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Great British Bake Off Technical Bake 2: Fortune Cookies

September 10, 2017

This week I’m siding with Kate who said what we were all thinking. Why would you make fortune cookies? I dunno, the only reason I can think of is that the fortunes inside them are so awful normally that you are desperate to put your own in. I can’t say I’ve ever thought to myself “I really want to give someone a fortune cookie but I just don’t want to risk the dodgy sentiments so I’ll make my own”. But y’know, if that’s a feeling you can sympathise with then here’s the recipe – go for it. Me, I’m going to stick to using this recipe for tuille biscuits (aka the biscuits that think they are pringles)

Anyway. I tried. I failed and I failed hilariously. I don’t have silicone mat, which made it particularly tricky but I think I also over whipped the eggwhites too. Or maybe I’m just rubbish at them. I think I can live with that. That said, my mate Bethany made them perfectly with no hassle. So yeah, probably blame the worker not the tools in this case. Here – have a giggle (these were by far the best of the bunch):

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Mummy Mishaps
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Great British Bake Off Technical Bake 1 – Chocolate Mini Rolls

September 10, 2017

Just like many others, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about GBBO in its new home on Channel 4 and with new hosts. I’ve watched it since the first year and part of me wondered whether maybe it was time to go out on a high. But, getting back after a training session at the athletics track on a Tuesday evening, I found myself rushing to tune in a see what this year’s batch of bakers had in store.

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These are NOT mine!

Yes Prue seems a bit reserved to start with and Noel and Sandi need to let loose a bit, but in general I’d say it’s fine at the moment. It’s not got that final bit of sparkle yet but the contestants are great as always and I think it might grow throughout the series. I do miss the history bits though. Yep. Geek.

Anyway, I’d also said to myself that I was done with the whole technical challenge bakealong thing. It was the Isles Flotantes that sealed it for me the other year. They’re not baking and they’re not nice and you can’t share them with people! But… then they wheeled out the mini rolls. I’ve tried about 5 times to make a swiss roll and I’ve only ever managed to make a tasty mess, but never a successful roll, so this appealed to the stubborn baker in me.

I’m not going to force myself to take great photos each week or indeed to write a big blurb (though this one would seem to suggest otherwise) but I think I’ll try and have a bash at them and see if I get all the way through.

The recipe for the mini rolls can be found here over at the official GBBO website.

My main observations would be:

  1. I think a ganache would work better for the coating. It’s pretty impossible to get them totally covered and lovely and smooth unless you use that OR a lot of extra chocolate and totally immerse them in dunking
  2. When you make the cocoa and hot water paster don’t do what I did and assume that you’ve read the recipe wrong. It’s REALLY thick and seems like it shouldn’t work but it does
  3. The actual cake batter is quite bitter, but that’s fine when it’s got a load of butter cream and covered in chocolate
  4. I’m not a huge fan of the mint-choc thing but trust Prue here. Just the tiniest hint of mint stops it being overpoweringly sickly
  5. They are very big for something that’s called mini
  6. Your kitchen will be entirely covered in chocolate by the end
  7. If you want GBBO perfection do use a piping bag for the white chocolate drizzle and don’t just flick it around the place like I did

 

Here’s mine:

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I’m baking along with other bloggers and MummyMishaps.co.uk

Mummy Mishaps

Home Sweet Home Bakealong 72: Cornflake Cookies

June 15, 2017

What. A. Joy.

These cookies were easy to make, did exactly what the recipe said they would and tasted good.  Get behind me Eton Mess Cupcakes, I shall call this a comeback.

This is a basic cookie, but in true Hummingbird bakery style it’s got a load of extra yummy and horrificly bad for you things thrown into the mixture as well. Namely sugar and malt-powder encrust cornflakes and a large amount of chocolate.

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It’s worth noting two things if you are going to make these:
1) Once you’ve made the caramelised cornflake mixture, don’t try it. If you do then you may find you have none left to put in the cookies. You may also get a horrific sugar crash.
2) I found that the mixture benefitted from 5 mins in the freezer before rolling into balls to bake. I also blasted them in the freezer again before baking and I think that helped them stay a sensible shape. I was baking on a hot  day though.

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Cornflake Cookies
from Home Sweet Home by the Hummingbird Bakery

Makes 18-22 cookies

For the cornflakes:
80g cornflakes
20g malt powder (e.g ovaltine or horlicks)
20g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
50g melted butter

For the dough:
225g softened butter
350g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g dark chocolate chips

First make the caramelised malt-cornflakes by crushing them, mixing with the dry ingredients and then the melted butter. Stir well and then pop on a lined baking tray to toast in the oven fi 10 mins at 170c

Meanwhile,  make the cookie dough (for copyright reasons you have to work this out)
Mix in the choc chips and cornflake mixture. (I then froze this for 5 mins)
Scoop into golf-ball sized balls and bake for up to 15mins at 170c.

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Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Soured Cream Pie (I’m skipping Apple and Blueberry cobbler until it’s colder weather)
#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

World Gin Day: Gin & Tonic Cupcakes

June 9, 2017

It’s World Gin Day tomorrow (10th June). If you’re based in the UK you might be of the opinion that this is particularly well timed. I could not possibly comment.

