Pumpkin Custard Donuts: GBBO Week #8

Pumpkin Custard Donuts: GBBO Week #8

We’re at the quarter finals now and the challenges are getting more difficult to really test the bakers. This week’s theme was advanced dough and for the first challenge the bakers had to make a sweet fruit loaf with an enriched dough. They could use any filling or flavour they wanted, the only rule was that no tins were allowed. The loaves had to be free form. Paul told us that enriched dough benefits from a slow prove as the butter, eggs and sugar that are added to the dough slows the yeast down.

Nancy hurried up here proving time by microwaving her dough. Paul was concerned about her doing this, but she had practised it at home with success. The dough certainly rose and her loaf was absolutely massive! It turned out ok, but was slightly underbaked. Luis added a cherry brandy soaked sugar cube to the middle of each of his fruit buns, which he used to make a tree shaped loaf.The judges thought it looked spectacular and it was also baked very well.

 

Paul Hollywood was on form and stalked the bakers as they decorated their loaves, provoking many shaky hands no doubt! Martha’s Spiced Plum loaf was a little underbaked, but the judges liked the flavour. Chetna made a Date & Walnut loaf which Paul thought had too much cinnamon in, but looked good and was baked well. Richard did very well and the judges had nothing bad to say!

The technical bake this week was Povitica, a Croatian swirled bread. Exactly what Chetna made in the first challenge, except shaped slightly differently. She was certainly pleased! It is an Eastern European cross between a bread and a pastry. All the other bakers immediately started wracking their brains trying to remember what Chetna did in the morning! Nancy was back to the microwave again to make the filling more pliable for spreading onto the dough, and Richard was right behind her copying the technique! Or as he called it ‘learning by looking’!

 

 

Chetna knew how long to prove and bake the dough for which was key to the recipe. Of course that information was not included in the recipe provided so she certainly had an advantage. I’m surprised they kept the challenge the same to be honest, as they obviously know what the bakers are going to make for the signature in advance. She came first, of course, Luis came second and Nancy third. Martha was fifth and Richard fourth.

 

One of my favourite showstoppers ever was this week – donuts! Who doesn’t like these delicious, deep fried, jam filled treats?! I’ve never wished so hard to be the chief taste tester in the tent. The bakers had to make two different types of donuts. I was so impressed with Luis’ Raspberry Mojito and Mudslide Donuts. Baileys is one of my favourite liquors and I would’ve taken care of most of these! Chetna made a South African inspired braided donut called a Koeksister which has potato in the dough.

Richard went for heart shaped Rhubarb & Custard Donuts and Toffee Apple Donuts, which the judges loved and Paul called ‘professional’. Nancy made half her donuts for adults by flavouring them with Limoncello, and the other half for children by decorating them with a familiar face. They were slightly irregular in terms of colour and a little dry, but had great flavour. Martha accidentally overproved her Passionfruit Curd Donuts which meant the were quite flat instead of puffed up.

Martha left the competition this week after coming last in the technical and overproving her showstopper. The level of baking talent and knowledge she has for a young girl is very impressive, and I think she will do well after the programme. Richard broke a record by becoming star baker for the fourth time!

This week I decided to make these golden deep fried Pumpkin Custard Donuts. I’ve made baked donuts before, but never the fried kind so I had to give it a go. They are a lot more involved and do take more time to make, but belive me the results are worth it!

I started with the pumpkin custard first. In a bowl I weighed out 112g granulated sugar, 35g plain flour, 25g cornflour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 pinches nutmeg and 2 pinches ground all spice.

In a pan I warmed 450ml whole milk and 2 tsp vanilla extract until it steamed.

Whilst it was heating I whisked up 6 egg yolks and 165g pumpkin puree.

I sieved the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and whisked to make sure there were no lumps. I poured in half the warmed milk, whisking as I poured.

I then poured the mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk and heated it for about 4 minutes, continuously whisking, until it thickened.

Once thick I put it in a bowl and covered with cling film. I made sure the cling film was pressed right against the custard, so a ‘skin’ didn’t form. I put it in the fridge to cool down completely.

To make the dough I started by melting 150ml milk and 75g butter. I left it to cool until tepid, and added 2 tsp dried yeast and 1 tbsp caster sugar. I left it for 10 minutes, covered with a lid. Then I mixed in 2 beaten eggs.

I weighed out 425g plain flour and mixed in 1/2 tsp salt and 50g caster sugar.

I made a well in the flour and poured the wet mixture in.

I formed a rough dough and kneaded it for 10 minutes. It was pretty sticky so I oiled my hands.

I placed the dough into an oiled bowl, covered it and put it in a warm place for 2 hours.

After the first prove it had doubled in size nicely!

I split the dough up into equal pieces and rolled them into balls. I got 16 pieces. I covered them with loose cling film and tea towels and left them in warm place for the second prove. This took 1 hour 30 minutes.

They rose again nicely, but they did stick to the baking paper so I would dust some flour on it next time.

I set up the oil in a large jam making pan with a food thermometer attached. I used about 1 litre vegetable oil. I heated it slowly until it reached 350F/180C.

I tested a small amount of dough first to check the heat was ready, then I gently placed two of the donuts at time in the oil and fried for about 1 minute per side until dark golden brown.

I fished them out with a slotted spoon and put them on kitchen towel to cool down.

I used a piping bag to fill the donuts with the custard once they were completely cool. I punched a hole in the side and filled until the custard resisted or started to come out. I then iced the top with regular icing sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon and water.

