Thursday, 28 June 2012

June Tea Time Treats Round-Up!

It's the very end of June, which means its time for the round-up of all the terrific Tea Time Treats Summer Berries entries. Pop the kettle on (or pour yourself a large glass of Pimms) and get set to swoon over all these tempting treats!

The first baker to pop the oven on was Ros, aka The More Than Occasional Baker. Ros deserves an OBE for her services to Jubilee Baking- just take a look at these jubilent Jubilee Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes! Fit for royalty and perfect for the Tea Time Treats table!

What do you get when you combine the heavenly ingredients of chocolate, mascarpone, amaretto, raspberry and coffee? This terrific tiramisu from Kitchen Delights!


Kiki, from Kitchen of Kiki choose to bake with one of my favourite fruits, rhubarb to make this absolute classic dessert: rhubarb crumble. Plus with grated marzipan! I'm sure it was a huge hit at the Constitution day Picnic Row

How beautiful are these gorgeous Little Blueberry and Almond Cakes? Sian from the brilliantly titled Fishfingers for Tea has used silicone petal moulds to bake these crackin little cakes

Choclette, from ChocLogBlog has baked these Cornish Splits, yeasted buns with the inspired addition of white chocolate, for the TTT table- a perfect Cornish treat if there ever was

Would you look at this next bake! Another brilliant entry from The More Than Occasional Baker- a delicious and decadent Jubilee Vanilla Sponge with the colours of the Union Jack not only all the way through the cake but also in the sweet blueberries and strawberries decorating the top!

I really want to live next door to Ros as she's also baked these yummy Clotted Cream and Strawberry Tarts and Cookies! Just imagine the delicious leftovers you'd get to enjoy!

What do you get if you poach the freshest nectarines, the juiciest plums and the sweetest cherries in two generous glasses of rose wine and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon? This delightful and delicious Hot Fruit Salad! With many thanks to Jean from Baking in Franglais!

hot fruit salad1

As I write this blog post, Lottie from Lottie's World of Cakes and Bakes is cycling from London to Brighton! I'm sure these sweet, soft, chewy Blueberry, Lemon and White Chocolate Cookies are the perfect snack to be stopping off to eat, ohhh, at least every half a mile!

With her home-grown strawberries, Eira from CookBooks Galore wanted to bake something really special and this delicate and elegant Strawberry Millefeuille most certainly fits the bill!

Fusing together three fantastic flavours, coconut, lemon and gooseberry, Kate from Turqouise Lemons has baked these marvellous macarons- I suspect Pierre Herme has found his new protege!


Perfect to enjoy this Wimbledon fortnight is this beautiful Strawberry Cheesecake by Hungry Hinny. Quite rightly Hungry Hinny waited for the sweetest, juiciest British strawberries to hit the shops before baking this, complete with crunchy gingernuts and creamy white chocolate

I was absolutely thrilled when I read this next glorious entry- recreating an absolute childhood classic, Becky from Mint Custard baked these homemade Tunnocks Tea Cakes. I'm super impressed and Becky has also added a sprinkle of freeze dried strawberries, fitting this month's Tea Time Treats theme perfectly


With a bake that incorporates tangy lemon, tart rhubarb and sweet strawberry Vanesther from Bangers and Mash's Strawberry, Rhubarb and Lemon Tart is surely summer in a pastry case!

Fancy a little (and brilliant) twist on the classic lemon meringue pie? How about Raspberry Meringue Pie? This is number 91 on Blue Kitchen Bakes fantastic 'To Bake' list- a most inspirational list if there ever was!

How beautiful and tempting do these Easy Summer Fruit Tartlets look from Ren's Fabulicious Food? Just the thing for simple, seasonal summery baking! And Ren promises they are very easy...and also very good with lashings of cream! I'm sold!

For her very first entry to Tea Time Treats (Hurrah! Hopefully first of many...) Sophie from Totally Caked Out has baked this crackin' Cherry Bakewell Cake which she describes as 'very berry....and very more-ish'... we couldn't agree more!

Claire from Under the Blue Gum Tree has baked these stunning Strawberry Galettes - a recipe that involved eight heroic and valiant hours making the buttery puff pastry! The Tea Time Treats table bows in respect and much admiration!

