lemon loaf large (WEB2)

Silver Spoon Sugar with Stevia

stevia 2Ever heard that little voice in your head telling you to steer clear of naughty treats? It’s hard to obey when you hit that 3pm brick wall which shouts “EAT ME” at you. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Our friends at Silver Spoon know exactly how you feel. They’ve been working away on a couple of new products; caster sugar with stevia and demerara sugar with stevia. By using this, it means you use 1/3 less sugar in your recipes.

 

stevia-web

 

Wondering what Stevia is? It’s a sweetener extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana.

Now, have you ever tried to bake with substitutions for sugar? Unless you have a specific recipe which has been written for the substitution, it can sometimes look and taste like you’ve baked with a blindfold on!

Our new sugars with stevia have been carefully developed so you don’t have this problem. All you need to do is use 1/3 less sugar in your recipe.

lemon loaf large (WEB2) We put it to the test! We baked two of everything to compare. One with usual caster sugar, and one version using caster sugar with Stevia. I don’t think we’ve ever had such a massive queue outside the BakingMad kitchen. The verdict for the lemon drizzle cake? 10 out of 10 for taste AND texture. It tastes exactly like sugar once baked yet you’re saving 1/3 of the sugar content (and get this; The sugar’s calories too!)

Lemon drizzle cake

shortbread (WEB2)

 

 

Why not try two other recipes we have put to the test. Shortbread,the texture is the same and they tasted wonderful. Have a go:

Shortbread

 

White Chocolate and Raspberry Traybake (WEB2)

We also tried baking a raspberry and white chocolate tray bake. This sponge cake was so moist and delicious, it was hard to believe we were eating a 1/3 less sugar. Want to try? Here’s the recipe:

Raspberry and White Chocolate Tray Bake Sponge

 

 

 

Sweetpea Pantry

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Introducing our new friends ‘Sweetpea Pantry’. If you’re stuck with ideas on how to keep those little hands occupied, then read on…

The ‘season to be jolly’ is here and before we all know it family and friends will be descending on our doorsteps for the annual festivities. It’s the week to get the final decorations up, get the guest rooms ready (or at least the sleeping bags out of the loft), to check all the pieces in the Monopoly set are still around, oh and to ensure you are stocked up on lots of festive nibbles and treats. Better get cracking then!

Although we can’t quite help with the first few jobs we can offer you a simple but scrummy solution to those Christmas treats. You see, here at Sweetpea Pantry we’d got our own little sweetpeas to entertain and feed, not just at Christmas but every day. So as two Mums, who wanted to feed our families snacks that were healthy but tasty, we decided to create something that would allow us to do just that but wouldn’t see us slaving in the kitchen and searching high and low for great, wholesome ingredients.

Fast forward just a year or two later and we’ve now got a range of quick, easy and delicious mixes that are packed with wholesome goodness so no matter if it’s breakfassweetpea-pantry-ginger-giggles-biscuit-mix-lifestyle-imaget, dinner or an afternoon treat, you can simply pick up one of our packs and create something that little ones and grown-ups alike will love.

Our favourite for the Christmas season is our Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix. It’s packed with wholegrain barley, rye and flaxseed, so you know you’re doing your guests some good, as well as those all-important Christmas spices to give your biscuits that holiday feeling. Better still, they are so easy to make that the children will probably offer to help, especially if you let them choose the cookie cutter!
Or why not try some of our Grainy Brainy Pancakes? Serve up with fresh fruit and yogurt as a delicious start to the day for your Christmas guests, and they’ll be full of energy for all that present unwrapping. Or why not try them for dinner? Serve nice and thin with some wilted spinach, left-over turkey aninternal-sweetpeapantry-1d a hint of cranberry sauce … YUM.

You can find our Sweetpea Pantry mixes in Tesco’s wholefoods aisle, in M&S or on Ocardo. We hope they tick at least one job of the Christmas list and allow you to take a little ‘me time’ over the holidays!

 

Lots of love, from Philippa & Tanya at Sweetpea Pantry

 

 

 

 

Everything you need to know about icing

If you’re limited on space, the best icing for you to buy would be icing sugar. This is one of the most versatile ingredients you can buy when it comes to cake decorating and flavour.

