Thursday, 29 November 2012

bourbon biscuits

These are a favourite of mine, I use my favourite cocoa powder for these which is Bournville. I tend to bake them place them in a tub and leave overnight in a cool place.
My biscuit base tends to be more spongy than anything as I use a while egg instead of half but its the way I prefer it.
These are definitely one of my comfort biscuits, especially when I get up at stupid o'clock in the morning as Mooby mo (my toddler's nick name) wont go back to sleep and I don't want her waking up the rest of the family.  They are just right with a nice cup of hot tea. Naughty I know.
They are also very quick and simple to make. I must admit I did not measure out the biscuits like I normally do for 2 reasons my baby was screaming her head off and I could not find my ruler.
For the sugar that is sprinkled onto the biscuits granulated will do but I like to be a bit different so I use Hagel sugar.

3 oz soft butter
3 oz vanilla caster sugar
1 egg (small to medium size)
7 oz self raising flour
1 oz cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
sugar to sprinkle
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
a few drops of vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
2 oz butter
4 oz icing sugar

What you do:
preheat your oven to 160 o'c and grease and line your baking trays with grease proof paper.
In a large bowl cream your butter and sugar together until creamy.
Beat in the egg.
Sieve in the flour and cocoa powder then fold it in until fully combined and you have a nice smooth dough.
Lightly flour your work top and and roll out your dough into a rectangle that is roughly 30 x 20 cm.
Sprinkle with sugar and lightly pat it in.
Cut into 6 x 2 cm bars and place on a baking tray. Make sure their is a space between each biscuit
and bake for 10 minutes.
Leave on the tray to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream the butter sieve in the icing sugar and cocoa powder mix together. Mix in the vanilla and milk until you have a nice smooth dough. Place into a piping bag and place in the fridge until needed.
Once your biscuits have cooled pair them off and place one side of the biscuit upside down.
Pipe a stripe of butter cream onto the biscuit. You should have enough butter cream to do all biscuits. I tend to do one thick stripe.
Place the tops onto the biscuits and leave to set.
Place into a plastic tub or eat straight away.

Happy baking

Treacle bread/cake

This is a cake really for bonfire night. It really is treacle all the way with this cake. Make sure you really dust it icing sugar once it has cooled.
Its very simmilar to how ginger bread is made just this has more treacle.

What you need:
2 oz caster sugar
3 oz brown sugar
5 oz butter
1 egg
190ml black treacle
11 oz slef raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
60 ml boiling water.

What you do:
Preheat your oven to 170 o'C and grease your square cake tin with oil.
In a large bowl cream your butter and sugars together until creamy.
Beat in the egg then the treacle.
Fold in the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt and baking powder.
Mix in the water.
Pour into your prepared cake tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes

Happy Baking

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Amelie's Banana and Honey Bread

Ok so this is one of those proud mummy blog posts, So sorry but I am just so proud of my 5 year old daughter.
 My daughter has a learning log that they have to do at home, normally it comes home with set topics to write about and this time they had to pick one. And guess what she picked yes BAKING. Now she was going to do cupcakes that she can do all buy herself but I asked her if she wanted to try and do something new and she agreed and I asked if she wanted to make a Banana and Honey bread and so she set out in making it. I will admit I weighed out all the ingredients and blitzed the banana and honey for her and showed her how to knead then she took over and then me and Keith helped her put it in the oven.
This bread must be eaten warm so any you don't use will need to reheat in the oven other wise it is stoggy from the banana and honey.

What you need:
4 Bananas
6 tbsp Clear honey
2 Ib strong bread flour
20g dried yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar

What you do:
Blitz your banana and honey until it is of a runny consistency transfer this to a jug and add enough water until it reaches the pint mark.

Put the flour into a large bowl and add the yeast and salt. Make sure they do not touch as the salt will stop the yeast working.

Mix these in then mix in the sugar.
Make a well
and add in the banana mix stir until combined.

