Orange and Lemon Cake

F96086C7-E6E2-483C-9B30-7DB4FFB8D3B9*gets one hour of sunshine*: “It’s officially summer!”. Even if the sun is not shining today, this cake is guaranteed to cheer up your quarantine.

That said, you may be forced to venture to your local Waitrose to stock up on baking essentials, so please wear your blue gloves and be generous with the hand sanitiser.

Ingredients

5 white eggs (230ish g) (I usually use large brown but quarantine seems to have rendered those obsolete)

245g Self Raising Flour

245g Stork

245g Caster Sugar

2tbsp Orange Juice (the squeezed from an actual orange type rather than innocent juice or cordial)

2tbsp Lemon Juice (same deal ^)

1tbsp Milk of your choice (big fan of coconut at the moment)

 

Method

  1. Weigh out all ingredients, set the oven to 160 degrees fan. Grease and line three 6″ baking tins or two 8″.
  2. Sieve together flour, a teaspoon of baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Whisk the lemon juice and orange juice together and set aside.
  4. Beat butter and sugar in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. This should take approximately 3 minutes with a scrape down of the bowl in between. Keep the mixer on medium speed.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition for around a minute on a medium speed. Add a tablespoon of flour if it looks as though the mixture is about to curdle.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture with the mixer on a very low speed until combined.
  7. Pour in the lemon and orange juices, mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the milk, mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  9. Divide between tins, bake for 37-40 mins or until golden, springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean rather than streaky.
  10. Leave to cool in tins for ten minutes before cooling completely on a rack. Stack them up with lashings of lemon buttercream or lemon curd or cream cheese icing like mine, then refrigerate for a few hours to set.

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Coffee Caramel Cake

 

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I had high hopes for quashing my coffee addiction during quarantine. It was top of my list of ‘positives’ RE: staying in the house indefinitely. You might notice that I used decaffeinated coffee in this cake, not because it tastes better, but because after drinking one sad, ineffective cup… I remembered that I was no quitter and the decaf needed a new home.

Consequently, a fusion of my two favourite things, coffee and caramel. Be warned, it’s almost as addictive as the drink itself.

Ingredients

400g eggs (anywhere from 370-390 is fine, probably about eight depending on the size you can source)

400g Self Raising Flour

400g Stork

200g Caster Sugar

200g Light Brown Sugar

4tbsp Instant Coffee Granules

3tbsp Almond Milk

For the buttercream:

350g Unsalted Butter

800g Icing Sugar

3tbsp Caramel

3tbsp Instant Coffee Granules

1tbsp Almond Milk

Coffee Beans (to decorate)

For the caramel:

See my coffee caramel cake post for the recipe; all you need is sugar, water and double cream.

