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    Entries in baked (3)

    Sunday
    Dec182016

    Perfect Christmas Stollen - ABC

    Carrots for the reindeer, a shot of rum and "Perfect Christmas" Stollen for Santa. 

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    Baking along with a talented group of bakers that are a part of ABC (Avid Baker's Challenge), this month 'Perfect Christmas' Stollen. 

    This is gorgeous, the stollen that is... moist, light and aromatic, a far cry from the one you pop in your trolley at the supermarket each year.

    Starting with making the "sweetener" a mixture of sugar, lemon and orange zest that along with homemade marzipan can be made many weeks ahead if desired. 

    The marizpan is simply ground white almonds, sugar and lemon zest mixed with water.

    Dried fruit is soaked, then drained. I used hot water with a splash of rum to soak mine.

    The dough starts by making almost a sponge, an enriched starter of half the flour, yeast, egg yolk and warm milk. *Link to full recipe and the end of post.

    After 30 minutes, the other half of the flour, salt, prepared sweetener and softened butter are added. The KitchenAid does it's thing now and kneads the dough for 5-7 minutes (or 10 to 15 by hand) until you have a soft and supple dough. 

    The lovely Hanaâ from Hanaâ's Kitchen recommended the following you tube video on how to easily incorporate the fruit into your dough. The video is in Dutch, fast forward to the 1.15 point to watch the fruit being rolled in... and it works!!

    Starting to fold and roll the fruit into the dough. 

    Sprinkling the last of the fruit to be rolled into the dough. 

    The the dough is rolled into a ball and allowed to rest, covered and in a warm spot for 20 minutes. 

    After that the ball is shaped into a loaf and you guessed it, loosely covered, put in a warm spot and rests for 20 minutes.

    Now you add some egg (and butter if you wish) to your marzipan, your marzipan is then rolled into a sausage shape.

    Your loaf shape is now rolled and the sausage of marzipan lain down the center, fold, press to seal and bake.

    Once out of the oven you can brush the baked stollen with melted butter and sift over some icing sugar. I used snow sugar which is great for when you are shipping sugared baked goods or just need the presentation sugar to last without having to go into sweet over kill sugaring the top again.

    The Avid Bakers Group (ABC) is using the recipes from Weekend Bakery... here is the *link to the full stollen recipe.

    Happy Baking :)

    Want to know more about snow sugar and white sugars? I write about them here.

    Or feeling more like gingerbread custard ice-cream?

    Monday
    Oct312016

    Irish Soda Bread: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

                                 Irish Soda Bread 'The Bread Bible'

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    I haven't been around much, my Dad passed away in October and I'm feeling sad. I didn't really want to bake but it has helped having something to do, even though I had lots of "family food memory" tears from the first scoop of flour.  

    Ha, ha my Aunty Clare would not have been happy I didn't have any whiskey in the pantry, as Aunty Clare did believe whiskey made everything better. However, I did have a bottle of Irish Whiskey liqueur so I could go ahead and bake Rose Levy Beranbaum's rather special version of 'Irish Soda Bread'. 

    Not a strong tipple that puts hairs on your chest but rather a gentler caramel, butterscotch Irish Whiskey concoction.  I love it!! It's whiskey dessert in a bottle.

    My step son is living and working in Dublin at the moment and he tells me soda bread is common place and known simply as "brown bread'.

    Daniel and his lovely Irish girlfriend Emer... Galway Ireland

    Rose's deluxe version of Irish soda bread starts off with soaking raisins in *Irish whiskey (for me the liqueur) for at least 30 minutes.

    I've used Australian raisins from the Walthcross and Lexia grape varietals, they are flattish, moist and sweet with a distinct muscat flavour.

    Next wholemeal flour, white flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) are stirred together.

    Butter is then rubbed in... Australians will be familiar with this method we usually use for scones. 

    The whiskey plumped raisins are added and then buttermilk is stirred in. 

    Shaped into a round loaf, a cross was cut in the top and the Irish soda bread was in baked in a preheated oven until golden. 

    There was an option to make to whiskey butter with the soaking liquid from the raisins, sounded delicious but since I was serving with whiskey I didn't make it this time around. 

    I liked the soda bread best warm, the texture is robust but not heavy and definitely suited to a swoop of butter whether that be Kerry Gold or Rose's recipe for whiskey butter.  

     A quick, easy and tasty bake. 

    *Note I'd swap the whiskey out for the same volume of strongly brewed black tea for the raisin soaking liquid  if I needed to go alcohol free.  

    Oh, and congratulation wishes to Emer who graduated this week!! 

    Happy Baking xx

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'.

    The Bread Bibleby Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores. 

     You might also be interested in a recipe for  Half a Grasshopper Pie

    or perhaps Tiesen Sinamon (Welsh Cinnamon Cake) cupcakes

    Sunday
    May242015

    Stilton Baby Blue Cheesecakes Rose's Alpha Bakers

    stilton baby blue cheesecakes 

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    "It's feeling a lot like Christmas" ... Well that is when I usually have blue cheese, instead it's just me alone with the baby blue cheesecakes today, I've been stomped on by a flu virus for the past eight days.

    Now, not that my family and friends want me to have the flu, but I kind of think a least a couple were relieved they weren't partaking in blue cheese cheesecakes taste testing this week.  Sheeeesh, more for me then... I love blue cheese, and these little cheesecakes were just what the doctor ordered ha ha.... I'm allowed a bad joke quota due to slight flu delirium!!  

    stilton cheese

    Savoury desserts have been a foodie trend for the last couple of years and these 'Stilton baby blue cheescakes' fit the bill perfectly, with a touch of sugar combined with the umami of stilton cheese.

    Started the cheesecakes in the same way as last weeks 'Double Chocolate Oriolos' by oven toasting walnuts and then rubbing the warmed nuts in a clean tea towel to remove the skins.

    Silicone cupcake pans or a metal muffin pan were suggested, but since I have a mini cheescake pan I thought I'd use that following the pan preparation method in 'The Baking Bible' for the metal cupcake pan. making parchment circles for the bottom on my pan

    Seven grams of finely chopped walnuts were pressed into the base of each hole. 

    Cream cheese was beaten with cornflour, sugar and pinch of salt until soft and creamy. Sour cream, stilton cheese and eggs were added before the mix was ready for baking. You do have the choice at this stage on how much stilton you add, depending on how savoury you want to go.  

    15 minutes in a low oven, turn and another 15 result in super creamy (and rather rich) small baked cheesecakes. 

    I topped mine with roasted walnuts, pear slice (love the green skin/ripe pear flesh of packham pears) and drizzled rosemary infused honey to keep playing with the savoury/sweet theme.  Consider plum, pear, fresh fig, rhubarb (poached or compote), red grapes, celery, walnuts or honey as toppings. 

    Would I bake again?  Yes

    Would I make any changes? I'd probably use a locally produced blue cheese rather than the imported Stilton but other than that no. I think just the sheer volume of toppings that compliment the stilton baby blue cheesecakes will keep this recipe "fresh" and in my repertoire. 

    How it works now I've joined the fabulous existing alpha bakers, once a week I will post about what I have baked from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'The Baking Bible'. This won't include the recipe due to copyright and publisher restrictions however, I will be posting how it went and photos of making/baking the gorgeous baked goods.

    The Baking Bible


    Feel like making an Albert ??