Category Archives: Silver Spoon

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.

chocolate-yule-log-web

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.

jam low res

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/

Your baking questions – answered!

The lovely Eric Lanlard recently held an online web chat in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Check out the transcript below for some fantastic baking tips and other questions for Eric.

If you were decorating a special cake, what decoration would you choose?

I am a great fan of edible glitter and gold leaf. It’s a glamorous touch!

Is it ok to buy pastry pre-made? I’m not talking about short crust, obviously, but the more tricky ones?

Yes absolutely – if you do have the time and are a confident baker I would suggest making your own puff pastry – but for those of you short on time buying good quality puff pastry or filo pastry is absolutely fine.

We all know you are amazing at making sweet treats, but this year we’re thinking of making something savoury for our World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. What are your favourite savoury bites?

My current favourite is fig, lardon and dolcelatte tart. I’m a big fan of savoury bakes because I don’t actually have a sweet tooth.

I have seen your gypsy tart recipe in the Little Book of Treats. Are there any tips for me to make it perfect? Also, what goes well with a gypsy tart?

A top tip is to make sure that you put the tin of condensed milk in the fridge overnight so that it is really cold. To serve, try a dollop of mascarpone cheese with grated lemon zest to cut through the sweetness. Happy baking!

Which do you prefer to use: Italian, Swiss or French meringue?

It depends on what you are making. I love Italian meringue to decorate cupcakes and desserts. For dry meringues, I prefer the French. I’ve never really been a fan of Swiss meringue.

What was the first cake you ever remember baking?

I made some chocolate éclairs aged 6 and it was a disaster!

What’s your ultimate dessert recipe book? Is there one that you use all the time that never fails?

The Roux Brothers book – On Patisserie – a lot of classic and great basic recipes.

When making basic sponge, should I use cold eggs or room temp? I have heard mixed messages.

Always have all of your ingredients at room temperature for best results.

Do you have any favourite gluten-free or vegan cake recipes or tips?

There are some delicious recipes only using ground almonds as a substitute for flour but gluten-free flours are very good these days. For vegan recipes I would suggest that you search dedicated/specialist websites or books. I hope that helps.

I have had quite a few disastrous attempts at baking macaroons. Are there any recipes you recommend using, or tips on how to get the consistency right?

A good macaroon should be a little bit chewy. It might be worth trying a different technique or recipe to improve results.

I’m baking a chocolate cake this weekend for my friend’s birthday, however I’m not the best cake decorator! Do you of know of any good decorating kits which I can use?

I love using the Silverspoon Creates range – perfect for everyday cake decorating and they are available in most supermarkets.

If you really, really wanted to impress someone, what would you bake them? What’s your most show-stopping cake?

I would bake a mini croquembouche to share – it’s a traditional French celebration cake. A tower of profiteroles filled with crème patissier. It’s very impressive.

Are there any plans for more series of Baking Mad? I really love that programme.

Not as yet but working on a bigger project – watch this space! I’m glad that you like the series.

What a tease! Please give us a clue!

My lips are sealed!

I really love your recipe in the Little Book of Treats. Why have you chosen to support Macmillan and their coffee morning this year?

I am supporting the Macmillan Coffee morning because it’s an important cause – Macmillan do an amazing job and it’s a fantastic charity and resource. Baking is a great way for people to get involved and have fun and support a very worth cause.

I’m holding a coffee morning at work this year. I love baking and am really looking forward to rustling up some treats for everyone in the office. My question for you is how do I transport all my baked goodies without ruining them?

There are some fantastic cake and cupcake carriers online – have a Google. Good luck with your coffee morning.

I wonder if you could recommend a cake I could bake especially for my Mum? She will be chief guest at my coffee morning. Mum loves fruit, if that helps.

If your mum loves fruit, I would recommend my upside-down berry cake – perfect for the end of the summer season.

Can you recommend any recipe with salted caramel in it? I’m a bit obsessed!

I would recommend my salted butter caramel mousse with mini pears – the recipe can be found in my book Home Bake.

I’m killing Google these days but no luck. Have you posted somewhere the recipe for that energy-packed apple pie you made for the wheelchair rugby club? Unfortunately the video is not available in my country so I can’t watch it again! Thanks. Croatia loves you.

That recipe for the Wheelchair Rugby Club will be on the Bakingmad.com website. It was from series 1 of Baking Mad. I love Croatia!

Does anyone know how I can get involved with the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning?