What is icing sugar? It’s a powdered sugar made from finely milling normal granulated sugar into a powdered form. It’s so fine that we think it’s the best type of sugar for making any type of cake icing. We’re going to talk through some of our favourite icings and give you some top tips along the way.

Buttercream Icing

Buttercream is one of the most versatile toppings for cakes and is extremely popular spread between cakes too. Buttercream is made of 2 main ingredients; butter and icing sugar. Once you have these two mixed, you can add wide varieties of flavours or cobuttercreamlours to really bring it to life. The nation’s favourite flavour is vanilla – and using high quality vanilla is important as it makes such an incredible difference to the taste – why not try adding some Nielsen Massey vanilla extract – you’re sure to notice the difference.

 

Buttercream Icing Recipe

If you want to make it a chocolatey affair, try our chocolate buttercream made with melted chocolate in it.

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Chocolate Yule Log Recipe

Buttercream can be piped into different textures to form some really dramatic results. If you don’t have a piping bag, start off with a sandwich bag. Simply fill the bag with the icing, squeezing it down to one of the bottom corners and snip the bottom corner off – and this is where you’ll pipe from! The size of the cut is up to you – we recommend you start small and keep getting bigger – much easier than trying to decant the mixture to another bag if you cut too big!

 

 

https://www.bakingmad.com/howtos/decorate-cake-buttercream-effecglace-icingts/

 

Glacé icing

This is probably the simplest of icings to make and children love it – simply mix your icing sugar with a small amount of water. You can use other liquids too – why not try adding flavoured juices such as orange to really make it pop. It can be applied thickly like a syrup (use less liquid if this is the result you want) or as a drizzle (simply add more water). Whether you opt for a syrup of a drizzle, make sure you work relatively quickly, as the glace sits, it starts to thicken slightly, making it more difficult to decorate.

Glace Icing Recipe

Cream cheese frosting

One of our favouritecream-cheeses here at BakingMad – Cream cheese frosting is a tasty combination of icing sugar and cream cheese. You tend to find this on the top of a carrot cake, or red velvet cupcakes. The only tricky thing with this particular icing is that it has a tendency to go really runny if it’s overmixed, and by overmixed, we mean any more than just mixed – so proceed with caution! We always make it using full fat cream cheese, as itl adds to a better flavour and texture.

 

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

Royal Icing
royal-icing

This mixture of egg whites, icing sugar, and often a touch of lemon has a consistency that can be piped, but it dries hard for a smooth surface and is often used to create ornate cookie decorations. It can also be used to pre-make flowers or other cake decorations to be used at a later date, and it’s also what you use to make homemade sprinkles.

If that seems like too much bother, why not try Silver Spoon ‘Royal Icing Sugar’ – it’s is perfect for a traditional hard royal icing finish and there’s no need to get the eggs out – simply add water and beat.

The hardest bit is to cover a cake. Watch this video to see how it’s done:

Royal Icing Recipe

How to cover a cake in Royal icing

Fondant Icingfondant-icing

Fondant icing is different to icing sugar because it includes dried glucose syrup. This gives you a smooth, glossy, soft iced finish which is perfect for icing cupcakes, sponges or bakewell tarts. You can even use it to create edible cake decorations. You make it by mixing icing sugar, water and cream of tartar or liquid glucose. Our friends at Silver Spoon have kindly taken the difficulty out of this task by offering fondant icing sugar! Just like the royal icing, simply add water.

(please For allergen information please refer to the icing sugar packs for details- please note that these products may contain traces of egg.

Fondant Icing Recipe

What’s your favourite icing? We’d love to know  – Why not share your icing creations on our Facebook page? We’d love to see what you’re up to in the kitchen.

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Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Hussain, current title holder of the 2015 Great British Bake Off and the nation’s sweetheart will be headlining the Cake and Bake Show from 7-9 October at ExCeL London and 10-13 November  at EventCity Manchester

We take time to ask her a  few questions…

  • How old were you when you first started to bake? And what inspires you?

I started to bake properly at the age of 21 when I bought my first house with my husband Abdal.  He is obsessed with eating cake and turns out I’m obsessed with baking them. I take inspiration from most things around me when I’m baking. But my children and husband help me to create new flavours and help me test them too.

