Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Birthday Bars

You know, I never understood the tradition of taking sweet treats into school or work on your birthday. I know it's the done thing, but why? Surely people should be bringing you cake on your birthday, rather than the other way around!?

Anyway, today is my birthday, so I decided to conform and bake something to take into work. However, my plan for the evening is to go to a restaurant with a bunch of my friends and have pudding. Not dinner, just pudding. I'm hoping we can just order a couple of everything, and a bunch of spoons, and then when it all arrives we just tuck in. That's the plan.

When it came to making something to take into work, I thought I should try and make something light and easy going, bearing in mind my plans for the evening. The result of that thinking was a tasty little tray bake, packed full of smarties, chocolate chips and sprinkles, topped with a light meringue frosting and more sprinkles (it is my birthday, after all...)

75g margarine
75g low-fat Greek style yogurt (I used Alpro Soy Yogurt)
50g caster sugar
6 tbsp granulated sweetener
20ml milk
1 medium egg
2 tsps vanilla extract
150g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
38g (1 tube) smarties
10g polka dot sprinkles
30g chocolate chips

For the frosting:
1 egg white
50g caster sugar
3tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
splash of pink food colouring
30g icing sugar
More sprinkles

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Serves: 15

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 and line a square baking pan with greaseproof paper
  2. Add the margarine, yogurt, sugar, sweetener, egg, milk and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Tip the flour, baking powder, smarties, sprinkles and chocolate chips on top of the cake mixture, and fold in until combined. (Adding the "extras" with the flour like this gives them a nice coating of flour which helps to stop them from sinking to the bottom... :-) )
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  5. Move on to the frosting. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks and put to one side. Pop the sugar and water into a heavy based pan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has melted, then bring the syrup to the boil for a minute or so - be careful not to let this turn to caramel, though! Remove the syrup from the heat, and, whilst whisking, pour it into the egg whites. Once your sugar syrup is well incorporated, add the vanilla extract, food colouring and icing sugar to the mixture and continue to whisk until these have dissolved and you are left with a fluffy, glossy frosting.
  6. Spread the frosting over the tray-bake and top with the remaining sprinkles. Cut into 15 slices, and serve.

Happy Thoughts


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