Saturday, 31 May 2014

Beef and mushroom stew with cheese scones

I recently fancied trying a dish that I would not ordinarily make, I often get these random urges to dust off neglected cookbooks and make a dish from the chosen book. It made sense for me to try several recipes on a bank holiday as I had a whole day to stretch my culinary to make list. Gino's Italian Diet is a cook book that I brought some years ago and like so many books I have, I have only cooked a handful of dishes from this book. But that was about to change when I decided to make the low calorie beef and mushroom stew. I usually eat beef in the form of steak and more specifically sirloin steak and have rarely eaten beef in a stew. What I liked about this beef stew is it absorbed all the flavours of the accompanying ingredients and the red wine infused the beef.  If I were to make this again, I would not use as many mushrooms as it made the beef very dark.  I am unsure what the usually pairing of beef stew, but I fancied serving this with cheese scones. Cheese scones with a beef stew may sound unusual but after trying cheese scones in a Cardiff cafe I thought it was necessary to make this at home asap. The recipe for the cheese scones come from the delightful Jo Wheatley's Home Baking which was found in the Baking with Children chapter and as such was super easy and quick.
Here is how my beef stew with cheese scones turned out:
Beef and mushroom stew

Beef and mushroom stew pre bake
Cheese and flour

Cheese scones ingredients

Cheese scone mixture rolled out

Cheese scones pre bake

Cheese scones baked

Recipe for beef and mushroom stew
Serves 4
400g lean rump steak, cut into 2 cm cubes
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
200g onions
50g pancetta, diced
150g wild mushrooms (I used ordinary mushrooms, and added much more than 150g)
1 large carrot, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150 ml red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
400ml beef stock
salt and freshly ground pepper

315 calories, 16 fat, 5.2 saturates, 6.3g sugars, 1.4g salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 200c/400F/ gas mark 6
Place the cubed beef in a large bowl and dust with flour
Heat the oil in a large non-stick flameproof casserole and gently fry the beef for 2-3 minutes until browned all over. Work in batches if necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions and pancetta to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, carrot and garlic to continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil.
Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tomato paste and gently mix well. Pour in the stock a little at a time, stirring as you do so, to create a sauce. Bring to the boil.
Transfer to the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 5 minute to allow the sauce to thicken.
Before serving, season with salt and pepper and allow the casserole to rest, out of the oven for 10 minutes.


For the cheese scones
225 self-raising flour
1tsp cream of tartar
pinch of sea salt
50g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
50g cheddar, grated
130-150ml full fat milk
plain flour for dusting
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk

Toppings
1tbsp cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
Sift the flour, cream of tartar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine sand.
Add the cheese. Slowly add enough milk to bring the dough together, using a table knife to do so.
Turn the dough onto a flavoured surface and give it a little knead for about 20 seconds: don't overwork the dough, as this will make the scones heavy.
Roll out to a thickness of 2-3cm and cut into rounds using the cutter and place on the lined baking together tray, in two tight rows of 5 so that they are just touching. Brush the egg wash and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake for 12 minutes on the middle shelf of the preheated oven, until well risen and golden.
Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

Enjoy
xxx
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Monday, 26 May 2014

Jamaican breakfast: Saltfish and bacon

I love the food of my heritage, the traditional Caribbean recipes and methods of cooking, to making modern twists on Jamaican classics. My saltfish and bacon is my Anglo take on a classic Jamaican ingredient and in my opinion is perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast. It may seem odd to eat saltfish for breakfast, but this is normal in the Caribbean and many islanders will eat saltfish for breakfast, especially in Jamaica where the national dish is ackee and saltfish. I could easily just have the saltfish on it's own, but as I love bacon, I thought I would add a classic British breakfast item, bacon to this dish. I think the saltfish and bacon compliment each other beautifully, the creamy and chewy texture of the saltfish, alongside the crispy and slightly salty taste of the bacon, with the cooked peppers is a match made in Anglo-Jamaican heaven. This dish is on the table within 30 minutes and will be enjoyed by all who like Caribbean cuisine. Luckily, there are no excuses not to try this dish, saltfish is readily available in all major supermarkets that have a special world foods aisle. I serve my saltfish and bacon with a variety of I enjoy this with roasted breadfruit, shop brought harddough bread and of course, my favourite Jamaican accompaniment fried plantains 
Here is how my saltfish and bacon turned out:
Saltfish and bacon



