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Easy baking for snow days

Storm Emma and the Beast from the East are in full sway, here at If I Knew You Were Coming, we love a snow day, it’s a chance to light the fire, put on warm PJ’s and bake!

Here are a couple of our go to easy baking recipes for those times you just don’t have a wide range of ingredients and need the comforting smell and taste of a delicious homemade bake!

Fairy Buns

Ingredients

  • 100 g (4 oz)Margarine
  • 100 g (4 oz)caster sugar
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • 100 g (4 oz) Self Raising Flour

Method

  • Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Fill  a bun tray with 12 bun cases.
  • Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each.
  • Gently fold in remaining flour.
  • Spoon the mixture into pre-prepared bun cases and bake for around 15 mins.

We like to top with a delicious buttercream using 50g butter or margarine, creamed together with 100g sieved icing sugar, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a dash of milk. If you want a quicker topping melt 100g of milk chocolate in the microwave and simple spoon over the top of the fairy buns! Delicious and comforting for when you have returned from making a snowman!

Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 125g/4oz butter
  • 55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish
  • 180g/6oz plain flour

Method

  • Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  • Cream the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  • Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste, empty on a worktop and roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.
  • Cut into shapes and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
  • Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

 

 

For those times when you want to bake something a bit different that you may not have the ingredients for, our baking kits and baking subscriptions hit the spot.  We have tasty recipes for Brownies, Cookies and Muffins. Yum!

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Caramel muffin chocolate Tiramisu

Continuing on from our chocolate brownie cheesecake recipe, if are looking for something different to make as a Christmas dessert then this Caramel muffin chocolate Tiramisu is just what the doctor ordered!

Recipe: Chocolate Tiramisu
Serves 10-12
1 ‘If I Knew You Were Coming’ caramel & chocolate muffin bake at home mix
568ml double cream
250g mascarpone
75ml Tia Maria
5tbsp golden caster sugar
300ml coffee (made with 2 tbsp coffee granules)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Method:

  • Make the caramel muffins as per the instructions card included in the baking kit and leave to cool.
  • Whisk together the cream, mascarpone, Tia Maria and caster sugar until it’s the consistency of loosely whipped cream.
  • Make the coffee
  • Once the muffins are cool, thickly slice and layer half of the muffins over the bottom of a serving dish
  • Generously spoon half of the coffee over each slice of muffin and allow to soak in.
  • Use half of the cream mixture and spread evenly over the muffin layer.
  • Layer the remaining muffin slices over the top of the cream mixture and generously spoon over the remaining coffee.
  • Add the remaining cream mixture over the top of the muffins and spread evenly.
  • Put the cocoa powder into a sieve and dust evenly over the surface of the cream.

If you make this recipe, why not post it facebook or twitter and tag us in it?!

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Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

If you are considering baking something a bit different this Christmas, then this Cheesecake with a brownie base is just the ticket. This recipe is courtesy of Feasting Is Fun. Thanks Sammie!

Recipe: Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake serves 10-12

1 ‘If I Knew You Were Coming’ Classic brownie bake at home mix
2 large free range eggs
300g fresh or frozen raspberries
4tbsp caster sugar
2tbsp Framboise – raspberry liquer – can be substituted for fresh apple juice
150g dark chocolate
300ml double cream
500g tub mascapone cheese
100g white chocolate

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6

Making the Brownie Base:
• Line the base of a 10″ (25cm) Springform cake tin with the parchment backed, tin foil provided.
• Follow the instruction card provided to make the brownies.
• Place the tin in the oven and bake according to the instructions – my brownie base took 15 minutes to bake.
• Once baked remove the tin from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

Making the Chocolate Ganache:
• In a heatproof bowl add 100g dark chocolate and 100ml of double cream, place the bowl on top of a small saucepan that contains approximately an inch of barely simmering water
• Stir the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is thick and glossy, pour the chocolate ganache over the cooled brownie base and smooth to an even layer
• Place in the fridge until the ganache has set.

