5 BUDGET BAKING RECIPES

Getting your bake on doesn’t have to break the bank!  If you’re inspired by The Great British Bake off, baking from scratch, without using packet premixes, is cheap and easy. With a few basic techniques, you can create tasty treats at home in no time.  Baking like any new skill, the more you practice, the better you will be at it.

5 BUDGET BAKING RECIPES
5 BUDGET BAKING RECIPES

Whether you’re doing a quick bake to impress your housemates or celebrate the end of the exams, these 5 simple budget recipes are the answer to everything.

  1. Basic Muffins

 “A simple, chocolate chip muffin recipe, to which you can add fruit, chocolate or nuts.”

What could be nicer than warm muffins on a morning breakfast table? Quick and easy to make, particularly since the ingredients are only lightly mixed, not beaten smooth, they are perfect for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks!  

Basic Muffins
Basic Muffins

Download the Recipe Here

2. Lighter Gingerbread

“This dark and sticky ginger cake is made healthier with naturally sweet dates, buttermilk and plenty of cinnamon and fresh ginger.”

Craving for cakes? This quick Lighter Gingerbread recipe just proves that baking doesn’t have to be time-consuming – this easy and cheap recipe takes just 35 mins to prepare and about 40 mins to cook which makes it perfect any night of the week. If you’ve got some spare time during the holidays or looking for a way to procrastinate, this is the perfect hassle-free recipe.

Lighter Gingerbread
Lighter Gingerbread

Download the Recipe Here

3. Buttermilk Scones

“These savoury scones are perfect with potted fish. Make early in the day then warm before serving, for the best results.”

Scones are the ultimate go-to snack solution when unexpected visitors turn up or you’re hungry in the afternoon. They are cheap, easy to make and incredibly versatile – basically, everything you need a snack to be. Perfect for the afternoon tea, these scones are a delicious treat!

Buttermilk Scones
Buttermilk Scones

Download the Recipe Here

4. Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies

“An easy chocolate chip cookie recipe for soft biscuits with a squidgy middle that will impress family and friends. Make plenty as they’re sure to be a hit”

Is there anything even better than chocolate chip cookies with milk? Passed down through generations and always baked with love, these vintage cookie recipes are a must-have in every baking list. Beware: you might see an increase in the amount of love that your housemates shower you with once you serve them this.

Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies

Download the Recipe Here

5. Classic Victoria Sandwich

“The perfect party cake, to bring a gathering or serve as dessert for a potluck, a Victoria sponge is a traditional bake everyone will love.”

This tasty tea-time treat consists of strawberry jam and vanilla. The jam and cream are sandwiched between two sponge cakes; the top of the cake is not iced or decorated apart from a dusting of icing sugar.

Classic Victoria Sandwich
Classic Victoria Sandwich

Download the Recipe Here

BONUS TIP:

Always Preheat the Oven. If the oven isn’t hot the fat in your baking will melt before the mixture cooks and may result in flat, greasy baking (pastries in particular). Mixtures will not rise properly and may end up overcooked or undercooked depending on the recipe.

Always Preheat the Oven
Always Preheat the Oven

You can be a great baker. Baking isn’t a mystical gift passed down from mother to daughter in secret rituals. It’s not a talent one must be born with, nor does it take years to master.

You can save a lot of money by baking simple cakes, muffins, biscuits, and cookies at home to satisfy your sugar cravings. It’s cheap and easy.

5 Simple Dinner Recipes For Students

5 SIMPLE DINNER RECIPES FOR STUDENTS

They say cooking is an art, however, it can be a daunting task for some. Many people find it difficult to eat on time, leave alone cook for themselves as the basic idea of cooking can seem exasperating. And when it comes to students, we can all imagine how tough it can be for them to manage everything on their own. While some may often trade a healthy home-cooked meal in favour of an expensive take-away pizza, others may rely on microwave meals to get them through their time away from home.

5 Simple Dinner Recipes For Students
5 Simple Dinner Recipes For Students

We’ve put together 5 simple recipes that are sure to help every student hone their cooking skills:

  1. Chorizo & Fried Egg Wraps

Cooking as a student must be cheap and relatively easy but also hearty and nutritious to sustain you through long hours of essay writing – and socialising. Enjoy this super speedy flavour-packed wrap as a cheap and light supper.

