Wednesday, 30 March 2011

I Was Saved by a Flying Wild Man in a Loincloth

Disney Classic # 37 - Tarzan

Tarzan was one of the later films I came up with an idea for, and it was again kind of clutching at straws. I decided early on that I could do a banana based dish, but that I'd try to come up with something a little more original. Except I didn't manage to come up with anything more original, and I do so love banana cake... so banana cake it was! (I literally screeched with joy when this scene came up in the film:)

Bananas!!! I decided to make the banana and walnut loaf cake out of my trusty Good Food's 101 Cakes and Bakes, with a couple of tweaks here and there. The cake was amazingly delicious, and really didn't last us very long at all! ^_^

Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 12 (or at least it makes 12 slices :-P)
2 ripe bananas
100g chopped walnuts
25g banana flakes (optional)

25g demerera sugar
100g margarine
140g light brown sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk
225g self raising flour

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line a loaf tin.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork. In a separate bowl, mix together 25g of the walnuts with the banana flakes and demerera sugar.
  3. In a large bowl cream the butter and the sugar, then beat in the eggs.
  4. Fold the remaining 75g walnuts, the mashed banana and the milk into the mixture, then sift in the flour and continue to fold until all combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and then sprinkle the walnut, banana flake and sugar mixture over the top.
  6. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to rest in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cut into slices and serve with a cup of tea ^_^

Next time we're watching Fantasia 2000, which will be the last Disney Night for a while as I'm having major surgery the following week! Eeeep! To make up for it, I'm going to make a super-special musical celebration cake ^_^

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Look, it's Porridge, and it's Happy to See Ya!

Disney Classic # 36 - Mulan

When it came to Mulan I thought I'd come up stuck, as there aren't many Chinese desserts that I know of. I thought fortune cookies might be a good idea, and it was an idea that grew on my once I found a fairly simple recipe for them. How grand! I could make Mulan fortune cookies AND use quotes from Disney films for the fortunes!! Brilliant.

Except they tasted like crap. Actually, that's not necessarily true. The taste was pretty nice, but the texture - yuk! I don't know whether it was the recipe, whether I didn't bake them correctly or whether it was because I'd baked them the evening before and left them in an airtight container overnight and all day, but they were soggy. >_< I've posted the recipe below in the interest of consistency - I don't want to not post a recipe! But I certainly will not be trying this again! Original recipe found here.
Prep time: 10 mins            Cook time: 25 mins               
Makes 10 cookies
2 egg whites
half tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp plain flour
pinch of salt
8 tbsp caster sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Prepare 5 sheets of greaseproof paper by drawing two 8cm circles on each. Write out fortunes on strips of paper and fold.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and vanilla until foamy, but not stiff. Sift in the flour, salt and sugar and fold until all ingredients have combined.
  3. Place one of the prepared sheets onto a baking tray. spoon 2 tsps of the better into the centre of each circle, then, using the back of the spoon, spread the batter out evenly to match the shape of the circle you have drawn.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes, until the cookie starts to go golden brown around the edges. (Whilst this pair of cookies is baking, you can get the next pair ready to go into the oven on a separate baking sheet.)
  5. Remove the cooked cookies from the oven and use a spatula to remove then from the baking sheet. Place (one at a time) upside down on a chopping board, put a fortune in the middle and fold in half, pressing the edges together. Place the folded edge of the cookie onto the rim of a cup or mug and pull the edges down. Place in a bun tin to cool to help the cookie retain its shape. (Note: you have to do this bit whilst the cookie is still hot, as the cooler it gets he more difficult it is to fold! That's why it's best to only cook two at a time!)
  6. Repeat the process until you have used all of the batter. Leave cookies to cool and hope they aren't as soggy as mine!!
Next time we have much more success with Tarzan; making a banana and walnut loaf cake ^_^

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Star is Born

Disney Classic # 35 - Hercules

I decided fairly early on that I wanted to make baklava for Hercules, mostly because I love the stuff and can't get enough of it!! However, a few days before we were due to watch Hercules, disaster struck. Regular readers of this blogs will know that I've been quite ill over the last year, and true to form when I was due to be baking baklava for Hercules, I ended up really quite sick. But, this time round I didn't have to cancel Disney Night or postpone the blog, because Angel came to the rescue and offered to bake and blog for me this time round!! Yay!

