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Blood orange & almond sponge with perfectly pink poached rhubarb

Blood Orange and Almond Cake 
This cake is an adaptation of a recipe by the famous chef Claudia Roden, it’s really easy to make and also gluten and dairy free. It uses a whole orange, skin and all, which gives the cake a really great deep flavour. I love it served with thick greek yoghurt, chopped almonds and a generous drizzle of honey. If you want to go all out, enjoy it with the poached rhubarb too….

  • 2 whole blood oranges
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 125g caster sugar, plus a tablespoon for the orange upside-down topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat the over to 180 degrees celsius and line the bottom and sides of a 16cm cake tin with baking paper
  2. Place one whole orange in a microwavable bowl, pierce it once and cover the bowl with cling film. Microwave the orange for 3-5 minutes until its soft and squishy. Allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the second orange into thin slices. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the cake tin and place slices of orange on top. You can overlap them slightly in a nice pattern. This will give you an orange topping to your cake once you turn it out of the tin.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ground almonds, baking powder and caster sugar.
  5. Retrieve your microwaved orange. Chop it into quarters. Remove any pips and blitz it in a food processor or with a hand blender.
  6. Stir the blitzed orange into the cake mix and pour the whole mixture into the cake tin.
  7. Bake in the over for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden, firm and springy to the touch and a knife or skewer comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack with the sliced oranges on the top. Remove the baking paper and allow the cake to cool completely before tucking in.

Perfectly Pink Poached Rhubarb
Rhubarb is one of my all time favourite flavours. In crumble, in salad, in jam, in sweets. In January perfectly pink forced rhubarb is in season and I love to simply poach it to preserve the gorgeous colour. I use a little cardamon too for a hint of warming spice. This is so straight forward and you’ll have a gorgeous bowl of rhubarb to brighten up your puddings, yoghurt or porridge….

  • 400g rhubarb
  • 200g water
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 5/6 cardamon pods
  1. Put the water, sugar and crushed cardamon pods in a pan. Heat and gently bring it to the boil.
  2. Chop the rhubarb into approx. 4cm pieces.
  3. Add the chopped rhubarb to the sugar syrup and turn off the heat straight away. Cover and allow to cool completely.

PS keep hold of the rhubarb syrup and add a little to your G&T!

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New Year Rocky Road Cheesecake

This is pure chocolate indulgence and that, in my opinion, is the best way to see in the New Year! Ginger-nut, cranberry and pistachio rocky road, topped with creamy white chocolate cheesecake – this is a pudding that needs no baking at all, just stirring, mixing and some time in the fridge. A great one to make during these ‘bit-in-between’ days before New Year’s Eve when you’ve had enough of scrabble!

Both parts are quick to make but the chocolate base needs at least two hours in the fridge before you make and add the cheesecake topping. As the cheesecake also needs time to set, I recommend making it a day ahead and leaving it overnight. I decorated mine with super tart stewed cranberries (instructions below), but fresh raspberries work well too, either way this sweet pudding goes really well with a little sharpness.

Make it in a round tin to serve as slices for pudding, or in a square tin ready to cut it into smaller pieces if you’re feeding lots of party-goers! My top tip is to leave it out of the fridge for 10 minutes before cutting and then use a hot sharp knife to cut neat pieces.

Rocky road base

  • 175g dark chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2tbs golden syrup
  • 150g ginger nut biscuits
  • 75g each of chopped pistachios, dried cranberries and mini marshmallows. You can freestyle these ingredients to include other nuts, fruits and treats if you like, just aim for the same quantities.

Cheesecake topping 

  • 175g white chocolate
  • 300g full fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 300ml double cream

Cranberry decoration (optional – try fresh raspberries instead)

  • 150g fresh cranberries
  • 100ml water
  • 100g sugar
  1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin with baking paper
  2. In a pan, over a low heat, melt and stir together the dark chocolate, unsalted butter and golden syrup. Set to one side.
  3. In freezer bag or deep bowl, crush the ginger nut biscuits so you have a mix of chunkier pieces, smaller pieces and crumbs.
  4. Stir the crushed biscuits, chopped nuts, cranberries and marshmallows into the chocolate mix.
  5. Pour it into the cake tin and use the back of a spoon to press it down and make the top as flat as possible.
  6. Leave in the fridge for at least two hours before making the cheesecake topping.
  7. Once your chocolate base has set, break up the white chocolate and in a heatproof bowl gently melt it in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Leave it to one side to cool slightly.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese so it’s smooth and soft, then stir in the melted white chocolate.
  9. In a separate bowl whisk the double cream so it’s thick but only just holding its shape.
  10. Gently fold half the whipped cream into the cream cheese and chocolate mixture, followed by the second half.
  11. Spoon the cheesecake mixture on top of the rocky road base and use a small palette knife or the back of a spoon to level the top as much as possible.
  12. Leave it to chill in the fridge until set. I suggest making it the day ahead and leaving it overnight.

For the cranberry topping – put the cranberries, sugar and water in a pan and cook over a gentle heat until the cranberries start to soften and pop and the water and sugar becomes thick and syrupy. Drain the cranberries and leave to cool on parchment paper. Roll them in some loose case sugar to coat them. 

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CHOCOLATE & GINGER CAKE WITH STEM GINGER BUTTERCREAM

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A wonderful alternative to the love-it-or-loath-it, fruit-filled Christmas cake. This cake is rich, full of flavour and makes a gorgeous pudding as well as a treat to enjoy in front of a Christmas movie. I like to dress mine up with lots of edible sprinkles, dried cranberries, gingerbread biscuits and sprigs of rosemary to make it super festive!

