Cranberry Bakewell Tart | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cranberry Bakewell Tart

Cranberry Bakewell Tart | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m finally free from work for over two weeks, and I have to say, I feel great. I’m ready to get all blissed out on holiday treats, maybe drink some Bailey’s while watching Elf. I’m ready to decorate some ugly Christmas cookies with my child who, thankfully, is never to old for a bit of Christmas magic. Thankfully, she’s much more sensible about the eating of these cookies. I fully intend to eat at least one too many.

And under no circumstances will I be dieting, or even feeling guilty about it. There will be time enough for that in January. Maybe my New Year’s resolution this year should be to stop feeling guilty about everything. Would people even know me? Maybe they’d actually like me. 

Cranberry Bakewell Tart | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve got a treat for you today that will make us all universally popular. This Cranberry Bakewell Tart is a beautiful winter version of this sweet treat. A fat wedge of this along side a steaming cup of tea is exactly when you need when you come in from the cold after a long day. It also keeps well so it’s great to share with holiday visitors. Ours lasted a week. (Maybe don’t mention we didn’t have any visitors in that time. We may have eaten it all ourselves.)

This recipe may look daunting on paper as there are three different components involved, but I assure you, they’re all quite simple. It’s just some pie crust, an almond filling, and some royal icing. Oh, and pick up some adorable sugar decorations at the grocery store just for fun. 

Cranberry Bakewell Tart | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s all be totally chill this holiday season and eat as much Cranberry Bakewell Tart as we want. I’m into it. 

Cranberry Bakewell Tart
Serves 10
Cranberry Bakewell Tart is a sweet wintry treat for you and all your friends.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
For the crust
  1. 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup ground almonds
  3. 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  4. 4.5 ounces butter, cold and cut into chunks
  5. 1 egg
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. Approximately 3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
  1. 4.5 ounces butter
  2. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. zest of 1 clementine
  5. 1-1/4 cups ground almonds
  6. 1 cup smooth cranberry sauce
For the icing
  1. 1 packet egg white powder (equivalent of 1 egg white)
  2. 2 teaspoons warm water
  3. 2 cups powdered sugar
  4. Juice of 1 clementine
  5. Additional juice or water to reach desired consistency
For the crust
  1. Put the flour, ground almonds, and powdered sugar into the bowl of your food processor and pulse to combine and work out any lumps. Add your cold butter chunks and pulse until the butter is incorporated. It may look a bit like wet sand.
  2. Beat together the egg, salt, and 3 tablespoons ice water. With your food processor running, slowly add this mixture down the chute. Process your mixture until it just starts to come together. You may need to add a bit more ice water to make this happen.
  3. Turn your dough out onto some plastic wrap. Give it a bit of a smoosh to make it all come together, then shape it into a disc, wrap it tightly, and stash it in the fridge while you make the filling. You can make the dough the night before if you wish.
For the filling
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and dig out your 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. Melt your butter and let it cool slightly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and zest. Add melted butter and whisk to combine. Finally, mix in the ground almonds.
  4. Roll out your dough to fit your tart pan. Lay the dough in and trim the edges. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  5. Spread the cranberry sauce over the bottom of the the tart. I didn't measure. I just spooned and spread.
  6. Next pour the the filling into the pan and gently spread it evenly making sure it goes all the way the edge and covers all the jam.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes. It will be brown and puffy when you take it out of the oven (hopefully not as brown as mine was), but will flatten out as it cools.
  8. Allow your tart to cool completely before icing.
For the icing
  1. Put the egg white powder and warm water into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it becomes foamy and eventually forms soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar and clementine juice and mix until it comes together. You may need to add more water or orange juice to get the right consistency. You want this to be thick but not pasty.
  2. Spread the icing onto your tart. Add cute little decorations if you got 'em.
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been digging deep for that Christmas feeling. I’m counting the days until I get a break from work so I can go into full relaxation mode. We bought our Christmas Tree last week. I even made Geoff take me on a date to the Christmas market so I could eat a Yorkshire pudding wrap and drink hot chocolate with Bailey’s. We took the route home that has a walk past the most twinkling lights possible. I’ve been finding a few moments of holiday zen, and it’s delightful.

Of course, I still have a bunch of presents to buy, and the idea of wrapping them is close to sending me over the edge. Practical geometry was never my strong suit. Then there’s the Christmas menu to finalize. Geoff’s requested this turkey recipe, along with some other British Christmas classics. As for me, I’m more interested in what cocktail to serve. A poinsettia is always a good choice.

Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you’re looking for a deceptively impressive dessert this Christmas, may I suggest you make this Buche de Noel? The first time I made this, I thought it would definitely be a disaster. I don’t have the patience or fine motor skills to make fancy cakes, and I had never tried to make a rolled cake before. It all came together surprisingly easy, and it was so chocolaty and tender, I couldn’t stop eating it. 