  • What’s your go to bake?

It has to be carrot cake. It’s the one thing I can bake for everyone where nobody will complain. My kids are not usually fussy but it’s all the extended family that can be tricky to please.

  • If you could only bake 1 thing what would it be?

Chocolate cake. It’s everyone’s favourite and so versatile. Paired with other flavours. Eaten with fruit, custard or ice cream. Eaten hot or cold.

nadiya h What’s your favourite ingredient?

At the moment my favourite ingredient to bake with is matcha green tea powder. It’s earthy, vibrant and aromatic. It’s also versatile.

  • After winning GBBO and all the media attention, do you still find passion in baking?

Absolutely it’s the one thing that helps me relax. Even though now I’m always making notes and typing in between it is given me a new appreciation for all the things I do and document in the kitchen.

  • Do you have any advice for the GBBO finalists?

Have fun !!! It’s a tough being in that tent but once you walk out there’s no coming back for enjoy and revel in every second.

  • nadiya cupcakeWhat do you find the most challenging baking technique?

I think meringues are very tricky as they can fail depend on external factors like weather and humidity. But practice makes perfect.

  • What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt filming your new TV show?

I’ve learnt that I can travel alone even though it’s petrifying at times and that otters can be trained!

  • Who would you invite to your ultimate dinner party and what would you make for dessert?

I would invite David Attenborough and make him a mango and parsley pavlova

  • Out of Mary and Paul which one gives the most difficult challenges?

Who did you want to impress the most? The challenges were equally difficult but I think when Paul does a technical with bread making he is the one to impress. He only has to look at bread to know whether it’s good or an utter disaster.

  • What you are most looking forward to about the Cake & Bake Show?

I was at the C&B after winning bake off and it’s safe to say I was nervous and not sure about what I was doing. I can’t wait to come back and do demos, something that I have really come to love. Looking forward to meeting all the cake mad bakers out there too.

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We have 500 tickets for the Cake and Bake show to giveaway, head here to find out more: Cake and Bake Tickets Information

Hurry book claim your ticket to the opening of the Shows, or book for just £9 and  SAVE £6**

Please quote BAKINGM and visit www.thecakeandbakeshow.co.uk  or call the hotline on 0844 854 1364.

Plus kids aged 6 and under go FREE.

 **£9 advanced booking offer valid until 8 October 2016. £1.75 transaction fee applies per order. Calls cost 7p  per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

How to Create the Perfect Afternoon Tea

 

Afternoon teaWhat’s more perfect than spending an afternoon indulging in afternoon tea? This is perhaps classed as one of the most English traditions introduced in England by the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840. Around 4 o’clock, the Duchess would ask for a tray of tea with sandwiches be brought up to her room during the later afternoon between 4 and 5 o’clock. She frequently invited friends to join her. This was the perfect solution to her long wait from lunch to dinner.

Having afternoon tea with cakes, scones, tea and bread. They are served on a table with a white tablecloth. ** Note: Slight blurriness, best at smaller sizes

This occasion became a social event and during the late 19th century which saw the wealthy upper-class changing into suitable attire especially for their afternoon tea.

Although tradition has somewhat changed since the 19th century, even we, can appreciate something as small as a biscuit with a cup of tea around 4pm.

Try hosting your very own afternoon tea. Invite some friends and a nice big pot of tea. You’ll need some accompaniments:

NM Vanilla Swiss Roll WEB

 

 

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Swiss Roll only takes 8 minutes to bake. Simple yet so effective, this recipe will be fun to make and impress your friends.

https://www.bakingmad.com/nielsen-massey-vanilla-swiss-roll-recipe/

 

 

Twinings Salmon and Cucumber sandwiches WEB

 

 

Sandwiches with a twist; the bread features a delicately infused Twining’s English Breakfast Tea to give it a light and delicious flavour.

Salmon and cucumber afternoon tea sandwiches

Tea infused scones WEB

 

Ever thought about combining afternoon tea scones with tea? We have. Try our easy to follow recipe:

English afternoon tea scones

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Want to pull all the stops out and really have your friends talking? Try making our macaroons infused with Nielsen Massey’s lemon and vanilla extract. Not only do these have a 5 star rating, but the recipe was also featured in The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook 2010.

