Tiers of the Cake

A tasty slice of inspiration...

Hello foodies,

A huge warm welcome to Red Velvet Baking, the blog! I have been baking since I can remember and I have always wanted to share my experiences and tasty flair beyond the walls of my own home. In summer 2011 I launched this little blog. I blog as a celebration of my achievements and dedication to my culinary passion, alongside an overflow of my enthusiasm, with a few added delicious recipe ideas. Pictures and tips galore, sure enough to sink your teeth right into and to get your mouth watering. Delicious beautiful baking can put a smile on anyones face.

Summer 2013 saw me train for a month at Leiths, gaining a distinction in practical cookery and last summer I ran a culinary arts course in the USA, specialising in baking.

I am now back in the UK, writing for my blog from sunny Yorkshire. 2015 is going to be a big year for Red Velvet Baking, so keep posted!

Keep calm, enjoy and most importantly BAKE!


Jessica

xox

Twitter @RedVelvetBaking
Instagram @RedVelvetBaking
Pinterest Red Velvet Baking
Facebook Red Velvet Baking
Website - Undergoing a magical makeover!

Find the missing sprinkle...

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Busy Bee Me & Citrus Kick Cupcakes :)

I had quite a busy, but productive, week last week. Feeling rather refreshed this January and ready to step everything up a notch. After deciding on selling my baking, I decided that last week I would do a little cupcake mixology and refine my favourite flavours. SO MUCH FUN! Can you wait for my valentine edition? Well I might just make you ;)...

As for recipes...heres another little alcoholic number for you to try. This little request was for a vodka kicking cupcake...keep calm it's only a tipple kiddies ;)

Citrus Kick

Ingredients

Sponge
80g softened unsalted butter
280g golden caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 heaped tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
240ml semi skimmed milk
2 medium eggs
juice of half a lemon
rind of half a lime

Frosting
100g unsalted butter
40ml semi skimmed milk
2 tbsp of vodka
400g icing sugar
sugar flowers/lime rind etc. to decorate

Magic Method

1. Preheat your own to 190c and line a muffin tray with cases.
2. Using an electric whisk (or spending a lot of time by hand) slowly beat butter, sugar, flour and baking powder, until the ingredients resemble a fine breadcrumb consistency.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and eggs, until light a frothy and slowly mix into the dry mixture.
4. Once everything is mixed in, blitz with an electric mix until a super smooth batter is formed. Add in the extra rind and lemon juice and combine.
5. Divide between the muffin cases until three quarters full and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden and springy to touch.
6. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack until cool.
7. Whilst the buns are cooling, make the icing. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vodka and half the icing sugar. This make take a while by hand, and even a few minutes with an electric whisk.
8. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
9. Once the cupcakes are cool, decorate the cupcakes, with the buttercream, using a palette knife to create a neat swirl.
10. Decorate with lime rind or sugar flours.

Sorry for the delay guys, look out for the next few posts on store cupboard essentials and Valentines treats...

Keep calm and don't get too tipsy...

Best wishes,

Red Velvet xo

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Valentines Preparation...

So in a couple of weeks it will be the celebrated day of love. Do you agree we should only celebrate it one day of the year? Maybe not, but why not take the chance to spend a little loooove time, with your loved ones. On the 14th it is also my Dads birthday, bless him, so I shall be showering lots of presents, and of course baking treats, for the whole week...so keep your peepers at the ready.

In addition, I am planning to join an online blog linking day, on the days prior to Valentines, in order to give you the opportunity to shop for delicious baking treats and ideas, through a variety of beautiful blogs. Now you wouldn't want to miss that now, would you?

As for my own personal preparation, I have started buying some pretty sprinkles and lovely little cupcake cases. I am also planning on making some beaut red velvet whoopie pies for a friend of mines Valentines ball. So keep checking for recipe updates :).

Furthermore, I'd like to direct your attention to another site that I am getting quite familiar with :) ToSouk. This website holds lots of little treats and vintage items, for you to purchase and browse. I have started putting some of my most favoured baked items on there and over the Valentines period will be taking themed orders, if any one is interested :).

Keep in touch, requests are always welcome.

Love, as always.

Red Velvet<3

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Rough Rocky Road...

A few years ago, I was asked to help the younger members of my school choir, organising a break bake sale to raise money for a departmental music trip. A lot of people brought in buns and biscuits, but I wanted to bring in something a little different. I took this opportunity to make Rocky Road bars. They sold out fast!!

