Ciabatta: GBBO Week #3

Ciabatta: GBBO Week #3

Bread week on The Great British Bake Off started with a request from the judges for 12 identical bread rolls made with rye flour. I really do think that getting everything to look exactly the same is basically the opposite of home baking! I’ve never used rye flour before and honestly when I’ve tried rye bread I did not like it all, but the bakers were adding some interesting flavours that made it sound a lot more appetising. Rye is a healtheir alternative to regular wheat flour, however because of this it has a low gluten content and as Paul tells us it is “extremely difficult to work with” as you have to work the dough much more than usual to build up the gluten.

Most of the bakers stuck to fairly traditional flavour combinations such as Kate’s Orange & Cardamom Rolls, Martha’s Date & Walnut Rolls, and Jordan’s Lemon & Poppyseed Rolls. Diana and Chetna went down the savoury route with Cheese & Walnut Rolls and Onion & Pine Nut Rolls. It was Luis who really experimented with flavour with his rolls which contained two types of dough; one flavoured with Fennel & Parsnip and the other with Coffee & Chocolate.

The rye rolls needed steam in the oven to stop them from drying out. Because of the dark colour of the dough, and the egg washes added by the bakers, it was difficult to tell when they were done baking. Nancy’s, Martha’s and Richard’s were under baked. Iain finally did well, I was pleased for him and I think it is clear that bread is his strongest area. The judges loved Luis’ flavour combination and overall bake. Kate also did very well.

Of course for the technical challenge it couldn’t be anything except a Paul Hollywood recipe! And this week it was Ciabatta. Crisp on the outside and filled with air holes on the inside, this Italian bread requires patience to make according to Paul. No proving time was given, and despite an instruction to prove at room temperature, some of the bakers put it in the proving drawer.

They had trouble handling the sloppy dough and turning it into something ‘ciabatta shaped’ without knocking all the air out of it. When Paul and Mary tried the Ciabatta’s it was clear that putting them in a proving drawer and/or handling it too much was not a good idea as it made them flat and more like pitta bread. Kate, who waited the longest to prove her dough, won the challenge. Luis, Martha and Norman also did well. Jordan came last with Iain and Chetna in ninth and eighth place.

This week’s showstopper was a filled bread centrepiece. It had to be spectacular both inside and outside, and taste delicious too. Paul warned against using too much moisture as this can cause large air holes in the bread. Luis, Norman and Richard all went for Meditteranian flavours such as roasted vegetables, pesto and saffron to fill their breads. Jordan was the only baker doing a sweet bread, with his Strawberry & Raspberry Cheesecake Brioche.

I really liked Martha’s Sunflower Bread. The middle was filled with Epoisses cheese, and the ‘petals’ with fig and apricot chutney. It sounded delicious and looked great! Nancy made a Full English Stromboli which sounded amazing but sadly didn’t have a very impressive apperance.

I love how matter of fact and old school Norman is, I absolutely love him! Best quote of the episode from him was “for me, this is very exotic, you know – pesto”. Bless him! Iain made a fantastic Moroccan Plait which Paul called a ‘success’.

Jordan left us this week. He came last in the technical and his showstopper was very underbaked. Mary said that he was a creative and flamboyant baker, and she was sad to see him go. Next week – desserts! And it looks like a rather dramatic episode!

Bread is probably one of my more weaker areas in baking so I do like to try the technical challenges in order to learn more about bread and get more experience. So I decide to try Ciabatta this week. As you will see the shape of my Ciabattas did not come out very neatly! But it tasted good and I enjoyed making them. If you’d like to give it a go, here’s what I did…

I used a Paul Hollywood recipe, which I think it is the same one the baker’s used. So I started with 500g strong white bread flour, 10g fast action yeast and 10g salt in my food mixer bowl. I added 40ml olive oil and 300ml tepid water.

I oiled a 5 litre square tub, then set the mixture to combine with the dough hook attachment on a slow speed for a minute or two as I poured in another 100ml tepid water slowly. I then turned the food mixer up to a medium speed and mixed it for 8 minutes.

When it was done the dough was very stretchy.

I poured it into the oiled tub, covered it with a tea towel, and left it to prove at room temperature for 2 hours.

It rose a lot! The 5 litre tub was almost full.

