Bakewell Tart: GBBO Week #5

Bakewell Tart: GBBO Week #5
After all of the shock news last week, we’ve had a further blow this week in the news that Mary Berry will not be following the show when it moves to Channel 4. Paul Hollywood confirmed that he would be staying with the show, making him the only one to remain. There was a foreshadowing of the future moment this week when Sue made a joke at Tom’s bench and then walked off saying “I’m leaving the tent”… oh Sue, if only you’d known!

The signature challenge this week was to make two different types of Danish breakfast pastries. Mary wanted the bakers to produce a crisp buttery pastry and Paul said this challenge was all about time management. They all used enriched doughs and all of the bakers except Jane made one dough that they split in two. Jane made Pain Au Raisin with a orange and cardamom dough and Raspberry, Chocolate & Almond Danish with a cinnamon dough. Candice was the only baker to brave a savoury pastry with her Croque Monsieur Kites featuring mushrooms, gruyere and pancetta.

Selasi’s pastries were very tropical themed and featured pineapple, orange and mango. Val was being her usual unqiue self and had brought dental floss with her to cut her pastry with. I hope it wasn’t mint flavoured! Benjamina went all American with her flavours and made peanut butter and banana pinwheels, and pecan swirl with maple syrup and candied bacon. Everyone struggled towards the end with timing, and Rav even forgot to bake one of his pastries.

Tom didn’t fare so well during judging as one of his pastries was dry and the other was so raw the judges wouldn’t even taste it. Val, Selasi and Benjamina all had problems with their pastry being undercooked too. The judges like the flavour of both Rav and Andrew’s fillings. Jane got a great result with her pain au raisins, and Candice’s savoury pastries went down very well.

This week’s technical was to make a Bakewell Tart, I love how they are bringing all the technical’s back to basics this year. There was a bit of internet uproar over the tart in question due to the icing covering the top, however this was Mary’s version of a Bakewell Tart. The judges expected all of the bakers to know what a Bakewell Tart looked like and to know all of the techniques involved in making one.

The recipe instructions were very minimal, and Selasi suggested that the more ‘aged’ bakers would know what they were doing. Val got stuck in straight away, as did Jane. However, Val was only using the second sheet of the instructions and she only saw the first sheet after 20 minutes of time had gone by. She’d guessed all of the recipe quantities. To be honest I’m not sure how she did this as the instructions started from number 5 on the second sheet which would surely have been the biggest clue. Even when she did find out, she still continued to ignore the instructions and made a series of bad decisions, despite the fact she makes a Bakewell Tart every week at home. Rav came last as his pastry collapsed, Val came 7th, Andrew was 6th as his oven wasn’t turned on for the first 15 minutes, Benjamina 5th, Tom 4th, Selasi 3rd, Candice 2nd and Jane was 1st.

The showstopper this week was to make 48 filo pastry amuse bouches (aka canapes), one savoury and one sweet. Filo pastry is quite a nightmare to make from scratch, I’ve done it myself once before when I made a Fruit Strudel. Mary advised that the pastry should be wafer thin and Paul wanted the canapes to be bite size.

Val went with a Christmas theme and used mincemeat in her filo parcels. Jane was quite brave I thought by using cone shaped moulds to wrap her filo around, they looked like such a faff and kept falling over. Tom was very ambitious by mixing chocolate with chilli and steak – yes you read that right! He is taking things too far in my opinion, there’s experimental and then there’s just plain risky. Selasi was using coffee to flavour his sweet filo, and he said that simplicity was a good thing. Benjamina was influced by her Nigerian roots to add plantain to her showstopper.

Then the stretching began! The bakers used broom handles, rolling pins and even pasta makers to roll out their filo until it was as thin as possible. Rav and Selasi both finished before the time was up, whereas Jane and Val were rushing to complete the challenge. Benjamin, Andrew, Selasi all did well. Paul didn’t like the flavour of Tom’s filo fillings and said he was ‘disappointed’. Even though the judges thought Jane’s amuse bouches were too big, they loved her flavours. Val was only able to present 12 of her savoury filos, and the 12 were underdone. The pastry for her sweet filo was far too thick. Candice and Rav both also got great results.

Val left this week, and although I’d found her quite irritating (I think she has a bit of a Marmite personality where you either love or hate her), I did feel sorry for her as she seemed very upset. The winner of star baker was Candice, however Jane came very close. Next week is a new theme – Botanicals week!

I decided to make a Bakewell Tart this week as I’ve never actually made one. I wanted to make the more traditional looking tart with flaked almonds on top and a drizzle of icing. As pretty as Mary’s version looked, it’s a bit too much icing than I prefer on my Bakewell.

I started by making the pastry. I rubbed 100g butter into 230g plain flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.