Saltfish and bacon cooking

Saltfish and bacon cooking


Plantain cooking
Recipe for saltfish and bacon

3 rashers of lean back bacon
250g packet of boneless saltfish
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed
large griddle pan

Method
Open the packet of saltfish and place in a pan of cold water, leave to soak overnight. If running short of time you can boil the saltfish for around 30 minutes - but be prepared your kitchen will smell fishy! It is important to soak the saltfish to remove the excess of salt from the saltfish. Once the saltfish has soaked overnight or boiled empty the contents of the water and slice the saltfish in small bite size pieces.
Heat the griddle pan and add the 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Slice the rashers of bacon and add to the pan, leave to cook for around 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the peppers and onions and whilst the bacon are sizzling, add the peppers and onions to the pan. Also add the bite size pieces of saltfish to the griddle pan and leave everything to cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Enjoy 

xxx
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Friday, 23 May 2014

BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show 25% discounts off show tickets.

I love all food and cake shows and am super excited this year as I am one of the BBC Good Food Show Summer bloggers and look forward to sharing my pictures with you. And, not only that but the fabulous brainchild or brainchildren from the BBC Good Food show series are introducing a new show, BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show based in London at the Business Design Centre, Islington. For those who have been to any other BBC Good Food Show or love cakes and bakes, this show date should be firmly placed in your diary, it's already in mine. The lovely organisers of the show have kindly offered readers of Food Glorious Food 25% off all show tickets. 


The BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show, sponsored by Lexus, launches at the beautiful Business Design Centre in Islington, London from 25-27 October 2014.   Bringing the popular BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes title to life, the show will be packed with baking, bread-making and cake-crafting demonstrations, free master classes, and hundreds of products to get you baking like a pro.



I love demonstrations and am looking forward to seeing the legendary baking national treasure demonstrating Mary Berry her lovely bakes at the Bakes and Cakes theatre. She makes everything look so simple on the tv, I'm looking forward to hearing all her baking and cake tips.

There are some more familiar famous faces at the show who will be demonstrating in live 30 minute baking and techniques demonstrations such as Mich Turner, Paul Hollywood, John Whaite, Jo Wheatley and Holly Bell. Every full day adult ticket includes a seat to the exciting theatres.



Whether you are new to baking and have recently caught on the baking bug, or a seasoned experienced baker, the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show is the perfect place to meet bakers, cake-crafters and confectioners, learn new skills and pick up all the essentials you need to develop your baking hobby.

Just quote EBPAR1 when purchasing to receive 25% off tickets.

Disclaimer: I am receiving a press pass to attend the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show, I received no payment for sharing the discount code. All opinions are my own.

xxx

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Cooking with Flowers, review and giveaway


The lovely people at Quirk books sent me a selection of cook/baking books early on in 2014 which for a cook book addict like me I was more than delighted. Cooking with Flowers: Sweet and Savoury Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers by Miche Bacher was one of the books that were sent to me and this book not only intrigued me due to the concept but also inspired me to step outside my baking box. What intrigued me is the thought of flowers, for example a dozen red roses, being in-cooperated in a cake, a pancake or bread dish for example and also how would flowers taste in a dish? I’ve never eaten flowers before and unfortunately still have not done this, as I have yet to make a selection of recipes that I usually do when I receive a book but I could not resist sharing the wonders of this book as I have pencilled in so many recipes to try. 
There are 100 recipes that will bring beautiful flower-filled dishes to your kitchen table. There is a selection of delightful recipes including pansy petal pancakes,  daylily cheesecakes, savoury sunflower chickpea salad, chive blossom vinaigrette, herb flower pesto and mango orchid sticky rice. Yum! Each recipe  contains helpful tips and tricks for finding, cleaning and preparing edible flowers. The pages are beautifully illustrated and I think this book will certainly appeal to the more creative and adventurous baker. 
Cooking with Flowers