I covered my work top very genourously with flour and semolina before tipping the dough out onto it. The dough ‘slopped’ onto the work top and it was very difficult to cut it into strips as it was so sticky and light. I had to keep sprinkling flour between the cuts I was making to make sure the pieces stayed apart.

I had to use my cake lifter to get the pieces of dough onto the baking sheet. It was a very tricky operation and left me with messy looking strips of dough. I was tempted to neaten them up, but I was terrified of pushing too much air out of them! I left them to rest for 10 minutes.

I baked the ciabatta on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Obviously the shape of my ciabatta was far from perfect, but there were a decent amount of air holes when I cut into. Who knows what Paul Hollywood would think, but I was satisfied with it for a first attempt! Most importantly, it tasted good! Ciabatta is fab dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or used as a sandwich bread filled with Italian meats and cheese.

I am linking this up to Mummy Mishap’s Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014.

And to Supergolden Bakes Great GBBO Bake Along.

 
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Ciabatta

Ingredients

  • 500 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10 g Fast Action Yeast
  • 10 g Salt
  • 40 ml Olive Oil
  • 400 ml Tepid Water
  • Flour & Semolina to dust

Instructions

  1. Put the bread flour, yeast and salt into a food mixer bowl
  2. Add the olive oil and 300ml of the tepid water
  3. Oil a 5 litre square tub
  4. Set the mixture to combine with the dough hook attachment on a slow speed for a minute or two
  5. Pour in the remaining tepid water slowly
  6. Turn the food mixer up to a medium speed and mix for 8 minutes
  7. Pour the dough into the oiled tub, cover with a tea towel, and leave to prove at room temperature for 2 hours
  8. Cover your work top very generously with flour and semolina before tipping the dough out onto it
  9. Cut into four strips without handling the dough too much
  10. Put the strips onto lined baking trays
  11. Leave to rest for 10 minutes
  12. Bake on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes, until golden brown
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Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

Using up leftovers does feel like a constant struggle sometimes. I do my best to use up what I can, but unfortunately food does get wasted in my household, which often can’t be helped. I live in a city centre flat so composting isn’t an option. I had some egg yolks left after making my Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll. Not because the recipe created leftover, but because I got yolk in my egg whites! Silly me. This recipe is perfect for using up 2 egg yolks, or more if you want more truffles! And who doesn’t frankly…

I started by melting 250g dark chocolate in a double boiler. As it melted I slowly added 125g butter and mixed in.

When it was melted and smooth I took it off the heat and mixed in 2 egg yolks, 125g icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I let it cool completely, then I put it in the fridge overnight to set.

The next day I set up the coatings I was going to roll the truffles in. Of course you can roll them in cocoa powder, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. So I had chocolate sprinkles, hundreds and thousands, dessicated coconut, some icing sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon, and some edible glitter. I put them all on some greaseproof paper for easy clean up. Except for the cinnamon sugar, which I put in a bowl.

On a tray I set out some petit four cases to hold the truffles in. These are basically miniature cupcake cases. I scooped out the mixture with a spoon, rolled it between the palms of my hands, then rolled it in the various coatings untill all of the mixture was gone. Don’t worry it you can’t get perfect spheres when you roll them, mine were all kinds of shapes! If you let them cool in a square tray you could cut them into squares if you’re really not confident about your rolling skills.

The truffles were melt in the mouth delicious chocolate heaven! The cinnamon sugar topping was my top choice coating as it’s one of my favourite spices as it goes so well with sweet things. In fact they were the only ones I ate…! The rest got gobbled up very quickly by my colleagues. They are rich and a pure hit of chocolate, which is perfect for chocolate lovers. The truffles would make a fantastic gift, and you could roll them in other things like chopped nuts, or coat them in chocolate.

This month’s theme for myself and Cakeyboi’s monthly baking challenge Treat Petite, is ‘No Bake’. So the truffles fit perfectly as all you need is the stove top and a fridge.

I’d Much Rather Bake Than…‘s monthly Biscuit Barrel challenge theme is also ‘No Bake’. Although these aren’t biscuits, any individual treat that fits into a biscuit tin is allowed.

Also as I used up leftovers (egg yolks to be specific) I am entering this into both Credit Crunch Munch – Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All‘s challenge, this month hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. And The No Waste Food Challenge – Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary‘s challenge, this month hosted by I’d Much Rather Bake Than….

Recipe from Marmiton.
 
