Inspired by The Skint Foodie (one of my new favourite blogs), i decide to tackle a simple loaf of bread… actually I had reservations about how good the bread would turn out, as baking bread.. I am pretty out of practice… but wow did my expectations exceed me!
I adapted a classic recipe from Delia for my loaf, I hunted high and low for my bread tin, but nowhere to be found so instead I decided to go rustic and shape mine in to an oval folding the corners in underneath to create my shape. For my recipe I substituted the sugar for honey and used much less salt than advised 🙂
Don’t worry my fellow readers, i will be back soon and will have a new cake for you next week, a very special cake indeed!
Sorry i have been absent for a while. I have moved house to a new city and started a new job… so things have been busy! Also it was my birthday. So i thought i would share my Birthday cake my Mum made.
My Mum used a tried and tested recipe for success from Mrs Beeton, her chocolate cake sponge. It was so light and yummy! On the top she iced and decorated with chocolate eggs which spelt out my name.
I wanted to make a nice simple afternoon cake, so i decided to go for a fresh and light tasting apple cake, using Greek yoghurt to add to the lightness of the sponge, a perfect accompaniment for Mothering Sunday.
What You Need:
3 Large Granny Smith Apples peeled and chopped into cubes, 25ml Apricot Brandy, 300g Greek yoghurt (I used Total), 4 eggs, 1 and a quarter teasp of baking powder, 225g caster sugar, 400g plain flour, 125ml olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 180c.
First add the eggs and sugar to a bowl and whisk until combined, then add in the yoghurt, brandy and oil until you have a lovely runny batter. To the mixture then add the sieved flour and baking powder, mixing to form a thick luscious cake mixture. Finally fold in the the chopped apple, place in a greased 9” cake tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes. When done leave to cool, i drizzled over some left over cream cheese frosting.
Today is my dad’s birthday, so i decided to try out another cake recipe in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. All the recipes look delicious but the blueberry cake really caught my eye and I had never used a bundt pan before.
The recipe was really easy to follow, and it produces a big cake! 6 eggs are used in total and the shiny purple blueberries drift around the cake bursting and soaking the light sponge. To decorate it is dripped in cream cheese frosting, blueberries and lightly dusted with icing sugar.
What You Need: 350 g unsalted butter, 350 g caster sugar, 6 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 450g plain flour, 2 tbsp & 2 tsp baking powder, 280 ml soured cream, 250 g fresh blueberries, plus extra to dust.
Cream cheese frosting: 300 g icing sugar, sifted, 50 g unsalted butter, 125 g cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 170°C .
Grease and dust a 25 cm ring mould. Mix sugar and butter and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time while mixing well, be sure to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract, flour and baking powder until well mixed. Add the soured cream and mix well until everything is combined and the mixture is light and fluffy. Gently stir in the blueberries by hand until evenly dispersed. Pour the mixture into the ring mould and smooth over with a palette knife or a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the mould before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake is cold, cover the top and sides with Cream Cheese Frosting and decorate with more blueberries. Yum (^-^)
This months Apple Pie Project goes to my home country, England. Although the apple pie is seen as an American symbol, in England it is an historic dish which has been eaten for centuries. The British apple pie also has many differences to it’s American counterpart. Instead of a super sweet filing, the English pie is more tart and sour with a hint of sweetness, using good old large cooking apples, such as the Bramley. This apple is a vibrant green, the size of a fist (or larger), sour and juicy. Once the Bramley apple has been cooked its keeps a more stable form, rather than turning mushy, being hailed the apple ‘King of Covent Garden’.
I have decided to use a very famous British cookery writers recipe to illustrate the quintessential English apple pie. Mrs Beeton produced a very famous Victorian book on how to run the perfect household, and within it holds a wonderful collection of recipes, with useful hints and tips. Her apple pie recipe is simple, straight to the point and flawless, which for me represents traditional English cookery at its best. I also recommend every cook to own the book. (^-^)
Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to my personal challenge of the French macaroon. I bought all my ingredients and left them at work in the staff room, only to realise I had one weeks holiday and had to wait to go back and get the ingredients. However, as I waited I have been looking at many different macaroon recipes in the hopes that I would be able to perfect the previous disaster when making these French biscuits, and I have eventually got something to be proud of rather than a sticky runny mess (^-^)
I followed the same recipe as the French video I found last time (see it here), but with a few changes to make sure nothing went wrong this time.
This time I used a thick gel food colouring, which does not turn to liquid, keeping the mixture at the right consistancy. This colouring was more expensive than the usual kind but you can see better results. The second thing i also did to improve the recipe was to use an Italian meringue method instead of the quick simple way. This helped keep a thicker texture. I am really happy with my result and Its made me confident in tackling macaroons in the future. These ones have chocolate frosting. Yum (^-^)
After going to see the inspiring Chris Ofili exhibition at the Tate Britian I popped over to my favourite cafe Sacred, just off Carnaby Street to have a Chai Latte and to meet up with a good friend. The intensely sweet and spicy chai inspired me to make a tray of Chelsea Buns, sticky and gooey, perfect food for this wet and snowy weather. Very similar to it’s American counterpart, the cinnamon roll, the Chelsea Bun lies its origins in the 18th century London Borough of the same name.
What You Need: 15g of yeast, 15 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2x 400g plain flour, 2 eggs, 5 tablespoons of oil, 3 tablespoon of mixed spice, 1 banana, 50g sultanas, 50g dried morello cherries.
Firstly in a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and 7 tablespoons of sugar in warm water. Then add the salt and half of the flour, mix until well combined. After with a wooden spoon beat in the eggs and oil. Slowly add the remaining flour, until completely combined turning into a dough. On a floured surface knead until you have a smooth pliable dough. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around to coat in the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and prove in a warm place until it has expanded in size, around 35/40 minutes. Now prepare the filling, with the rest of the sugar, mix together with mixed spice (cinnamon, dried coriander seed, allspice, cloves and nutmeg). I have chosen to make three kinds, one with sultanas, the second with dried morello cherries and the third with banana.
Once the dough has proved, divide into twelve rolls/balls. With each individual ball roll into a oblong shape and sprinkle the sugar/spice mixture over. Add the dried fruit or banana and then roll up into a pinwheel and place into a greased baking tin. Make sure each one is around 1 inch apart from each other and leave to prove again for a further 35 minutes. Once the size has increased again (They will have joined) place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When done prepare a syrup of 3 tablespoon golden syrup and 50ml of water in a pan, pour the hot syrup over the buns in the tray and leave to cool. Pile onto a plate and eat, preferably with tea. (^-^)