Although I wasn't well enough to eat the baklava, it got good reviews from everyone else and looked amazing! (I will definitely be trying this recipe out for myself!) So now I'm going to hand over to Angel, who used his Mum's baklava cake recipe:


4 eggs
3/4 mug of self-rising flour
125g of butter(melted)
1 1/4 mugs of sugar
500g filo pastry (2 packets)
1 tea spoon of cinnamon
1 tea spoon of Vanilla extract or if you have it, powdered vanilla
2 mugs of chopped walnuts

For the syrup:

750g sugar
750ml water
1 table spoon lemon juice


First, preheat your oven to 160degrees C.

To start you need to put the eggs, flour, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and walnuts in a bowl and mix them. Next, you need to melt the butter and get your baking tray out, after it's been melted, use a glazing brush (or whatever it's called) and cover the bottom and the sides of the tray. Then you take half of your filo pastry sheets and one by one you layer them on the bottom of the baking tray. Each time you place one sheet, you have to glaze it with the butter, until you have half of the filo pastry as the base. Next you add the filling over the base sheets. Finally you repeat what you did with the first half of the filo sheets and layer them on top of each other, one by one, making sure you "glaze" with butter before you add the next, do the same for the last sheet and then put the whole thing in the oven and bake for about 30-45mins or until the filo pastry on the top turns golden.

To make the syrup add the water, sugar and lemon juice together and simmer until it becomes a syrup-like consistency. You need to then use half of the syrup when the baklava leaves the oven. Let it stand for 2 hours and then pour the rest on to it. For best results wait until the baklava has cooled and then refrigerate. It will be at it's tastiest after a couple of days in the fridge.

Next time I'm back on board and will be making fortune cookies for Mulan!
Happy Thoughts

Sunday, 13 March 2011


I have a rather cheeky request to make...

I've entered a few of my Disney cakes into an online competition - I'm noway near good enough to be judged "best amateur baker" and win first prize, but with your help I might just get one of the runners up places! Follow this link which leads to the facebook page where you can "Like" my creations! (You may have to "like" the competition organisers, iambakingmad first!)
Until Wednesday I send many thanks and Happy Thoughts
x x x

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

What Makes a Monster and What Makes a Man

Disney Classic # 34 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

You're probably all thinking "what the fudge is an Elephant's Foot and why would I want to eat it?" Also, "are there even any elephants in Hunchback??" Well, no. But there's this chain of bakeries in Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire called Birds, and they sell these cakes/pastries called Elephant's Feet. The pastries are some sort of choux buns, filled with fresh cream and topped with chocolate sauce, a bit like a giant profiterole, but much firmer, and the shape of them is bulky and blobby, (hence the name Elephant's Foot)

How does this relate to Hunchback? Well, I figured the moral of the story is not to be deceived by appearances, and that it's what on the inside that counts. I figured Elephants Feet fit here as they don't look amazing, but they are really tasty. Plus choux pastry is French... so it works for me!


I couldn't find a recipe for "Elephant's Foot cake" so I took a logical guess and searched for a choux pastry recipe. Well, the cakes ended up not quite being Elephant's Feet- the pastry was far too soft, but they were still really really tasty. It's like I invented a new cake... and I name them Quasi's. Anyways, my Quasi's were based on recipes found here and here.
A real-life Elephant's Foot from Birds

Prep time: 15mins      Cook time: 25-30 mins     Serves: 6


75ml water
75ml milk
50g unsalted butter
65g strong white (or bread) flour
2 medium eggs
350ml double cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate
100g icing sugar
1tsp coca powder