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Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients

  • 250 g Dark Chocolate
  • 125 g Butter
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 125 g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Assorted coatings

Instructions

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler. As it melts, add the butter slowly and mix in
  2. Take it off the heat and mix in the egg yolks, icing sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Let it cool completely, then put in the fridge overnight to set
  4. The next day set up the coatings of your choice by pouring them onto greaseproof paper or into bowls
  5. Set out some petit four cases to hold the truffles in
  6. Scoop out the mixture with a spoon and roll it between the palms of yours hands, then roll it in the various coatings until covered
  7. Repeat until the truffle mixture is all used
  8. If you let the mixture cool in a square tray you can cut it into squares if you don't want to roll them
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Cheese & Marmite Pinwheel Biscuits: GBBO Week #2

Cheese & Marmite Pinwheel Biscuits: GBBO Week #2
Week two on The Great British Bake Off was Biscuit Week. The bakers first challenge was to make 36 savoury biscuits, of any flavour they liked, but that could be eaten with cheese. Of course when making so many biscuits, consistency of the size, bake and colour of the biscuit is paramount. Mary wanted them to either have a nice crumble or nice snap depending on the type of biscuit.

I was impressed with all the different flavours and types of biscuits the baker’s created. There were exotic sounding biscuits like Chetna’s Fenugreek & Carom Crackers, and Iain’s Za’tar Fig Biscuits. There were also some traditional bakes like Norman’s Farthing Biscuits and Diana’s Parmesan Triangles.

Martha’s would definitely be the ones I would try first, and her Caramalised Onion and Goat’s Cheese Sandwich biscuits went down very well with Mary and Paul. Richard did very well, as did Nancy and Norman. Jordan’s Sourdough Parmesan & Chilli Biscuits were a tad overbaked, whereas Diana’s and Kate’s were underbaked.

This week’s technical challenge was another Mary Berry recipe – Florentines. 18 were required, and according to Mary they should have a delicate, lacy appearance with even distribution of chocolate. I’ve never eaten or seen Florentines before and they certainly look tricky as they are so thin! It didn’t sound like any of the bakers had made them before either.

The main struggle was getting exactly 18 and lots of the bakers weighed their mixture out. No baking time was provided so they all also had no idea how long to bake them for! Martha was the only Richard won the challenge, with Nancy second and Luis third. Iain was in last place, with Norman and Enwezor not far behind.

For the showstopper, the judges requested a 3D biscuit scene that must stand up. Precision was the most critical element of this challenge and the baker’s were making some very exciting and ambitious biscuit creations. Chetna had a large biscuit carousel planned, Diana was making a Steam Train that was baked in a cyclinder shape, and Martha was planning a Ski Village complete with a chair lift. As much as I love Norman, his biscuits were not flavoured and although he did well in the first challenge, I think he does need to start experimenting with flavour.

Richard’s pirate scene and Luis’ George & the Dragon scene were the two best showstoppers in my opinion. They were both stunning. Well decorated, well structured, and from what Paul and Mary said – tasted great! I really was blown away by both of them. Iain picked himself up again after not doing well in the first two challenges, as did Diana and Kate who all got good comments.

Enwezor stacked his biscuits and used shop bought fondant which was the final blow for him and he left the competition this week. Richard was crowned a very well deserved Star Baker!

I’m not a huge biscuit fan, although I do definitely like them, they’re not top of my list. So I find biscuit week the least interesting. I struggle even more with savoury bakes as I’m such a sweet lover! Cheese is one of my absolute favourite savoury foods and I adore Marmite. I’ve made some Cheese & Marmite Scones before, so I thought biscuits would be equally as yummy.

 

I started with 230g plain flour and 110g butter in a bowl. I rubbed it together with my fingers until it looked like breadcrumbs. I then split the mixture equally (I weighed it to be precise) between two bowls.

In one bowl I added 55g grated mature cheddar. I mixed it in well with a spoon and broke the grated strips of cheese up into as small pieces as I could.

I then added 1 egg yolk and mixed it in. I added some of the white to bring it together until it formed a dough.

With the other mixture I added 1 heaped tbsp Marmite and 1 egg yolk. Again I added some of the white to bring it together until it formed a dough.

I rolled out both doughs onto greaseproof paper until they were a similar size.

Then I carefully placed the Marmite dough over the cheese dough.