It’s great that you want to get involved – find out more on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning site.

I’m away the weekend of the 28th September. Can I still hold a Coffee Morning? I’ve held one for the last two years, and everyone always really enjoys them!

It’s fine to hold one on a different day – thanks so much for wanting to get involved.

If you could eat any dessert in the world what would it be?

A piping hot pear tatin with crème fraiche.

My dad’s diabetic but loves cheesecake – is there any other way to make him one apart from using a sweetener instead of sugar?

I would suggest using an alternative to sugar like Truvia.

I take it that would work in other types of cakes for diabetics, too?

Yes, but it’s also worth experimenting and visit the website for recipe ideas.

What’s the most amount of cake you’ve ever baked in one day? It feels like it takes me all day to bake and ice a cake.

The most I have baked in one day was 5000 cupcakes in one day for a very glamorous event!

Are there any other events coming up where you will be sharing your expertise?

I am going to be at the Cake and Bake Show on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September, Earls Court. I hope to see you there!

How can I stop the biscuit base on an uncooked cheesecake from going soggy, before I have cut it?

I like to toast my base in a hot oven for a few minutes to enhance the flavour and to keep it crisp before putting the filling on top.

Whenever I bake cupcakes they are always crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. Do you know why that is?

It could be your oven temperature – have you checked it using an oven thermometer?

Are you doing the local hero competition again this year? I’ve got someone I’d like to nominate.

I am supporting Silver Spoon’s Local Little Hero Award in aid of Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. We’re encourage more people to get baking and also select a little local hero to win an extra special cake baked by me and be crowned a local hero.

Silver Spoon’s Local Little Hero Awards

Do you know a little hero with a sweet tooth?

Eric Lanlard will be baking our Local Little Hero 2012 a delicious cake.

Our friends at Silver Spoon have teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to launch the Silver Spoon Local Little Hero Awards 2012. They are scouring the country for local heroes under the age of 18 who have done something truly special. Your local little hero could have looked after their little sister when they were ill, gone to great lengths to make Mother’s Day very special, or done something fantastic to raise money for charity.

If you know someone under 18 in your local area who you think would be a worthy winner, simply tell us in 100 words who you are nominating, why and what cake you would like to bake them to say thank you. 10 lucky runners up will also bag themselves a Silver Spoon baking hamper packed full of exciting treats. The competition closes on 20th September so get your nominations in now.

It’s the perfect chance to say thank you to your little hero so nominate today to make your hero’s day.

Click here www.macmillan.org.uk/littlehero to enter.

Jubilee Baking Ideas from Baking Mad.com

Want your Jubilee street party to be the talk of the town? Look no further than Baking Mad.com! We’ve got all the right ingredients to help you celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in style. From red, white and blue jubilee cupcakes to individual crown cakes and a traditional Victoria Sponge Cakewe’ve got plenty of jubilee recipe ideas for everyone to enjoy making and eating!

And now Silver Spoon Create have made it even easier to get that Great British look with the introduction of their brand new Red and Blue Coloured Ready to Roll icings. Perfect for modelling and covering cakes these special edition icings are sure to offer plenty of baking inspiration for the Royal celebration.

Red, White and Blue Icings

The new coloured icings are available in Sainsbury’s now and we’ve already been busy experimenting with them in the Baking Mad kitchen. What do you think to our glorious Union Jack Victoria Sponge cake?  If you want to recreate the look at home simply visit the recipe page here and don’t forget to download our Union Jack template too!

Union-Jack-CakeUnion-Jack-Cake

Happy baking! xx

 

Win a chance to appear in the Little Book of Treats!

Our friends at Silver Spoon and Macmillan Cancer Support are collaborating to run an exciting competition for fantastic foodie bloggers in the UK.

They’re looking for keen bloggers who love to bake to enter their favourite luxury recipe to win a chance to feature in the new edition of Macmillan2011 Little Book of Treats Cancer Support’s Little Book of Treats 2012.

The book will be on sale in M&S Cafes  throughout August and September and 100% of the proceeds will go towards people affected by cancer.

The recipes should be

– Innovative and exciting with a touch of  luxuriousness
– Easy to replicate with everyday kitchen utensils and easy to source ingredients
– Visibly pleasing to the eye with a ‘wow’ factor
– Taste great!

Indulgent Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

The winning recipes will appear along with your name and blog in the book. They will be tested by a home economist and photographed professionally. The runners up will be featured on Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning website throughout August and September 2012.