One of my most popular bakes yet, these went down extremely well and my colleagues gobbled them up, I was breaking diets left right and centre! The donuts were very tasty, the cinnamon really came through and the dough was lovely and soft. You could fill them with anything you want, jam of course is the classic choice. It is a lot of effort to make these, so I don’t know if it’s something I’ll do again soon, but they are definitely worth it for a special occassion or an indulgent treat!

I am linking up again to Supergolden Bakes GBBO Bake Along.

Pumpkin pastry cream recipe from About.
 
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Pumpkin Custard Donuts

Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 112 g Granulated sugar
  • 460 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 450 ml Whole milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 165 g Pumpkin puree
  • 75 g Butter
  • 150 ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 2 tsp Dried yeast
  • 50 g + 1 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 litre Vegetable Oil
  • 100 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Start by making the custard. In a bowl weigh out the granulated sugar, 35g of the plain flour, the cornflour, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice
  2. In a pan warm the whole milk and vanilla extract on a low-medium heat until it steams
  3. Whisk up the egg yolks and pumpkin puree
  4. Sieve the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Pour in half the warmed milk, whisking as you pour
  5. Then pour the mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk and heat it for about 4 minutes, continuously whisking, until it thickens
  6. Once thick, put it in a bowl and cover with cling film. Make sure the cling film is pressed right against the custard, so a 'skin' doesn't form. Put it in the fridge to cool down completely
  7. To make the dough warm the semi skimmed milk and butter in a pan. Leave it to cool until tepid, and add the dried yeast and the 1 tbsp caster sugar. Leave it for 10 minutes, covered with a lid. Then mix in the eggs
  8. Weigh out 425g of the plain flour and mix in the salt and 50g of the caster sugar
  9. Make a well in the flour and pour the wet mixture in
  10. Form a rough dough and knead it for 10 minutes. It will be sticky so flour your hands and work surface
  11. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it and put it in a warm place for 2 hours, it will double in size
  12. Split the dough up into 16 equal pieces and roll them into balls, put them onto lined and floured baking trays
  13. Cover them with loose cling film and tea towels and leave them in warm place for 1 hour 30 minutes
  14. Pour the vegetable oil into a large pan with a food thermometer attached. Heat it slowly until it reaches 350F/180C
  15. Gently place two of the donuts at time in the oil and fry for about 1 minute per side until dark golden brown
  16. Fish them out with a slotted spoon and put them on kitchen towel to cool down
  17. Use a piping bag fitted with a nozzle to fill the donuts with the custard once they are completely cool. Punched a hole in the side with the nozzle and fill until the custard resists or starts to come out
  18. Mix the icing sugar and a pinch of cinnamon with enough water to make a smooth paste and drizzle over the donuts
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Book Review: What To Bake & How To Bake It by Jane Hornby

Book Review: What To Bake & How To Bake It by Jane Hornby

Despite being a frequent baker and recipe lover, I don’t actually buy too many recipe books. Sure I have more than your average person, but most of them were gifts. So when I recently got sent ‘What To Bake & How To Bake It’ by Jane Hornby to review I was excited to see what it was like. My first impressions were that the cover illustration was really eye catching, and once I saw the photos inside that the illustrator was portraying, I also thought it was very impressive art work!

This is the third book from author Jane Hornby. She is a UK based food writer, editor and food stylist who trained at Leith’s Cookery School in London. Jane says that her “whole ethos is to inspire and help people to simply cook more, with well-explained and thoroughly tested recipes that look as good as they taste.”

One of my main requirements for a recipe book it that there is a photo for every bake in it. I like to see what it should look like at the end! This book has clear aerial photos for every step of the recipe, so you can see the ingredients clearly laid out, and what it’s supposed to look like along the way. Every recipe has a photo of the end result – which made me very happy!

I made two recipes from the book, Golden Citrus Drizzle Cake and a Flourless Chocolate Torte. It was hard to pick a recipe to make because I genuinely liked the sound of almost every recipe in the book. There was only one I wouldn’t make and that is purely because I don’t like coffee. I have a lot more on the list to try out soon! The Golden Citrus Drizzle Cake was so light and delicious, I really enjoyed it and ate a few pieces. Chocolate Torte is something I’ve been wanting to try making for a while, and it was rich and fudgey just how I hoped.

Although I (mostly) know what I’m doing when it comes to baking, I enjoyed the clear instructions and suggestions. Jane adds tips, ingredient substitutions and  recipe adjustments to each recipe so you can make it your own. I had to use some adjustments such as just using orange and lemon in the drizzle cake as I didn’t have any limes, and almond flour instead of ground almonds in the torte, and they both still came out great!

I think this book is suitable for experienced and new bakers, and I’d be really pleased to receive it as a gift. It’s almost like an instruction manual and it makes you feel at ease when following the recipes. I’m going to continue baking from it and both me, my boyfriend and my colleagues are looking forward to eating the results!

NB. I was sent the book free to review, but was not required to write a positive review.

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Empanadas: GBBO Week #7

Empanadas: GBBO Week #7

It’s really gotten to the point with this year’s Great British Bake Off where anything can happen and one wrong week could see the departure of any of the baker’s. They are all so good! This week’s pastry theme was sure to test them as there is a lot of potential for mishaps when it comes to that yummy flaky stuff. The signature challenge request was 12 savoury parcels, and the bakers could use any pastry they liked. As usual, Paul and Mary wanted absolute perfection!

Chetna made some Indian Lentil Kachoris using Carom Seed pastry which she deep fried. Kate was also inspired by India and made some Spinach and Paneer Samosas, she had some trouble with her deep fryer and they were not cooked fully. Luis made some Empanadas, which are commonly eaten in Spain and Latin America. He filled them with chorizo, vegetables and potatos, and wrapped them in an orange and paprika pastry.

