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Creme of the crop... Here are some cracking Easter recipes to try from Bake Off contestant Martha Collison.

SHE wowed Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as the youngest ever Great British Bake Off contestant.

Now Martha Collison has whipped up some seasonal treats after joining forces with Cadbury Creme Egg.

Martha, who was 17 when she appeared on the hit show in 2014, says: "I had so much fun making these recipes with my favourite Easter treat, the Cadbury Creme Egg.

"They're so easy to make so you'll be able to recreate them at home - whether you're an expert, amateur or novice baker - or anywhere in-between.

"I hope that lots of you will be inspired to crack open your Creme Eggs and get baking!" INGREDIENTS For the sponge: 200g unsalted butter, softened 275g caster sugar 3 medium free range eggs 1tsp vanilla extract 275g self-raising flour 1tsp baking powder Pinch of salt 6tbsp milk For the ganache: 225g dark chocolate, finely chopped 150g butter, cubed 1tbsp golden syrup 220ml double cream 1 Cadbury Creme Egg 2 x 89g bags of mini Cadbury Creme Eggs For the icing: 100g icing sugar Orange and white food colouring METHOD: 1. Preheat the oven to 180degC, gas mark 4. Grease three 18cm round tins and base line them with baking parchment. 2. Using a handheld electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl for about two to three minutes until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Add the flour and salt, stirring until the mixture is well combined, then add the milk. You should have a thick batter. 4. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and smooth over the tops with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen, golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool briefly in the tins, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. To make the ganache, place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup into a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.

Stir until the mixture is melted and smooth, and then pour in the double cream and mix until combined. Place the ganache into the fridge for around 30 minutes, or until chilled but not set firm.

Use an electric hand whisk to whip the ganache until it turns from dark to pale brown, it should be light and mousselike in texture.

6. To assemble the cake, stack the bottom two layers on top of each other and use a circular 9cm cutter to remove the middle.

Press through both layers at once to make sure the holes line up.

7. Put the bottom ring on a cake stand and cover the top with a layer of ganache using a palette knife.

Put the second ring on top of the first and fill the cavity with mini creme eggs.

Make sure the hole is filled to the same level as the sponge or the top sponge will cave in. 8. Cover the surface of the second ring with ganache then top with the final sponge. Cover the whole cake in the remaining ganache, using a palette knife to smooth the edges.

9. To make the icing, divide the icing sugar between two small bowls and add one to two teaspoons of water to each.

You might need to add a little more water - you want a thick paste to drizzle. Add enough orange/white food colouring to the bowls to make your icing and drizzle over the cake.

Finish off the cake by cutting open your creme egg and placing it on the top of the cake.

INGREDIENTS For the sponge: 160g caster sugar 60ml sunflower oil (any unflavoured oil will do) 1 egg 100g plain flour 35g cocoa powder 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda 1/2tsp baking powder 1/4tsp salt 100ml milk For the icing: 1 Cadbury Creme Egg 100g icing sugar Orange food colouring METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 180degC/160degC/ gas mark 4 and grease and line a loaf tin with a strip of baking parchment. 2. Whisk together the oil, caster sugar and egg in a large bowl until the mixture looks smooth and well combined. 3. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Add half of the dry mix to the wet mix and whisk to combine, and then add all the milk.

Mix in the remaining dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth. 4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, and then bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake has risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool briefly in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. To make the icing, divide the icing sugar between two small bowls and add one to two teaspoons of water to each.

You might need to add a little more water - you want a thick paste to drizzle.

Add enough orange food colouring to one of the bowls to make a pale orange icing.

6. Use a piping bag to drizzle the icing over the cool cake, allowing it to drip down the edges. Cut the creme egg in half and pull it apart to encourage the inside to seep out - then place it on top of the cake!

INGREDIENTS For the Shortbread: 175g butter, cubed 50g caster sugar 250g plain flour For the caramel: 1 x 397g can condensed milk 100g soft light brown sugar 150g butter 1tsp sea salt For the chocolate topping: 5 Cadbury Creme Eggs 200g dark chocolate method. 1. Preheat the oven to 180degC/160degC fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line a square 20x20cm tin with baking parchment.

Place five creme eggs into the fridge to firm up. 2. To make the shortbread base, combine the flour and sugar together in a large bowl.

Add the chunks of butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs.

base of the tin, and then bake for 20-25 minutes or until pale golden 3. While the shortbread is cooking, start making the caramel layer by combining all the condensed milk, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.

Cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time so it doesn't burn on the bottom, until it turns a dark golden brown and thickens slightly (five to seven minutes). Stir in the salt and pour over the shortbread base.

Use a sharp knife to cut the creme eggs in half, and then arrange the halves over the caramel.

Press them in gently, leaving about 1cm sticking out of the caramel.

Leave to set for at least one hour. 4. Melt the chocolate over a pan of boiling water or in microwave, and then carefully pour over the caramel shortbread.

Avoid pouring it directly onto the creme eggs; you want them to remain visible.

Spread the chocolate around the eggs and leave to completely before slicing.

INGREDIENTS 9 mini Cadbury Creme Eggs 75g butter 220g dark chocolate 2tbs golden syrup 150g digestive biscuits 50g mini marshmallows 180g dried apricot, chopped METHOD 1. Line a 20x35cm brownie tin with baking parchment and set aside. 2. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of boiling water, melt the butter and chocolate together until they are smooth. Stir in the golden syrup.

3. Roughly chop the digestive biscuits and mix them with the apricots and mini marshmallows. 4. Add the dry mix into the chocolate and mix to combine.

Make sure everything is well coated in chocolate or the rocky road won't stick together.

5. Press the mixture into the tin using the back of a spatula or wooden spoon, then push in the whole mini creme eggs.

Space them evenly apart so there will be a small piece of egg in each square.

Chill in the fridge for at least two hours to set.

6. Use a sharp knife to slice into 24 squares.

To keep it as solid as possible, store in the fridge until ready to eat.

| TOP TIP: If you want to use full sized creme eggs instead of mini ones, simply swap the nine mini creme eggs for two full sized ones.

Follow the recipe as normal and when you get to step five, cut up the creme eggs into quarters and place into the rocky road mixture - then continue as per the method.

Martha Collison made it to the quarter finals of the Great British Bake Off in 2014


Martha tucks into a Cadbury Creme Egg
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 26, 2016
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