Archive of ‘Cake’ category

Lemon & Ricotta Breakfast Muffins

I called these muffins so you can eat them for breakfast.
I am kind to you like that.

I made these for three reasons.

1. I had a lot of lemons
2. I wanted to test out my new silicone cupcake breakfast muffin cases

3. I like to eat cake for breakfast.

On a serious note, they do have much less sugar than a cupcake, and of course no icing or buttercream -they aren’t particularly sweet, so add more if you want a sweet muffin. They are lovely split open and served with some natural yoghurt and honey.

Lemon & Ricotta Muffins
makes 12 muffins

1 cup (200g) of self raising flour
1/4 (50g) cup of sugar
half teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 (100g) cup of ricotta
1/4 (50ml) cup of milk
3 tablespoons of melted and cooled butter (approx 75g solid)
1 egg
zest of 3 lemons, juice of 2
oats or wheatgerm to sprinkle on top – optional

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 / 180c / 160c fan.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Do the same with the wet ingredients and the egg, whisk them together. Slowly fold the wet into the dry, taking care not to over mix.

do you like my silicone cupcake liners? fancy and useful.

Fill the cupcake cases generously with the mixture, about 1 cm from the top – you want them to rise high.
Sprinkle with some oats or wheatgerm if you’d like.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until they are cooked through.

Sticky Beaks Cafe, Cambridge

image from

Sometimes it can be really hard to get a decent cup of coffee and a slice of cake in Cambridge, most cafes are chains and the cakes rarely made anywhere near Cambridge.

Sticky Beaks opened up recently, on Hobson Street, it is independently run and most importantly the cakes are made there in the cafe, along with the yummy savoury offerings.

Another thing that is lovely about Sticky Beaks is their branding, I love the little birdie and it is even on their cups which is a sweet touch.

The hubby and I popped in for a quick weekday lunch. I had the sausage casserole served with a nice hunk of crusty bread, and him the puy lentil lasagne. Both lovely, the casserole had lots of lovely veg in it and herbs. The lasagne was really rich and comforting.

We also couldn’t resist the lovely cakes on offer and shared a slice of  ‘Giant Lamington’ – an Australian cake which is a sponge sandwiched with jam and topped with a thin layer of chocolate and coconut.

They also do a very nice cup of tea, in huge cups, using Tea Pigs tea which I have sung the praises of before.

It is small cafe decorated in duck egg green and pale wood (I am a sucker for duck egg) which makes it nice and bright. The huge range cooker and the artily placed Kitchen Aid behind the counter gives an air of homemade and homeliness.

The prices are very reasonable, the menu changes daily so there will always be something a little different to try. I always like to support local businesses in Cambridge rather than visiting all of the many chains that crowd the centre.

Coffee & Hazelnut Cupcakes

I think I have a cupcake fixation. I think it is because they are a) really easy to make b) cute and c) great to photograph.

I have no less than 7 (now 8) cupcake recipes in my reasonably petite recipe archive. They are a bit like brownies (I have a lot of those blogged too), adaptable and everyone loves them. I don’t always like icing or frosting, it can make the cupcake overly sweet for an everyday lunchtime snack, but for special ocasions you have to. My favourite cupcake is lemon drizzle, which is also my favourite cake.

These cupcakes are again super easy and people always swoon when you mention coffee cake in any form – have you noticed that? I played around with the traditional walnut and decided to sub hazelnut instead because I prefer them. There is a mixture of whole and chopped hazelnuts, along with one of the top which gave it a slightly er, protuding appearance – oops!

I am a coffee snob and I much prefer proper fresh ground coffee to instant, but instant is always the best thing to use for baking – unless you can find coffee extract. You can get a much stronger coffee taste, and I’ve tried using freshly made proper espresso before, than real coffee. Trust me!

Coffee & Hazelnut Cupcakes
makes about 12 cupcakes

200g butter, softened
200g white or brown sugar
4 eggs
175g self raising flour
4 tsps of instant coffee (dissolve about 2 tsps of powder in as little water as possible, approx 75ml)
dash of vanilla extract
chopped and whole hazelnuts – about 100g in total plus extra for the top.

