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baking

Sharon Hearne Smith shared her go-to Easter recipe for this delicious cake. This stunning rose effect is surprisingly easy to achieve once you have a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Be sure to practice your rose making technique on a plate first but if you do make a mistake on the cake, simply lift the rose off and go again. While the recipe makes a large amount of buttercream, it is necessary to achieve this effect. It is important to use a gel and not liquid food colour to avoid watering down the buttercream. The buttercream can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and left in the fridge, but it will harden, so remove it about 15 minutes before you need it to let it soften up.

Serves 8-10

Cake

250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

250g caster sugar

4 large eggs

250g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 lemons

4 tsp poppy seeds

200g lemon curd

Buttercream

500g white chocolate

700g unsalted butter

700g icing sugar

Yellow gel food colour

You will need

A piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle

A homemade flower bunting, optional

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C), 350F, Gas Mark 4. Grease 3 x 20cm sandwich tins and line each base with a disc of parchment paper. Set aside on baking sheets.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and each with a little flour, until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour, the baking powder and poppy seeds. Finely grate the lemon zest in, squeeze in the juice and beat until well blended to a dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture evenly between the tins, levelling the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes, swapping the tins around halfway through.

Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Snap the chocolate into a large heatproof bowl and melt either in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each go, or over a pan of simmering water, shallow enough that the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Once melted, remove and leave to cool.

Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter in a large bowl until pale. Sift the icing sugar over in stages, combining well before adding the next. Beat in the cooled chocolate until well combined to give a smooth mixture.  Beat in enough yellow food colour to give a vibrant yellow. Cover and set aside.

Once the cakes are cooked through and just springy to the touch, remove them from the oven. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble, using a palette knife, spread 150g of buttercream on each one. Divide the lemon curd evenly between two of them, spreading it level. Stack these two on top of each other on a serving plate or cake stand and top with the remaining cake. Spread 200g of buttercream all around the sides of the cake, ensuring a smooth and even finish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until firm. Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle with buttercream and set aside for now.

To make a rose, start in the centre and pipe anti-clockwise around the centre to create a tight prawn like shape. Pipe the first row of roses in a single layer around the base of the cake. Then repeat the rows all the way up the side of the cake, refilling the piping bag as necessary. Finally, pipe the roses around the top of the cake, beginning on the outside and working inwards until completely covered.

If the icing is beginning to soften, set in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve topped with a homemade flower bunting if liked.

Top Tip!

Don’t let the rose icing put you off if you don’t have time or feel unable to manage it. Simply apply and smooth the icing with a palette knife. Half of the buttercream will be sufficient in this case.

With thanks to our Easter contributors

Photo Credits

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Fancy whipping up a batch of the tastiest cookies ever? Why not channel your inner Mary Berry and bake these tasty Butlers Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies.

Drooling already? Us too.

These decadent, delicious cookies are stuffed with pieces of caramel, which, when baked, create the luxurious experience of double chocolate cookies with a chewy caramel centre. Definitely cookies for grown-ups! The recipe below makes 18 cookies.

Ingredients:

115g unsalted butter

350g soft light brown sugar

2 large eggs

55g cocoa powder, sifted

¼ tsp sea salt flakes

¾ tsp baking powder

260g plain flour

100g Butlers 40% Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Bar, roughly chopped

100g bag of Butlers Dark Chocolate Salt Caramels, roughly chopped

Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan/350°F/Gas Mark 4) and line 3 large baking trays with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and eggs. Add the cocoa powder, salt and baking powder, then stir well to combine.

Add the flour and stir until no white floury patches are left. Mix in the chopped pieces of chocolate.

Use a small 2 tbsp ice-cream scoop to portion the dough. Then make a small hollow in the centre of each scoop of dough and fill with pieces of the salt caramels. Cover the caramel with dough to seal inside.

Place the cookie dough balls on a baking tray, making sure to leave space between them so the cookies can spread while baking, and sprinkle each one with sea salt flakes as desired.

Bake for 10–12 minutes, then allow to cool on the tray on a wire rack.

 

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Fruity, fudgey, creamy, chocolatey… No-bake desserts are full of flavours and they are so handy to make when you don't feel like turning on the oven – or if you don't have one…

With these tasty recipes, no need to have your Mam's baking skills to whip up something delicious for you and your friends.

