Category Archives: baking

Feel Good Fruit Cake

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of blogging recently. I have not been feeling myself. I will not go into much detail here but you can read my post on my parenting blog here if you like.

When I am not feeling 100%, I retreat to the kitchen and bake. Today I have made something I have wanted to bake for a while. When I was a child, I used to go to my Nan's after school, she used to give me a slice of Mr Kipling's Farmhouse Fruit Cake. I loved it and it is a real memory of childhood for me. I recently tried some again after many years of not having it and although, it tasted ok, I was disappointed to see that it contained dried egg, dried milk and a few other non-appetising sounding things so I decided I could do better and make a better one myself.

I adapted the recipe here. I added an extra 30g of dried mixed fruit and 50g of glacé cherries. In my fan oven, the cake took just over an hour in my fan oven. The cake looks and tastes better than I remember from childhood. I will make it again soon!

 

 

Christmas Bloggers Bake Off: Mincemeat Flapjacks

Hands up, who has a jar or 1/2 jar left of mincemeat in your cupboard? I did and I am sure many of you do too. This year I was determined to put my leftover mincemeat to good use. With a baby due any day now (hopefully ASAP!!) I have been looking for easy to make filling snacks that I can eat while chasing round after a toddler and a newborn baby. This fits the bill nicely and I think it proves that mincemeat is not just for Christmas but can be used all year round to make delicious treats!

Mincemeat Flapjacks (makes 12-16 small squares)

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 300-350g mincemeat
  • 350g jumbo oats
  • 100g glaice cherries, chopped

Method

  1. In a saucepan, put the butter, golden syrup and mincemeat and heat gently until melted. Turn off the heat.
  2. Stir the oats and glaice cherries in until well combined. Then pour into a foil Traybake tin (from Lakeland) or a well lined small roasting dish.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top.
  4. Allow to cool completely then cut into squares. Eat and enjoy!

Thank you to Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from The Crazy Kitchen for hosting the Christmas Bake Off.

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off – The Masterclass: Sticky Ginger & Treacle Traybake

The Great British Bake Off is now finished until sometime next year, however Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from The Crazy Kitchen gave us the whole month of November to make anything from the series that we wanted to make again or try for the first time. As ever, I am leaving it until the last minute to link up and take part.

After watching the four Masterclass episodes I decided to make Mary Berry’s ginger and treacle spiced Traybake. I liked the look of the combination of flavours and thought it was very different to the usual traybakes that you see around. It was very easy to make and I only made one adaptation to the recipe. I added in a teaspoon of dried ginger instead of the mixed spice and allspice as I did not have any in. I think the recipe needed the extra ginger in it to work, however I really love ginger! I took this into work on Wednesday for my last day in the office before maternity leave. Everyone loved it and it disappeared very quickly!!

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 9 – Easy Charlotte Royale

This week, the four remaining contestants on the Great British Bake Off were challenged to make savoury canapés, a Charlotte Royale and an Opera cake. As ever, Helen from The Crazy Kitchen and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps are challenging us to do the same.

Time has been a bit tight this week as I have been doing lots of baking for the Nearly New Sale of my local NCT branch. I made 4 large trays of Rocky Road, a chocolate sponge cake and 18 large cupcakes. I liked the look of the Charlotte Royale as soon as I saw them, however I do not have the time or the inclination to make them in the Classic French way as shown in the programme. Therefore the recipe below is my easy (otherwise called lazy!) version of a Charlotte Royale. I presented the finished Charlotte Royal in my sunning new cake stand from the cookware department at Debenhams. I think it looks lovely and shows the cake off really well.

Easy Charlotte Royale

Ingredients

  • 1 large jam Swiss roll or 2/3 small ones, cut into 1 1/2 cm rounds
  • 184ml tub of double cream
  • 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small handful of strawberries, chopped and stalk removed
  • Small handful of raspberries

Method


  1. Line a small Pyrex bowl with cling film. Place the Swiss roll rounds in the bowl to form a wall and completely cover the bowl. Ensure the Swiss roll rounds are close together so no cream will come out.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk up the double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks are formed. Gently stir in the fruit then carefully put into the Charlotte Royale shell.
  3. Put more Swiss rolls on top then cover with cling film. Then put in the fridge overnight weighed down (I used a large saucepan old and two time).
  4. Once set overnight, carefully remove the Charlotte Royale from the bowl onto a plate/cake stand. Put back in the fridge though if you are not going to eat straight away otherwise the cream will start to soften. Eat and enjoy!