Martha stayed local with her very British Mini Beef Wellingtons. Nancy and Richard both made pasties, Nancy filled hers with a Spicy Duck filling, and Richard used Minted Lamb. The judges loved Richard’s, the pastry was flaky and they thought the flavours were great. Nancy’s were unfortunately underbaked.

For the first time on the Bake Off, none of the bakers had ever heard of this week’s technical challenge! It was to make 12 Kouign Amann, which are cakes made using a bread dough that is layered with butter, similar to puff pastry. Sugar is also added to one of the layers to add sweetness. They originate from the Breton region of France. It is named after the Breton words for ‘cake’ and ‘butter’.

As usual, instructions were a minimum. The bakers didn’t know how long to prove the dough for, and it wasn’t very clearly stated when they should add the sugar. So all the bakers did different things! Martha and Richard were the only ones to add the sugar to the last layer, which was correct. Kate was the only one to do her second prove in the fridge. There was also no baking time stated. This really was a tough challenge! Richard came first, Nancy second and Martha third. Chetna came last, Luis fifth and Kate fourth.

24 showstopping eclairs were the final challenge, the judges wanted them to remain eclair shaped, for there to be 2 different flavours and made from choux pastry. The flavours and decoration were completely up to the bakers. Chetna and Kate both made chocolate choux, and also both made Lemon Meringue eclairs. Martha and Luis were both inspired by America. Martha made a Maple Syrup & Bacon eclair, while Luis used candied pecans to flavour his red and blue eclairs.

Nancy was the only baker who made a savoury eclair, filling it with salmon and horseradish. The judges thought they were baked well and the filling was very good. Richard used lavendar and rose flavours in his baking and was very careful not to add too much so they didn’t taste like soap, Mary and Paul both were impressed that he used just enough of the flavours. He also presented his eclairs on a small homemade staircase!

Kate left this week, which I was sad about as I really liked her. I think I will be sad to see anyone go from now on! She had a close call last week and unfortunately had a few issues this week with underbaked samosas and the judges did not like her eclairs as they could not taste the basil and her chocolate ones were messy. Richard was back on form this week after a similarly close call last week, and he won star baker. Next week the bakers tackle sweet dough, and it’s the quarter finals! It’s all going so quickly!

I’ve made eclairs before, and to be honest I didn’t think the Kougin Amann sounded very nice, so I chose to make Empanadas this week. I used Paul Hollywood’s Empanada pastry recipe, and I made two of my own different fillings, a vegetarian one with pepper and spring onion, and a chorizo and onion one. I put cheese in both of them!

I made the dough by adding 150g melted butter and 1 egg to 300g plain flour and a large pinch of salt. I mixed everything together until a dough formed. I kneaded it for a couple of minutes until smooth. I left it in the bowl covered with cling film while I made the fillings.

I made the fillings in seperate pans. I gently fried small pieces of chorizo and chopped onion in one, and green pepper, spring onion and onion in another, along with some Spanish seasoning. The chorizo is packed with flavour so I didn’t add anything else to it.

I rolled out the dough to 3-4mm thick and cut out 12 inch circles from it until it was gone.

Into each circle I placed some filling and added cheese on top. I put as much in as I could. The dough was fairly plaible and did stretch. I gently wet the edge of the dough and pressed it down around the edges. I didn’t want any leakage!

Using a fork I crimped the edges and placed them onto a lined baking tray and brushed them with beaten egg.

I baked them on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes. The recipe made 10 in total. I did have a bit of leftover filling as it was hard to estimate how much I’d need.

The chorizo one was really delicious, I loved the pastry and I never get tired of eating chorizo! I served three of them with pilau rice and broccoli which I found filling enough. I had the other two the next day.

My boyfriend enjoyed the vegetarian ones very much, he managed four of them. These are really easy and versatile little parcels and I found the pastry easy to make and work with. I might make the pastry in advance next time and keep it in the fridge before putting the empanadas together.

I am linking up again to Supergolden Bakes GBBO Bake Along.

 
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Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 150 g Butter melted
  • 300 g Plain flour
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Green pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 6 Spring onion
  • 100 g Chorizo
  • 150 g Mature cheddar grated
  • Spanish seasoning mix
  • 1 Beaten egg

Instructions

  1. Make the dough by adding the melted butter and egg to the plain flour along with a large pinch of salt. Mix everything together until a dough forms. Knead it for a couple of minutes until smooth. Leave it in the bowl covered with cling film while you make the fillings
  2. Make the fillings in separate pans. Gently fry small pieces of chorizo and chopped onion in one, and green pepper, spring onion and onion in another, along with the Spanish seasoning
  3. Roll out the dough to 3-4mm thick and cut out 12 inch circles from it until it is all used
  4. Into each circle of dough, place 1-2 tsp of the filling and add some of the grated cheese on top. Gently wet the edge of the dough, fold it over the filling and press it down around the edges
  5. Using a fork, crimp the edges and place them onto a lined baking tray and brush them with beaten egg
  6. Bake them on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes
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Salted Caramel Fudge

Salted Caramel Fudge
Salted caramel is all the rage right now and although I may be a little late to the party in finally making something with these opposing flavours, this Salted Caramel Fudge was worth the wait! It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s melt in the mouth, it’s delicious!

In a large heavy bottomed pan I put 1 can (397g) condensed milk, 150ml semi skimmed milk, 115g butter, 300g granulated sugar, and 150g golden caster sugar. I heated it on low until all the sugar had dissolved.

