Saturday 21 July 2012

Cake Slice Bakers July 2012 White Chocolate Coffee Ice Box Cake

Nearly ready for the freezer
This month’s cake is a different kind of cake – a White Chocolate Espresso Icebox Cake. It comes from the Mousse and Ice Cream Cakes chapter of The Cake Book by Tish Boyle published by John Wiley and Sons 2006.

I’ve not made an ice box cake of this kind before. It needed Nabrisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, which I have never seen to buy in the UK. One of my fellow Cake Slice Bakers – Emily and I had a discussion about what we could use instead of the recommended wafers, and she found this recipe in Smitten Kitchen. I have the book that inspired that recipe and replaced the wafers with Cocoa Wafers from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, I used half the quantity and made the cookies rectangular (ish) to fit in the loaf tin better. The cookies are held in place with a white chocolate and coffee gelatine set mousse that then becomes ice cream when it is frozen. It should have been espresso, but I used a couple of tablespoons of Camp Coffee.

I’m a day late in posting, and when I looked at some of my fellow bakers offerings I could see that I’ve placed the cookies into the tin in the wrong way altogether! So instead of slicing it as you would a loaf cake I’ve had to cut it in half and then slice the halves up to get the striped slices that I should have had, if I’d done it the easy way. It was good, not a wow, but definitely good. The biscuits taste like oreos without the filling and the mousse is creamy and coffee flavoured with the white chocolate adding a little extra something.

If you would like to see some of the other Cake Slice Bakers ice box cakes have a look at the blogroll here.

Up Next: Forever Summer with Nigella

Tuesday 3 July 2012

A Passion for Baking by Jo Wheatley

This is another book I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. A Passion for Baking by Jo Wheatley published in 2012 by Constable & Robinson Ltd and available in Sainsbury’s supermarket. I pre-ordered mine online, and found their service very good.

Jo was the winner of the Great British Bake Off 2011. The book is aptly titled, as Jo really is a passionate home baker (and cook too I think judging by some of the yummy mains that I’ve seen on her Facebook page!). She really captures the joy of making, baking, and also the happiness that it can give to someone else if you bake something for them. Although that goes both ways because you have to smile yourself if you have brightened up a friend’s day don’t you?

It’s a lovely book, great pictures and clear instructions, I have come across a couple of typos, but nothing major. It’s well presented and is comfortable to read and use. I bought a couple extra and gave them as birthday presents to baking friends, and plan on getting a couple more.

Chapters are: *Breakfast* Brunch* Family Baking* Afternoon Tea* Celebration Bakes* Baking with Children* Breads* Biscuits & Cookies* Pastry* and *Desserts*. There are also 3 smaller chapters – *Jo’s Store Cupboard* Baking Equipment* and *Bits & Bobs*.
Some of the recipes I have marked to try next are: Raspberry Torte, Chocolate Mud Cake, White Chocolate Tiffin, Mini Banoffee Pies, Mini Pistachio Meringues, Mini Coffee and Pecan Macaroons, Vanilla Birthday Cake, Mini Pizzas, Pistachio and Orange Shortbread Hearts, Coconut, Raspberry and White Chocolate Kisses, Boozy Essex Cherry Frangipane Tart and Spiced Apple Steamed Pudding.

Here are the bakes I’ve made so far.
Smartie Cookies
I did these for the teas at my little ones school show. They are good with a cuppa and particularly appeal to children. I got 23 large cookies instead of 10 enormous ones :-)
Fairy Cakes
This is from the children’s chapter, and the day after I got this book my little girl decided the time had come to bake fairy cakes. It’s not news to say I bake and cook a lot, but I have intentionally been waiting for my little one to want to bake before guiding her. She had great success with this recipe, we did the cakes and she iced them with her Dad. Family effort and smiles all round. I’m going to bake the chapter with her over the next little while.

Chocolate Birthday Cake
Jo had a competition on her Facebook Page a little while ago where we baked the same recipe and posted a picture. The recipe chosen was this chocolate birthday cake. I made it and put some raspberry jam in the middle with the ganache, I also sweetened the ganache a bit with s couple of tablespoons of golden syrup. The raspberries on top were sprinkled with red glitter, and it didn’t come out in the picture no matter how hard I tried. It was beautiful and sparkly in real life.
Pineapple and Coconut Macaroons
These were good, the coconut came though really well.

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Orange Macaroons
Loved these, delectable little morsels! The filling should also have a bit of orange juice in it – I checked with Jo- to loosen it off a bit.
I made these two macaroons together for a Diamond Jubilee afternoon tea party that we attended, they were going to be red and blue, but I decided on pink and paler blue. Here they are ready to go, hence the cling film!

Next Up: An old favourite - Forever Summer with Nigella