For Sue, from Mainly Baking, summer is all about picking her own gooseberries and this year she has combined them beautifully with home grown elderflower to bake this scrumptious Gooseberry, Elderflower and Almond Cake

C, from Cakes, Crumbs and Cooking is a keen enthusiast of baking with summer fruits (all the delicious recipes on her blog will attest to this!) and for Tea Time Treats C has baked a Blueberry, Raspberry and Lemon Butter Cake

While our summer so far has been rather soggy, these oh-so-pretty, scrumptious Strawberry Tarts, made by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen are sure to bring a smile to the most rain-soaked summer picnic!

Following the amazing response to our scone theme for Tea Time Treats a couple of months ago I was delighted to see another absolutely delicious scone recipe for this month: The Peachicks Bakery Strawberry and Lemon Thyme Scones

And here is a second scrumptious scone recipe! From the brilliantly named Fold in the Flour comes these Vanilla Bean Scones with Strawberry Cream Filling...

Made with a huge amount of love for her four year old daughter, starting big school this September are these mouthwatering Strawberry and Cream Eclairs by Homemade By Fleur, who writes about the delightful afternoons she and her daughter currently share....while tucking into these tempting treats!

Strawberry, Cream and White Chocolate Eclairs

How do you fancy an extra large slice of this delectable Strawberry Cake? Katharine from Leeks and Limoni describes a lightly sweetened puree of strawberry combined with fresh strawberries popped on top of the mixture just before baking... lush!

How absolutely perfect do these Strawberry Shortbread Meringue Pies from Lauralovescakes look? Elegant, enticing and absolutely exquisite!

To quote one of the many lovely, lovely comments from How to Cook Good Food's Strawberry Tart with Elderflower Pastry Cream: 'This is pure summer on a plate'! I couldn't agree more with such a summery fusion of ingredients!

Strawberries are the flavour of the month! This terrific Strawberry and Elderflower Cake and Tart Topping is from my brilliant TTT partner Karen from Lavender and Lovage, who is celebrating her very first Blogging Birthday this month! Many, many happy returns Karen from all of us!

Strawberry & Elderflower Cake and Tart Topping

And here's my little entry! Great British Team Treats ready for the Olympics with extra helpings of strawberries and blueberries

Look at these perfect little Chocolate Raspberry Pavolas from Working London Mummy! Sweet, gooey, richly chocolatey meringue topped with fragrant British raspberries. Now the very best thing about mini desserts is that you get to have loads and loads and it works out to be exactly the same as having a regular sized portion! Honest.

Thank you to everyone who entered this month's Tea Time Treats- each month Karen and I are thrilled at the number of contributions we receive and by everyone's enthusiasm for TTT! We very, very much appreciate each and every bake- thank you so much.

And pop over to the lovely Karen at Lavender and Lovage on the 1st July for next month's theme!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Olympic Baking: Great British Team Treats

As memories of the jubilent Jubilee fade, celebrations of soggy street parties and festive fizz become but a distant memory (at least until Prince Harry finds the woman of his dreams) it is time to turn to the Olympics.

Isn't this just the most exciting summer?! And so much to themed baking fun to be had!

As someone who is beyond excited about the Olympics (34 days! 2 hours! 30 minutes!) partly because of my involvement in the ceremonies but also because I love a good sporting competition, this post is the second in the occasional mini-series that is Olympic Baking.

With the pinnacle of four years of hard, solid graft swiftly approaching for all the athletes of Team GB I'd like to do my bit.

By, erm, popping the oven on.

And these Team GB Treats are vanilla cupcakes decorated with juicy, sweet strawberries and soft, succulent blueberries in the Union Jack colours of radiant red and bright blue.

Vanilla Cupcakes

(makes 12)

For the cakes:

150ml natural yogurt
3 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g caster sugar
140g self- raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
175g unsalted butter, melted

For the icing:
70g unsalted softened butter
140g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
A couple of drops of vanilla extract

Strawberries and blueberries to decorate

1. Line a twelve hole muffin tin with paper cases and preheat the oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas Mark 5.
2. In a bowl mix together the yogurt, beaten eggs and the vanilla extract
3. Pop the sugar, flour, baking powder and almonds into a large bowl, mix well with a wooden spoon and make a well in the centre. Add the yogurty mix and nicely melted butter and fold together
4. Spoon the mixture, which will be quite liquidy, into the paper cases approximately 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden in colour
5. Cool on a wire rack
6. To make the icing: beat together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy
7. Spoon the icing onto the cakes and decorate with the fruit

Baker's notes...