Once the sugar was completely dissolved, I turned up the heat and let the mixture boil for 10 minutes. I kept stirring it during this time.

I beat the mixture until it started to set, then poured it into a prepared pan lined with greaseproof paper. I sprinkled sea salt over the top, I didn’t measure the amount I used, this part depends on how salty you like it! I gently pressed the salt into the fudge to make sure it stuck.

I left it overnight to set and the next day I cut it up into pieces. It was very tasty and melt in the mouth! The saltyness balances out how sweet the fudge is. Fudge is great for giving as a gift and I have given it out at Christmas and for Valentine’s Day before. This fudge went to a friend for her birthday, to my Dad and stepmum, and then the leftovers were enjoyed by myself and my boyfriend. You get at least three decent sized gifts out of this batch. Perfect for Christmas!

I’m linking this recipe up with Treat Petite, hosted by Cakeyboi this month and myself on alternate months.

Recipe adapted from Honest Cooking.
 
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Salted Caramel Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 can (397g) Condensed Milk
  • 150 ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 115 g Butter
  • 300 g Granulated sugar
  • 150 g Golden caster sugar
  • Coarse Sea Salt To taste

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pan heat the condensed milk, semi skimmed milk, butter, granulated sugar, and golden caster sugar on low until all the sugar is dissolved

  2. Then turn up the heat and let the fudge boil for 10 minutes. Keep stirring during this time

  3. Take off the heat and beat the fudge until it starts to set, then pour into an 8 x 8 square tin lined with baking paper

  4. Sprinkle your desired amount of sea salt over the top of the fudge and gently press into the fudge to make sure it sticks

  5. Leave the fudge for several hours or overnight to set, then cut up into pieces to serve

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Swedish Princess Cake: GBBO Week #6

Swedish Princess Cake: GBBO Week #6

The Great British Bake Off got all European this week. Mel and Sue put on some dodgy accents and requested that the bakers make a yeast leavened cake inspired by Europe. Paul explained that baking powder wasn’t invented until the 1850s, so yeast was used to raise cakes. Yeast is much harder to work with as any flavours you add to the mixture can affect the yeast from performing it’s rising job. The cake has to prove like bread before being baked.

There was a wide variety of cakes from the bakers. Luis made an Austrian Kugelhopf flavoured with apple and cinnamon, Richard made a German Guglhupf filled with fruit, and Chetna made an French Savarin flavoured with orange. Martha, Luis and Chetna all did very well in the judging. Nancy’s cake was overproved, Richard’s underproved and Paul thought Kate’s fillings were too dry. All the bakers reacted well to the feedback. Nice to see everyone returning to being calm and collected!

Mary Berry’s recipe for a Swedish Princess cake (or Prinsesstårta) was this week’s technical challenge. The cake comprises layers of genoise sponge sandwiched with jam and creme patisserie, then an dome of whipped cream on top and the whole thing is covered in green marzipan with a pink marzipan rose decoration and chocolate swirls to finish. This is a pretty epic creation and is the Bake Off’s most complicated technical challenge yet as it compromises 26 ingredients and 14 stages. Mary advised that the bakers read the recipe at least twice to make sure they know what they’re doing!

This challenge really proved that the bakers have great technical knowledge. They weren’t told how to make a creme patisserie, but they all knew what to do. Martha knew a lot about genoise sponges, and Nancy is a jam making pro. The recipe is certainly tough as they had to make both the jam and marzipan from scratch! Kate and Chetna both made the sponges twice as they didn’t rise, which left them with little time to decorate. Nancy won the challenge, with Chetna and Luis in second and third. Kate came last, with Richard fifth and Martha fourth. I loved the clip of Kate at the end just going ‘Hmmm…’!

 
 

For the showstopper the judges requested a contemporary version of the Hungarian dobos torte. This is a multi layered cake topped with caramel slices, and the judges wanted at least two tiers, with lots of caramel sugar work in any shape of design the bakers desired. This is a very elegant cake and is mostly found in patisseries and fancy hotels. The bakers had to make lots of very thin layers of sponge to build up the height of the cake. The idea is that the buttercream and cake layers are the same so that when it’s cut you get a great effect.

Luis made a cage shape out of his caramel that was very precise and impressive, although his cake lacked in flavour. Richard spun some sugar to make a nest for a sugar bird, but his sponges drooped. Chetna had a very clever trick using grapes to make caramel bowls, which the judges loved. Nancy also did well. Paul and Mary felt that Kate did not do enough sugar work, and Martha’s cake tasted good, but again the sugar work was minimal.

So, quite obviously, no one left this week. After Diana’s unexpected exit, the programme are now down one person leaving the number uneven. Luckily this week Paul and Mary had a bit of a disagreement on who should go (it was between Kate and Richard). So they took the opportunity for no one to leave this week. Richard and Kate have both received the star baker award in the past, so they will hopefully pick up their game after this week as I really like them both! Next week is all about pastry.

I decided to make the Swedish Princess Cake this week as it contained a couple of techniques I’m not familiar with. Creme patisserie and genoise sponge are things I’ve never made before. Lucky for me I had all the time in the world to make it so I did the creme patisserie the night before and left it to cool in the fridge overnight. I also used shop bought jam and marzipan (sorry Mary). If you do want to make your own jam my Raspberry Jam post will show you how. As for marzipan – go and buy some is my advice!

To make the creme patisserie I started by heating 500ml whole milk with the seeds from a vanilla pod until it reached boiling point. I then took it off the heat.

