Thursday, 14 May 2015

Recipe: Rose creams

                       

This simple no-bake recipe is an easy gift idea, a great choice for a friend with a sweet tooth – and a quick one to make with children. We've used rose water extract to flavour the patties, but you could easily substitute the rosewater for the same quantity of peppermint, vanilla, lavender, almond, coffee or orange extract (etc) depending on your tastes. Make sure you use gel food colouring and not liquid - adding too much moisture to the mix will affect the consistency and you could end up with a gloopy mess instead!

                       
     

 

Makes 35x 4.5cm rose creams

 

175g condensed milk

1/4tsp rose water extract

One drop of pink gel food colouring

450g icing sugar (sifted)

A little plain flour (to dust your surface)

 

1) Prepare two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2) Pour the condensed milk into a bowl, add the rose water and gel food colouring and stir through to achieve an even colour.
3) Gradually add the sifted icing sugar and mix into a dough – turn out onto a clean work surface to knead to an even consistency.
4) Dust your work surface with a little plain flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately 5mm.
5) Stamp with a 4.5cm button cookie stamp (we used the Emma Jane's Bakery daisy design) and cut out.
6) Arrange the rounds on the baking trays.
7) Chill for one hour (or until set)
 

The rose creams can be stored on layers of baking paper in a well sealed tupperware container for up to two weeks (in a cool room or the fridge), or can be frozen for a month.


                         
     

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Recipe: Best ginger biscuits

                         


These are my favourite ginger biscuits, I've been baking big batches of them for years - they freeze well and there was a time when I always had a supply on standby, just in case. I've tweaked this recipe over the years transforming it into the perfect cookie stamp recipe - the biscuits hold their shape beautifully and will carry quite an intricate design very well. Roll the dough thickly for a softer bite, or thinly for a biscuit with crunch. Flavoured with ground ginger, cinnamon and golden syrup, they are fab tea-dunkers, without the sickly sweetness that can sometimes accompany ginger in baking.

As with my other cookie stamp recipes, I've included a stage to chill the cut dough before baking - this helps the impression of the design stay in place as the biscuit bakes and will give you a much sharper finish. If you are making biscuits without a cookie stamp or any intricate detail, you can skip the chilling step and pop them straight in the oven to bake.

Makes approximately 50 (4.5cm diameter) biscuits, or 30 (6.5cm diameter) biscuits

You will need:
350g plain flour
100g butter
2tsp ground ginger
2tsp ground cinnamon
100g caster sugar
3 medium egg yolks
3tbs golden syrup

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C (190C fan), line and lightly oil three baking trays.

2. Rub the butter into the flour, cinnamon and ginger to create a breadcrumb-like texture.

3. Stir in the caster sugar, add the egg yolks and golden syrup and mix into a firm dough.

4. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of approximately 4-5mm.

5. To help prevent sticking, dust the cookie stamp with a little flour and Tao the excess off. Stamp the dough, then cut out the biscuits and arrange them evenly spaced on the baking trays (they don't spread much so can be fairly close together).

6. Transfer the baking trays to the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before munching.

                      

You can find the cookie stamps used above (and others) at my online store emmajanesbakery.co.uk, the top image shows biscuits made with the stag's head cookie stamp - the dough rolled a little thicker for a soft bite. The photo just above shows the biscuits I made to celebrate my daughter's birth, using our personalised baby announcement cookie stamp - here I rolled the dough a little thinner and baked for slightly longer for a crunchy biscuit. The finished biscuits will freeze well stored in a well sealed airtight container - and don't take too long to defrost either, great as a standby treat for visitors.


      


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Recipe: chocolate orange marble drizzle cake



I developed this recipe back in September, for Owen's birthday. A lot has happened since then, not least of all the birth of our wonderful daughter - who has thrown our lives out of kilter in the most amazing ways. So the notes for this recipe have been sitting on my desk for almost three months, waiting to be written up! I love a chocolate orange flavour combination, this cake counters the richness of dark chocolate with a very refreshing, citrusy orange drizzle. The sponge mixture is split into two batches, flavoured with orange zest and melted dark chocolate - and swirled together before baking. The cake is moist and flavoursome - and should last for a week if stored properly, but hopefully you'll enjoy it so much that it won't stick around for that long!


