Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

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When you’ve been sent some bottles of refreshing Grace Foods Aloe Drink to try and you want explore what you can do with it, apart from enjoy drinking it, then what else can you do, except make a deliciously moist and tasty cake?

Grace Foods Aloe Refresh Aloe Vera Drink

Well, this is exactly what happened recently and exactly what I did. So, read on, get your apron on, your ingredients out and enjoy some time in the kitchen before tucking into a slice (or two) of this deliciously moist cake.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

Cake:

Glaze:

Icing:

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 160ºC (140º Fan).
  2. Butter and flour a 6 cup Bundt© tin.  I used the Nordicware Anniversary tin that you can find on Amazon.
  3. In a stand mixer, or using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, coconut milk, rapeseed oil and 120ml of the mango purée and beat thoroughly for 4-5 minutes on a medium speed until it has increased in volume and is creamy.
  6. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, salt, bi-carbonate of soda and baking powder.
  7. Mix half of the flour into the wet mixture until just combined.
  8. Add the remaining 60ml of the mango purée and fold together.
  9. Fold in the final half of the flour gently.
  10. Pour the mixture into your Bundt© tin and smooth the surface level.
  11. Bake for 65-70 minutes until the cake has just started to shrink from the edges of the tin and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the thickest part of the cake.
  12. Allow to cook in the tin for 5 minutes, whilst you make the glaze.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the caster sugar and Aloe Vera Drink until boiling, then reduce the heat to a rolling boil and the syrup has reduced by half.
  2. Using your skewer, make a series of small holes in the flat surface of the cake and slowly spoon half of the glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak in fully.
  3. Invert the tin onto a wire cooking rack and prick the top with your skewer all over then, gently and slowly spoon the other half of your glaze over the top of the cake, again allowing it to soak in fully.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. Leave the cake to cool completely.
  2. Mix together the Aloe Vera Drink and mango purée, then sieve the the icing sugar into it, mixing thoroughly until you get a thickish icing.
  3. Gently pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the outside edge and into the centre hollow.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

You can find mango purée and coconut milk in the international food aisle of your local supermarket.  I tend to use my Kenwood Major Titanium stand mixer to make cakes in if it involves beating the mixture for several minutes as it leaves me to get on with setting up the next stage of my preparation.  If it’s something that only needs a very quick mix, then I use my Kenwood K-Mix hand mixer instead.

Grace Foods sent me some bottles of their Aloe Refresh Aloe Vera Drinks to sample.  I was under no obligation to develop any recipes or provide a review of their products in return for these drinks. 

Coffee Viennese Whirls

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Whilst I’ve been off work recovering from last Friday’s knee surgery for the last couple of days, boredom is taking its’ toll. I can’t stand for long periods.  I can’t drive, and can only walk very short distances. What I can do, though, is browse the internet for ideas from inspirational people.  My friend Lynn over on Ink Sugar Spice, shared a delicious recipe recently for Pistachio and Mascarpone Cream Viennese Sandwiches. I have no pistachio paste, but I do have (and love) Nielsen Massey Coffee Extract, and as well all love coffee in this house, it was a done deal!

Digging out my old trusty Be-Ro recipe book that my mum bought me many, many years ago (it was my first ever cook book). I know that this recipe works as I’ve used it lots in the past.  Just a tweak and a little twist was all it needed to produce these deliciously crumbly and delicately tasting biscuits.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Biscuits:

Filling:

  1. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and airy.
  3. Grind the vanilla powder and coffee together until very fine.
  4. Add to the butter and icing sugar mix along with the flour.
  5. Stir until very well combined. This should produce a fairly stiff paste.
  6. Place a large star nozzle in a piping bag and place the biscuit mixture into the piping bag.
  7. Pipe an even number of circles of the biscuit mixture onto the parchment paper and place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160℃ (fan), 180℃ conventional.
  9. Place the baking tray into the oven for 15 minutes until the biscuits are pale in colour.
  10. Remove from the oven, but leave the biscuits on the trays to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and leave until cold. (These biscuits are very ‘short’ and therefore quite delicate, so handle them gently).
  12. Beat the Philadelphia cheese, butter, icing sugar and coffee extract together until smooth.
  13. Transfer the filing mixture to a piping bag and pipe a circle on to half of the biscuits.  Sandwich the other half of the biscuits together.
  14. These will keep for a couple of days in the fridge (store them there, due to the butter and Philadelphia), but allow them to come back to room temperature to improve the flavour and smooth texture of the filling.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Thanks to Lynn for giving me the inspiration to play with this old recipe and to give it a different little twist.

