.  Every time my Father lit the BBQ, I felt like I was missing out.  That there were thousands of other girls participating in the same summer ritual of charred meat and potato salad, who were being treated to this magical dessert at the end of their meal.

Two decades later and if I am being honest I would love to end this tale by saying I have finally tried my first sticky s’more, mashmallow oozing out the sides with every bite.  Not yet, but on my next trip to the State’s it will be high on my list.  In the meantime I will be more than adequately satiated by these delicious cupcakes.  Turned on their head the chocolate, rather than the cracker becomes dominant, carrying the light and fluffy marshmallow buttercream. Due to the high fat content of the frosting when I tried to burn it a little to give the cupcake the iconic smokey toasted marshmallow flavour it just melted.  I shared these with good friends, sat enjoying the last rays of sun, talking about anything and everything. There was no campfire, but the spirit was the same. Maybe, I’m not missing out on s’mores as much as I think.

S’more Cupcakes Recipe

Makes 12 cupcakes

S'mores Cupcakes (Image Credit: Jenny @ BAKE)

S’mores Cupcakes (Image Credit: Jenny @ BAKE)

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

125g butter at room temperature
2 eggs
115g self raising flour
125g brown sugar
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
50ml milk

Preheat the oven to 175C and line the cupcake tin.

Beat all the ingredients together until well blended.

Divide into the cupcake cases and bake in the middle of the oven for 17 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool.

For the Marshmallow Frosting

Adapted from Buttercream Chantilly Factory

60g butter at room temperature
100g (about ½ a jar) marshmallow fluff
190g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 digestive biscuit/graham craker , crushed into crumbs

Beat the butter until light and fluffy then add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and creamy.

On a low speed slowly beat in the icing sugar until well mixed. If using a stand mixer I find covering it with a tea towel helps to reduce mess.

Ice your cupcakes and sprinkle with biscuit/cracker crumbs.

Previously posted on BAKE 


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Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe by Jenny @ Bake

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

I am a spring baby so in some ways I have always identified more with this time of year.  More likely that that, I probably have some sort of subconscious preference, because not long after daffodils start brightening up the garden I receive presents.

Spring in the English countryside is a wonderful time of year.  Fields that have been brown and barren for months become a vibrant and vivacious green.  Rapeseed, which is commonly grown where I live, shines gold for as far as the eye can see.  The air is full of bird song, and residential streets are lined with trees heavy with candyfloss coloured blossom.

This cake sums up spring for me.  It has the bright citrus flavours I crave as soon as the sun starts peeking out through the clouds, and warm comforting spice from the cardamon to combat the fresh wind whipping through the trees.  The simple orange glaze in place of frosting means it packs well, and makes for the perfect accompaniment for a flask of tea, and a long walk to appreciate this glorious time of year.

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe

Based on a recipe from Cake Days | Makes 1 loaf

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

For the sponge:

190g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing

190g plain flour plus extra for dusting

1 tbsp finely grated blood orange zest

190g caster sugar

3 large eggs

60g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

25g plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla essence

6 cardamom pods – seeds ground

For the glaze:

Juice of 1 blood orange

50g caster sugar.

Directions:

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Preheat the oven to 170C, then butter and line a 2lb bread tin

Cream together the butter, zest and sugar till pale.

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients.

Whisk a tablespoon of the dry mixture into the butter and sugar, then slowly incorporate the eggs.

Add the dry ingredients to the mix in two stages then beat in the yoghurt and vanilla essence.

Pour into the tin, and bake in the middle of the oven for 50-60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

When the cake is nearly completely baked, heat the orange juice and sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves.

Remove the cake from the oven and repeatedly prick with a cocktail stick until it’s covered in little holes.

Slowly pour the syrup over the cake, trying to get an even coverage.

Enjoy!

Previously posted on BAKE

 


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Truffles (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Salted Caramel Truffle Recipe by Jenny @ Bake

Truffles (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Truffles (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Sometimes in growing up we lose some of what makes occasions special.  I was recently talking to a mother with adult children about the impending Mothering Sunday, and she admitted that what she had really enjoyed was the homemade gifts she had been gleefully given by her children when they were small.

Over the years of growing up, misshapen baked goods and pieces of craft paper covered in glue and stickers have been replaced with mass produced cards and imported flowers.  Whilst these gifts are lovely in their own right, this year I will be returning to the sticky messy gifts of my youth.  Instead of peppermint creams and various items dipped in melted chocolate I will be making these delicious salted caramel truffles instead. Continue reading

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallow Recipe by Jenny @ Bake

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallow Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallow Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Autumn is my favourite time of year.  The days grow shorter, leaves change colour and you get to rediscover a wardrobe of thick tights and jumpers that have been packed away for months.