Making the Raspberry Cheesecake layer:
• Place the raspberries, caster sugar and framboise (or apple juice) into a blender.
• Pulse until you have a smooth, deep cerise, thick raspberry coulis. Set to one side.
• Break up the white chocolate and place into a heatproof microwaveable bowl and zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate has almost melted.
• Remove from the microwave and continue stirring until completely melted. Set to one side.
• In a large bowl add the tub of mascarpone cheese and 200mls of double cream, whisk until fully combined.
• Pour the raspberry coulis into the cheesecake mix and whisk until fully incorporated.
• Next pour in the melted white chocolate.
• Whisk all of the cheesecake ingredients together until light and creamy.
• Spoon the raspberry cheesecake on to the cold, set, chocolate ganache covered brownie base in the springform tin, smooth the top of the raspberry cheesecake to ensure a flat, even finish.
• Cover the cheesecake with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow to set.

Decorating the Cheesecake:
• Remove the cheesecake from the fridge.
• Run a palette knife between the outside edge of the cheesecake and the inside of the springform tin.
• Place the springform tin centrally on a large tin of beans (or something equally as sturdy).
• Release the springform catch and gently encourage the sides of the tin to fall away from the base.
• Place onto a serving plate or cake stand – the base will still be attached, don’t worry that’s fine.
• Use a palette knife, that has been kept in a jug of boiling water, to smooth the top and sides of the cheesecake.
• Melt 50g of dark chocolate in a microwaveable, heat proof bowl, as before.
• Pour the melted chocolate into a small, disposable piping bag.
• Snip off the very end of the piping bag to create a small hole, then pipe swirls of chocolate all around the edge of the cheesecake and larger loops in the centre. Continue piping over the swirls around the edge until the chocolate is all used.

If you make this recipe, why not post it facebook or twitter and tag us in it?!

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Black friday offers

Don’t be in the dark about Black Friday – 5 facts about the biggest shopping day of the year (and a special offer from us!)
Here at If I Knew You Were Coming, we enjoy the occasional day when we shop ‘til we drop.
Though to be honest, we’re not quite so keen on braving the massive crowds when it’s the last Friday of November – otherwise known as Black Friday.
If you feel the same way and are indulging in a spot of keyboard Christmas shopping this week, we’ve got a Black Friday deal just for you!
Have reduced our 6 and 12-month gift subscriptions no need to use a code! We have also reduced the free shipping amount to £20.
And in case you’ve ever wondered how this epic celebration of all things retail came about, here are five fascinating facts that shed some light on the history of Black Friday.
1. The phrase was first coined in the 1869 in America when the stock market crashed.
2. The term ‘Black Friday’ in relation to frenetic shopping began in Philadelphia in the 1970s before becoming widespread in the mid-90s.
3. Black Friday is now observed in countless countries throughout the world including Colombia, Nigeria, Lebanon and the UAE.
4. In the UK, it replaced the Saturday before Christmas as the busiest shopping day of the year in 2001.
5. It is estimated that Brits will spend more than £4.5 billion during this year’s Black Friday which falls on 24 November.
But if you don’t have the energy to battle the crowds for your early Christmas shopping this year, we can offer a far less exhausting gift idea – one of our fabulous baking subscription gifts.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving…literally. And it’s just a couple of keyboard clicks away. Our kits make a perfect Christmas present for anyone who likes to have their cake and eat it too.
Take a look at our range of subscription gifts – and don’t forget, no need to add any Black Friday code (offer closes on 2359 on Monday!).

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tis the season to bake

Move over mellow mists, ’tis the season to bake!

Don’t you just love autumn? In the words of poet John Keats, it’s the season of mellow mists and fruitfulness.

Yes, it’s time to get cosy. Light the candles, dig out the snug PJs, and turn the clocks back. Winter’s highlights are around the corner – Halloween, Bonfire Night and, of course, Christmas.

Naturally, being a baking company, we look upon each of the above occasions as yet more reasons to bake our favourite yummy treats.

And, it seems, we’re not alone. With more and more Brits taking up baking every year (this year 34% say they bake at least once a week compared to 19% in 2016), statistics show that Autumn is the most popular baking season of all.