In my food mixer I whisked up 6 egg yolks with 140g caster sugar until pale and thick. I added 45g cornflour, then turned the mixer back on and poured the milk in.

I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it up whilst stirring. There is a moment when it suddenly thickens, I started whisking it at this point to keep it smooth and stop any lumps.

I was so chuffed with the creme patisserie! I put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. I made sure the cling film was touching the creme pat so that a skin doesn’t form on it. I left it in the fridge overnight to cool.

The next evening I lined and greased my 23cm spring form cake tin.

In my food mixer I whisked up 5 eggs with 150g caster sugar until pale and super thick. When you lift the whisk out the mixture that falls off should stay on the surface for 3 seconds before sinking in.

I folded 130g plain flour and 1 tsp vanilla sugar into the egg mixture very gently so as little air is lost as possible. I then put it in the tin.

I baked the sponge on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minutes.

Whilst it was cooling I kneaded pink food colouring into 40g marzipan. I rolled it out and cut out a strip about 2cm wide and 10cm long.

I rolled it up, nipping the bottom and spreading out the petals at the top with my fingertips.

I cut the sponge into three and put the first piece on my cake stand. I spread a thin layer of the creme patisserie onto it, then piped a border of it around the edge.

 

I added raspberry jam in the middle and spread evenly. At this point I got a bit confused and put the second sponge on top without adding cream over the jam first. To be honest at this point I was pretty tired and it didn’t affect the end result.

 

I put the second sponge on and spread over the rest of the creme patisserie.

I placed the final sponge layer on, then whipped up 700ml whipping cream with 2 tbsp icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla sugar and spread it over the whole cake, making a dome shape on top.

I kneaded some green food colouring into 400g natural marzipan and rolled it out. Now I am not the decorator type. Baking I can do, but when it comes to decorating I lack finesse! The marzipan went on fine but I couldn’t get it smooth all the way round.

So I end up with what I shall call and ‘ugly bum’ at the back of the Swedish Princess Cake! Ah well. I cut the edges off and piped cream around the bottom. I melted some dark chocolate and piped a design on top, and finally added my pink rose.

When the Swedish Princess Cake was cut the layers were clearly defined which I was really thrilled with! It’s a very indulgent cake as there is obviously a ton of cream. The creme patisserie was really delicious and I’ll definitely make it again. I’m not a huge fan of marzipan but it’s not overpowering. I think a version of this cake covered in chocolate icing and maybe with some extra jam would be really good. Overall, although time consuming, the different elements weren’t as difficult to make as I expected. It went to plan, although I had the luxury of time, which the Bake Off contestants do not! I think with as much time as I had they would have produced similar if not better results.

I am linking up again to Supergolden Bakes GBBO Bake Along.

Recipe from The Telegraph.
 
 
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Swedish Princess Cake

Ingredients

  • 500 ml Whole milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 290 g + 2 tsp Caster sugar
  • 45 g Cornflour
  • 5 Eggs
  • 130 g Plain flour
  • 440 g Natural Marzipan
  • Pink food colouring
  • Green food colouring
  • 700 ml Double cream
  • 1/2 a jar Raspberry jam
  • Dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the creme patisserie heat the whole milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod until it reaches boiling point. Then take it off the heat
  2. In a food mixer whisk up the egg yolks with 140g of the caster sugar until pale and thick. Add the cornflour, then turned the mixer back on and pour the milk in
  3. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it up whilst stirring. When it starts to thicken, whisk it to keep it smooth and stop any lumps forming
  4. Put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. Make sure the cling film is touching the creme patisserie so that a skin doesn't form on it. Leave it in the fridge to cool completely
  5. Line and grease a 23cm spring form cake tin
  6. In a food mixer whisked up the eggs with 150g of the caster sugar until pale and super thick. When you lift the whisk out the mixture that falls off should stay on the surface for 3 seconds before sinking in
  7. Fold the plain flour and 1 tsp of sugar into the egg mixture very gently so as little air is lost as possible. Then put it in the tin
  8. Bake the sponge on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minutes. Leave to cool completely
  9. Knead some pink food colouring into 40g of the marzipan. Roll it out and cut out a strip about 2cm wide and 10cm long
  10. Roll the strip up, nipping the bottom and spreading out the petals at the top with your fingertips. Set aside
  11. Cut the sponge into three layers and put the first piece onto a cake stand. Spread a thin layer of the creme patisserie onto it, then pipe a border of the creme patisserie around the edge
  12. Add raspberry jam in the middle and spread evenly
  13. Put the second sponge on and spread over the rest of the creme patisserie
  14. Place the final sponge layer on, then whip up the cream with the icing sugar and 1 tsp of the sugar. Spread it over the whole cake, making a dome shape on top. Leave some cream aside for decorating
  15. Knead green food colouring into 400g of the marzipan and roll it out. Cover the entire cake with it
  16. Pipe the leftover cream around the bottom. Melt the dark chocolate and pipe a design on top, and finally add the pink rose in the middle
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Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

After last week’s Great British Bake Off episode I found it hard to choose just one thing to make as pies and tarts are so damn delicious. So as well as the savoury Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie I made at the weekend, I also decided to make a sweet custard tart. Orange is my partner’s favourite citrus fruit, and I’ve not made a chocolate shortcrust pastry before, so I thought they would go together perfectly. Apologies for the bad photography, it had gone dark by the time the tart was ready and there was no way I could protect it from consumption before I got some natural light!

To make the pastry I rubbed 125g butter into a mixture of 225g plain flour, 25g cocoa powder and 80g golden caster sugar.

