Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars

So in the last post I introduced you guys to one of my favourite UAE based cooks Dalia Dogmoch and her fantastic blog D's Kitchen.
Well today I'm going to introduce you to my baking goddess, the very lovely Rosie at Sweetapolita. Her website is a must-visit for any cake or sweet treat lover! I could literally spend hours drooling over her gorgeous cakes and sugary delights, but haven't actually attempted any of her recipes before. That is until now...

These butterscotch peanut butter marshmallow hearts just looked too sweet and delightfully colourful to pass up. As a no-bake treat, I thought it would be the perfect first recipe of hers to have a go at making. They only require four ingredients - peanut butter, butter, butterscotch chips and marshmallows, so barely take minutes to make. Like she says though, they are really pretty sweet. But if you are a peanut butter fan like me then you'll love the added nuttiness from the peanut butter. And well, marshmallows always make anything better, right?
Still if I'm honest, I had never before even tasted a butterscotch chip, as they weren't around my life growing up, so I was extremely excited when I discovered them here, in Dubai, in a large supermarket chain. Knowing that Rosie's recipe for butterscotch peanut butter marshmallow bars was on my 'to-do' list, it made perfect sense to make these bars out of them.
And how cute and sweet do they look! They definitely call to be made at a children's birthday party, or even for a school bake-sale.
However you choose to enjoy them, don't forget the glass of cool milk!

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
Adapted from Sweetapolita
Makes about 16 bars
2 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup smooth peanut butter
6 cups mini coloured marshmallows
Line a small baking tin or oven dish, with parchment paper. Melt together the butter, peanut butter and butterscotch chips, in a glass or ceramic bowl, over a small pan off water, and on low heat till the water starts to simmer. Take off the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Mix together well till marshmallows are coated with the butterscotch peanut butter mixture. Pour the mixture into the dish, using a wooden spoon or spatula to help spread evenly. Press some loose marshmallows over the top, and chill in the fridge until firm. Using a sharp knife cut into bars.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rose Cake with White Chocolate Frosting & the Gourmet Bake-Off

Its been a busy few weeks for Beela Bakes with a trip to London, where me and the hubby were so lucky to have good weather, and now as I type this I am on a weekend beach trip in the town of Fujairah (one of the seven emirates that makes up the UAE).
As great as this holiday has been, I have missed posting and am dying to tell you all about an exciting little event that happened recently.
A few weeks ago I entered a competition by Ahlan! Gourmet magazine, a UAE based food magazine, which asked readers to submit their favourite cake recipe with a chance of entering into the UAE's first ever bake-off style challenge. Like with most competitions I emailed them and didn't expect to hear back. However, (shock-horror) I did hear back from them, and was asked to bake my cake and bring it to their studios to be tasted and judged by a panel.
The cake I entered into the competition was my Rose Cake with White Chocolate Frosting. I'm proud of this cake and thought it would be a good alternative to the usual classic cake recipes. Incidently my Rose Cake with White Chocolate Frosting is the most viewed post on my blog.

So it turns out 70 entries were submitted, and out of these 23, including mine, were chosen to be tasted. Once the cakes had all been tasted and judged by the judges, it was our (the bakers') turn to taste all the creations too. There was a wonderful variety of cakes from a pistachio gateau, to a chocolate zucchini cake, a number of delicious carrot cakes, and a beautiful walnut cake took the winning prize!

Not only was it an honour to be chosen to participate, but I was doubly happy when I saw that my 'food guru' Dalia Dogmoch was there at the event as a judge! Let me tell you guys, I have been a huge fan of Dalia's ever since my family shifted to the UAE six years ago, and I discovered Kitsch cupcakes. Not only is she the 'cupcake queen'  but she has a fantastic blog called D's Kitchen, and recently came out with a cookbook called Food, Love and Life. What's also funny is that I had been planning a future post based on her blog recipes since after all I am now UAE-based and have to show some Emirati love!
Anyway in person, Dalia was so lovely and warm and it was definitely a huge highlight of the event to meet her. What was even more special is that she personally awarded my cake with the prize for 'Best Original Cake'.
All in all it was a great experience and I am so happy to have participated.

Though I re-used my recipe for the Rose Cake with White Chocolate Frosting, I did double the ingredients and increase a few measurements for the recipe here which I used in the competition. So if you are looking to make a small version of the cake, refer to my previous post, and for a more normal-sized cake look no further than here! I added some dried roses to this cake, and tinted the batter pink too for more visual appeal!

Come to think of it, although I am posting this a little late, this would actually be a lovely cake to make for Eid. And with that I end by saying a happy and blessed Eid ul Adha to all my Muslim readers and everyone else too!

Rose Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
Makes a two-tier, 10" diameter cake
2 cake tins
14 tblspns butter or margarine
2 cups cup caster sugar
5 eggs
3-4 tblspns rose water
3 cups self-raising flour
3 tspns baking powder
1/4 cup milk
Pink or red food gel for tinting
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line your mini cake tins with parchment paper. Cream together the butter and sugar till well combined. Add the two eggs and stir well to make a lump-free consistency. Add the rose water. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture, and then add the milk. Mix really well to form a smooth batter and add the food gel to make a light pink in colour. Pour half the batter into one cake tin, the rest into the other tin. They should be about 2/3 full. Put into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, checking with a toothpick to see if it is done. The cakes should be nice and springy when ready. Leave to cool  completely before assembling.
For the frosting
3 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup soft butter
5 tablespoons melted white chocolate
White chocolate, grated for decorating
Edible roses for decorating
Mix all the ingredients together, except for the grated white chocolate and roses, until well combined. If the consistency is too buttery add more icing sugar. Refrigerate for ten minutes if too soft before applying. Spread between your two cake layers and sandwich together, then spread and cover all around the cake with remaining frosting. Top with grated white chocolate and edible roses.
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