Method

  1. Weigh out all ingredients, set the oven to 160 degrees fan. Grease and line three 8″ baking tins.
  2. Sieve together flour, a teaspoon of baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Whisk the 4tbsp instant coffee granules with 2tbsp boiling water and 3tbsp warmed almond milk together and set aside.
  4. Beat butter and sugars in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. This should take approximately 4 minutes with a scrape down of the bowl in between. Keep the mixer on medium speed.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition for around a minute on a medium speed. Add a tablespoon of flour if it looks as though the mixture is about to curdle.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture with the mixer on a very low speed until combined.
  7. Pour in the coffee and almond milk liquid and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  8. Divide between tins, bake for 30-37 mins or until domed, springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean rather than streaky. Leave to cool in tins for ten minutes before cooling completely on a rack.
  9. Make the caramel: As per my Caramel Drip Cake Recipe.
  10. Make the buttercream: Whisk together 3tbsp instant coffee granules, 1tbsp milk and 2tbsp boiling water and set aside to cool.
  11. Beat the unsalted butter for 7 minutes on high speed until white. Add half the icing sugar, beat for two minutes. Add the rest of the icing sugar, beat again for two minutes. Take your ear defenders off. Add the caramel and the coffee mixture and beat again for 1 minute.
  12. Assemble: There are two types of people in this world, those who want to slap the buttercream on and get stuck in, and those who want to stand for hours scraping away air bubbles and taking pictures. Naturally, I fall into the second camp. I start by using a cake leveller (amazon stocks them) to make all of my layers the same height. Next I place a 7″ cake board on top of each layer and cut around it with a sharp knife to remove the ‘crust’.
  13. Next, I stack the cake layers with buttercream using a cranked spatula and a turntable. The key is to keep things cold during assembly so at that point I refrigerate the stack for an hour.
  14. Crumb coat the cake with a long metal palette knife and thin layer of buttercream. Do not discard the leftover buttercream into the same bowl as you want to avoid contaminating it with cake crumbs. Refrigerate again for an hour.
  15. Apply a thicker, final layer of buttercream with the long palette knife, then use a cake scraper to smooth the edge. Tip: Keep the cake scraper at a 45 degree angle, keep it still and use the turntable to move the cake. When you are happy with the finish, refrigerate for at least an hour.
  16. Heat the caramel in the microwave in ten second bursts until runny but not hot, put it into a piping bag and snip the end off. Using the turntable, gently squeeze the piping bag as you turn the table, keeping it at the edge of the cake.

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*This is a naked version of the same cake. Half the amount of buttercream and do not cut off the cake’s “crust” before you apply the icing. I still level the layers, but there is no need to crumb coat.

Cookie Dough Brownie Recipe (Brookies)

Rich, fudgy and extremely chocolatey, this recipe is a strong contender for my all time favourite. A combination of my two favourite things; raw cookie dough and gooey brownie…a.ka. the brookie.

I have always preferred fudgy brownies to cakey brownies, the former are perfected by Leo’s Beanery in Edinburgh, the latter equate to substandard chocolate cake at best. However, this recipe takes fudgy to a whole new level; incredibly dense with not a cake crumb in sight.  Whilst the faint hearted may find the pure brownie too rich, huge chunks of cookie dough provide respite…allowing you to take an extra large slice with confidence.

Chewy, white chocolate M&S cookies are my favourite. Whilst for baking I use cornflour and extra egg yolk to achieve a chewy texture, it really doesn’t matter what you choose to use here as long as the mixture is dry enough to roll into balls.

Ingredients: 

Cookie Dough: 

 

230g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

220g light soft brown sugar

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla extract

350g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

200g milk chocolate chunks (I use two packets of Dr Oetker)

Brownie:

175g Salted Butter (if using unsalted add 1/2tsp salt)

115g Dark Chocolate (At least 70% Cocoa Solids)

390g Caster Sugar

10g Light or dark brown sugar

3 large free range eggs (room temperature/place in bowl of warm water for 5 mins)

85g Cocoa Powder

135g Plain Flour

100g Dark Chocolate Chunks (I use one packet of Dr Oetker)

 

Method:

Make the cookie dough: 

  1. Gently melt the butter in the microwave/oven until just melted. (Microwave in 15 second increments stirring in between) Leave to cool for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the slightly cooled butter over the brown and white sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat together using a wooden spoon or the slowest stand mixer setting
  3. Add the vanilla, egg and egg yolk and beat until pale
  4. Mix in the salt, flour and bicarbonate of soda to form a dough. Finally, mix in the chocolate chunks.
  5. Scoop heaped teaspoons into floured hands and roll to make rough balls
  6. Place balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover in clingfilm and freeze for at least four hours, or overnight. (If baking some of the dough, put those balls into the fridge for ten minutes prior to baking at 170 degrees for 13 minutes)

TIP: Do not start to make the brownie until the cookie dough balls are completely frozen.

