Category "blog"

How to make mini Valentine's heart cakes

14th February 2013
by M-admin-bakehouse

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

Fancy treating the one you love? Or just fancy treating yourself? Then these mini heart cakes are perfect! Of course, you can adapt it to making them any colour and shape, the principle is the same.
So what do you need?
For the cake:
240g butter or baking margarine
240g caster sugar
4 eggs
a teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract
240g self raising flour
a splash of milk
red food colouring (I used Sugarflair red extra, you can use paste or liquid colouring, but will need to use more liquid colouring to achieve a strong colour)
 For the buttercream:
100g butter
200g icing sugar
a splash of good quality vanilla extract
And for serving:
An extra dusting of icing sugar

 What you need to do:


1.  Weigh out the sugar and butter/baking margarine and beat together until smooth.


2. Add the eggs one at a time and continue beating, add the vanilla extract at the same time.


3. Sieve in the flour and add the milk, and continue to beat the mixture, remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in all the ingredients together.


5. Add the food colouring and beat together again.  I apologise for the funny colour of this photo, I have quite yellow lighting in this particular spot in my kitchen.


6. Here is a better picture of the colour of the mixture- I went to a room with more natural light for this one! You can see that even though I have used Red Extra as the colouring, the mixture is still pink. You need to add a lot of colouring to it if you need it to be red.  I like it this colour, and it will darken a bit when it is baked.  Line your tin (a roasting tin will do) with greaseproof paper, and pour the mixture in. Bake for about 20 minutes on 160 degrees. Check it by sticking a knife into it, it should come out clean.

7. Leave it to cool in the tin, then turn it upside down onto a board or your work surface and peel off the paper.  Using a small heart cutter, cut out the hearts you need.  You can save the cut offs for making cake pops, or just to eat with a bowl of custard!


8. Here they are cut out ready to decorate.


9. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the hearts in two. I used a 1M nozzle to pipe the buttercream. To make the buttercream, beat the butter, then add the icing sugar slowly, with the vanilla extract and mix until it is the consistency for piping.  Too runny? Add more icing sugar.  Too stiff? Add a touch of cool boiled water.


10. Pipe three stars of buttercream and then place the other half on top…..

….like so!


11. Dust with icing sugar and serve!


Here they are at the meeting of Cake Eater’s Anonymous that I made them for. (I’ll have to write another post about that!) As you can see the icing sugar has pretty much dissolved into the moist sponge as they were in a box for a few hours before I took them along.  In which case, make sure you dust them with icing sugar just before you serve.







How to stop metal cookie cutters from rusting

21st January 2013
by M-admin-bakehouse

Quick post today, and on a subject you may have read about before.  After Realisation-of-how-many-cookie-cutters-I-actually-have-and-never-use-day , I’ve been reading rather a lot about decorating cookies in order to equip myself to use them more than I currently do.  So if someone needs crediting with this brain wave idea I’m more than happy to add that here, I’ve just read such a lot I don’t know where I read what…..

So here’s the tip.  When you have finished baking the cookies, wash the cutters, rinse them and put them on a baking tray, and back in the oven to air dry for a few minutes.  This is a revelation to me, I’ve always air dried them on a clean tea towel in the kitchen, but this makes perfect sense.  No more difficult cutters to dry, and no more risking them going rusty if you leave them like me. Brilliant.


How to make candy melt tree decorations

18th January 2013
by M-admin-bakehouse
This was our Christmas cake:
Chocolate mud cake with Bailey’s Irish Crème, and chocolate flavoured buttercream with Bailey’s in that too.  Lush.  And if you know me, or follow me on facebook at all (, you will know that I love piping with buttercream at the moment.  I love the different effects you can get with it, so it HAD to be used on our Christmas cake.  But then how to decorate? I was a bit short on time- lots of orders still to complete, presents to wrap, Christmas Eve entertaining to organise.  I needed something quick and simple. 
Candy Melt Christmas trees. 
 And here’s how to do it…..

1. On a piece of greaseproof/baking paper, draw out the size and shape of the trees you want to pipe.


2. Turn the sheet over, so the drawing is on the reverse side, but you can still see it, and make a paper piping bag.  If you’re not sure how to do this, the instructions are here : How to make a paper piping bag

3. Put a handful of green Candy Melts into a small bowl or teacup, and melt them in the microwave.  A medium heat for about half a minute, then stir, then back in again for another half a minute and so on until they are melted.  You don’t want to burn them.  You don’t need to add anything to them either, they need to hold their shape.
Pour this into the piping bag, fold over the top to stop any escaping, and cut a small hole in the tip end to pipe out of.

