About my baking challenge

I discovered the joy of baking for the first time ever in 2013, shortly after my dear mum passed away from cancer. During 2014 I tried to bring these two things together in a positive way , have fun and raise some money for Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield where my mum passed away. Throughout the year I tried out new techniques and recipes from time to time ... and then sold some of my bakes for charity in my workplace. Since then I have continued to bake with some ups and downs .. and this blog charts my baking experiences, good and bad!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Charity Bake #2 - With This Ring ....

Hi everyone, Well here I am again with my second Charity bake for Ashgate Hospice ... I'm not sure where the past couple weeks have gone to, but I hope it will be easier to get into a baking rhythm once the nights start getting lighter!!

 I recently discovered the Clandestine Cake Club; and although it was too short notice for me to join in my first meeting at one of the branches I have joined (Warrington), I was nonetheless inspired by their theme of beautiful bundts.  Having discovered the existence of this type of cake I just had to try making one, and I have also been very much inspired by the fantastic recipes, hints and tips by Rachel at Dollybakes - she really has got  bundts on the brain!!. (For any non-baking readers who have followed my charity email link, a bundt is a ring shaped decorative cake with a hole in the middle!)

So I decided to start getting in the mood for Valentine's Day with a bundt, taking as my theme With This Ring ... (Yes I know it's a terrible pun but I just had to do it!).

My recipe is very closely based on Rachel's basic recipe at Build a Bundt, with slight variation in topping and decoration to fit my lovey-dovey theme.  I have given full credit to Rachel but copied out the steps and stages so I can show my pics of work in progress!! :-)

"With This Ring" Valentine Bundt

Recipe from Dolly Bakes - Build A Bundt

For the cake:
225 g butter, softened
450g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs
350g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml vanilla yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:
300g icing sugar
Small amount of water
A few drops of pink food colouring
Sugar heart sprinkles to decorate (mine were from Asda).

10 cup/ 2.4 litre Bundt tin. (I googled around and as I'm a beginner I didn't splash out for a posh Nordicware tin  (yet!!) ... I bought a Lakeland fluted cake ring).

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan)/ Gas mark 3
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on a low setting (I always beat my eggs first and then pour in the liquid a little at a time).The mix will get noticeably fluffier (with my new KMix this was very true!!)

4. In a separate bowl, measure / sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
5. Mix the yoghurt and vanilla extract together in a bowl/jug.
6. Sift 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the main mix and fold in gently, followed by 1/3 of the yoghurt mix. Repeat until all the flour and liquid are incorporated.  Fold in gently - Rachel advises that over-mixing at this stage will result in a heavy cake and can cause air channels which can ruin the decorative shape.
7. Give it all a mix on a low speed for a bout ten seconds until smooth.

8. Grease and flour your bundt tin, or grease with cake release (that's what I did).

9. Spoon the mixture into the tin evenly....

10. ...and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is slightly shrinking away from the tin. It's stable after about an hour for checking / turning.  Mine was done after  about 1 hour and 8 minutes.

11. Leave the cake to cool for about ten minutes and then remove from tin.

12. Allow to cool completely before icing.
13. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a jug, add the water a little at a time and mix together until the icing reaches a  pouring consistency. Add a drop or two of food colouring until you reach the desired colour. Pour slowly over the cake and decorate with sugar hearts.  Tip: place the cake on serving plate before pouring over the icing, or you'll make a mess and find it difficult to move the cake when iced.

This really was very easy to make - Rachel's directions were flawless. I did have a momentary holding of breath when it came to turning it out of the tin, but it turned out very easily with virtually no sticking - yay! I'm very pleased for my first attempt.

I had never made glace icing before, and I was surprised by how much icing sugar you need to get a decent amount of icing (best not to think of the calories!!) .. I used 300g of icing sugar and with hindsight the cake  really could have done with a bit more.

I would like to enter this attempt into a few baking challenges for February, namely

Calendar Cakes - Oh L'Amour! 

Love Cake - Baking With Passion

Amount raised - £15

I did try a piece of this and was pleased with it for a first attempt - the cake was nice and moist and didn't even dry out being out on the table during the day. I retract my earlier statement though about more icing ... maybe a bit thicker (more opaque) but it would ahve been overwhelmed by any greater quantity - so that's all good! :-)

That's all for today - thanks for visiting.