Transfer to a floured work top
and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. This should take 10 minutes unless you are a child and will take alot longer.

Place the dough back into the bowl. cover with cling film and leave in a warm place over night. The dough should have doubled in size. Its best to wrap the cling film around the whole bowl as it will be huge once it has proven.

remove your dough from the bowl
 and gently knick back. Divide your dough up into balls
 and place onto a baking tray or a round cake tin. We used both.

cover with cling film and leave to prove for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 190 o'C and bake on the second from bottom shelf for 20 to 30 minutes. Take them out at 20 minutes and check to see if they sound hollow if not back them for a bit longer.

Leave in the tin to cool slightly then remove from the tin and let them cool until they are warm enough to eat without burning your mouth.

Happy Baking
Shelly and Amelie

Chocolate spread Sandwich Biscuits

So this is a bit of a biscuit sponge pastry depending on how thick you make your dough when spreading out. I try to get mine as thin as I can which is a bit hard as I can only make it as big as the baking tray.
For this you can use jam instead of chocolate and the amount you put on is up to you. 

What you need:
10 oz Plain flour
pinch salt
2 oz lard
2 oz soft butter
2 oz caster sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
Chocolate Spread
Caster sugar for srinkling over.

What you do:
Preheat oven to 180 o'C and grease and line a baking tray.
In a large bowl rub the butter and lard into the flour until you have what looks like course bread crumbs.

Add the egg and milk until you have a dough.
Put your dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead your dough until smooth. This should only take a minute.

Divide your dough into 2 equal parts. Take your first half and using your hand lightly flatten the dough so that it fits the baking tray.
 Lightly dust this in flour and place some cling film over the top

 and place your other dough on top. Then lightly press this dough so that it fits nicely over the top.

Once your dough has it shape remove the top layer with the cling film, brush off any excess flour and spread your spread on top of the piece that is in the baking tray.

\carefully put your second piece on top of the spread and pinch the edges to seal.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the oven a dredge the biscuit in caster sugar.

Leave in the baking trays for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool cut in to squares, rectangles or triangles.

Happy Baking

Pear tarte tatin

For this I did pour some of my caramel away before I put on the pastry as it looked like it was to much. Also it did bubble up the sides as my pastry was not quit tucked in as I did that bit in a bit of a rush.
Now I did the caramel and pears in a large frying pan and then transferred them so a casserole dish as I do not own a oven proof one, never know santa might bring me one for Christmas.

What you need:
4 oz plain flour
pinch salt
4 oz butter
2 oz lard
cold water
5-6 Pears
6 oz caster sugar
4 oz unsalted butter

What you do:
In a bowl combine the salt and the flour. Rub in the butter and lard until you have what looks like bread crumbs.

Add the water a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed.

Knead lightly and wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 o'C.
Quarter, peel and core the pears, place these in a bowl and cover with a couple of tablespoons of your sugar.

In a 10 1/2 in frying pan (needs to be oven proof) melt the butter over a medium to high heat ( I used setting 3) Add in the remaining sugar once the butter has melted.
Once it starts to change colour add the pears evenly around the pan. Continue cooking until caramelized ( this take about 20 minutes)

Remove from heat and allow to cool.
As you can see there is alot of caramel so I drained off some.
Roll out your dough so that it is larger than the pan.
 Place this on top of the pears making sure to tuck in the edges.
Sorry this was a bit of a mess and did not get tucked in properly was in a bit of a rush at this point.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn down the temperature to 180 o'C and bake for another     15 minutes.
Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then carefully run a knife around the edge to loosen the tart.
Turn the tart out onto a plate.
Serve warm with cream.
Ok so this is the only picture of my pear tarte tatin as the rest got dished out before I had managed to take a photo.
Happy baking

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Choc Crinkles

Me being me forgot to put Cocoa powder on my shopping list so instead of using Cocoa for baking I used my Options cocoa powder for hot chocolate, This one was flavoured mint and it has worked quite well with these biscuits. Normally I would not entertain the idea of using drinking chocolate in baking but I was tired and wanted to get the dough done so that it could sit over night ready for baking this morning.
You will notice that I have not put an amount for the icing sugar as this is because you will need to coat your hands in this when shaping the dough in to balls and then you will need to coat the biscuits in icing sugar before baking. The amount you use is up to you.

