The Crazy Kitchen: September 2013

Popular Recipes

Strawberry Cheesecake Sundae Strawberry Cheesecake Pimms Pavlova Ciabatta Ice Cream Cupcakes Raspberry Tarts

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Best Toastie...EVER

A couple of weeks ago I attended a cooking event in London hosted by Warburtons. It was all about the sandwich and ways to be creative and make them more exciting, whether it be open or closed, brown or white, toasted or not.

There was a huge amount of ingredients to choose from, fresh meats and cheeses, fruits and vegetables and all the condiments you could dream of (well almost), along with Warburtons square(ish) wraps and sandwich thins

 photo warburtonsingredients_zpscee19f0a.jpg

Our challenges were to create sandwiches, using the ingredients available, along the themes of 'flavour pairings', 'British with a twist' and 'International sandwiches'. There were some really interesting combinations and flavours created, including chocolate & bacon (oddly nice), mango salsa and roast beef, fish & chips to name a few.

My sandwiches were :

  • Hot peppers, beef and chocolate
  • Cheese & Pickle with a twist - Mozzarella and Lime Pickle
  • Brie, Walnut, Honey & Rocket
  • PB & J stack - with a twist as there was no jam so I used cranberry sauce instead, which is a good alternative at Christmas!
  • My all time favourite toastie - Banana, Cheese, Chilli & Mango Chutney. This may sound very odd but it is amazing and one that I eat quite often. It was met with scepticism at first but one bite changed their minds and amazingly it was awarded first prize!
I even managed to convince the taxi driver that it was the best toastie ever and he said he couldn't wait to get home and make one.

 photo warburtonssandwiches2_zpsf3bac368.jpg

The following day, armed with some Warburtons square wraps I made one for my lunch. If you do fancy being brave and trying it for yourself you will need the following :

2 slices of bread or square wrap
1 banana, sliced
cheddar cheese, sliced
a few slices of fresh chilli (or dried chilli flakes)
Mango chutney
  • Lay the ingredients onto one slice of bread or on 1/3 of the wrap
  • Lay another slice of bread on top, or fold the wrap over to enclose the ingredients
  • Place in a sandwich toaster, panini press or in a frying pan and cook until the cheese has melted
  • Enjoy!
 photo chillicheesebanana_zps9770ca9f.jpg photo chillicheesebanana2_zps19b250e7.jpg photo chillicheesebanana3_zpsd6e4f992.jpg

I received expenses to allow me to attend the event, as well as some samples

Friday, 27 September 2013

Nutella Iced Buns

I love it that Great British Bake Off have another dough week. Week 2 was all about bread and now we have tea loaf, couronnes and sweet buns, it couldn't get any better than that! Bread making, in my opinion, is a little bit addictive. Unlike lots of other baking it can also be very cheap - flour, yeast, touch of sugar, salt and water and you're there, cheap as chips.

Many say that they also find it very therapeutic. I can't really say that as I mostly use my food mixer to knead my dough. I keep promising that I'll make a loaf one day without the mixer but never seem to find the time.

I've already made some sticky buns for this week's Great Bloggers Bake Off but they were eaten in a flash so I thought I would make some iced buns, with a Nutella topping instead of icing.

 photo nutellabuns_zpsbc261a47.jpg

Nutella Iced Buns - makes 10

500g Strong White Bread Flour
50g Butter, softened
50g Caster sugar (add up to 100g for a sweeter bun)
7g Yeast
Pinch salt
225ml milk
1 egg

Topping
2 heaped tbsp of Nutella
freshly boiled water
  • Mix the ingredients together with your hands or in a food mixer until they all come together
  • Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth
  • Place in a large bowl & cover with clingfilm to prove for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. This may be quicker or take longer depending on the temperature of your room.
  • Once the dough has risen tip out onto a floured surface & divide into 10 equal pieces - I weighed the dough & calculated the weight of 10 equal amounts which worked out to 82g each.
  • Roll each piece into a fat sausage shape and place on a greased baking sheet
  • Cover & leave to prove for another hour
  • Bake in a preheated 200 C oven for approx 15 minutes until golden brown
  • Allow to cool before icing
  • Mix the Nutella with a small amount of hot water a little at a time until it's thin enough to spread over the buns but thick enough to stay put.
   photo nutellabuns3_zpsf93872f5.jpg

 photo nutellabuns2_zps32516246.jpg

GreatBloggersBakeOff

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Dr Oetker is currently hosting a chocolate cupcake competition where entrants will be in with a chance of winning a trip for two to New York. You can find further details of The Great Chocolate Bake here.