I added 3 tbsp cold water and formed a dough.

I rolled out my pastry on my Joseph Joseph Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat which I am loving using, it’s definitely my favourite product from their new baking range which they kindly sent me a few weeks ago. I’ve already used it three times!

I lined a 9 inch tart tin with the pastry, leaving an overhang. I used a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry. Then I chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I scrunched up some baking paper and lined the pastry, then added baking beans. I baked it on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.

To make the frangipane I creamed together 160g butter and 160g caster sugar. Then I added 1 large free range egg, 1 tsp almond extract and 160g ground almonds.

I took the pastry out of the oven and removed the baking beans and paper. I trimmed the edges for a neater finish.

I baked the pastry again for 10 minutes on the same temperature.

I spread a layer of seedless rapsberry jam on the bottom of the pastry case. I used approximately a third of a jar.

I piped the frangipane over the top to avoid it mixing with the jam, then I smoothed it out on top. I sprinkled over some flaked almonds.

I baked the tart on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes

I can understand why Mary and Paul chose this as a technical challenge as it really fits with their theme of going back to basics. Any baker who bakes regularly will be able to knock one of these together easily and without too much fuss. It really is all about basic skills. When it was fully cool, I finished the tart with a drizzle of 60g icing sugar mixed with enough water to get a thick, but pipable paste.

You really can’t beat a Bakewell Tart and this was devoured within an hour by my colleagues! It was full of almond and jammy goodness, and the pastry was lovely and crisp.

I’m linking up with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

 

And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

And Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.

And Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie.


Print

Bakewell Tart

Ingredients

  • 260 g Butter
  • 230 g Plain flour
  • 3 tbsp Cold water
  • 160 g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 Egg large
  • 160 g Ground almonds
  • 4-5 tbsp Raspberry Jam
  • A handful of Flaked almonds
  • 60 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry rub 100g of the butter into the plain flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add the cold water and form a dough
  3. Roll out the pastry, line a 9 inch tart tin leaving an overhang. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry then chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes
  4. Scrunch up some baking paper and line the pastry, then add baking beans. Bake it on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes
  5. To make the frangipane cream together 160g of the butter and the caster sugar. Then add the egg, almond extract and ground almonds
  6. Take the pastry out of the oven and remove the baking beans and paper. Trim the edges for a neater finish
  7. Bake the pastry again for 10 minutes on the same temperature
  8. Spread a layer of the jam on the bottom of the pastry case
  9. Pipe the frangipane over the top and avoid it mixing with the jam, then smooth it out on top. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds
  10. Bake the tart on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes
  11. When the tart is cool, mix the icing sugar with enough water to get a thick, but pipable paste. Drizzle or pipe over the tart

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Treat Petite September – Round Up

Treat Petite September – Round Up
I’m really enjoying that me and Cakeyboi decided to stop theming Treat Petite as it’s so great to see such a variety of yummy treats every month! I really want to also say a huge thank you to all the bloggers that join in with our little link up – you guys are awesome! I love seeing all the things you make every month. This round up is full of so many tasty looking goodies and there’s a lot of GBBO baking too. Don’t forget to spread the blog love and share or comment on any recipes you like. I’m hosting for October again as Cakeyboi is off on a very special holiday, so check back soon for October’s link up!

Caroline Makes made these Chocolate & Merlot Red Wine Cupcakes, which are served with a shot of red wine!

The Gluten Free Alchemist linked up Gluten Free Viennese Whirls to celebrate biscuit week on The Great British Bake Off.

I also baked along to GBBO and made these Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls.

Caroline Makes found a Tirimasu Cupcake recipe for people who don’t like coffee, sounds right up my street!

BakingQueen 74 made Blueberry Viennese Whirls with Blackcurrant Curd, using freeze dried blueberry powder to flavour the biscuit dough.

Caroline Makes was back again with Mary Berry Lavender Shortbread Biscuits, she picked the lavender fresh from a local field.

My Treat Petite co-host Cakeyboi made Irn Bru Brownies, with the Scottish soda both in the batter and buttercream topping.

Leeks And Limoni linked up these Apple & Almond Cakes made with fruit from her fruit trees and with a lovely shiny glaze.

Green Gourmet Giraffe made Strawberry Passion Fruit Muffins which was an experimental recipe and turned out very successful.

The Crazy Kitchen also joined in with Bake Off fever and made these Rhubarb & Custard Viennese Whirls.

The Gluten Free Alchemist made these super fun Frozen Pina Colada Lolly Folk which are alcohol, diary and gluten free.

A Keen Cook went savoury with these Mature Cheddar Cheese Scones and smeared them with Chipotle Butter, yum!

Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary sent over these gorgeous looking Chocolate & Chilli Cupcakes that her kids loved.