Make the brownie:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius
  2. Place the butter into a glass bowl and heat over a pan of boiling water. As the butter begins to liquify, add the dark chocolate (not the chunks) and reduce the pan to a simmer, allowing the chocolate to melt gently. (This will take around five minutes, whisk intermittently to combine the butter and chocolate.)
  3. Whilst the butter and chocolate mixture is still warm, whisk in the sugar until completely combined and leave to cool for five minutes
  4. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla
  5. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon- do not over-mix
  6. Pour into a lined square baking tin (to easily remove the brownie from the tin, ensure there is overhang of baking paper over the sides of the tin) and spread the brownie batter evenly with a cranked spatula, ensuring the corners are the same thickness as the centre.
  7. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and push balls into the brownie mixture randomly at varying depths. Use the spatula to cover some of the dough and leave other areas exposed for the most photogenic brookie
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking at 18 minutes using the tip below ‘How do you know when it’s ready?’. The brownie should still be almost liquid when inserting a knife at the centre and wobble slightly, yet the edges should hold their shape well.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in tin. Once cool, refrigerate overnight or for at least six hours before cutting into squares.

TOP TIPS:

  • For best results this brownie needs to be refrigerated overnight. If your sweet cravings might persuade you to indulge fresh out of the oven, set some of the cookie dough aside and bake it as normal to tide you over.
  • How do you know when it’s ready?: Do not be afraid to take the brownie out of the oven whilst the middle is still liquid goo. The middle should wobble slightly when shaken and the brownie may crack, if the crack appears as though an inner (less baked) rectangle is sinking away from the outer frame, give it five more minutes in the oven, if the cracks are random as opposed to uniformed, it’s ready. It will continue to cook when removed from the oven in the tray and set further when refrigerated- which is essential.
  • To get the glossy cracked look at the surface, the sugar must be whisked into the butter and chocolate mixture whilst it is still hot enough to completely melt it
  • For smooth edges and uniformed sizes; use a ruler to measure out a rectangle (I do 5cm X 5.6cm), score this onto the brownie. Next, pour boiling water over a long, sharp knife and use this to cut down through the brookie. Wipe chocolate residue from the knife with kitchen towel between cuts and keep it hot with boiling water every few cuts.
  • Raw cookie dough is undoubtedly delicious, definitely overcoming the peripheral anxiety of contracting salmonella, which at this point I feel is a myth since the odds are very much in my favour and I’ve never had it. However, if you are worried, it is possible to make the recipe without the risk, remove the egg from the cookie dough recipe and replace with plain or vanilla yoghurt.

 

 

 

 

Lotus Biscoff Cake

My love of Lotus biscuits started sitting in a quiet Cheshire café with my grandfather reading the daily paper. In a time before I understood the true magic of coffee, I would sip my chocolate milkshake whilst looking longingly at the red labelled duo perched on his saucer, reserved only for those with a hot beverage. Eventually, after leafing through the first few pages of ‘The Times’, he would peer over his glasses and ask whether I’d like a biscuit. To which the answer was always yes.

Since then, I have topped just about every bagel I have ever eaten with Lotus spread, eaten copious amounts with a teaspoon straight from the jar and now made the most delicious Biscoff cake!

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Ingredients:

400g Stork/Unsalted Butter, softened

300g Caster Sugar

100g Light Brown Soft Sugar

410g Eggs/7 Eggs, room temperature

400g SR Flour

1.5tsp Bicarbonate of Soda/2tsp Baking Powder

2tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence

2tbsp double cream/whole milk

2tbsp Biscoff spread

For the Icing:

200g Stork/Butter

400g Icing Sugar

2tsp Vanilla Essence

1.5tbsp Double Cream/Whole Milk

8tbsp Biscoff Spread (to decorate)

