Category Archives: Great British Bake Off

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 3: Ciabatta

This week was the third week of the Great British Bake Off and the bakers had to make bread. They had to make rye rolls, ciabatta and filled centrepiece loaves. I do not like rye loaves and although I wanted to make a filled loaf, time is as always short so I made ciabatta instead. Ciabatta is my husband’s favourite and I have made it a couple of times before at bread courses I have been too.

I looked in my recipe books and online to find the best ciabatta recipe for me. Based on my previous experience, some of the recipes seemed over complicated so I looked to the Master, Mr Hollywood himself and found this recipe here. I made no changes to the recipe except for making it in my Magimix CS 4200 XL food processor. The food processor has a bread mixer which, according to the instructions, can make and knead bread in a minute or so. I was slightly sceptical about this so left for about 2 minutes in the machine and then took it out and left it to rise. Taking it out of the food processor was the hardest job of the entire procedure. It’s a very sticky dough and it was hard to move it from the food processor bowl to a normal bowl for rising.

I left the ciabatta to rise for 3 hours despite the recipe saying to only leave it for 2 hours. During the show, Paul Hollywood told the bakers to be patient and the one who left it the longest to rise was the best in the technical challenge so I took his advice. My electric fan oven is quite fierce so the ciabatta only took 20 minutes to bake. The ciabatta was delicious and perfect for dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar or for making into a steak sandwich for dinner, like we did on the day I made them. I will definitely will be making this ciabatta recipe again soon. It was easy and so quick to make!

As always I am linking to Mummy Mishaps and Supergolden Bakes

Disclosure: I was sent the Magimix food processor for review. All options are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

 

 

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 2: Nut Free Florentines

This week was the second week of the Great British Bake Off and the bakers were challenged to make biscuits. They started with savoury biscuits, had to make Florentines for the technicial challenge and finished with a 3D biscuit tower! I am baking along with the bake off again this year, along with Jenny of Mummy Mishaps and Lucy of Super Golden Bakes and many others.

Due to time constraints, a 3D biscuit tower was a bit beyond my reach and savoury biscuits are not really my thing either, so I settled on making Florentines. The only problem is that I do not really like nuts which are one of the main ingredients in a Florentines. After a bit of internet searching, I discovered that a few people had used oats instead of nuts. I also added in a bit of extra dried fruit into my recipe to give extra flavour and make up for lack of nuts. The traditional way of covering the Florentines with chocolate is to use a spoon to put it on the back and then make a swirl pattern with a fork. As my Florentines were anything but traditional, I decided to go for the dunking/smothering half the biscuit in chocolate approach. The majority of my Florentines are probably the fatter cousin’s of traditional Florentines, however a couple of them did have the lace effect that they normally. You just need to only put a small amount of mix for each one and flatten it slightly before baking. My NCT friends loved the biscuits and box was devoured in record time!!!

Nut Free Florentines

Ingredients (makes 12-14 biscuits)

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 10g plain flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 65ml double cream
  • 80g jumbo oats
  • 50g candied peel
  • 50g mixed dried fruit
  • 25g glacé cherries, chopped
  • Milk chocolate, melted (I used 2 small child’s Easter Eggs worth but use what you have in the house)

Method

 

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C and line two baking trays with baking parchment or grease proof paper
  2. In a heavy base saucepan, melt the butter, sugar and flour together then add the double cream. Keep stirring throughout
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients (except the chocolate) into the saucepan and stir well
  4. Place teaspoons of the mix on the lined baking trays, well spaced apart and flatten down slightly
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 – 14 minutes (mine took 14 minutes) and then remove. Allow the biscuits to harden on the grease proof for a few minutes before putting onto a wire rack to cool completely. (I carefully removed the greaseproof paper with the biscuits on off the hot tray then used a palette knife to move them onto a wire rack).
  6. Once cooled completely, dip or spread the chocolate over them and allow to cool again so chocolate can set. Eat and enjoy with a cup of coffee and good company

Thank you to Getting Personal for my fabulous new personalised board from the Jamie Oliver range. I love it!!

 

Disclosure: I was sent the personalised board as a review item. A full review will be appearing soon. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014 Week 1: Swiss Roll

Unless you have been living on Mars, you cannot have failed to notice that The Great British Bake Off is now back on our screens. Like last year, Jenny of Mummy Mishaps is challenged bloggers to cook along with the bakers each week and blog the results. This week was cake week and the contestants had to make a Swiss Roll, a cherry cake and 36 miniature cakes.

I was going to do the easy option of miniature cakes but Jenny encouraged me to have a go at making a Swiss Roll. I decided to keep it traditional and hopefully easy so went with this recipe from Queen Delia. I made the sponge in my Magimix CS 4000 XL food processor, putting all the ingredients in together and then mixing it. Bar from that, I followed the recipe to the letter and it worked quite well until the ‘rolling’ stage. I am not really sure what happened. It did not really roll, it just sort of folded, despite following Delia’s advice.
Despite this, the sponge was light, airy and very tasty. I took the Swiss Roll (I nicknamed it the ‘Swiss Sandwich’ to a picnic with friends. It was soon devoured and declared delicious! I will have ago at making a Swiss Roll again as I was surprised at how easy it was to make. I just might follow a different method for rolling it!

 

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!!

 

The BBC Good Food Show Winter is This Week!!