You will need:
200g butter
180g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour
2tsp baking powder
Grated zest of 1/2 an orange
2tbs cocoa powder
50g melted dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa

For the drizzle:
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1tbs caster sugar

1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C (fan), line and lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin.
2. Pop the butter, caster sugar, eggs, self raising flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and beat until combined into an even batter.
3. Scoop half of the cake batter into a separate bowl, tip in the grated orange zest and stir through - set to one side.
4. Add the cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate to the other bowl and stir until you have an even, darkly coloured mixture.
5. Spoon a few dollops of the orange zest cake batter into the prepared cake tin, spacing them apart a little. Spoon dollops of the chocolate cake batter into the gaps between orange dollops - layer any remaining batter into the tin like this. 
6. Using a chopstick or knife, swirl the two types of cake batter together, being careful not to mix them together too much, so that you retain a 'marbled' look.
7. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when gently pressed with your index finger.
8. When you have approximately 10 minutes of baking time left, prepare the drizzle. Put the orange juice and caster sugar into a small saucepan and heat at a low temperature until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.
9. When the cake is done, pour the drizzle over while it's still in the tin. Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing the cake from the tin and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Recipe: Super chocolatey ganache sandwich cookies

Super chocolatey ganache sandwich button cookies, as made by EJ
It's not often I develop a recipe that makes me behave like a greedy child - usually, I'm very generous when it comes to sharing. Contrary to most of my friends' beliefs, I am very unlikely to bake & binge, enjoying a slice of cake here and there, without feeling the need to polish off a whole batch of anything without assistance. Ok, so there may have been times when I have eaten almost a whole cake myself, but more over the course of a week or so than in one sitting (which I'm pretty sure makes it ok). These chocolate biscuits, however, are very difficult to share. It's also extremely tricky to stop at just one. I blame the addictive properties of rich velvety ganache. I can't eat just one, but don't seem to know my chocolatey limits - and by biscuit number five, a line has definitely been crossed. I've had this problem before.

I actually first made this recipe a couple of months ago, but spent a leisurely time developing, tweaking and testing it. Last weekend Owen tried it out for me, baking batches and batches of cookies to bring to work as a birthday treat - and had some very happy colleagues as a result.

The biscuits are flavoured with melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder, sandwiched together with rich whipped ganache. From the many important rounds of recipe testing we did, I can confirm that these cookies are even better a day or two after you've made them - when the ganache has had a chance to soften the biscuits a little. So these are a great one to bake and fill a day or two in advance, trust me on this one.

I developed this recipe as one to use with my cookie stamps - although you could make a plain version if you prefer. The dough really doesn't spread much as it bakes, so it's also a great choice to use with intricately shaped cookie cutters.

I've recommended placing a layer of cling film over the dough before embossing to protect the stamp face - as with heavily pigmented dough colour can sometimes transfer. But it's worth bearing in mind that you could lose some of the detail in your design this way (depending on how intricate it is).

For ganache, equal measures of chocolate and double cream are used - as such, the double cream is measured in grams instead of millilitres. In my experience, for 100g of double cream you'll need around 110ml - but please use scales to check the weight! Please don't be tempted to whip up the ganache before it has completely cooled and chilled. Whipping warm ganache will cause the fats to separate and it just won't be easy to achieve that beautiful piping consistency - patience is key here.