Whole Biscoff Biscuits (to decorate)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 185 degrees
  2. Beat butter and sugars together on a high speed until pale and fluffy. This should take around four minutes, break in the middle to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula
  3. Whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt
  4. Lightly whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the butter and sugars in five stages, beating for at least thirty seconds between each addition. At stage three, add four tbsp of the flour mixture, at stage four, another four tbsp.
  5. Sieve in the remainder of the flour mixture and fold in gently or use a low mixer setting
  6. Combine the cream and vanilla essence, beat into the mixture with the Biscoff spread on high for 30 seconds
  7. Split into three 8″ baking tins (use scales if necessary) and bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in tins for five minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. To make the icing: Beat the butter on high for five minutes until pale, add half the icing sugar, beat for one minute. Add the other half, beat of one minute. Add the vanilla essence and cream, mix for 30 seconds.
  9. Melt the Biscoff spread for 15 seconds in the microwave, spread it onto two layers of sponge. Using a palette knife or cranked spatula, spread approx. 3tbsp buttercream on top of the Biscoff layer of the same two sponges. Stack them on top of each other with the plain sponge on top.
  10. Coat the sides and top of the cake with buttercream using a palette knife or cake scraper to form a crumb coat. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  11. Repeat step 10 around the edges and over the top of the cake smoothing the exterior with a cake scraper until satisfied with the exterior.
  12. Pipe the remainder of the buttercream in swirls (I used a wilton 1M) on top of the cake and use the remaining melted Biscoff spread to drizzle on top. Stick whole biscuits into the top of the swirls to decorate.

 

*TIP: To assemble the cake; wait until each layer is completely cool, ensure you have levelled off the top of each sponge with a cake leveller readily available on ebay/amazon and cut around the edges to remove the ‘cake crust’ using a cake board slightly smaller than the sponge as a template (or upturned bowl). This will achieve the smooth edges and avoid the ‘leaning tower of Pisa’ issue.

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Raspberry Ripple Cake

It’s been a very busy week with my fundraising bake sale for Make a Wish foundation, two hundred cupcakes later I can honestly say I did not eat a single one on the day; the sight of cake was sickening! However, two days later and I have just made an orange and caramel cake so rest assured the feeling passes quickly. The bestseller at the bake sale was undoubtedly the Raspberry Ripple, so here it is…

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Ingredients: 

For the Raspberry Goo:

150g Raspberries*

4tbsp Caster Sugar

For the Sponge: 

400g Self Raising Flour

400g Caster Sugar

400g Stork/unsalted butter

400g Eggs (6 medium/large)

1.5tsp Baking Soda

Pinch of Salt

2tsp Vanilla Essence

3tbsp Milk (preferably whole milk but any milk works)

Buttercream:

300g Stork/unsalted butter

615g Icing Sugar

1tbsp Vanilla Essence/almond/raspberry flavouring

Remainder of Raspberry Goo

Method:

  1. Make the ‘goo’. Blend the raspberries in a food processor/smoothie maker until pulpy, then sieve them into a pan containing the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then simmer for 20 minutes until the mixture thickens. Stir every five minutes. Leave to cool/refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (fan).
  3. Mix butter and sugar on the highest speed setting for FIVE minutes. Don’t be tempted to save time or your cake won’t rise.
  4. Add eggs one at a time with mixer on a low speed, mix in between eggs for a 30 second blast. If the mixture looks as though it’s about to curdle after the third/fourth egg, add a few tablespoons of the flour then continue to add the eggs one by one.
  5. Fold in the flour, salt and baking soda with the mixer on a low setting for around one minute.
  6. Combine milk and vanilla extract, then pour into mixture and whisk on high for 30 seconds.
  7. Divide into three cake tins. Use approximately three tablespoons of goo per tin and swirl into the sponge with the end of a teaspoon or skewer, don’t overmix, some pools of goo are good. Bake at 170 degrees (fan oven) for 30 minutes. Check after 25 and leave it in a little longer post 30 if your skewer still has crumbs, you want it to come out clean.
  8. Make the buttercream. Beat the butter on high speed for FIVE minutes. Add half the icing sugar, beat again for one minute (start off slowly to avoid a cloud of icing sugar in your face). Add the other half, beat again for another minute. Combine the vanilla and milk, add this and beat again for 30 seconds. Refrigerate or clingfilm if not using immediately.
  9. Assemble the cake. When the cake is completely cool (cool in the tin for five minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack for at least half an hour), place on a turntable (or plate on top if an upturned bowl) and spread buttercream between the three sponges. Refrigerate for ten minutes before using the remaining buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake. Use a cake scraper to get the ‘naked’ cake effect I did or do a crumb coat, refrigerate and then a final coat if you want a fully covered finish. Use a teaspoon to dollop the remaining raspberry goo on top of the cake, swirling it round with a skewer. Less swirling is more here or else you get a pink mess on top of your cake!
  10. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the icing to firm up. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving.