The Gluten Free Alchemist continued baking along to GBBO with these Sweet Autumn Dessert Yorkshires with Vanilla Sauteed Pear & Walnuts and Blackberry Coulis. They are gluten and dairy free of course.

Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen made these super pretty Chocolate Crunch Meringues which are decorated with yummy Digestive Nibbles.

The Gluten Free Alchemist has been busy this month! She linked up this gorgeous selection of Gluten Free Breakfast Pastries.

Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen also sent over these drool worthy Millionaire’s Cupcakes to celebrate the end of National Cupcake Week.

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Midnight Blue Velvet Cake & Bake Box 5 Unboxing

Midnight Blue Velvet Cake & Bake Box 5 Unboxing
My fifth Bake Box of the year arrived last week and in typical fashion I got rather over excited about the contents. If you’ve not heard of Bake Box before it’s a bi-monthly subscription service for all the baking and cake lovers out there. Once you sign up, every two months you receive a themed box filled with bakeware items, a specialist decorative item and 6 recipe cards to inspire you. You can read my other Bake Box posts here, here and here.

This month’s theme was New York and inside the box was:

  • A giant cupcake mould
  • A mini donut mould
  • A whoopie pie mould
  • Blue food colouring
  • New York themed cookie cutters
  • Chocolate decoration sheet

I had a few favourite items in this box including the mini donut pan, giant cupcake mould and the coookie cutters!

I decided to make the blue velvet cake as I thought it looked really pretty and impressive. I had a few friends coming round and I thought it would really impress them. I followed the same sponge recipe from the Bake Box but I changed the decoration and the buttercream. That’s the great thing about Bake Box, it doesn’t just provide items and recipes, it also inspires you to bake new things.

To make the sponge I started by sieving 400g plain flour, 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder into a bowl.

In another bowl I mixed together 400ml buttermilk, 3 eggs, 2 tsp cider vinegar and 2 tsp vanilla extract.

The blue food colouring was supplied in the Bake Box, and I also decided to use my Wilton easier layer cake pans which I lined and greased.

In a third bowl I creamed together 350g butter and 350g caster sugar. I then added 1 1/2 tbsp of the blue food colouring. I definitely added way too much as my cake turned out bluer than I wanted, so I would suggest adding 1 tbsp or even 3/4 tbsp. It will depend on how potent your food colouring is to how much you need to use.

I added the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl in thirds, one at a time, and mixed between each addition.

I seperated the batter into the four greased and lined pans. I always make a hole in the middle as it stops the cakes from ‘doming’ too much in the middle.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, and they were definitely bluer than I wanted them to be! More like a midnight blue – hence the name of the cake! I left them to cool.

To make the cream cheese frosting I started by mixing together 600g icing sugar and 100g butter. Then I added 250g full fat cream cheese and 1 tsp vanilla and mixed it well with an electric mixer. I put it in the fridge to chill.

I’m not the most talented with fondant icing so I decided to decorate the cake with some blue, white and red meringues in keeping with the American theme. I followed a Meringue Girls recipe and started by heating the sugar in the oven on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes. To find out the weight of sugar to use, weigh your egg whites, then double the sugar weight.

Meanwhile I whipped up the egg whites (I had 3) with 3/4 tsp cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed.

I prepared the piping bags whilst the sugar was in the oven. I turned them upside down and painted stripes of red food colouring on one, and blue food colouring on the other.

I continued to whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer and added the warm sugar a spoonful at a time. When it was all mixed in, I kept mixing for 5 minutes until I could rub the meringue between my fingers and could not feel any grains.

I halved the meringue and put it into the prepared piping bags. I piped it out onto baking trays. It took me a few tries to get the kisses neat, and the recipe made way more than I needed for the cake, but they were so yummy it was ok with me!

I baked the meringues on 90C/200F (it’s hard to convert this into Gas Mark as it’s less than a half) for 40 minutes.

I trimed the edges of the sponges as needed then started to stack them, spreading the cream cheese frosting between each layer. I piped the cream cheese frosting on top for a neat finish, then sprinkled some of the crumbs from trimming the sponges on top.

Finally I decorated the top of the cake with the meringues. Both the cake and the spare meringues went down really well with my friends – despite making everyone’s mouths blue! Thankfully I was told it was completely worth it. The little meringues are amazing and they just melt in the mouth, definitely a recipe I’ll use again both on their own and to decorate cakes.

I’m linking this cake up with Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello.

 

And with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, this would be a great bake for a Macmillan Coffee Morning.

And with the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, as I used leftover egg white that I had in the freezer to make the meringues.

Disclaimer: I am sent the Bake Box free of charge, all opinions are my own.

