Sunday, October 16, 2016

Home Sweet Home Bakealong (63, 64 and 65 /100)

I have a confession to make. I completely forgot to take a picture of the grasshopper cupcakes! I had the opposite icing problem to Gill - I under whipped my cream and when I added it to the custard, it was all a bit soft and flowy, making for some very interesting eating at home group. So admire Gill's and pretend mine were as pretty.

The marshmallows, however, were very pleasing - I flavoured mine with peppermint and they were like candy cane goodness in cloud form. Once again I remembered how unpleasant hot gelatine smells (no illusions left about its origins!)

I think I slightly underbaked my sponge for the roulade - it ended up rather slumped rather than spiral, but ooh, wasn't it tasty.

Not on the bakealong, I also made some jaffa cakes. These were disconcertingly like "real" jaffa cakes... Only bigger!

Next up: Chocolate and peanut butter cookies

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Shoofly Pie - Home Sweet Home Bakealong (62/100)

I've always been rather fascinated by people of the Amish churches, and the Plain life. Something distinctly appealing about true community life, quilts, farms, barns, preserves and baking. Although, obviously, no internet, no telephones, no blogs, no social media and no films.

Shoofly pie manages quite nicely to transcend cultural, national and chronological barriers. I liked this recipe - it tasted delicious and looked good, although I was glad I went up an inch on my pie plate diameter, as it fit a 10 inch pie plate like a glove.

Baking has slowed a great deal for both of us, but we are still trying to push on through the remaining recipes in Home Sweet Home.

Next up: Homemade Marshmallows.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Home Sweet Home Bake Along (Week 61)

Sorry for the blog silence, the last month ran away with me. I also didn't bake for a while, because I was doing a Whole 30 which was more fun than I thought it would be. I joined instagram and posted nearly all my meals there. I like instagram.

Anyway, Little Boy Red acquired a baby sister the wrong way up, so I baked some chocolate peanut butter cookies for the parents.

I slightly altered the recipe to use up some powdered peanut butter and added some peanut butter chips.

Next up: Shoofly Pie!


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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekend pootling

I love that word, "pootling," it is so descriptive, it almost feels onomatopoeic. My life seems not to have been pootling, however, it seems to be whizzing. Whizzing and whirling past me.

Still, there has been enough time for some sock knitting. The yarn is an Admiral R Druck crazy coloured yarn that I probably bought online in a moment of madness. It looks better knitted up rather than still in the ball. It makes me imagine a homestead somewhere in the mid-west. Deserts and oases and fields and livestock.

A panoramic city view for a friend's 30th. I know it isn't old-old, but it is strange to think that we are all turning thirty. Still, the cashiers at the local shop seemed determined to not let me get too complacent at this great age; I was asked for proof of age when buying a cocktail mix there just two days ago.

Which brings me to this rather wonderful quote which was on the wall at Hatchard's, Piccadilly. Excuse the poorly executed phone picture. It says, "Nobody ought to write books before they're thirty. I hate precocity." Nancy Mitford, Wigs On The Green. Good to know I have a little while longer to be precocious then.

Last, but not least, I concluded the shell display in my bathroom, having retrieved a box of shells from my parents'. I believe some of them came from Aden, but that's another story entirely.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Home Sweet Home Bake Along (55-60!)

How was it February since I last posted? Dear me, how time seems to run away. I have been baking, quietly, in the background, although I think I'm rather off kilter with Gill!

I have baked:

A very ugly Flourless Chocolate Cake cake. Like Gill I suffered a spring-form tin water ingress issues, despite wrapping the tin in foil. Soggy edges, but a rather pleasant middle.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Shortcakes - I changed the shape on these to a wedge (for ease) and added white chocolate chips for added excitement. These made a rather excellent Sunday night supper for The Fair Physiologist, The Pure Mathematician in Exile and me.

Chocolate Pie - this one is in fact not 57, but I accidentally made 57 here: Chess Pie when I skipped over Chocolate pie believing I had already made it (I think I had, but not during the bake through) - this is fab - chocolate biscuit crust, chocolate pastry cream/custard/pudding, whipped cream. Everything the doctor ordered.

Vanilla fudge - another somewhat dubious fudge attempt on my part - not sure if it is the sugar thermometer or me, but these needed reboiling. Jolly yummy once finished though! My squares were rather thin because I never seem to have the tins demanded by Home Sweet Home.

Cinder Toffee (Honeycomb) cupcakes. Yum. That is all.

Lemon cake. Stupidly tried to make cream cheese icing on the hottest day of the year so far. Very slide-y layers. Jam oozing. It was like the Princesstarta all over again... Still, a few butterfly sprinkles and all was well with the world again. It was well received, despite its ugliness.

Oh. Yes. I also made some espadrilles. The Kindred Spirit wonderfully bought me all the required items for production two birthdays ago. She visited this week, and I suddenly remembered that amid other projects I had forgotten to make them; so I did. And they were fun, and easy, and I have new summer shoes! Yay!


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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Home Sweet Home Bake Along (53&54/100)

Sorry, another long break. Baking progress has been slow recently, I have tended to stick to things I am familiar with baking, for one reason and another.

The project is edging onwards, however, and Gill and I are in roughly the same area of the book (barring her recent accidental diversion) so I don't feel too off kilter.