It’s not hard to see why. Picture the scene. Outside it’s cold, windy and rainy. But you (and perhaps your loved ones) are ensconced in your warm, cosy kitchen creating wonderful aromas and baking tasty treats and delicious desserts.

Of course, it also helps that the Great British Bake Off Final is looming and a high percentage of its millions of viewers (well done Channel 4!) are compelled to bake for themselves after each episode.

But no matter what’s inspired you – whether it’s the urge to create little Halloween monster cakes for your own little monsters, or the desire for some tasty parkin cake for Bonfire Night, or a need to make an early start on some festive bakes, we wish you happy baking!

And, don’t forget, we’re here to make your life easier with our convenient subscription baking kits. They make ideal Christmas gifts too.

Order before 11 November to get 20% off our six month and 12 month gift subscriptions. The offer is only available for Christmas gifts as the first kit will be posted on 3 January 2018. It includes a gift message which we will email for you to give to the recipient at Christmas.

Just add the 6 month or 12 month subscription to the basket and use code Christmas at the checkout for 20% off.

To add your gift message enter it into the option box on the checkout page, we will email over the image for you to print out. We’ll ship the first kit out on 3 January.

There you go…that’s at least one of your Christmas presents sorted.

If you would like to stay up-to-date with all our latest news, developments and product announcements, remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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National Baking Week!

We d’éclair it’s officially the best week of the year – National Baking Week!

 

We might be biased, but National Baking Week is definitely the best thing since sliced bread.

 

It’s the perfect excuse to bring the whole family together in the kitchen and create scrumptious treats that everybody can enjoy.

 

Thanks to our easy and fun baking kits, everyone can get involved with the occasion because we make baking a piece of cake.

 

Home-baking is our passion, but why do we love it so much? Well, here are our top 10 reasons why we believe all you knead is cake, muffins, brownies and bread!

 

  1. A Chance to be creative – baking is not so much about skill, but following a recipe, as well as your intuition. It’s fun to experiment with different creations and flavour combinations. It’s also totally customisable and you can adapt recipes according to your own tastes and preferences.
  2. Family-time – baking is a wonderful way to bring people together and to get the kids into the kitchen. You can even teach your children the basics from an early age so they might grow up enjoying baking as a hobby.
  3. Perfect for a rainy day – here at If I Knew You Were Coming, we’re based in Warcop, Cumbria. We love living in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, but it also means we’re well used to Cumbrian weather, which means our fair share of drizzle! Luckily when it comes to baking, it’s something we can enjoy in the comfort of our kitchen, come rain or shine.
  4. The smell – can you think of a lovelier smell than freshly-baked bread on a Saturday morning? In fact, the smell of baking is so universally loved, it’s actually a known tactic to use when it comes to house viewings.
  5. It’s cheap – you don’t need to spend a fortune when it comes to baking. The basic ingredients are always on the cheaper side.
  6. Sharing is caring – if you can bear to part with your delicious creations, you can share them with family, friends and co-workers.
  7. It’s easy – especially when it comes to our baking kits! All you have to do is put your order through on our website and your kit will be delivered to your door. Then you just need to pick up the items on the short shopping list (no more than four) and follow the simple, step-by-step recipe.
  8. It’s therapeutic – baking has actually been proven to reduce stress. According to the Huffington Post, a survey conducted by baking company Cake Angels found that 80% of highly stressed people surveyed took up baking to help alleviate the pressure.
  9. There’s always an occasion to bake – birthdays, Christmas, weddings… there’s always an excuse to bake. But if you REALLY love baking, why not take a look at our different subscription options? You can buy a monthly baking subscription, priced from £17.99 to £77.99 (plus P&P, or free over £40). You will then receive a baking kit box through the letterbox which contains a recipe and ingredients to bake a quick and delicious treat every month for three, six or 12 months.
  10. It’s rather delicious! Need we say more?