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Midnight Blue Velvet Cake

Ingredients

  • 400 g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 400 ml Buttermilk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 450 g Butter
  • 350 g Caster sugar
  • 3/4 - 1 tbsp (depending on strength) Blue food colouring
  • 600 g Icing sugar
  • 250 g Cream cheese
  • 3 Egg whites
  • Double the weight of your egg whites Caster sugar
  • Red food colouring
  • 3/4 tsp Cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. To make the sponge sieve the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into a bowl
  2. In another bowl mix together the buttermilk, eggs, cider vinegar and 2 tsp of the vanilla extract
  3. In a third bowl cream together 350g of the butter and the caster sugar. Then add the blue food colouring, add enough for a deep blue colour
  4. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl in thirds, one at a time, and mix between each addition
  5. Separate the batter into four greased and lined pans
  6. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, then turn them out of the pans and leave them to cool
  7. To make the cream cheese frosting mix together the icing sugar and 100g of the butter. Then add the cream cheese and 1 tsp of the vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer then put it in the fridge to chill
  8. To make the meringues heat the caster sugar in the oven on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes. To find out the weight of sugar to use, weigh your egg whites, then double the sugar weight
  9. Whip up the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed
  10. Prepare the piping bags by turning them upside down and painting stripes of red food colouring on one, and blue food colouring on the other
  11. When the sugar is done, continue to whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer and add the warm sugar a spoonful at a time. When it is all mixed in, keep mixing for 5 minutes until you can rub the meringue between your fingers and cannot feel any grains
  12. Halve the meringue and put it into the prepared piping bags. Pipe it out onto lined baking traysBake the meringues on 90C/200F (it’s hard to convert this into Gas Mark as it’s less than a half) for 40 minutes
  13. Trim the edges of the sponges as needed then started to stack them, spreading the cream cheese frosting between each layer. Pipe the cream cheese frosting on top for a neat finish, then sprinkled some of the crumbs from trimming the sponges on top
  14. Decorate the top of the cake with the meringues
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Churros with Chocolate Dip: GBBO Week #4

Churros with Chocolate Dip: GBBO Week #4
 The Great British Bake Off has hit the headlines as the news broke that it was leaving the BBC for Channel 4, and then a further blow came when Mel & Sue announced that they would not be following the show when it moves. I’ve also heard rumours that there might not be a series next year, and we’ll have to wait until 2018. Now we’re all waiting with baited breath to find out what Mary & Paul are going to do… I am sad to see it move channels and I really hope it doesn’t spell the end for the show. I read that more people watch GBBO than voted in the last election – so it’s a pretty important part of our culture!

Meanwhile on week 4 of the current series, it was batter week! This is a new category for the show, and I was looking forward to seeing what they would make. The signature challenge was filled savoury Yorkshire puddings, and the judges wanted 24 identical ones. I was quite surprised they wanted identical Yorkshires, I don’t think they ever can look the same unless they come out of a bag. Mary wanted well risen Yorkshires with a dip in the middle, but she admitted it was hard to get Yorkshires identical. Paul explained the egg in the batter gives the Yorkshire its rise, and said he wanted them to taste amazing.

There was a lot of variance in the amount of eggs used for the Yorkshire batters. Tom used 8 eggs, Val used 5 eggs and Andrew used 4 eggs. There was a lot of variety in the fillings too, from Candice’s Beef Wellington to Rav’s Tofu Curry and Andrew’s Spanish Chicken. Jane said that she has always had problems making Yorkshire puddings and her mother could never understand why she couldn’t make them. Tom was very brave and made his Yorkshires using chickpea flour, but sadly it didn’t work out for him as they did not rise.

Candice’s and Jane’s Yorkshires also didn’t rise enough, whereas Selasi’s rose beyond expectation! Paul loved his roast pork filled Yorkshires and gave him a handshake with a mouth still full of pork crackling. Benjamina and Andrew did very well too, and Jane surprised with a filling that Paul loved. Paul also praised Rav’s Tofu Curry filling despite being hesitant at first.

The technical challenge this week was to make 12 heart shaped lace pancakes, which must be intricate and beautiful. The bakers were allowed to make one test pancake, but the other 12 had to be served. The recipe instructions were typically detailed, and Candice kindly read them out to the viewers – “make pancake batter, that’s it”. Paul said they were taking pancake making to the next level. As pretty as they are, I personally think lace pancakes are quite pointless. I like a nice thick pancake with no gaps in it!

The bakers all debated over how to make a pancake batter and they were all unsure how much sugar to add. They all designed their own lace hearts so pencils and notepads came out for them to doodle their chosen designs. Both Rav and Andrew didn’t seem sure what lace was and their designs were a heart with a criss cross pattern filling it. Selasi was obviously the only bake brave enough to flip his pancake for Sue, he’s such a rebel. Rav came last, Selais 8th, Kate 7th, Val 6th, Tom 5th and Andrew 4th. Jane came third, Candice second and Benjamina was first.

