traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Tag: easy (page 1 of 3)

Chocolate Orange Slice

Chocolate Orange Slice.  Another one of those classic combinations. Often found together in cakes and biscuits (I’m not going to start a debate on whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit, so let’s just leave it there…) and also in that traditional Christmas treat – the Chocolate Orange!

This no-bake traybake brings together a classic chocolate fridge cake or tiffin (or whatever you choose to call it) with a smooth orange buttercream. Using cocoa powder makes the biscuit layer dark and chocolatey, but then the orange buttercream balances it out nicely. And then you’re left with, well…a few crumbs, considering the speed at which these disappeared in our house!

This is such a straightforward recipe. You measure, zest, juice, crush, melt and mix and then layer the resulting mixes into a loaf tin. You could probably even do all the melting work in a microwave, so you didn’t need to dirty a saucepan, but due to the lack of microwave in my kitchen, I can’t test this out for you. I know, no microwave! I have space for one after our kitchen renovation two years ago, but still haven’t got around to buying one. And, you know what? I don’t miss it. Until I start to wonder if this traybake would be easy to make in a microwave and don’t have the equipment to test my theory!

Anyway, to get back to the traybake, I used two mini loaf tins for my Chocolate Orange Slice. The recipe says to use a 1lb loaf tin, but I wanted to make the slices a little smaller. Use whatever tin you have, but for purely aesthetic reasons, I prefer a tin that will give you three biscuit layers and two buttercream!

Ingredients

Orange Buttercream Layer

2oz/55g/4 tbsp butter

1 orange, for zest and 2 tbsp juice

10oz/300g/2½ cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Biscuit Layer

4oz/110g/1 stick butter

6 tbsp cocoa powder

6 tbsp golden syrup

1 packet (7oz/200g) plain biscuits/cookies

Method

1.  Line the base and sides of a 1lb loaf tin (or two mini loaf tins).

2.  Zest and juice the orange and place the zest, 2 tbsp juice and the butter in a saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted then remove from heat.

And try not to spill the icing sugar everywhere like I did!

3.  Sieve the icing sugar and stir into the orange butter mixture until smooth.

4.  Then place the syrup, cocoa powder and butter into a saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Syrup, butter and cocoa powder. Yum!

5.  Crush the biscuits/cookies lightly. I used Goya Maria cookies, but Rich Tea or even Digestives/Graham Crackers would work well here. You want to have a good mix of fine crumbs and chunkier pieces. Stir the biscuits into the chocolate mixture until evenly coated.

6.  Press one third of the chocolate mixture firmly into the base of the loaf tin. Then spread half the buttercream over the biscuit base. Repeat with another layer of biscuits and remaining buttercream. Finally top with the last third of the biscuit mixture and press down firmly.

7.  Cover the tin with some foil. Place in the fridge and leave for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

8. Remove from tin, slice and enjoy!

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No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bars

No-bake lemon cheesecake bars. This is a proper, old-school, retro recipe, made with cream cheese, evaporated milk and lemon jelly (or jello, for my US readers). See, I told you it was properly retro!

But, you know what, it still tastes good. And it’s quick and easy to make. So it’s perfect for a simple summer dessert.

When I was younger (back through the mists of time), this was what I considered to be cheesecake. I’m not even sure at what stage I discovered baked cheesecake. Nevertheless, even if this is not the most modern recipe, sometimes a classic can still be a winner!

You may spot that there aren’t any ‘before’ or ‘during’ photographs in the recipe this time, but, to be honest, they weren’t that exciting, so I left them out.  Digestive biscuit crumbs and lemon cheesecake mix don’t make the most interesting pictures! Finished lemon cheesecake bars…well, that’s a little more useful!

These bars are tangy and smooth and set nicely to enable you to cut them into neat slices. And they get the all-important seal of approval from Little Miss Traybakes!