 

Celebrate National Baking Week with us! Take a look at our kits. If you’re local to Cumbria, we’re now stocked in a number of shops, including Cranstons in Penrith, Chestnut House in Pooley Bridge and The Ark at the Cloisters in Appleby.

If you would like to stay up-to-date with all our latest news, developments and product announcements, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Macmillan Coffee Morning

Are you joining in with the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning?

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, hosted by Macmillan cancer support, takes place later this month.

If you would like to take part and raise money for a vital cause, there are a number of fun and exciting ways you can make your event a huge success.

Here are our top tips for the annual fundraising celebration on Friday, 29th September.

  • Spread the word

The more the merrier when it comes to events like this. Thanks to social media, inviting friends and family and raising awareness is easier than ever. You could set up a Facebook group (either an open or closed group depending how open you’d like the event to be). You could even come up with your own custom hashtag and ask your guests to post updates via Twitter and Instagram. Or, if you’d like to keep things simple, you could get your children or grandchildren involved and ask them to design an invitation which you could then scan and print copies of. Macmillan also has an invitation template you can download from their website.

  • Think about a theme

While you don’t have to have a theme, if you’re looking to do something creative and quirky then it’s a perfect opportunity to put your thinking cap on and have a little fun. Themes could include, a certain colour (decorations, dress code and coloured cakes and bakes), an era (vintage tea party or swinging 60s), or fancy dress (something beginning with ‘m’ for Macmillan, for example).

  • FUN-draising

How can you make fundraising fun? The idea is to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan, but instead of asking for a donation, you could make it much more entertaining. For example, you could include games, quizzes, or even a sports day if the weather is nice and the sun is shining. There could also be prizes for the best bake (taking inspiration from the Great British Bake Off and awarding a ‘star baker’) or best fancy dress outfit, depending on your theme.

  • Make it easy for yourself

You can enjoy a stress-free coffee morning by making it easy for yourself. Our baking kits are expertly created for anyone – whether you’re a complete beginner or confident baker. All you have to do is put your order in on our website and your kit will be delivered to your door. Then you just need to pick up the items on the short shopping list (no more than four) and follow the simple, step-by-step recipe. There’s something for everyone, with favourites including Classic Chocolate Brownie, Coconut and White Chocolate Cookies and Strawberries and Cream Muffins – to name just a few of the flavours available.

We hope this has offered some inspiration for your coffee morning event later this month. We would love to see pictures and find out how much you’ve raised for Macmillan, please remember to tag us on our Facebook and Twitter – happy baking everyone!

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Baking Britian

It’s official – Britain has gone bonkers for baking!

Home baking has become more popular than ever before and research conducted by The Grocer has revealed why we as Brits have gone bonkers for biscuits and crazy for cakes over recent years.

Unsurprisingly, the Great British Bake Off has fuelled everyone’s new-found interest. When the final series featuring baking queen, Mary Berry, aired last year, 14.8million Brits tuned in and the number of households buying home baking products during the series jumped by more than 1.1 million (9.7%), the sharpest spike of recent years.

The number of Brits who say they bake at least once a week has also risen in the last year, with 19% in 2016 compared to 34% this year. Research demonstrated that home baking spikes in autumn and in the build-up to Halloween and Christmas.

But what do amateur and advanced bakers in the UK enjoy baking the most? The Grocer’s research, carried out by Harris Interactive, revealed the following:

  • 75% – Cake
  • 39% – Cupcakes
  • 37% – Biscuits
  • 33% – Pies
  • 29% – Bread

Of course, it won’t come as any great surprise to know the top reason people bake a cake is to celebrate a birthday. But there are many other fabulous excuses to have your cake and eat it. For example, Christmas, Easter, anniversary, wedding, christening, passing exams, new job, new home. But then again, who needs a specific reason? Life is short…and here at If I Knew You Were Coming, we believe everyone should enjoy a slice of cake if there’s a y in the day of the week.

If you agree, then take a look at our different baking kits available on our website. If you would like to stay up-to-date with all our latest news, developments and product announcements, remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Bake off is back

if i knew you were coming caramel brownie baking kit baking subscription food gift

On your marks, get set… Bake Off is back!