The showstopper was to make 36 sweet churros, they could be filled, flavoured and served with a dipping sauce as desired. And shockingly they had to be all identical! Paul wanted a beautiful crispy exterior and a soft inside. He warned against adding too many to the fryer as the temperature would drop and they could become too oily. Mary said turning this simple street food into a showstopper would be tricky and she wanted to see the bakers do something different.

Andrew made the batter in the traditional way, which is without eggs. Other bakers added flavours to their batter; Benjamina added coconut extract and Val added orange. Tom was being experimental as usual and he added fennel to his batter, and served his churros with a saffron custard. Rav chose matcha green tea powder for his churros, served with a fruit dip, a creamy dip and chocolate dip. Candice added beer and coconut flour to her batter and dipped them in peanut butter. Selasi made churro bowls which he froze before frying – I’ve tried this before and it was rather disastrous so I was worried for him!

Some of the bakers cleverly piped their shaped onto baking paper and put them in the fryer still on the paper, while others piped the batter straight into the fryer. Only Val and Jane filled their churros, the judge loved the flavour of Val’s filling but said it affected the dough inside. They weren’t huge fans of Tom or Selasi’s churros either, and they said Rav’s were too fatty and had a bad flavour. Jane did very well, and Benjamina got a perfect result.

Kate left this week, her Yorkshires were irregular and didn’t rise, and her churro dough was too wet so soaked up too much fat. Benjamina won star baker after producing perfect churros and winning the technical – ever since biscuit week I have thought that she will be a finalist and potentially even win it…time will tell! Next week is pastry week.

I decided to make churros this week because they are delicious. I’ve had them many times in Spanish and Mexican restaurants and they never disappoint. Fried dough dipped in chocolate is always going to be pretty good really isn’t it?!

I started by making the dough. I sieved 250g plain flour and 1 tsp baking powder into a bowl.

I added a mixture of 350ml boiling water, 50g melted butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and beat it into a dough. I left it to rest for 15 minutes.

I prepared a bowl of 100g caster sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon for rolling the churros in after frying.

I piped the churros out in long stick shapes using a star shaped nozzle. You can make them in any shape you like of course. I used a tip from Bake Off and kept them on pieces of baking paper as I put them in the fryer.

I used a deep fat fryer at 180C to fry the churros until they were golden brown, I turned them over during frying. I bought this deep fat fryer from Asda for the bargain price of £14! I used 3 litres sunflower oil for frying.

I did them in batches of three so the temperature in the oil would remain the same. When they were cooked I rolled them in the cinnamon sugar.

To make the chocolate sauce I melted 100g dark chocolate with 35g butter. Use the sauce immediately once made and getting dipping!

The churros were so moreish! As predicted, the combination of fried dough, a cinnamon and sugar coating, plus chocolate dip is absolutely delectable and keeps you reaching for more, and more, and more!

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps.

And with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

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Churros with Chocolate Dip

Ingredients

  • 250 g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 50 g Butter melted
  • 350 ml Boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 100 g Dark chocolate
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 35 g Butter
  • 3 litres Sunflower oil

Instructions

  1. Sieve the 250g plain flour and 1 tsp baking powder into a bowl
  2. Mix the boiling water, melted butter and vanilla extract together, add it to the flour and beat it into a dough. Leave it to rest for 15 minutes
  3. Prepare a bowl of the caster sugar and cinnamon mixed together for rolling the churros in after frying
  4. Pipe the churros out onto baking paper into long stick shapes using a star shaped nozzle
  5. Fill your pan or deep fat fryer with the sunflower oil and heat to 180C. Check your fryer for it’s maximum oil capacity and don’t fill a pan more than one third full of oil
  6. Cut the baking paper around the piped batter and add the churros to the oil still on the paper, it will loosen off as they fry. Fry in batches of three untill golden brown, turn them during frying to ensure an even cook
  7. Tip the churros out onto kitchen paper, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture
  8. To make the chocolate sauce melt the dark chocolate and butter together in a glass bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, followed by 10 second bursts until fully melted together, stirring in between. Serve immediately

 

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Eight Strand Plaited Loaf: GBBO Week #3

Eight Strand Plaited Loaf: GBBO Week #3
 It was bread week on The Great British Bake Off and there were bread puns aplenty as Mel and Sue opened the show on a (bread) roll and wearing loafers – you can’t help but giggle! Paul’s bread prodding finger was primed and ready to go.

