Monday, 31 October 2011

Spiced Vanilla & Honey Cake


Autumn is definitely my favourite time of year when the light is warm, scarves come out and baked things are flavoured with comforting spices like cinnamon. Here is a lovely recipe for spiced vanilla and honey cake which I made with April Harris of 21st Century Housewife for a Cafe Direct coffee matching event (matching coffee with food just like you would with wine)

The event was held at the L’atelier des Chefs kitchen and we had lots of fun tasting coffee (called 'cupping' I learnt!) and meeting and baking with other food bloggers. The recipe below was made as part of a friendly bake off (which we won!). Our cake was made to match Cafe Direct's Mayan Palenque coffee with it's honey and vanilla flavours.

Cafe Direct are running another coffee matching competition to win £500 worth of L’atelier des Chefs vouchers and a place in their new cook book if you fancy a go.

INGREDIENTS



For the cake:

1 ¾ cups plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spice (plus extra for decoration)

1 vanilla pod (seeds only)
½ cup vegetable oil
½  cup clear honey
¾ cups golden caster sugar
¼ cup brown sugar

2 medium eggs at room temperature
½ cup warm coffee (preferably Cafedirect Mayan Palenque)
¼ cup orange juice
2 tbsp whiskey

For the glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp clear honey 
1 tbsp water

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 170C and generously grease and flour a 12 hole muffin tin, an 8” round tin or a shallow bundt tin

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mixed spice and vanilla. Set aside

3. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients

4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter

5. Spoon the batter into your tin and bake for around 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean

6. For the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar honey and water and drizzle over your cooled cake(s). If you prefer flat topped small cakes, level off the tops and serve them upside-down. It’s best to do this on a wire rack with some greaseproof paper underneath so that excess icing doesn’t collect on the serving plate. Sprinkle some mixed spice on top of the glaze to decorate. 

'Team April' claims their prize - a LOT of coffee!


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Photo by Cafe Direct
 

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Top of the Cake Pops makes its Debut!

It's here! Top of the Cake Pops is published today - I can't wait to see it in shops everywhere. It's been an amazing experience putting it together not to mention hilarious fun making accessories and chosing outfits (and even tattoos) for the likes of Lady Goo Goo and Amy Limehouse. Hope you love it as much as I do. More photos here.

Ps. The awesome photos are by Lucy Ridgard for Hardie Grant, amazing design from Joanna Byrne and creative genius from commisioning editor Kate Pollard.




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