Preheat your oven to 200c / gas mark 6
Cream together your butter and sugar with a spoon and then whisk in the eggs one by one, mixing well to incorporate each time. Add in your vanilla, coffee and then the flour, folding in, try not to overbeat. Then add in your hazelnuts.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases, and fill to about 2/3 full, top with hazelnuts. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes til cooked all the way through.

I did intend to ice them with chocolate and coffee icing but trying to eke out some leftover chocolate frosting with extra coffee and milk made it go all runny, whoops! I experimented with one but the chocolate just wouldn’t set, but it was tasty when topped with more hazelnuts.

P.S. The other cupcakes in the picture are lemon cupcakes, recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery Book 🙂

Birthday Cupcakes, La Hogue Farm Cafe and other treats!

This weekend was my birthday, well Saturday was but I made a weekend of it, I think that is the rule if your birthday is on a Saturday.

There was a LOT of cake.

First of all hubby really out did himself and made these fabulous chocolate cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery book, he added his own twist of a raspberry filling and a chocolate cream cheese icing. They are seriously good, so chocolatey! There is ONE left and it is all mine….

We went for a lovely lunch a the Old Fire Engine house in Ely on Saturday, I didn’t grab any pictures (except for the bread basket which isn’t that interesting!) but it was a really quirky place to go for lunch, the puddings are great!

Due to the wonder that is Twitter the lovely La Hogue farm shop offered me free tea and cake on account of it being my birthday, yay! So we stopped off there for some shopping in the farm shop and then for a slice of (more) cake in the farm shop cafe and a cup of tea (look at the cute milk jug!). The new farm shop cafe is lovely, with proper tables for lunch and cosy sofas for a relaxing cuppa. We are going to stop by for lunch some day. The cakes are beautiful too, the ginger cake we had was very fresh and obviously homemade. Yum!

I also received a lot of foodie presents, including a very large box of marshmallows from Sweet Treats Bakery.

There is stilll MORE cake to come, I have bought some in today to give to my colleagues, for the odd tradition of bring in cakes when it is your birthday. I will be blogging those later on this week.

Rhubarb Custard Cake with Lemon Glaze

Forced rhubarb time is here! It definitely feels like spring time when seasonal fruit comes back into the shops. I love the colour of forced rhubarb too, shocking pink just reminds me of summer time rather than dull old February.

I bake with rhubarb a lot, cakes, cupcakes, pies, simple crumbles and jam. This recipe is super simple to make, the crumb is creamy – to me it actually tastes of custard  – and we all know what rhubarb goes with! This batter has more eggs and less flour, hence the custard taste, and the juices from the rhubarb seep out whilst it makes which makes it extra moist.

I experimented with a lemon glaze too, rhubarb is sour but I think the glaze works surprisingly well.

Rhubarb Custard Cake
makes one cake, I baked mine in a 7 inch square tin.

150gs of softened unsalted butter
150gs of white sugar plus extra for the top
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100gs self raising flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
zest of one lemon
2 large sticks of rhubarb

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, mix in your eggs one by one and then the vanilla. Fold in your zest, flour and baking powder til just combined. Pour the batter into a greased and lined cake tin (mine was non stick so I didn’t use any baking paper)
Trim your rhubarb and chop into 1 inch pieces, arrange over the top of the cake, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar over the top, this will add a bit of extra sweetness to the rhubarb.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 200c / gas mark 6 til cooked through. When a knife is inserted it won’t come out absolutely clean because it is quite a moist cake, a few crumbs should stick.

Leave to cool for about 5 minutes and then very carefully transfer to a plate or a board to allow you to glaze the cake.

For the lemon glaze
juice of one lemon
dash of vanilla extract
approx 70g caster sugar

whisk both together until well combined, the sugar doesnt have to dissolve as you want a nice crunchy top. Spoon over the warm cake and leave for as long as you can before grabbing yourself a slice.

This cake is just lovely out of the oven as it is incredibly crispy on top, you can reheat it slightly from cold to crisp up again too.

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