  • The good thing about these cakes is they keep very nicely for three days uniced or up to 48 hours iced and also freeze well. Perfect to make in advance of a last minute pre-Olympic Triple Jump practice session
  • The cakes are adapted from this brilliant recipe from BBC Good Food- I've used a vanilla buttercream icing rather than the suggested white chocolate frosting
  • This bake is winging its way over to this month's One Ingredient blogging challenge, which is hosted by Working London Mummy and the theme is strawberries. And is also my entry for this month's Tea Time Treats hosted!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Euro 2012 Cake: A Vanilla and Strawberry Sponge for the English Team


With all the Olympic rehearsals (just to clarify I'm rehearsing for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, not for a starring role in the Great British Freestyle Wrestling Team) and all the engagement excitement, Euro 2012 has slightly passed me by. 

The build-up has admittedly been a little muted, with new managers, an unfancied side if there ever was and Panorama exposes. But following a not-too-shabby-at-all opening draw against France, interest in the England side has definitely risen.

And as I type England have just kicked off against Sweden. Cue 90 minutes of agony, anguish and the occasional mild-mannered abuse ('But a three year could have scored from there!!'). 

While I never need an excuse to switch on the oven, I do always love a good themed bake. And this England Team themed Strawberry and Vanilla Victoria Sponge will do nicely to soothe the nerves and reduce the number of nails bitten to shreds this evening.


England Strawberry and Vanilla Victoria Sponge

For the Sponge:

225g softened unsalted butter
225g self-raising flour, sifted
200g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 vanilla pod
A little milk if needed

For the filling and decoration:

A punnet of Strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced in half
150g strawberry jam
juice of half a lemon
Icing sugar to dust

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan/Gas Mark 5. Butter and line two 20cm/7 inch sandwich tins
2. Cream together the sugar and butter for at least five minutes until light and fluffy
3. Slowly add the egg, beating until well combined. Add the seeds from the vanilla pod
4. Fold in the sifted flour. Add a little milk if needed to achieve a dropping consistency
5. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown in colour and springy to touch
6. Allow to cool in the tins for five-ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely
7. To make the filling: warm the jam over a gentle heat in a pan, stirring gently throughout. Once warmed, take off the heat and add a third of the strawberries and the lemon juice. Use to sandwich the two sponge cakes together. 
8. Decorate the top of the cake with strawberries in the cross of St George and dust with icing sugar to finish

Baker's notes...
  • For extra glory, add 100ml whipped cream to the filling
  • A, very understandably, has now requested a Welsh Rugby Team Summer Test Down Under Cake- a wallaby and a dragon in a boxing ring perhaps?
  • Brilliantly, for the very first in their new, very exciting, blogging challenge, Calender Cakes, Laura from Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly from Dolly Bakes have chosen Euro 2012 as their theme and this bake is currently winging its way (ohh, a bit like Milner and Young tonight!) over to them
  • And as this cake features Vanilla, I'm also entering it into the very fun AlphaBakes blogging challenge hosted by Baking Addict

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Story of A Proposal and A Cake

Strictly not a picture of cake I know. 

But this is the cake version!

Yes, I am to be betrothed!

As previously recounted, last month A swept me away to Sardinia as a surprise for my 30th birthday. 

Wall to wall sunshine? Tick. Long, deserted beaches? Tick. Crystal, clear aquamarine sea? Tick. It had Bounty bar advert written all over it. 

And on my actual birthday, we headed down to the beach, started relaxing in the sun and daydreaming of cakes. Well, I was at any rate. 

Then, A leapt up, deciding he wanted a little swim. He jumped into the sea and began encouraging me to join him. I responded with loving, romantic comments as 'Nooooo, A, it'll be effing freezing' and 'I told you, I got to a well exciting bit in my book, I can't possibly leave it now' and 'LEAVE ME ALONE!!'

After a good fifteen minutes of my protestations, A said: 'Come in, I've a question I want to ask you'

Once I'd decided it was unlikely to be: 'What exactly is the point of Golden Caster Sugar? It always tastes the same as ordinary caster sugar to me?' I ran in.

To find A there, on his knee, asking me to marry me!

Readers, I said yes*.

Yes, of course.

And then almost drowned A in my excitement. Once he'd recovered ('Its okay A, I'm a nurse! I know how to do the Heimlich maneouvre!'), we spent the rest of the day celebrating with much, much Prosecco.

And this is the cake I made to celebrate:

Engagement Ring Blueberry Soured Cream Cake

The recipe is from BBC Good Food and can be found right here. I simply baked it in a 9 inch bundt tin, reserving 1 tbsp of the cake mixture to bake in a silicone muffin case as the diamond, which I baked for approximately 15 minutes alongside the bundt cake.

