Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Brother's Birthday BBQ

Hi All,

So July we think Summer, BBQ's, sun and holidays! Well for me July brings the summer holidays and a few birthdays, in particular my brother James' birthday. This year we celebrated it with lots of family and friends, a BBQ and a very lovely sunny day! Oh and of course some goodies baked by myself!

For the party I knew I wanted to challenge myself and so decided to make something I had never made before, and that something was italian meringue. In this case a vanilla cake with Italian meringue buttercream and salted caramel (also handmade, see mason jar fillers post for recipe!)

I also made a batch of galaxy cookies. These also went down a treat and were gone within seconds! These were for people who didn't really fancy any cake, it is basically heart attack in a slice but oh so good! However most people decided on both, why not?!! 

Recipe time!

Cake ingredients:
  • 250g baking margarine
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

Icing ingredients:
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 350g very soft salted butter

Salted Caramel refer to mason jar fillers for recipe.

Cake method:
SIDENOTE: best to make this cake if you have a standing mixer as the methods require different speed and when making the cream it is harder to do this without a mixer!
1. Oven 180c, line 2x 20cm sandwich tins.
2. Cream the margarine and caster sugar (until pale and fluffy, this is important to ensure a light cake). On a low speed add the eggs one at a time.
3. Add the flow and vanilla and fold until there are no lumps of flour left.
4. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 25 minutes, preferably on the same shelf.

Icing method:
1. Melt the sugar in the water and bring to 121c- SUGAR THERMOMETER NEEDED!
2. Whisk the egg whites with the 2tbsp of caster sugar until you have soft peaks, don't over whisk as you will end up with a sloppy mixture, so stop when your meringue is at a stage of staying in a peak when the whisk is removed from the mixture.
3. With the mixer on a high speed, gently pour the sugar syrup into the meringue. Try to avoid pouring onto the whisk and the edge of the bowl, you want to try and keep it in-between the two of them! It's tricky but believe in yourself!!
4. Continue whisking on a high speed until the bowl is cool to the touch.
5. To make the buttercream, add the softened butter to the meringue one tsp at a time. Don't add it all at one time as it will not work and you will get rid of all the air in the meringue straight away!!

Decorate accordingly. You can choose to decorate this cake however you like, I chose to fill with buttercream and caramel but you can do what you wish. Then I did layers of buttercream and caramel on the top as shown in the photo above.

Cookie ingredients:
  • 200g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 325g self- raising flour
  • dash of milk
  • 200g of any white chocolate that you like (I use milky bar as it's my favourite)
  • 200g of any milk chocolate (I use Galaxy as it's, well it's the best chocolate ever)

Cookie method:
1. preheat the oven to 200c
2. Combine the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
3. Add the egg
4. Gradually add the flour in and it should all come together to form a dough, if it looks too dry then add in a dash of milk, if it's too sticky then add a little more flour.
5. Break up your chocolate and add it into the mixture.
6. Roll the dough into small sized balls and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, once placed on the tray push the balls slightly down (this will help to create rounder cookies.
7. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Don't leave them in any longer than this though as cookies should come out of the oven looking slightly soft as when they cool they will harden!

Overall, these recipes were a huge success with my family and I was so pleased with the way everything turned out! Let me know if you try any of these recipes.

Thanks for reading,
Caitlin xxx

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