From Wednesday to Sunday of this week, the BBC Good Food Show Winter will be at the NEC, near Birmingham. My big bump and I are visiting on Friday and we are looking forward to seeing:
  • Lakeland are back at the show – they're sponsoring the free of charge Saturday Kitchen Stage and will have a shop at the show too where visitors can find the latest gadgets, Christmas gifts and baking essentials.
  • All the Great British Bake Off contestants from all series have been invited to the show, and many can be found demonstrating on the free of charge The Great British Bake Off Stage, along with GBBO Village with a fantastic selection of companies demonstrating, sampling and selling baking supplies, ingredients, equipment, baked treats and more!
  • The World Cheese Awards are being judged on the Wednesday of the show with over 3000 cheeses from all over the world on display. There'll be a tasting shop too for cheese fans to taste and buy their favourite cheeses.
  • Lots of small artisan producers where visitors can find some unusual that they won't find on the high street. We can stock up for Christmas on luxurious drinks, smoked salmon, juicy hams, free range turkeys, bacon, fizz etc.

If you want to join in the fun but have not got a ticket yet, you can use the discount code below to get 15% off the ticket price until Sunday. This offer comes to you, my readers as I am part of the Good Food Show Bloggers Community.

 


A few weeks ago, along with my fellow Good Food Show bloggers (Gingey Bites, Annie Ko, The Foodie Couple Blog & Glamour in the County) and our organiser and font of knowledge of everything to do with the Good Food Show, Katy of Fabulous Food Finds, we went to Fiesta del Asado for lunch. While we were there, owner and chef Aktar Islam was in the kitchen practicing cooking his dishes for the next series of Great British Menu. He wouldn't tell us what he was cooking but it looked very interesting!

While we were there, we ate a vast array of amazing food including fried whitebait, padron peppers, baby back ribs, grilled chicken, lamb and a couple of varieties of sausages, all served with homemade bread, fries with parsley and garlic, orange and fennel salad and Malbec sauce. It was delicious and I cannot wait to go back there again soon!

At the end of our meal, Nikki of Convivium Wines told us about an exciting new wine tasting concept that you can try at the Good Food Show called WineTubeMap. The basic idea of the map is that you find a wine (station) that you like then travel further up or down that line to find similar wines that you may like too. It is a really simple idea and I am sure it will be really popular at the show as it makes wine tasting much simpler and enjoyable to understand.

I hope you have a great time at the show if you are going. Please say hello to me and my bump on Friday if you are there then!!!

Thank you to Katy and the Good Food Show bloggers community for an amazing meal at Fiesta del Asado.

Disclosure: The meal at Fiesta del Asado was complimentary. I am attending the BBC Good Food Show Winter on a complimentary press pass. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.


 

 

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 5: Double Chocolate Malteaser Traybake

This week, the contestants on the Great British Bake Off were challenged to make a traybake, tuiles and a biscuit tower. As ever, the lovely Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from The Crazy Kitchen are asking us to make the same.

I love a good traybake and my Rocky Road recipe is regularly made by myself and many of my friends and family. However, I felt like doing something different and a Malteaser traybake sprang to mind. I love Malteasers but have never really used them in baking before. This is a really easy recipe and is something that older children could help out with, as long as they are supervised.

Double Chocolate Malteaser Traybake

Ingredients

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 400g milk chocolate, in chunks
  • 350g of Malteasers, (250g bashed into small pieces with rolling pin, 100g or so left whole for the top)
  • 350g white chocolate, in chunks

Method

  1. In a non-stick saucepan, melt the butter, golden syrup and milk chocolate together on a low heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Once melted, add in the crushed Malteasers and pour into a lined 28cm small roasting tin. Flatten out the top as much as you can and put in the fridge to set for about 6 hours.
  3. Once the milk chocolate layer has set, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water) and pour in an equal layer over the milk chocolate base. Flatten it as much as you can and put the whole Malteasers in the top to decorate any way you like.
  4. Put back in the fridge for a couple of hours to set then cut into small squares and serve. Eat and enjoy!

PS: I did attempt some mini fruit pies to enter last week’s challenge but there were an absolute disaster. Pastry is my number 1 guaranteed failure in the kitchen and it happened again!!!

 

 

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 2: Garlic, Parmesan & Parsley Breadsticks

This week, the theme of the Great British Bake Off was bread. The contestants had to make breadsticks, English muffins and a shaped plaited loaf. I have been a bit busy this week due to my husband being in hospital (he is back home now) so went for the easy option of making breadsticks for the #greatbloggersbakeoff run by Helen of The Crazy Kitchen and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps.

My breadstick recipe is based on a pizza dough recipe and are very simple and easy to make. I used my breadmaker to make the dough but follow the instructions for normal pizza dough if you want to make them by hand. Children can help you put the topping on as long as they are not too generous with the garlic oil. The breadsticks passed the ‘snap’ trust but I do not think Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would be impressed as they are very inconsistent. I am very pleased for a first attempt though. I took them to my cousin’s 40th birthday party this afternoon and they all disappeared in about 30 minutes with everyone saying how lovely they were.

Garlic, Parmesan & Parsley Breadsticks

Ingredients (makes about 30)

  • 225g strong white flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 150ml cold water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried active yeast
  • Generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  • Small handful of Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

For the topping

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8-10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Small handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Extra Parmesan to grate on top
  • More olive oil to oil the baking tray

Method

  1. In a breadmaker, mix all the ingredients except the topping ones according to the manufacturers instructions. Use the dough or pizza dough setting on your breadmaker to get the dough ready
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until about the size of an A3 sheet of paper.
  3. In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic cloves with the salt and then add in the extra virgin olive oil and parsley. Stir until combined.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush the garlic and parsley oil over the dough in a thin layer. Grate some Parmesan evenly over the dough.
  5. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into long stick shapes to the thickness you desire. Place gently on an oiled baking sheet and allow to cook for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully as they can go from underdone to burnt very quickly.
  6. Remove from the baking sheet as soon as they are cooked and allow to cool to keep the texture right. Eat and enjoy :-)

 

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