Monthly Archives: March 2017

3 delicious hot cross bun variations to try this Easter!

27 March, 2017

A tradition traced back to the 12th century, hot cross buns have become a mouth-watering Easter staple, usually eaten on Good Friday in all parts of the world. A spiced bun, speckled with currants and raisins, and decorated with its trademark cross on top, this delicious and filling treat is popular as a mid-morning snack, and best served oozing with butter. Over the years, however, this Easter tradition has been made-over, and teamed with some of your favourite preserves, spreads and fruits. In this blog, we’re showcasing three unusual yet scrumptious hot cross bun variations you should serve to your customers.

Chocolate, ginger and cranberry hot cross buns

 

Chocolate hot cross buns

The deliciousness of hot cross buns lies in the complementing fruit and flavours, which is why these – made by Sarah from Sugar Hit, are so delightful. The cocoa addition to your bun’s flavour adds a little indulgence, while the crystallised ginger and chopped hazelnut provide contrasting tastes. Each bun has a delectable chewy texture, thanks to added dried cranberries. Sarah uses Tangzhong as a unique way of baking her hot cross buns, all the while adding plenty of flavour. Why not experiment with this technique to serve striking chocolate hot cross buns with an unusual flavour?

Earl Grey hot cross buns

 

Earl Grey hot cross buns

A simple way to experiment with the taste of your hot cross buns is to replace water in the classic recipe with a flavoursome alternative. In this case, Earl Grey has been tried and tested by Izy from The Kitchn, and gives your hot cross buns that recognisable Earl Grey taste and aroma. Steep Earl Grey teabags in boiling water for several minutes, discard and leave the tea to cool. Then, add this to the rest of the mixture to bake. Interestingly, Izy recommends glazing her hot cross buns with apricot jam or golden syrup, adding a kick of flavour.

Follow the full recipe from The Kitchn.

Cheesy hot cross buns

 

Cheesy hot cross buns

If you want to totally transform your hot cross buns, why not make them savoury? We love these filling cheesy hot cross buns by Simone’s Bakery – great served with a mug of homemade soup! To create these delicious mini breads, cheddar cheese is kneaded into the dough and baked. Then, the crosses are created using parmesan cheese and water!

Hot cross buns are a much-loved Easter tradition, and could be served to your customers as a quick takeaway snack or part of a delicious breakfast deal. If you want to showcase how diverse your talents are, why not whip up one of these recipe variations, offering a different take on an old favourite?

Have you experimented with hot cross buns before? Tell us what you did on Twitter!

3 beautiful floral cake designs for spring

23 March, 2017

As the mornings become lighter and temperatures rise, it’s time to think about spring. A beautiful time of year, we can take plenty of baking inspiration from not just the colours of this season, but the blooming landscapes surrounding us. Floral cake designs have been around since forever, but there’s never a more apt time of year to experiment with what attractive creations we can produce, and the new designs you could whip up with your baking skills. In this blog, we’re showcasing three amazing floral cake designs, for talented bakers.

1. Daffodil bouquet cake

 

A tricky yet rewarding design, making daffodils from ready to roll icing really does need a little patience, but the end result is definitely worth it. To create the flowerhead, you’ll need a calyx cutter. Roll out your yellow icing and cut out two calyx shapes. Using a knife, draw several lines at the centre of every petal for extra detailing. Then, using water, stick one floral shape to the other. Place diagonally to create the full floral effect.

Mix orange and yellow sugar icing, and roll into a cone. Using a blunt object, hollow out its centre to create a trumpet design. Stick the trumpet to the centre of the two floral icing shapes, and voilà – you have a flowerhead!

To create the stems, roll green marshmallow fondant into thin tubes, before sticking them to the sides of your cake – covering the sponge. Then, carefully place the flowerheads to the top of your sponge.

Tip: Why not experiment with different shades of green for the stems, and add ribbon around to finish off the baked bouquet?

