From today, Aldi's Specialbuys aisle will be filled to the rafters with their fabulous new home baking range!
There is something for everyone with their new line, regardless of whether you're a Mary Berry in the making or a beginner like me, from hand mixers and bread, brownie and waffle makers to silicone cake moulds, storage boxes and embroidered tea towels.
As you would expect with Aldi, everything is superb quality while remaining very affordable. Plus they even have a fabulous Pinterest page to help you out with baking recipes and inspiration.
They provided me with three pieces from their new home baking range; an 8" Springform Cake Tin, a Cake Storer with Lifter and a Silicone Cake Mould for making cake pops along with a voucher to spend on ingredients from their store.
There are so many Aldi stores in my area, all of which are easy to get to with ample parking. I popped in quickly this week with Mr WLL and we found the store so easy to navigate to find everything that I needed.
With the bakeware I was given, I thought that it would be best to attempt a cake and a set of cake pops as they seemed to be the most logical goodies to create. All of the ingredients were incredibly affordable and I was really impressed at the selection that they had available.
Here's what I bought:
The cake pop mould came with a set of instructions and for the full size cake, I searched online for a recipe. We were heading to my friends house for dinner this week and I had said that I would bring dessert. She has been following Weight Watchers for the last year so I knew that I would need to make something that she could work out the propoints value of so to make it easier, I selected one of their recipes.
While on the subject of Weight Watchers, I have written for the August edition of their magazine. It is available in meetings and has just gone onto newstands this Wednesday so if you would like to pick up a copy to read my article then please do so. My article is all about getting your legs out in summer and loving your body at any size. I'd love to hear what you think about it.
The recipe that I decided to follow was for the Weight Watchers Lemon Curd Cake which felt pleasingly nostalgic as I used to love lemon curd as a child. You can click on the link to view the full recipe on the WW website but for someone who isn't used to baking like me, I would definitely say that it was very easy to make. We were able to find all of the ingredients at Aldi which is great as I hate having to visit more than one shop when I want to make something.
I used to bake a lot when I was younger but time seems to go a lot quicker as an adult. This year, I have been doing a lot more cooking from scratch so baking from scratch feels like a natural progression. Being able to start baking without breaking the bank buying ingredients and bakeware is a bonus too and will definitely encourage me to bake more in the future.
To create the Weight Watchers Lemon Curd Cake, I used:
- 5 sprays of a calorie controlled cooking spray- we already had this at home so didn't feel the need to purchase another
- 3 medium sized raw eggs- these are 79p for a pack of 6 from Aldi and they are free range
- 100g Caster Sugar- 89p for a 1kg bag that you'll be able to use for many cakes to come!
- 100g Plain White Flour- 45p for a 1.5kg bag
- 200g Low Fat Soft Cheese- 49p for 200g
- Zest of 1 Lemon, finely grated
- 3 heaped teaspoons of Icing Sugar- 65p for a 500g bag
- 2 level tablespoons of Lemon Curd, mixed with 1 tablespoon of hot water
- 1 Lemon sliced and/or some fresh mint leaves to decorate (optional)- we opted for lemon slices
To begin, I preheated the oven to 220°C (gas mark 7/425°F) and washed all of the bakeware out with it being new.
The recipe stated to use 7inch sandwich tins but I used the 8inch Springform Cake Tin from Aldi without any problems whatsoever. I gave it a quick mist with the low calorie cooking spray and while the recipe stated to line the base with a circle of greaseproof paper, I didn't as as it happened, I didn't need to as the cake tin has a non-stick coating.
Then I moved onto actually making the cake. Using a hand held electric mixer (Aldi have just brought out a new one for only £14.99!), I whisked the eggs and caster sugar together for around 5 minutes until they were very pale and light in texture.