4. Using your drawn outlines as a guide, pipe over the pencil lines.


5. Then completely fill in the ‘trunk’ part of the tree- you need this to be thick so it doesn’t break when you push it into the buttercream.  Then squiggle (yes that’s a technical decorating term) inside the rest of the tree outline, touching the outline too, as you need it all to hold together.


6. Repeat for the rest of the tree outlines.  If you have any Candy Melts left, you can add some free hand (like my smaller ones).

**top tip** If you have candy melts left over, don’t throw them away. Open up the piping bag and leave it to dry in the air.  Then peel it off and store it until you need it for next time.


7. Then when you have piped the buttercream on the cake, insert the candy trees into the buttercream whilst it is still soft.  They are a little on the fragile side, so make a few extra as you might need them.
This technique could be used for all sorts of  celebrations- hearts for Valentine’s, shamrocks for St Patrick’s Day, letters for names for birthdays….the list is endless.  Have a go, and let me know how you got on 🙂



How to Make a Marshmallow Snowman

29th December 2012
by M-admin-bakehouse

How to make a marshmallow snowman

There are lots of fayres around this time of year, and you might also be looking for something to do with the kids.  Look know further,  marshmallow snowmen are what you’ve been looking for 🙂

For each snowman you will need:
three large white marshmallows
giant chocolate buttons
fizzy laces
cooking chocolate
orange candy melts/buttons
a lolly stick

1. Put the marshmallows on the stick.


This picture is a bit on an aside.  When chocolate is banging about in a bag with other chocolates, they rub against each other, and that’s what causes the white marks.  If you want your chocolate without these, just rub it with your finger and they disappear :0)


2. Make 2 piping bags (you can find out how to do this here ) and half fill one with melted chocolate.  I say make with cooking chocolate, then you don’t have to worry about tempering it to stop any blooming.


3. Put a blob of melted chocolate on the giant button, and stick the Rolo to it, to make the hat.
4. Put a blob of melted chocolate on the top of the marshmallow and stick the hat to it.  Then pipe the details you would like to add to your snowman on the marshmallows- eyes, mouths, buttons, arms…

5. Then using the second piping bag you made, melt orange candy melts, or orange flavoured buttons like these, which can be found in most supermarkets.


6. Pipe a nose by piping a blob, then pulling the piping bag away to create a point, like a carrot.

7. Next add the fizzy lace.  Depending on where you buy these from, some will hold like this, others, you will have to tie in a knot.
8. And if you are making them to sell at a fayre, pop in a bag, and seal with a twist tie :0)

11th December 2012

Website Now Live

by M-admin-bakehouse

It’s been a long time in coming, but i’m really pleased to announce the website is very nearly finished…..


How to make Shred's Mix

4th November 2012
by M-admin-bakehouse
1 comment

This recipe is based on an American recipe, called Chex Mix, which keeps popping up all over my Pinterest feed, so I thought I ought to investigate.  Chex is a cereal, which apparently is pretty similar to our Shreddies.  Hence the name, although if someone can think of another, more suitable one, I’m happy to adopt it.  Just thought it rolled off the tongue better than Malty-wheaty-crunchy-chocolatey-marshmallowy-syrupy-salty-mix. 

I was making this recipe with my daughters, so decided we’d go for melted chocolate rather than the hot caramel sauce I’d seen in a few Chex Mix recipes.  However, this option does sound rather yummy, so I’m sure I’ll revisit that recipe to try it too in time.  Shall we get on with the recipe now??

400g cereal (Shreddies, or similar- we used a supermarket own brand Malt Wheats)
100g light brown sugar
100g baking margarine or butter
100g golden syrup
80g mini marshmallows
200g milk chocolate
80g milk chocolate chips
80g white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt.

What to do:
1. Put the cereal in a large bowl.