  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Place the milk, water and butter into a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil until the mixture is bubbling vigorously, then remove from heat.
  3. Tip all of the flour into the pan and quickly beat into the mixture, until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Beat the eggs into the pastry mixture a little at a time until the pastry is smooth and glossy.
  5. Put the pastry mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe circles onto the prepared baking tray, leaving space between each for the mixture to spread/rise. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins, until golden brown and crisp on the outside.
  6. Remove from the oven and cut a slit in the side of each bun. Leave to cool on a wire wrack.
  7. Once the pastries have cooled, prepare the cream filling. Whip 300ml of the double cream with 1tbsp of caster sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Once the cream is firm, place it into a piping bag. Place the nozzle of the piping bag into the slit you made in the choux bun and pipe cream into the middle.
  8. Heat the remaining 50ml of cream in the microwave for 30 seconds, then break the chocolate into it. Stir until all of the chocolate has melted, then add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Spread around a tablespoon of the chocolate sauce onto each bun, then place in the fridge to set for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve straight from the fridge and enjoy ^_^

Next time it's Hercules, another favourite of mine (and one of the greatest to sing along to, too!) I'm going to cook up some lovely baklava!
Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Pocahontas, That Tree's Talking to Me

Disney Classic # 33 - Pocahontas

Not particularly attractive, but very tasty!

For Pocahontas I'd decided I wanted to attempt a Native American recipe, possibly something corn-based (corn is the "gold" that Pocahontas' tribe has and Governor Radcliffe wants...) so I ran a google search for "Native American desserts" to see what came up. For a while I was really keen on making these sweet hominy chimichangas, however I could not find hominy for sale in the UK for love nor money. And I found the same with other recipes I came across, each seemed to have one key ingredient that I couldn't get my hands on unless I imported it from the US (at a seemingly high cost!)

So, I had to go with the back up plan of pumpkin pie. Not that I'm complaining, I love pumpkin. (And don't underestimate how difficult it is to find pumpkin in the UK outside of October!!) Pumpkin pie was suggested way back in November - when Mike was feeling nostalgic for his time in America and craving pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving he suggested that we have a pumpkin pie for Pocahontas, creating a link through the story of Thanksgiving Day. (From what I understand it, the American Indians and the Pilgrims decided to be best friends and all sat down together to have a big feast of turkey and pumpkin pie and it DOES relate to Pocahontas somehow, honest!)

So pumpkin pie it is!

I got this recipe from BBC Good Foods 101 Tempting Desserts, and followed it pretty much to the letter.

Prep/cook time: A long time!! Approx 3.5-4 hours (although a lot of this time is baking/cooling time so you can do other things too!)

Serves: 8-10


1 small green pumpkin (or a 425g tinned pumpkin, or 425g pureed pumpkin)
500g pack ready made shortcrust pastry
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
250ml double cream
397g can condensed milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground mixed spice

For the topping:
50g butter
25g chopped pecan pieces
25g chopped walnut pieces
85g light brown sugar

To serve:
200ml double cream
1tbsp icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Remove the stalk and stem of the pumpkin and chop it in half. Remove the seeds from the middle and then chop into roughly 1 inch slices, leaving the skin on. Place these into a roasting tin and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the pumpkin flesh and place the flesh into a blender. Blend to a smooth paste and leave to cool completely.
  4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, and grease a pie/flan dish.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use this to line the pie dish. Trim the edges and press a pattern into the top edge. Place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork, then cover with greaseproof paper. place some baking beans or uncooked rice on top of the greaseproof paper to weigh it down. Bake for 12 minutes then remove from oven.
  7. Reduce the heat of the oven to gas mark 4.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until frothy. Add the cream, the condensed milk, 425g tinned/pureed pumpkin, cinnamon and mixed spice and whisk thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for 50 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 hours.
  10. Melt the butter over a low heat, then stir in the chopped nuts and sugar. Spoon this mixture over the pie. Cover the edges of the pastry with foil, then place the pie under the grill for 2-3 minutes, until the topping is bubbling.
  11. Remove from the grill and allow to cool a little before placing the pie in the fridge to chill. Refrigerate until serving.
  12. To serve, whip the cream in a large bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Spoon or pipe onto the pie and enjoy ^_^

Next time it's the Hunchback of Notredame (which I love and think is completely under-rated!!) and I'll be serving up some choux pastries.

Happy Thoughts