I then sifted the plain flour into the mixture and folded it through lightly using a big metal spoon. Two cake tins were needed at this point so what I did was I divided the mixture into two, poured one half into the cake tin and popped it in the oven for 8-9 minutes until it was golden brown and springy to the touch. Then I took it would of the oven, removed it from the cake tin onto a wire cooling rack, covered it with a clean, damp tea towel and then poured the rest of the cake mixture into the tin and repeated this process.
The cake was actually very easy to remove from the cake tin, firstly because it is non-stick but also because it has a springform mechanism. This basically means that the sides of the cake tin are removable via a latch style buckle on the side of the tin. You simple unbuckle the latch and then you can remove the sides from the cake.
For a sponge cake like this, it isn't really necessary to have a springform cake tin as you can just turn it out but for a cake that has decoration or that as a structure that wouldn't cope very well with being flipped over, like a cheesecake, then this type of cake tin is essential. In my mind, the best thing to do is to buy springform cake tins anyway then you will be able to cook any cake without worrying about how you are going to remove it from the tin.
The great thing about using a springform cake tin is that you can actually serve the cake from the base of the cake tin if you do not want to remove the base. It will keep the cake sturdy and together and help you to avoid any mishaps in transferring it from the tin to a plate or cake stand. I couldn't do this with this cake as I needed to use the cake tin for a second time and by the time the cakes had cooled, I knew that they would be sturdy enough to stand on their own but if I were making a cheese cake then I would absolutely use the base of the cake tin as a base for my cake.
Once the cakes had completely cooled, it was time to put together the filling and icing.
I mixed the low fat soft cheese, lemon zest and icing sugar together before spreading half of the mixed over the top of one half of the sponge cakes that I had made. I then decanted some of the lemon curd into a bowl and gave it a good stir to warm it up a little so that it became easier to spread. Then I spread the lemon curd over top of the other cake and sandwiched the two together before spreading the remaining soft cheese mixture on top and decorating with slices of lemon.
Pretty straight forward as I'm sure you'll agree and for only 6 propoints per slice, it isn't too naughty either! It tasted absolutely delicious and everyone enjoyed it. Mary Berry eat your heart out!
As the cake tin is oven, freezer and dishwasher safe up to 230°C, I popped it straight into the dishwasher to clean up and it came out sparkling, just like new. I've used bakeware in the past that has flaked but not this one, the quality is fantastic.
This cake makes six sizeable portions which is great if you're having six friends round to eat it straight away, but if not, you're best keeping it in an air tight cake box like this fabulous one from Aldi.
My dad was most impressed with the cake storer as it comes with a lifter inside to enable you to lift the cake out of the box easily. Its always such a struggle to get a cake, especially a one thats iced and decorated, out of a cake box without destroying it but this lifter makes it so easy thanks to the two handles either side.
This box is absolutely brilliant and a steal at only £6.99. Not only can you store a cake in it like this but you can flip it over and use it to store cupcakes over two tiers as well as scones. Cup cakes have become so popular in recent years but they're difficult to transport so a box like this is absolutely essential.
Not only does this box make it really easy to transport your cakes but it keeps them so fresh too.
The second sweet treat that I made were cake pops using the Silicone Cake Mould from Aldi. Like with the cake tin, it is oven safe up to 230°C and you can pop it into the dishwasher to clean it which is great news for me. The reason my hands are so soft is because I don't do the washing up, haha!
I had never made cake pops before and to be perfectly honest, I didn't have any high hopes for them turning out well as they looked as though they would be pretty tricky to make. Had I bought this mould myself, I would have thought that it was a low enough price at £3.49 to take a gamble on incase they didn't work out for me. Having used the mould and experienced how simple it is to use, I cannot recommend this enough- it would be well worth the low cost and more!
The 100% Silicone Cake Mould comes in two halves that need to be washed in warm soapy water before the first use. Mine is pink and for making cake pops which are so popular right now. Aldi also have other silicone cake moulds in different pastel colours available too incase you wanted to make cup cakes, etc.