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In celebration of this, I made some Gin & Tonic Cupcakes for my monthly blog over at Rangemaster. The recipe below is slightly tweaked but mostly borrowed from the brilliant Bake It Instinct blog where there is also a very tempting recipe for Gin & Tonic Macarons. You can find a host of other gin based ideas at Charlottes Lively Kitchen and Good Housekeeping.

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Gin & Tonic Cupcakes

Makes 12-14

Ingredients 

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g baking margarine or butter
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 4 tbsp of a pre-mixed can of gin and tonic
  • 2 tbsp gin
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 500 – 650g icing sugar (i find the weather affects this)
  • Zest of two limes and a little juice
  • 4 tbsp gin
  • 2 more limes for the decoration

Method  

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c
  2. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Turn the mixer to slow and add the eggs one at a time
  4. Add a little flour if it starts to curdle
  5. Fold in the flour
  6. Stir in the gin & tonic mix
  7. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and fill about 2/3rds full
  8. Bake for 20mins until just golden (don’t let them go too brown as they will go hard)
  9. While the are cooling, prick them with a fork and drizzle the gin over

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To make the icing:

  1. Beat the butter until soft and then add the icing sugar
  2. Beat until light and fluffy, then beat some more!
  3. If it’s too wet, add more icing sugar – I made mine on a hot day and it needed loads more
  4. Beat in the gin and lime zest
  5. Pipe onto the cooled cakes and top with a slice of lime and some more zest

Home Sweet Home Bakealong 70: Eton Mess Cupcakes

May 29, 2017

After a pow-wow with Beckie we agreed that previous experience with custard/cream mix cupcake toppings meant that we were allowed to make adjustments and not risk another sloppy, bitty, garnish on our cakes. I foolishly though decided that I was going to try and get the better of that custard making and would have another bash. Little did I know that this would be the least of my worries.

This is as close as you’ll get to Eton Mess Cupcakes from me

IMG_1939For some reason, even though the cakes looked and felt cooked they weren’t. So when I let them cool they retracted into a stodgy lump. The custard was just about ok. Though on the edge of bitty again. But it was the cream that got me. I tried to whip some cream to fold into the custard. I tried to do that on the hottest day we’ve had in a long time. It skipped the whipped stage and went straight to butter. That’s ok I thought, I can use the tub I have in the freezer. So I defrosted it only to discover that double cream does *not* freeze. Ah well I thought. Maybe I can put some custard in the centres and then put a simple sugar icing and top with strawberries and meringue. But of course when I dug out the centre I realised how awful it was and when I took the strawberries out of the fridge I discovered that they had gone mouldy AND the overenthusiatic chiller had also frozen them.

I don’t like waste but I’m afraid this lot was wasted. I’m not going to try again, sorry. Onwards to the cornflake cookies!

Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Cornflake cookies
#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

Home Sweet Home Bakealong 69: Coconut Squares (Coconut Ice)

May 29, 2017

This brings back memories of childhood. Though I’m not sure it’s something you should let kids eat. Icing sugar, condensed milk, desiccated coconut and red food colouring – surely that’s a recipe for hyperactive children?

Anyway, it was in the list so I made it. It is literally as simple as mixing the ingredients above, splitting in half, colouring half pink and then layering and leaving to set at room temperature. It should look like this:

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But I didn’t factor in that I was using epic American strength food colouring. So mine looked more like I was showing an allegiance to Southampton United FC.

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I was going to show you, but I accidentally deleted the photo. It’s probably for the best.

Still, Mr B’s workplace woolfed it down pretty sharpish.

Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Eton Mess Cupcakes
#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

Home Sweet Home Bakealong #66: Red Velvet Roulade

May 12, 2017

I think I’ve found my baking mojo again, not as far as quality is concerned but at least as far as desire and actual output. This week I steeled myself to make a roulade, which I’m notoriously bad at. The red food colouring made the mixture curdle a bit which was odd. As you can see, it’s  bit of a mess, but it’s the opposite of last week’s bake because it’s light and moist. I’ve never managed to make a roulade which didn’t crack and this was no exception. It felt almost too moist but surely if I bake it longer the dryness will stop it rolling? Also, I have a query about Red Velvet. If you’re not putting much cocoa in, why bother at all? Surely you get a better red colour without it. I would have thought that it’s only if you’re using beetroot for the colour that you want cocoa to work the flavours out. With this little cocoa I’m not really sure you notice the taste.

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Red Velvet Roulade
from Home Sweet Home by the Hummingbird Bakery

For the sponge:
130g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
120ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
120g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp red gel paste colouring
30ml water

For the filling (I didn’t do this – I just made a lemon buttercream as our corner shop was out of cream cheese) 

250g full fate cream cheese
130g white chocolate, melted
50g unsalted butter, softened
50g icing sugar

32x32x2cm swiss roll tin

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Cream butter and sugar
Add egg
Weigh out dry ingredients
Mix wet ingredients (except egg)
Alternate adding wet and dry, finishing with wet
Spread onto lined baking tin and back at 180 for 25 mins
Cover with damp teacloth to cool a little, then cover with another sheet of baking parchment and roll up while you make filling

Beat filling ingredients (butter, sugar first then add rest) until fluffy
Unroll sponge, cover in filling, roll back up
Dust with icing sugar

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Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: tbc
#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlongM