- Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a muffin tray with 6 large cupcake cases.
- Place the chopped dates in a small saucepan and pour boiling water over them so that they are just covered.
- Give the dates a stir and simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes until they are plump and softened.
- Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the bicarbonate of soda and vanilla extract and set aside to cool.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the egg and beat well to combine.
- Gently fold in the flour followed by the cooled date mixture.
- Spoon into the cases so that the mixture fills halfway and place in the oven for 15 minutes until the sponge is well risen ans springy and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Meanwhile make the toffee buttercream by creaming together the butter, icing sugar and toffee sauce for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the cupcakes et voila!
200g unsalted butter
200g golden syrup
75g dark brown sugar
100g caster sugar
375g porridge oats
25g sunflower seeds
2 tsps ground ginger
zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to Fan 140°C and grease and line an 9″ square tin with baking parchment.
- Put the butter, golden syrup and sugars in a small pan and stir over a gentle heat until all the ingredients are melted together and smooth.
- Place the oats, sunflower seeds, lemon zest and ground ginger in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Now pour the melted butter syrup mixture over the oats and mix together.
- Fold the blueberries in and give everything a good final stir.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and press down firmly and evenly.
- Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
- Carefully remove the flapjack from the tin using the paper to help lift it.
- Cut into 16 rectangles whilst still slightly warm. If you leave it to cool completely, it will be more difficult to cut.
Today is my mum’s birthday and as part of her present I offered to bake her the cake of her choice. I handed her my trusty copy of Fiona Cairns Bake & Decorate for inspiration and she chose this delicious carrot-pecan cake with maple syrup and orange buttercream.
- Preheat the oven to fan 170°C and grease and line two 6″ cake tins or one 6″ deep cake tin.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the large bowl of a mixer.
- Add the diced butter, sugar and lemon zest.
- Start the mixer slowly and once the ingredients start to combine, slowly pour in the eggs.
- Once the mixture is evenly blended and smooth, stir through the lemon juice.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two cake tins and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the cakes are well risen, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If baking in one tin, the cake will take 55 minutes to 1 hour.
- Leave the cakes in the tin to cool for 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack, removing the greaseproof paper and leaving to cool completely.
- Whilst the cake is cooling, make the lemon sugar syrup by putting the lemon juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan and gently bringing to the boil over a low heat. Once the the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
- To make the buttercream simply cream together the butter, sifted icing sugar and lemon curd for 5 minutes until soft, pale and fluffy.
- Once the cake is cooled, arrange the sponges so that the two sides that are going to be sandwiched together are face up.
- Brush these sides with the lemon sugar syrup.
- Now spread the buttercream on the bottom half and sandwich the two halves together.
- Dust with icing sugar when ready to serve.
Ever since trying The Cheesecake Factory‘s Oreo Cheesecake on a trip to San Francisco a year ago, I’ve wanted to recreate it at home. Having recently discovered the ultimate baked New York cheesecake recipe from Hummingbird Bakery, I decided to adapt it into a smaller Oreo version. This is a much more modest version of the one I had in California (where one slice was enough to feed a family of four!) but I think it matches up taste-wise. Cheesecake connoisseurs will have to try it and tell me what they think!
for the base
1 tblsp cocoa powder
85g unsalted butter, melted
for the filling
600g full-fat cream cheese
125g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
abour 3/4 of a pack of Oreo cookies, broken into large pieces
- Grease the base of a 6″ springform tin and preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Start by making the biscuit base. Blitz the digestives and the cocoa powder together to a fine crumb.
- Stir in the melted butter until evenly blended and press into the base of the springform tin.
- Chill in the fridge whilst you prepare the filling.
- Gently beat together the cream cheese, caster sugar and vanilla extract.
- Add the eggs one by one and beat until smooth.
- Stir in the oreo chunks before pouring the mixture into the springform tin on top of the biscuit base.
- Place the tin in a deep tray and fill the tray with water so that it comes half way up the tin.
- Place the tray in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the cheesecake has firmed around the edges and it has taken on a very slight colour. It will still seem really really wobbly in the middle but don’t fret! It will set up beautifully after a night in the fridge!
- Remove the springform tin from the water and leave to cool on a cooling rack before placing in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to serve, run a palette knife around the edge of the tin before releasing the spring.