Baking

School Sports Day Essentials

School Sports Day Essentials

Many of us parents and grandparents will soon be dashing off to see our beloved offspring attempting to race (with varying degrees of success!) in their school sports day.

None of my children have any competitive spirit whatsoever, so it’s a little like watching a comedy. Last year one of my twins even returned to help collect others’ beanbags before she decided to amble across the finish line!

It’s an enjoyable but lengthy afternoon
(often/hopefully in the sun), so it’s important
to take plenty of water to drink.

Many schools put on a bake sale as a fundraising initiative, so you may also want to take along something homemade. Avoid chocolatey cakes as they will melt in the heat. And don’t take anything containing nuts, which are often not permissible in school because of allergies. Perhaps opt for something moist, which will survive the afternoon.

One of my favourites is this bread pudding from the Dairy Diary Favourites cookbook.

 

Auntie Lou Breadpudding

Auntie Lou’s Bread Pudding

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 228 per portion
Fat 9.8g (5.6g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • White bread, crust removed 225g (8oz), 2–3 days old, torn into small pieces
  • Milk 375ml (13fl oz)
  • Oranges 2, grated zest of both, juice of 1
  • Mixed spice 1 tbsp
  • Raisins 175g (6oz)
  • Sultanas 150g (5oz)
  • Chopped mixed peel 50g (2oz)
  • Ready-to-eat dried prunes 75g (3oz), chopped
  • Ready-to-eat dried apricots 75g (3oz), chopped
  • Glacé cherries 75g (3oz), quartered
  • Eggs 3, beaten
  • Butter 150g (5oz), melted
  • Black treacle 1–2 tbsp
  • Granulated sugar to sprinkle

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease a 23cm (9in) square shallow ovenproof dish.
  2. Soak the bread with the milk in a large bowl for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the sugar and mix well.
  4. Transfer to the baking dish, spread evenly and bake for 45–50 minutes until the pudding is lightly browned and set in the centre.
  5. Sprinkle with sugar and serve hot. Or leave to cool, cover and chill. Serve cold, cut into squares.

Dairy Diary Favourites CookbookDairy Diary Favourites cookbook is an unmissable addition to your collection and is available to purchase from our online shop for just £8.25 (plus P&P).

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Plus WIN a fabulous Cath Kidston handbag

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How to make Embroidery Biscuits

How to make embroidery biscuits

Embroidery Biscuits

These exquisite biscuits, iced with pastel-coloured sugarpaste and decorated with delicate royal icing ‘embroidery’, will be the stars of any tea party.

They wouldn’t look out-of-place in an upmarket patisserie window and they are surprisingly simple to make.

Ingredients

  • For vanilla biscuits
  • Unsalted butter 175g (6oz), softened
  • Caster sugar 200g (7oz)
  • Eggs 2, at room temperature
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Plain flour 400g (14oz)
  • Salt ½ tsp
  • For royal icing
  • Icing sugar 250g (9oz)
  • Egg white 1 large
  • Lemon juice ¼ tsp

To decorate

  • Sugarpaste in different pastel colours (about 15g/½oz for each biscuit)
  • Apricot jam warmed
  • Sugar pearls and tiny sugarpaste roses optional

BISCUITS

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then gradually beat in eggs followed by vanilla extract.
  2. Sift in flour and salt and stir until evenly mixed. Bring the mixture together with your hands to make a soft dough, then flatten it into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 1 hour until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 180˚C/160˚fan/Gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm (¼in) thick and stamp out rounds using a 6.5cm (2½in) plain cutter, gathering up and re-rolling trimmings to make about 30 biscuits in total. Place onto baking sheets, leaving a little space between each, so they have room to spread.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until their edges are just turning gold – don’t worry if the biscuits are still soft in the middle, they will firm up as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before decorating.

ROYAL ICING

  1. Sieve icing sugar into a bowl, add egg white and whisk, using an electric mixer on a slow speed, for about 5 minutes until icing is standing in stiff peaks. Stir in lemon juice.
  2. To prevent a crust from forming, press a sheet of cling film over the surface and cover the bowl with a damp cloth.

EMBROIDERY BISCUITS

COVERING WITH SUGARPASTE

  1. Working with one colour at a time, knead paste until smooth; on a non-stick surface using a non-stick rolling pin, roll out to 3mm (less than ¼in) thick.
  2. Stamp out rounds of sugarpaste using the same cutter as for the biscuits. Brush a thin layer of jam onto each biscuit and place sugarpaste on top. Gently rub the top and edges to smooth out any marks.
  3. Lightly press a large flower cutter into the paste to emboss it with the outline. Press a smaller flower cutter in the centre. Set aside for about 1 hour at room temperature to firm up.

