Simple Caramel Custard Tarts

After a conversation with my other half recently and the topic of desserts came up we ended up discussing the humble custard tart. Now I’ve only ever had these things from shops and I do remember one of my friends from school being obsessed with them.

I therefore went off in search of a recipe and apart from the pastry which of course you can just go and buy it is the most simple recipe to date I’ve blogged about and considering I thought it would be scary to work with cooking eggs (picturing scrambled sweet egg tarts) it turned out great.

Using my simple shortcrust party recipe as detailed below make up a batch of pastry; cover in clingfilm and store in the fridge for a few hours to really chill down.

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2018/11/11/basic-pastry-and-beef-pie-sunday-leftovers/

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 45ml (3 level tbsp) white sugar
  • 400ml (3/4 pint milk)
  • Pinch nutmeg

Recipe:

  1. Get your pastry out of the fridge and on a lightly floured board or surface roll it out. Lay over either a large or individual (greased) pie tin. Even cup cake tins will work.  Using an extra bit of pastry as a tool push the pastry into the corners and cut off the edge to make pretty.
  2. Whisk the eggs into the sugar and add warm milk slowly.
  3. Put the pie tin in the fridge and using a jug pour the mix into the case so not quite filling it. Push into the oven very slowly.
  4. Sprinkle with the nutmeg or cinnamon if you prefer. A little sugar also caramelizes quite nicely.
  5. Back at 220 degrees c for 10 minutes and then 180 degrees c for a further 20 minutes until the dish doesn’t wobbly a lot, only slightly.

IMG_2528

Perfect Jam Tarts

After a recent conversation with my better half when I recently asked on Sunday what dessert he would like after Sunday dinner, he declared he really loved jam tarts as a kid so I went looking for recipe.

Little did I know but jam tarts are the simplest thing in the world to make and I make a lot of simple things. Once you knock up a little short crust party (or be super lazy and buy the frozen stuff) you simply put little shells in a cake tin as if you were making mince pies.

On top of the pastry you add a spoon full of the jam of your choice and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees c.  I also added some little pastry cutter shaped hearts on top and a brush with egg wash  to make then brown.

Simple; quick retro dessert.

img_2511.jpg

Basic Pumpkin Pie in England

Happy Halloween! Well Happy season of anyway. Pumpkin pies are very American and the only ones I’ve ever eaten have been in America so I’ve they have been of the very sweet variety. Therefore, in order to source a recipe I went straight to Martha Stewart and the various other classic American cooks. I did however then realise I live in England so don’t have quite the same ingredients so I’ve done a cheat’s version. It does taste rather good though.

 

Ingredients:

Either buy some shortcrust frozen pastry or make your own

 

If you make your own you need:

1 and 1/3 cup plain flour

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp cold water

 

Method:

  1. Combine the ingredients and put in cling film in the freezer for 30 minutes
  2. Press the pastry into a greased tin of your choice
  3. Put in the fridge

 

Filling Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 can evaporated milk

1 can pumpkin filling (if you can’t get in the supermarket you can buy online from American food stores)

½ cup white sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger (powdery stuff)

1-2 ground cloves (be careful not to add more or it can taste like medicine)

 

Method:

  1. Beat the eggs and then add everything else
  2. Pour the mix into the pastry case from the fridge
  3. Bake for 15 minutes at 325F
  4. Bake for 45 minutes at 350F
  5. Store in the fridge

Sorry for the American temperate measurements but it was an American recipe.

Perfect Carrot Cake with Cream Frosting

 

Last weekend I went through a phase of making homemade soups. I go through this phase fairly often when I have a load of vegetables leftover or it’s cold outside. I’ll add some soup recipes soon. Consequentially I had a load of carrots left over so figured I’d ruin the healthy eating and make a carrot cake. For whatever carrots you have leftover adjust the proportions below as long as you keep the wet and dry ingredients in proportion to each other.

