So I’m giving shortbread a go today, and thought I would share my experience with you all! This is my first time trying it out so any helpful tips or comments are much appreciated ❤️ Be sure to check out my other recipe articles too!
First of all my recipe tells me to get my oven on to 130 fan assisted or 150 degrees normal. Now that’s warming up I can concentrate on the mix.
For this recipe I’m using; 150g plain flour – 100g softened diced butter – 50g sugar –
Rub the flour and softened butter together to form a bread crumb like texture. Then add in your sugar and stir until you start to form a ball.
You can then turn it out on a floured work surface and briefly knead it until it’s soft. Mine broke up a few times whilst kneading so I made sure to be gentle.
Once it’s smooth pat in out into a circle and gently slide it into you’re tin. I choose a 20cm baking tin as that’s what seemed to fit it best. Use a knife to gently mark 8 pieces in the top and prick each piece a couple times with a fork. Then it’s ready to go in the oven!
Bake for 30-35 mins and REMEMBER IT SHOULD BE PALE. Leave it to cool off and it’s ready to go! Great for dunking in tea and coffee too.
Don’t forget to leave me any tips or advice on cooking shortbread in the comments and take a look around at the other recipes available or subscribe for email alerts on new content. Thanks for reading!
This is one of my all-time favorite baking recipes for a fun-looking special occasion cake, I tend to make this one for birthdays or events where the cake is a big part of it, as it’s super filling it’s great to cut up into little bits a share round a crowd
Just follow these few simple steps below, and voila! you have yourself a pretty party cake! I have made it with chocolate sprinkles this time but you can change it up as you like by adding classic colored sprinkles, little red hearts (great for valentines day or a romantic occasion ) and I also tried it with the little gold and silver shiny decorative balls that you can get in the pots and it works just as good!
Firstly preheat your oven to 160° for fan-assisted ovens or 180° for non-fan assisted, line two tins with butter and greaseproof paper (I used two 21cm tins but you can split the batter into four tins for a more layered look or use bigger or smaller tins depending on your preference, just keep in mind that the cooking time will be a little different in each scenario). Once your tins are prepared and the oven is on you’re ready to start on your batter.
For this step you will need:
300g of brown sugar – 450g of unsalted softened margarine – 3 tsp vanilla extract – 8 medium eggs –
Combine together all the ingredients except the eggs in a large bowl with an electric whisk or by hand if you don’t have one available, if you are like me and have pathetic arms using an electric whisk just saves you the struggle! Keep mixing until you start to get a fluffy texture.
Add the eggs in one by one, mixing well in between each egg (when combining the eggs the batter can often start to split and curdle if you see this happening just add in a tablespoon of flour at a time) mix until you have a creamy and light texture to the batter.
Next, you will need:
450g white flour – 1 tbsp of salt – 1 tbsp baking powder – 4 tbsp of milk
In the same bowl, slowly sift in 450g of flour to avoid any lumps forming (if you used flour previously to break the egg up you will want to use a little less), pour in your salt and baking powder, and gently fold together into the batter using a wooden spatula or spoon. Once the majority of the flour has been incorporated into the batter, take an electric whisk and mix together until creamy and smooth.
Add in the milk one tablespoon at a time to help loosen up the batter to a pourable consistency.
For the final steps you will need:
– a bag of chocolate sprinkles or topping of choice – 275g non salted butter – 600g icing sugar – a few drops of food coloring –
Once happy with the consistency of your batter, add in your sprinkles, sometimes I use a whole bag/pot and sometimes I use less, it just depends on how many sprinkles you want in there really, when using chocolate sprinkles you can really taste them like chocolate chunks almost so I like to put the whole bag in there (the bag has 250g). I have also to chosen to throw in some cute caramel stars for extra bedazzle! Mix it well before dividing between your tins. (I always like to sprinkle a few more chocolate sprinkles on the top of of the sponges for an extra fun looking finish)
And now to get them in the oven!
Bake sponges for around 25 mins until you see the sponge springs back at you when you press it down. bake them evenly by turning them halfway between baking time (I prefer to put mine in individually to ensure they bake properly but if you know your oven and it’s good enough then they will be fine baking together)
While you wait for your cakes to get cooking you can make the buttercream!
Combine together the softened butter, icing sugar, and a few drops of food coloring of your choice, and mix it well preferably with an electric whisk, until you have a nice smooth and firm buttercream. If the room isn’t too warm you can leave it out on the side until needed, but if you are working in a hot area you will want to put it in the fridge until use or it will get too runny.
When your sponges are ready, bring them out of the oven and leave to cool down before icing.
And all that’s left to do is put it together! Spread half the buttercream on the first sponge, layer the second sponge on top and cover with the remaining buttercream. I add a few sprinkles on top too but you can get as creative (or not) as you want here really!