BRUSH EMBROIDERY

  1. Spoon royal icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle; then pipe a squiggly line of icing over the imprint of the large flower. Pipe a small section at a time to avoid the icing starting to dry.
  2. Using a dampened, fine paintbrush, drag icing towards the centre in short strokes to achieve a feathered effect. Clean the paintbrush frequently.
  3. Once the larger flower is complete, repeat for the inner section. Set aside for at least 2 hours to allow the icing to dry. Then, with a dab of royal icing, attach a small sugarpaste rose in the centre. Use a dry brush to remove any icing that oozes out from under the rose.

EXTRA GLAMOUR

  1. As well as roses, add sugar pearls for a more elaborate design; or use sugar pearls on their own if you like.
  2. If sugarpaste doesn’t entirely cover a biscuit, ice a border.

EXPERT TIPS

  • If biscuit dough is difficult to roll out, roll it between two sheets of cling film or baking parchment.
  • Unless the dough is really sticky, it’s best not to knead in more flour as this will make it dry, and your baked biscuits will be tough and chewy rather than crisp.

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

#baking

#biscuits

Recipe of the Week: Frosty Top Lemon Loaf

This light and zesty cake has a gorgeous crunchy topping.

It’s absolutely gorgeous!

 

Frosty Lemon Cake

Frosty Top Lemon Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Calories 136 per portion
Fat 6g (2.9g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • Butter 50g (2oz), at room temperature
  • Caster sugar 75g (3oz)
  • Self-raising flour 75g (3oz)
  • Ground almonds 25g (1oz)
  • Egg 1 Lemon ½, grated zest only
  • For the topping
  • Lemon ½, juice only
  • Granulated sugar 50g (2oz)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, then strip line and grease a 450g (1lb) loaf tin with non-stick baking paper or use silicone bakeware.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the cake ingredients until smoothly blended. Spread the mixture in the tin and bake for 35 minutes until just firm to the touch.
  3. For the topping, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and spoon it evenly over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Leave in the tin to cool for at least 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice for serving.

Cook’s tip
Leave out the lemon zest and topping but add 50g (2oz) dried fruit to the mixture and sprinkle the top with 25g (1oz) chopped hazelnuts before baking.

 


 

Recipe taken from the fabulous Cooking For One Or Two cookbook.

 

Top 3 Freezable Cakes

It’s a busy and very exciting week for me this week as I get married on Sunday!

It’s going to be great fun, but it will be an inexpensive do and much of it is homemade, with generous help from friends and family.

Instead of purchasing a fancy wedding cake, we have asked guests to bring along their favourite bake – nothing fancy, just a tasty cake to add to the cake table and serve as dessert. I have also made three, but as I’ll be busy with other preparations, I chose my favourite Dairy Diary bakes that can be frozen.

Here are the three recipes – they’re ideal for any type of occasion, such as parties, fetes and fairs when you want to bake ahead. Just defrost the day before.

 


 

Frosty Lemon Cake

Frosty Top Lemon Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Calories 136 per portion
Fat 6g (2.9g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • Butter 50g (2oz), at room temperature
  • Caster sugar 75g (3oz)
  • Self-raising flour 75g (3oz)
  • Ground almonds 25g (1oz)
  • Egg 1 Lemon ½, grated zest only
  • For the topping
  • Lemon ½, juice only
  • Granulated sugar 50g (2oz)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, then strip line and grease a 450g (1lb) loaf tin with non-stick baking paper or use silicone bakeware.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the cake ingredients until smoothly blended. Spread the mixture in the tin and bake for 35 minutes until just firm to the touch.
  3. For the topping, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and spoon it evenly over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Leave in the tin to cool for at least 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice for serving.

Cook’s tip
Leave out the lemon zest and topping but add 50g (2oz) dried fruit to the mixture and sprinkle the top with 25g (1oz) chopped hazelnuts before baking.

 


 

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudgey Cake

  • Servings: 16-20 squares
  • Time: 75 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Calories 202 per portion
Fat 11g (3g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Cocoa powder 75g (3oz)
  • Eggs 3
  • Light muscovado sugar 250g (9oz)
  • Olive oil or rapeseed oil 125ml (4fl oz)
  • Self-raising flour 150g (5oz)
  • Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
  • Dark chocolate 150g (5oz), broken into chunks
  • Butter 25g (1oz)
  • Milk 4 tbsp
  • Golden syrup 1 tbsp
  • Milk chocolate 50g (2oz), broken into pieces and melted in a bowl over a pan of hot water

Instructions

  1. Whisk 50g (2oz) cocoa powder with 100ml (3½fl oz) boiling water in a small bowl until smooth. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and line a 33 x 22cm (13 x 9in) tray bake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and oil for 3 minutes, until smooth, using an electric whisk.
  4. Mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa paste. Pour into the tin and allow to settle.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake is risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. To make the icing, melt the dark chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir until smooth. At the same time, mix the remaining cocoa powder, milk and syrup in a pan and heat until almost boiling. Whisk it into the chocolate mixture to make a glossy icing.
  7. Smooth the icing over the cake, drizzle with the milk chocolate and leave to set. Cut into squares.

To serve now: Enjoy the cakes and keep any extras in an airtight container for a few days.

