Monday, 29 October 2012

Chelsea Buns

After seeing my chum Chloe's Chelsea buns on her blog (seen here: http://the-dodo-bakes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/paul-hollywoods-chelsea-buns.html) I really fancied giving them a go! 

Ingredients for the dough
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 sachet of yeast
300ml milk
40g unsalted butter
1 egg
For the filling
melted butter
zest of 1 orange
75g soft brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
150g dried apricots
150g sultanas
For the topping
2 tbsp apricot jam
a dash of water
1. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and put the yeast in there. Warm the milk and butter in a small pan and add to the flour. Then add the egg. Mix together to form a soft dough.
2. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is soft and no longer sticky. 
3. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to prove for an hour.
4. Tip the dough out and knock back. Roll out into a large rectangle. Butter the dough, then sprinkle the zest, sugar, cinnamon and fruit on. Tack down the closest side of the rectangle. Roll the opposite long side towards you until the whole roll is tight and complete. Cut into 10 (or 12 if you're me and made your roll too long) Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 170. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn them around so all the buns colour evenly. Bake for another 10 minutes. 
6. Melt the jam in a small saucepan with a dash of water until smooth. Pour over the buns to glaze. 

Ta da!

Quite pleased with them, considering they're my first attempt at an enriched dough. Will be taking them for my chums to eat this evening, hopefully they go down well! X Bo

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Chocolate Tea Cakes

There is no bigger compliment, in my opinion, than being told that my blog makes people hungry. So, just wanted to say a little thank you for reading! 

And now, tea cakes! I saw them on GBBO and then saw Paul & Mary make them on their masterclass show and felt like giving them a go! They were very time consuming and challenging but so so so rewarding. I didn't have the right kind of mould as I couldn't find a domed one but the rose one I found worked well and looked amazing, if I do say so myself!

Ingredients for the shells
400g dark chocolate
For the digestive biscuits
50g plain flour
50g plain wholemeal flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder 
25g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter, diced
2 tbsp milk
For the marshmallow
3 free range egg whites
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

1. Break up 300g of the dark chocolate and melt it over a pan of boiling water. Leave to cool and firm up slightly.
2. Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flours, salt, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add the milk and work with your hands until it comes together to make a smooth ball of dough.
3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out thinly. Cut out 6 biscuits using a round cutter. Arrange slightly apart on baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper. Prick each biscuit a few times with a fork. Chill for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 140. 
4. Bake for 12 minutes until firm and just starting to colour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. Spoon a bit of melted chocolate into the moulds and spread up the sides using the back of a spoon until the moulds are completely covered. (Take your time doing this!) Leave to set but not in the fridge.
6. Dip the biscuits into the remaining melted chocolate to cover them completely. Leave to set on a piece of greaseproof paper. 
7. To make the marshmallow, put all the ingredients in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk with an electric hand mixer on full power for 6 minutes. until you have a bowl of thick, glossy, silky-smooth and thick meringue. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk for a few minutes until cool. Leave until it's completely cold then spoon into a piping bag.
8. Melt the remaining 100g of chocolate and spoon into another piping bag. 
9. To assemble the tea cakes, snip the end off the end of the piping bag and pipe the marshmallow into the moulds until 3/4 full. Cut the end off the other piping bag and pipe a small amount of chocolate on top of the marshmallow and around the edge of the mould. Place the biscuit on top and leave to set completely.
10. Very carefully remove the chocolate tea cakes from the mould.

My rose mould

Melted chocolate, cooling

Digestives, after baking

Cooling moulds

Chocolate digestives



All piped and ready



I was very pleased with how they turn out, only one broke coming out of the mould.They were very, very sweet but totally delicious! X Bo

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bread Revisited

Recipe for this Rupenzel-inspired loaf can be find in the archive but I thought I'd post a picture of today's celebratory bread (I passed my theory driving test today!) 

I watched the GBBO Masterclass this week and picked up some great tips from Mr Hollywood! If you just hold, squeeze and pull the ends of excess dough off you can make very neat ends! Magick X Bo

Spiced Flapjack

It's been a while but I'm here. I've been baking again! Cracking out the cosy recipes now... 

