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    Entries in baking (62)

    Thursday
    Feb112010

    Tear Drop Hearts

      Raspberry puree hearts in my baked mini Sweet Heart Cheesecakes.

    Valentines Day countdown continues with quick & easy tear drop hearts. 

     

     Ice your cupcakes or cookies in a base colour, whilst it's still wet apply dots of icing in a secondary colour.

    Armed with a toothpick, drag the toothpick lightly through a dot to create a heart shape.

    This works with glacé icing, royal icing, frosting (try white frosting with a red piping gel), chocolate, and baking.

    It is so, so, humid here; plans of sugar work hearts, chocolate heart shapes, meringues and decorated cookies all had to be scrapped because of the weather. For those in the blizzards on the other side of the world, keep safe, warm & roll on next season!!

    Friday
    Jan222010

    Raspberry Jam

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    I need jam for upcoming recipes this week, raspberry jam to be exact. If you haven't made jam before, raspberry jam is the easiest jam to make, as raspberry seeds are packed with pectin that sets the jam for you without having to add any setting agents.

    It tastes divine, keeps for one year in sterilised jars (though I think it's better when it's fresher), & can be made with fresh or frozen raspberries. 

    Raspberry Jam ( makes 2-3 jars depending on jar size)

    450g (1lb) raspberries (fresh or frozen)

    450g (1lb) sugar

    1 small plate refrigerated (to test for setting point)

    Put the berries and sugar in a large saucepan. Over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

    Once the sugar has dissolved, increase heat and bring to the boil, boil 5-9 minutes until *setting point is reached. Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

    *recipe can be halved if you only need enough jam for one cake, reduce your pan size but do use a pan big enough to allow for the fruit to rise once boiling.  

     

    Bit of tricky shot pushing jam with one finger and holding the camera with other hand, but hopefully you can see the "wrinkle" of jam for the testing stage. 

    Testing for setting point

    Although traditionally raspberry jam has a looser set (a little bit runny) for filling cakes and cookies I like a firmer set. Starting testing for setting point from the 5 minute mark, by putting a small spoon of hot jam on your refrigerated plate. Wait 30 seconds and gently push the edge of the jam with your finger, if the jam wrinkles it's ready. 

    Of course you could use a sugar thermometer if you prefer --- 105C (221F)

    Sterilising Jars

    For larger quantities of jam you can use a dishwasher to sterilise jars, but since we only have a couple of jars here we will use the oven.

    Place your 2 clean jam jars on an oven tray in the oven, heat at 180C (350F) for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven with oven gloves to a heatproof surface when you are ready to fill your jars. 

    Add in's 

    You can a tablespoon of liqueur if you like at the end of cooking the jam, Grand Marnier is nice with raspberries as is Chambord. 

    Spices are a nice addition, cinnamon, star anise, pink peppcorn all pair well with raspberries. Fine orange zest can be added too, or scrape a vanilla pod of it's seeds and add that for raspberry vanilla jam.  

    Too sweet? Prefer your jam tarter? Add the juice of lemon at the start of the cooking process.

    *You can use your jam straight away but with any add ins at least 24 hours to mature the jam allowing the flavours to meld/soften is a good idea.  

    Here it fills Butterfly cakes; bake simple small vanilla cupcakes like the ones I used for tiramisu cupcakes, cut circle from the top of the cooled cake, cut that circle in half to form "wings". Fill the cakes with pure or clotted cream and freshly made raspberry jam, position the "wings", dust with icing sugar. Pretty cakes for afternoon tea or children's parties. 

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