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Baking like the celebs can be a piece of cake..

Those television series have a lot to answer for as between them and host Anna Nolan they have been creating a rise in the number of us getting our aprons on.

In the past we used to be happy if we created an apple pie or Victoria sponge but now you're nobody if you can't create stunning cupcakes like celebrity cook Mary Berry.

Happily, Dr Oetker has come up with some fail-safe cheats which will make your baking life a lot easier.

The latest in the range are Surprise Inside Cupcake Centres which will turn an ordinary bun into a feast fit for a queen.

Give these recipes a go and see how easy it is to cheat your way to exquisite treats.

Rainbow Cake

INGREDIENTS

Dr. Oetker Cake Release Spray

225g (8oz) white vegetable fat such as Trex,

softened

225g (8oz) caster sugar

4 large eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp salt

300g (10oz) plain flour

4 tsp Dr. Oetker Baking Powder

90ml whole milk

Dr. Oetker Gel Food Colours: Bright Red, Ultra

Violet, Sky Blue, Lime Green, Sunshine Yellow

and Hot Pink

TO DECORATE

300g (10oz) lightly salted butter, softened

550g (1lb 5oz) icing sugar

2 tsp lemon extract

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180degC (160degC Fan, Gas Mark 4). Lightly spray 3 x 18cm (7inch) round Victoria sponge tins with Cake Release Spray. In a mixing bowl, beat half of the white vegetable fat with half of the sugar until creamy in texture.

2. Gradually whisk in 2 eggs and 1/2 tsp salt. Sift half the flour and 2 tsp Baking Powder on top. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the dry ingredients. Stir in half the milk to soften the mixture to make a soft dropping consistency.

3. Divide the mixture equally between three bowls. Choose three different Gel Food Colours and mix in sufficient drops of one colour into each batch of mixture to form a vibrant shade. For the Red layer, you will need to use about 40 drops; for Violet, 50 drops; for Blue, 50 drops; for Green, 60 drops; for Yellow, 40 drops, and for the Pink layer, 25 drops.

4. Spoon the mixture into the cake tins, smooth the tops and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until lightly golden and just firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn on to wire racks to cool.

5. Using the remaining ingredients, repeat the cake making as in steps 1 and 2, and colour with the remaining 3 colours. Bake and cool as above.

6. To decorate, put the butter in a bowl and beat until smooth and glossy. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar until creamy and soft and add the lemon extract.

7. Put 450g (1lb) icing aside, and spread the remaining icing lightly over five of the cake layers. On a serving plate, stack the layers on top of each other as illustrated.

8. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the whole cake to serve. Slice and enjoy!

Peanut Caramel Puddings with Chocolate sauce

Makes 6

INGREDIENTS:

90ml (6 tbsp) Maple syrup

150g (5oz) Plain flour

1 sachet Dr.

Oetker Baking Powder (gluten free)

75g (3oz) Light brown sugar

5ml (1 tsp) Dr. Oetker Caramel Flavour

150g (5oz) Crunchy peanut butter

2 large eggs, beaten .30ml (2 tbsp) Whole milk

140g pouch Dr. Oetker Surprise Inside Cupcake Centre Salted Caramel

THE SAUCE:

150g bar Dr.

Oetker Fine Cook's Chocolate 72% Extra Dark

300ml (1/2pt) Double cream

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 180degC (160degC fan oven, 350degF, gas mark 4). Lightly brush the insides of 6 x 150ml (1/4 pt) metal pudding tins with margarine. Put a circle of baking parchment into the bottom of each. Spoon 15ml (1 tbsp) maple syrup into the bottom of each.

2. Mix the flour, Baking Powder and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and spoon in the Caramel Flavour, peanut butter, eggs and milk. Carefully mix together until well combined to make a thick cake batter.

3. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, smooth the tops and stand the tins on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until risen, lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

4. As soon as the puddings are cool enough to handle, generously inject each one with Surprise Inside Salted Caramel Cupcake centres, making sure the nozzle goes right to the centre of each pudding. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, break up the Extra Dark Chocolate and place in a saucepan. Pour over the cream and heat very gently until melted. Mix well to make a creamy pouring sauce.