Chorizo & Fried Egg Wraps
Chorizo & Fried Egg Wraps

Download the Recipe Here

2. Refried Bean Quesadillas

Craving something Mexican? Here we give you a wonderful nutritious healthy version of this lovely evening meal. Beans are nutritional powerhouses; they are full of fibre (great for bowel and digestive health) plus they release energy slowly, meaning that you have more consistent energy throughout your day. This casual meat-free main is a cheap and cheerful way to fill you and your friends up as you revise for those heavy uni exams!

Refried Bean Quesadillas
Refried Bean Quesadillas

Download the Recipe Here

3. Kidney Bean Curry

Being a common addition to most delicious meals across the globe is what makes kidney beans so popular. Their name comes from their close resemblance to kidneys, and their nutritional profile is linked to lowered rates of cancer and heart disease. If you’re looking for a satisfying meal that comes together in less than half an hour, this is an excellent choice. An easy recipe when you fancy something pocket-friendly, delicious and filling at the same time.

Kidney Bean Curry
Kidney Bean Curry

Download the Recipe Here

4. Quick Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne

This quick mushroom and spinach lasagne just proves that making lasagne doesn’t have to be time consuming – this easy and cheap recipe takes just 15 mins to prepare and about half an hour in the oven which makes it perfect any night of the week. A great way to consume greens, this preparation also freezes well – making it perfect for make-ahead meals for those days when you are tired from the day.

Quick Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne
Quick Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne

Download the Recipe Here

5. Minestrone Soup

Filled with goodness, vegetables & energy boosting carbohydrates, this big bowl of carb-based joy with a hefty garnish of vegetables will surely gladden the heartstrings of your health! This soup is cheap and super easy to tweak according to the vegetables you currently have in your fridge.

Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup

Download the Recipe Here

So, whether you’re revising for exams or are on the next Summer Holiday countdown, we have got you covered! From being pocket-friendly, nutritious and super speedy, these recipes are here to make your life in the kitchen easy and delicious, all the while preparing you to master the art known as cooking! 

 

The Benefits of Swimming

Exercise in general, as we all know is always beneficial. However, many of us have certain preferences for one exercise over the other. While some may focus on yoga, others may choose dancing. No matter what your fitness level is, many exercises allow you to go for a full body workout in a fun way, and swimming is one of them!

Swimming is the perfect way to work your entire body and the cardiovascular system being an all-rounder activity for people of all age groups. Having a low-impact workout and a way to relax. – that’s what it’s all about! An hour of swimming burns off all those calories, without impacting your bones and joints.

Here are a couple of benefits of swimming:

  1. Entire Body Workout:

Using all the muscles in the body from head to toe, swimming works out your whole body. Whether it is a gentle breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle or a butterfly, by swimming you can increase your heart rate without stressing your body. Each style focuses on different muscle groups and the water provides gentle resistance thereby toning your muscles, building strength and endurance. As exercising in the water makes your body work harder, 30 minutes in a pool is worth a good 45 minutes on land.

  1. General Wellbeing:

While your muscles are getting an excellent workout, so is your cardiovascular system. Swimming makes your heart and lungs strong thereby reducing your risk of high blood pressure and an irregular blood sugar. Spending 30 minutes swimming, twice a week, alongside a balanced diet, is one of the best ways to stay fit. It not only impacts your physical health but also helps you gain a positive mental outlook too.

  1. Destress and Relax:

Spending some time in the water alone can calm our minds down. Studies have shown that by swimming regularly, one can lower their stress levels, panic attacks and even improve your sleep pattern. To feel the mental benefits of swimming, take a light swim today and notice the difference!

  1. Burn Calories:

Swimming has proven to be one of the most effective ways to burn those extra calories. A light swim can burn around 200 calories in less than an hour, which is more than 2 times that while walking!

  1. Exercising Without Sweating:

Sweating may put many people off while exercising. However, as self-explanatory as this may be, as a swimmer you won’t have to even be concerned about sweat!

So, if you’re just starting out to exercise, or are looking to try something new, reach for your cossie and take a plunge into the pool today. Once you’re through with the basics, aim for 20-40 minutes of regular swimming to keep your heart rate elevated. As well as being beneficial, swimming is a great way to make new friends!

