Sunday, 24 May 2015

Swedish Princess Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

In Sweden, the one baked good they are crazy about (besides cinnamon buns) is Swedish Princess Cake, also known as Prinsesstårta. I recently spent a week in Stockholm, Sweden and saw these gorgeous green cakes everywhere. I've made a full size one before after the Great British Bake Off featured them as a technical challenge, but I thought turning them into cupcakes would be really cute and fun! Plus it's a simpler way to get the delightful taste of the Prinsesstårta without making a full sized one.

I started by making the creme patisserie the night before so I could cool it in the fridge overnight. I've only made creme patisserie once before and the recipe worked beautifully so I decided to use it again. This did make far too much for the 7 cupcakes I needed, so I made another 12 the next day! So you may wish to half the creme patisserie recipe if you're making a smaller number of cakes. I heated 500ml whole milk with the seeds from a vanilla pod until it reached boiling point. I then took it off the heat and poured into a jug.

In my food mixer I whisked up 6 egg yolks with 140g caster sugar until pale and thick. I added 45g cornflour and mixed that in. I then put the mixer on a medium speed and poured the milk in slowly as it mixed.

I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it up whilst stirring continuously. There is a moment when it suddenly thickens, I started whisking it at this point to keep it smooth and stop any lumps.

I put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. I made sure the cling film was touching the creme pattiserie so that a skin doesn't form on it. I left it in the fridge overnight to cool.

The next day I made the cupcakes. I was taking them to a dinner party where one of the guests had a gluten intolerance so I made regular cupcakes with gluten free flour. Ideally I would have made genoise sponge cupcakes as this is the traditionally sponge. So it's up to you which to use if you try this recipe. I creamed together 120g butter and 120g caster sugar. I then whisked in 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I added 120g gluten free self raising flour and 3 tbsp whole milk, and mixed in. If you don't need these to be gluten free, just use regular self raising flour.

I divided the cupcake mixture into 7 cases as that's how many I needed, but I reckon you could stretch the mixture to 8 cupcakes. As I mentioned before, as the creme patisserie recipe makes quite a lot so you can make a lot more cupcakes to use it up if you wish.

I baked on 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes until golden. I left them to cool completely.

While they were cooling I kneaded some green food colouring into 100g natural marzipan and cut out 2.5 inch circles. I got exactly 19 circles from this much marzipan. I left the marzipan out to harden up.

I used a tiny dab of water to stick a pink heart sprinkle into the middle of each marzipan circle. Traditionally a pink flower is put on top of a Prinsesstårta, but I had these pink heart sprinkles in the cupboard from Valentine's Day baking and I thought they looked really cute!

Once fully cool I used a knife to scoop out the middle of the cupcakes. If you have a cupcake corer you could use that instead.

I half filled the holes with seedless raspberry jam, about 1 tsp per cupcakes.

Then I topped them up with the creme patisserie and smoothed the top.

I whipped up a 250ml tub of double cream and piped swirls onto each cupcake. I kept the swirls flat so I could place a circle of marzipan on top.

I was so pleased with the final result! I found making a full sized Prinsesstårta really tough in terms or decorating as I'm not skilled with covering cakes in fondant/marzipan, but these cupcakes are so much simpler. Everyone at the dinner party loved the cupcakes. The Swedes really have it down, I mean, cream, custard and jam in a cake - how can you go wrong?!

I'm entering this Swedish treat into myself and Cakeyboi's baking challenge Treat Petite. Cakeyboi is hosting this month and the theme is Eurovision.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Plum & Limoncello Tart

I actually made this tart a couple of weeks ago, but I just got back from a holiday and have finally got round to sharing it with you! Plums are in season right now and I find that baking them makes them even more juicy and delicious. This is a fairly simple tart recipe that will really delight your friends and family if it's presented at the end of a meal.

I started by making some pastry. I have a recipe for shortcrust pastry that I stick to religiously as it always works. I started with 350g plain flour and 170g butter. I rubbed the butter into the flour, I then added in two eggs and mixed until a dough formed. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 1 hour.

After the pastry had been chilled I rolled it out onto some cling film, this makes it so much easier to lift and line the tin with.

I lined a 28cm diameter loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry and peeled off the cling film.

I lined the pastry with baking paper, then filled it with baking beans and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 mins.

I removed the baking beans and baking paper and put the pastry back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the pastry was fully cooked on the bottom.

I cut up 8 plums into thin wedges (you will need 6 - 8 plums depending on size) and arranged them in the pastry base. They do shift during baking and when the custard is poured in, but I liked the effect of having them arranged.

I made the custard while the pastry was baking. I whisked together the zest and juice of 2 lemons, 4 tbsp double cream, 100g ground almonds, 100g melted butter, 5 eggs and 200g golden caster sugar. I whisked it well, then gently stirred in 8 tbsp limoncello.

I placed the pastry with the plums in onto the oven shelf, then poured the custard in. I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes until the custard was set, but still had a slight wobble.

Once it was cooled fully, I dusted it with icing sugar. I was really pleased with how it turned out, and I love the effect of the plums on top and their vibrant colour.

The juicy plums were a perfect accompaniment to the nutty sweet custard. This went down a storm when I took it into work, it was a rather large tart and disappeared very quickly! It would be a perfect tart on a sunny day, or you could warm it up with some custard.

As plums are in season at the moment, I am entering this into May's Simple & In Season. Created by Ren Behan and this month hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.

Recipe from BBC Good Food.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Lemon & Almond Ricotta Cakes

When I was packing up my flat to move I was throwing out a lot of things and giving bags to charity. It got me looking at my baking supplies and ingredients too. I gave a bunch of baking supplies I'd never used, and duplicates I didn't need, to charity. I had a lot of dry ingredients in the cupboard too and I wanted to try and use them up. I had some ricotta in the fridge that needed using, along with some lemons, and in my baking cupboard I had almonds. I found this recipe on Food Network for American 'biscuits', but to me and you they are little cakes!

I creamed together 200g caster sugar, 115g butter and the zest of 2 lemons.

I then mixed in 250g ricotta.

I added 1 egg and the juice of 1 lemon and mixed well.

I weighed out 300g plain flour, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 salt, and mixed it into the wet ingredients.

I divided the mixture out between 12 muffin cases.

I sprinkled some toasted flaked almonds and some demerara sugar over each cake.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes until risen and golden.

They can be eaten warm or cold, and are delicious either way. I think they would be nice with some lemon curd!

The cake were lovely and fluffy inside with a light and fresh flavour. The almonds and sugar on top are a nice crunchy contrast. I'm not sure why Americans call these biscuits... anyone?!

I am entering these into this month's Credit Crunch Munch, ran by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All, this month hosted by Baking Queen. I used ingredients in my fridge and cupboard that needed using up to make these cakes.

I am also entering this into this month's No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. I used up food to make these cakes that would have otherwise been binned.

I am also entering this into Family Foodies Italian Challenge, hosted by Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, this month's theme is family friendly Italian themed foods. Ricotta is an Italian cheese and these cakes would be a great family bake.