In addition, this recipe was a request from a good friend of mine, raising money for a life changing trip to Fiji. I wish her the best of luck and I'm sure this recipe will do you proud Amy <3

TOP TIP: I have made these a few times now and to get them to set like a proper refrigerator cake, it's more beneficial to use the exact amount, if not less, of biscuit and additional chocolate.

Ingredients
125g soft unsalted butter
350g quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3 tbsp golden syrup
200g rich tea biscuits
100g mini marshmallows (larger marshmallows chopped up can be substituted)
icing sugar to dust

Magical Method

1. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a large sauce pan. Once melted and combined, place around 150ml of mixture to one side.

2. Place the rich tea biscuits into a freezer bag and seal, before bashing the biscuits into shards, with a rolling pin. Good for stress relief, just don't go too crazy!

3. Fold the biscuit pieces, crumbs and marshmallows into the saucepan full of chocolate and combine.

4. Transfer the mixture into a tray (24cm square/rectangle), lined with foil (parchment will do), and flatten with a spatula.

5. Pour the remaining chocolate over the top and smooth to finish.

6. Refrigerate for four hours, preferably overnight.

7. Before serving, cut into fingers or squares and dust with sieved icing sugar.

Easy peasy, lemon squeasy! Get the kids involved for a treat.

Variations

In some cases you may want to add nuts and/or glacier cherries to the mixture, for a fruity twist!!

Keep calm and polish 'em off, kiddies!

Have fun,

Red Velvet xo

Sunday Supper Slimline Souffles...


Well, as always in January, we set ourselves up for changes and challenges in the New Year. A regular favourite amongst my family and friends, is losing weight. But we really do love food!

Last year I spent a lot of time reviewing recipes and suggestions for low calorie, but satisfying, puddings. I think this really is a winner :). Add it to your diet plan and see the results of weight loss and foodie heaven, combined.

Chocolate Orange Souffles

Ingredients
sunflower oil for greasing
50g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
juice of half a lemon
3 medium egg whites
rind of 1 orange, grated

Decorate
dark chocolate shavings
creme freche
cream/ice cream (if you're feeling naughty)

Magical Method

1. Set the oven to 190C (170C for fan assisted ovens) and grease 4 100ml ramekin dishes.

2. Gently combine the caster sugar, cocoa, lemon juice and orange rind, and set aside.

3. In a grease free bowl, whisk the egg whites, using an electric whisk, until forming soft peaks.

4. Carefully whisk in the cocoa mixture, until thoroughly combined. Divide between the four ramekins.




5. Place the ramekins on a baking tray in the centre of the oven, for 12 minutes, until risen.

6. Once baked, remove and serve immediately with your choice of creme freche, cream or ice cream and decorate with chocolate shavings.
Variations
Why not try using mint, instead of orange rind. Or possibly serving the souffles with a white chocolate infused cream for a more decadent dish.



At only around 80 calories a pop, why not treat yourself this evening. Simple, easy but ridiculously delicious.

Keep calm and dig in, kiddies.

Love,

Red Velvet xo

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Food for Thought...

Hey foodies!!

Just a quick blog to highlight the ever expanding list to the right of my blog posts. I have been researching the internet and in magazines for fresh and unique blogs, looking at fantastic baking schools and websites, full of inspiration. I decided to share my favourite findings with you guys, of corse, and over the next few months can't wait to see the list grow!

If you know of any fantastic websites, magazines or anything you find inspiring, let me know! I'm happy to feature your own work also...

Get in touch kiddies.




Keep calm and always keep in the kitchen <3

Love,

Red Velvet xo

Friday, 13 January 2012

Zesty Carbonara...

This evening I thought I'd cook up a little pasta carbonara, however we had way too many sausages that needed eating. I decided on making my carbonara with a little saussy twist...give it a go! It's truly delicious.

Ingredients
6 good quality pork sausages
3 rashers of quality smoked bacon, diced (pancetta can be substituted)
1 or 2 punnets of button mushrooms
tbsp of salted butter
4 large egg yolks
125ml double cream
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
125g parmesan (cheddar can be substituted)
handful of freshly chopped parsley


good squeeze and rind from half a lemon
500g tagliatelle (penne can be substituted)
drizzle of olive oil
pinch of rock salt
good grind of coarse black pepper

1. Remove the skins from the sausages, and roll the pork meat in to rough balls. Place the garlic, sausage meat and bacon into a large frying pan and fry at a moderate heat. Stir occasionally.
2. Put the pasta over a moderate heat, in salted water, and drizzle a little olive oil in the pan to aid the softening of the pasta
3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks, double cream, lemon, salt and pepper until thick and creamy. Add a handful of the cheese and the parsley.
4. Add the mushrooms and butter to the meat and lower the heat. Stir occasionally.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain 3/4 of the water and mix the pasta, egg mixture and remaining water. The heat from the pasta should gently cook the egg. Add in the meat mixture and toss lightly.
5. Serve immediately, sprinkling the remaining cheese and a grind of black pepper on the top.