5 Benefits of using a cooking thermometer

It’s easy to fall into a routine when cooking your favourite meals, but it’s always important to ensure that your food is safe to eat. After enjoying a fun-filled barbecue, some of us may complain that we feel unwell from sitting out in the sun too long when instead, it could have been something you ate. We’ve all been in a situation where we eat something and think – is that cooked properly? Thankfully, there are a variety of different tools available that can maintain your peace of mind when it comes to food, and a cooking thermometer is one of them.

Eliminate the Guesswork

You cannot tell if a piece of meat is ready simply by looking at it. If you only use cooking time to determine that, you may end up with some pieces being perfectly cooked whilst others may still be underdone or in worst case scenarios, even burnt! By referring to a target temperature you can ensure your favourite meals are cooked to perfection every time.

Prevent Overcooking

Don’t let your brilliant barbecue be ruined by dry, overcooked meat. With a cooking thermometer, you can easily beat the heat! When cooked at the correct temperature, the meat will stay juicy and tender for you to enjoy. Different types of confectionery, such as caramel, also need to be cooked with precision when it comes to timing and temperature. A cooking thermometer can help ensure your favourite sweet treats are ready to go, whilst also saving your saucepans from being burnt.

Sublime Steaks

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to how a steak should be cooked. If you’re used to cooking a steak well done, it may be a daunting task when one of your guests requests their steak to be done medium rare. By using a cooking thermometer, you can make sure your cut of steak is just right, even with different requests. By double checking the temperature, you can reassure yourself that everything will be cooked to perfection.

Maintain Safe Temperature

If you’re serving a barbecue buffet, some of your food may be left out for a longer period than other pieces. As meat begins to cool, it tends to become a breeding ground for bacteria. If you’re worried about how long a piece of meat has been out in the sun or even out of the fridge, you can check if it’s still edible by checking the temperature.

Reheat Foods to Safe Temperature

When it comes to organising lunch at work, many will now choose to prepare a meal the night before or use leftovers from their previous dinner. Whatever you choose to eat at lunchtime, it’s important to reheat meats to safe temperatures. A kitchen thermometer will come in handy in these situations.

Whether you’re a barbecue beginner or a pro at pulled pork, there are a variety of thermometers to suit your cooking needs. With easy to read displays and distinctive silicone grips, our range of kitchen thermometers not only look good but deliver precise measurements for safe cooking as well.

3 Major Benefits of Tennis: Why Should You Start Playing?

 

As we move into summer, we welcome the UK’s biggest tennis tournament – Wimbledon. The inspiring performance of the professional athletes will encourage many of us to pick up a tennis racket and try the sport– but have you ever wondered what the real benefits of playing tennis are? There are always new workout programs popping up everywhere, but heading down to the local tennis court can be an easy way to improve your overall fitness. We’ve picked out some of the best benefits of playing tennis.

 

Full body workout

During a game of tennis, you’re always on your feet and having to move fast to keep up with your opponent. It’s a workout for your entire body as you run, swing, twist and stretch. With all this activity rolled into one sport, it’s easy to work up a serious sweat. Getting involved in tennis matches on a regular basis is a great way to keep your body fat percentage at a healthy level.

 

 

Tone your muscles

If you want to hit the ball further than your opponent can reach, you’ll need to hit it hard. Tennis can be a great way to develop your endurance and strength. You’ll find yourself running, turning and stretching in all directions to keep a rally going. A long game of tennis can help to increase your strength and tone your muscles, especially in your legs and arms.

 

 

It’s fun!

Although not a specific health benefit, tennis can be great fun and a good way to unwind after a stressful day. The great thing is, even if you’ve never held a tennis racket in your life, you can be sure to find someone of your ability to play with. It’s also open to all ages, so you can get the whole family involved.  Tennis is also an excellent way to meet new people and enjoy a bit of healthy competition.

 

 

 

 

5 ways to enjoy your summer and keep fit

 

Summer is often thought of as the time of year to focus on fitness, especially after indulging in a variety of foods during winter. We’ve all been in the position of being stuck in the gym and wishing we were out enjoying the sunshine but guess what? It is possible to enjoy the warm weather and keep fit at the same time. We can just imagine all the raised eyebrows to this statement – but it’s true. Summer may be the time for ice cream and parties, but the days full of sunshine also create lots of opportunities for us to keep fit and healthy. We’ll dive straight in.

