I’ve been at a bit of a loss recently. Hence the seeming abandonment of this blog for the last two weeks as it became a barren wasteland of a long-distant dream.
I knew this would happen: I miss Bakespeare too much. I miss trying to come up with recipes to fit my (not so) hilarious jokes. In fact, right now there is a note on my phone filled with sub-standard puns that I’m trying desperately to form into another Bakespeare-esque series. (Leek House? Oliver Chocolate Twist? Banana-by Rudge? It isn’t going well.)
So imagine my delight when an email arrived in my inbox asking me if I’d like to review The Magic Baking Tin. This was wonderful for two reasons: a.) got to use this really cool tin and b.) finally got to remake some of my old recipes (what can I say, I like to blow my own trumpet). I don’t know about you, but I’m so busy thinking up new recipes that I never really get the chance to remake the old favourites.
This was a welcome opportunity. If you’re unfamiliar with The Magic Baking Tin, let me explain the premise: this assemble-yourself tin comes with a variety of straight and curved pieces to allow you to create any size and shape of baking tin you so desire. Flower? Easy. Christmas tree? Straight-forward. Clown? Can do. Power drill? Apparently so Seriously. There are hundreds of shapes you can make!). You can do letters and numbers for show-stopping birthday treats. Simple, and the somewhat more practical, round or square tins are easily achievable too. The only limit to The Magic Baking Tin is your creativity.
(And the edging pieces, I suppose, although it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a line of ‘expansion packs’ in the not-too distant future.)
Equipped with a couple of recipes I wanted to try, and finally gifted with a day off, I set about unpacking the tin. Pieces galore. Most of the morning was spent joining and unjoining the 21 different side pieces onto the silicone baking mat with the connector pins (do these have technical names? I guess side pieces and connector pins sound quite good).
I eventually settled on a honey cake in a simple, but safe, triangle. Lining the tin was slightly more complex than usual (although if I’d done a bit more research, this video would’ve been really helpful. I’ll know for next time.) but with some nifty origami skills, I managed to neatly line the tin with greaseproof paper. I was wary of the cake mix leaking out from any gaps but I didn’t seem to have this problem.
But, Caesar was ambitious and so, next up was a chocolate and caramel star. Now I won’t lie, things like this require precision and patience and were I gifted with more of these virtues this would’ve been a resounding success. But alas, I opted for the ‘shove baking paper in and hope for the best’ method which impacted on the shape of my cake to create a slightly lumpy star. Lesson learnt for next time: the tin did its job. My usual hack-job baking tricks didn’t.
Removing the cake from the tin was the easiest way I have ever found. Remove the pins, and watch the sides fall away! Amazing- and it’s non-stick, so they’re easy to clean, too. A nifty bit of kit (hello cliché), a lot of fun, and useful to keep for when you want a way to wow. It would be a winner at birthday parties, and I can only imagine how much kids would love something like this- homemade cake in any shape they could dream of.
I wish I was good at baking bread because that’s something I really want to try. Also, The Magic Baking Tin recommend that you don’t need to line the tin for bread, so already it sounds wonderful.
These strange cake shapes do beg the question, how on earth do you cut a slice of cake? Frankly, I don’t care- as long as I get the biggest piece.
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- FOR THE CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 20g cocoa powder
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 125g low fat yoghurt
- 25g melted butter
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- FOR THE CARAMEL CAKE
- 75g self-raising flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 60g Carnation caramel
- 1 egg
- 75g yoghurt
- FOR THE CARAMEL TOPPING
- 75g carnation caramel
- 25g chocolate
- 1tbsp icing sugar
- Fudge pieces, to decorate
- First, pre-heat the oven to 180°c/350°f/Gas Mark 4, and prepare your required tin.
- For the chocolate cake, sieve the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder together, then add the sugar.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the yoghurt until smooth, then pour this over the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and oil and stir with a large metal spoon until just mixed and smooth.
- For the caramel cake, sieve the flour and baking powder together as before. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the yoghurt and the caramel until smooth, then pour this over the flour. Mix with a large metal spoon until just combined.
- Dollop alternative spoonfuls of the mixes into the tin, making sure you get into the corners. Use the thin end of a spoon or a kebab stick to swirl the two mixes into each other. Gently tap the sides of the tin to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size and depth of your cake. Once cooked it should be risen, springy to the touch, and when a skewer is inserted into the centre it comes out clean. Carefully remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the topping, melt the chocolate in the microwave, then mix with the caramel. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix until the caramel is smooth and starts to thicken, then spread generously over the cooled cake. Sprinkle over the fudge pieces and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
*The Magic Baking Tin was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.