I added one egg and formed it into a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

 
When the hour was up I rolled out the pastry onto some cling film. This makes it really easy to lift the pastry into the tin.

 

I used a 25cm tin, lined it with the pastry, smoothing it out around the bottom and side. I gently pricked the bottom with a fork.

I lined the pastry with foil and poured in some baking beans. I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 12 minutes.

I took it out of the oven, removed the beans and foil, and used a knife to trim the edges. Some of the pastry did break a little more than I would have liked. I returned it to the oven for 10 minutes.

To make the custard filling I started by whisking up 6 eggs. I added in 150g caster sugar, the juice of 3 large oranges and 50ml orange liquor.

Finally I whisked in 200ml double cream and the zest of the 3 oranges.

I put the pastry case in the oven and poured the custard into it. This ensures it doesn’t spill!

I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. the custard puffs up a lot, but sinks back down as it cools.

I dusted with a little icing sugar before serving. The pastry baked really well, I may use this recipe again without the cocoa powder for regular shortcrust pastry. The custard tart had a great chocolate flavour which matched really well with the fruity custard filling. You can really taste the orange liquor and it is rather moreish! I was quite happy to have a couple of slices of this, as was everyone else!

Pastry recipe from Sweet Cook. Filling recipe adapted from Drink Society.

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Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

Ingredients

  • 125 g Butter
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder
  • 80 g Golden caster sugar
  • 7 Eggs
  • 150 g Caster sugar
  • 3 Large oranges
  • 50 ml Orange liquor
  • 200 ml Double Cream

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour, cocoa powder and golden caster sugar until it resembles bread crumbs.
  2. Add the egg and form into a dough.
  3. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the pastry out to bigger than a 25cm tin onto some cling film.
  5. Use the cling film to lift the pastry into the tin.
  6. Smooth the pastry out in the tin and gently prick the bottom with a fork.
  7. Line the pastry with foil and pour in some baking beans.
  8. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and baking beans.
  10. Use a knife to trim the edges of the pastry and neaten it up.
  11. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  12. To make the custard filling whisk up the remaining 6 eggs, add the caster sugar, the juice of the oranges and the orange liquor. Mix well.
  13. Then whisk in the double cream and the orange zest.
  14. Put the pastry case on the oven shelf first, then pour the filling in using a jug.
  15. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes
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Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie: GBBO Week #5

Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie: GBBO Week #5

After last week’s drama, Pie Week on The Great British Bake Off started with an announcement that Diana has left the series due to illness. I’m not sure how far in advance the series is filmed, but it’s certainly suspicious timing! Pastry and bread really do sort the casual cake bakers from the rest. Richard was star baker last week, his second time acheiving the title, but this week he easily could have gone as pastry clearly is not his forte!

Family sized custard tarts were the signature challenge this week, with a request not to throw them in the bin! Paul and Mary were after a crispy base, silky custard and no leaks. All of the bakers used fruit to flavour their tarts, either adding fruit puree to their custard, or using whole pieces of fruit in the tart.. And some flavoured their pastry too, like Nancy’s chocolate pastry and Martha’s pistachio pastry. Martha made a comment about how the older bakers have probably made more pastry and are more experienced using it. I agree with this as before ready made pastry came out, students were taught how to make it in school. Whereas nowadays, the younger generation can just go and buy it ready made, so it’s no longer a necessary skill.

Kate’s Rhubarb & Custard tart looked awesome, I loved that swirl on top. Luis’ Tropical Manchester tart was, as usual, perfection. Can the guy do anything wrong?! Norman’s ‘light’ dusting of icing sugar on his Tarte Au Citron was beyond hilarious, but I did feel bad for him after Paul’s comments. You could tell he was really proud of himself,

Mini pear pies were the technical challenge this week. Pears wrapped in pastry… does this count as a pie? It all looked a bit complicated as you have to poach the pears first, let them cool, then put the pastry on them when they are cool enough so that the pastry doesn’t melt and slip off, then bake them. The bakers started by making a ruff puff pastry.

 

Everyone struggled with getting the pear pies ready within the time limit. The pastry completely slipped off Richard’s pears, but bless him he had a good sense of humour about it! He came last, with Luis and Norman in sixth and fifth. Martha came first, with Chetna in second and Kate in third.

The showstopper request was a pretty epic one. A three (or more) tiered pie was requested. Basically like a pie wedding cake! They could do sweet or savoury pies and use any pastry they wanted. A good strong pastry to support all the tiers was recommend by Mary. Paul wanted the pie to be themed, for the flavours and fillings to have a reason to be paired together.

Hot water crust was a popular choice because it is so strong and sturdy. Meat, in particular pork, was also a common filling. Nancy was the only one who hand raised her pies without using a tin. Impressive stuff! Savoury flavours were definitely more popular with only a few sweet pies from Norman, Richard and Nancy.

Some of the bakers piled the pies on top of another, whereas others used pillars to separate the pies. Luis pie tower collapsed but managed to survive, showing just how sturdy hot water crust is! He did well in the judging as did Kate. Richard’s pies were a little burnt and the judges were not a fan of Norman’s lavender flavoured meringue. Norman called his pie tower the Pieful Tower – who doesn’t love a good pun!

Norman left us this week. I absolutely love him and will miss him in the tent each week. He came out withe the most hilarious one liners and his confidence was so charming. He is a very simple and traditional baker, and although fantastic at what he does, he wasn’t able to keep up with the more modern flavours and methods. Kate won the star baker title which I think was well deserved! Next week – European desserts.