I made my first batch of these chocolate cupcakes when I made my Mocha cupcakes. The cake is lovely and light and very moist and chocolatey. I mentioned before that now I've tried this recipe I don't think I will be baking any other kind of chocolate cupcake in the future and will instead experiment with fillings and toppings.

This time I decided to go with a chocolate cheesecake type of frosting with a juicy Morello cherry inserted into the middle of the cake, and topped off with some chocolate chunks.

     photo chocolatecherrycheesecakecakes_zpsc5f0d434.jpg


Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes - makes approx 12

cupcakes
100ml boiling water
35g Cocoa powder
190g Caster Sugar
115g Plain Flour
3/4 tsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Egg
60ml Sunflower oil
125ml Milk

Cheesecake Frosting & decoration
100g Dr Oetker Fine Cooks Chocolate - extra dark, melted & cooled slightly
200g Full fat cream cheese
40g Icing sugar
Morello cherries
Dr Oetker milk chocolate chunks
  • Mix the water and cocoa powder together until smooth
  • Stir the remaining dry ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Beat in the egg, sunflower oil, milk & chocolate, mix for 2 minutes until smooth
  • The batter will be quite thin but that's ok
  • Ladle into the cupcake cases until 2/3 full
  • Bake in a 180 C oven for approx 18-20 minutes, until springy to the touch
  • Allow the cakes to cool fully on a wire rack
  • Make the frosting by beating the cream cheese, chocolate & icing sugar together
  • Using an apple corer or spoon cut the centre out of each cake and pop a cherry in before replacing the piece of cake
  • Decorate the cupcakes with the frosting and chocolate chunks
 photo chocolatecherrycupcakes2_zpsfd8a2cc1.jpg

   photo chocolatecherrycupcakes_zps981f19df.jpg

I was sent some Dr Oetker products to use in my baking

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - week 6 - Maple & Banana Sticky Buns

I believe we are now over halfway through this series of Great British Bake Off and this week saw the bakers making Sweet Dough.

Fruit Loaf, twisted Couronne, and show stopping European sweet buns. It started of badly with under proved signature bakes but they all went on to do well in the technical challenge. There were some fab looking European sweet buns and Howard's peachy buns looked great *snigger*. Unfortunately they weren't as good as they looked and his time was up and he got sent home.....

I love cinnamon buns and have made them quite a lot in the past. This time I thought I would use the same dough recipe and try a different filling...these were lovely soft buns with a sticky filling and they didn't last 5 minutes...
I should really have used a bigger tin though as they rose so much and got a little squashed!

 photo stickybuns_zps1d4286dd.jpg

Maple & Banana Sticky Buns - makes 12

500g Strong White Bread Flour
50g Butter, softened
50g Caster sugar
7g Yeast
Pinch salt
225ml milk
1 egg

filling
50g butter, melted
50g sultanas
2 bananas, sliced lengthways & then into thin slices
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp mixed spice
cinnamon
1 tbsp caster sugar

syrup
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water


 photo stickybuns3_zpse3c1ae15.jpg
  • Mix the ingredients together with your hands or in a food mixer until they all come together
  • Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth
  • Place in a large bowl & cover with clingfilm to prove for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. This may be quicker or take longer depending on the temperature of your room. If you have a very cold room you can speed the process up by placing the bowl over a pan of freshly boiled water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).
  • Once the dough has risen tip out onto a floured surface & roll out into a square
  • Brush generously with melted butter
  • Scatter over the sultanas
  • Mix together the chopped bananas, mixed spice & maple syrup & spread over the dough
  • Roll the dough up tightly & slice into 12 equal pieces
  • Place in a greased baking tin & brush over the remaining melted butter
  • Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and caster sugar
  • Leave to prove for another hour
  • Bake in a preheated 200 C oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
  • Mix together 1 tbsp Maple syrup & 1 tbsp water in a small pan
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes until syrupy
  • Brush the syrup over the warm buns to make them glossy

 photo stickybuns2_zps5dd859c9.jpg



So what will you make?

