Carrot Loaf Cake

Carrot cake is the best of all the cakes. (In my opinion, at least!) This loaf cake recipe is quick, easy, and most importantly – tasty!

This recipe takes around 20mins to prepare and 1 hour 15mins to bake.

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)

  • Vegetable oil (140ml)
  • 2 eggs
  • Light brown sugar (200g)
  • Grated carrots (300g)
  • Raisins (100g)
  • Self raising flour (180g)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp mixed spice

Icing ingredients

  • Cream cheese (180g)
  • Butter (40g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar (200g)
  • Zest of one lemon and one orange

Making the mixture

  1. Set the oven to 150degC (fan).
  2. First, line a standard sized loaf tin with grease proof paper and give a quick rub with a drop of oil.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Grate the carrots.
  5. Add the oil, brown sugar, carrots and raisins into the mixing bowl and mix to combine.
  6. Sift the self raising flour into the bowl, followed by the salt, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice into the bowl.
  7. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and place in the oven for approximately 1hr 15 minutes.
  9. Check that a skewer comes out clean and transfer to a wire rack to cool. (Keep it in the tin for the first 10 minutes before turning out onto the rack)

Prepare the icing

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl using a metal spoon.
  2. Add the vanilla essence and half the grated zests.
  3. Sift the icing sugar and mix until the icing is smooth.
  4. Spread the icing over the cooled cake.
  5. Top with the remaining lemon zest

Make sure you store the cake somewhere cool to prevent the cream cheese icing from running or spoiling.

To be fair, it probably won’t hang around long enough to spoil – everyone will be after a slice!

#Easydoughsy #recipe #blog #Aberdeenshire #baking #Scotland #cake #carrotcake #bakingmadeeasy #stepbystep #homebake #homemade #homebaking #blogger #Aberdeenshirebloggers #Scottishbloggers

Banana Bread

Banana bread is the perfect autumnal recipe for cosy evenings at home!

This recipe takes around 20mins to prepare and 1 hours to bake.

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)

  • Margarine (100g)
  • Caster sugar (100g)
  • Self raising flour (225g)
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 to 4 bananas (depends on size!)
  • 2tsp mixed spice

Making the mixture

  1. Set the oven to 150degC (fan).
  2. First, grease a standard sized loaf tin using a slither of margarine.
  3. Measure out the margarine and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Cream the marg and sugar together using the back of a spoon.
  5. Next, sieve the flour into the mixing bowl, followed by the baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  6. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly until completely combined. The mixture will be slightly stiff (don’t worry!)
  7. Place the bananas into a plastic bowl and mash with a fork until mushy.
  8. Beat the mashed banana into the cake batter, allowing plenty of air into the mixture, and ensuring that the banana is evenly distributed throughout.
  9. Add the mixed spice and stir well.
  10. Pour mixture into the tin & bake for approximately 1 hour until well risen and firm to the touch.

Finishing Touches

  1. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
  2. Once cooled, cut into slices and serve.

(I recommend a large cup of tea as an accompaniment x x )

#Easydoughsy #recipe #blog #Aberdeenshire #baking #Scotland #cake #bananabread #bakingmadeeasy #stepbystep #homebake #homemade #homebaking #blog #blogger #Aberdeenshirebloggers #Scottishbloggers

 

Ode to Mary Berry

Mary Berry is a queen. I mean, not only can the woman produce a damn fine Victoria Sponge, but she has raised a family whilst cultivating a 6-decade long career. She’s the ultimate girl boss in my eyes, with high moral standards and even higher standards in food presentation.

My admiration for Mary is well known. People will text me to let me know when ‘the Bezza’ is on TV, my family have sourced many Great British Bake Off related birthday gifts for me over the years, and on parting company with my previous employer, I was even presented with a copy of Mary Berry’s ‘Classic’ recipe book as a leaving gift.

I enjoy Mary Berry’s characteristic take on home-baking and home-cooking. From her opinions on “soggy bottoms” to her love of “informal” presentations; she’s unpretentious, methodical and simply hopes to encourage everyone to make a stab at creating delicious meals at home. This outlook on baking fits well with my ethos for Easydoughsy – don’t over-complicate things, and have a go! I can only hope that someday I will execute my bakes with the same poise and grace as Mary!

Mary has amassed somewhat of a cult following as a result of her time on the Great British Bake Off (GBBO). I believe this is predominantly down to her cheeky sense of humour, love of booze, and inspiring fashion choices. Fashion, in particular, isn’t often something you’d associate with an 80-something year old. However, Mary has become a style icon in her own right. Her love of brightly coloured blazers from the high street caused a stir, triggering several sell outs of bright/floral jackets across both M&S and Zara. Mary has broken down barriers through these blazers – forcing the public to readdress how they view older people, and older women specifically. These brightly coloured uniforms are not just a style choice, but an important symbol. They enabled Mary to stand out from the crowd; all eyes on her and her invaluable knowledge, gained through many years of hard-earned experience. Woman should no longer become invisible in the media once they hit a certain age. Showing diversity on our screens is key to providing people of all ages with inspiration and positive reinforcement… we all need a good role-model, after all.

So, as one of my most cherished heroines, Mary will always be at the forefront of my mind throughout my baking adventures. When I come across a challenge or dilemma I like to imagine… “what would Mary do?”. And, of course, when considering any baking advice, the final word should invariably be from Mary. – ‘In Mary we trust!’

In tribute to Mary, here’s my attempt at one of her most classic bakes – the Victoria Sponge. This recipe can be found, for free, online at BBC Food.

https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/mary_berrys_perfect_34317

Ingredients 

  • Self raising flour (225g)
  • Margarine (225g)
  • Caster sugar (225g)
  • Baking powder (pinch)
  • 4 eggs

Prep the cakes

  1. Grease two 20cm cake tins and line with baking paper.
  2. Set the oven to 180 degC.
  3. Weigh out the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. (mixing the egg and sugar together first, followed by the flour and eggs can aid the mixing process – particularly if you’re mixing by hand!)
  4. Divide the mixture between the 2 trays as evenly as you can.
  5. Pop the cakes in the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25mins.

Building the cake

  1. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack for cooling.
  2. Once the cakes have fully cooled, generously pour raspberry jam over the top of one cake before sandwiching the other firmly on top.
  3. Dust the cake with icing sugar to serve.

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Malteser Slice

One of my mum’s recipes… this has been super popular in our house for at least 25 years! It really never disappoints!

This recipe takes around 20mins to prepare and 3 hours to set.

Ingredients (makes 1 tray)

  • Margarine (115g)
  • Golden Syrup (3 table spoons)
  • Milk chocolate (255g)
  • White chocolate (450g)
  • Digestive biscuits (225g)
  • Maltesers (225g)

Prepping the base

  1. Measure out the margarine, syrup and milk chocolate into a Pyrex mixing bowl.
  2. Set up a “bain-marie” (that’s some boiling water in a saucepan with a glass bowl sitting on top!)
  3. Allow the chocolate mix to melt, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, crush the digestive biscuits in a food bag with a rolling pin.
  5. Lightly crush your Maltesers in a second food bag – make sure there’s a mixture of well crushed and barely crushed Maltesers.
  6. Once the chocolate has melted, add the crushed digestive biscuits to the mixing bowl and stir.
  7. Add 3/4 of the crushed Maltesers and stir once more.
  8. Lightly grease a high edged baking tray.

Completing your Malteser slice

  1. Pack your chocolatey biscuit base into the baking tray. Level and smooth the mixture as best as you can.
  2. Set up a second bain-marie with your white chocolate, mixing occasionally.
  3. Once the chocolate has fully melted, carefully pour over your biscuit base.
  4. Smooth out your white chocolate and sprinkle the remaining crushed Malteser pieces over the top of the chocolate.
  5. Transfer to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
  6. Once set, cut into (large!) portions before serving and devouring!

This recipe is perfect for parties, bake sales and picnics! (And is so easy to make!)

#Easydoughsy #recipe #blog #Aberdeenshire #baking #Scotland #chocolate #biscuit #yum #bakingmadeeasy #stepbystep #bakesale #homemade #homebaking

Colossal Cookie

What’s better than cookies?….. uh, COLOSSAL cookies!

These cookies are fudgey and gooey, like a warm brownie. They would make an ideal desert for a casual kid-friendly dinner party.

This recipe takes around 8mins to prep and 25mins to bake.

Ingredients (Makes 1 very large cookie)

  • Baking margarine (200g)
  • Dark Brown sugar (230g)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Plain flour (275g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g sultanas
  • 2 large handfuls of mini marshmallows!

Making the cookie batter

  1. Measure out your sugar and butter into a large mixing bowl
  2. Combine the butter and the sugar by creaming and beating them together using the back of a spoon. They should be fully blended with no signs of unmixed sugar or lumps of butter.
  3. Separate the yolks from the eggs.
  4. Add in the two yolks and vanilla to the mixture, then stir.
  5. Add the flour and baking powder into the bowl.
  6. Stir until it forms a stiff mixture.
  7. Add the sultanas and mix once more.
  8. Add in marshmallows and then stir for a final time!

Baking

  1. Next, prep your frying pan (make sure it is oven safe first!) by adding some margarine to a paper towel or section of grease-proof paper and rubbing evenly across the surface of the frying pan.
  2. Set your oven to 160degC (temp may vary for each oven)
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how gooey you would like your cookie.
  4. Leave to stand for at least 5 minutes, ideally 10, before serving

This bake is my version of a BBC good food recipe. The original can be found here; https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/giantcookie

#puddings #colossalcookie #baking #stepbystep #bakingmadeeasy #comfort #kidfriendly #blog #recipe #Scotland #Aberdeenshire #Easydoughsy

Butternut squash muffin-cakes

img_0448This is one of my favourite experiments. They’re a bit of a cross between a cake and muffin – with the butternut squash keeping everything moist. Preparing the butternut squash is a bit labour intensive – stick with it though, I promise it’ll come good!

This recipe takes around 20mins to prep and 25mins to bake.

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • Sunflower oil (175ml)
  • Muscovado sugar (175g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Butternut squash (1 small, or 1/2 a large squash)
  • Sultanas (100g)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Self raising flour (200g)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Prep the butternut squash

  1. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper cases.
  2. Peel the outer skin away with a vegetable peeler and then grate the butternut squash (this may feel like it’s taking forever, but is totally worth it).

Combine the mixture & bake

  1. Set your oven to 180degC (temp may vary for each oven)
  2. Pour the oil into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Next, add the sugar, eggs and vanilla.,
  4. Beat together (I like to use a metal spoon)
  5. Add the grated butternut squash and sultanas.
  6. Beat together (again, still using a metal spoon).
  7. Stir in the mixed spice, cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda.
  8. Spoon into the paper cases using a teaspoon and then tap the tray to settle the mixture.
  9. Bake for 25mins until firm and springy!
  10. Transfer the muffin-cakes onto a wire rack to cool before eating.

These cakes are moreish. You have been warned.

Remember, baking doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be Easydoughsy.

#butternutsquash #muffincake #blog #baking #recipe #bakingmadeeasy #stepbystep #Scotland #Aberdeenshire #Easydoughsy

What’s the fastest cake?

img_0359-1SCONE!

In all seriousness, scones are actually one of the best super-quick, low-effort bakes.

This recipe is the same one I’ve been using since I was around 8 years old. However, I do like to mix it up now and again by adding sultanas, cherries, or by substituting the dairy ingredients for non dairy alternatives – creating tasty vegan scones.

It takes around 10mins to prep and 12-15mins to bake.

Ingredients (Makes 6 medium scones)

  • Flour (225g)
  • Caster Sugar (25g)
  • Baking margarine (55g)
  • Milk (150ml) (this recipe works equally well with coconut milk as a vegan alternative – and it gives a lovely coconut undertone to the scones)
  • A pinch of salt

 Making the dough

(No wooden spoon required!)

  1. Measure out your flour and baking margarine into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Get your hands in and rub the butter and flour between your finger tips and thumb until it looks as though you have a bowl of breadcrumbs.
  4. Next, stick your bowl back onto the scales and measure out your sugar. It’s worthwhile measuring out your milk in a measuring jug at this point too!
  5. Give the sugar a mix (still using your hands!) and then add the milk, a little at a time, until you have a slightly sticky mix.
  6. At this point you can add sultanas, glace cherries etc if you wish.
  7. Throw some extra flour down on a (clean) work-surface.
  8. Transfer your dough onto the floured surface and give it quick roll about. The dough will pick up some of the flour, removing its stickiness. Note: only roll it until the ball of dough looks combined!

Prep and Baking

  1. Next, prep your baking tray – add some margarine to a paper towel or section of grease-proof paper and rub this evenly across your tray.
  2. Set your oven to 220degC (temp may vary for each oven)
  3. Using a rolling pin, roll your dough gently until it is around an inch thick.
  4. Next, use a circular serrated cutter (or the top of a glass if you don’t have a cutter) to cut out your scones.
  5. Place your cut out scones evenly on your pre-greased baking tray.
  6. Using a pastry brush (or a clean finger!), spread a little milk on top of each of your scones. This will give them a lovely deep-coloured crown when they bake.
  7. Pop your tray in the oven for 12-15mins until your scones have risen & the tops are golden brown in colour.
  8. Transfer the cooked scones onto a wire rack to cool before eating.

Let me know how you get on! It may take a couple of tries to get your oven temperature and consistencies correct. Once you’ve got your technique nailed though, you can scale up the quantities to make larger batches.

Remember, baking doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be Easydoughsy.

#scone #blog #baking #firstbake #recipe #veganoption #bakingmadeeasy #stepbystep #Scotland #Aberdeenshire #Easydoughsy