 

1.  Go for a swim

In winter, you’ll only find one or two people swimming in the sea or the outdoor pool, and it is absolutely freezing! As the temperatures rise it’s a lot easier to tip more than a toe in the water. In summer it’s a great way to cool off from the scorching temperatures and get in a workout.

 

 

 

2.  Feast on flavours

Make the most of the sunshine and brush the dust off your barbecue. If you don’t want to be bloated by extra bread, throw together a spicy side salad to complement your meaty main. Host your own barbecue and invite guests to bring a dish to enjoy a feast of flavours.

 

 

 

 

3.  See the sights

If you need a break from an intense gym routine, combine holiday relaxation and fitness by heading out on foot. From wandering along the beach to heading out for a cool morning hike, walking is one of the most relaxing ways to keep fit. Pack your trainers to make sure annoying blisters don’t spoil your fun in the sun.

 

 

4.  Sweet Snacking

Summer is a great opportunity to try a range of dishes with fresh ingredients. For example, summer means strawberries. Pub gardens, restaurants and of course the organisers of Wimbledon love to dish out this delicious snack on a hot day, so you have no reason to avoid this sweet treat.

 

 

5.  Buddy Up

Finding the motivation to do a full-on workout in the summer can be a challenge by yourself. Stir up a little competition between you and friend by challenging them to a tennis match or even invite them to tag along with you in the gym. Having someone there to support you through a workout is always a great boost. If your buddies are coach potatoes we’re sure they would appreciate the motivation as well.

 

 

Whether you’re jetting off on holiday or simply enjoying the company of your friends this summer. All the training you have done earlier in the year doesn’t have to go down the drain. If you want to try some exciting new recipes just search online and you’ll find so many tasty treats to enjoy. Remember a bit of extra sun means it’s time for fun, so there is no need to be on a treadmill feeling miserable. Get up on your feet and make the most of the wonderful weather.

 

Notes of Nutmeg – Cactus Cupcake Recipe

Summer is almost here! It’s the time of year that we’re looking for new activities to keep us busy whilst we enjoy the good weather.  Last summer, I decided to take up cacti collecting. I loved trawling round garden centres and flower shows to find the new addition to my little cactus plant family.  Some of the real troopers have even lasted the winter! To pay homage to my cacti pals, I’ve decided to work on my piping skills to create this fun cactus cupcake recipe. I hope you have as much fun making them as I did.

 

 

 


Ingredients:
 

  • For the cupcakes
  • 4-5tbsp boiling water
  • 40g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 115g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
  • For the decoration
  • Approx. 36 Chocolate fingers
  • 125g butter
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • Milk (if needed)
  • Zest of 2 limes (optional)
  • Green food colouring
  • Chocolate fudge icing
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Fondant flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°c/390°c/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease your plant pot moulds and place them on a baking tray. If using cases, place 12 cupcake cases into a muffin tin.
  2. In a bowl mix together your cocoa and boiling water to make a paste. Add the rest of the cupcake ingredients and using an electric beater, combine the ingredients to make a batter.
  3. Evenly pour the batter between the 12 moulds. Place them in the oven and bake for 12 -15 minutes until they’re springy to the touch.
  4. Whilst the cakes are cooling, beat together your butter and icing sugar to form a light buttercream. If the mixture is too stiff, add a splash of milk and beat again. If you’ve been daring and added the chilli powder to your cakes, try adding the lime zest to the icing now to give it another kick! Add the green food colouring and mix it through until you get the shade of green you’re looking for.
  5. Once your cakes have cooled, coat the tops of the cakes with chocolate fudge icing and dip them into your chocolate sprinkles to get a soil-like effect.
  6. Now take three chocolate fingers and stick them together using your buttercream. Push them into the top of the cake firmly so they stand up unaided.
  7. If you’re using a disposable piping bag, snip the end of in an upside-down V-shape. If you’d prefer to use nozzles, select a V-shaped nozzle. Fill your piping bag with the green buttercream and begin to pipe vertically up the edges of the fingers, rotating the cupcake as you go so you’ve piped all the way around.
  8. Place a fondant flower on top of the cactus to disguise any rough edges and add a little colour. Repeat for all twelve cakes. These can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days!

 

 

 

 

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NOTES OF NUTMEG – ROYAL WEDDING CAKE

CREATE A RECIPE READY FOR ROYALTY

 

With the birth of the adorable Prince Louis and the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the British Royal Family is having a very exciting year. I personally love a royal wedding. I love the grandeur and majesty but most of all, I love the excuse to party!