Pies are just brilliant aren’t they? I love pastry and I’ve been trying over the last couple of years to have a go at making all the different kinds. I haven’t done hot water crust yet so I decided to try it for this week’s GBBO challenge. I made a vegetarian pie as my boyfriend is vegetarian and there was no way he didn’t want to be involved in enjoying the results of my baking! Leek, cheese and potato is a great pie filling as it’s delicious, hearty and easy to flavour to your own taste.

I started by weighing out 500g plain flour in a bowl.

Over a medium heat I melted together 90g butter, 100g Crisp n Dry, 200ml water and 1 tsp salt. I used Crisp n Dry because my boyfriend is a vegetarian and this is a vegetarian friendly recipe. You can of course replace this with lard.

As soon as the fat mixture came to a boil, I took it off the heat and poured it into the flour. I used a wooden spoon to combine the mixture until a dough formed. I’ve seen people use their hands to mix the dough, but frankly I find this a bit dangerous! I am pretty sensitive to heat, and a wooden spoon worked great, so there was no need to put my hands in. I covered the bowl with a clean tea towel and left it to cool down for an hour.

Once it was cool I lightly floured my work top and rolled it out into a rectangle. I then folded the dough into thirds, as above.

I rolled it out again and folded it again. Then put it in a dish, covered it with cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After the time was up I took it out and used two thirds of the dough to line the pin tin. I used a loose bottomed cake tin that was 21cm wide and 7.5cm deep, I brushed it with oil. I rolled the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, placed it in the tin and trimmed the edges. I covered it with cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While this was in the fridge I prepared the filling. I sliced 3 large potatoes thinly, and boiled them for about 5 minutes. I drained the potatoes and put them aside.

I sliced up 4 leeks and cooked them along with 4 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil for about 5 minutes. Then set them aside to cool for 15 minutes.

For the sauce I mixed up 300ml double cream, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 180g grated extra mature cheddar, 2 eggs and herbs and salt to taste. I used rosemary and parsley. You could add chives or pepper too.

I mixed the cooled leeks into the sauce.

I took the pie case out of the fridge and layered up the fillings, potato slices, then leek, potato, then leek, until it was full.

I rolled out the rest of the pastry to make the lid. I used a beaten egg to stick the lid around the edge to the base. I used my fingers to make a crimp pattern and cut two slits with a knife in the middle. I brushed beaten egg all over the top.

I had too much filling to fill the pie so I made this extra pie with a lid made from the leftover pastry. I’ve reduced the amount of filling in the recipe card below to make just the one large pie.

The bigger pie was an absolute beast and took an hour and a half on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 to bake. The smaller pie took around 45 minutes. if the pastry on top starts to catch, cover it with foil.

Now this pie was massive! I think it could serve 8 people easily. We ate the smaller pie for dinner one night with some vegetables and gravy. Then started on the bigger one the next day… for both lunch and dinner! It was very delicious and it got the thumbs up from my boyfriend. He said it was one of his favourite things I had made him recently. I was pleased with how the pastry turned out too and hot water crust was much easier than I thought.

I am linking up again to Supergolden Bakes GBBO Bake Along.

Pastry recipe slightly adapted from Gourmet Dough. Filling recipe slightly adapted from Pie by Dean Brettschneider.
 
 
 
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Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie

Ingredients

  • 500 g Plain flour
  • 90 g Butter
  • 100 g Crisp n Dry or Lard
  • 200 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Large Potatoes
  • 3 Leeks
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 3 Eggs
  • 300 ml Double Cream
  • 150 g Grated Mature Cheddar
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Weigh out the plain flour in a bowl.
  2. Over a medium heat, heat the butter, Crisp n Dry, water and salt. When it comes to a boil, take off the heat and pour into the flour.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to combine the mixture until a dough forms.
  4. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to cool for an hour.
  5. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds.
  6. Roll it out again and fold into thirds again.
  7. Put it in a dish, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Roll out two thirds of the dough to line a 21cm wide and 7.5cm deep pin tin. Brush the tin with oil. Place in the tin and trim the edges. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Now prepare the filling.
  10. Slice the potatoes thinly, and boil them for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  11. Slice the leeks and cook for 5 mins with the oil, garlic, butter and a sprinkle of salt. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  12. In a bowl mix the double cream, lemon juice, cheddar, 2 of the eggs and herbs.
  13. Mix the cooled leeks into the sauce.
  14. Take the pie case out of the fridge and layer up the fillings, potato slices, then leek, potato, then leek, until it's full.
  15. Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the lid. Beat the remaining egg and brush it around the edge to stick the lid to the base. Make a crimp pattern with your fingers and cut two slits with a knife in the middle. Brush beaten egg all over the top.
  16. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for an hour and a half. If the pastry on top starts to catch, cover it with foil.
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Orange Self Saucing Pudding: GBBO Week #4

Orange Self Saucing Pudding: GBBO Week #4

I’m a bit late with my Great British Bake Off round up and bake as I have been at a wedding all weekend in St Ives – such a beautiful place! Last week was episode 4 of The Great British Bake Off and the baking category was ‘Desserts’. For the first signature challenge, the judges asked for 8 individually served ‘self saucing’ puddings. I’ve never heard of this before, however there are two main types of this pudding variant; melt in the middle fondants, and sponges that create a sauce underneath when baked. Only Chetna, Norman and Luis tried out the latter option. Either way, the idea is to have a sponge crust and an oozing sauce when the sponge is broken into. Sounds good!

 

Chocolate and fruity flavours were popular throughout the tent. Chetna’s Rhubarb, Orange & Strawberry Puddings looked beautiful, but were not saucy enough for Paul and Mary. Nancy also suffered from a lack of sauce, whereas Luis’ sauce was too watery. Richard’s Black Forest Puddings were a big success, and Iain also did well.