 

Ingredients:

 

Cake

300g plain flour

150g brown sugar

100g white sugar

3-4 large eggs dependent on their size

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp salt

300 ml sunflower oil

300g carrots peeled and grated

 

Topping

100g full fat cheese (I like Philadelphia)

30g butter

200g icing sugar sieved

100g walnuts (I keep whole)

100g caster sugar

(or buy the cheat’s version from my link below)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees and line a tin
  2. Beat everything together with a wooden spoon and transfer to the tin
  3. Cook for 40-45 minutes until firm and a skewer comes out clean
  4. Allow to completely cool (really important when using cream cheese frosting!)
  5. Mix the topping together with an electric whisk. It will go really light fluffy after about 5 minutes
  6. Spoon on the top and top with walnuts

 

Tips:

  • You can change the quantities as long you keep the proportions of wet to dry ingredients
  • Grate some walnuts and add them to cake mix to add some extra flavour
  • The mixture will look really moist but that’s great as the cake will be too
  • Adding more spices or fruit can make it more Christmassy so you can use it in place of a traditional fruit cake recipe if your family doesn’t like it

Some materials to buy if you want to copy:

Rectangle tin

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000FCGRAK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B000FCGRAK&linkId=5334b2af07376bc75f34728c09f86284

Cheat’s icing if you don’t want to make it

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01NAQ2DPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01NAQ2DPO&linkId=7767e6fdba00494355eb93875d460bce

Walnuts

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07J1N4H4Z/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07J1N4H4Z&linkId=4c739061b268c88e8ad45f32959433b4

Apple Pie (American Classics)

Next in my American Classics series is Apple Pie. What could be more classically American as epitomized in hundreds of TV shows and movies.

Ingredients:

Filling

6 cooking apples such as granny smiths cut into pieces

1 tsp cinammon

1/2 cup white sugar

1 lemon juiced

Recipe

  1. Mix all apple slices with the rest of the ingredients and lay in a dish in an even layer

img_1511.jpg

Pastry

1 + 1/3 cup plain flour

1/2 stick butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cold water

Recipe

  1. Cut the butter and flour together. I have a metal pastry cutter that keeps the mix really cold as really good pastry in order to stay crumbly and short needs to be handled as little as possibleIMG_1514
  2. Add the wet ingredients and combine into a ball. Put in the freezer to really chill for 30 minutes
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and then lie it on top of the apple dish
  4. I cut out a few extra shapes with the excess pastry and used a fork to crimp the edges of the dish and seal the pie. Under the pie edge add a little water to make the pastry stick to the edge of the dish
  5. If you want a browner finish on the pie glaze with a beaten egg or milk
  6. I have some cinnamon sugar at home (just sugar mixed with some cinnamon) so I sprinkled it on top on the pie

img_1513.jpg

7. Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 180c or until golden brown

The result is sweet with a really good hint of cinnamon and the apples go lovely and soft. Next time I might try it with puff/flaky pastry instead to see if I can get a crunchier texture. An excellent edition to the American Classics series

Some materials to buy if you want to copy this:

Pastry Cutter

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001IWUQ8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0001IWUQ8&linkId=1a7d4ed85658a65c861f529f8a1d9517

Pie Dishes

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074TMC95V/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B074TMC95V&linkId=e94a0dcbf704c387c7e798ab6dcee524

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GJV1P6Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GJV1P6Q&linkId=b093c41b2db0cbaa8db734282ca14a23

 

Pumpkin Pie (American Classic)

I’m starting a new set of recipes to try and taste themed around my love of American culture specifically food. We travel to the US almost every year and I’m always enamored with the restaurants and even food available at service stations! So I’m going to find as many classic American recipes that I can; the more traditional the better and try them out.

Sources such as Martha Stewart and Pioneer Woman have been an excellent support so I’d highly recommend them.

https://www.marthastewart.com/

http://thepioneerwoman.com/

So first on the list is classic Pumpkin Pie.