You don’t need to worry if your cake cracks a bit as you’re rolling it up because the fluffy chocolate frosting will cover up any problems. And you don’t need to be Van Gogh to make it look like a log, either. All you need is a toothpick and an unsteady hand. Squiggly lines are a bad artist’s best friend. A few fresh cranberries and a couple of snips off of a sprig of rosemary, and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed masterpiece.

Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Maintain your holiday bliss and impress your family with a Buche de Noel this Christmas. It’s gonna be awesome.

Buche de Noel
Serves 8
A Buche de Noel is a great way to impress your family this Christmas without adding any stress to your life.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
For the cake
  1. 6 eggs, separated
  2. 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
For the frosting
  1. 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (about 60%)
  2. 2 cups powdered sugar
  3. 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. Pinch of salt
For the cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Give yourself plenty of paper to hang over the edge, and fold it up in the corners to give it a bit of structure.
  2. In a large, very clean mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk your egg whites until they're nice and foamy. With the mixer still running, add in 1/4 cup of your sugar and continue to whisk until your have stiff peaks.
  3. In another mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer for this part) whisk your egg yolks with your remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture is pale and thick. Ditch your electric mixer at this point.
  4. Add the vanilla to the egg yolk mixture, then sift over the cocoa powder. Fold this all together with a rubber spatula.
  5. Next, fold in your egg white in three batches. A few streaks aren't the end of the world. The egg white are all you have to leaven this cake, so don't overwork it.
  6. Pour your cake batter into your waiting jelly roll pan and gently spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, the use the overhanging edges of your parchment paper to lift out the cake and allow it to cool completely.
For the frosting
  1. Melt your chocolate by breaking it up into pieces and microwaving it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each go until it's completely melted and smooth. Should take about a minute. Allow this to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Add your powdered sugar to the bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times to make sure you get rid of any lumps.
  3. Add the butter to the food processor and process until smooth. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and process until smooth and incorporated.
To assemble
  1. Once your cake is completely cool, spread a layer of your frosting over the entire top of your cake.
  2. Use your parchment paper to help you roll your cake. You want the short end facing toward you as you roll away from you. Don't panic if you have a crack or two. It will all get covered up with the frosting.
  3. If you want to have a stump or two coming out of your log, slice the ends of your roll at a gentle angle. This will also give the ends of log a cleaner look. You can then use a bit of your frosting to stick this slices onto the side of your cake. Once they're covered in frosting, they'll look like stumps of branches. It's almost too easy.
  4. Don't be afraid to use all of your frosting to completely cover all parts of your cake. No need to make it smooth. The rougher it is, the more it will look like bark.
  5. To complete the look, us a toothpick or skewer to to make some wobbly, bark like lines down your cake. Make some rough concentric circles at each end to resemble tree rings.
  6. If you want to get extra artsy. add a few cranberries and some rosemary to make a few sprigs of holly. If you want it to snow on your log, sprinkle it with some powdered sugar.
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I just finished watching the semi-final of this year’s Great British Bake Off. In case you’re wondering, I’m team Sophie. I absolutely love watching this show, especially since they have the refrigerator of my dreams on set. Every week I’m astonished by how the producers can manage to make baking seem so extremely tense and suspenseful. It just makes me realize there’s no way I ever would or could put myself through that.

I love to bake, but I also love to keep it simple and need to keep it cheap. Most importantly, I need to keep it delicious. I think that’s one thing about Bake Off that makes it superior to other cooking competition shows like Cake Wars and such. They really focus on flavor, so even if your bake doesn’t look completely perfect, you still get credit for how it tastes, and sometimes, great flavors even win out over beautiful spectacle.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

All I’ve got for you are some humble Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, and while they might not win any beauty contests, I assure you, the flavor is on point. Tons of spice comes through, heavy on the ginger and almost hot. And the cake itself is so tender. Then the maple frosting on top is sweet and deep and dreamy.

You could pipe your frosting to make them extra fancy, but I went with a scoop and swirl action, then added a hint of gold sprinkles for a bit of whimsy. It’s not a show stopper, but it’s absolutely awesome.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are going to make all your Fall flavor dreams come true. 

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Yields 15
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are full of gorgeous flavor and perfectly sweet.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the cupcakes
  1. 2 cups cake flour
  2. 3/4 cup white sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  8. 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  9. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  11. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  12. 2 eggs
For the frosting
  1. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  2. 250 grams (2-1/2 cups) powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and add 15 papers to your cupcake pan. You may yield a couple more or less. Be flexible.
  2. Add all dry ingredients, everything from flour to salt, into your mixing bowl and mix on low speed to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Add butter and buttermilk and mix on medium until thick and incorporated.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake pans, filling half full. This batter will rise quite a bit so don't overfill.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting
  1. Beat butter and powdered sugar together until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Dollop onto the nearest cupcake and dance with joy.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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