To freeze: Place in rigid plastic containers in a single layer or between sheets of greaseproof paper. Cover, seal and label. Use within 2 months.

To serve from the freezer: Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours or until defrosted.


 

Gingerbread

Gooey Gingerbread

  • Servings: 18 bars
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Calories 157 per portion
Fat 6g (3.5g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Butter 110g (4oz)
  • Granulated sugar 75g (3oz)
  • Golden syrup 225g (8oz)
  • Marmalade 2 tbsp
  • Self-raising flour 225g (8oz)
  • Ground ginger 2 tsp
  • Bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
  • Milk 150ml (¼ pint)
  • Eggs 2

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Butter a small roasting tin measuring about 18 x 28 x 4cm (7 x 11 x 1½in) and base line with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Put the butter, sugar, syrup and marmalade into a saucepan and heat, stirring, until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl, then stir into the cooled butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Beat the milk and eggs together, then stir into the ginger mixture. Pour into the prepared tin, level the surface and cook for about 25 minutes until the cake is well risen and golden. The cake is ready when the top springs back when pressed with your fingertips.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then take it out of the tin, peel off the paper and cut it into bars.

Cook’s tips
To store, wrap in foil and then keep in an airtight tub or tin.
It’s also delicious as a pudding with a splash of hot custard.

 


 

Just For One Or Two cookbookThere are plenty more freezable recipes in the Eat & Freeze section of our fab cookbook; Just for One or Two.

The Just For One Or Two cookbook shows you how to cook delicious meals for one or two people with little effort and minimal waste.

A superb collection of recipes for all occasions including delicious main courses, sumptuous desserts and brilliant bakes.

Excellent value £8.25

READ MORE

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe of the Week | Raspberry & Macadamia Cake

Raspberry & Macadamia Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 368 per portion
Fat 25g (11g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Macadamia nuts 125g (4½oz)
  • Light brown sugar 50g (2oz)
  • Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Unsalted butter 175g (6oz), softened
  • Eggs 2
  • Almond extract a few drops
  • Self-raising flour 150g (5oz), sifted
  • Raspberries 200g (7oz)
  • Milk 2 tbsp
  • Demerara sugar 1 heaped tbsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
  2. Whizz macadamia nuts in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Beat together brown sugar, caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs and almond extract then fold in flour and nuts. When combined, gently fold in raspberries and milk.
  4. Pour cake mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes (you may need to cover with foil). Remove from oven, scatter with demerara sugar and return to oven for 5 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin.

 

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

#RecipeoftheWeek

#baking

#cake

5 Positive Things to Do

Positive Thinking

I’m not sure if positive thinking is a learned behaviour…

or if it’s within our genetic make-up, maybe a bit of both. I’m lucky (I think) to be a natural optimist, but my parents did teach me to notice and focus on the beauty around me – from a stunning rainbow to a simple pattern of raindrops on a window pane, and I think that this appreciation of small things makes me more prone to positivity.

It does us all good to step back once in a while and have a think. An article on positive thinking in this year’s Dairy Diary says this:

‘A step towards positive thinking is to take time to appreciate life in general, and your own life in particular. Remember to stop and smell the roses – that may be a well-worn notion but it works.

‘Some people call it living in the moment, becoming aware of everything around you – sights, smells, sounds, tastes, your feelings, yourself. Focus on things as they are at that moment, accept them without judgement, and you will start to see things you have taken for granted in a new light.’

 

Here are 5 things that we can all do this week to help us feel more positive.

  1. Pay someone a compliment; if you think notice someone wearing a pretty dress, doing a good job or being kind, tell them, even if it’s a stranger. It will make them feel good and you feel good too.

  2. Look for beauty in nature; from the dew on a flower to an early misty morning or even birdsong, there’s always something you can find, notice and appreciate.

  3. Find somewhere quiet and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes. Breathe in slowly, hold for a count of six, breathe out slowly. Feel the sensation of breathing.

  4. Sometimes we so used to being surrounded by negativity that we hardly notice it. Take a few days break from TV; the news, documentaries or even soaps can make us feel very downcast. Listen to some music that you love instead.

  5. Do a little good turn. Something simple like baking a cake for a friend or a neighbour. Why not try the Dairy Diary recipe below. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

Raspberry & Macadamia Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 368 per portion
Fat 25g (11g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Macadamia nuts 125g (4½oz)
  • Light brown sugar 50g (2oz)
  • Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Unsalted butter 175g (6oz), softened
  • Eggs 2
  • Almond extract a few drops
  • Self-raising flour 150g (5oz), sifted
  • Raspberries 200g (7oz)
  • Milk 2 tbsp
  • Demerara sugar 1 heaped tbsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
  2. Whizz macadamia nuts in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Beat together brown sugar, caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs and almond extract then fold in flour and nuts. When combined, gently fold in raspberries and milk.
  4. Pour cake mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes (you may need to cover with foil). Remove from oven, scatter with demerara sugar and return to oven for 5 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin.

 

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

#positivethinking

#baking

#cake

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