Cooking with Flowers

The chapters in this book are in accordance to the flower type and there is a real sense that the author is highly knowledgeable not only about each flower type but the complimentary parings in dishes. 
  • Three introductory chapters - Introduction, Why Eat Flowers? and From Garden to Table
  • Calendulas
  • Dandelions
  • Daylilies
  • Dianthus
  • Elderflowers
  • Geraniums
  • Herb flowers
  • Hibiscus and Hollyhocks
  • Lilacs
  • Nasturtiums
  • Orchids
  • Pansies and Violas 
  • Roses
  • Squash Blossoms
  • Sunflowers
  • Tulips
  • Violets
  • The Basics: Simple recipes for Stocking Up
Cooking with Flowers

Cooking with Flowers


The lovely people at Quirk books are offering one lucky reader a copy of the beautifully illustrated book. Just 

  •  Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
  • Join my blog (click on the left hand corner of the site and join using Google friend connector) and leave a blog comment this is an ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT. 
  • For additional entries, leave a blog comment, like my Facebook Page, followfoodgloriousfoodx on Twitter and Quirk books on Twitter
  • All entries will be checked and verified. 
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 22.05.14 - 22.06.14
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted.
  • Quirk books will dispatch the book to the lucky winner.
  • The competition is open to UK residences only.

Please feel free to share the giveaway and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Cooking with Flowers to review, I was not required to write a positive review. Images were taken from Quirk books website. All opinions are my own.

xxx
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Monday, 19 May 2014

Pork Chop Bake

I'm so looking forward to Jo Wheatley's third book (I live in hope) as I have her two baking books, A Passion For Baking and Home Baking and both are comprehensive baking books with so many delicious recipes to try. Home Baking contains a chapter on supper bakes and I am pleasantly pleased as savoury recipes, are more to my pallete. I look forward to my evening meals every night and it's important for me that my last meal for the day is not only quick (mid-week) but also, substantial and flavoursome. Jo describes this dish as "Crisp crackiling, soft sticky apples: a real autumnal dish. The best thing is it only needs a very small amount of prep and then you pop it in the oven". I will also add that this dish is perfect all year around and the potatoes cook well and are given a golden tint when the pork chops are added to the potatoes, onions and apples. The subtle flavours come thorough in this dish and will be a winning meal for the whole family.
Here is how my pork chop bake turned out:

Pork chop bake

Pork chop bake pre bake

Recipe for Pork Chop Bake.
8 small potatoes
2 large red onions
2 eating apples ( I used granary smith)
4tbsp olive oil
4 pork chops
pinch of sea salt
1 bulb of fennel, trimmed

You will also need a large,  deep roasting tin and a griddle pan
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Slice the potatoes in half horizontally, peel and chop the onions into quarters, and halve and core the eating apples. Put everything in the roasting tray, with half the olive oil and stir to coat. Place in the oven to roast for half an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the pork chops by snipping the rind at 1cm intervals with scissors - this will make it go crispy when cooking - and rubbing the meat with the remaining olive oil and salt. Chop the fennel into wedges.
After the vegetable have been roasting for 20 minutes, place a griddle pan over a high heat and add the chops and fennel. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, before placing in the oven to finish for a further 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the chop.
Enjoy.

I am sharing this recipe to Simple and in Season blogging challenge hosted by Ren from renbehan blog, this months theme is any seasonal Spring fruit and vegetables, as I have used Granary Smith apples I have met the challenge criteria.

xxx
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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Bouzouki By Night, review.