Let me know how your cake went in the comment selection below, or if you have any awesome cake recipes for me to try please let me know as I am always looking for new things to try and write about! Find me on Insta @millie_madnesss – or Pinterest @Milliesmadness
Fancy getting your bake on but don’t know what to bake?
I have a handful of regular recipes I keep in the kitchen, as most of the time choosing a recipe or picking what treat to bake can be the hardest part. You will also find that you already have most of the ingredients for all of these recipes in your cupboards, there is no need to go out and spend a fortune, or spend 2 weeks hunting down the perfect specific ingredients just to bake a tasty cake!
Ginger And White Chocolate Cake – This one always goes down a treat in my house, you can use white chocolate or dark chocolate depending on your preference and I also like to grate some fresh ginger over the icing on top to give it that extra zingy flavour! With its easy-to-use ingredients and quick prep time, it’s the perfect cake to share around. If you don’t have the bundt tin to do this one, you can just bake it like a regular cake but for a little longer. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/ginger-and-white-chocolate-cake)
Chocolate Chip Traybake – Serving up to 35 portions its a great easy recipe for parties and sharing around the room, and if you keep them stored in an airtight container they will keep for up to a week a still taste just as great! (although to be honest they have never lasted that long in my house!) It is also a great recipe to make with the kids too, with having only three simple steps it’s a great way to get them involved in the kitchen without having to get too complicated. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-traybake)
Marble Sandwich Cake – Who said making a fancy cake had to be difficult? If you are looking for more of a show stopper cake (this is my favourite for a birthday cake especially) then you need to try this one out, it looks like it should be more tricky than it is, using an easy swirling method you can create this masterpiece too! You can use the food colouring of your choice, it doesn’t have to be pink like the recipe, I like to do it with blue or green as it stands out really well against the normal coloured batter. Don’t be afraid to add some fun decorations on top for the ultimate fun finish! (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/pink-marble-sandwich-cake)
Classic Victoria Sponge – Baking a cake could not get easier with this recipe, I must make a victoria sponge at least once every couple of weeks and it is always my go-to whenever someone asks me to bring a cake too as it never fails in a crowd. Because it uses just the basic ingredients that you normally have lying around in the kitchen cupboards it is a great recipe to turn to if you get a sudden urge to bake like me but don’t always have the stock for creative recipes. You can always jazz it up a bit too by using different flavoured buttercream instead of jam in the middle for a change too, or one of my favourites it to make an orange buttercream and grate orange zest and powdered sugar on top. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/classic-victoria-sandwich-recipe)
Butterfly Cupcakes – If you want to make something tasty to snack on but don’t want to go through all the hassle that many recipes involve then you will want to save this one to your list! They look super pretty too, and all you have to do is cut the tops of the cake and press them into the top of the buttercream to make a butterfl ly lookalike (the recipe explains this step in more detail but its super simple) but if you want to save messing around you can finsih with any topping you like. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/butterfly-cakes)
Classic Cheese Scones – If your taste buds are craving something a bit more savoury then this next recipe is perfect! Making the ideal treat for afternoon tea, or I like to make them and have them for breakfast as they keep really well in an airtight container or you can even freeze and defrost them as you go, to save any waste! They go great with a smudge of butter and strawberry jam for breakfast or as a side to a nice hot soup for lunch. If you are not such a fan of cheese, just leave the cheese out the recipe, or try doing half and half if serving to guests to offer a variety. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/classic-cheese-scones)
Funfetti Cake – Make sure to get an extra pot of sprinkles next time you are in the supermarket for this funfetti layer cake. It looks great, its tastes great and its straighforward to make. What more could you ask for in a cake recipe? This is the perfect cake to serve up on special occasions, for me it never fails to please a crowd and the bright color the sponge gets from the sprinkles always looks amazing. It can also be a fun one to try out with the kids as with the incorporation of the sprinkles can be an attention grabber for the younger ones. The recipe makes four layers but if you want to keep it simpler just half the recipe and split the mix into two baking tins instead. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/funfetti-cake)
Banana bread – Need a way to use up those overripe bananas? Look no further, as this is the perfect recipe for doing just that and it only takes fifteen minutes to prepare! Its a modern take on the classic banana loaf but works just as well. My favourite thing about this recipe is that its freezes downs really well, I like to cook a few loafs at a time and then portion it up and store it away for later date, its a great way to enjoy a tasty treat without having to go through the time consuning process! (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/brilliant-banana-loaf)
Doughnut Muffins – If you adore a freshly cooked doughnut as much as I do this one is for you! a different and easier take on the classic all-time favourite jammy doughnut. I love making these little balls of joy, between the fact that the process is simple and that there is no frying involved, I often find myself coming back to this recipe. I am not a huge fan of frying things plus it just gets messy most of the time so having this oven cooked alternative is a keeper in my book. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/doughnut-muffins)
The list could go on as nowadays between google, pinterest and youtube baking has been made a lot more accesible to us, but these are defintely some of my favourite recipes to keep handy for those days where I crave the finish product and not the process, please let me know what some of your favourite recipes are in the comments below!