This recipe makes approximately 20 (4.5cm) sandwich cookies (or 40 individual biscuits if un-filled)

Ingredients:
100g butter
100g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
3tbs milk
40g melted dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
50g cocoa powder
225g plain flour

For the ganache filling:
100g dark chocolate
100g double cream

Directions:

For the biscuits:
1) Line three baking trays with baking and greaseproof paper.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk up the egg yolk a little - add the milk. Pour this into the butter and sugar mixture and stir well to combine.
4) Add the melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder and mix through until you've achieved an even, chocolatey colour.
5) Tip in the plain flour and mix into a dough. Use your hands to make sure all of the flour is incorporated.
6) Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of approximately 4mm. Place a layer of cling film on top and use your stamp to make impressions in the dough. Remove the cling film and cut out the biscuits, arranging them on the baking trays.
7) Transfer the baking trays to the fridge to chill for one hour.
8) While the biscuits are chilling, pre-heat the oven to 200C (190C fan, gas mark 6). Bake for 15-18 minutes.
9) Arrange on a wire rack to cool.

For the ganache:
1) Finely chop the dark chocolate with a sharp knife.
2) Pour the double cream into a saucepan, heat gently until it just reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat and tip in the chocolate.
3) Stir slowly until the chocolate has completely melted into the cream to create a glossy sauce.
4) Pour the ganache into a bowl and leave to cool, when it reaches room temperature, pop the bowl in the fridge to chill for around 15 minutes.
5) When the ganache is cooled and slightly chilled, whip with an electric whisk until the colour is paler and the texture is slightly lighter.
6) Arrange half of the biscuits face-down. Spoon the ganache into a piping bag and snip the end. Pipe a blob onto each of the arranged biscuits and sandwich together with the remaining biscuits (right sides up).
7) If you feel generous, share with friends. But I won't hold it against you if you choose not to :)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Cookie stamp friendly recipes

Owen and I are taking a little time out from Emma Jane's Bakery for maternity leave (our baby is due very soon) :) as such, the shop is temporarily closed. Although we're incredibly excited about meeting our baby, I do feel a little conflicted about taking a break, our journey so far has been really fun - and we've had the opportunity to make so many beautiful cookie stamps, with loads of bespoke designs coming in. We're hoping to re-open the shop early 2015 (maybe a little sooner if we're feeling brave) - and we've got lots of new ideas which we'll be launching next year too.

You can still keep up to date with us by visiting the Emma Jane's Bakery Facebook page.

In the mean time, I'll be continuing to develop more cookie stamp friendly recipes. To help anyone who already has one of our cookie stamps, I've added links below to our currently published recipes. These biscuits were developed, tried & tested by me. They keep their shape exceptionally well as they bake and are also suitable for use with intricate cookie cutters - click on the links below to see the recipes.



Super simple sugar cookies 



Vanilla and Nutella buttercream sandwich cookies 




Rose water buttercream sandwich cookies 



Strawberries and cream sandwich cookies 



Emma Jane's Bakery ginger biscuit recipe - as baked & photographed
by Little Button Diaries
Best ginger biscuits


Happy baking! :)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Recipe: Vegan peanut butter flapjacks

Vegan peanut butter flapjacks, as made by EJ
I had a flapjack a few weeks ago and realised how long it had been since I'd baked a batch - I also remembered how amazing they are. Baking can be like an obsession for me; when I find a recipe or type of cake I love, I bake it constantly, until a new favourite surfaces (I'm currently on chocolate brownies - a particularly dangerous obsession). I did this with flapjacks a few years ago, regrettably neglecting to record my recipe in any permanent sort of way. But one of the great things about flapjacks is that they're so easy to throw together, that with the intuitive proportioning of ingredients - they're actually quite difficult to get wrong. This version is inspired by my old obsession - packed with oats, fruit, peanut butter and seeds, but with the omission of butter (I used Pure dairy free sunflower spread instead). I'm starting to bake more dairy free versions of old favourites these days - a new friend is lactose intolerant, veganism is on the increase within my social circle and family- and annoying pregnancy food aversions have turned me into an almost-vegan for the last seven months (although it's been a surprisingly easy adjustment to make).

I'm not sure I can actually make a batch of flapjacks without adding a dollop of peanut butter, the richness and saltiness complements the golden syrup and takes the edge off the sweetness; it just transforms them into something else.

