Raspberry Rose Jam

I’ve wanted to make my own jam for a while, but have always been a bit put off by the fact it’s WAY cheaper to buy.

I finally decided it to do it this week, in preparation for my entry to the August We Should Cocoa challenge, the theme of which is rose.

I found this recipe for raspberry and rose water jam, which appealed because it didn’t require any specialist equipment or my own body weight in fruit and sugar.

The recipe is really simple, but calls for heating the sugar in the oven before using. I was a bit doubtful about this, and was proved right as the sugar started to caramelise and was unusable. As I’d already started boiling the raspberries I just threw in some more sugar straight from the packet, and to be honest I can’t really see any negative effect this has had.

This jam has so far been used on scones and as the filling for a very special victoria sponge, which will be blogged about soon. It will also be used in my We Should Cocoa entry which I’ll be baking later this week!

Raspberry Rose Jam (adapted from Waitrose’s recipe):

  • 500g raspberries (I used frozen, defrosted)
  • 500g jam sugar
  • 2 tsp rose essence
Place the clean jars you are going to use in the oven on a low temperature (I filled one large and one small jar). Gently heat the raspberries in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and add in the sugar and rose essence. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring back to the boil for another 10 minutes. Test if the jam is ready by pouring a little on to a cold plate, leave it a couple of second then tip the plate. If the jam doesn’t run then it’s ready! Pout into the pre-heated jars and leave to cool.
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Coconut and raspberry loaf cake

After one of my colleagues bought a delicious banana and raisin loaf into work last week, I’ve found it hard getting loaves off my mind.

I think sometimes they get a bit overlooked in favour of fancier cakes piled high with icing, or cupcakes and bars that come in convenient bite size pieces – but that’s a shame as boring shape doesn’t at all mean boring taste!

I first made this loaf a few months ago, as a thank-you present for my aunt and uncle for letting me stay at their house. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any then, so I knew I’d make it again at some point.

It’s adapted from a Levi Roots recipe for a simple coconut loaf, but with a handful of raspberrries thrown in to make it even more delicious.

The original is my go-to for a basic coconut sponge, as the addition of lime really makes it taste tropical and delicious, and the texture is perfect.

Make this cake!!

Coconut and raspberry loaf cake (adapted from a Levi Roots recipe):

  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 200g raspberries
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the lime zest and juice. It’ll probably look a bit curdled at this point, but don’t worry. Beat in the desiccated coconut then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold until just combined. Toss the raspberries in a little flour (to stop them sinking) then layer up the cake batter and raspberries into a medium sized greased and lined loaf tin. Bake at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes, until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Slice thickly and enjoy!

Baked raspberry cheesecake

I have been massively slack in updating this blog recently, and have a huge backlog of things I’ve baked but not posted about yet. This cheesecake I actually made for my mum’s birthday on June 15th, over 2 weeks ago!

But, it was an awesome cheesecake, so better late than never.

If I had to pick one thing as my baking ‘speciality’, it would probably be cheesecake. I’ve been adapting one recipe for a couple of years and now have it down to an art, with WAY over-complicated cooking methods – but it is delicious.

My mum doesn’t like spongey cakes, so I knew for certain I would make her a cheesecake for her birthday (the big five-oh!) but it took me a while to decide on the flavour.

I was toying with the idea of a Lorraine Pascal white chocolate amaretto cheesecake, but instead decided to go for baked raspberry. I’ve made plenty before with raspberries on top, but never actually in the cheesecake mix, so I was excited to try something new.

I adapted the recipe from the BBC Good Food version, which had received rave reviews so I thought it was worth a go. Me and my mum both prefer a sponge base to a biscuit base though, so I made that the night before – making the whole cheesecake a 3 day effort…

Day 1

  • 60g butter
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 40g self raising flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Beat all the ingredients together in one go (as it isn’t particularly important for the cake to rise). Spread the mix into a 9″ round springform cake tin, lined with greaseproof paper, an bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Leave to cool for an hour or so, or overnight as I did.
Day 2
  • 600g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 142ml pot sour cream
  • 200g raspberries
Beat all the ingredients apart from the raspberries in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the raspberries then pour the mix on top of the cooled sponge base. Place on a high shelf in the oven, with a baking tray with 1cm boiling water on the shelf underneath. Bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 110 degrees and cook for a further hour and a half. After an hour and a half, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in to cool, preferably overnight (this prevents cracking on top).
Day 3
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 100g white chocolate
  • icing sugar to taste
  • 15 raspberries
Melt the white chocolate over a low heat, then beat into the cream cheese. Sift in the icing sugar little by little until it reaches the right level of sweetness, then spread over the top of the cheesecake. Place the raspberries on top to decorate, then remove the whole thing from the tin. Serve and enjoy!
(Apologies for the hideous lighting, but the photos were rushed as my family were keen to eat!)

Apple and raspberry crumble

Basically, this is exactly what it says, a delicious fruit crumble. No story behind it, just a crazing for hot fruitiness.

But simple is in no way a bad thing, and this crumble really did have super tastes.

I didn’t follow a recipe, so this is more of a rambling than a proper recipe post.

The fruit part is 3 medium sized cooking apples and half a pack of frozen raspberries, maybe 125g, in a medium sized baking dish.

Sprinkled on top of this is 50g caster sugar, and a bit of lemon juice to keep the apples from browning.

The topping is 50g butter, 100g plain flour, 50g demerara sugar and 50g porridge oats. Rub the butter and flour together until it turns into a breadcrumb consistency, then stir in the sugar and oats.

Scatter the topping all over the fruit, then bake at 200 degrees for about an hour (I covered it over with foil part way through to stop it getting too brown on top). You know it’s ready when the bright pink juices are bubbling out around the edges – and it smells amazing!

Serve with custard, cream or ice cream, any would go well!

A very pink raspberry birthday cake

I can’t quite remember what put the idea into my head, but a while ago I became a bit obsessed with making a bright pink icing for something. I put it on hold until I had a special occasion, as bright pink cakes aren’t just for a normal day hinnying around in a field, as I’m sure you can appreciate.

Then came around my lovely friend Charlotte’s birthday – I’m not allowed to disclose the age, and my horse years to human years conversions aren’t great anyway, but it was a special birthday, for which a special cake was most definitely required.

I’d already decided that the pinkness in the icing would come from raspberries, so I thought a plain victoria sponge would be best to complement it, sandwiched with raspberry jam.

I toyed with the idea of using jam to make the icing, but sweet jam + sweet sugar = super sickly, so decided to make a sort of thick raspberry syrup from frozen berries instead, so it would have a really concentrated flavour.

It was a little time consuming (especially compared to just throwing a dollop of jam in), but well worth it as the icing looked amazing.

Happy birthday Charlotte!

A very pink raspberry birthday cake

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
For the filling and icing:
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 150g frozen raspberries (plus a few to decorate)
  • 125g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • splash of milk
  • few squares dark chocolate, melted
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, gradually beat in the eggs then fold in the flour and baking powder. Divide between 2 7″ sandwich tins and bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
To make the icing, heat the raspberries in a saucepan with a little water until they have broken down and become saucy. pass through a sieve, then return the liquid to the saucepan and boil down to a thick syrupy paste. Beat the butter until soft, then add in the raspberry syrup. Gradually sift in the icing sugar, adding in a splash of milk if it gets too thick.
To assemble, spread a generous layer of jam on top of one sponge then sandwich with the other. Spread a thin layer of the icing all over the outside of the cake then chill for half an hour, before covering with the remaining icing.
Melt the chocolate and pipe on to write the message, then place the raspberries around the edge of the cake (i used a little blob of extra icing to make sure they stuck).