I have never tried authentic Greek food before, by that I mean Greek food cooked by a Greek person or a person of Greek heritage. I have only attempted to make two Greek dishes at home, Moussaka and Greek Chicken but never really tried anything else besides this, unless you count supermarkets Greek olives and feta cheese packs. There are a few Greek restaurants in the West Midlands but as I regularly visit Manchester and found Bouzouki By Night on my favourite discount website, Groupon, decided to embark on a culinary change and visit a restaurant that I would not usually visit. The deal £25 (50% off) for a 15 dish Greek mezze to share between 2 people is fantastic value for money and also includes a live band and evening entertainment. I would however, visit again at the non discounted price of £25 per person as the food was simply divine.
Located in the city centre the restaurant is accessed via several stairs and you are greeted to a fairly dark, yet welcoming restaurants with several pictures and photos of Greek islands, alongside soft playing Greek music. There is a set seating time of 8pm, presumably so all the dishes can be served at once and upon our arrival we were quickly seated by a friendly waiter. All tables feature a dimly lit candle, intimate setting, although I felt the restaurant is slightly dark.
To start, we received a selection of homous, tzatzki and beetroot dip, Greek Style Salad, small pieces of pitta bread, alongside a three bean Greek selection. I particularly enjoyed the unusual flavour of the beetroot dip which I took great pleasure in topping the pitta breads with. The homous and tzatski also went down well. The Greek salad was far superior than any shop brought Greek salad and came with sweet peppers, velvety feta cheese and juicy olives. I've never had a three bean salad whilst eating out and this was a welcoming carbohydrate to my selection of starters.
Selection of dips

Greek salad

Selection of starters
The selections of starter set my taste buds going and was eagerly pleased when the next round of mezze appeared. Stifado (beef stew) and a chicken dish was the next selection for the meat part of the mezze dishes. The sausages were mildly spiced, my only suggestion was that I could have done with more as it was so nice.
Stifado (beef stew)
The next meat dish was the chicken and lamb kebab, apologies for the blurry picture, yet I felt this dish had to be shared as these kebabs were a world away from the usual perception of kebabs from the takeaway. Meaty, flavoursome and well cooked these kebabs were served on top of couscous.
Kebab
If you are not a big fan of meat, there was also a selection of calamari, deep fried vine leaves and white fish which offered a contrasting refreshing flavour to the meat dishes.

Calamari and white fish
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the next round of mains, moussaka,  keftethes (meatballs) and Yiouvesti (rice pasta), they were all equally dishes and I was especially impressed by the yiouvesti. 



Finally, if you have room, there is a serving of ridiculously sweet baklava with double cream.
Baklava





Positives: Fantastic value for money, large selection of flavoursome food, friendly staff.
Negatives:  There are numerous stairs to access the venue which is not the best if wearing heels. 
Disclaimer: I visited this restaurant as I enjoy eating out and I have already booked another visit to this fantastic restaurant. 
Bouzouki on Urbanspoon Square Meal
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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Indian mince on chappati

After a long day at work the last thing I want to do is slave over a hot stove, when all I want to do is relax and enjoy the remanding hours of my evening. I've mentioned on my blog and Facebook page that I am particularly fond of oven baked, one pan dishes - I mean whats not to love about one pan dishes, little preparation and the oven does the hard work? But, every dish I eat mid-week is not an oven cooked dish as sometimes I fancy a hearty curry or pasta dish and these types of dishes are much more convenient if cooked on the stove. This, stove cooked dish is courtesy of one of my favourite quick and easy recipe books, BBC Good Food 30 Minute Suppers. Indian mince, and I do not know how authentic this dish is or whether it is eaten throughout India, is seasoned with Indian spices and served on top of a naan or chappati (whichever you fancy) and dolloped with raita (or in my case sour cream and chive) is a quick, spicy and easy meal to rustle up. The flavours, mildly spiced, curry powder, turmeric, onions  sweating, garlic infused. This dish also uses lentils with the mince, which I was initially hesitant to use as I have never cooked with lentils before, but t added further depth and much needed carbohydrates to the dish.  I had this dish on the table within 30 minutes and was eaten in a rapidly. One frying pan, quickly heated chappati's and a dollop of sour cream and chive (one of my favourite dips)  is the perfect quick Indian meal. I  liked this dish as it is, hot, spicy, quick and easy.
Here is how my Indian mince on chappati turned out:
Indian mince and lentils on chappati.

