Friday, 23 September 2016

A Taste of New York - Bake Box

I feel like this months Bake Box was made especially for me. Back in June I visited New York for the first time and fell in love. This box is the perfect way to recreate the tastes of New York in the comfort of my own home.

Taking influence from the tastes of New York this months box came jam packed with 3 silicone baking moulds, 3 cookie cutters, blue food colouring, chocolate stencil and 6 recipe cards. I usually only pick one recipe to feature in a blog post but this month I went ahead and tried out two because I just couldn't resist them.

First on my baking hit list were the Banoffee Whoopie Pies (although I changed the recipe slightly because I'm not a fan of banana) these are a delicious cross between cookies/cakes and cheesecake.

For this recipe you will need:

For the whoopie pie shell:
125ml butttermilk
1 1/2tsp lemon juice
125g unsalted butter, diced and softened
175g caster sugar
1 egg
275g self-raising flour
2tbsp milk
150g dark chocolate chips

For the filling:
75g unsalted butter
100g full fat cream cheese
275g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas peeled and sliced (I didn't include these)

For the caramel drizzle:
200g caster sugar
2tbsp double cream
100g salted butter
I cheated and used this ready made sauce instead - Caramel Dipping Sauce

To make the whoopie pie shell:

1. Preheat oven to 180c. Lay the whoopie pie tray on a baking sheet.

2. Stir the buttermilk and lemon juice together. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, sieve in the flour and stir in with the milk. Finally add the buttermilk mixture and fold in with the chocolate chips until evenly mixed in.

3. Place spoonfuls of the mixture in the cups in the tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until springy to touch. Leave to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before carefully removing the whoopie shells and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tip: You can use a spoon to fill the cups in the tray with mixture but it's much quicker and easier to use a small ice cream scoop with a spring-release mechanism. All the half shells will then be an even size as well.

To make the filling:

1. Beat the butter until it is pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until it is evenly combined with the butter.

2. Gradually beat in the icing sugar on a slow speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and beat for a further 5 minutes.

3. Spoon the filling into a disposable piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe the filling over the flat side of half the whoopie pie shells. Add banana slices and place other half shells on top.

4. Finish with a drizzle of the caramel sauce.

Next I had to try making some of the mini doughnuts (again I changed the recipe a little) I have never tried to make doughnuts before because I thought they involved cooking in hot oil but this new mould has made baking them so much easier.

For this recipe you will need:

For the batter:
65g plain flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
1/2tsp baking powder
50g golden caster sugar
4tbsp milk
1 egg
25g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Pinch of salt

For the icing (different from recipe card):
200g white chocolate
100g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

To make the donuts:

1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Lay the donut mould on a baking sheet.

2. Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. Beat together the milk, egg, melted butter, salt and pour into dry ingredients, whisking until you have a smooth batter with no lumps of flour remaining.

3. I found the quickest and easiest way to get the batter into the donut try was using a piping bag and piping the batter in till the mould is 3/4 full. 

4. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the donuts are risen and firm to the touch.

5. Allow to cool in tray for 5 minutes before turning donuts out onto cooling rack to cool down completely. You will be able to make a couple of batches with the recipe. 

To make the icing:

1. Melt white chocolate until completely smooth, then stir in the icing sugar and vanilla extract. 

2. Leave the icing in its bowl a gently dip in the donuts coating one side with the icing. Allow to set on a plate.

Tip: Decorate the donuts with any sprinkles while the icing is still wet to ensure that they stick. 

These doughnuts are the perfect tiny treat when you fancy a sweet snack but don't want to have a massive slice of cake. Both of these recipes went down a treat with my family and I will definitely be making both the doughnuts and whoopies again.

Don't miss out on the New York Bake Box, you can subscribe to Bake Box here.

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