1. Lemon cream pie

2. Cranberry pistachio fudge

3. Snickers slices

4. Strawberry tiramisu

5. Chocolate mousse

6. Cannoli cones

7. Turtle chocolate fudge

8. Raspberry amaretto semifreddo

 

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If you can't drink Guinness, why not dive into it in cake-form?

This cake is made of Guinness and will be perfect as a Paddy's Day treat. 

Guinness pint cake

Ingredients

  • 250ml Guinness
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 150g sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100ml double cream, lightly whipped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat an oven to 180°C.

Melt the butter and the Guinness in a pan over low heat. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and cocoa powder and mix well until smooth.

Whisk the eggs and sour cream together, add the Guinness mixture, then finally add the flour and baking powder and mix well. 

Divide between Guinness glasses so they are about ¾ full. Place on a tray and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until risen and cooked through. Allow to cool completely.

Place all the icing ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Level off the top of the cakes and spoon the frosting onto the top of each cake so they look like a proper pint. Enjoy!

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What's better than a delicious chocolate chip cookie?

A GIANT chocolate chip cookie!

Because it's Thursday we have all deserved a treat at that stage, we are sharing with you our ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. We made a huge one this time but if you want, you can cut the dough into 12 equal size portions, roll it into balls and place on a baking sheet. The cooking time will be reduced to 12 minutes.

ENJOY!

hungry lizzie mcguire GIF

Ingredients

  • 250g flour

  • 100g white sugar

  • 100g brown sugar

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 125g butter, melted

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 150g chocolate, chopped (milk, dark, white, whatever you prefer!)

  • If the butter is unsalted, add 1/2 tsp salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking powder). Add the beaten egg, vanilla extract and melted butter, mix well, then stir in chocolate and combine.

Using your hands, press the dough together to create a patty.

Spread the dough on a lined baking sheet and bake the giant cookie for about 20 minutes. Remove from the sheet (don't worry if it looks very soft in the middle, it will harden) and let cool.

Pour yourself a glass of milk, and devour the whole bloody thing.

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If your Instagram feed is to be believed, your circle of friends are one step away from opening their own pastry café.

We mean, who are we to question the origin of a plate of scones uploaded to one mate's Insta or the real person behind the brownies they have us drooling over?

So, it turns out we're actually a nation of big fat chancers.

According to recent research conducted by Dr. Oetker Baking, we might be a dab hand at the humble Rice Crispie bun, but that is where our talents seem to come to an end.

The research established that over half of respondents rated their own baking skills as just 'average' at best, with 95% wishing they could be a better baker.

If you fall into this camp, it might be worth stepping up to the The Dr. Oetker Faker to Baker challenge.

The five-week Facebook campaign was designed to help the Irish population hone their baking skills, create memories, and even earn prizes along the way, and by following weekly video tutorials on Dr. Oetker Baking’s Facebook page, participants can learn to bake like a pro in five weeks.

So what do you need to do?

Well, to enter the challenge, you need to follow the tutorial and post a photo of your tasty creation, using the hashtag #FakerToBaker on the Dr. Oetker Baking Facebook page. 

Five weekly winners will receive a Dr. Oetker Baking Hamper filled to the brim with baking goods.

And it doesn't stop there!

The public will then vote on these photos to crown the Ultimate Faker to Baker, who will receive their very own KitchenAid.

People, it's go-time!

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Cupcakes have always been one of our fave treats, but there's nothing worse than buying or baking really stodgy, dense ones.

Three bites in and you're full (and not feeling so great, either).

However, Delish has created a hack to make your cupcakes light and fluffy… and it involves our favourite alcohol.

It notes that adding soda to your mixture has been a longtime hack, so why not try prosecco?

Well, its bakers did and it worked a treat. They said, "the end result is even lighter and fluffier than any cake we've ever had before." Score.

If you fancy adding a splash of prosecco into your cakes, take a look at the how-to video above.

And have a little tipple while baking, we won't tell.

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If you thought that the unicorn trend died with 2016, then you were very, very wrong. 

Enter: the unicorn macaroon! 

The wonderful folks at the Mac Lab Bakery have created beautiful unicorn macaroons, and we're obsessed.