Indian mince on lentils on chappati.

Recipe for Indian mince taken from BBC 30 Minute Suppers
1 red onion, sliced
300g beef mince
2tbsp medium or mild curry powder
100g dried lentils
700ml hot beef stock
handful corainder leaves
 chappati or mini naans.


Method
In a non-stick frying pan, dry-fry onion and mince over a high heat for 2 mins, breaking up the mince as you go. Stir in the curry powder and lentils, pour in stock, then fiercely simmer for 10 minutes.
While the mince is cooking, put the naans briefly in a toaster to warm through, then pop one on each plate. Spoon a quarter of the mince over each naan, then top with a spoonful of raita or sour cream and chive sauce.

xxx
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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Japanese Soul Cooking, review and giveaway

Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat aims to show the reader the diversity and range of Japanese cooking.  Many thanks to Jacqui Small Publishing for my review and giveaway copy. I don't know about you, but Japanese food is rarely eaten in my home. I often associate Japanese food with sushi, not homemade sushi, that looks like too much of a faff but sushi from Boots store. So when I received a copy of this book I was pleasantly surprised, not a sushi dish in site. Instead it's time for gyoza, curry, tonkatsu and furai, Japanese comforting food, which according to the authors are regular dishes eaten in every Japanese kitchen and sold by street food vendors in Japan. 

This book is probably the first book which I have where almost all the recipes are unrecognised by me. Not that that's a bad thing, the food pictures in this book are beautiful and each recipe has a story which gives a background to the dish. This beautifully written book inspires me to branch into  Japanese cooking and I hope to share more recipes from this book on my blog shortly. It helps that one of my favourite supermarkets, Asda have a world food aisle and features Japanese staples which are used in recipes in this book. I have made a curry dish, titled retro curry, who knew Japanese cuisine has curry dishes, certainly not me. This is very different to Indian curry, I liked the sweet, rustic and rich nature of the retro curry and although it it longer than some of my weekday dishes, made a refreshing chance to my bog standard meals. 


This is a comprehensive cookbook and contains many chapters which are as follows:
  • Ramen - stand out dishes include Prawn Wonton Men - similar to prawn dumplings and Tan Tan Men - a style of ramen inspired by super spicy Sichsunese-style noodles.
  • Gyoza - dishes to try include soup gyoza with chicken.
  • Curry - retro curry, this is an old school Japanese which is sweet savoury and rich, and battleship curry curry which was served every Friday on Hachijo ship.
  • Tonkatsu - stand out dishes include Classic Tonkatsu which similar looking to a Schitznu served with white rice. 
  • Furai and Korokke, dishes to try include Kani Cream Korokke crab with savoury bechamel sauce and deep fried.
  • Kara-Age stand out dishes include Nagoya Tebasaki - deep fried marinaded chicken wings 
  • Tempura dishes to try include lemon sole tempura - fish in a tempura batter and prawn shiiitake kaki-age 
  • Okonomiyaki stand out dishes include Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki - layered dish of noodles, fried eggs pork and cabbage.
  • Donburi - Stand out dishes include Tendon a dish dating back from 1837 which is crispy tempura over steaming rice
  • Soba - stand out dish kamo nanban soba duck breasts, wasabi in Soba soup. 
  • Udon - Curry Udon - Japanese pork curry with noodles
  • Itame and Chahan - Saikoro steak- diced steak served with white rice.
  • Yoshoku - my favourite chapter Yoshoku steak - western style steak with homemade chips and napolitan spaghetti Japanese version of the classic dish. 
Here is how my retro curry turned out:


Recipe for retro curry.
Serves 4 with leftovers
450g stew beef (or any cut of beef you desire), cut into bite-sized cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons butter
450g medium onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
225g carrots
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 large apple
1.2 litres (5 cups) of beef stock
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons garam masala, an aromatic Indian spice mixture
350g potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
Steamed rice to serve

Method
Season the beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over a medium heat.
Add the beef and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, until the meat browns (to lock the flavour). Add the onion, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the carrots, ginger and garlic, and cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Add the apple, stock and remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
While the ingredients are simmering, preparing the roux. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. The flour will first bind to the butter, then the mixture will break apart, and look like large blonde crumbs. At this point, add the curry powder and garam masala and stir for 2 more minutes, until roux releases a heady, toasted curry fragrance. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
Once the ingredients have simmered for 1 hour, add the potatoes (Add 125ml of water at this point if the curry seems too dry; it should have consistency of gravy). Scoop a ladelful of liquid from the pot and add it to the roux, mixing together to create a paste. Add the roux paste to the large pot and mix well. Simmer for 20 more minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Mix frequently, scraping the curry from the bottom of the pot, being careful not to burn. When the curry is ready, serve with steamed rice.

The lovely people at Jacqui Small Publishing are giving one reader a copy of this book. 

  •  Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
  • Join my blog (click on the left hand corner of the site and join using Google friend connector) this is an ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT. 
  • For additional entries, leave a blog comment, like my Facebook Page, followfoodgloriousfoodx on Twitter and Jacqui Small Publishing on Twitter
  • All entries will be checked and verified. 
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 04.05.14 - 01.06.14
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted.
  • Jacqui Small Publishing will dispatch the book to the lucky winner.
  • The competition is open to UK residences only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway xxx
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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sweetie Spectacular cake

I love sweets, I love cake and I love chocolate. You see, I'm a big child at heart and have such a sweet tooth, regularly devouring a packet of haribos, refreshers, and jelly babies. So after having a flick through Jo Wheatley's second book Home Baking, under the chapter "Baking with Kids" is this sugar filled, sweetie spectacular cake perfect for little ones and grown ups alike. I decided I must bake this straight away.  Jo states "Cake, sweets, icing - what more can I say? You'll be the greatest". I agree, this cake is a combination of three favourite sweet treats and what's even better is that the cake is very easy and simple to make. The cake is a simple sponge cake topped with a buttery buttericing and topped with whatever sweets you like.
Here is how my sweetie spectacular cake turned out:



Ingredients
340g unsalted butter, softened
340g caster sugar
5 large eggs
340g self-raising flout
50ml milk
1tbsp vanilla essence

Topping
400g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
2tbsp water
400g old-fashioned sweets such as flying saucers, foam shrimps, Jelly Tots, jelly babies, jelly snakes, Smarties, lolly pops

You will also need a 30 x 23 cm sandwich tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4
Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy in a free-standing mixer or with an electric hand-held whisk. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Sift in the flour and mix to combine. Add the milk and vanilla, and mix again until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread level using palette knife.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes until well risen golden and springy to touch, or when skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
Make the butter icing by whipping the butter, icing sugar and water together in a free-standing machine or with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Use a palette knife to spread the buttercream, over the cooled cake. Pile on a mixture of the sweets and slice into small squares.

I'm sharing this recipe to two blogging challenges this month. The first is The Spice Trail hosted by http://www.pebblesoup.co.uk/ and by http://bangers-and-mash.com/, this months theme is vanilla my cake is suitable to enter.

Also to Calendar Cakes hosted by the lovely Rachel from http://www.dollybakes.co.uk/. This months theme is Bank Holiday Bakes, bakes that we share with our family or friends. I shared this bake with family munchkins who thoroughly enjoyed this cake.

xxx
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