For the cake (makes one 22cm cake):

  • 175g soft unsalted butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1.5tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 2tbs cocoa powder
  • 2tbs hot water
  • 1tbs black treacle
  • 1tbs milk
  • 20g chopped stem ginger in syrup

For the buttercream:

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 250g soft unsalted butter
  • 2tbs ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar

Ideas for decorations: Sprinkles, dried cranberries, springs of rosemary, mini meringues, marshmallows, chocolate buttons, gingerbread biscuits, sparklers!

  1. Grease and line with baking paper a round 22cm cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy
  3. Gradually add the beaten eggs and keep whisking
  4. Then mix in the sifted flour, baking powder and ground ginger
  5. Mix the cocoa powder with hot water to make a paste and stir into the cake mix
  6. With a spoon, fold in the black treacle, milk and chopped stem ginger
  7. Pour the mix into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is springy to the touch and you can insert a sharp knife into the centre and it comes out clean
  8. Wait five minutes, then turn the cake out of the tin onto a cooling rack
  9. When the cake is cool, beat the icing sugar and butter together until really pale and add the stem ginger syrup from the jar
  10. To decorate, turn the cake upside down, so the flat bottom is now the top! Spread the buttercream over the cake with a palette knife or back of a spoon. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, pipe the buttercream. Dress the cake with all your favourite festive treats!
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CHRISTMAS SPICED CARAMEL

This recipe will make you two very indulgent jars of sticky, golden, festively-spiced caramel goodness. Drizzle it on ice-cream, pancakes or popcorn, use it in brownies, stir into coffee or hot chocolate or just sneak it straight from the spoon….

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 200g butter
  • 200ml whipping cream
  1. Put the sugar, water and spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Resist the temptation to stir the mixture or it may crystallise
  2. Keep it gently bubbling until the sugar melts and the caramel turns a golden caramel colour
  3. Add the butter and stir until it has all melted. It it very hot and will fizz and bubble so take care
  4. Take the pan off the heat and slowly mix in the cream
  5. Pour the caramel through a sieve, into a jug to remove the spices. Pour into two jars and allow to cool
  6. It will keep in the fridge for two weeks. Allow it come to room temperature or warm slightly for perfect drizzling consistency as the caramel will set firm in the fridge
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ORANGE SPICED BISCUITS

A fruity take on traditional gingerbread, these biscuits make an excellent gift boxed and be-ribboned in a beautiful tin or kilner-style jar. They go down a treat with a hot chocolate after a winter walk…

  • 100g butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 2tbs golden syrup
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½tsp ground nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 medium egg
  1. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy
  2. Add the beaten egg and golden syrup
  3. Stir in the sifted flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and orange zest to form a dough
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film or parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling and cutting
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°c
  6. Sprinkle your table with flour and roll out the dough so its approx. as thick as a pound coin. If you don’t have a rolling pin, a wine bottle is a good substitute!
  7. Cut out shapes with biscuit cutters or a sharp knife
  8. Bake your biscuits in the oven until golden – between 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the biscuit. They will be slightly soft when they come out of the oven but firm up as they cool.
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Snowy Coconut and Raspberry Meringues

Light and fluffy, crispy and chewy, meringues are ideal to follow a festive feast, especially if Christmas pud isn’t your thing! Serve with whipped cream, raspberries and pomegranate seeds for added festive flavour. These are quite quick to make but take a while to cook as you need to allow the oven to go cold once they’re baked. I suggest making them in the evening and leaving them overnight…

  • 4 egg whites (approx. 160g egg white)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 75g raspberries
  • 1tbs icing sugar
  • coconut flakes
  1. Clean your whisk and mixing bowl with white wine vinegar or lemon juice to make sure there’s no trace of grease
  2. Press the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds. Mix the icing sugar with the fruit puree and put to one side
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees
  4. Whisk the egg whites until they are thick, foamy and hold stiff peaks. The whisked whites should hold firm and not flop over when you pull the whisk up and out of the bowl
  5. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until the meringue mixture is thick and glossy
  6. With a spoon, fold in the raspberry puree so it’s rippled through the meringue
  7. Dollop tablespoon-fulls of meringue onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper
  8. Sprinkle the meringues with the coconut flakes
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then switch of the oven with the meringues inside and leave the oven to cool completely – about four hours or overnight.
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Welcome to Milk Street Kitchen

Hello. Welcome to my brand new blog! This page is a chance to go ‘behind the scenes’ in my kitchen, a place to discover new ideas and inspiration, and hopefully get to know me and Milk Street Kitchen a little better!

So, I thought I’d use this first post to say hello and tell you a little about me….

My name is Ellie and I live and work in the lovely little town of Haslemere, which is nestled in the countryside on the border of Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire.

My husband and I have a gorgeous little girl who has just turned one – still a bit young to be my assistant!

I grew up by the sea and my favourite place to relax and blow away the cobwebs is on West Wittering beach in sunny West Sussex.

I am an enthusiastic newcomer to gardening and hoping to get my own little edible flower garden up and growing this summer, so I have a ready supply of prettiness to top my cakes.

I used to live in Austria. Oh my the cakes! From baked cheesecakes to the traditional chocolate Sacher Torte – I was in cake heaven. And the mountains weren’t bad either!

One of my favourite parts of my job is meeting engaged couples at venues, events and for tastings. It’s such a happy time in people’s lives and a real pleasure to play a little part in that when I have the opportunity to design and bake their wedding cake.

If you’re currently looking for sweet inspiration for your wedding day or special occasion I’d love to hear from you and meet in person! Feel free to drop me a line anytime at ellie@milkstreetkitchen.co.uk to say hello.

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