 

Happy Unicorn Day! Oh I mean..Friday 

A photo posted by Mac Lab Bakery (@mac_lab) on

These delicious little gems are fruity pebbles flavoured, which is a famous American cereal! 

Currently, these macaroons are only available in Georgia, however we reckon it won't be long until other bakeries start hopping on the unicorn waggon.

 

Santa's new favorite cookies!!

A photo posted by Mac Lab Bakery (@mac_lab) on

WE HOPE! 

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Unicorns make everything better, and this delicious chocolate bark is absolutely no exception.

 

Behold, Unicorn Bark. Because, Monday. Recipe by @hellowonderful_co link in our bio. #unicornbark #dessert

A photo posted by Kroger (@krogerco) on

Picture your lovely, standard chocolate bark.. now imagine someone dipped it in glitter and added some real-life magic to it!

That is exactly what unicorn bark looks like… ONLY BETTER.

The gorgeous humans at Creme and Sugar in California created this magical treat, and we are so happy they did.

#BLESSED.

The best part is, this bark is really easy to create, and all you need is food colouring, white chocolate and colourful sweets!

If you want to whip up some gorgeous unicorn bark, then check out the video below.

Important reminder: unicorns are real, and so are mermaids… that is all.

 

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Whether you're down because of the crappy weather, had an argument with your BFF or this time of year just isn't your fave, it's safe to say this season can bring on a whole range of emotions.

And while this won't cure your blues indefinitely, it will make you feel a little bit better.

According to the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who bake every now and again are much more relaxed compared to people who don't.

Image result for baking gif

The researchers followed 658 people for two weeks. Each participant had to write a diary, which was read by the researchers afterwards. They discovered that each person who baked or cooked at the end of most days felt that they were "flourishing," and advancing in their personal growth.

The study's lead author author, Tamlin Conner said: "There is growing recognition in psychology research that creativity is associated with emotional functioning.

"However, most of this work focuses on how emotions benefit or hamper creativity, not whether creativity benefits or hampers emotional well-being.

Image result for baking gif

"There is genuinely something very therapeutic about baking."

Whether you're going to take this on board or not, we have to admit, we'll be whipping up a few cupcakes next time we're feeling low.

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This week is bread week on the Great British Bake-Off, and if you are a bit of a novice in the kitchen (like some of us here in Shemazing! HQ), then this recipe will make you feel like you're cooking alongside the GBBO contestants.

So even if the only thing you've cooked in the kitchen is a microwave meal, this easy four step recipe will impress all your friends:

Granary Bread

Ingredients:

  • 500g granary, strong wholewheat bread flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp clear honey

Method:

1.Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix together with your hands. Stir 300ml warm water with the oil and honey, then stir into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough.

2. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes, until the dough no longer feels sticky. If you need to, sprinkle in more flour.

3. Oil the loaf tin and place dough inside, pressing it down evenly. Then, place tin in a large plastic food bag and leave to rise for one hour. It's perfect when the dough has risen to fill the tin and it no longer springs back when you press it down.

4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. With a knife, make several slashes to the top of the loaf, then bake for 30-35 minutes. When risen and golden, tip the loaf onto a wire rack and tap the base of the bread to ensure it's cooked. Leave to cool.

Now, just slather on some butter, sit on your comfy couch and enjoy GBBO!

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Here in Ireland we know our food is second to none, but over in the US, we're mainly known for Guinness and stew.

So we were pleasantly surprised to see an Irish kitchen favourite getting a shout-out from none other than Kourtney Kardashian.

The mum-of-three finally launched her official website and app this week – a full three months after her sisters did the same – and one of the recipes contains a very familiar brand name.

If you plan on making Kourt's Krispies (basically glorified Rice Krispie shapes), you better have some Irish butter to hand, because the reality star specifically stipulates the use of Kerrygold butter in her ingredients list.

Amazing!

Of course, Kerrygold isn't just an Irish staple – it's also available across Europe and the US.

A spokesperson for the butter's manufacturer, Ornua, said the company was "delighted" to see Kerrygold "making its way into Kourtney Kardashian’s kitchen."

As well as recipes, Kourtney promises fans will receive a glimpse into her life via her new app, with personal journal entries, decorating tips and more all available to those who sign up.

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