When can I start traveling again? I had never imagined a time when traveling would become a distant dream. For me, traveling to new destinations … Learning to be a tourist in my own city during a pandemic.
With a crispy outside and salty finish, if you are a pretzel lover like me then this is the perfect recipe for you! Baked until soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy and sprinkled in flaked Himalayan salt, these super morish soft pretzels are delicious when served with butter, or my family really enjoyed them with strawberry jam too (perfect for breakfast or lunch!)
How to make Soft Pretzels:
Prep ahead – the recipe I followed, to begin with (which can be found in the link at the end), caught me a little off guard when it mentioned using baked bicarbonate of soda, so a helpful tip from me would be to make sure you have it ready baked.
– If you are like me and have no idea how to bake bicarbonate of soda it’s super simple, preheat your oven to 120° if using a fan oven/ 140° for non-fan assisted ovens, then get a packet (or pot in my case) of Bicarbonate of soda, pour it out evenly on a baking tray lined with tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Leave it to cool, and if you put it in a Tupperware it will last up to 3 months!
Don’t rush the process – An important thing I’ve learnt over my time of baking, is when your working with homemade dough, leaving it alone to do its thing is key! And by that I mean when you reach the stage that you leave the dough to prove and double in size don’t get impatient and take it out before its ready.
500g strong bread flour
8g sachet dried yeast
25g brown sugar
50g unsalted melted margarine
3 tbsp of baked bicarbonate soda
2 beaten eggs for glazing
1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt together in a big bowl.
2. In a large jug mix the melted butter and 300ml of lukewarm water
(If you forget to pre-melt the butter like me, I put the butter in the jug of room temperature water and then put it in the microwave for 20 secs to melt the butter )
3. Make a well in the bowl of mixed flour ingredients and pour in the contents of the jug. Mix together to form a rough dough. it will still be a little sticky and pull apart at this stage but don’t panic!
4. Tip out the dough onto a floured worktop and knead for about 5-7 minutes until it is smooth and uniform. Slowly try to form a big ball.
5.Once smooth place the ball of dough back into a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with cling film for at least an hour (it should double in size, so try to remember what it looks like at this stage)
6. Once the dough has risen in size, take it out and push the air bubbles out of it. Then divide into roughly 8 equal pieces ready for rolling.
7. With your hands take a piece of dough and roll it out from the middle to form a long spaghetti strand of dough.
(Each strand of dough should be about 70cm long but it depends on how much of a gap you want in your pretzel, the thinner the strand is the bigger gap will be in the pretzel shape)
8. Now to form the pretzel shape! Curve the strand of dough into a U shape with the curve pointing towards you. And then take each end of the U and cross them over. Take the ends again and lift them backwards, pressing them into the curve of the U to form the pretzel shape. (this can take a few tries to get the hang of making them look like a pretzel, my first ones looked like little buns but still tasted great)
9. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
10. Gently take your formed pretzels and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray, and cover it lightly with cling film and leave them to puff up for around 20 mins. (they don’t need to double in size just fluff up)As you can see the shaping part was challenging for me lol but it got easier the more I tried! 10. When ready, bring a medium size pan of water to a boil, pour in 3 tbsp of bicarbonate of soda and reduce down to a low simmer. (when you pour in the bicarbonate it will bubble up in reaction, try to be as quick as possible getting your pretzels in!) 11. One at a time, lift your pretzel into the pan and leave to float around for 20 secs on each side, flipping in between. you’ll notice it will change colour slightly. 12. Place the boiled pretzels back on a baking tray and brush over the outside with the pre-mixed egg wash. To finish sprinkle flakes of salt on the top (Use as much or as little salt as desired). Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they are a nice dark golden brown. 13. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then they are ready to eat! I had mine when they were still warm and in my opinion, that’s the best way!
Here’s the link to the original recipe that I used, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/learn-make-pretzels, although the recipe above has a couple of personal tweaks to it that I have made over the few times I have made these, they always go down well in a crowd or when I have guests over, and my mum loves them for breakfast with either just butter or butter and jam! (If you want to get creative try them with a salted caramel sauce, or maybe berries and cream!) Happy baking guys!!! Post me your pictures and comments on how yours turned out!!