The signature challenge was to make a chocolate bread, which could be cocoa powder, chocolate chips or molten chocolate. Mary was excited as it was a new challenge. Paul said the time was very tight but he didn’t want to see any raw dough. Everyone chose to make an enriched dough which was quite brave as they only had 2 and a half hours to make them. I don’t know how they did it to be honest as enriched doughs take me at least a day!

There were some great flavour combinations from the bakers – Rav made a chocolate, cardamom and hazlenut bread. Tom made a chocolate, orange and chilli swirl bread. And Benjamina made a chocolate, tahini and almond bread. Andrew was the only baker to prove his dough once, Paul was judgemental of this at first but when he tasted the bread he loved it and said Andrew had done the right thing by only proving it once.

Benjamina’s chocolate bread was not cooked all the way through and neither was Val’s, Kate’s or Michael’s. Candice’s bread was practically raw and she got quite upset as the judges couldn’t even taste it. Tom and Rav both did very well on both flavour and their breads were full baked.

This week’s technical challenge was rather unusual and very much unheard of (unless you’re German!) It was a steamed dumpling called a Dampfnudel served with custard and a plum sauce. The dumplings are steamed instead of baked and Paul explained that the bakers should be careful not to lift the lid of the pan during the steaming process.

None of the bakers had heard of dampfnudel before, and they had not been given any timings for proving or steaming. So it was all guess work and they had to use their baking experience to figure out what to do. The main problem most of them had was the dough being burnt on the bottom, or being undercooked. Rav came last, followed by Jane and then Kate, Michael, Benjamina, Selasi and Tom. Candice came third, Andrew second and Val first.

A savoury plaited centerpiece, any shape or size, 3 flours within it. Mary said it had to be spectacular. Paul said the strands of the plaits have to be the shape width. He also mentioned that the star baker of bread week always goes onto be in the final, who knew! Michael made a Cypriot inspired bread with olives, coriander and sundried tomatoes.

Andrew made a braided basket flavoured with pesto and a giant handle for it flavoured with orange and cardamom. Tom went all norse on us with his Jormungandr and Mjolnir bread (or a serpent and Thor’s hammer to you and me), and he flavoured it with seaweed. Selasi basically made up a story to go with his centerpiece which was absolutely hilarious! And the judges knew he was fibbing too!

The bakers chose a variety of plait levels with Michael sticking to 3 strands and Tom going for 6. When it was judging time, Jane did very well, as did Tom, Kate and Benjamina. Val’s Noah’s Ark centerpice was undercooked, and the judges didn’t like the texture of some of Selasi’s bread. Paul also didn’t like anything about Candice’s top loaf of plaited bread.

Michael left us this week. Paul and Mary didn’t like the presentation or plaits of his bread centrepiece. He didn’t do as badly as others on the first challenge and he was mid-range in the technical so I was very surprised by the decision. Tom won star baker this week. I think it was quite a tough choice this week for both the star baker and leaver as there were so many ups and downs for all of the bakers. Next week is a new category on Bake Off – batter week!

I decided to try a plaited loaf this week. I’ve never made one before so I wanted to start with the basics. I used a Paul Hollywood recipe to give me the best chance possible! I have made bread and different doughs in the past, but I rarely have time to make it so it’s not something I do very often.

I started by putting 500g strong white bread flour in a bowl. I added 10g salt and a 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast. I made sure to keep them on separate sides of the bowl.

I added 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 340ml water and mixed it in.

I used some of the new products from the Joseph Joseph baking range that were sent to me recently to try out.

The Fin Silicone Bowl Scraper helped me mix the liquid into the flour for the dough. And I used the Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat to knead the dough on and when rolling it out.

I kneaded the dough for 10 minutes, then placed it into an oiled bowl and left it to rise for 1 hour.

The dough didn’t rise as much as I was expecting, but I persevered. I knocked it back then divided it out into eight pieces.

I rolled each piece into a long strand approximately 40cm/16″ long.

I laid all of the strands out and attached them at the top. Then I followed the plaiting sequence:

Step 1: place 8 under 7 and over 1
Step 2: place 8 over 5
Step 3: place 2 under 3 and over 8
Step 4: place 1 over 4
Step 5: place 7 under 6 and over 1
Repeats step 2-5, until all the dough is plaited

 

It wasn’t tricky to follow the plaiting sequence, the thing I found the most difficult was making the plait look neat. I chopped off any strands that were too long once the plaiting was done and tucked the end under to neaten it up as much as I could. Once I was finished I put it onto a lined baking tray, covered it loosely with cling film and left it to prove again for 1 hour.
I used the Joseph Joseph Glaze Refillable Silicone Pastry Brush to glaze the bread with 1 beaten egg.

 

I baked it on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes until it was golden and sounded hollow when I tapped the bottom.

 

I thought it looked really impressive, I loved the golden crispy crust and soft middle. I am aware my loaf ended up with some technical faults, but I was very pleased with it for a first effort!

