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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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