Tea Loaf
Couronne
or Sweet Buns?

Don't forget to check out the rules & grab the badge code here.

GreatBloggersBakeOff

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - Week 5 Round Up

Week 5 of the Great Bloggers Bake Off has now come to a close and we have some fabulous entries linked up again. Tray Bakes seem to be a very popular choice this week and a lot more popular than tuiles and biscuit towers, can't think why that would be!

Here are all the amazing entries :

Traybakes


 photo traybakes1_zpsd3303e8d.jpg 

2.Apple & Berry Crumble Slices - Mummy Mishaps
3.Cinnamon & Raisin Shortbread - Hodge Podge Days
4.Millionaire's Shortbread - Jennifers Little World
5.Carrot, Parsnip & Coconut Flapjacks - Veggie Desserts
6.Oreo Brownies - Inside the Wendy House




 photo traybakes2_zps010a2873.jpg
8.Double Chocolate Malteser Tray Bake - Jo's Kitchen
9.My Darlings & Me - Banana Chocolate brownies
10.Ellies Pink Cakes - Spiced Plum Traybake
11.Cafe bebe - Brownies
12.Keynko - Savoury Golden slice

 photo traybakes3_zpse0192a39.jpg 

13.Bluebirdsunshine - anzac caramel slice
14.Being Mrs C - rocky road
15.Stressy Mummy - Toffee Apple Tray Bake
16.Sarah's Wacky World - Flapjacks
17.Crumbs & Corkscrews - Raspberry & Blueberry Blondies
18.Wallflower girl - Pumpkin & Ginger Tray bake


 photo traybakes4_zpsc2b01bb0.jpg 

20.Snaffles Mummy - Raspberry Bakewell Slice
21.Hijacked by Twins -Millionaire's Nutty Shortbread
22.The Crazy Kitchen - Chocolate Peanut Magic Cookie Bars
23.MissyB & Family - Chocolate Orange Brownies
24.Vanilla Stitches - Nanaimo bars


 photo traybake5_zpsb64fdd7f.jpg 

26.Munchies & Munchkins - Brownies
27.All You Need Is Love & Cake - Rockie Road Brownie Tray bake
28.Ramblings of a Crafty Mum - Rocky Road Traybake
29.Casa Costello - Caramel Apple Tray bake

Tuiles

 photo tuiles1_zps9e378704.jpg

2.The Goodlife Mum - coloured Tuiles
3.Tales of Pigling Bland - easy Tuiles
4.Multilayer Mummy - tuiles
5.Cakes Photos Life - Gruyere Tuiles

Biscuits & Biscuit Towers 


 photo cookies1_zpsb0a62e74.jpg 

2.Foodie Laura - gingerbread tree
3.MissyB & Family - Jam Filled Butter Biscuits
4.Carole Finds Her Wings - Summer Biscuit Tower
5.Cupcake Mumma - Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Crisp Cookies
6.Sew Love Craft - Biscuit tower

 photo cookies2_zpse257954b.jpg 

8.Here Come the Girls - Pumpkin Cookie Stack

I expect you are now wondering who myself and Jenny chose as our Star Baker for this week.....

well, after much of the usual deliberation, we have decided to go with..........


THREE WINNERS!

Yes you heard that right...we've decided to be très controversée and pick a Star Baker for each category (because once again we have been struggling to decide and after almost 2 hours still couldn't whittle it down to just one).....soooooo the star bakers for week 5 are.......

drum roll........

  • Aimee for her very Autumnal sounding pumpkin & ginger traybake, which looks and sounds delicous, as well as some very good photo styling.
  • Helen for her amazing coloured and shaped tuiles, she must have fingers of steel to handle those hot out of the oven tuiles and make them into such creative shapes
  • Last but not least, Rebecca for another very seasonal bake with her Pumpkin cookie stacks, we both loved these & thought they were really creative.