 

It has a fantastic apperance and it was fun to make a plaited loaf and try the technique out. I enjoyed some with butter and my boyfriend relished it dipping chunks of it in some soup.

 

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps.

And with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

And to Tea Time Treats hosted by Travels For Taste with a savoury treats theme this month.
NB. I was sent the Joseph Joseph products for free, all opinions are my own.
 
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Eight Strand Plaited Loaf

Ingredients

  • 500 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 340 ml Water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 7 g sachet Fast action dried yeast
  • 10 g Salt
  • 1 Egg

Instructions

  1. Put the strong white bread flour in a bowl. Add the salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl. Mix together
  2. Add 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 340ml water and mix in
  3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, then place it into an oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour
  4. Knock it back then divide it into eight equal pieces
  5. Roll each piece into a long strand approximately 40cm/16" long
  6. Lay all of the strands out and attach them at the top. Then follow the plaiting sequence:

    Step 1: place 8 under 7 and over 1

    Step 2: place 8 over 5

    Step 3: place 2 under 3 and over 8

    Step 4: place 1 over 4

    Step 5: place 7 under 6 and over 1

    Repeats step 2-5, until all the dough is plaited

  7. Chop off any strands that are too long and tuck the end under to neaten it up. Put it onto a lined baking tray, cover it loosely with cling film and leave it to prove again for 1 hour
  8. Glaze the bread with 1 beaten egg
  9. Bake it on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes until it is golden and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom
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Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls: GBBO Week #2

Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls: GBBO Week #2
This week on The Great British Bake Off was biscuit week. Sue Perkins was missing from the episode this week due to a family bereavement at the time of filming, so Mel held down the (gingerbread) fort. The previews of the episodes showed several disasters and collapses so I was expecting a lot of gasps and tense moments!

For the first challenge the judges requested 24 crisp and identical iced biscuits. Mary warned against being over ambitious, she wanted absolutely perfect biscuits with the same thickness and texture. Paul seemed quite happy just to be getting a whole load of biscuits to eat. I loved Michael’s beer biscuits, and the judges loved them too. They said they were uniform, crispy and had good flavour. Tom made some coffee and chai spiced biscuits and he got a Paul Hollywood handshake!

 

Louise made sheep shaped bara brith biscuits and she had some disasters along the way as she dropped a whole tray of biscuits. Paul said her biscuits were more like scones as they were so soft. Val made ice cream biscuits and she knew she needed to improve on her presentation, although throwing a batch of biscuits on the floor and springing a leak from her piping bag didn’t help. Mary was quite critical of them saying they were not finished well – harsh words from Bezza!

Kate chose lavender and bergamont for her biscuits flavours, which Paul said he didn’t like, but upon tasting them he seemed to change his mind! Benjamina made chocolate orange flower bouqet biscuits, they looked fantastic and I really think she is one to watch. Candice ended up making 48 biscuits as she made sandwiched biscuits with a salted caramel filling. Her fondness for lipstick was also noticed by Mel and Candice said she would wear a different colour each week. I think this is a clever way of standing out and could become a signature look for her, much like Richard Burr’s pencil behind the ear in season

 

This week’s technical challenge was 12 Viennese Whirls filled with buttercream and jam. They were following a Mary Berry recipe. Mary said the biscuit had simple ingredients but the bakers needed to make sure the butter was soft enough otherwise the mixture would be too stiff for piping. She also wanted to see the swirl after the biscuits were baked, and she expected the bicuits to be very short in texture and crumbly with good proportions of buttercream and jam.

Selasi had made them before and when he noticed his mixture was too stiff for piping he decided to beat it more to soften it. Michael also had his own technique for solving this problem – he put it in the microwave. A few of the bakers decided to chill the biscuits before baking, but Tom noticed this wasn’t mentioned in the recipe so he decided to just bake his biscuits. Despite his previous experience, Selasi came last in the challenge. Louse was 10th, Michael 9th, Candice 8th, Tom 7th, Rav 6th, Val 5th and Andrew 4th. Benjamina won 3rd place, Jane came 2nd and Kate was the winner!

This week’s showstopper was quite the request… a 3D gingerbread story, which must say something about them, be at least 30cm high and feature 8 characters or objects. Gingerbread usually contains black treacle and/or golden syrup as they both flavour and colour it, all of the bakers used these ingredients except for Selasi who was using honey instead. Kate went all out with her flavours by making three different kinds of gingerbread including a lemon and cardamom flavoured one.

 

Candice made a gingerbread pub to represent the pub she grew up in as a child. She put so much thought into each element. The ‘floor’ was a sticky gingerbread cake to represent a sticky pub carpet, and the pool table was made using jelly. It was very impressive! Michael and Rav both made Christmas scenes, and Selasi and Louise both went for churches. Meanwhile Benjamina was constructing the Chrysler building in New York and Val was building the Empire State in gingerbread.