Disclosure: I received the cake stand to review from Debenhams. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 7: Spotted Dick

This week, the Great British Bake Off contestants were challenged to make a suet pudding, Religieuseand a selection of puff pastry treats. Jenny of Mummy Mishaps and Helen of The Crazy Kitchen are asking us bloggers to do the same. As pastry is my nemesis, I decided to stick with suet as I have generally found it to be quite easy to work with.

I have always loved traditional steamed suet puddings such as treacle sponge and spotted dick made for me by my nan since I was a little girl. She always made them in the traditional manner but steaming the puddings in a saucepan, however due to the demands of modern life, I do not have the time to do this so I made mine in a microwave instead. I was interested to see how the taste would be affected compared to my Nan’s. I decided to make Spotted Dick as I have not had it got ages and have never made my own. This has got to be the most easiest and the least attractive of my bakes so far. The recipe below reminds me of Spotted Dick’s from my childhood but does seem to be missing something so if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Microwave Spotted Dick

Ingredients (serves 1 hungry person)

  • 25g of sultanas or currants
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • 25g soft unsalted butter
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g self raising flour
  • 25g shredded suet
  • 1 egg
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • Custard to serve

Method

  1. In a cup or a small bowl, put the currants and the water in the microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds to plump up the currants
  2. Put all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Add in the currants and their water and mix again.
  3. Pour the mix into a greased small pudding bowl and put in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until cooked through and leave to stand for 2 minutes.
  4. Serve with the custard

PS: I have lots of things to blog about other than the Great Bloggers Bake Off. I just have not had much time recently. Please bear with me.

PPS: Many thanks to Debenhams and Home Bargains for sending me some baking stuff recently. I will be using it in another post soon

 

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 6: Belgian Buns

This week, the Great British Bake Off contestants had to tackle sweet dough in the form of a tea loaf, a Couronne and sweet buns. As ever, Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from The Crazy Kitchen are asking us to do the same.

I love sweet dough but do not get the chance to make it very often so I seized this opportunity and made one of my favourites, Belgian buns. A brief search on the Internet brought lots of recipes for Chelsea buns but not many for Belgian buns. I eventually settled on this one from Riverside Baking as it only made 6 (or my case 7!) Most of the recipes I found made 12 or 13 buns. This would not normally be a problem but as I am pregnant and craving sweet things, I do not want that many in the house as I will eat them!!

I adapted the recipe slightly. I used bread flour instead of plain and made the dough in my breadmaker. I put all the dough ingredients in at once (wet ingredients first) then put my breadmaker on dough setting. I followed the recipe from that point on but added extra glaice cherries into the dough with the sultanas. They are the best bit of a Belgian bun in my opinion! I overcooked them by a minute or two so they are slightly crisper than what they should be. I enjoyed making these and look forward to making them again soon!

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 1: Rhubarb & Custard Sandwich Cake

The lovely Jenny of Mummy Mishaps and Helen of The Crazy Kitchen have created a new linky for all bloggers who are fans of the Great British Bake Off. Each week, we have to cook something related to that week’s challenges on the show. This week it was cake and the contestants had to make sandwich cakes, an Angel Food cake and a chocolate creation. I would of loved to have attempted an Angel Food cake but being a bit short of time, I did not feel brave enough to give it ago.
Inspired by one of the contestants on the show and determined to take the normal Victoria Sponge to the next level, I have dreamed up a rhubarb and custard sandwich cake. This recipe is a hybrid between my normal sandwich cake recipe and Nigella’s custard birthday sponge. I am not going to put the full recipe down as I mostly followed the Victoria sponge recipe for the cake. I only added a couple of tablespoons of custard powder to the mix at the same time as the flour. I followed Nigella’s recipe for the buttercream with an added bit of yellow food colouring to make it more custard like. The rhubarb (from my Nan’s garden) in the middle was roasted for about 20 minutes in a hot oven with a tablespoon of caster sugar, mashed up slightly with a fork and then cooled. The top is decorated with more buttercream using the duo icing kit from Lakeland.
I served the cake this morning at my local NCT branch coffee group. Everyone loved it. It is one I will make again. :-)

 

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