My neighbours and I love to celebrate royal weddings together as a community with a street party. People come out in their best of British attire and share a feast full of finger sandwiches, tea and cake. For this royal wedding, I want to show you how to make your own replica of Harry and Meghan’s cake. If you love the new couple’s style, this recipe is perfect. You can wow your friends and neighbours or even make it for your own wedding if you’re on a budget. This cake encompasses all the wonderful things about Spring; the fresh and vibrant ingredients like lemon and elderflower, and all of the gorgeous blooms we are surrounded by this time of year. My suggestion would be to follow Harry and Meghan’s example and source all your ingredients seasonally and responsibly.

 

Lemon and Elderflower Royal Wedding Cake

DOWNLOAD THE RECIPE

(prep time: approx. 3 hrs, cook time: approx. 1 hour, serves 15)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 240g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 260g caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp of vanilla bean paste
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 325g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder, level
  • Fine zest and juice of 2 small lemons
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial

 

 

For the decoration:

  • 250g butter
  • 500g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 500g ready to roll
  • 40 4x4cm sheets of edible gold leaf
  • 15-20g fresh edible flowers like pansies and violets

 

 

Method

  1. Grease and line one 6 inch/15cm tin and one 4inch/10cm tin, making sure to line the sides of the tin as well as the base. Preheat your oven to 180°c/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. In a big mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. This should take 3-5 minutes
  3. Then, add the eggs gradually. If the mixture begins to curdle, add a spoonful of flour with each bit of egg.
  4. Once the eggs are combined, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Then add the cordial and lemon juice and zest and fold everything together gently until its fully combined.
  5. Scoop the mixture into your prepared tins. And bake the smaller one for 35 mins and the larger for 1 hour. Ensure you check the cakes are done by inserting a skewer into the centre and making sure it comes out clean. If it’s still sticky, leave it in and check again in 3-5 minutes intervals.
  6. Once the cakes are both cooked, leave them in the tin for 20 minutes, then on a cooling rack until they’re completely cool.
  7. Whilst the cakes are cooling, beat together the butter and icing sugar until combined. If the icing is too stiff to spread, add a splash of milk.
  8. When the cakes have cooled, use a cake leveller or bread knife to flatten the top of the cakes and to slice them in half. Spread your buttercream into the middle of each cake, about a centimetre in thickness. Then coat the outsides fully with a thin layer just to make it smooth. Now put them in the fridge for 30 mins to chill the icing.
  9. After the icing is chilled, sprinkle icing sugar onto a clean surface and roll the fondant out into a circle. Fold the fondant onto your rolling pin and gently roll it onto the top of the bigger cake.
  10. Gently smooth the top and sides of the icing over the cake and trim around the bottom edges. Ball up and roll out the trimmings into another circle, repeating the last steps for the smaller cake.
  11. It’s now time to apply the gold leaf around the rims of the cakes. Be patient, it is fiddly work. Wet the icing slightly with a clean cotton bud or paintbrush and lay a sheet of gold leaf over. If you want to rough the edges for a vintage look, use a dry cotton bud to crumble the edges of the gold leaf off. Repeat this until the whole rim is covered and overlaps slightly on the top of each cake.
  12. Place your 6-inch cake onto a plate and gently lower the 4-inch cake on top of it, making sure to place in centrally. You can now decorate the top and sides with edible flowers, as seen in the photos.

 

 

 

Looking for another romantic idea? Try my Valentine’s Day fondue for two!

 

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London Marathon – Training Tips & Recovery Rules

The London Marathon 2018 is not far away and the nerves are beginning to kick in for runners of the gruelling 26.2 mile route. The annual race will take place on Sunday 22nd April with thousands of participants taking to the streets of London including amateur, professional and celebrity runners. The marathon is incredibly tough on your body and can take its toll on your joints and muscles. Whilst there is a lot to think about in the lead up to the marathon, it’s important to prepare your body for the recovery too. We sat down with 4-time marathon runner, Adam Diplock to help put your mind at ease with some training and recovery tips.

What do you do to warm up and cool down?

Adam: My warm-up is usually incorporated into whatever training I have for that day – obviously some runs are designed to be more strenuous/faster pace, so I usually cater it to what I’m about to do. My cool down is usually a little walk after I have finished my run (You can’t just stop!) and then I move onto stretching.