Ingredients:

Pastry

1 + 1/3 cup plain flour

1/2 stick butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cold water

Recipe

  1. Cut the butter and flour together. I have a metal pastry cutter that keeps the mix really cold as really good pastry in order to stay crumbly and short needs to be handled as little as possibleIMG_1514
  2. Add the wet ingredients and combine into a ball. Put in the freezer to really chill for 30 minutes

Filling

Ingredients

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1tsp cinammon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground ginger

A couple of cloves bashed up

1 can pumpkin puree

1 can evaporated milk

Recipe

  1. Beat the eggs
  2. Add all the ingredients to the eggs and combine
  3. Take the pastry out of the freezer and roll out onto a lightly floured surface until as few mm thick
  4. Lift and place into a pie dish and push into the creases (use excess pastry to do this and not your fingers)
  5. Leave a little excess and trim
  6. Pour in the mixture
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 425c
  8. Reduce oven temperature to to 350c
  9. Bake for a further 45 minutes
  10. Store in the fridge

I served it with creme fraiche as it’s so sweet so it helps balance it out. The verdict though is that I absolutely loved it. This is definitely the first win on the American Classics Cooking list

Perfect Cake Mix

IMG_1341

 

I had a craving for cake this Sunday and decided to look up as I couldn’t remember the standard mix for Victorian or simple sponge cake. I’ve made these types of cakes since I can remember but I’ve never quite had the perfect fluffy recipe that other people seem to achieve. This time however I think I got lucky trying to make a recipe fit the quantities I had and the cakes were ridiculously fluffy so I will share with you what I did.

 

Ingredients:

200g self raising flour

200g caster sugar

3 medium free range eggs

1tsp of baking powder

200g melted butter

 

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven 180 degrees c
  2. Put your put in a bowl after measuring and put in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until softened
  3. Put everything else in a bowl
  4. Add the butter
  5. Grab an electric hand whisk. Mine is an old fashioned one so not particularly fast
  6. Whisk everything together for 3 minutes until the whole mixture goes white
  7. Spoon into either a greased cat tin or cup cake cases
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown
  9. Decorate or fill however you see fit

My simple cake tin if you’d like it:

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001IX454/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B0001IX454&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=ab2ca78e62964b3d0d68539e267861ad”>KitchenCraft MasterClass Non Stick Quick-Release Springform Cake Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8 Inch)</a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=melmosparkly-21&l=am2&o=2&a=B0001IX454″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Cupcake tin:

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009SP9XK6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B009SP9XK6&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=897a18f2e164de241b1cce7cfbd4a58b”>Prestige Inspire Steel 12 Cup Non-Stick Muffin Tin – Black</a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=melmosparkly-21&l=am2&o=2&a=B009SP9XK6″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Pretty tin to store it in

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008D2MWKS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B008D2MWKS&linkId=e23486a563262bcb624ae3d03f29c457

Basic Cake Recipe

This recipe is just the standard recipe everyone in the world knows how to make and I use and adapt if for everything. It’s the first cake you make and once you crack it you are set for baking forever.

Ingredients

4 eggs (free range or organic if you can afford it)

225g sugar caster

225g self raising flour

225g butter or margarine

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Ideally use a round tin but you can use any including cup cake tin or just the cases
  2. Grease the tin by dipping a bit of kitchen roll in the butter and covering the inside of the tin lightly
  3. Set the oven to 180 degrees c
  4. Mix all the ingredients together and beat well. You don’t need to cream the butter, just mix well
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin leaving a slight dip in the middle as it will rise higher there
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes until light and golden. It’s done if you stab the middle of the cake with something sharp and there’s no batter mixture on the stick. Cocktail sticks are good. It’s better to cook slowly and make sure the cake is cooked through than quickly. Also, if the cake starts to brown too much put some baking paper on the top to protect it
  7. Let the cake cook and slice in half through the middle if you used the round tin
  8. Victorian sponges are traditionally filled with jam and cream and a sprinkling of cater sugar on the top but make sure the cake is really cool so the cream doesn’t melt
  9. This cake batter can be used for anything. Just add cocoa powder to make chocolate or any flavourings you like such as coffee or lavenderCake

My simple cake tin if you’d like it:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001IX454/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0001IX454&linkId=25fd13035b3d3029fbf212df29224dee

Cupcake tin:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003W0UMPI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B003W0UMPI&linkId=10239f12355f9a79da5b24a644b5925e

Pretty tin to store it in

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008D2MWKS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B008D2MWKS&linkId=e23486a563262bcb624ae3d03f29c457

Wrestling Birthday Cake

Wrestling Cake

I got this recipe from a baking magazine. I was looking for ideas for my nephew’s birthday and he was really into wrestling at the time. He loved it as he got to keep the toys as well so it made a complete present in one.