The mould itself has four different shapes to it- a spherical one, a heart, a star and a two tier one designed to look a little like an iced cupcake shape. All of the shapes are 3D, obviously and I love the variety in the shapes. I've seen lots of round cake pops available but not lots of different shapes like these ones.
Sandwiched in between the two moulds in the packaging are baking and icing instructions and cake pop sticks that you can either reuse or dispose of after use and repurchase.
To create these cake pops, I used the instructions from the cake pop set.
To make the cake pops, I used:
- 2 Medium Sized Raw Eggs- these are 79p for a free range pack of 6 from Aldi
- 110g Caster Sugar- 89p for a 1kg bag
- 110g Butter
- 110g Self Raising Flour- 45p for a 1.5kg bag
- 600g Chocolate (to decorate)- I used white and milk
- Any additional decorations- I used The Pantry Sprinkles in the pink colour way at £1.49 each for 167g. I had LOADS of these left over and will be able to use them for so many cake pops in the future.
To create the cake pops, I set my oven to 180°C (356°F).
I then creamed together the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until it became light and fluffy. Then one after the other, I added the eggs into the mixture. It is important to add a little bit of flour as well to stop the mixture from curdling.
After this was all combined together, I sifted in the rest of the flour and folded it into the mixture. Using a little butter, I greased the cake pop mould and added the mixture to the half of the mould that didn't have any holes in it (where you put the sticks in). I filled this half of the mould to the top before attaching the other half of the mould to it.
When I first got this I thought how on earth are you supposed to put the mixture into both sides and put them together without it going everywhere... then I realised that you just pour the mixture into one side of the mould and as the cake rises, it fills out the shape of the mould on the other side. Absolute genius! I've seen people making cake pops online by making a normal cake, then whizzing it up in a blender and then moulding little balls of cake together from the crumbs; what a carry on that is! This method is so quick and easy to do and it requires such minimal fuss. I could literally make these all day!
So after I poured the mix into the mould and popped the other half on, I put the mould onto a baking try and put it in the oven for around 15 minutes. To check that they were ready, I pushed a skewer into the middle of one of them and when it came out clean, I knew they were done.
I left them to cool a little bit, then removed them from the mould and left them to cool completely on a wire rack while I made the chocolate for decoration.
I melted the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering hot water. This is the only way I'm able to melt chocolate because every time I do it in the microwave I end up leaving it in far too long and it burns. The smell is horrendous so I always opt for doing it on the hob now!
To attach the lolly sticks to the cake shapes, I dipped them into the chocolate and then inserted the sticks into the cake pops and then I left them to cool. I guess the chocolate acts as a glue almost.
Then I held onto the lolly stick and dipped each cake pop into the melted chocolate and twisted it as it came out so that the excess chocolate would drip off evenly. I then sprinkled the sprinkles onto some of them and drizzled some extra chocolate in opposing types (milk and white) onto some of the others.
To enable them to cool without spoiling their design, I upturned a colander and popped the sticks through the holes. This was a tip that I got from the instructions that came with the mould and I think that it works really well.
For my first attempt at cake pops, I'm really very pleased with them. Not only did they taste delicious but they looked pretty good too considering I've never made them before. They were supposed to be able to be kept in the fridge for a week but my hubby and dad devoured them in a couple of days so I can't comment on that.
I honestly can't believe how easy it was to make those cake pops, especially for the first time. I really think that it was down to the mould and the simple, easy to follow instructions that came with it. I'll definitely be making them again.
I am SO impressed with the Aldi bakeware pieces that I have tried out and their quality and affordability. Same with the ingredients. If you're looking to try your hand at baking this summer, perhaps a Wimbledon appropriate Victoria Sponge, then I would highly recommend the home baking line from Aldi.
You can head to your local Aldi store to check out their new home baking range from today. They also have their wonderful new kitchen range launching on the 9th July so you'll be sure to be able to pick up some bargains whether you're off to uni in September, updating your kitchenware or redecorating your kitchen!
What are your favourite recipes?