Makes approximately 8 flapjacks  

100g vegan sunflower spread
75g soft light brown sugar
2.5tbs golden syrup
200g jumbo oats
50g sultanas
50g cranberries
25g sunflower and pumpkin seeds (mixed)
2 level tbs salted crunchy peanut butter


1) Line and lightly oil a 20cm square baking tin. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan) 

2) Melt the vegan sunflower spread over a low heat until completely liquid but not hot, remove from the heat.

3) Add the soft light brown sugar and golden syrup and stir until dissolved into the melted sunflower spread.

4) Tip in the oats and stir until they're completely coated. Add the sultanas, cranberries and seeds.

5) Add the peanut butter and thoroughly stir through.

6) Spoon the flapjack mixture into the prepared tin, pressing down with the back of a metal spoon to create an even surface.

7) Bake at 160C for 25 minutes, until just turning golden at the edges.

8) Leave to cool in the tin, before lifting the slab of flapjack out and cutting into slices with a sharp knife. Store in a well sealed tupperware container until you're ready to enjoy them.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Recipe: Rose buttercream sandwich sugar cookies

Rose water sandwich biscuits, as made by EJ

Things are getting pretty exciting over at Emma Jane's Bakery, more of the cookie stamp designs that Owen and I spent months perfecting are now available in the shop - with more in the pipeline that I just can't wait to share :)

One of my missions when we started this project, was to make sure we could provide each customer with recipes which genuinely work with the stamps. I'm only too aware of how often the recipes provided with kitchen tools are untested (or just really rubbish). I feel strongly that if someone has invested in a specialist tool, that they should be given recipes and advice that really works. So in addition to the recipe card which is sent out with every order, I'll be recording additional biscuit recipes and flavour variations here - which I'm hoping you can use as a resource, or a starting point for your own creations.

If you're embarking on a baking project using cookie stamps - you might find my tips for baking with cookie stamps useful.

In this recipe, the biscuits and buttercream are both delicately flavoured with rose water, I've used the 6.5cm personalised 'made by' cookie stamp for this recipe (and used a 6.5cm round cookie cutter to cut out the stamped dough). This makes 10 sandwich cookies (or 20 non-sandwiched cookies). It's important to use gel food colouring (not liquid) to tint the buttercream, as a liquid will change the consistency.

Ingredients: 

For the sugar cookies:
100g butter (softened)
100g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
1tsp rose water
2tbs milk
275g plain flour

For the buttercream filling:
50g unsalted butter, softened
175g icing sugar
1tsp rose water
2tsp water
A tiny drop of pink gel food colouring (I used Wilton gel colour in 'rose')

Directions: 

1) Line three baking trays with lightly oiled baking paper. 

2) Cream the butter and sugar together.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk up the egg yolk a little - add the rose water and milk. Gradually add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, mixing well to combine.

4) Add the plain flour, mix well to form into a dough - this will work best if you start with a spoon and finish with your hands (so get messy). 

5) Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of approximately 4-5mm.  To help prevent sticking, dust the stamp with flour & tap the excess off. Stamp the dough, then cut out the biscuits and arrange them, evenly spaced, on the baking trays.

6) Transfer the baking trays to the fridge to chill for one hour.

7) Pre-heat the oven to 200C, (190C fan, gas mark 6), bake for 15-18 minutes, until just turning golden at the edges.

8) Arrange on a wire rack to cool.

9) To make the buttercream, first cream the butter in a bowl until very soft.

10) Gradually sift in the icing sugar, when the mixture becomes thick, start to add the rose water and water, one teaspoon at a time.

11) When all of the icing sugar and liquid has been added and a good piping consistency achieved, stir through a drop of pink gel food colouring to lightly tint the mixture.

12) Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle.

13) When the biscuits are completely cool, arrange them face-down and pipe a generous blob into the centre of 10 of the biscuits.

14) Sandwich together with the remaining 10 biscuits. Press down evenly across each cookie to encourage the buttercream to spread evenly.

You can buy the personalised 'made by' cookie stamp from Emma Jane's Bakery.