 

Macaroons

 

To help celebrate Afternoon Tea Week this August 2016, we’re giving you the opportunity to win a voucher for afternoon tea for 2 people courtesy of ‘Afternoon Tea‘. To find out more about our competition, head to our ‘Featured Competition’ section in our ‘members area’. Terms and conditions apply:

https://www.bakingmad.com/luxury-afternoon-tea-voucher-2-worth-60/

 

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How to Make Jams and Preserves

If you’re at home surrounded by a seasonal glut of fruit which will soon peak, you might want to start thinking about how to preserve the rich and sweet taste of your summer bounty. What better way is there than making your own delicious home made jams and preserves? We’ve got the know how, top tips and recipes to help you on your way.

First things first. Ever wondered why you’ve lost colour or flavour when making jam previously? It’s probably all down to your pectins. Depending the level of pectin in your fruits will depend on which sugar type is best to use to get the optimum flavour for your preserves. Sound confusing? Silver Spoon have taken the stress out and developed 2 key sugars especially.

silver-spoon-preserving-sugar-5x1kg_4805722Silver Spoon Preserving Sugar is perfect for making marmalade, jams and preserves using fruits that are naturally high in pectin.

The large sugar crystals dissolve slowly and reduce the risk of burning or the need for stirring and skimming. Silver Spoon Preserving Sugar also produces less froth, which helps create a clearer preserve.

Use with fruits such as plums, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries, greengages, damsons and Seville oranges.

 silver spoon jamFor soft fruit containing lower levels of pectin, Silver Spoon Jam Sugar helps ensure these jams and jellies set successfully every time.

Containing the right amount of natural pectin that certain fruits lack, it helps ensure the jam or jelly sets quickly and retains its fresh fruity flavour and natural colour.
Use with fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apricots, blueberries, cherries, pears, peaches, rhubarb and loganberries.

Here are 3 of our most popular recipes, all rated 5 stars:

Raspberry jam. With raspberries in season from June to October. Get yourselves outside and foraging for big juicy berries.

Raspberry jam

Tinned fruit?  This Crushed peach preserve recipe uses tinned peaches, which are available all year round and great value for money.

Crushed peach preserve

Blackcurrants are usually quite sharp in taste, making it the perfect base for a jam.

Blackcurrant jam

You’ve got your recipe, you have the ideal sugar, now for some top tips to guide you through the making process;
TIPS

  • If you’re wondering how to tell when your jam is close to it’s setting point; You can spot the change in the rolling boil (Rolling boil? check out out FAQs where we explain further: https://www.bakingmad.com/faqs/category/jam-2) The bubbles which will turn to a slower pace. The surface of the jam will look shiny and feel thicker when you stir it. The air bubbles will go as the jam thickens and forces the air out. The temperature should read 105’c. Be careful not to overdo it. If you over cook the jam, the process cannot be reversed.
  • Choose your jar. If you’re going for something with a twist metal lid, you do not need to use waxed discs. Make sure you sterilize your jars to keep the contents as fresh as possible
  • When you come to jarring your jam, make sure you fill to the brim when the temperature of the jam is still over 85’c.

Want to know more? Head to our Frequently Asked Questions where we have lots of jam related answers:

https://www.bakingmad.com/faqs/category/jam-2/

Simple chocolate cookies WEB

Our Top 10 Child Friendly Recipes

It’s the summer holidays and you’re at home entertaining the kids. The question is, how to keep them entertained without resorting to game consoles and TV?

Don’t worry, we have your back! We’ve tried and tested our recipes and have narrowed it down to our Top 10 Recipes you can involve the children with.Allinson Pizza dough STAMP

  1. Start with our easy Allinson Flour Pizza Dough recipe, this one takes the longest because of the proving time. What’s feels better than the squidge of dough between your hands? Make sure you apron the kids first! Flour will be guaranteed to get everywhere.

Pizza dough by Allinson

Rainbow Meringues WEB

 

 

 

2. Rainbow meringues. Not as difficult as you think. These colourful individual meringues will ensure your children don’t over indulge. Try mixing colours together for a fun science experiment. Perfect for the up-and-coming scientists in the family.