Slowly and carefully I rolled the dough into a tube. As you can see it makes a lovely swirl! I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for about an hour.

Using a sharp knife I sliced up the tube of dough into pieces about 8mm thin, and placed onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

I baked the biscuits on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes. Then didn’t seem to be fully done so I turned the oven down to 160C and gave them another 5 minutes.

I often, if not always, bake for other people, but these biscuits were all about me! I love Marmite so much and I adored these biscuits so much that I ate about 7 of them… If you are a Marmite fan like me you will love them too! My colleagues did a good job of eating them up too. Some of them had never had Marmite before, or were unsure about it, but they enjoyed the biscuits. I was pleased and secretly hope they will soon become Marmite lovers like me.

Next week – the GBBO bakers, and me, get to grips with bread.

I am entering this bake into Lavendar & Lovage and Hedgecomber‘s Tea Time Treats challenge, where the theme this month is Picnics. I think these biscuits would be a great treat on a picnic!

 
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Cheese & Marmite Pinwheel Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 230 g Plain flour
  • 110 g Butter
  • 55 g Grated mature cheddar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Heaped tbsp Marmite

Instructions

  1. Rub the plain flour and butter together in a bowl until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  2. Split the mixture equally between two bowls.
  3. In one bowl add the cheddar and mix well to break the cheese up into small pieces.
  4. Add 1 egg yolk and mix in. Add a little egg white to bring it together to form dough.
  5. In the other mixture add the Marmite and 1 egg yolk. Again add some of the egg white to bring it together to form a dough.
  6. Roll out both doughs separately onto greaseproof paper until they are a similiar size.
  7. Placed the Marmite dough over the cheese dough.
  8. Roll the doughs into a tube.
  9. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
  10. Using a sharp knife, slice up the tube of dough into pieces about 8mm thin.
  11. Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  12. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
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How to Host an Afternoon Tea Party with Cocktails

How to Host an Afternoon Tea Party with Cocktails

It was my birthday at the end of July and as I’m not really into clubs much anymore all I wanted to do was stay in, eat cake and hang out with my friends! So I decided on an Afternoon Tea Party & Cocktails. We all got dressed up, I made a table full of goodies, and we spent the day eating cake and drinking tea, then as the evening came, we hit the cocktails, played games and had a brilliant time! I wanted to create this guide to help you have a great afternoon tea party too!

I started a few days in advance by making these fruit scones using an ao.com recipe. I used dried fruit instead of orange zest and cranberry, and also used a larger cutter so they were bigger. I put them in the freezer to keep them fresh, then took them out the night before the party. If you have any gluten free guests try this scone recipe from The Gluten Free Alchemist, or for vegan guests try this recipe from Wallflower Kitchen.

I also made my own raspberry jam to go on the scones, which I made a few days in advance too. And of course the scones were not complete without clotted cream! So I made sure to get a couple of tubs in for the party. If you don’t want to make your own jam, there are so many quality options in the supermarket now, I would suggest buying a more premium option for the party – it is a special occasion after all!

A classic Victoria Sponge Cake was the centre piece of the table. I made a basic sponge mix and sandwiched the two halves with jam and fresh cream in the middle. You can’t go wrong with a Mary Berry recipe!

For the second cake I wanted something a bit different so I made this Spiced Carrot Loaf Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, it was so yummy! The recipe is from BBC Good Food, I omitted the walnuts and sultanas.

I made some pretty lemon cupcakes and sat them on one of my birthday gifts, a beautiful cupcake stand from Laura Ashley. You can find the recipe below:

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Lemon Cupcakes

Servings 12

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 2 Eggs
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 175 g Butter
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 1 Lemon zested

Buttercream

  • 150 g Butter
  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon extract
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. For the sponge, cream together the butter and caster sugar until soft and fluffy
  2. Add in the eggs and lemon zest and mix well
  3. Fold in the self raising flour
  4. Separate the batter into cupcake cases in a muffin tin and bake at 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool completely
  5. To make the buttercream mix together the butter, icing sugar and yellow food colouring until smooth and the desired shade
  6. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle and add desired sprinkles

For savoury lovers and also to provide a break from all the sweet treats, I made three types of finger sandwiches – salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and cream cheese, and ham. They were very popular and I ended up having to make more half way through the day! I also provided some crisps for nibbling on. There are so many sandwich filling options and I’ve listed some more ideas below, don’t forget to check if any of your guests require gluten free bread.