*If you’ve got no raspberries, use strawberries or any other juicy fruit.

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Eat (Mainly Cake) in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities. It’s a city full of secrets, from hidden streets and spiral staircases to the castle on the hill. It didn’t surprise me at all to learn JK Rowling began writing Harry Potter in the ‘Elephant Cafe’, just a stone’s throw from the Royal Mile. However, the vibrancy of the food scene, specifically the independent bakery/brunch spot scene, is, in my opinion, one of its best kept secrets of all.

Whilst living in Edinburgh for a year as an undergraduate, food became central to my social calendar in a way it never had before. Breakfast has never been my thing, so brunch is usually my first and favourite meal of the day, which gave me the opportunity to explore the best brunch spots in the city. Similarly, catching up with friends- of whom you make many super quickly, think course friends, old school friends, friends from halls, friends of friends…(!)- usually involves a coffee date, lending perfectly to my guilty pleasure; cake.

Hula Juice Cafe: Grassmarket, @hulajuicebar (Instagram)

A bold colour scheme and exotic animal print decor contrast the relaxed, neighbourhood dining atmosphere of Edinburgh’s secret jungle. Juices and smoothies are made fresh for every order, allowing you to add or remove ingredients- although I doubt you’ll want to create your own given their array of mouthwatering options. Each day there are new specials (as if the regular menu isn’t special enough!) including soup and poke bowls often inspired by asian flavours. The staff are incredibly friendly, sensitive to every dietary requirement including vegan, gluten free and dairy free and most of the menu is available to take out.

My favourites include: Smashed beetroot on sourdough and the breakfast Acai bowl, as well as the Nutty Professor (Peanut butter, banana and frozen yoghurt/almond milk) or Chocolate Haze (Nutella, banana, frozen yoghurt/almond milk) smoothies.

 

Pumpkin Brown: Grassmarket @pumpkinbrowncafe

Big flavours come in small packages. Don’t let the size of this simple, friendly and absolutely delicious cafe fool you as to the huge things going on inside. Quirky quotes and unicorn smoothie bowls are just the start. My favourites include the date, peanut butter and banana smoothie and maple pecan granola with spiced pears, date syrup, cashew cream. You’ll be the envy of your friends with a packed lunch from PB- the salad box choices are endless. I can’t wait to try a Red Velvet Latte on my next visit.

 

Loudon’s: Fountainbridge @loudonscafe

Bustling, civilised and light. The atmosphere reminds me of a busy London lunch spot, with suited business associates meeting for lunch next to post yoga class women catching up over coffee. My favourite dishes include the Chocolate chip porridge made with coconut milk (deliciously creamy), the buttermilk pancakes or the french toast with winter berry compote. Scones and cakes are available to take out from the deli counter too, perfect for mid afternoon grumbles.