Rainbow meringues

Cake balls

 

 

3. Cake balls! These are easy to make. If your kids can’t agree which flavour to choose, not a problem, separate the ingredients and add whatever flavour you like before rolling into balls. We personally love the Nielson Massey Rose water extract.

Cake balls

 

Chocolate pancakes with banana WEB

4. One of our quickest and most popular recipe to make with children is pancakes! Try our chocolate pancakes with banana. These are delicious. Fussy eaters won’t eat bananas? Substitute with strawberries. These are sure to be a hit in the kitchen.

Chocolate pancakes with bananas

 

 

Fantastic fairy cakes WEB

5. Fairy friendly cake recipe. We promise no fairies were harmed during the recipe creation! This simple batter recipe will bake in 15 minutes. Not too long to wait, but can they wait long enough to ice them? That’s the tricky bit!

Fantastic fairy cakes

 

 

Simple chocolate cookies WEB

6. Close the back door when you’re making this one, you don’t want the cookie monster to turn up. This recipe makes 16 cookies. Perfect for sleepovers!

Simple chocolate cookies

 

 

Hot Dog Rolls WEBjpg

 

 

7. There’s nothing better than the idea of a barbecue. These Allinson bread rolls are easy to make and are the perfect accompaniment to hot dogs. With a 20 minute baking time, it would be rude not to.

Hot dog rolls by Allinson

8. Chocolate Dipped ApplesChocolate dipped apples. One of your 5 a day! No ovens involved, these are a great idea for all ages. Really simple and quick to make

 

 

Chocolate dipped apples

No bake chocolate cake

 

9. No bake chocolate cake. These bars are great. It’s easy to make substitutions if the fussy eaters don’t want things like glace cherries.

No bake chocolate cake

 

 

10. Lemonade WEBAfter all this hard work, you’ll all be quite thirsty. Just like the old days, you can reminisce with your children about how freshly homemade lemonade was the ultimate thirst quencher and how it still is now!

Cloudy lemonade

This will take no more than 10 minutes to make and involves no baking. Perfect for the younger ones who want to be involved.

 

 

 

 

 

10 BEST LOCATIONSFOR A

Baked in the USA

Whichever side of the Atlantic you’re on, we can all appreciate what the USA has to offer us in terms of bakes. With a whole host of American cakes on our website, we’re counting down from 5 so join us for some lip smacking American favourites.

New York baked cheesecake WEB

5- New York Baked Cheesecake

Recipes vary, but the key ingredient to this dessert is no surprise: cheese. Our New York version uses cream cheese with Allinson plain white flour, Billington’s Unrefined golden caster sugar and Nielsen Massey Vanilla bean paste amongst many other ingredients. Other types of cheesecake are topped with or contain fruits, chocolate, or pretty much any other decadent ingredient that you can imagine.

New York baked cheesecake

Chocolate Pretzel cupcakes WEB4- Chocolate cupcakes with pretzel decorations 

If you’re looking for a dessert fix but don’t want an entire cake. This is the perfect solution. Thanks to the American love affair, the cupcake has grown in popularity both sides of the pond. Surprisingly, we found pretzels and cupcakes make a delicious marriage in crunch and sweetness. Try making our Chocolate cupcakes with pretzel decorations.

Chocolate pretzel cupcake

 

Simple Key lime pie WEB

3- Simple Key Lime Pie

Head south to the Florida Keys. This is where the key lime pie originated. We’ve whipped up a miniature American classic using a much simpler recipe which only takes 20 minutes to prepare.

Simple key lime pie

Smores AMENDED WEB

2-S’mores

The campfire hit! Don’t worry, you don’t need to wait for a campfire to make these little beauties. Wondering what a s’more is? Essentially a marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between 2 biscuits. What’s not to love?

S’Mores

Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes WEB

1- Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes

Jelly or Jello? That is the question. Jelly in America refers to jam, and jello- is what us Brits call jelly. These cupcakes feature a spot of jam. If you’re feeling like an accomplished baker, why not make the jam as well?

 

 

For a tasty raspberry jam, try this:

Raspberry jam

Raspberry Jam WEB