Serves 4.


Bon Appetite :)


Keep calm and scoff a load, kiddies!

Love&funeating

Red velvet <3

A Little Cupcake History...



I found this rather interesting, thought you might too! :)

Red Velvet xo

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Day Back in La Shake

Last night I decided to come home from university, just for a few more home comforts and free, unlimited, use of food filled cupboards! I finished my Language exam online this morning, before dipping into hummus and writing a nice little blog for you guys.

This evening I'm accompanying an old best friend to a Chinese Buffet. Quite excited, but, of course, it really isn't going to help the new year diet!! What would you guys choose, when choice is so widely spread?

I'm thinking boiled rice, chicken and vegetable dishes, but you have to treat yourselves sometimes right? Thinking hardcore gym session tomorrow!



These made me chuckle :)

I plan to post another few recipes before the end of the week :) so please keep checking for new posts!

Keep calm and keep eating, kiddies!

Love, as always

Red Velvet x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Lasagne, Just Like Mama Used to Make :)

Ever since I was very little, this has been one of our household favourites. It's one of the only things my mum can cook!! When I was little I used to fall asleep in it, not sure whether my mum was adding extra ingredients when I was a rowdy tot, but it's safe to say I can eat plenty nowadays - only sleepy from being so full!

It is very easy to make and perfect hot or cold, with salad...for BBQ's, a hearty dinner, buffets, anything you can think of. The recipe is easy to adjust for portion sizes and this one roughly makes 6 big pieces. But if you are looking to mass cater, just double up the portions of meat, sauce and pasta and adjust the herbs, spices and seasoning, accordingly.

Mummy's Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 500g lean mince steak
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tube (1 small tin/ 2 heaped tbsp) tomato puree
  • 2 beef oxo cubes
  • 100g salted butter
  • 3tbsp cornflour (more may be needed to thicken)(plain flour can be substituted - but more may be needed)
  • 250g grated cheddar
  • 1pt semi skimmed milk
  • 1 box of standard lasagne sheets
  • salt and pepper seasoning
  • 11/2 tsp oregano
  • 11/2 tsp basil
Magic in the Method

1. Heat a fan assisted oven to 180C. Brown the mince in a large frying pan. Once browned crumble the two oxo cubes into the pan.
2. Reduce the heat on the mince, add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, seasoning, herbs and leave to simmer.
3. In a separate saucepan melt the unsalted butter. Remove from the heat and add cornflour to make a paste, before adding about a pint of milk, seasoning and add back to a low heat. I would recommend stirring, almost continuously, whilst it thickens. (Using a small whisk helps to avoid lumps)
4. Once the sauce has started to thicken add in half of the grated cheese and when melted remove from heat.
5. To start layering your lasagne, now the mince and sauce are ready, put a thin layer of mince on the bottom of a 9x13in lasagne dish and cover with pasta sheets. Pour on the sauce till covered and then add another layer of pasta. Repeat the pattern once more, before scattering the top with the remaining cheese.
7. Place in the oven for around 30mins or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve with salad, garlic bread and/or boiled/jacket potatoes.

EASY PEASY :)

Variations
Try adding finely chopped fried onions to the meat for extra flavour. Also, you could add chopped vegetables such as softened carrots or peppers. If you like a little heat, a tsp of chilli powder can add a nice little kick to the mince or if you're feeling italian a clove or two of crushed garlic would taste delicious. Or if you're being especially healthy, try topping with a combination of crushed garlic, greek yogurt and a small handful of cheddar, for an alternative creamy topping.


Go on, give it a go...I dare you!

Keep calm and eat up kiddies,

Red Velvet<3

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Double Chocolate Roulade :)

When I first started baking, the reason I decided to get hands on in the kitchen was watching food programs. Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to do more research. I started doing some recipe searches online, and when Christmas came round and I was elected as family dessert chef, I had to find something to suit all the family.

This is one of my favourite and most trusted recipes. It's fantastically simple, tastes divine and is so versatile to suit the situation!

Ingredients
200g (7oz) plain chocolate (54% cocoa solids plus preferably), broken into pieces
150g (5oz) golden caster sugar
5 medium eggs, separated
1tsp vanilla escence
2-3tbsp icing sugar, sifted
100g (4oz) white chocolate (Green & Blacks works fantastically)
284ml (10floz) double cream
150g (5oz) raspberries or blackberries for decoration
Extras may include white or dark chocolate curls/stars

Magical Method

1. Heat a fan assisted oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Melt the plain chocolate in a bain marie (bowl over a pan of simmering water). In a separate bow whisk the sugar and egg yolks for around 4 minutes, until pale and thick, before folding in the melted chocolate.