Christmas Cheat Treats with the Central England Co-Operative

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When invited by the Central England Co-operative to work with them again to bring you tips on how to make Christmas easy and stress free, then what better way to do this than via the dessert table? Using some bought ingredients, along with a just a little, easy, home made preparation, I’m bringing you not one, but four sweet cheat treats to make your Christmas entertaining a breeze!

I bought:

* frozen puff pastry and used some homemade mincemeat (you could buy a jar of mincemeat to make it even easier on yourself, but I had some already made).

* jelly and a bottle of Prosecco to make a grown up, fizzy wobbly treat.

* cappuccino swiss roll, dark and milk chocolate with a tub of double cream to create the most deliciously easy chocolate ganache covered Yule log.

* ready made Christmas pudding and some butter and icing sugar to make the perfect rum butter pudding.

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To make your Yule Log, firstly you need to make a ganache.  Simply take 200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate and break/cut this into small pieces (the smaller the better as it’ll melt quicker).  Place this into a large bowl.  Pour 250ml double cream into a saucepan and heat very gently until hot, but not boiling, then pour this over the chocolate pieces.  Leave to sit for a couple of minutes until the chocolate starts to melt, then stir until fully melted.  At this stage I added a couple of tablespoons of Amaretto to my melted chocolate and cream mixture as I’d bought a cappuccino swiss roll and was going to make a tiramisu inspired Yule Log, but you can leave the alcohol out of yours, if you like.  Leave your Ganache somewhere cool for about 30 minutes to start to set and firm up. Don’t allow this to set hard or it’ll be too difficult to work with and to cover your swiss roll. Gently and slowly pour a couple of caps full of amaretto over your Swiss roll, allowing it to soak into the sponge (again, omit the alcohol if you want to share this with the kids!)

When your ganache is cool, and has started to thicken, spread it thickly onto your swiss roll and roughly leave a ‘bark/knot’ pattern in the chocolate to represent a log.

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To make the grown up fizzy jelly. Following the packet instructions, break/cut up the jelly into small pieces (I use scissors and cut it into small pieces as they dissolve quicker).  Pour over up to 200ml boiling water and stir until the jelly has dissolved.  Carefully open the bottle of Prosecco and use this to make the jelly up to 500ml. Pour into serving dishes or glasses and leave somewhere to cool and set firm.

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For your mince pies, preheat your oven to 200°C onto a floured board, roll out your pastry evenly until it’s about the depth of a pound coin. Using a cutter that’s larger than your tart tin, cut 12 rounds of pastry and use these to line the tin indentations.  Place a generous teaspoon of your mincemeat into each of the pastry rounds.  Using the leftover pastry, cut stars or other shapes to top your mince pies.  Brush the tops of the pastry with beaten egg to glaze, being careful not to allow it to drip down between the pastry base and the tin as this will cause your mince pies to stick.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the tops are golden and the pastry has puffed.  Remove to a wire rack to cool, then sprinkle with icing sugar to give them a festive dusting of ‘snow’.

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To go with my Christmas pudding, I’ve made a delicious rum butter.  This is one of the easiest things to make as it only takes three ingredients: unsalted butter, icing sugar and rum!  Allow your butter to reach room temperature as this will make it easier to mix. The rule of thumb here is to use twice as much icing sugar as butter, therefore for 250g butter, you’d need 500g icing sugar.  Using an electric hand mixer, beat the softened butter and the icing sugar together gently (adding the icing sugar in small amounts until combined, to avoid you, the house and entire neighbourhood being covered in a sweet, white dusting of sugar).  When fully combined, turn up the speed and whip it until it becomes light in texture.  Add a couple of capfuls of rum (or your preferred spirit), then beat again to incorporate it fully.  Taste and add more rum if you like.

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So, there you go; four tasty treats, all of which have a little cheat attached to make your dessert table one to be envied and for you to enjoy as you’ve had a little help to make each of them stress free.

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Wishing you a very Merry ‘stress free’ Christmas from the Central England Co-Operative, my family and myself.

Rosie

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I was provided with vouchers from the Central England Co-Operative to purchase ingredients to take part in this campaign.