The wait is nearly over – The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens on Tuesday (29th August).

Although it might’ve moved over to Channel 4, it’s still definitely one of our favourite cookery programmes and we’re looking forward to the different creations, challenges and show-stopping bakes that the new series will bring.

Of course, nobody will be able to replace the national treasure that is Mary Berry, but whether you like the new judging and presenting line-up or not, the heart of this much loved show is still all about the sheer joy of baking.

Since Bake Off began, the British public have rediscovered the art of baking. It’s one of those activities that’s both enjoyable and practical, and is good fun for all the family. Here at If I Knew You Were Coming, we can help you be a star baker in your own kitchen with not one soggy bottom in sight.

Our baking kits are expertly designed to ensure that everyone can enjoy them – whether you’re a cake connoisseur or a beginner in biscuits, our kits make baking easy and fun.

Created with simplicity in mind, all you need to do is pick up the items on the short shopping list in the kit, which includes no more than four items. The detailed recipe then sets out everything step-by-step.

We’ve created kits for all cakes and preferences. If you’re a chocaholic, you’ll love our Caramel Brownie, Classic Chocolate Brownie and White Chocolate Blondie. If you’re crazy about cookies, then our various cookie selections with flavours including Chocolate Chip and Orange and Coconut and White Chocolate will definitely be your cup of tea. Or, if you’re mad about muffins, you’ll love trying out all the different flavours of our muffin baking kits, with delicious options such as Apple and Sultana, Lemon Drizzle and Strawberries and Cream.

In true Bake Off style, we would love to see your creations! Please tag us in any photographs of your treats from If I Knew You Were Coming on our Facebook and Twitter.

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Summer holiday ideas

4 easy and cheap ideas to keep the kids entertained in the summer holidays

Every parent knows the school holidays can be slightly challenging – but we’ve learnt that the trick is to keep the kids busy with a mixture of fun activities and relaxing downtime. This way, they won’t feel too worn out (and neither will mum and dad). There are a number of fantastic easy and cheap ways to keep the kids entertained during the summer holidays. Here are our four favourite baking-themed ideas…

• Host a baking competition with friends
Why not get together with your children’s friends’ parents and host a fun afternoon that you can all enjoy? A baking competition is a great idea to keep a group of kids happy and entertained (especially if the weather is rainy!)

• Pack up some delicious treats and garden games, and have a lovely picnic
If the weather is sunny, you could head over to your local park and enjoy an afternoon in the glorious sunshine. For a super easy and stress-free picnic, you could order a few of our baking kits to prepare some yummy treats in advance. Each recipe has a short shopping list of no more than four ingredients that are available from most supermarkets. Some of our favourite summer-themed baking delights include Lemon Drizzle Muffins, White Chocolate Blondie and White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies.

• Bake some muffins and cookies and deliver them to friends and family who live nearby
This would be a lovely surprise for friends and relatives – you could even create your very own homemade cards for them too, thanking them for being a good friend/grandparent/auntie/uncle.

• Bring a bit of sunshine to somebody’s day in the local community
You could bake some delicious treats for local care homes, homeless shelters, or for the staff at your local animal rescue shelter.

• Create a scrapbook or photo book with all the memories from summer 2017
(Including pictures of the yummy cakes and sweet treats you’ve baked!)

Remember, if you don’t want the baking fun to stop after the summer holidays are over, you can buy one of our brilliant baking subscription boxes. They also make excellent baking gifts!

There are plenty of delicious options to choose from, including:
• Brownie Selection – 3 months, £20
• Champion Cookies – 3 months, £17.99
• Marvellous Muffins – 3 months, £17.99
• Summer Selection – 3 months, £17.99
• The Favourites Selection – 6 months, £40
• The Ultimate Selection – 12 months, £77.99

summer holiday ideas

 

 

 

 

If you would like to stay up-to-date with all our latest news over the summer holidays, please remember to follow us on our Facebook and Twitter.