Thursday, 21 November 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Yes, it's that time again and you know what that means... GINGERBREAD!! I went to visit my dear friend Fay for a spot of shopping in Portsmouth today and I took her a little treat. My recipe is unchanged (if it ain't broke, don't fix it) Original post found here: http://bakingbo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/iced-gingerbread-stars.html 

350g plain flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
pinch of salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g unsalted butter
150g dark muscovado sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
1. Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice, salt and bicarb into a mixing bowl. 
2. Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a saucepan. Melt until smooth then add to the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a dough.
3. Tip out onto a floured surface and knock into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge. 
4. Roll out and cut out star shapes. Re-roll and re-cut until you have used all the mixture. 
5. Preheat the oven to 160. Place the stars on a baking tray and bake to 10-12 minutes (It helps to rotate the baking trays half way through their cooking time to ensure an even colour.)
6. Move to a wire rack. Once cool, ice using royal icing in a piping bag. You could pipe dots, zig-zags, swirls, snowflakes onto your stars. 

I have done a few new designs on my biscuits this year, not all are seen here, I forgot to photograph them all when I made them last night! Enjoy! X Bo

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Butterscotch cake

After paying an extortionate amount for a slice of butterscotch cake in a cafe earlier this week and a lovely chat with my dear friend Kitty, I decided to make my own! The original recipe I used can be found here: http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/baking/cakes/butterscotch-sponge-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe However, I have tweaked it slightly! 

Ingredients for the cake
225g softened unsalted butter 
125g light muscavado sugar
100g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
For the sauce and frosting
25g unsalted butter
37g light muscavado sugar
25g granulated sugar
75g runny honey
60ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

200g cream cheese

1. Firstly, make the sauce. Put the butter, both sugars and honey in a small pan and melt over a low heat until smooth. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Leave to cool, ideally in the fridge, for a few hours or over night.
2. Add 8 spoonfuls of the sauce to the cream cheese and mix. Chill in the fridge to thicken.
3. To make the cake, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until soft. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Beat the eggs in, adding a little flour with each egg. Add the vanilla. Fold in any remaining flour with the milk. 
4. Line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 160. Pour the mixture in to the tin and bake for 50minutes-1 hour. 
5. Once the cake is cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture over the top. Drizzle with any remaining sauce, then feather the top. 

Ta da!

And there you go! A lovely rich butterscotch cake. X Bo

Thursday, 7 November 2013


After watching the GBBO final and masterclass, I decided I wanted to attempt making pretzels. Of course, I did the appropriate research and tasted one bought from the Co-Op, then decided to make my own. I used Paul Hollywood's recipe, found here on the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pretzels_71296

Ingredients for the dough

500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
7g yeast
40g softened butter
1 tbsp malt extract
280ml milk

21g bicarbonate of soda

7 litres boiling water
For the toppings
rock salt
sesame seeds
1. Add the flour, salt, yeast and butter to a bowl. In a jug, mix the malt extract with the milk and stir to dissolve. Add the milk mixture gradually and mix until a dough forms.
2. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and silky, although it is a very stiff dough. 
Place the dough in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to prove for 1 hour minimum, the longer the better. 
3. Preheat the oven to 180.
4. Once proved, turn the dough out and divide into 12 equal pieces. Using your hands, take each piece and roll into a long sausage, about 40-50 cm long. Then to shape the pretzels, make a U shape with the dough, then twist the two strands together twice, then pinch the loose ends down on opposite sides of the pretzels. 
5. Add the bicarbonate of soda to 7 litres of boiling water. Drop each pretzel in for 5 seconds, then place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt or sesame seeds while still wet, so that it sticks. 
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are a dark brown colour. 

Ta da! I was very pleased with how they turned out for a first attempt. Watch this space for new flavour combinations and more pretzels! X Bo