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Mimi’s Bakehouse: Royal Mile (&Other locations) @mimisbakehouse

The best in Scotland. No really, the best. Rainbow Cake, Jammie Dodger Slices, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Biscoff Squares…even white chocolate scones! Mimi’s is a must. The huge selection, bright modern decor and childhood favourite flavours make Mimi’s universally popular. A local family business, everything is baked fresh and light, fluffy sponge never disappoints. With daily special cheesecakes, layer cakes at the weekend, beforenoon tea and their online ordering system for your birthday cake, they have mastered every cake date you could possibly have. Staff are equally obsessed with cake and love to talk about their products, each having personal favourites to recommend.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve tried almost everything on the menu, my ultimate favourite being the Jammie Dodger slice. It’s moist, almost like a white chocolate blondie in parts, yet crammed full of biscuit with a chocolate ganache topping, strawberry jam and whole Jammie dodgers. I also love the chocolate fudge cupcakes, the Biscoff and Malteaser squares and almost everything else- apart from the brownie, which is a little too cakey and dry for my liking. However, the Nutella hot chocolate and Red Velvet ice cream milkshake more than make up for the lack of brownies, especially when purchased at the Christmas Market Cake Cabin!

 

 

Dovecot by Leo’s: Infirmary St @dovecotcafebyleos

Set in a textile art gallery, Dovecot’s clean, modern atmosphere is a great place to work and meet friends. It’s hidden location creates a quiet, peaceful atmosphere for reflection and a perfect place to indulge in a novel.

Home to my absolute favourite brownie in the entire world. Leo’s award winning Chocolate brownie is incredible; an avid brownie baker myself, it takes a lot to top my tried and tested recipe…welcome to the professional league. Think fudgy and dense, yet still moist and soft as opposed to leaving a clean bite. There’s nothing cakey here. It’s also sweet, but not sugary or artificial. It’s gluten free too!

Leo’s excel at the classics. Light, fluffy Lemon Drizzle cake and Victoria Sponge pose beneath large glass bell jars next to impressive stacks of Sultana Scones. For a more substantial meal, freshly made soup is available daily, as well as sandwiches surrounded by spiralised carrots and cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and crunchy salads bursting with seasonal produce. There are lots of gluten free and dairy free options on the counter too, all of which are available to take out.

 

Cookoo’s Bakery: Bruntsfield @cuckoosbakery

A short walk from the town centre- although Harvey Nichols top floor deli have a limited supply of their cupcakes too(!)- Cuckoo’s has the biggest selection of cupcakes in Edinburgh. Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting is my go-to here, it’s beautifully moist with a soft crumb and hint of chocolate which compliments the zesty frosting perfectly. The cupcakes are nearly as large as their flavour personalities, with everything from your favourite treats; Oreo, Dime and Biscoff to classics like Banoffee, Very Berry and Lemon, all the way to seasonal specials such as Pumpkin Spice and Apple and Blackberry. The salted caramel nutty brownies are my favourite non-cupcake treat, (when you’ve exhausted the whole cabinet), these are extra gooey, so much so you’ll need a fork to ensure you don’t miss a crumb.

 

Lovecrumbs West Port @hellolovecrumbs

Cross legged on a wooden window sill, admiring the rain chasing down the glass whilst inside steam clings to the pane…the stripped back interior and relaxed neighbourhood atmosphere of the cosiest cafè warms your spirit for hours after you leave. Although finding a seat is often tricky, the cake selection displayed for your anxious scrutiny more than compensates. Lovecrumbs offer abstract flavour combinations, such as pear and hazelnut cake, that consistently taste delicious. I usually stray away from fruit cake, favouring decadent chocolate and caramel concoctions (if you’re going for cake, go hard or go home is my motto), but I am thrilled to say that I have been converted to the healthy (ish) cake cult. The light, fragrant lemon and violet cake is my favourite, followed closely by chocolate and rose.

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Pinnies & Poppy Seeds Pleasance @pinnies_poppies

Hands down the most incredible peanut butter brownie I have ever tasted. Although predominantly selling exquisite flavours of shortbread, which is absolutely delicious, they often have a ‘bake of the day’ of the non-shortbread variety. Shortbread is handmade on site and available in a variety of flavours from Lemon and Poppyseed to traditional Scottish. Pinnies also stock the Marshmallow Lady’s delicious marshmallow selection!

