Just writing about what I baked over the weekend and some other suggestions as to what I would change and ideas for alternative diets.
I made a Cornflake Slice which originally I was going to use sweet pastry for using icing sugar, plain flour and butter. However, I changed my mind about the sweet pastry, I used shortbread dough instead. I only did this as I was making Jam Tarts with the children too. I made the Lemon Cornflake Tart as individual tarts using muffin tins. I added a big dollop of lemon curd to the shortbread cases and covered it with crushed cornflakes. The important part here was to ensure the tins were well oiled to prevent the shortbread from sticking once it was baked. These turned out rather well but I didn’t manage to take a photo as the family ate them too soon. I don’t think they will ever learn to wait and be patient but at least I know they were a hit.
I made some dainty miniature sandwich cakes which I don’t know are particularly picnic friendly so I am going to share this recipe and idea on my blog today. These Mini Chocolate Cakes are great for an afternoon tea treat or with a Sunday afternoon cuppa (as in our house yesterday). These were perfectly uniform, soft and very chocolatey. I sandwiched some with chocolate buttercream and others with vanilla buttercream and black cherry jam. A light dusting of icing sugar to complete the cakes. Absolutely delicious and a perfect accompaniment for an afternoon tea. They were really quick and easy to make and many changes can be made to suit the occasion or the dietary needs.
- 6oz self raising flour
- 6oz soft spread
- 4oz dark brown sugar
- 2oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 25g soft spread
- 100g icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 15g cocoa
- Black cherry jam
- icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to gas4.
- Grease 12 muffin holes.
- Weigh out the ingredients for the cake batter into a bowl.
- Whisk the ingredients together to make a smooth batter.
- Transfer to the muffin tins.
- Bake for 20 -25 minutes till well risen and spring back when touched.
- Allow to cool before carefully removing from the tins.
- Slice the sponges in half to make a top and a bottom as in a sandwich cake.
- Make the buttercream by mixing the soft spread and icing sugar together in a bowl.
- Add the vanilla essence.
- Using some of the vanilla buttercream and the jam , sandwich some of the mini cake sponges together.
- With the remainder of the buttercream add the cocoa to make it chocolate flavoured.
- Use this to sandwich the rest of the cakes together.
- Dust all the sponges with icing sugar before serving.
I made chocolate cakes but it could have been vanilla, coffee, lemon, orange, ginger and the list goes on. Just let the imagination go wild. Ginger sponges with a plum jam and vanilla buttercream – that would be delicious.
These cakes can be made gluten free- gluten free flour, egg free- use egg free substitute, diabetic friendly – half the sugar in the recipe, omit the buttercream and use diabetic jam.
I also made some Granola Bars which the children seem rather intrigued with especially when I crunched some cornflakes into them. I added some chocolate chips and some dried fruit along with some sunflower seeds which I hope they do not decide to pick out when they discover them later. I am sure my husband will soon eat them if the children don’t so at least they won’t go to waste. The granola bars were really good. My daughter is very pleased as cranberries and chocolate are her two favourite flavours.
The only thing I will change next time I make these bars is the amount of sticky ingredients and the addition of flour to the recipe. I used an old flapjack recipe which I had used before where cornflakes are used in the recipe. I added honey to the recipe but next time I make them I am going to add flour too which is what I do in my standard flapjack recipe. The flour helps to soak up the sticky golden syrup and the honey in this case. Even though there was only a small amount of honey used in the recipe you can really taste it in the final bake. It makes the bars more solid and crunchier in texture and a lot easier to cut up.
Dietary wise, the flour can be omitted to make it suitable for a gluten free diet. The sugar in the recipe is the main problem here and to make it diabetic friendly the sugar in the recipe would have to be cut down. You would have to be careful how much syrup, honey, chocolate chips and dried fruit you add to the recipe when changing this recipe as there are lots of hidden sugars. I am going to work out the nutritional content of this recipe. I will get back to you on this one, as I am sure the recipe can be tweaked but I think the sugar content will still be too high.
A very productive morning all round so much so I managed to sit down and watch an old black and white film with the husband. Today is Bank Holiday Monday, which means we are off out for the day. Woohoo!! 🙂 Granola bars are packed along with the rest of the picnic goodies. Who knows where we will end up.