One of my more common indulgences when the weather turns cooler is a cup of hot chocolate loaded with marshmallows (try heating chocolate milkshake for a truly luxurious drink).  Instead of the traditional vanilla, these marshmallows are combined with a favourite seasonal treat, the pumpkin pie.

Marshmallows are fairly simple to make, the only specialist equipment you will need is a candy thermometer, which can be found in most good cookware stores.  Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe (this is my favourite http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/home-made-marshmallows/) the possibilities for flavours are endless, and not only are they delicious but they make beautiful gifts too.

Because of the extra moisture from the pumpkin puree this mix needs double the amount of gelatine of a standard marshmallow mix and needs to be beaten for longer.  After experimenting with different containers I found that plastic food storage tubs work best for setting the marshmallow in, as it is a lot easier to remove intact from the mould.

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallow Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallow Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallows

makes 30

Ingredients

25g gelatine powder

1 egg white

250g white sugar

140g pureed pumpkin (⅓ can of Libby’s)

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

vegetable oil for greasing

4 tbsp corn flour

4 tbsp confectioners sugar

Directions:

Grease a 1l container with a little oil, and leave to one side.

Dissolve the gelatin in 60ml of nearly boiling water.

In a stand mixer whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks.

Mix the sugar with 125ml of water in a saucepan, and heat to 120C using a sugar thermometer for accuracy (run the thermometer under a hot tap before and after using to reduce temperature shock shattering the glass).

With the stand mixer on a low-medium speed pour the hot sugar into the egg white, being careful not to get it on the beaters as this can flick boiling sugar syrup out of the bowl.

Add the gelatine, spice and pumpkin and beat until it thickens, about 15 minutes, a good test is if you lift the beaters up the ribbons of marshmallows should sit on top of the mixture for a couple of seconds until it’s absorbed.

Pour into the tub, cover with Clingfilm and leave to one side for a couple of hours to set.

When you’re ready to cut the marshmallows, mix together the corn flour and confectioners sugar in a tub, sprinkle some of this over your worktop and turn the marshmallow out onto it.  To create clean slices you will need to clean and oil the knife between each cut so it is worth keeping a damp cloth and a dish of oil close to hand.

After cutting each square roll in the corn flour and sugar mixture.

Keep in an airtight tub and eat within a few days.


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Simple Vanilla Madeleines Recipe by Jenny @ Bake

Vanilla Madeleines (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Vanilla Madeleines (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

I love my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I wouldn’t be without it.  But there is something undeniably comforting about things you can bake using just a bowl and a wooden spoon, which is why this is one of my favourite recipes.

Whilst some of Julia Child’s recipes are arduous, complicated affairs that involve hours of slow cooking and parts of animals that make me squeamish, these beautiful little breakfast cakes can be made in just over an hour using everyday ingredients found in everyone’s kitchen.

Madeleines are the perfect addition continental breakfasts, served with fresh juice, pastries and piping hot coffee.  So whilst the perfect homemade croissants may an unrealistic first thing on a Saturday morning, these can be made whilst savouring your first coffee of the day. Continue reading

Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe by Jenny @ Bake

Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Not to adhere to stereotypes too strongly, but being British there are very few things I enjoy more than a cup of tea and good cookie (or as we call them biscuit).  When I first started working in an office in my early 20s there was a fully stocked cookie tin within arms reach, and reach for it I did, four to five times a day.

Unfortunately my metabolism couldn’t support such a habit, and I soon had to give up my tea time snacks. Since then I have been looking for a sweet afternoon pick-me-up that wouldn’t leave me struggling to fit into my favourite skinny jeans.

These cookies, whilst still a treat, are a lot better for you than their processed flour and sugar counterparts.  The sweetness of the banana accentuates the honey which balances the rich bitterness of the cocoa nibs.  The lack of flour makes the cookies soft and chewy with the nuts giving it a satisfying crunch.

Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Makes a dozen – Adapted from The Lean Green Bean

Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Ingredients

1 cup chunky peanut butter

¼ cup of honey

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 egg

1 large banana

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

salt to taste

½ cup chopped mixed nuts and raisins

½ cup cocoa nibs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets.

Put the banana in a stand mixer with the beater attachment and whisk on high until well mashed.

Add the rest of the ingredients (reserving the mixed nuts and cocoa nibs) and beat until well combined.

Using a wooden spoon stir in the nuts and nibs.

Portion the mixture evenly onto the baking sheets, I could fit 6 cookies per standard tray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a baking rack to finish cooling completely.