I think it is quite interesting to see how the older generation of bakers approach each challenge. Norman made a Sticky Toffee Pudding and Diana made classic Lemon Surprise Pudding. The judges enjoyed both of their creations and I think it’s nice to see some classics as it is what you would be more likely to bake at home, or at least to try out for the first time if giving self saucing puddings a go.

A layered Tiramasu Cake was this week’s technical challenge. Mary’s version looked extremely professional. Is it wrong that sometimes I wonder if her and Paul actually make the ‘example’ bakes for the technical challenge scene?! This dessert is all about precision, and getting the layers even and visible.

The sponge had to be sliced horizontally to get the very thin layers, both Iain and Richard baked theirs again as it didnt rise enough the first time. Norman graced us with another classic quote “I’ve never made this before no. I couldn’t even spell it!” Martha was the only baker who had made this before and came first in the challenge, Luis came second and Chetna third. Diana took last place, with Norman and Kate in eighth and seventh places.

Seen as it was the hottest day of the year, the Baked Alaska showstopper is probably the worst timed challenge of the series! “What can possibly go wrong?” Luis stated at the start, oh Luis…! A Baked Alaska is a very retro dessert and contains ice cream. So the bakers spent the majority of their 4 and a half hour time limit flapping around the freezers waiting and praying for their ice cream to freeze. I don’t think the time is sufficient for it to freeze in, could they have not made it the day before and left it overnight?

Of course I have to mention freezergate/bingate/bakedalaskadisaster… Diana removed Iain’s ice cream from the fridge and did not inform him she had done so. It was left on the side (we don’t know for how long, but Sue Perkins tweeted it was for 40 seconds). The editing may be somewhat responsible for what we saw, but I can only respond to what was presented in front of me, so here’s my thoughts…

No matter how long it was out of the freezer for, in my opinion Diana’s behaviour was not in the spirit of the competition. Remember how awful Deborah felt when she accidentally stole Howard’s custard? She admitted her mistake and apologised, then when the trifles were judged by Paul and Mary it was taken into consideration. Diana didn’t apologise, and hasn’t that I am aware of in the media since (correct me if I’m wrong!) She shouted back that he should be using another freezer when Iain asked her why she had done it. She didn’t apologise, try to go after him, or emit any trace of regret. The Great British Bake Off contestants always have such a fantastic sense of camaraderie, they help each other out and are genuine friend. So it was very disappointing for me to see this kind of behaviour.

Well this all culminated in Iain throwing his bake in the bin, and Paul and Mary decided to send him home. And the Great British people were not happy! Twitter completely erupted. (Have a read of this Buzzfeed article for some particularly outragous tweets.) The full events did not appear to have been explained to Paul and Mary. I think that no one should have left and two should have gone next week. There was a similar incident a couple of years ago when John cut his hand and couldn’t present his bake. Definitely the most controversial Bake Off yet! Looking forward to seeing what next week’s pie week brings!

I decided to try out an Orange Self Saucing Pudding this week. I have made Chocolate Fondants before a few times with success, so I did think about trying one of the other bakes, but I’m not a coffee fan at all and I don’t have an ice cream maker. So pudding it was!

I started by greasing the ramekins. Don’t line them with paper as I have done above, I realised it was not necessary later on. Just grease with butter all over.

Into a large bowl I sifted 170g self raising flour, added 100g golden caster sugar and the zest of two large oranges. I mixed it with a wooden spoon.

Using a fork I mixed up 50g melted butter, 1 egg and 120ml semi skimmed milk in a jug, added it to the dry ingredients and stirred together with a wooden spoon.

I divided the mixture between the ramekins.

In a separate bowl I mixed together 100g sugar and 2 tsp cornflour.

Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the batter, I used a heaped tablespoon and made sure to cover the batter fully.

I juiced the oranges and got about 245ml from them, if you don’t get enough you can add some fresh orange juice from a carton to top it up. Mix the juice with 245ml boiling water and pour over the puddings. I poured until the sauce reached the lip of the ramekin.

I baked the orange pudding on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes. They look a bit like souffles when they come out, but do sink down into the ramekin as they cool.

They were very tasty and had lots of sauce underneath the batter! The orange flavour was just right and although filling, they were very moreish. We ate them with custard although you could have them with cream or ice cream.

I’m entering these orange puddings into myself and Cakeyboi’s monthly baking challenge Treat Petite. It’s our one year anniversary and we are celebrating with an ‘Anything Goes’ theme, and a new logo!

Also linking up to Supergolden Bakes ongoing GBBO Bake along. She bravely made a stunning Baked Alaska this week!

Recipe slightly adapted from Delicious Everyday.

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Orange Self Saucing Pudding

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 170 g Self raising flour
  • 200 g Golden caster sugar
  • 2 Large oranges
  • 50 g Melted butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 120 ml Milk
  • 2 tsp Cornflour
  • 245 ml Boiling water

Instructions

  1. Grease six ramekins with butter
  2. Sift the self raising flour into a large bowl, add 100g of the golden caster sugar and the zest of the oranges. Mix with a wooden spoon
  3. In a jug mix together the butter, milk and egg
  4. Add to the dry ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon
  5. Divide the batter between the ramekins
  6. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the golden caster sugar with the cornflour
  7. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the batter, make sure to cover the batter fully
  8. Mix the juice of the oranges with the boiling water and pour over the puddings
  9. Bake the puddings on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes until golden brown on top and the sauce is bubbling
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