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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Peanut butter and chocolate cookie sandwiches!

Sunday is my baking day. Today I woke up with a craving for peanut butter cookies and I love tiny cookies sandwiched together with delicious ganache or buttercream. So I created these!
Ingredients for cookies

125g soft unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
75g golden caster sugar
150g peanut butter
1 egg
175g self raising flour
For buttercream
50g softened butter
110g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
hot water

Method
1. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 160. 
2. Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the peanut butter and egg. Add the flour to make a dough.
3. Chill for an hour or so to make the dough easier to handle. Roll into tiny balls and place on the prepared baking trays. Using a fork, flatten the dough balls and make a criss-cross pattern.
4. Bake for 12/15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
5. While the cookies are baking, make the buttercream. Cream the butter until soft. Then add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix together. Add a little water to get it to the right consistency. 
6. Once the cookies are cooled, spread some buttercream on a cookie and sandwich together with another a similar size. 
























These are a perfect accompaniment for a cup of tea or coffee on a sunny Sunday afternoon X Bo 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Black Forest Smoothie!

I recently downloaded the NHS Smart Choices recipe app. I made this smoothie for me and my friend Gail after our evening run tonight. 

Ingredients

1 large banana
150g frozen berries
150g low-fat natural yogurt
750ml milk
Method
1. Cut up the banana and put into a blender along with the berries (there is no need to thaw them beforehand) 
2. Add the yogurt and milk and blend for 15-20 seconds until all mixed together and a deep lilac colour. Serve immediately. 


























I would recommend sieving after blending too as you still get little bits of berry and banana that don't totally break down and I hate drinks with lumps! X Bo

Sunday, 6 April 2014

John Whaite's chocolate madeleines!

I finally had chance to make one of John Whaite's recipes from his demo today! I first made madeleines when I was 12 after seeing Rick Stein make them on his French Odyssey program in 2005. I was fascinated to see how John made them with chocolate and they were delicious. 

Ingredients
150g egg (approx. weighed out of their shells)
150g caster sugar (approx. should be equal to the eggs)
135g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
150g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
200g melted chocolate
Method
1. Grease a madeleine tray with melted butter and chill. 
2. Whisk eggs and sugar with an electric mixer to the ribbon stage. This is when you lift the beaters up and trail a ribbon of mixture it stays on the surface for a second or two. Sift the flour and cocoa powder in and fold in, along with the melted butter, using a spatula or metal spoon. Chill for an hour. 
3. Preheat the oven to 170 (fan) Pipe the madeleine mixture into the tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the tin immediately and set on a wire rack to cool. 
4. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Dip half of each of the madeleines in the melted chocolate. 

























Watch this space for more of John's recipes from the course I went to and his new book! X Bo

John Whaite bakes at Denman College!

Any regular readers or friends of mine will tell you how much I love the Great British Bake Off. I became obsessed while watching the third season and fell in love with all the bakers. When Cathryn and Sarah-Jane had their cake stall in the Carfax in Horsham, where I live, I went most weeks. They were both lovely and very friendly. For Christmas this year I received John Whaite's book and I got James Morton's bread book for my Dad! 
So when I got tickets to see John Whaite, the winner of season three, I was very excited. 
I went with my parents to Denman College in Abingdon. It's a campus for members of the WI to go to do courses in everything! Baking, sewing, etc. Some courses are open to everyone, like this one... although my Dad was still the only man in the room, apart from John! 

John did three bakes, all of which will feature on my blog at some point soon! He made chocolate madeleines, cranberry and orange scones and passion fruit meringue tarlets. 

 























During the demo John was answering questions and told us about the Bake Off application process, which I found fascinating. It sounds crazy how many interviews and auditions they have to go through before even meeting Mary and Paul! After the demo I was able to snap this picture of John's bakes before the WI ladies devoured them! (John himself posted it on his Instagram account and now follows me on Twitter!) 

After the demo John signed a few books and spoke to us individually. It was great to meet him and he even remembered me from a tweet I sent him about looking forward to going to the course! He signed my copy of his new book 'John Whaite Bakes at Home' 

























As Abingdon is close to Oxford we went to visit my sister in the afternoon. It was a perfect day! Hopefully I'll be able to go to more demos, Cake and Bake shows and Good Food festivals this/next year! X Bo