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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sweet Potato and Five Spice Muffins by Jenny @ BAKE

Gwyneth Paltrow's Sweet Potato and Five Spice Muffins (Image Credit: Jenny @ BAKE)

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sweet Potato and Five Spice Muffins (Image Credit: Jenny @ BAKE)

England has been experiencing somewhat of a heat wave, which means food is light and seasonal and baking is done first thing in the morning before the sun is too high in the sky.  I baked these moist gluten and dairy free muffins from Gwyneth Paltrow’s recently released cookbook, It’s All Good, whilst making breakfast one morning using a leftover sweet potato from dinner the night before.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler, no fancy kitchen gadgets are needed just a set of scales a bowl and a fork. They bake in 25 minutes which allowed me enough time to drink my first steaming cup of coffee for the day and watch my sleepy neighbourhood come to life. The whole kitchen filled with the smell of rich oriental spices and I couldn’t help but burn my fingers plucking a sticky muffin straight from the tin. Continue reading

Paleo Crumble with Maple Roasted Rhubarb by Jenny @ BAKE

Paleo Crumble (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

Paleo Crumble (Image Credit: Jenny @ Bake)

As an avid blog reader barely a day goes by without seeing a reference to ‘paleo diets’.  For those who are unaware the paleolithic diet (or caveman diet) is a nutritional plan based around food types that were available to our ancestors nearly 2.5 million years ago.

By eliminating grains, dairy and processed foods (among other food groups) the diet claims to help you lose weight, reduce the risk of and in some cases reverse the effects of certain diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Continue reading

Spring Chicken Stew Recipe by Jenny @ BAKE

Spring Chicken Stew

Spring Chicken Stew (Image Credit: Jenny B @ BAKE)

Like a lot of the globe, here in the UK spring is more a hope than the current season, with flurries of snow as late as April making winter feel endless.  Over the weekend it seemed nice enough to open the windows and let some fresh air breeze through the apartment.  Coupled with the light streaming in it almost didn’t matter that thick jumpers and multiple pairs of socks had to be worn to deal with the brisk temperature. 

This stew is the perfect way to celebrate seasonal produce without compromising on hearty fare needed on colder days.  Initially I wasn’t convinced that basil (or in the original recipe pesto) would go well as my previous chicken stews had been rich and heavy.  Swapping root vegetables for greens gives the dish a light, fresh taste that works really well with the herb. Continue reading

Pink Valentines Meringues by Jenny @ BAKE

Pink Valentines Meringues (Image Credit: Jenny B @ BAKE)

Pink Valentines Meringues (Image Credit: Jenny B @ BAKE)

Happy Valentines Day!

I was thinking earlier about the first Valentines day I celebrated.  It was a couple of years before my first boyfriend, I was barely a teenager and I’d done something wrong.

For the life of me I cannot remember what I did to incur the one and only grounding I ever received, but whatever it was enough to get me banned from going out with my friends.  Whilst they were out sharing bags of heart shaped pink sweets and seeing Practical Magic (still an awesome movie) I was to be sat in my room catching up on my homework. Continue reading

Pea and Ham Soup by Jenny of BAKE

As I talked about over on my blog, I am well and truly throwing myself into the standard January diet.  I think it’s going well, I know 2 weeks in is a little early to be claiming this but my snug work trousers are fitting more comfortably and I don’t feel too deprived.

I think what is helping this year has been giving up on ideals of perfection.  In the past I have inflicted celebrity inspired diet and fitness regimes on myself, no carbs, no treats, early morning workouts (and the rest, has anyone tried this juice? it tastes like a cup full of swamp!), and when they fail within a few days I would berate myself on my lack of commitment. Continue reading

Vanilla Cupcakes with Brandy Icing Recipe by Jenny of Bake

Image Credit: Jenny of http://www.bake-online.co.uk/

Image Credit: Jenny of http://www.bake-online.co.uk/

Merry Christmas!!! Time seems to be flying in the final run down to the main event and I can barely keep up!  I’m writing this bathed in the glow of twinkling fairy lights, cuddled under a blanket watching Mad Men reruns – Heaven!

To me, this season brings a sense of nostalgia wrapped in spice and dried fruit; that’s not the case for everyone.  Less than half my family like Christmas pudding, so post Christmas dinner it’s always a struggle to find them a suitable dessert.

Not wanting to rely on the typical chocolate dessert I played around with other childhood memories, in the hope that one day I will get to experience a ‘White Christmas’ and my Grandmother’s brandy butter. The result, sweet white cupcakes with a hint of booze, the perfect way to finish Christmas dinner. Continue reading

Ultimate Caramel Apple Recipe by Cooking Classy

Caramel apples are one of my favorite fall treats. I have often thought about ordering the delicious looking gourmet versions sold by specialty shops, but gosh are they pricey. In lieu of spending upwards of $8.00 USD an apple, I started looking for some DIY recipe ideas and came across this great post from Cooking Classy. Continue reading