Well done everyone that joined in, there were some truly amazing sounding bakes this week and once again we have been overwhelmed by all the entries.
Star Bakers please contact Jenny for your badges....


Don't forget to tune in on BBC2 at 8pm on Tuesday for next weeks show, which we are led to believe is all about Sweet Dough.

   GreatBloggersBakeOff

Chocolate Peanut Magic Cookie Bars

I couldn't let the tray bake week on Great Bloggers Bake Off pass without making the easiest and most delicious tray bake ever - Magic Cookie Bars. Discovered whilst I was living in the US over 10 years ago now, probably in one of the Sunday supplements in an ad for condensed milk. The recipe was called '7 layer magic cookie bars', given the name because of the seven layers (unsurprisingly) and the magic that is condensed milk that turns them into cookies without any creaming, mixing, rolling or beating, and holds them all together - truly magical!

The original recipe calls for butterscotch chips and milk chocolate chips but I decided to go with chopped milk, white & plain chocolate as it's much cheaper than the chips. I also went with salted peanuts but any kind of nuts can be used and I imagine dried fruits too - cherries and chocolate could be good, as could apple and pecan...the possibilities are endless! I blogged a variation of the recipe 2 years ago here.

Once problem with these is that they are very very sticky and the condensed milk sticks like concrete to any surface that it touches. I've made them in a glass baking dish and also in a non stick pan lined with greaseproof paper and the glass dish came off best. I think the best solution would be to use a silicon pan.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my recipe :


Chocolate Peanut Magic Cookie Bars

Chocolate Peanut Magic Cookie Bars (8 layer)

100g Butter
200g Bourbon biscuits, crushed
397g can of Condensed milk
125g salted peanuts
50g dark chocolate, chopped
50g milk chocolate, chopped
50g white chocolate, chopped
50g desiccated coconut

  • Place the butter into a 13x9 baking dish (or tin) 
  • Place the dish in a preheated 170 C oven for approx 5 minutes, until melted
  • Remove the dish from the oven & scatter over the crushed biscuits, covering the butter evenly
  • Pour over the condensed milk
  • Scatter the remaining layers over the condensed milk
  • Bake in the oven for approx 25 minutes, until bubbling & golden
  • Cool completely and then place in the fridge until very cold before attempting to slice them into squares


Warning : These are very moreish!
  Chocolate Peanut Magic Cookie Bars

   Chocolate Peanut Magic Cookie Bars

Even more delicious served with Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream - with real peanut butter cups buried in peanut butter ice cream.
   Chocolate Peanut Magic Cookie Bars


GreatBloggersBakeOff

I was sent vouchers for the Ben & Jerry's ice cream

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Roasted Yellow Courgette Soup

The weather has turned and it feels almost wintery out there so we have turned to soups to warm us up and fill our bellies ready for the onset of the colder weather. Last week I was given more giant yellow courgettes from one of my allotment friends. I've already made lemon & courgette cake and orange & cinnamon courgette cake and after Hanna's birthday we are feeling a little caked out so I decided on a healthier option to use up some more of the yellow beasts.

I had a perfect taste tester for the soup as Hanna was off school ill with headaches and sore throat so after she woke from a morning nap I asked her if she would like to try some. When she asked what flavour I hesitantly told her it was courgette as I know she's not keen on them. After her requesting tomato soup and me breaking the news that we hadn't any she agreed to try some....and finished off the bowl!

Roasted Yellow Courgette Soup

2 very big yellow courgettes, enormous in fact..think marrow!
2 onions
1 bulb of garlic
fresh or dried herbs
salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 pint of vegetable stock


     photo courgettesoup2_zps1da29372.jpg
  • Chop the courgettes & onions into large pieces
  • Slice the garlic bulb in half
  • Place the courgettes, onion & garlic in a large roasting tin & add a big glug of olive oil, herbs & salt & pepper
  • Roast in a 180C oven for around 1 hour until softened
  • Squeeze the garlic from the skin & discard the skin
  • Tip everything including the juices into a large saucepan & blend with a stick blender
  • Add the stock & season as required
 photo courgettesoup_zpsd3b131ea.jpg