115g unsalted butter
70g muscovado sugar
5 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon 
180g porridge oats

1. Preheat the oven to 130. Put the butter, sugar, syrup, ginger and cinnamon in a large pan. Stir with a wooden spoon over a low heat until melted. Remove from the heat then stir in the oats until thoroughly combined. 
2. Tip the mixture into a greased 20cm square tin. Smooth down. (I use a potato masher to get a even top!) Bake for 25 minutes. Leave to cool, then cut into squares.

Ta da! 

Couldn't wait until it had cooled to have some... It's very crumbly and didn't hold it's shape at all after cutting. Maybe I should've baked it longer but it tasted lovely! More to follow today... X Bo

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


In honour of the GBBO final I made Madeleines! This is a Rick Stein recipe I've had for yonks! Always works!

3 eggs
100g sugar
zest of 1 lemon
100g melted butter
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp honey
1. Put the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat together until thick and mousse-like. Add the lemon zest. 
2. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in. Then add the butter and honey. Leave in the fridge for 15 minutes to thicken.
3. Prehear the oven to 150. Brush 2 madeleine trays with melted butter. Fill the moulds 3/4 full with mixture and bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden brown. Leave to cool. 

Ta da! I only have 1 madeleine tray so I had to do it 2 batches so the bake was a bit uneven. They are very lemony but it's good! Took some into work and my pal & I ate a lot this evening watching the final... Was rooting for James all series but didn't mind John winning! X Bo

Treacle Tart

Mary Berry's recipe. Made this for a night in with some chums. Went down very well with some Vanilla Ice Cream! 

Ingredients for the pastry
250g plain flour
130g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
icy water
egg, to glaze
For the filling
400g golden syrup
150g white breadcrumbs
zest and juice of 2 lemons

1. To make the pastry, put the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in enough icy water to bring the ingredients together and make a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes. 
2. Cut off 150g of the chilled pastry, chill and set aside for the lattice. Roll out the rest of the pastry and line a 18cm flan tin. Prick the base of the pastry lined case with a fork.
3. To make the filling, gently warm up the syrup in a large pan until runny. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and lemon zest and juice. Leave to cool then pour into the pastry case.
4. Preheat the oven to 180. Roll out the pastry into a large rectangle and cut into strips. Make a woven lattice over the filling. Trim the edges of the strips and press onto the rim. Brush with beaten egg. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 160 and bake for a further 30 minutes. Leave to cool. 

It was very sunny when I took the photo so it looks paler than it was!

Wasn't very thorough glazing the tart with egg so it came out a bit patchy. Had never made this before so was very pleased it went so well! Need to make my lattice a bit neater for next time though... X Bo

Friday, 12 October 2012

White Chocolate, Coffee and Macadamia Torte

Once again, I decided to make something from the GBBO cookbook. I'd seen this recipe being made on the show by Cathryn and thought it looked yummy! The result looks pretty because of the feathering technique applied to the ganache. Mine went a bit funny!

Ingredients for the sponge
200g macadamia nuts
75g ground almonds
200g white chocolate

8 egg yolks
6 egg whites
180g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp milk
For the filling
1 tbsp brandy

1 tbsp espresso powder
250g mascarpone
For the ganache
170g white chocolate

100ml double cream
2 tsp brandy
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

1. Preheat the oven to 160. Line the base of two loose-based 20.5cm cake tins with baking paper. Grind the macadamia nuts in a food processor, watch until they start to clump together then stop. Tin onto a baking-paper-lined plate and leave to dry out for about 5 minutes. Then add the ground almonds.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and leave to cool. Put the 8 egg yolks, sugar and vanilla paste in a mixing bowl and whisk using an electric mixer until thick. Fold in the nuts with a metal spoon. Then add the melted chocolate and the milk. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add into the other mixture in three batches. 
3. Divide between the tins and bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tins to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and leave until cold.
4. To make the filling, dissolve the espresso powder in the brandy. Then add the mascarpone. Cover and chill.
5. To make the ganache, heat the cream until almost boiling then pour over the chocolate and stir until melted. (I had to pop mine over a pan of boiling water to finish melting the chocolate.) When the chocolate is smooth and glossy, add the brandy. Spoon a quarter of the mixture into another bowl and add the espresso powder. Leave both to thicken. 
6. To assemble, place one of the sponges upside down on a plate. Cover that in the mascarpone filling, then pop the other sponge on top. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake.
7. Spoon the coffee ganache in a disposable piping bag and snip the end off. Pipe parallel lines across the torte. Feather with a cocktail stick or cake skewer across the lines, left to right, right to left etc. Leave in the fridge to set. 