2. Daisy lemon cake pops

 

Daisy lemon cake pops

Beautifully intricate, cake pops are miniature sweet treats without the hard work! These, however take a little more effort. Crush your lemon sponge into fine crumbs. Add a small amount of lemon syrup to the crumbs and mix together, creating a slightly stickier consistency – you want the mix to hold a ball shape. Scoop out the ingredients and place into cake pop moulds, following the instructions on the packaging. Then place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Melt yellow colour melts in a glass bowl over a water-filled saucepan. After removing the cake pops from the freezer, dip each end of the cake pop stick into the yellow colour melts, and insert into the cake pop.

Following this, dip your cake pops into the yellow colour melts, making sure each one is completely covered. With white roll icing, cut out a daisy shape using a small cutter. Then, using an edible ink pen, colour the centre of each daisy. Stick to the cake pop’s exterior, and leave to dry.

Tip: Why not cover a proportion of your cake pops with daisies, and create simpler ones featuring alternative frosting detailing?

3. Hydrangea cupcakes

 

Hydrangea cupcakes

To incorporate some of those seasonal colours we love so much, it has to be hydrangea cupcakes. And, they’re actually really simple to make – it’s all in the frosting! After baking your cupcake sponges, you’ll need to decide which colours you want your floral icing to be. Add food colouring in your chosen shades to three or four batches of frosting (depending on how many shades you want! Then, using a seven-point open star frosting nozzle, simply pipe your hydrangea cupcakes, starting with the edges, and then filling the centre.

Tip: Create several shades of each colour for a more authentic hydrangea design!

What delightful cakes would you recommend for this time of year? Share your recipes with us via Twitter!

5 fun afternoon tea ideas for Mother’s Day

22 March, 2017

Afternoon tea selections are a brilliant opportunity to try out a few new recipes, from tempting savoury snacks to delicious sweet treats. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we thought there was no better time to add a few spring-inspired treats to your menu, using some of our favourite floral flavours, as well as bolder, nuttier tastes, to reinvent your selection. So, to provide you with a little afternoon tea inspiration, we’ve picked out five brilliant miniatures to experiment with this spring.

1. Dill Crêpes with Smoked Salmon

 
Dill Crepes with Smoked Salmon

Who says your savoury layer has to be exclusively sandwiches? Mix things up by adding these dainty dill-infused crêpes intertwined with smoked salmon. Simply add a good helping of dill to your usual crêpe mixture, then spread with a lemon mayonnaise and add the smoked salmon on top. Roll the crêpe into a spiral and finally secure with a cocktail stick.

2. Lavender Scones

 
Lavender scones

No afternoon tea selection is complete without an array of delicious scones. But why stick to just the classic fruit or plain combinations? This year, take your customers’ taste buds up a notch by adding a hint of lavender into the mix! Pair these fragrant scones with either strawberry or blueberry jam, or if you’re feeling adventurous, serve with good quality honey.

3. Rose Macarons

 
Rose macarons

Always an exciting afternoon tea addition, macarons are a great way to add colour and flavour to your sweet layer. In true spring fashion, we’ve opted for a floral-inspired treat! Flavour your macarons with rosewater to match the delicate rose design, or whip up a more intense flavour sensation by infusing with tangy rhubarb. The choice is yours!

4. Mini Pistachio Cakes

 
Mini pistachio cakes

Bursting with flavour, these mini pistachio cakes are perfect for spring. A soft and delicate vanilla sponge combined with crunchy pistachios, these light, nutty cakes are a great afternoon tea option. Top by piping cream cheese frosting using a small round nozzle, and sprinkle with crushed pistachios to complete the effect.

5. Mother’s Day Daisy Cupcakes

 
Mother’s Day cupcake

Finally, why not finish with an ode to Mother’s Day itself? Such a simple, yet effective design, this daisy cupcake is a brilliant way to round off your tea. Flavour your cupcake with lemon zest and top with a citrusy lemon frosting. For the decoration, use ready-to-roll white icing, cut out discs using a circular cutter and delicately write your message in edible ink. For the finishing touch, mould a daisy out of white and yellow fondant and attach to your Mother’s Day message.

What brilliant afternoon tea ideas have you spotted? Let us know via Twitter!