Both Louise and Val had disasters, collapses and breakages. Andrew did very well with his punting in Oxford scene. Michael’s Christmas scene was messy and simplistic, but Paul said his gingerbread was the best. The judges loved Candice’s pub, Paul called it superb and Mary called it smashing. Rav’s gingerbread was burnt, and the judges couldn’t taste any ginger in Selasi’s church.

Louise was the one to leave this week as she had a lot of disasters this week. Candice won star baker this week, mostly due to her smashing showstopper. Mary said it would be remembered forever. Next week is bread week!

I decided to make the technical challenge of Viennese Whirls this week. I have made them before, but I’ve made iced biscuits and gingerbread houses before too and these were the most delicious option in my opinion. I wanted to mix it up a bit and change the flavours so they were a bit different from the traditional kind. I used a Hairy Bikers recipe for the biscuit base, as when I made Cherry & Almond Viennese Swirl Biscuits in the past it worked really well for me.

To make the biscuit dough I creamed together 250g butter, 250g plain flour, 50g icing sugar, 50g cornflour and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

I used a 2 inch (5cm) cutter and a pencil to draw guidelines on my baking paper. I flipped the paper over so the pencil was on the bottom.

I put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. I tried a couple of ways of piping them, and I thought starting the swirl in the middle and working out looked the best. I kept piping until all the mixture was gone. I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.

While they were cooling I made the mascarpone filling. I creamed together 50g butter and 175g icing sugar, then I added 125g mascarpone and 1 tsp vanilla extract. I used an electric hand mixer to do this as it made sure the mixture was not lumpy, and it made it nice and thick. I put it in the fridge to chill for an hour so it was stable enough to pipe.

To sandwich the biscuits together I piped some of the mascarpone filling on one half, and spread some blackcurrant jam on the other half (about 1 tsp). I sandwiched them together and the biscuits were ready.

The texture of the biscuits are soft and buttery, and the mascarpone filling is fresh and sweet against the tangy fruit of the blackcurrant jam. They are heavenly!

I’m linking these up with Treat Petite hosted by myself this month (and Cakeyboi on alternate months).

And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

And with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, these would be a great bake for a Macmillan Coffee Morning.

And with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps.

And with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

And finally with Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins.

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Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls

Ingredients

  • 300 g Butter
  • 250 g Plain flour
  • 225 g Icing sugar
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 125 g Mascarpone
  • 1/2 a jar Blackcurrant Jam

Instructions

  1. To make the biscuit dough cream together 250g of the butter, the plain flour, 50g of the icing sugar, the cornflour and 1/2 tsp of the vanilla extract
  2. Use a 2 inch (5cm) cutter and a pencil to draw guidelines on baking paper. Flip the paper over so the pencil is on the bottom and line two baking trays with it
  3. Put the biscuit mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe them out onto the baking paper, start the swirl in the middle and work your way out. Keep piping until all the mixture is gone
  4. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack
  5. To make the mascarpone filling cream together 50g of the butter and 175g of the icing sugar, then add the mascarpone and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract. Use an electric hand mixer to do this if possible. Put it in the fridge to chill for an hour so it is stable enough to pipe
  6. To sandwich the biscuits together, pipe or spread some of the mascarpone filling on one half, and spread some blackcurrant jam on the other half (about 1 tsp). Sandwich them together and the biscuits are ready!
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Treat Petite September

Treat Petite September
Welcome to Treat Petite September!

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out August’s Round Up over on Cakeyboi for an eyeful of tasty bakes including cherry pecan brownies and cheese & olive savoury muffins.

As Treat Petite is now themeless, this month once again Anything Goes! So you can enter
anything you like, just remember the Treat Petite rules below…

Treat Petite is for all of those delicious bites, which can be individually portioned. Tray bakes are fine, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, macarons and so on. No cakes, puddings, whole loaves – you get the idea… here are those all-important rules:

1. Add your petite treat to the Linky Tool at the bottom of the current month’s post by the 25th of the month, midnight at the latest

2. Post your bake onto your blog and link back to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, stating who is hosting this month

3. Follow Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer blogs on Google+ (see sidebar links), if you haven’t already.

4. If you tweet use #TreatPetite and mention @MrCakeyboi and @BakingExplorer – we will retweet

5. Add the challenge logo to the post and ‘Treat Petite’ as a label to the post

6. Use any recipe as long as the source is noted

7. If you like, add your photo to the ‘Treat Petite’ Pinterest board (request access from Cakeyboi)

8. Feel free to enter old posts as long as you update the post and meet all the requirements above!

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