Ingredients

Square shaped tin (or cut your cake into a square)

Use the Basic Cake recipe

Wrestling Birthday Cake

Wrestling Birthday Cake

4 large pieces of sturdy liquorice

Red shoe lace sweets/candy

Coloured icing (sugar paste)

A couple of cheap wrestling dolls (you can but online)

Red ribbon (optional)

4 cooking skewers (be careful to remove this before serving though so kids do eat them)

Writing icing kit

 

Method

  1. Bake a square basic cake, allow cooling
  2. Cover the cake with icing of your choice. I chose white but black would look good for a wrestling or fighting ring
  3. Skewer the liquorice with the skewers so they sit at the top of skewer and insert the uncovered part into the cake. Repeat for the four corners
  4. Tie the red laces around the four corners to look like rope. This can be a bit tricky but it doesn’t matter too much if you can see the knots
  5. I used writing icing to make the symbol of the floor but you could even buy a pre-made stencil online. Red ribbon placed around the outside helps the ring look more rigid
  6.  Allow to dry
  7. Add the wrestlers or fighters of your choice. This would work well for video game or other TV show themed cakes where there are opposing characters

Some materials to buy if you want to copy this:

Tin

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B072JMCRWT/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B072JMCRWT&linkId=476573f909ff6cb4bf98d06802231266

Red Laces

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0048AD1Q8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0048AD1Q8&linkId=fd283b4804d759ca9e82e8945e86295c

Wrestling Figures

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07MXZ74RC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07MXZ74RC&linkId=b6617421552f8d9ed61f1a10a84db7be

Related Links:

https://twitter.com/search/wwe

http://www.wwe.com/

 

Classic Cherry Cake

I’ve had this recipe from my mum since I was kid. I’m not entirely sure where she got it from but it isn’t rocket science, however the real trick is getting the cherries not to sink! The best way to do this is to make sure the cake mixture isn’t too thin and even cut some of the cherries up to make them lighter. 

Cherry Cake

Ingredients

225g Butter

225g Icing sugar

4 eggs beaten

225g Plain flour

½ tbsp baking powder

250g cherries quartered

110g ground almonds

Splash almond essence

2 tbs brown sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cream butter; eggs and sugar together until fluffy
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together and fold in
  4. Add the cherries; almond essence and almonds and mix lightly
  5. Add to a greased baking tin
  6. Sprinkle the sugar over the top and then cover the tin with foil as the cake burns quickly
  7. Bake for 30 mins at 180 degrees

Update: 12th June 2017

I did a variation of this at the weekend and used a jar of gin soaked berries and made them into cupcake forms. You can still taste the gin when cooked!! Also remember to sprinkle brown sugar on the top to get a nice crunch and sweet finish.

My simple cake tin if you’d like it:

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001IX454/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B0001IX454&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=ab2ca78e62964b3d0d68539e267861ad”>KitchenCraft MasterClass Non Stick Quick-Release Springform Cake Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8 Inch)</a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=melmosparkly-21&l=am2&o=2&a=B0001IX454″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Cupcake tin:

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009SP9XK6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B009SP9XK6&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=897a18f2e164de241b1cce7cfbd4a58b”>Prestige Inspire Steel 12 Cup Non-Stick Muffin Tin – Black</a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=melmosparkly-21&l=am2&o=2&a=B009SP9XK6″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Pretty tin to store it in

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008D2MWKS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B008D2MWKS&linkId=e23486a563262bcb624ae3d03f29c457