What you need:
3 oz cocoa Powder
13 oz caster sugar
120 ml veg oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
9 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
icing sugar

What you do:
In a bowl mix the cocoa sugar extract and oil.

Beat in the eggs
  then fold in the flour and baking powder.
Cover and leave in a cool place over night.

Preheat oven to 170 o'C and grease and line your baking trays.
Coat your hands in icing sugar, you will need to keep doing this until your dough runs out. Do not worry if the icing sugar gets in the bowl, it wont hurt the cookies

Take about a heaped tsp of dough and shape in to a ball. Repeat until all the dough is used. Place them on the baking trays spread well apart as they will spread.

Cover the balls with icing sugar, the amount you use is up to you.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes. The time depends on how big and how chewy you want them. the large ones I tend to bake them for 10 minutes so that they are a nice chewy doughy cookie.
Leave on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Lemon Fondant Fancies

These cake should not be made when you have just had a baby or when said baby is coming up 5 weeks old but me being me and really wanting to make them did. So something that should have take me a couple of hours took a lot longer.
When it comes to covering you cakes in the fondant icing I used half and set it aside so that I could do 2 coats, if you don't  put any aside you can always scrap off the icing that has gone onto the grease proof paper.

8 oz self raising flour
7 oz butter
8 oz caster sugar
zest 1 lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
4 eggs
8 oz butter
8 oz sifted icing sugar
1 - 2 tsp lemon juice
Marzipan topping:
2 heaped tbsp Apricot jam
7 oz white Marzipan
Aprox 2 Ib Fondant Icing sugar
Aprox 5 fl oz water
Food Colouring
A drop of lemon juice
100g Dark Chocolate

What you do:
Preheat your oven to 170 o'C and grease and line a 8 in square cake tin.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy

Beat in the eggs and lemon juice until fully combined.

Fold in the flour and lemon zest until fully combined.

Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Once the cake is spread out use the back of a metal spoon and lightly make a dent in the middle so that the side are slightly higher than the middle.

Bake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted.
Leave the cake in its tin for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.Level off your cake and then place in the fridge.

Marzipan topping:
Do this while your cake is baking.
Place some cling film on your work top and roll out your Marzipan thinly use your cake or cake tin to cut to shape. Wrap this in cling film and place in the fridge until needed.

Make this while your cake is baking. 
Put your butter in a large bowl and lightly mash it against the sides.
 Then gradually mix in your icing sugar and lemon juice. Do  this until you have a smooth thick buttercream. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge until ready to use.

Marzipan Topping:
Once your cake has had about 5 to 10 minutes in the fridge heat your jam in a small sauce pan and then sieve into a bowl. Remove your cake and Marzipan from the fridge and brush your cake base with the jam and then place your Marzipan on top, place back into the fridge.
Cake :
Once your cake has been in the fridge for another 5 to 10 minutes cut out equally into squares. I made some tiny and large ones so that my 19 month old could have some.

Use the buttercream and cover the sides of the cake only make sure it reaches the marzipan (do not do the marzipan top of the bottom) try and make sure it is smooth and neat. If you are doing this in a warm place then put them back in the fridge for about 5 minutes and then tidy up.

Once all your cakes have buttercream on them and are nice and smooth put some buttercream in a piping bag and pipe a blob of buttercream on the marzipan in the centre.

Place these in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
Make this after you have put the buttercream on the cakes.
In a large bowl put half of your fondant icing sugar and a few tbsp of your water and some your lemon juice (do to taste) and start mixing to form a paste gradulaly add more water until the mixture becomes thick but watery. Keep adding more icing sugar and water until you get a mixture that will coat the back of a spoon.
Add a small amount of food colouring and mix.  Cover and leave on the side until ready use.

