Monday 13 July 2009

Empire biscuits (including recipe!) & Birthday Cake (yes, again!)

A rainy day!

Phew! Been busy day today - getting ready for the wee fellow's first birthday party tomorrow. Rather a dreich day too - two good excuses to bake some biscuits & cake...

Here is my empire biscuit recipe!

Copied over the phone from Mum many moons ago...

8 oz (220 g) butter
4 oz (110 g) icing sugar
4 oz (110 g) cornflour
8 oz (220 g) plain flour

1. Cream the butter and sugar
2. Add the flours, mix to a dough
(Should really chill the dough for 1/2 hour before rolling but I often don't bother and it still seems to roll out fine)
3. Roll out to preferred thickness (I would normally make them thick - about 3/4 cm (that's three quarters not three or four!) and cut
4. Bake at 150C (Gas 2) for 20 mins ( should be baked through but still very pale in colour)
5. Once cooled, ice half of the biscuits and decorate with a cherry piece (these will be your tops),
6. Apply raspbery jam to the remaining biscuits (your bottoms!)
7. Squidge tops & bottoms together.
8. Enjoy!

Today I made rather more dainty biscuits than I normally do.

Rolling out the dough & cutting out the shapes - circles are the norm, but anything goes really, I've done circles & stars.

Biscuits baked, pale, barely golden in colour

Count your biscuits (carefully - not like me, iced far too many today!). Leave half of them as-is... the rest and decorate, traditionally with a piece of glace cherry.

Now for the jam...

Personally, I only ever use Tiptree jam. Nothing else compares! I currently have quite a selection, blackberry jelly currently in use for breakfast toast, raspberry for the empire biscuits, stawberry for the birthday cake (coming up) and black cherry for the cupboard.

Apply a gernerous dollop to each biscuit and sandwich together.

Some completed star shaped biscuits, bit fiddly to ice & jam but look nice, expecially at Christmas.

On to the birthday cake. I made a standard sponge cake using the recipe from Rachel Allen "Bake"

One half of the cake is covered with a good spread of strawberry jam. Mix up some butter icing (again from Rachel's book), apply on top of jam, sandwich the halves together...

Glace icing on top, decorate with sprinkles and a scrumptious treat awaits.

I go for personality rather than good looks with my cakes as you can see! And yes, that is a dead tree in the garden, must remember and remove it before the next cake photo shoot!

I managed to get all this done during the birthday boy's naps. A kept herself busy with some painting:

I'm now a bit pooped having also cleaned and tidied the house (no small task!) - all part of the pretence of having a tidy home for the visiting Mums tomorrow! Any hopes of having the party in the garden are now dashed (or should that be drowned!) so we'll be all squidged in the house instead. Perhaps I should have just left the cleaning & tidying till after the event...


rockinloubylou said...

OMG you are a wonder woman. And A's artwork is stupendously good. Obviously following in her mother's sparkly red-shoed footsteps! Any leftovers?

Hilary said...

Hee hee - "I go for personality rather than good looks with my cakes as you can see!" That's exactly how I cook!


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