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Perfect Christmas Turkey

Last year I attended a cooking masterclass hosted by the legendary chef Marco Pierre White and Lean on Turkey (Bernard Matthews). There was only around 6 of us there and we sat around an island watching the master at work, asking questions and picking up tips on how to cook with turkey.


 photo marco_zpsdb474350.jpg

I was thrilled to be asked to attend another masterclass with the great man, this time at one of his restaurants within Stamford Bridge, the home if Chelsea Football Club. This time the masterclass was based around cooking the Christmas turkey, with Marco sharing some of his tips and tricks of the trade.


After a brief introduction and glass of wine we went into the kitchen to watch the preparation of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy, the essentials to a great Christmas dinner. Here are a few of the tips and advice I picked up along the way.


  • Marco advised getting a turkey crown or a whole turkey and cutting the wings, legs & carcass into small pieces to use for the gravy. If you don't fancy preparing the turkey yourself you could buy a crown and then ask the butcher for a carcass and offcuts or buy some drumsticks and wings.
  • Remove the wishbone for easier carving

 photo turkey1_zpsa2cf30d4.jpg
  • To stuff the crown he used Paxo stuffing (we were all a little surprised by that revelation) along with sausagemeat and softened onions. The stuffing mix was made up with a third less water than the instructions on the pack to allow for the extra juices from the bird.
  • Stuff the neck end of the bird and under the skin of the turkey thighs and brush well with melted butter and season lightly.

 photo turkey2_zpsbf9ca157.jpg
  • Roast the turkey in a preheated 180 C oven. The crown will take around 1.5 hours and the thighs around 55 minutes (depending on the size) and it was suggested that a meat probe is used to check the temperature of the meat by inserting into the thickest part. Once the temperature reaches 66 C for the breast & 72 C for the thighs the turkey will be cooked to perfection and be lovely and juicy and not at all dry.
  • To carve the turkey crown firstly remove the stuffing and then slice the turkey with long strokes of a very sharp, good quality carving knife.
 photo turkey3_zps0161a53a.jpg

To make the gravy


  • Add the chopped turkey carcass, legs & wings to a large roasting pan along with butter, onion & garlic and roast for around an hour to an hour and a half. 
  • Add water and some bouillon and bring to the boil & cook to release all the flavours.
  • Strain through a sieve to catch all the tasty juices. Allow to rest slightly and remove some of the fast that has come to the surface.
  • Add the juices to a saucepan and bring to the boil, thickening as required with a little cornflour mixed with water.
 photo gravy_zpsc7499eab.jpg

Cranberry Sauce

  • Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make and so much nicer than store bought. My Mum always makes her own and Marco showed us how easy it is.
  • Use 500g fresh or frozen cranberries, 250g sugar, 100ml of Port and 100ml of orange juice. Bring to the boil and simmer until the juices have evaporated and you are left with a slightly watery jam consistency.
 photo cranberrysauce_zpsed7ae8c3.jpg

Most of all be confident and don't be afraid of the turkey - a dry turkey is not the fault of the bird but due to being over cooked so if you invest in a meat probe it will result in a much tastier bird and no complaints on Christmas Day!

 photo turkeydinner_zps6e16be62.jpg


You can find lots more turkey tips and info on the lean on turkey website.

My expenses were paid to enable me to attend the masterclass & I received a giftcard towards the cost of my turkey along with a meat probe

Giant Chocolate Cupcake with a Surprise Inside

At the beginning of the week Hanna had her 11th birthday and a few weeks ago had specifically asked for a giant cupcake, so who am I to disappoint my middle child.

giant pinata cupcake

A friend lent me the cake pan, which was a one piece Eddingtons Giant Cupcake Pan. The instructions state that the different sides of the pan aren't the same size and that one size should be baked longer than the other. I didn't like the idea of opening the oven halfway through the baking time to add the rest of the cake batter so I cooked each side separately.