Once you are ready to coat your cakes in the fondant. Place a large piece of grease proof paper on your work top and then place a wire rack  on top.
I tend to carefully pour the fondant over the cakes put you could try dripping.

Leave to set then in they need another coat of fondant then do so.  Leave to set. DO NOT PLACE IN THE FRIDGE.

Melt your chocolate and place into a piping bag and leave to cool slightly. Once cooled so some zig zag lines over your fondant fancies and leave to set. Once set store in a container in a cool dry place.

Happy Baking

Leek and Chicken Quiche

On Saturday we decided to have our Roast Dinner as my oldest would be at a party on Sunday, so we had a large roast chicken and ended up with some chicken breast left over instead of using the chicken in sandwiches I decided to make a quiche with it, so I thought I would need some thing to go with it. I had a look in the fridge and decided on leeks. Now because there was not alot of chicken it became more of a leek quiche with bits of chicken, so the more chicken you have the less leeks you need. My ratio is one breast of chicken to 3 leeks.
You don't have to use left over chicken from you roast dinner you can use chicken you have in the fridge or freezer (defrosted first of course) just make sure that it is cooked before you put it in the pastry case. 
You will need to cook the filling while your pastry is baking

What you need:
8 oz plain flour
1 tsp of salt
2 oz butter (if using wholewheat you will need 3 oz)
2 oz vegetable fat/lard (I use white flora)
3 tbsp cold water

3 leeks sliced
1 clove Garlic Finely chopped
2 Spring Onions Sliced
just under 300 ml Milk
2 eggs
pepper to season
a good hand full of grated cheese (optional)

What you do:

In a bowl mix your flour and your salt and rub in your butter and fats in with your fingers until you get what looks like bread crumbs.

Add the water and using your hand mix until you have a dough, once the mix starts to form into a ball
 give it a bit of a knead so its nice and smooth. ( I do this while it is still in the bowl that way you dont add any extra flour)
 Only knead for a couple of minutes don't over knead as you will end up with a tough pastry.
Place your ball of dough into cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Grease the sides of your tin
Place a sheet of baking paper on your work top and the base of your fluted flan tin. Lightly flour your work surface , place your dough onto the centre of your base (this technique was shown to me by Rising to the berry, normally I would struggle lining the tin with the pastry)
and Roll out your dough
 fold your dough in on itself
 and the place you dough and tin base into your flan tin
unfold the dough and press into your tin, to do this use a bit of pastry that way you wont get any nail prints. cut off any excess (I did forget to do this). Prick the base all over to prevent air bubbles.
Cover with baking paper and put in your baking beans
(if you dont have any baking beans use any dried beans once used place them in a bowl as you can use them again but not for eating) and chill for 10 minutes. 
Preheat your oven to 220 o'C (unless the recipe you are using says otherwise) and put a baking tray on the middle shelf.
Reduce the temperature to 200 o'C and place your pastry on to the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the grease proof and baking beans, return the pastry to the oven and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.

While your pastry is baking heat a knob of butter in a frying pan. Add the leeks and onions. Just as the are starting to soften add the garlic. Cook until the leeks and spring onion have soften. Remove from heat and mix in the chicken.

Put the milk and eggs in a jug and beat together. Add in the pepper (use as much or as little as you like).

Once your pastry has finished cooking remove the pastry from the oven (leave the baking tray in the oven) and add the leek and chicken mixture.
 Place this back in the oven on the baking tray and then carefully add your egg and milk mix. I ended up pouring some of mine away so just fill it until you reach the top of your pastry case.
If you are putting the cheese on  - bake for about 10 minutes then put cheese on then bake until the filling has set.

If you are not putting cheese on - Bake for another 20 minutes or until the filling has set.

Remove and leave to cool in the baking tray then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack or serve.

Happy Baking