Ingredients

8oz/225g/2 cups digestive biscuits/graham crackers, crushed

4oz/110g/1 stick butter

1 packet lemon jelly/jello (I used a 3oz/85g packet)

1 pack cream cheese (8oz/225g)

1 small tin evaporated milk (I used a 5oz can)

1 tbsp juice + zest of 1 lemon

3oz/85g/⅓ cup sugar

Method

1.  Before you start, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature as this will make it a lot easier to work with.

2.  Melt the butter. Add to the crushed digestives and mix well. Press firmly into a traybake tin and place in the fridge for an hour or two to set.

3.  Dissolve the jelly in ½ cup (4 fl oz/120ml) hot water and set aside to cool a little.

4.  Beat the cream cheese until smooth then add the sugar, lemon juice + zest and evaporated milk and mix well.  Next, slowly add the lemon jelly mixture and beat until it’s all incorporated.

5.  Spread over the biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge.

6.  Slice and enjoy!

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Date and Ginger Crunchies

I already posted one of my favorite childhood traybake recipes using Rice Krispies here (other puffed rice cereals are available!) and, of course, there is always the Mars Bar Traybake. And now this Date and Ginger Crunchies recipe is another option for the ‘Baking with Breakfast Cereal’ series. Or should that be serial?!

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Fruit Soda Bread

Soda bread is remarkably quick and easy to make. There is no yeast involved, no proving or kneading, you just mix everything together, shape it and bake it!  All the rising comes from the reaction of the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and buttermilk.

This Fruit Soda Bread is a firm favorite in the Traybakes’ household. While best eaten on the day it’s made (especially with a generous slathering of butter) it’s also good toasted, if you have any left after a day or two!

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Tea Loaf

I drink a lot of tea. I consider it to be a normal amount, but it’s probably well above average for my little corner of suburban Massachusetts.  Perfectly normal for Northern Ireland though.  And tea features in my baking this week.  This is a recipe for Tea Loaf.  A simple, straightforward bake that requires very little hands-on time.

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German Biscuits

German Biscuits, also known as Empire Biscuits, Belgian Biscuits and, originally (according to Wikipedia) Linzer Biscuits or Deutsch Biscuits.

In the brief history of the German Biscuit that I gleaned from my internet research, it turns out that around the time of WWI, many people started to call these Empire Biscuits instead (remind anyone of Freedom Fries?!) but in Northern Ireland, they continued to be the German Biscuit.

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Fudge Squares

This is not a recipe for traditional fudge. There is no need for a thermometer or trying to reach the ‘soft ball’ stage with your sugar mix. These Fudge Squares are an easy, no-bake traybake where you mix a caramel syrup with crushed biscuits and top it all with chocolate. Yum!

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Mint Aero Traybake

Amazingly, my little blog is now over a year old!  Belated Birthday Greetings to the blog and a huge thank you to everyone out there who has liked, read, commented and (most importantly) baked this past year.  To celebrate, here’s another classic traybake – the Mint Aero Square/Slice/Traybake!

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Iced Christmas Pudding

We’re feeling very festive here in the Traybakes’ household.  Little Miss Traybakes decorated our Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago.  We’ve already had a few snowfalls.  And our mission to introduce mince pies to the Americans continues.  It’s mostly been successful too!

So, I thought I’d try to sneak in a quick blog post before Christmas.  What to make?!  Then I remembered a recipe that Mummy Traybakes first made many years ago for Iced Christmas Pudding.  I have no idea where this recipe comes from, but like many of the traybake recipes, it’s probably been passed around for years.

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Snowballs

We had our first flurries of snow in the week before Thanksgiving this year. When I’m clearing several inches (hopefully not feet!) of snow off our driveway later in the winter, I shall try to remember the look of sheer joy on Little Miss Traybakes’ face when she saw the sprinkling of flakes outside.  It won’t make the snow shoveling any easier but I’m hoping it’ll make me smile!

It’s not the earliest I’ve ever seen snow over here and there certainly wasn’t enough to make even the smallest of snowballs, so I’ve been making snowballs in the kitchen instead.

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