Cairngorm Coffee New Town @cairngormcoffeeco

Tucked away underground, Cairngorm Coffee brings the slopes to Edinburgh. Ambient lighting and rustic interiors maintain the mountain outpost atmosphere, serving delicious brunches and brownies. The elegant smashed avocado on sourdough, topped with feta, caramelised lime and a sprinkling of chilli flakes was deliciously understated and incredibly reasonable at £5. Their brownie selection has your mid afternoon coffee covered with slabs of Oreo, Peanut Butter and Double Chocolate to choose from.

Frisky Froyo Forrest Road @friskyfroyo

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At fewer than 100 calories per cup (not the giant one I’m holding sadly) what’s not to like? Fresh, fruity frozen yoghurt in natural, chocolate or seasonal flavours showered with toppings of your choice. The diversity of toppings is excellent, with raspberry and white chocolate chips being my personal favourite. Frisky is open late and conveniently located a stones throw from George Square- perfect for late night library visits. My only criticism is the lack of seating at the store, meaning take out is your only option. However, if your film requires Fro-yo, then Frisky’s Deliveroo partnership is on hand to help.

 

*Although not an independent, Hotel Chocolat serves THE very best hot chocolate in the whole wide world, try mixing milk and white with hazelnut praline. The Edinburgh Fredrick St. staff are incredibly friendly too.

 

Where I want to try next/bucket list:

Urban Angel- Never been able to get a table so must be super amaze

I’ve listed a selection of my favourite instagram worthy brunch and cake outlets which never fail to disappoint. For more drool worthy photos and the addition of restaurants as opposed to just cafe’s, check out @munchiesinmarchmont on Instagram- set up by two lovely girls currently eating their way through Edinburgh.

Follow @munchiesinmarchmont on Instagram- Set up by two lovely friends of mine, currently eating their way through the city one cafe at a time.

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How to make a Salted Caramel Cake

Salted Caramel is one of my favourite flavours and scents, hence my love for Lotus Biscoff Spread and Salted Caramel Brownie Candles…

I made this dreamy cake filled with homemade salted caramel, caramel swiss meringue frosting and buttercream, topped with blitzed caramel digestives, salted caramel cookies and salted caramel filled brownie pieces, dripped with…salted caramel!

Start by making your own salted caramel, or use the ‘Bonne Maman Salted Caramel Spread’…Bonne Maman Spreadyou can use it inside cookies, to fill macarons or to spread on toast!

Salted Caramel Recipe: Time: 10 mins

200g Caster Sugar (Can also use granulated)

6tbsp/90ml Water

240ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence

1tsp (heaped) Salt

Instructions:

1- Pour the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and give the mixture a quick stir. In a separate bowl mix the vanilla essence and cream.

2- Heat over a medium flame for approximately four minutes, or until the liquid starts to  bubble. Do not stir.

3- Keep heating until the sugar mixture turns a deep amber colour, immediately remove from the heat.

(This could take anywhere from two minutes more, to five or six minutes more, keep tipping the pan gently from side to side to dissipate any lighter orange colour spots that may appear, you want to wait until the whole pan is amber.)

4- Pour cream/vanilla mixture into the saucepan of amber sugar, whisking consistently with a hand (non-electric) whisk as the cream falls into the pan in a continuous stream.

(Warning: Will bubble, spit and sizzle violently, keep whisking) (If the mixture doesn’t run off the spoon like pouring cream, add more double cream to the mixture a tablespoon at a time to loosen)

5- Whisk in salt, leave to cool for one hour. (You can start making the cake and use it warm in the sponge mixture if an hour hasn’t passed by the time you require it)

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Salted Caramel Cookie

Salted Caramel Cake Recipe: 

This cake is four layers high and made with caramel flavoured sponge…since I don’t have four tins, I make it in two batches, so double up the ingredients listed below if you do have four tins! *Use room temperature ingredients for fluffier results!*

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Recipe:

203g Butter (153g Stork to 50g Unsalted Butter)