For the cake I used a Madeira cake recipe that I've used many times before, substituting a tbsp of flour for cocoa powder. For each side I used a 3 egg recipe :

175g Butter
175g Caster sugar
175g self raising flour
85g plain flour (substituting 1 tbsp of this flour for cocoa powder)
3 eggs

Once the cakes were baked and cooled I used a cookie cutter to remove a piece of cake from the base that could be filled later with surprise smarties, leaving a gap around the edge & base of around 3-4 cm.

I made a batch of chocolate buttercream up using melted dark chocolate which would be used to sandwich the 2 layers of cake together as well as sticking the chocolate fingers to the sides and icing the top.

Chocolate Buttercream

250g Butter, softened
300g Icing sugar
50ml Milk
200g Dark Chocolate, melted & cooled slightly

  • Beat the butter, icing sugar & milk together until pale, smooth & creamy
  • Beat in the melted chocolate until fully combined and creamy

*The buttercream will thicken as the chocolate cools down more so don't worry if it's a little too slack to pipe, just leave for a few minutes before using.
giant pinata cupcake
I used a variety box of chocolate fingers around the edge & used the equivalent of just under 3 boxes in total (including some for the top). I chopped the very ends of the fingers for around the side as they were a little too long. Once the cake was iced you couldn't see the cut ends. I used a disposable icing bag (like the ones that can be found here) with the largest star nozzle that I had, to pipe big swirls around the top of the cake and decorated with smarties and more chocolate fingers. I was pleased to find large tubes of pink smarties now available in the seasonal aisle in the supermarket for only £1 - one bonus of having Christmas goods in the shops in September!

giant pinata cupcake giant pinata cupcake

Some of the smarties lost their colour a bit due to the moisture but I was pleased how well the cake turned out and had one very happy daughter.


This is a sponsored post, however the recipe and decorating ideas are my own

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - week 5 - Cinnamon & Orange Traybake

It's that time of the week again for Great British bake Off and this week saw the bakers making their signature traybakes, technical Tuiles and biscuit towers.

Traybakes - these could take the form of Brownies, Blondies, Rocky Road...and can be biscuits, cake or pastry - in a square or rectangular tin, and all cut into equal pieces (hmm that's the tricky part!). I must say I did love the sound of Frances' Millionaire's Banoffee Bonus, yummy!

Tuiles - something that I've never made, apparently named after a French roof tile and is a very thin biscuit which is crisp and delicate.

Biscuit towers - at least 30cm high and take any form...but importantly it needs to be look good and stand securely (Frances take note.....).

I opted to make a cake, baked in a tray, with some frosting slapped on the top..job done.

This recipe was adapted from a delicious courgette, thyme & lemon drizzle cake recipe from Katie at Feeding boys and a firefighter. I first tried out the recipe last week after being given some rather large yellow courgettes by a friend. I left out the thyme and topped the cake with a lemon mascarpone frosting and it was absolutely delicious.

This time I thought I would mix the flavours up a bit and used orange and cinnamon in the place of the lemon. I also tripled the quantity as I was using a larger baking tin.

Cinnamon & Orange Traybake

Cinnamon & Orange Traybake


600g yellow courgette, grated
450g caster sugar
3 eggs
375ml vegetable oil
juice of 1 orange & zest of 3
600g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cinnamon

juice of 2 oranges

75g caster sugar
250g mascarpone
1 tsp cinnamon

  • Mix the courgette, sugar, eggs, oil, all the orange zest & juice of 1 orange together until well combined
  • Mix together the flour, salt bicarbonate of soda, baking powder & cinnamon
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet & mix well
  • Pour mixture into a large shallow baking tin (I used a 13" x 9" Baking tin)
  • Bake in a 170C oven for approx 45 minutes
  • Leave to cool in the tin
  • Meanwhile make a syrup with the juice of the remaining 2 oranges and the caster sugar
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 5 minutes
  • Once the cake is cool prick holes in it all over with a fork
  • Drizzle the cake with half of the orange syrup & mix the remainder with the mascarpone and cinnamon
  • Spread the mascarpone over the cake 


Cinnamon & Orange Traybake Cinnamon & Orange Traybake

So to recap on the themes for the week :

Traybakes
Tuiles
Biscuit towers 

Now go forth and bake.......