First, then were grasshopper squares:

These were possibly the most well received bake I have ever made - needing a kilo of white chocolate, this is perhaps, unsurprising - although I did have to resort to a hand blender and some cold milk after splitting my ganache (white chocolate ganaches are so temperamental, and I never chop my chocolate fine enough, so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other I suppose.)

Second were rose-chocolate cupcakes:

These were surprisingly popular, given how divisive Turkish delight and rose-scented bakes can be. Probably not one I'll make again (unlike the grasshopper squares!) but not a write-off by any stretch of the imagination.

Next up, flourless chocolate cake (I think...)


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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Home Sweet Home Bake Along (48-52/100)

Sorry it has been so long! Life rather got in the way of blogging, although baking did still go ahead. Therefore this post is a bit of a round up of the last 5 bakes from the Home Sweet Home book. These five bakes have taken us past the halfway mark, which is a nice place to be. I have a great deal of sympathy for and growing amazement with Julie Powell (of "Julie and Julia" fame) - 524 recipes in 365 days sounds an absolute nightmare and rather bonkers to be honest. Hey-ho. On with the baking:

First up were: Chocolate Praline Cupcakes. Still got the leftover praline somewhere. Delicious but far too much of it.

Then came: Mississippi Mud Cake; three layers of far too much chocolatey goodness.

Third were Toffee Pecan Thumbprint cookies: Weird cream cheese dough. Not sure I'd bother again, but they were all eaten, so no complaints on that front.

Next up was Peach Pie: Mine was rather more cooked on top than on the bottom, which is the trouble with a non-fan oven, it turns out. Maybe if I put a pound in a pot for every dish the oven messed up I'd quickly save for a fan one. Hmmm, there's a thought. (Also turns out chocolate pie was next, not peach pie, my addled brain went a bit mad there apparently; hey-ho, will make chocolate pie when Gill is making peach pie!)

Then finally came Cinnamon buns: Always amazing, always fun, always eaten. Yum.

Next up: Grasshopper Slices...

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Coconut Marshmallows - Home Sweet Home Bake Along 47/100

I'm getting rather behind in my blogging at the moment. Life seems to have suddenly sped up and five minutes to sit down and blog seems to be a fantasy. Still, that's the way it goes sometimes.

This is the second time I've made marshmallows, and these were rather nice. The coconut stopped them sticking together without making the harsh crispy edges that a cornflour-icing sugar mixture does.

They disappeared pretty sharpish too, when presented at work. They are rather good for topping hot chocolate, the coconut and the chocolate go well together.

250g desiccated coconut
sunflower oil, for greasing
30g powdered gelatine
300g caster sugar
125g golden syrup
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

I'm entering this in #CookBlogShare, hosted this week by Kirsty at Hijacked By Twins



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Next up: Chocolate Praline Cupcakes

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pumpkin Bars - - Home Sweet Home Bake Along 46/100 #CookBlogShare

Hello, my name is Beckie and I am a Pumpkin Spice Addict. Blame the recent trip to the USA, or the general lack of Pumpkin Spice in the UK, owing to an absence of Autumn (Fall) celebrations (Holidays.) Indeed, with the exception of a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte, obvs) in Starbucks, Kings Cross, I haven't seen any commercial versions of Pumpkin Spice since returning from across the pond. However, whilst over there, I almost certainly drove the American School Friend nuts by consuming my bodyweight in pumpkin scones, spiced caramel apple drinks, PSLs, pumpkin scone cookies, pumpkin spice chai lattes, pumpkin macarons and pumpkin spice ice cream (oh yes, that's a thing - they have it in Trader Joe's - the one supermarket I would bring to England if I could.)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is these bars were extremely well timed in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms (although the sad lack of self-serve Froyo in the South East of England must be remedied posthaste.) They are moist, and light, and beautifully spiced, and went down a treat once my poor, English, Bible Study Group got to grips with a cake containing pumpkin! Apologies for the lack of photographs, I think the brain was still in the USA when I was baking these.

Also - bonus, I'm hosting #CookBlogShare this week, so welcome if you've joined us for the first time, or welcome back if you're a regular! Do scroll down to link up your recipe.

Recipe (makes one 28x23cm baking tray):
4 large eggs
250ml sunflower oil
360g soft light brown sugar
425g pumpkin puree (from a can)
340g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp salt
120g full-fat cream cheese
50g unsalted butter, well softened
200g icing sugar
(they also suggest 30g of toasted dessicated coconut, which I omitted, and just lightly dusted with powdered cinnamon)
Pithy instructions:
Preheat oven to 170C, line baking tray with parchment. Mix together wet ingredients, sieve in dry ingredients, stir well. Pour batter into tin, Bake for ~30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cream together cream cheese and butter, mix in icing sugar and beat until fluffy.
Remove cake from tin, smother with icing, slice into squares. Devour.

#CookBlogShare Linky:



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Monday, October 12, 2015

Millefeuille (Great British Bake Off #GBBOBloggers2015)

The astute amongst you will notice a picture of a bowl of jam, and then a millefeuille with a distinct absence of raspberry jam. Unfortunately, the brain was left behind in the USA, the body having only returned from there yesterday morning (hence blog silence for a couple of weeks.)

Still, I made all the component parts, as they did on bake off.

These are incredibly sweet, rich and creamy - no wonder these were the last technical bake - I imagine even Paul and Mary would have struggled to test more than three.

Anyway, here they are, millefeuille for the 2015 Great Bloggers Bake Off Final (recipe here), which is hosted this week by the Boy Who Cooked.

Mummy Mishaps