When did you start training and do you have any additional support?

Adam: I started training back in January (4 months ago) and haven’t really had any consistent support, to be honest. My parents and girlfriend have been amazing and helped me with longer runs, but usually, training is a pretty lonely experience. Not everybody wants to jump out of bed to run a 13 miler with you.

How do you fit training around your work/social life?

Adam: Great question! It is tough. You get in from work and the last thing you want to do is go straight back out. But honestly? If you want to do well, you don’t really have a choice.

What dietary changes do you make in preparation for the Marathon?

Adam: Honestly my diet doesn’t change too much (I try to cut down on sugary snacks) but, at the same time I like to think I eat healthily anyway. You should factor in when to eat – your meal size dictates how long until you can run. I usually will give a good 1:30 or 2 hours after a larger meal.

What motivation tips do you have when it comes to the last few miles of the Marathon?

Adam: The crowd are your motivation. Your training is your motivation. The fundraising is your motivation. You’ve trained since January, (giving up several social events) raised a ton of money for a great cause and have loads of people willing you on. Motivation isn’t a problem, you need some mental toughness towards the end. It becomes a case of digging deep and just getting home.

How do you help your body recover once the Marathon is over?

Adam: Using foam rollers and regular stretching are great ways to recover. I also try and swim during the week after the marathon – good exercise but not strenuous on the body.

Good luck to all of those taking part in the London Marathon!

NOTES OF NUTMEG – EASTER CAKE RECIPE

CHOCOLATE EGG PIÑATA CAKE

 

Spring is finally here, and that means it is time to enjoy the Easter celebrations. For me, Easter has always been a day to celebrate new beginnings with my family and gorge on as much chocolate as possible. I especially loved Easter as a kid. My mum would set up these fantastic egg hunts around our house and spoil us rotten with sweets for the day. With this recipe, I wanted to capture those fun sunny afternoons and bring some childish joy to your Easter festivities. This cake is surprisingly easy to make, so you can even get the kids involved in making this delicious dessert. With its secret surprise in the centre, this cake is a great showstopper for any party. Have a very Happy Easter! 

I hope you have as much fun baking this cake as I did with my neighbours! We managed to capture some of the baking fun before my phone battery ran out…

 

Chocolate egg piñata cake

DOWNLOAD THE RECIPE

(Serves 10, prep time: 1 hour, cook time: 20-25 mins)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

100g cocoa powder

180ml hot water

6 large eggs

120ml milk

350g self-raising flour

2 rounded tsp baking powder

600g golden caster sugar

250g mini eggs

For the icing and decoration:

200g butter, softened and cubed

150g icing sugar, sifted

Grated zest of 1 orange

Red and yellow/orange gel food colour

150ml double cream

150g dark chocolate, I used a dark chocolate infused with orange oil

Small chocolate eggs to decorate.

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/fan 160°c/gas mark 4 and grease and line 4x 20cm sandwich tins
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and hot water to make a paste.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then add all the other cake ingredients, apart from the mini eggs. Mix with a beater until everything is combined.
  4. Pour your batter equally across the four tins and bake them for 20-25mins. When they are done, they will be risen and shrinking slightly away from the edges of the tins.
  5. Whilst you leave your cakes to cool fully, make the buttercream icing by beating together your soft cubed butter, icing sugar and the orange zest. Add a few drops of food colour to make a pale orange and zingy buttercream. Set this aside.
  6. Over a bain marie, gently heat together the cream and chocolate to make your ganache. Once the chocolate is melted smoothly through the cream, take it off the heat and leave it to cool.
  7. Now its time to assemble the cake! On a cake board or plate lay down your first layer of cake and spread a thin layer of icing around the top rim of the cake.
  8. The take the middle two layers of cake and using a round cutter, remove the centres of those layers.
  9. Lay a hollow layer on top of the first one and spread icing around the top of this layer. Repeat with the third layer.
  10. Now gently pour your mini eggs into the centre of the cake and lay the last layer on top.
  11. Have fun smoothing the remaining icing around the edge, when baking with kids I always find it less stressful when I accept the ‘homemade look’.
  12. Gently spread the thickened ganache on top of the cake and push your mini chocolate eggs into the ganache. Happy Easter!

 

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