6. To serve, loosen the puddings from the tins by running a knife round the edge and turn the hot puddings out on to warmed serving plates. Serve immediately with the hot chocolate sauce.

Chocolate and Caramel Choux Bites

METHOd:

1. Prehe oven, 4 baking t OD: eat the oven to 200degC (180degC fan 00degF, gas mark 6). Line a large tray with baking parchment. Put the butter in a saucepan with 150ml (1/4 pt) water.

2. Heat gently until melted then bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and immediately mix in the flour, beating well until thick, glossy and smooth - the mixture should form a soft ball of dough in the saucepan. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cool for 10 minutes.

3. Gradually whisk in the eggs to make a thick, sticky mixture. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (1/2 inch) wide plain nozzle and pipe 16 x approx. 3cm (1 1/2 inch) diameter mounds on the baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes until puffed up, golden and crisp.

4. As soon as the choux bites are cool enough to handle, inject each one through the side generously with the Surprise Inside Cupcake Centre of your choice. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 5. To decorate, break the Dr. Oetker Extra Dark Chocolate into one heatproof bowl and put the White Chocolate in another small heatproof bowl. Stand both bowls over saucepans of barely simmering water until melted.

6. Dip the top of each bite in the Extra Dark Chocolate and sit them back on the wire rack. Before the chocolate sets, carefully drop a little white chocolate in the centre of each. Using a cocktail stick, drag through the chocolate drop to make a feathered star design. Leave aside in a cool place to set. Your choux bites are now ready to serve and enjoy!

Double Chocolate Dough Balls

Makes 15

225g (8oz) white bread flour + extra for dusting

1 sachet Dr. Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder (25g)

1 sachet fast action dried yeast( 7g)

75g (3oz) + 15g (1 tbsp) caster sugar

125ml (4 1/2 fl.oz) tepid whole milk

40g (1 1/2 oz) lightly salted butter, melted

1 large egg, beaten

Vegetable oil for deep frying

1 pouch Dr. Oetker Surprise Inside Rich Chocolate

Cupcake Centre

Dr. Oetker Vanilla Grinder

METHOD:

1. Mix the flour, Cocoa, dried yeast, 15ml (1 tbsp) caster sugar together in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour half the milk in the centre of the well. Add the melted butter and egg. Gently mix into the flour using a wooden spoon with a little milk to form a smooth paste.

2. Gradually pour and mix in the remaining milk, carefully stirring in the dry ingredients from the outside of the bowl to form a slightly sticky, moist dough in the centre of the bowl.

3. Turn the dough on to the work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, and the dough no longer sticks to the work surface and is silky smooth; this will take about 10 minutes. Only use flour to dust the work surface or your hands if the mixture is very sticky - the longer you work the dough the less sticky it will become.

4. Put the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl, big enough to allow room for the dough to double in size. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise at a coolish, room temperature, out of draughts, for about 2 hours until doubled in size.

5. Once the dough has risen satisfactorily, push the dough with your knuckles to deflate it and turn it on to a lightly floured work surface. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest for 5 minutes on the work surface.

6. Line trays with baking paper. Divide the dough into 15 pieces, and form each into a round ball and arrange, well spaced, on the baking trays. Lightly brush vegetable oil onto the cling film and cover each tray of dough balls with the cling film. Leave in a warm place to prove for 20 minutes until doubled in size.

7. Meanwhile, towards the end of proving, heat the oil for deep frying in a large saucepan to 180degC (350 F). Cook the dough balls in 3 batches, turning them in the oil for 4-5 minutes, until they are puffy and darker in colour, and crisp when tapped. Drain well on kitchen paper and keep warm.

8. Whilst the dough balls are still warm, insert the pouch of Rich Chocolate Cupcake Centre into each one through the bottom or side to generously fill.

9. Grind the Vanilla Grinder approximately 15 grinds into the remaining caster sugar and mix together. Toss the filled doughnuts in the sugar to coat them whilst still warm. Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes and then the doughnuts are ready to be served slightly warm, with any remaining vanilla sugar mix for dipping.

CAPTION(S):

Telly treats: Cook Mary Berry, above, and presenter Anna Nolan
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 25, 2015
Words:1654
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