Beef & Mustard

Egg Mayonnaise

Hummus & Roasted red pepper

Hummus & Cucumber

Cheese & Pickle

I bought a good selection of tea to suit everyone’s tastes, I included decaf and fruit teas. I also provided soft drinks and juices. If you have a teapot you can make up a pot of tea for everyone.

 

I decorated my table with bunting, fresh flowers and a floral table cloth. I also hired some gorgeous vintage cups, saucers and plates from Tamaryn’s Treasures. They were so beautiful and really made the party special! I loved the one with the gold pattern inside the cup. They really added that vintage afternoon tea party feel to the day. Here are a few other companies that offer the same service, if you Google ‘Hire vintage crockery’ you will find lots of results:

Pretty Vintage (Lincoln)

The Vintage Affair (Buckinghamshire/Berkshire)

Add Vintage (Leeds)

Honey Bees (Leicestershire)

Later on we moved onto cocktails. This is a Cosmopolitan, a delicious mix of vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice. Throughout the night I also made lime daquiris, pina coladas and long island ice teas. These are all classic cocktails and the recipes are readily available online, try Social and Cocktail for 100 cocktail recipes.

We played some awesome games. First we played Cranium which is a fairly well known family game, well to everyone except me! I had never heard of it but apparently a lot of people play it at Christmas. Later on we played the hilarious Cards Against Humanity – which I highly recommend. Games are such a great way to get everyone involved and interacting with each other, especially if your guests don’t all know each other well.

I looked into hiring people to come and do hair and make up for us, but I didn’t have the budget for this. If it was a bigger event like a hen party I would definitely have hired a professional, but I was lucky enough to have a very talented friend who did everyone’s hair. And I thought we all looked fab! If you can find someone in your local area to come and do your hair and make up, and you have the budget for it, then get on Google and Facebook and have a search. I’ve listed below some I found and the locations:

Bijoux Hair (London)

Hen Heaven (Major UK cities)

Lipstick & Curls (London & Leeds)

The Vintage Beauty Parlour (Manchester)

I had such a fun time and I highly recommend this kind of get together if you can’t be bothered with the hassle of going out (and you love cake!) Staying in is much more fun! I made everything myself for the party, but you could get your friends to bring a bake each to lessen the workload. If you do want to make everything yourself, the freezer is your friend! You can freeze the cakes (undecorated) and the scones in advance. I hope you have fun! Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips for the perfect afternoon tea party!

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Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll: GBBO Season Five Begins!

Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll: GBBO Season Five Begins!
The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens this week with a new slot on BBC One and a new tent location at Welford Park in Berkshire. This year we are back to the standard 12 bakers (there were 13 last year), and their first challenge was to make a Swiss Roll. Fairly simple you might think, but the bakers went all out to impress with patterned sponges, unusual flavours and decorations.

There was a great variety of characters and styles this year. Diana, who has been baking for 60 years made a traditional Lemon Curd Swiss Roll. Chetna used her Indian influences to make a Cardamom, Pistachio & Coffee Swiss Roll. Youngest baker Martha, who is 17 years old, made a Tirimasu Swiss Roll.

Most of the bakers did very well and there was some amazing creativity including floral patterned sponge, a homemade Swiss Roll presentation plate, and Chetna’s beautiful chocolate decorations, pictured above.

Nancy and Richard did very well and got great feedback from Paul and Mary. Kate was praised for having the best swirl of the day, but her sponge was dry. Unfortunately some mistakes were made including Iain’s ‘Swiss Fold’ and Enwezor’s under baked sponge.

The first technical challenge of the season was Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake. The cherries had to be suspended throughout the cake, and not sink to the bottom. Again I thought this sounded fairly simple, but as always with GBBO, the bakers over think every detail and of course have half a recipe to work with!

There were a few mistakes including runny icing, dry sponge, burnt almonds, sunken cherry and disappearing cherries! Nancy won the challenge, with Martha and Chetna in second and third place. The bottom three were Norman, Richard and Jordan – who all did very well with their Swiss Rolls so it was all topsy turvy!

The final showstopper challenge was to make 36 miniature British cakes. Chetna and Kate both made mini tired Victoria sponge cakes. Luis and Jordan both made genoise sponges, and both flavoured them with lemon. Lemon was a very popular flavour for this challenge as Iain and Martha used it too, with different levels of success. Martha got a fantastic result from Paul Hollywood, however Iain’s cakes were too big and unevenly baked.