You can find the rules and the badge code here.

GreatBloggersBakeOff

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Maple Roast Parsnips

You may have tried honey roast parsnips but have you tried Maple Roast Parsnips?

These are delicious & would be a perfect accompaniment to the Christmas turkey - is it too early to start mentioning Christmas dinner? Always best to be well prepared I say.


 photo pasrsnips_zpse037fcb1.jpg

They are very easy & all you need are a few simple ingredients :


Maple Roast Parsnips
Parsnips
Cooking Oil (I used Olive Oil)
Plain flour
Maple Syrup

  • Peel the parsnips and cut them into similar sized pieces
  • Toss them lightly in flour
  • Heat some oil in a roasting pan in a 200 C oven for 5-10 minutes until hot
  • Toss in the parsnips and coat fully in the oil
  • Return the pan to the oven for approx 30 minutes (this will depend on the size of them) - stirring in a generous amount of Maple syrup 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time


 photo clarksmaplesyrup_zpsaeda204a.jpg
I was sent a sample of Clarks Pure Canadian Maple Syrup (no.2 Amber grade) to use in my cooking

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - week 4 and a Custard Tart

Week 4 of The Great British Bake Off was all about pies - Fruit Pies, Custard Tarts and Filo pastry Showstoppers.

The custard tarts were carnage, I was saying 'oh dear, oh dear' all the way through watching the contestants attempt to remove them from the tins...


I don't think I'll be attempting Filo, that looks like far too much work for my liking.


However, as well as successfully making my first pork pies, I did try out a new pastry at the weekend that I spotted in one of my new cookery books, Pies and Tarts by Martha Stewart. It's a very simple recipe that (after conversion) equates to approximately 195g Plain Flour, 115g Cream Cheese & 115g Butter.


It's a very easy pastry to make and is also very easy to roll out yet isn't hard like pastry can be if you add too much water to it to make it easier to work with. In fact I didn't need to add any liquid to this pastry at all as it all came together in the food mixer without liquid.


I made a savoury tart using yellow courgette from a friend's allotment and Feta cheese, firstly blind baking the case for 30 minutes.

 courgettes and turnips


This produced quite a lot of juice from the courgette but when left to cool it was lovely & fresh with the courgette still a bit crisp...nice with salad.
 yellow courgette tart


Next up I made a fruit pie and added some Linwoods ground flaxseed & nuts into the pastry. My initial idea was to make a small double crusted pie until I realised that I didn't actually have a small pie plate so instead just added a top onto some fruit that I tossed in flour and sugar before adding to the pie dish.


I thought I would attempt some fancy leaves on top of my pie, however the only leaf cutter I had was holly, too soon for a Christmas pie? I thought not so added 3 berries to the top too...





fruit pie fruit pie

This pie wouldn't win any awards for looks but it did make up for it in taste....



fruit pie 


Next up I attempted a custard tart using the same pastry recipe as above and adding a tbsp of sugar. Again I blind baked the case before whipping up the filling. I followed The Hairy Bikers recipe despite not having any double cream or whole milk and instead improvised and used mascarpone and semi skimmed milk.



egg custard tart 

Custard Tart Filling
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
100g Caster cugar
300ml semi skimmed milk
250g Mascarpone 
vanilla pod
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • Beat the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth
  • Heat the milk, mascarpone, vanilla pod & nutmeg in a pan, stirring continuously until it is just about to boil
  • remove from heat and slowly stir into the eggs, mixing well & removing the vanilla pod
  • Pour into the blind baked pastry case and sprinkle with a little nutmeg
  • Bake in a 160C oven for approx 30 minutes until just set
  • Allow to cool fully before removing from the tin

apart from the custard filling looking a little brown from the nutmeg (I'll buy a whole one next time) it wasn't a bad tart - the pastry was lovely & crips & no soggy bottom...and it came out of the tin intact! 

After all that you probably want to share your own fabulous pies and tarts so here is the linky for you to add your post. Please remember to read the rules and a little reminder that it will be open until 8pm on Sunday. We can't add any after this time I'm afraid.

Search This Blog