Challenge No. 27 – Knickerbocker Glory

This challenge was suggested by Dave, my better half.  We will be celebrating our 7 year anniversary this weekend and a common theme throughout our relationship has been Dave saying “what you’ve never tried/seen/heard this or that”.  Until Dave, I hadn’t tried hotdogs from a tin or corned beef, I hadn’t seen The Breakfast Club, ET, Jurassic Park (to name but a few films that escaped my childhood) and I’d never heard of the Smiths.  But for once, it was my turn to educate Dave; whilst he suggested this challenge, he’s never actually had a knickerbocker glory! This has now been corrected.

A knickerbocker glory was a common treat throughout my childhood and it instantly makes me think of my nan.  My brother and I used to go and stay with my nan every summer and she would always make us this yummy desert.  There was however a caveat, we could only have it if we pronounced it properly! We soon learned to say knickerbocker glory without stumbling 🙂

When I started looking for recipes to make this challenge, I realised they are all very different and really what I wanted to do was recreate my nan’s version.  I text my brother and mum to see if they could remember what was in it and after some input from them both, we decided on the following ingredients:-

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Strawberry jelly
  • Fruit (fresh or tinned cocktail mix)
  • Strawberry sauce
  • Whipped cream
  • Hundreds and thousands

Edited - ingredients

I always remember my nan using tinned fruit cocktail, although I think she would use fresh fruit if she had some in.  I opted for the tinned fruit because this is what came to mind when I tried to remember my nan’s version 🙂

I also cheated a little and used shop bought ice cream but if you’re feeling adventures why not check out Challenge 19 to see how to make ice cream from scratch without an ice cream maker! Just leave out the rum and raisins, unless you want a more adult version of the knickerbocker glory.

Another important aspect of the knickerbocker glory is the serving dish.  I didn’t have anything suitable at home so popped out and bought some special glasses which reminded me of the ones my nan used to use.

Anyway, with all the elements ready, I started building my knickerbocker glory.  Firstly, I added a little bit of ice cream.

Edited - layer 1

Then I added some jelly.

Edited - layer 2

Next up I added some fruit (I drained off the liquid first).

Edited - layer 3

I then put in a little strawberry sauce.  I added more ice cream, jelly and fruit to fill to the top of the glass.

Finally, I added my whipped cream, topped it with some more sauce and then sprinkled over a handful of hundreds.

Edited - done2

Doesn’t it look pretty! 🙂

Now I know this didn’t take much skill but it does hold so many fond memories for me that it was nice to be able to share it with Dave.  He loved it by the way, although he managed to get in a right mess trying to eat it!

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 28 – homemade pizza.  I hope to see you then.

  

Challenge No. 21 – Carrot Cake

This recipe was suggested by another of my close University friends.  I lived with Kate in my first year and throughout the year, we shared the job of resident baker.  It was therefore so nice that Kate challenged me to make a cake 🙂 But this isn’t just any old cake, its one I’ve never made and have always been a bit apprehensive about making it.  Why was I apprehensive – it’s a cake which has carrots and cream cheese in it! There is just something about that which never quite sat right with me.  As I’ve said before, this is the whole point of Challenge 52, to take me out my comfort zone!

When I started searching for recipes, I was still trying my best to avoid the cream cheese but every which way I turned, there it was.  Finally, I found a recipe that didn’t use a cream cheese topping but by then I had come to realise that the cream cheese is an almost iconic part of the carrot cake and I felt guilty about leaving it out! So instead I kept looking and found this recipe by the Hairy Bikers for a carrot and sultana cake with creamy orange frosting.

For the recipe you will need the following:-

  • For the cake
    • 200g/7oz self-raising flour
    • 75g/3oz sultanas
    • 75g/3oz pecans, broken into rough pieces
    • ½ large orange, zest only
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ whole nutmeg, finely grated
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • pinch fine sea salt
    • 3 free-range eggs
    • 175ml/6fl oz sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
    • 175g/6oz soft light brown sugar
    • 200g/7oz carrots, grated
  • For the cream cheese icing
    • 100g/3½oz icing sugar
    • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tsp fresh orange juice
    • 200g/7oz full-fat cream cheese
    • ½ orange, zest only
    • 25g/1oz pecan nuts, roughly broken

Edited - ingredients

If you look at the ingredients photo carefully, you may note an extra ingredient which has snuck in there.  I accidentally included the vanilla essence which I had purchased to stock up my store cupboard but it isn’t needed for this recipe!