Nancy’s Jaffa Orange cakes were perfectly uniform and looked very professional. I thought Norman’s Almond & Rapsberry cakes looked extremely British, and very attractive. I loved when he asked the judges what they thought of the jam! Richard and Enwezor both used coffee and walnut as their flavours, which are a favourite of Mary’s and they received good feedback from her.

Claire was the first baker to leave the series. She did not perform well in all three rounds, and I didn’t warm to her at all so I was satisfied with the result. Nancy won this week’s star baker and it was easy to see why, she exudes perfection and copes well with things going wrong. I think she is going to do very well in the coming weeks!

After seeing all the patterned Swiss Rolls I just had to try it out for myself. I’ve made a simple Swiss Roll before filled with jam, and also a Buche De Noel (Yule Log) so the method was not new to me, but I got quite nervous about the filling and getting the stripes neat!

I started with the mixture for the pattern. Separate one egg and weigh the white of it. Mine weighed 43g. So I mixed together 43g icing sugar and 43g butter. I then added the egg white to the mixture and combined well. I added 43g plain flour and mixed well. Finally I put some green food colouring in, until it was the shade I wanted. I used Sugarflair Mint Green and also a little bit of Sugarflair Melon.

I put the mixture into a piping bag and snipped the end of the bag off with some scissors. Onto a lined baking tray I piped diagonal lines. Of course you can do any pattern you like, but this is what I chose. Then I put the tray into the freezer for one hour.

When the hour was nearly up, I started on the main sponge. I separated 4 eggs. Into the bowl of whites I added 55g caster sugar and 1 tsp cream of tartar and used my mixer to create stiff peaks.

Into the bowl of eggs I put 55g caster sugar and whisked together.

I folded the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture in three lots.

I melted 60g butter and measured out 75g plain flour and 25g cocoa powder. I added the butter and flour/cocoa powder to the egg mixture in two batches, folding in gently between each batch. I took the frozen pattern tray out of the freezer and poured the mixture over it, giving the tray a couple of bangs on the work surface to make sure there were no gaps.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 5 for approx 7 – 8 minutes. When it was done, I immediately flipped it out onto some baking paper and peeled off the paper on the top to reveal the pattern!

I flipped it back over again and rolled it up, taking the baking paper with it. I then left it to cool completely.

I made the cream cheese filling by mixing together 20g butter, 100g cream cheese, 1 tbsp lime juice, the zest of one lime and 300g icing sugar. Admittedly, this is not the best filling for a Swiss roll as it is quite runny, but damn does it taste good!

I unrolled the sponge, spread the filling over it, then re-rolled it. And it was ready to eat!

I took it into work and everyone was very impressed with the stripey pattern! It got eaten up extremely quickly too, one of my fastest disappearing bakes by far! Despite my reservations about the runny filling, the flavour of it made it completely worthwhile and the roll retained it’s shape and structure throughout.

I also made a red zig zag striped which I filled with my raspberry jam and some fresh cream. The recipe is the same, I just used red food colouring instead of green for the first mix, then omitted the cocoa powder and replaced it with plain flour for the sponge. Next week on The Great British Bake Off – Biscuits!

Lucy from Supergolden Bakes is also baking along to GBBO and is collecting bake along links from other bloggers, head over to her blog to check out the collection!

Recipe slightly adapted from HowToCookThat.

 

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Chocolate Swiss Roll with Lime Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients

For the pattern

  • 1 Egg
  • 43 g approx Icing Sugar
  • 43 g approx Butter
  • 43 g approx Plain flour
  • Green food colouring

For the sponge

  • 4 Eggs
  • 110 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 60 g Butter
  • 75 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder

For the filling

  • 20 g Butter
  • 100 g Cream cheese
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
  • 300 g Icing Sugar