I found this to be a very time consuming and complex recipe. To be fair, I didn't make it easy for myself by not having two of the right size tin, so had to bake the cakes separately. I also didn't line the tins right, so the crinkled edge of the paper effected the edge of my torte. My ganache was also not set enough so ran off the sides and was a bit thin on top. I really enjoyed the feathering, it was very effective! And, the biggest disappointment was I didn't really enjoy it... The flavours all worked well together but I didn't enjoy the nutty, grainy texture of the sponges. Oh well! 

Lots of baking planned for this week so will be posting again soon! X Bo

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Toffee Nut Shortbread

Another recipe from the GBBO cookbook... They said to use flaked almonds but I didn't have any in the cupboard so I used almonds and macadamia nuts instead! 

Ingredients for the base
175g plain flour

pinch of salt
3 tbsp caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 egg york
For the topping
100g unsalted butter
100g almonds
100g macadamia
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp whipping cream

1. To make the base, put the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and gently work into a dough. 
2. Line a 20x30cm tray with baking paper. Crumble the dough into the tin and spread evenly. Flour your fingers and press the mixture down. Prick with a fork and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170. Bake the shortbread base for 12 minutes until pale golden brown. 
3. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the nuts, sugar and honey. Stir thoroughly and cook until bubbling. Stir in the cream. Bring back to a simmer and cook for about a minute. Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and spread evenly.
4. Return to the oven for another 12 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool. Then cut into 12 pieces. 

Ta da!

There wasn't a picture in the cookbook so I hope this is how it's supposed to look! It tasted lovely anyway! X Bo

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Chocolate Mocha Marble Cake!

Once again, I decided to venture in to the new GBBO cook book and make something tasty out of there on my day off! This time, it was the chocolate mocha marble cake with white chocolate ganache. 

Ingredients for the sponge
250g unsalted butter, softened 
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, beaten
250g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
For the chocolate mixture
30g cocoa powder

2 tbsp milk
For the coffee mixture
1 tbsp coffee powder
           desolved in
1 tbsp boiling water

Chocolate chips
For the ganache
100g white chocolate
80ml whipping cream
20g butter

1. First, make the sponge mixture! Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until very creamy. Gradually add the sugar and then the vanilla. 
2. Gradually add the eggs, one tablespoon at a time, beating well with every addition. When you're down to the last two spoonfuls, add one tablespoon of flour too. This keeps it from curdling. 
3. Add the remaining flour and salt into the bowl and fold in using a metal spoon. Then divide the mixture into two bowls. Add the cocoa powder and milk to one and mix. Then add the coffee to the other and mix. 
4. Spoon both mixtures into a loaf tin (mine was 20x12x8) adding a spoonful of each alternately and scattering chocolate chips in between each layer. Gently drop the tin on the worktop to eliminate any air pockets. Using a skewer or a chop stick, marble the cake by swirling it through the layers. 
5. Preheat the oven to 160. Bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours until the cake is well risen and a tester comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes, still in the tin. Then take out of the tin and leave to cool completely. 
6. While the cake is cooling, chop the chocolate for the ganache and put in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter until hot, but not boiling. Then pour it over the chocolate and leave to stand, then stir until completely melted, smooth and glossy. 
7. Leave to thicken for about an hour, until it is spreadable. Then put on top of your cake! It should keep for 5 days, if it lasts that long!

My cake was still slightly warm when I put my ganache on top so it ran down the sides a little. The chocolate chips melt which is lovely as you get little gooey bursts of chocolate!  I thought the white chocolate ganache would be too sweet but it compliments the dark chocolate and coffee cake very well. 

Ta da!

Just a very yummy cake, really! X Bo