Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Spiced Orange and White Chocolate Cupcakes


I am rubbish at decorating cakes, I lack patience and a steady hand, so when I found these cute little edible toppers from My Cupcake Toppers I thought they would be the perfect thing to jazz up my festive bakes. They do loads of designs (not just festive themed ones), you can even create your own! You can now also get 10% off your first order by using BREAD10 at the checkout.




Makes 12 cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:

120g self raising flour
1 large egg
120g unsalted butter, softened
120g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon mixed spice
100g white chocolate

For the icing/filling:
150g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Zest of one orange
12 cupcake toppers
Gold edible glitter
12 teaspoons marmalade




Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees c.
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
Place the flour, egg, butter, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, mixed spice and white chocolate into the bowl of a freestanding mixer and mix using the paddle attachment until everything is well combined (you could use a hand-held mixer instead).
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them about 3/4 of the way up.
Bake the cupcakes for around 15 minutes, or until they have turned a light golden brown and are springy to the touch.
Remove the cakes from the tin and place them on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the icing by beating together the icing sugar, milk, unsalted butter and orange zest together in a freestanding mixer using the paddle attachment, until everything is well combined and the mixture has become white and fluffy.
When the cakes have cooled, make a hole in the centre, making sure you don't go straight down to the bottom (see picture, I used an apple corer but you could just use a teaspoon if you haven't got one).
Place a teaspoon of marmalade into each of the holes until all of the cupcakes are filled.
Using a small palette knife (or the back of a spoon) smooth the icing over the cupcakes, making sure you can't see any of the cake underneath.
Place a cupcake topper on top of each of the cakes and then sprinkle with the edible glitter.
These cupcakes will keep for a couple of days stored in an air-tight container at room temperate.






Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Candy Cane White Chocolate Mocha

A white chocolate mocha is definitely my coffee shop drink of choice. I have heard whispers off this festive flavoured twist on secret menus for a while now, but I have never dared stray from my usual order to try it myself. I have used peppermint cordial here instead of essence, after a disaster with an out of date bottle, but if you want to use essence, I would reduce the quantity to half a teaspoon.




Makes one mocha.


For the mocha:
1 mug of milk
30g white chocolate, broken into chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint cordial
1 teaspoon instant coffee

To serve (optional):
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder, sifted
1 candy cane

Heat the milk, coffee and peppermint cordial on the hob, on a medium heat, until the milk just starts to bubble (make sure you stir well so that everything is combined).
Remove the milk mixture from the heat and leave to cool slightly, for around 30 seconds (because the white chocolate is very sensitive to heat).
Place the white chocolate into a large heat-proof bowl.
Pour the milk over the chocolate and stir well until all the white chocolate has melted and everything is well combined.
Pour the mocha into a mug and enjoy!


Saturday, 10 December 2016

Christmas Rolls

These deliciously sweet rolls combine all the nostalgic flavours of the festive season. The above-mentioned treats taste best whilst still a little warm, served alongside a mug-full of lightly spiced mulled wine.


Makes 15 rolls.

For the rolls:
450g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
½ pint of milk
80g butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice

For the filling:
1 jar of mincemeat (around 400g)
200g marzipan.
2 tablespoons mixed peel
20g almond nibs
Zest of one orange
Icing sugar, for dusting


Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Rub the yeast into the bread crumb mixture.
Add the salt, mixed spice and milk and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more milk if it feels a little dry).
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until it feels soft but not sticky.
Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour and a half, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle (about 20cm x 30cm).
Roll out the marzipan so it’s the same size and shape as the dough.
Place the marzipan on top of the dough and then spread over the mincemeat, mixed peel, almond nibs and orange zest.
Roll the dough up into a large sausage and then cut it into 15 equal pieces.
Line a rectangle baking tray with some grease proof paper, and then place the dough pieces on it, leaving 2 cm (ish) gap between each one.
Cover the buns with a tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour, or until they have noticeably puffed up and are pretty much touching.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees c.
When the buns have risen, bake them for around 20 minutes, or until they have turned a deep golden brown.
Leave the buns to cool in the tray for around 10 minutes before liberally dusting with icing sugar and serving.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Orange, Cranberry and White Chocolate Cake Bites



Christmas is nearly here! And what better way is there to celebrate than by lots of cake eating cake! I call these treats 'bites', although, really, they are a little bigger than that (what can I say, I'm greedy), so if you would like a daintier cake, feel free to cut slightly smaller rectangles.




