Music Monthly: September Jams

Apologies for the, slightly, late music monthly (you can see the others here). It’s been an exceedingly hectic couple of weeks and over the weekend I had a trip to Leeds for the #BloggersBlogAwards. However, September was absolutely bloody fantastic for new releases. The month started with me binging on Brand New (The Devil in God are Raging Inside of Me, in particular) as I was going to see them at Ally Pally (and later in Edinburgh, they played Deja in full and I can now say I’ve seen them do it twice), so I was already assuming that they’d be one of the main people to go in my music monthly for September.

I was very wrong.

Three different bands all put out superb records and I’ve been listening to almost nothing but a combination of these three records since they have. So here goes.

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American Style Pancakes

Pancake Day! Everyone’s favourite thing about lent, and when everyone momentarily acts half religious again. The other being Christmas, or when they want to get married in a church. Aaaaanyway, Andy (my housemate) has requested American style pancakes this year so that’s what he’s getting. Topped with Maple Syrup and crispy fried bacon. I still remember a few years ago when the idea of this completely disgusted me, but these days the sweet/savoury combo is just down right salivating. PASS ME THE BACON.

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Also, I’m doing this before actually making the pancakes… so I’m relying on an old picture of ones I made when some friends came round last year and I made Sunday morning hangover pancakes. I will get some proper snaps tonight, but the recipe is the same.

American Style Pancakes
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the pancakes:
  • 135g/4¾oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml/4½fl oz milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
  • For the toppings:
  • Streaky bacon, fried until crispy
  • Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour in to a large bowl along with the baking powder, salt and caster sugar. In a separate bowl whisk the milk with the egg. Mix in the melted butter.
  2. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the flour mix and beat with a fork until the lumps have all disappeared. Leave it to stand for a few minutes.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan and melt a knob of butter. Drop one ladle full (two if your pan is big enough for two separate pancakes) and fry until the top starts to bubble. Flip and cook both sides until they are golden brown and the pancake has risen by about 1cm.
  4. Serve warm topped with bacon and covered in maple syrup.
 

Caramel

I meant to do this before the Millionaire Shortbread recipe. However I didn’t get any good pictures until after the event. So you’ll just have to put up with it now. This caramel is wonderfully thick and spreadable and with extra salt works really well as a salted caramel too. Therefore I will keep this short and sweet.

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Caramel
 
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Ingredients
  • 250gm sugar
  • 400ml cream
  • 50gm unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt (optional)
  • Vanilla extract (optional).
Instructions
  1. In the bottom of a large heavy based stew pot, heap the sugar and place over a low heat.
  2. As the edges start to melt, mix (using a wooden spoon) them in to the non-melted sugar. At this point my sugar started spreading out over the pan.
  3. Keep stirring so it doesn’t catch on the pan. Allow it to completely melt. It will colour at this point. The longer you leave it the more bitter it will be.
  4. Take off the heat. Stir in half the cream. The mixture will bubble up furiously. Be careful of any steam coming out. Parts of the mix may start to harden, but keep on stirring and it should all combine nicely.
  5. Add the remaining cream then return to the low heat. Add the butter and the other ingredients (if using). Keep stirring over the heat until the butter is combined.
  6. Take off the stove and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Pour in to jars and allow to cool. It’ll be very runny at this point but will thicken as it cools. It’ll last about 3 weeks in the fridge.

 

America!

Hello everyone, just a heads up that there likely won’t be any updates for a couple of weeks as I’m going to America (Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville and New York City). I’m going to Fest 12, the halloween horror nights and generally being a tourist. It does mean however, that I’ll be eating a whole lot of food, that I’ll likely blog about. Plus I’ll be bringing back some American treats to bake in to things. Nutter Butter cookies anyone? I’ll see you all when I get back. Happy Baking!

Lemon Curd Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

What’s this? No updates for weeks and then two in the space of a few days? I’m flat out spoiling you all. Especially as these are my addition to last week’s National Cupcake Week celebrations. They were also a chance for me to test out the new slate cake stand that I got a couple of weeks ago. I obviously needed one for all those times I present my bakes in public (oh… wait). Having said that however I’m thinking about getting involved in next month’s Iron Cupcake Leeds event (the theme is death by chocolate and I’ve got a few ideas nestled in the back of my mind).

Anyway, enough of that waffle. I was trying to decide what to make last week and had a couple of thoughts when Kirsty piped up and asked for something lemony. It wasn’t long since I’d made my Mini Lime Drizzle Loaves so I decided to opt for something away from the standard drizzle. A simple lemon cupcake just felt a bit too plain so why not put some Lemon Curd in the middle? It adds that extra dimension to something already refreshing and full of flavour. Plus, for those not expecting it it’s a wonderful surprise to find a gooey filling.

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This was also a chance for me to practise my frosting, which, if I’m being honest is not one of my stronger points (presentation-wise that is, it always tastes pretty damn good). The cakes use a simple recipe similar to that you’d use for a lemon drizzle loaf.

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Lemon Curd Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting
 
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Serves: 24 Cakes
Ingredients
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 320g caster sugar
  • 2 Large Free Range eggs
  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 350g plain flour
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • For the filling:
  • 1 Jar Lemon Curd
  • For the Frosting:
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 30ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons milk (if you want thicker icing, use cream)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C(150°C fan)
  2. Cream the sugar, eggs and lemon zest together, beating well to get the sugar properly combined.
  3. Mix together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the mixture to the wet ingredients with the mixer on a low speed. Slowly increasing the speed.
  4. Pour in the milk and Vanilla. While this is mixing over a low-mid speed melt the butter.
  5. Add the butter and mix until well combined. Scrape around the sides if you need.
  6. Line a cupcake tray and fill each case about ¾ full.
  7. Put a good dollop of lemon curd in the center of each filled case. Judge this by eye and on your own preference of filling.
  8. Bake for between 15-20 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven, leaving in the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once the cakes have cooled, start preparing the icing. Beat the butter until it’s soft.
  11. Add in the icing sugar and beat until it’s well combined.
  12. Add in the juice and zest beating well again. Lastly add in the milk (or cream). Beat until well combined and it forms stiff peaks.
  13. Pipe the frosting onto the cakes in any pattern you choose.

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