Shreddies- in case anyone wasn’t sure……
2. Put the light brown sugar, margarine (or butter), golden syrup and milk chocolate into a saucepan and heat gently until it has melted and thoroughly mixed together.
3. Pour this mixture over the cereal and mix until the cereal is coated.
4. Straight away add the mini marshmallows.  If you leave it too long, the mixture will have started to set and the marshmallows won’t stick.
5. Spread the mixture onto a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.  We actually used two and spread them out, but you could manage with one, and just have the mixture set thicker than we did.
6. Melt the milk chocolate chips and the white chocolate chips in separate bowls or tea cups, by giving them a 30 second blast in the microwave, and stirring, then popping in for another 30 seconds.  **And here is my top tip** If the chocolate seems too thick to drizzle, add a touch of vegetable oil and mix it in.  Keep adding a tiny bit until the chocolate runs off the spoon.
Then drizzle the milk choclate and white chocolate over the top of the mixture.  I did have a photograph of my little ones demonstrating this, but the camera appears not to have played the game.  New camera this weekend- what can I say, I’m not too great with technology but I’ll keep trying…..
I know- doesn’t look very pretty, but it does taste pretty good…
7. Sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the top.  Now, this will be trial and error for you, depending on what you like.  I think the addition of the salt really adds to the taste, my other half thinks it would be better without.  I think if you were going to use a caramel recipe rather than the chocolate one it would be even better.  Let me know what you think.
8. Leave it to set or, if you can’t wait like we couldn’t, pop it in the fridge, then break it up into pieces, and have a taste.  It would be best stored in an airtight container, but I shouldn’t think you’ll have to store it for very long, if you catch my drift ;0)

How to make Cranberry and White Chocolate Flapjack

17th October 2012
by M-admin-bakehouse

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to come along and read the post! At last, the long awaited first post of Marie’s Bakehouse.

So here it is, the recipe to Cranberry and White Chocolate Flapjack.  Really easy, brilliant to make with the children, and incredibly yummy. 

Flapjack is amazingly versatile and you change change the flavourings really easily by changing what you put in them, and/or drizzle on top.  You can exchange the cranberries for cherries, raisins, sultanas, nuts, chocolate chips…whatever you like.

225g (8oz) butter or baking margarine
225g (8oz) light soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
350g (12oz) rolled oats
150g (4 1/4 oz) cranberries
100g (3 1/2 oz) white chocolate

Now, although I would agree with using the best ingredients you can afford for some recipes, not all recipes need it, so even if you are baking on a budget there are some recipes which lend themselves to using cheaper ingredients, and the end product is still incredibly yummy.  And this is one of those recipes.  If you are a real lover of butter, then use it in this recipe, but baking margarine will still produce a great taste.  Equally, cheap supermarket own brand porridge oats, cheaper supermarket branded golden syrup and cheap own brand chocolate can still be used in this recipe with fabulous results.  So don’t be afraid to use them, and save a few pennies here and there.


1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (Gas mark 3), and line a 10″ x 8″ tin with baking paper. (or a similar size tin will do- don’t go out buying another one especially).


2. Chop the butter or margarine into chunks and put it in a saucepan, along with the light brown soft sugar, and the golden syrup.  Now in the photographs later, I’ve put the other ingredients into a bowl, but if you want to cut down on the washing up (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), use a large saucepan at this point, and you can add the other ingredients to the pan later, which will save washing up a bowl.
Melt the ingredients together over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

3. Once the ingredients have melted, either add the mixture to the oats and cranberries in a large bowl or, if you are saving on the washing up, add the oats and cranberries to the pan.

4. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.


5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, and press down firmly to make a roughly even layer.

6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  Check it after 30 minutes and see what sort of colour it is.  You are looking for a golden colour that is pretty much evenly distributed across the whole bake.  If if isn’t, pop it back in again and check in a few minutes.

7. Leave it to cool for 10 minutes then lift the whole thing out using the paper to lift it, onto a cooling rack. Now if you aren’t drizzling with chocolate, at this stage score the flapjack where you are going to be cutting it.  It’ll make it easier to chop up later.  Otherwise, leave it there until it has cooled fully. 
Once cooled, melt the white chocolate in the microwave- on high for 30 seconds, then stir, and continue like that until it has all melted. Then using a teaspoon, drizzle the chocolate all over the top of the flapjack.

8. Once the chocolate has set, chop it up into pieces, and serve to friends and family.  Or if you like
it a lot hide it in an airtight container away from prying eyes ;0) It’s best eaten within a week, but will last a bit longer, if you’ve been restrained enough not to eat it all by then….

Let me know if you’ve had a go at the recipe, and what you thought, and any adaptations that you’ve made.  Let’s share the baking love :0)