2. In another separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then, carefully beat 2tbsp of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Proceed by gently folding in the remainder egg whites, being careful not to overwork the mixture.

3. Line a swiss roll tine (33 x 23 cm/ 13 x 9in). Pour the mixture onto the parchment and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch.

4. Whilst the meringue roulade is baking, melt the white chocolate in a bain marie and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Then, whisk the cream until forming soft peaks.

5. When the roulade is ready to be taken out of the oven, prepare a large sheet of greaseproof paper sprinkled with icing sugar, for the roulade to be turned out onto. Once turned out, cover with a clean damp tea towel and allow to cool.

6. Return to the cream and white chocolate and combine. Sometimes you may need to rewhip the cream slightly to keep the stiff texture.

7. Once the roulade has cooled, remove the tea towel and smoother with the white chocolate cream. Some people like to add some raspberries/blackberries at this stage to the filling of the roulade, however it is just as delicious to use them more for decoration.

8. Using the greaseproof paper as a guideline, roll the roulade from one short end to the other. Don't worry if it cracks - this is a rustic dessert!!! Finish the roulade with fresh berries, chocolate curls and stars - to suit the occasion.



To show off a roulades versatility it would be rude not to show off some variations...


White Chocolate & Raspberry
If you replace the dark chocolate with white chocolate and use creme freche and crushed raspberries for the filling...a lighter delight!!

Black Forest Roulade
Make the chocolate roulade as above. Once cooled drizzle two tbsp of Chambord (raspberry liqueur) or Kirsch (cherry liqueur) over the roulade. Use double cream, whipped like before but scatter 100g of chopped morello cherries over the cream before rolling. Decorate with morello cherries and dark chocolate curls.

Dare to try a different version....


Stay calm and give it a gander,


Red Velvet <3

University Bound.

So I'm back in Sheffield now, without all the home luxuries, I guess! Missing home already, aha, but most of all my mr. Can say the next few months, whilst he's at army training, are going to be pretty tough! But I'll keep posting for you foodies and I'm sure the months will fly!

There's not many people back at uni until the beginning of february, so I'm a rather lonely chicken! I've done a little more research, thanks to my twitter followers, and think I may have found the baking courses for me! But I'll post my research on courses at a later date on my Top tasty site page :) so keep a look out!!!

As for now...I better get posting some tasty treats!!

Keep calm and eat a cupcake kids,

Yours  truly,

Red Velvet <3

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Back & Meaning Business...

Hello again my fellow foodies!

I guess you can say long time, no blogging and I am sorry for my lack of food support over the last few months. It really has been a hectic few months, with starting university and moving out etc - but it's a NEW YEAR, now, and a better time than any to get on with spreading my love and passion for all things foodie :).

I hope that you have spent a lot of time cooking up Christmas and New Year delights! Over the next week I will be posting some of my favourite little miseltoe muffins and deliciously dark chocolate roulades, for you guys to try at home and develop into family favourites over the course of this wonderful year ahead.

Christmas and New Year have been the most exuberant yet, this year - I think people are really going all the way with food, celebrations and SPENDING! I mean I can honestly say that my first Christmas as a student, has been by far the most expensive!! How ironic! But...I did get some beautiful gifts; including a blow torch (how unberlievably exciting...can you wait for creme brule?) and a new Whoopie Pie book. Do not fear, I shall be sharing my exciting new kitchen experiences with you guys too!

Also, this Christmas, I finally bought my Dad a mini blender thingy, for shreding stir fry vegetables and making pestos and soups. It is amazing, however, within a few days of having it my Dad has already managed to slice his hand up!! Be careful in the kitchen kids! Even spoons, these days, seem to cause some form of damage, aha!

As for future blogging plans...I think it's fair to say you'll be hearing a lot more from me :). I can't wait to get baking and experimenting and would love to hear your feed back or recipe responses - so get messaging! Any ideas or requests are also welcome. In the next few months I am subjecting myself to a little further food educating, hoping to master the art of chocolatiering and branch out in to the wonderful world of artisan breads. I have read many articles on baking schools but if you're familiar with any super schools - get messaging too.

As for now i'd like to hope you've all made some epically original and spicy New Year foodie resolutions and would love to wish you the best with baking this 2012.

Keep calm and eat a cupcake kids and lets get baking,

with love,

Red Velvet <3