203g Caster Sugar

3 large free range eggs (Ideally each weigh 60g)

203g Flour (Half plain, half self raising mixed with a pinch of salt)

2tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence

2tbsp Salted Caramel Mixture

1tbsp Whole Milk

Instructions:

1- Preheat oven to 175 degrees

2- Beat butter and sugar together in stand mixer (Kitchen Aid/Kenwood) for FIVE WHOLE minutes until pale and fluffy. (Stop halfway through to scrape down sides and make sure everything’s being evenly mixed)

3- Slowly pour in whisked eggs with the mixer on a low speed, adding two tablespoons at a time and mixing on high for 30 Seconds between each addition. (If it looks as though it’s about to curdle, add two tablespoons of the flour mixture)

4- Fold in flour mixture using the lowest setting on the mixer for two minutes.

5- Add salted caramel, milk and vanilla, beat on high for one minute.

6- Divide mixture equally between two tins, lined with baking parchment. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean with a couple of crumbs attached. (Leave to cool in tins for ten minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool fully)

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting: Time: 15 Minutes

This sounds far more complicated than it is, I use swiss meringue because it’s easier to smooth around the outside of a cake and tastes less sweet than buttercream…

Recipe:

4 egg whites (room temperature)

300g Caster Sugar (or Granulated)

400g Unsalted Butter (cubed, slightly melted)

3tbsp Salted Caramel

Instructions:

1- Bring a pan of water to the boil and reduce to simmer.

2- Add the egg whites and sugar to a glass bowl/bowl of your stand mixer that rests on top of the saucepan, ensuring the base of the bowl isn’t in direct contact with the water. Heat until all of the sugar has dissolved, approximately four minutes, whisking from time to time.

(You can check this by pinching the mixture between two fingers, if you can still feel grains of sugar when you rub your fingers together it needs longer on the heat)

3- Whisk the egg white mixture for ten minutes on the highest speed setting until cool.

(Use the balloon attachment of your stand mixer and leave on high for ten mins)

4- Add the butter, cube by cube, mixing on a medium setting throughout, until all incorporated. (Will separate and come back together again)

5- Whisk in the salted caramel, add more if required!

 

 

IMG_2621
Different cake showing the stacking process
IMG_2622
Different cake showing the crumb coat (first layer)

Construction:

When the cakes are completely cool, they’re ready to construct your masterpiece…

1- Use a cake leveller or sharp knife to cut off the risen top of each cake layer, making them flat for stacking

2- Use a bowl slightly smaller than the layer of cake as a template to cut around, removing the crusts of the cake

3- Use a turntable to easily ice the cake. Start by putting the first layer onto the turntable/cake board and smoothing a dollop of icing evenly on top of it with a cranked pallet knife/spatula.

4- Spoon a tablespoon of salted caramel directly on top of the buttercream and smooth it to the edges using the back of a teaspoon before stacking on the next layer of cake. Add icing and salted caramel to this layer in the same way. Repeat with the next layer, but don’t do the top one.

5- Use a pallet knife to spread swiss meringue buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake, smooth with a cake scraper and put into the fridge for half an hour- this is a crumb coat

6- Use the remainder of the buttercream to spread a second layer over the top and sides of the cake, smooth with a cake scraper or pallet knife (run under boiling water for smooth finish). Put into the fridge for one hour

7- Melt 50g dark chocolate in the microwave on high for one minute, stir and let it cool slightly before using a teaspoon/piping bag to drip it down the sides of the cake. Melt 5 tablespoons salted caramel in the microwave for 20 seconds, stir, let it cool slightly before using  a teaspoon/piping bag to drip down the sides of the cake.

8- Blitz caramel digestives in the food processor for thirty seconds, use a teaspoon to scatter the crumbs around the edge of the cake.

9- Use chocolate bars, cookies, brownies, macaroons and leftover icing to decorate. Brush with edible gold glitter for a sparkly finish.

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