Baker's notes...
  • The original recipe suggests a cream cheese frosting. I served the bundt dusted with icing sugar and with a dollop or two of creme fraiche
  • The cake-diamond unfortunately cracked a little. I sincerely hope real life does not mirror cake life.
  • I used the brilliant Cake Release Spray, kindly sent to me to Dr Oetker to try out and which I found to be very useful for the more awkward cake tins. I also used the Silver Shimmer Spray for the diamond effect on my collapsing diamond! With many thanks to Dr Oetker for sending these products for me to try out. 

* I've always wanted to say that!!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Yesterday I had the privilege and pleasure of appearing on BBC 3 Counties Radio Weekend Kitchen with Nick Coffer (aka My Daddy Cooks) in the Web Bite of the Week slot.

As the first foray for into radio broadcasting What Kate Baked, it is very fair to say that there is some room for improvement.

After I confidently, if not terribly originally, channel Delia/Mary/Dan and assert that baking is not only an art but a science I then misspell the name of my very own blog:

Nick: Is it Kate Baked or Kate Bakes?

Me: Baked! B.A.C...

Feel free to have a giggle at my ineptitude right here on BBC Listen Again. Available for the next six days before being lost into the annals of BBC local radio history...

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jammy Jubilee Fairy Cakes for a Jubilant Jubilee Jamboree!

It's officially the Jubilee Weekend!

To quote the National Anthem, how very happy and glorious.

I for one am very excited.

And while I'll be decorating our kitchen (and various cakes of course) with blue and red sprinkles and food colourings, the Queen will of course be enjoying an action packed weekend of celebration.

And no doubt the guests joining her (Head's of Faraway Commonwealth States/Minor Members of the Royal Family etc) are thinking right now 'what on earth do we buy the person who has absolutely everything for her Diamond Jubilee? I mean, absolutely everything- palaces, thrones, crowns, swans- everything!'

Well, minds at ease Head's of Faraway Commonwealth States/Minor Members of the Royal Family etc, for here is the What Kate Baked guide to Jubilee Gems to buy Her Majesty:

1) As someone who lives in no less than six palaces and visits numerous other abodes, occasionally one might get a little confused. This 'Queenie's Home' door mat would be the perfect little reminder of where one is.

2) While I can't imagine Elizabeth II has a mobile phone...but imagine if she did! And if she texted! Like this!

'Harry!! OMG! What did u look like in the blue boots? LOL!!!'

... she may like a Union Jack phone, which would look spiffing in any one of the aforementioned six palaces

3) Sure to curry favour, how about a Jubilee doggy hoody for the corgis? Three different colours, one each for Willow, Monty and Holly! 

Jammy Jubilee Fairy Cakes

For the cakes:
110g softened butter
110g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g sifted self raising flour
1 tbsp milk

6 tsp jam

For the buttercream icing
70g softened butter
140g sifted icing sugar
Splash of milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 12 hole fairy cake tin with papercases
2. In a bowl beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg and beat  gently until combined. Stir in the vanilla extract
3. Fold in the flour. Add in the milk, stir in very gently and spoon into the paper cases
4. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown in colour or a skewer inserted into the centres of the cakes comes out clean
5. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, carve out the centre of each cake and drop half a teaspoon of jam into the middle. Place the carved out top back on the cakes
6. To make to icing: Beat the butter until nice and soft. Add in the icing sugar and milk gradually, beating well until combined.
7. Pipe or spoon the buttercream icing on top of the fairy cakes and decorate with a jubilee decoration

Baker's notes...

  • These are super straightforward to make and perfect little bites for any Jubilee celebration or street party
  • I used Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam, a firm favourite, but any jam or curd will be just lovely
  • The fairy cakes can be frozen uniced and should be eaten within 48 hours
  • I picked up the decorations from Waitrose and look, they have mini British telephone box decorations!

Wishing you a most jubilent Jubilee! Any nice plans?

Friday, 1 June 2012

Tea Time Treats June!

It's the very first day of the month.

That can only mean one thing. A brand sparkling new Tea Time Treats theme!

For this fine month of June, the theme is....

....drum roll please...


Calling all strawberry scones, raspberry roulades, bilberry biscuits, blueberry buns, cherry cakes and conserves and peachy puddings, pastries and pies!

Email us at by 28th June to be included in the round up published right here on What Kate Baked at the very end of the month. Full details of this baking blogging challenge can be found here.

Happy Summery Baking!

PS: Karen's wonderful round-up of May's theme, all things floral, can be found here.