This week I received a gorgeous hamper of goodies from Aldi. To put the goodies to the test, I picked up some Easter treats, also from Aldi, and got my bake on!
In the hamper I received some cute oven gloves, conveniently red(!), a handy cske carrier, a silicone cake mould, a set of scales and an electric measuring jug.
How exciting that they sent me red oven gloves - they must've known! These cute little gloves are double handed and will add a splash of colour to any kitchen. I'm sure to look stylish, whilst NOT burning my arms getting cakes out of the oven.
Super handy and super slick. These touch interface, weighing scales are great for getting those all important accurate measurements when baking.
I've always wanted one of these. A weighing scale based jug makes sure all you liquid measurements are accurate. With a simple, button display on the handle, this is really easy to use and makes measuring ingredients quick and easy.
As you can see I took my best budget bake to work. This carry case is ridiculously cheap at £4.99 and is great for transporting your delicious bakes around. You could even carry your cupcakes in here, but make sure you keep it level to avoid splattered buttercream!
With Easter just weeks away, Aldi was full of chocolate Easter egg hunting sets, mini rabbit shapes and, for the grown ups, some hazelnut and chocokate eggs! I just had to get some and I may have eaten one or two before even starting to bake!
Aldi have a great selection of special buys around Easter, to inspire you to get in the kitchen and get baking. Make sure you pop down to your local Aldi and pick up some Easter goodies, check out the recipes below for some seasonal bakes!
Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf
For my Aldi best budget bake I made this chocolate and hazelnut loaf cake and some cupcakes with a little leftover batter. This a really simple recipe, so get the kids involved and have a bit of fun.
For the cake
80g butter (89p for 250g at Aldi)
280g caster sugar (89p for 1kg at Aldi)
215g plain flour (45p for 1.5kg at Aldi)
40g cocoa powder
1tbsp baking powder (69p for 200g at Aldi)
2 large eggs (£1 for 10 large eggs at Aldi)
1tsp vanilla extract
For the icing
115g butter (89p for 250g at Aldi)
1tsp vanilla extract
400g icing sugar (69p for 500g at Aldi)
50g cocoa powder
Orange and green food colouring
For the decoration
2tbsp Hazelnut spread (£1.78 for 400g at Aldi)
Aldi mini eggs (59p per pack at Aldi)
Aldi mini bunny rabbits (69p at Aldi)
Aldi hazelnut cream eggs (£1.69 at Aldi)
Pre-heat the oven to 175 (fan assisted). Line a loaf tin and put 6 cupcake wrappers in a muffin tray.
1. Make sure the butter is at room temperature and then, in a large bowl, cream it with the sugar. You can use an electric hand mixer, but start with a fork to avoid a sugar coated kitchen! This may look a little like wet sand when it's done. If you have a mixer, use the paddle attachment and watch it work it's magic!
2. Add the flour and baking powder and blend it in with a fork. This will look a little like breadrcumbs. Once at this stage, slowly add the cocoa powder - it creates cocoa clouds if you're not too careful! If using a stand mixer, just add it all in and put it on a low setting or you'll get clouds too!
3. Lightly beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla. With the electric whisk on the slowest speed, gradually pour the liquid into the dry mixture, until it is all incorporate. Don't whisk for too long at this stage, as it can make the batter a little stiff.
4. If you have one, use a cookie or ice cream scoop to put one dollop of mixture into each cupcake case. Use the remainder to fill the loaf tin ¾ full and pop both into the oven.
5. The cupcakes will take about 20 minutes and should bounce back when touched. Take them out quickly, as the cake will need around 25-30 minutes. Before taking the cake out, test to see if it is ready by pressing gently on the centre of the cake and seeing if it bounces back. If it is not ready, test in 3 minute increments.
6. Once the cupcakes are out, unwrap 6 hazelnut cream eggs and push one into the centre of each cupcake.
Let the the cake cool for a short while in the tin and then run a knife around the edge to loosen it and remove it from the tin. Leave both to cool on a wire wrack, before moving onto the icing.
1. Cream the butter with an electric whisk or in a stand mixer, until soft and fluffy.
2. Gradually beat in a little milk, vanilla extract and 200g of the icing sugar. Keep beating on a steady slow speed until the icing sugar is incorporated and then gradually add a bit of each until it is all in!
3. In two separate bowls, take a scoop of the vanilla frosting and put to one side. This will be used for the carrots tops and leaves. Take a third scoop and place directly in a piping bag, fitted with a small star nozzle.
4. Back with the icing mixture, add the cocoa powder and slowly beat in. Feel free to have a cheeky taste test at this stage, with a clean spoon of course. If it is not chocolatey enough, add some more cocoa powder. If the frosting is looking a little too stiff, add a tiny drop of milk. Remember that liquid goes a long way in frosting, so make sure it really is a tiny drop!
5. Put the chocolate frosting into a piping bag fitted with a big star nozzle. If you don't have one, use a spatula to coat the sides of the cake.
6. Back to the separate bowls, drop a tiny bit of green gel food colour in one and orange gel food colouring in the other. Whisk in until the frosting is even in colour and place the green in a piping back with a leaf nozzle (no nozzle would be ok for leaves as you can just drag a piped dot into a leaf shape) and put the orange into a piping bag with no nozzle.
2. Pipe the chocolate frosting in swirls around the edges of the cake or use a spatula to coat the sides, leaving the top bare.
3.Coat the top with hazelnut spread and sprinkle on the cake soil.
4. Now to get super creative! Pipe on some white flowers, use the orange buttercream to create little round carrot tops and pipe green leaves on the top. Get your mini eggs and place them round the edges and don't forget the little bunnies!
For the cupcakes, I just piped a small swirl on each and topped with mini eggs and bunnies. Check out the hazelnut cream on the inside!
I really enjoyed baking up a storm with this creative, seasonal, Easter bake. What will you bake up on a budget?
For the little ones or even for a laugh at the office, why not do an Easter egg hunt with Aldi's handy kit. Hide these milk chocolate goodies and get the kids, or big kids, to find them!
Say it with Aldi this Easter.