Creme Brulee Cupcakes

How to Enter

To enter e-mail info@bakingmad.com with the title ‘Little Book of Treats‘ in the subject header. Include the following in your e-mail:

– Recipe title
– Recipe ingredients
– Size/how many portions
– Recipe method
– A picture
– Your full name
– A link to your blog

Competition closes on the 25th April 2012, click here for the terms and conditions.

To take part in Macmillan Cancer Supports World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, follow this link to register your event – coffeeregister.macmillan.org.uk/2012/register/

Save 1/3 with Sainsburys

Billington's Dark Muscovado Sugar
Good news for all those eager bakers out there! Sainsburys are offering 1/3rd off selected home baking ingredients until 22nd November.

Included in the offer are Billington’s Dark Muscovado Sugar and Billington’s Glace Cherries, the perfect ingredients for a delighfully decadent Christmas pudding.

We’ll be using Billington’s Dark Muscovado sugar in all our Christmas baking this year. The world’s finest dark brown soft sugar, Dark Muscovado is rich in taste and full of natural colour, adding depth to all your  baking- just perfect for Christmas!

Sainsbury’s also have 1/3rd off Silver Spoon’s range designed by Mich Turner, including Ready to Roll Icing, Marzipan and Lustres. The queen of couture cakes, and baker to the royals and many A-list stars, we just adore Mich’s products. Made from fine quality ingredients, they’re guaranteed to lift your baking and help you achieve a high quality finish.

Feeling inspired, why not see our How To Videos with Mich Turner and learn how to make the most of these fantastic ingredients!

 *offer applies while stocks last. See instore at Sainsburys for details.

Celebrate Bonfire Night with a Bang

Toffee ApplesA chill in the air can only mean one thing, winter is well and truly on its way!

After the excitement of Halloween, we’re already looking forward to celebrating Bonfire night. And what bonfire night would be complete without a delicious, chewy toffee apple?

Best enjoyed with a fireworks display and a group of friends, the traditional toffee apple has become an integral part of November 5th festivities. If like us, you’re a stickler for good old-fashioned tradition, why not give our classic toffee apple recipe a bash. Really easy to follow, this family-friendly recipe is so much fun to make so why not make a batch and personalise them with Silver Spoon sprinkles? Add a cellophane wrap and a pretty ribbon for the finishing touches and voilà- a tasty seasonal gift to share with friends beside the bonfire!

And after you head home, how about warming up with our delicious churros? Churros are a deep fried sweet pastry which taste great when cooked fresh, dusted with a little sugar and served straight away. A truly decadent delight, our churros are best devoured with a cup of frothy hot chocolate- the perfect way to warm up after a night out in the cold. Just don’t forget to dip and dunk!

Happy Halloween!

It’s halloween this weekend and to get into the spirit of things we’ve transformed the Baking Mad office into a spooky lair of pumpkins, cob webs and skeletons. But that’s enough of the tricks, what about some treats?!

We spotted this great recipe for cute halloween cake pops on popular baking blog The Pink Whisk and thought we’d give it a bash! Cue, some rather competitive decorating action here at Baking Mad HQ!

We’ve had every colour of Silver Spoon’s writing icing out of the box, exhausted tubs of Silver Spoon’s White Chocolate Stars and ended up with more Silver Spoon Dark Chocolate Drops on the floor than on our cake pops, but that’s just all part of the fun.

If you want to find out how we got on why not visit our Facebook page for the chance to judge our efforts and see the winning designs!

National Baking Week

Whisks at the ready, National Baking Week is finally here! Yes, that’s right, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, put on your pinny and get baking for Britain.

Fronted by Ruth Clemens, finalist of 2010’s Great British Bake Off and popular author of The Pink Whisk blog, National Baking Week aims to get Britain back into the kitchen. The campaign is being sponsored by some of the biggest names in the world of home baking including Billington’s, Allinson, Silver Spoon, Happy Eggs and Pyrex.

Celebrations kicked off in the capital yesterday and we were at St Pancras station to see the unveiling of this rather impressive creation.

National Baking Week

The seven foot cake, which recreates a map of the London underground, along with several of the city’s most famous landmarks, is made from a variety of different recipes and baking techniques.

National Baking Week

Visit the National Baking Week website to to see how this amazing cake was put together. Plus there’s a chance to win some great prizes throughout, including a Baking Mad hamper.