Instructions

  1. Start with the mixture for the pattern
  2. Separate one egg and weigh the white of it
  3. Mix together the same weight of icing sugar and butter.
  4. Add the egg white to the mixture and combine well
  5. Then add the same weight of plain flour and mix well
  6. Add green food colouring until it reaches the shade you want
  7. Put the mixture into a piping bag and snip the end of the bag off with some scissors
  8. Onto a lined baking tray, pipe diagonal lines, or a pattern of your choice
  9. Put the tray into the freezer for one hour
  10. To make the chocolate sponge start by separating 4 eggs
  11. Into the egg whites, add the caster sugar and cream of tartar and mix with a food mixer or electric hand whisk to create stiff peaks
  12. Into the egg yolks, add the other half of caster sugar and whisk together
  13. Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture in three lots
  14. Melt the butter and add it to the egg mixture along with the plain flour and cocoa powder in two batches, folding in gently between each batch
  15. Take the frozen 'pattern' tray out of the freezer and pour the mixture over it, give the tray a couple of bangs on the work surface to make sure there are no gaps.
  16. Bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 5 for approx 7 - 8 minutes. When it is done, immediately flip it out onto some baking paper and peel off the paper on the top to reveal the pattern
  17. Flipped it back over again onto some fresh baking paper and roll it up, taking the baking paper with it. Leave it to cool completely
  18. To make the cream cheese filling mix together butter, cream cheese, lime juice and lime zest, and icing sugar
  19. Unroll the sponge, spread the filling over it, then re-roll it
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Homemade Raspberry Jam

Homemade Raspberry Jam

I recently got sent a jam making kit from Aldi. A lot of people turn their nose up at Aldi, but I’ve been shopping their for years ever since I discovered it’s bargain prices. I’m a huge fan of a bargain, and why pay £1+ for a bag of flour when you can get it from Aldi for 45p?! Yes 45p! I go through so much basic baking items, Aldi really is a penny saver for me. One of my favourite parts is the Special Buy section, every time I go in there I find a different selection of weird and wonderful items on offer. I really never know what to expect and sometimes I nip in just for a nosey! I’ve never made jam before so this was my first attempt, and it was easy peasy! It’s a quick process and the results are delicious, nothing like shop bought jam at all, much much better!

The jam making kit contained a thermometer, long handle spoon and spatula, jam funnel and a large jam pan. You can get all these items at Aldi currently in their ‘Special Buys’ section.

After a quick trip to Aldi I came back with 450g raspberries, granulated sugar and one lemon. I already had some kilner jars at home so I popped one in the dishwasher to sterilise it. It is very important to sterilise the jam jars first. I did see some jam jars in Aldi too if you don’t have any. Also put a small saucer in the freezer before you start.

I put half the raspberries, 450g granulated sugar and the juice of one lemon into the pan on a low heat to dissolve the sugar.

I mashed up the raspberries in the pan using a potato masher.

Then I added the remaining raspberries and stirred gently until the sugar was completely dissolved.

I brought the mixture to the boil for about 10-15 minutes. Test the jam is ready by putting a small amount onto the small saucer that has been chilled in the freezer. Leave it for a minute or two then gently press your finger against it. It will have a ‘set’ jelly texture and wrinkle when you touch it if it is ready.

I poured it into the waiting jar immediately and sealed it up. The jam will keep for a couple of years now if you never open it! Once cooled and opened, pop it in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.

When I opened it up a few days later I was excited to taste it and see how well it had set. Raspberries have a lot of natural pectin in, which acts a setting agent, so the jam set well. It was really tasty too, fruity and sweet, just how you want your jam to be!

I spread mine onto scones and also added some clotted cream for true cream tea indulgence. This jam would be great on toast, in cakes, on a spoon…However you like it!

NB. I was sent the jam making kit for free but was not required to write a positive review.

Recipe slightly adapted from BBC food.

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Raspberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 450 g Fresh raspberries
  • 450 g Granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 Lemon

Instructions

  1. First of all, sterilise your jar(s)  by putting them through the dishwasher or washing in very hot soapy water and rinsing well, also put a small saucer in the freezer
  2. Put half the raspberries, all of the sugar and lemon juice into a large heavy bottomed pan on a low heat
  3. Mash up the raspberries in the pan using a potato masher
  4. Then add the remaining raspberries and stir gently until the sugar is completely dissolved
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil for about 10-15 minutes
  6. Test the jam is ready by putting a small amount onto the small saucer that has been chilled in the freezer. Leave it for a minute or two then gently press your finger against it. It will have a 'set' jelly texture and wrinkle when you touch it if it is ready
  7. Pour the hot mixture into the jar immediately and seal it
  8. The jam will keep for a couple of years if unopened
  9. Once opened, put it in the fridge and use within 2 weeks
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