I started off by sorting through my pecans to remove all the nice whole ones to put to one side for the topping.  I then weighed the remaining bits to make sure I had 75g, adding a few of the whole ones back in to bring it up to the right weight.  I then chopped them up nice and small.

Edited - choped nuts

I put the nuts in a bowl with the flour, sultanas, ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, baking power, bicarbonate of soda and the salt.  I then grated in the orange zest from one half of my orange.

Edited - dry ingredients

I broke the eggs into a jug and whisked with a fork until they were smooth.  I then added the oil and brown sugar, giving it a good whisk until well combined.  I created a well in my dry ingredients and poured in some of the egg/sugar/oil mix.

I stirred it all together with a wooden spoon, gradually adding more of the oil mix until it was all combined. I added the grated carrot and gave it a final mix.

Edited - well Edited - well filledEdited - cake mix

The recipe puts the cake mix into a 20cm square cake tin but I wanted to do something a little different.  I’ve found these adorable cases in the supermarket and thought it would be nice to make individual carrot cakes rather than one big one.   So i split the mixture between 14 cases, 13 of them weighing 79g with the mix in, and the 14th having a little less.

Edited - in the cases

I put the filled cases on a tray and into the oven on 180 celsius.  Given that I used individual cases rather than a big tin, I knew I needed to adjust the cooking time.  I originally set the timer for 20 minutes and then checked them.  I felt the tops of the cakes and decided they needed a little longer so I returned them to the oven for around 2-3 minutes.  I then tested the cakes and decided they were done.

Practical tip: I’ve given this tip a few times but it is one of the key points to perfecting your cake making skills – knowing when the cake is done.  To test whether the cakes are cooked, gently press the top of one of the cakes with your finger; if it is done it will be springy to touch and bounce back into place.  You can also take a tooth pick (or cake tester if you have one) and slide it into the centre of one of the cakes; if the cake is done the tester will come out clean.  If you think it’s not quite done return the cakes to the oven but keep an eye on them – 1 minute may be all they need but that 1 minute can make all the difference!

I put the cakes on a cooling rack and left them to cool completely whilst I got started on the icing.

Edited - cooked

I put the softened butter in my bowl, beat it with a fork until smooth and added the orange juice.

Practical tip: this is another one I’ve given before but in case you missed Challenge No. 5 I’ve included it again.  To soften the butter, cut it into cubes and put it in a sandwich bag in a bowl of lukewarm water for between 5 to 10 minutes until soft.  This can be a lot quicker than leaving the butter at room temperature, especially in the winter when your kitchen may not be so warm!

I then gradually sifted in the icing sugar a bit at a time, giving it a good stir between each addition.  Once it was all added, I used a wooden spoon to beat until light and creamy. 

Editd - softened butter

I stirred through the cream cheese and remaining orange zest before popping it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Edited - cream cheese Edited - combined

When the icing was firm, I used a teaspoon to smooth a bit on each cake.  Finally, it was time to add the decoration.  The recipe uses the whole pecans (which I set aside at the beginning) but I wanted to do something a little bit cuter.  So I made mini icing carrots with some coloured fondant icing and added one to each cake.

Edited - topped

These cakes took a little trip with me to Sheffield to celebrate my friends birthday and new home.  Kate was part of the celebrations so she got to try her suggestion, along with all my University girls.  Everyone said it was delicious! 🙂

 Edited - in the caseEdited - served up1

I even managed to persuade Dave to try this one (he had an issue with the whole carrot in a cake thing!) and he said “actually, its quite nice”.  I feel this is a great review, all things considering.

Personally, I really enjoyed this challenge, both eating and making the cakes.  They weren’t too heavy and were just perfect with a cup of tea.

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 22 – homemade burgers.