Makes 16 bites.


For the bites:
120g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
120g sugar
2 large eggs
120g unsalted butter, softened
Zest of one orange
100g white chocolate chips
75g died cranberries (I used Sainsbury's orange cranberries)

For the filling/topping:
4 tablespoons marmalade
50g white chocolate
32 dried cranberries

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees c.
Line a rectangle baking tray (around 20cm x 30 cm) with some grease-proof/baking paper.
Beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a free standing mixer (or using a hand-held electric whisk), using the paddle attachment, until well combined.
Fold the chocolate chips, orange zest and dried cranberries into the batter and then pour it into the prepared tray.
Smooth the batter out until it evenly fills the tin and then bake it for around 15 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
Leave the sponge to cool slightly in the tin before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
When the sponge is cool, cut it into 32 small rectangles (they don't have to me mega even, mine weren't).
Spread marmalade on top of 16 of the sponges and the top with the other 16, so you get little sandwiches.
Melt the white chocolate and then drizzle it over the top of the sandwiches.
Add 2 dried cranberries to each of the cake bites and then leave the chocolate to set for 30 minutes, before serving.
These cakes will keep for a couple of days, stored in an air-tight container at room temperate.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Marmite and Cheese Focaccia


After the success of my last marmite themed bake I thought I would try something else, this time including it in a delicious Mediterranean classic and adding a little extra cheese (because cheese  makes everything better). I may have offended some Italians by calling this a 'focaccia' but it its baked in the same way and drenched with olive oil, all that's missing is an adornment of sea salt (I figured the marmite was salty enough). Enjoy this bread whilst its still slightly warm, dunked into some piping hot soup.




For the loaf:
450g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons marmite
300ml water
30g parmesan, grated

For the topping:
100g cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil


Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast.
Add the marmite, salt, oil, parmesan and water and mix to form a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until it feels smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea-towel and leave to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Grease a rectangle baking tray and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
When the dough has risen, place it in the baking tray, stretching it out so that it pretty much fills the entire tin.
Cover with a tea-towel and leave to rise again, for around 20 minutes, or until the dough has noticeably puffed up.
When the focaccia has risen, make lots of dents in the surface with your knuckles, then sprinkle over the cheese and olive oil.
Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the cheese is burnished and the crust is a deep golden colour.
Cool the focaccia in the tin, for around 10 minutes, before removing and serving.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Sweet Potato Focaccia


I got the inspiration for this bake from my friend Jonny, who once made me some flatbread that was stuffed with either sweet potato or butternut squash (I can't remember which one), and it tasted AMAZING. Ever since I tried his creation I have been thinking of ways that I could combine the delicious, earthy flavour into my own breads. I have always been a fan of potato topped focaccia (Jamie Oliver does a good one) and I thought a little twist on the classic Italian flatbread would be the perfect carrier for my spiced sweet potato mixture.




Makes 2 small focaccia

For the focaccia:
500g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for greasing
400ml water

For the topping:
1/2 sweet potato, cut into small chunks
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
3 teaspoons coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil


Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add the salt oil and water and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Place the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until it feels more smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for around an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees c.
Place the chopped sweet potato onto a baking tray.
Sprinkle over the paprika, chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the sea salt and mix together so that the sweet potato is evenly coated.
Bake the seasoned potatoes in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until they are soft.
When the sweet potatoes are ready, remove them from the oven and place to one side to cool.
Grease two 20cm round cake tins with olive oil.
When the dough has risen, divide it into two and place it into the lined cake tins.
Press the cooled sweet potato into the doughs and then cover each one with a tea towel.
Leave the doughs to rise for around 30 minutes, or until they have noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the loaves have risen, sprinkle over the remaining olive oil and sea salt and bake for 20 minutes, or until they have turned a deep golden brown.
Leave the focaccia to cool slightly on a wire rack before removing from the tins and serving.
The focaccia can be frozen, if you are not planning to eat them straight away (this is why I made two, so I could eat one now and freeze the other for later), simply cool completely and then wrap well in clingfilm before freezing. When you are ready to eat the focaccia simply bake them straight from frozen, at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.