Posts Tagged With: baking

GBBO: kugelhopf

I bought chris a kugelhopf mould at the Lille Christmas market about 8 years ago, and we tried it out at the time but sadly the recipe we’d chosen was rubbish and it wasn’t worth the effort. Decided to try it again for European baking week and used a Lorraine pascale recipe from baking made easy. This was totally delicious, especially when you toasted it. My kugelhopf mould is quite small but even so I think the proportions are a bit big. This made a whole kugelhopf plus a full loaf tin. The loaf tin made it much easier to cut and use, particularly for toasting, so I’d definitely do at least one loaf tin if not both next time. I will definitely be making this again, it’d be great for a weekend lunch/ brunch if you had guests, or maybe at Christmas.

450g strong white bread flour
110g dried apricots, finely chopped
250ml tea (or orange liqueur if you’re rich!)
100g ground almonds
10g yeast
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
180ml warm milk
3 eggs, beaten
160g melted butter
2 tbsp honey

You could use some almonds for topping (put in mould at very start) but I didn’t bother

Oil the mould, dust with flour and set aside
Soak the apricots in the tea for 30 mins
Put flour, ground almonds, yeast, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a bowl
In another bowl mix together milk, eggs, butter and honey
Add enough of the wet mixture to the dry to make a soft dough. It is softer than most doughs but shouldn’t be too sticky
Knead for 5 mins in electric mixer with dough hook (I wouldn’t fancy doing this by hand as dough is quite soft, but if doing it by hand, 10 mins)
Drain apricots and add to the dough, fold the dough a few times so they are evenly dispersed
Put the dough into the mould, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. Mine took ages, ended up putting it by the heating oven to try to speed it up
Bake for about 35 mins at 200, until golden brown and comes out easily
Put on baking tray to brown bottom for 5-10 mins
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve

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GBBO: rye, ale and oat bread

This was a bit challenging for me, having never made bread before. Luckily chris woke up just in time to rescue it for me! We decided you probably want to do the first stage in a mixer with a dough hook as it’s extremely wet and was totally impossible to mix. It was a delicious bread though and chris is going to make it again for our autumn fair party in a couple of weeks because it’s an ideal bread to go with soup.

350g rye flour (had to get this from tesco)
150g strong white flour
10g salt
10g fast action yeast (awkward, given they sell it in 10g packs!)
50ml black treacle
140ml cool water
250ml full-flavoured pale ale
Olive oil for oiling

beer batter topping
150ml ale
100g rye flour
Pinch caster sugar
50-75g rolled oats

For the loaf
Mix flours and add salt on one side of bowl and yeast to other
Add treacle, 100ml water and 200ml ale
Use fingers in a claw to mix together (this is the stage I’d do next time with dough hook and mixer)
Add remaining water and ale, a little at a time to make a soft sticky dough. Apparently you might not need all the liquid but use as much as you can… I used it all!
Oil surface and knead dough for 5-10 mins. It gets less sticky. But the first stage is really tricky hence it needed to stay in bowl, or mixer, far longer than I left it
When it’s smooth and stretchy put into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size. Prob around 4 hours.

Beer batter topping
Mix ale, rye flour and pinch of sugar

After 4 hours, knock back the bread dough
Flatten, make a round loaf. Paul has a complex way of doing this but basically, make the shape
Spread beer batter on loaf and sprinkle oats on (I messed this up as I mixed a load of oats into the topping itself. Don’t do this!)
Prove for 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size. Ready when it springs back if you push finger into it
Heat oven to 220 (mine stops at 190, so I guess just as hot as you can)
Bake for 25 mins
Lower oven to 200 and bake for 10 mins until golden brown and hollow sounding when you tap on base

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GBBO: cinnamon buns

Made these for last week’s bake off bake along as it was advanced dough week which, given my lack of success in actual bread week, didn’t massively suit my skills (I need more practice!) In Ikea last week I tried a cinnamon bun and loved it, and now I’ve tried making my own they’re on the permanent collection. So tasty and mega easy. I used my new stand mixer to knead them though, I have a feeling they’d be much harder by hand.
The recipe comes from a guardian blog on the perfect cinnamon buns, but to be fair, they were pretty perfect so fair play! You can read the article here

300ml milk
1 tsp ground cardamom (made from about 25 pods, and I didn’t actually bother crushing them)
50g butter
425g plain flour (I ran out so used a mix with a lot of strong white bread flour, which I’d repeat as they worked well)
7g fast action yeast
60g castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg

75g butter
50g Demerara sugar (recipe said dark brown, but we liked the crunch from the Demerara)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Heat the milk and cardamom until nearly boiled
Stir the butter into the hot milk until it melts, then leave to infuse
Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer
Make a well and put in the egg (beat it first)
Add the milk and knead in the stand mixer for 5 mins (it is quite a soft sticky dough
Leave to prove with tea towel over for 30 mins
Mix the ingredients for the filling
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle (recipe said 35 x25) The dough is quite dry and pliable, a bit like pizza dough at this stage
Spread the filling over the rectangle and roll up like a Swiss roll
Use a sharp knife to cut into separate rolls. Recipe said 7 but mine made 12 (so we ate two each!)
Grease a lasagne dish and place the rolls into it
Prove for 30 mins
Bake for 25 mins
Eat. I think they are probably nicest warm! Good excuse to yomp them all!

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GBBO: butternut squash and onion quiche

I made this for pie week. It was totally delicious and gave you less calories for a bigger portion than most quiche recipes. It comes from Lorraine pascal’s book, a lighter way to bake.

low fat spread wholemeal pastry
225g wholemeal flour (oddly, morrisons didn’t stock this)
100g light spread (mine was can’t believe)
2tbsp water

Blitz all ingredients in food processor until clumps start to form
Add a little more water if very dry
Take out of processor and squid he until it comes together in a ball
Knead a little then wrap and chill for 20 mins

2 large red onions
1/2 butternut squash
1 garlic clove
2 eggs
1 egg white
100g extra low fat creme fraiche
100g semi skimmed milk

Roll pastry out to thickness of £1 coin and drape over greased lined tart tin so it goes over the edges
Put baking parchment over it and put baking beads in
Chill for 20 mins before cooking
Bake for 20 mins
Remove beans and paper and cook for 5 more mins to dry out bottom
Make filling while pastry is cooking
Fry onions for 6-8 mins
Chop butternut squash (no need to peel) into 1cm cubes
Add and cook for 6-8 mins
Add garlic for 1 more minute
Leave to cool for a few minutes
Mix eggs, creme fraiche and milk in a jug and season
Add the cooled veg mixture and mix
Pour into pastry case
Bake for 30-35 mins until set

We served this for lunch with a big salad

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Scotch pancakes

I found these in nigella’s feast cookbook when I was cooking the wedding biscuits last week. I was interested as the ingredients are cheap and things you have in, but in the shops 6 scotch pancakes costs 69p! These were great. I have frozen a fair few so will comment when I defrost them on how they cope. Next time I’m going to try the flavour I actually buy, which is lemon and raisin. If that works it will be brilliant!

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
150ml milk (great for using it up)
110g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 egg
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp golden syrup

Put the vinegar in the milk to sour it and set aside
Put flour in a jug or bowl and add bicarb
In another bowl put the egg and oil (I measured this quite carefully) then syrup (she suggests you use the oily spoon but I don’t bother with this, I just used a normal tablespoon)
Whisk these wet ingredients then add the milk and whisk
Add this to the dry ingredients and whisk to make a batter
Heat a non-stick pan without oil
Put blobs of about 1/3 ladle in the pan (about 3 fit each time)
When bubbles appear, flip and cook the other side
It gets hard not to burn them as you’ve cooked a few, you might even want to take a break

Nigella reckons you make about 20

I have now tried these out with lemon and raisins and they’re even better. I used lemon essence to make them more lemony and just a big handful of raisins in batter, as the ones you buy are very heavy on the raisins. I also turned the heat right down when cooking them and they didn’t burn at all! Will be making this version next time as they’re even nicer!

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Speculoos cups

This is along the lines of my peanut butter cups. Based on nigella’s recipe. I found these too sweet but chris loved them so I guess we will make them again. I had speculoos biscuits in (these are called biscoff or lotus biscuits, same make as the spread itself, here) so crushed a few and put them in, but this isn’t necessary if you don’t have any.

25g soft dark brown sugar
100g icing sugar
25g butter
100g lotus/ biscoff biscuit spread
200g dark chocolate

Blend the first four ingredients in food processor until smooth
(If adding crushed biscuits do it now. It’s easier and less messy to crush them in processor)
Press into a greased lined loaf tin
Melt the chocolate and spread it on top
Chill in fridge for at least an hour

Cut into pieces and eat. Very sweet, even for me!

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GBBO: Florentines

I’m getting behind with my cookalong! Still need to make my rye bread from last week but also my pudding from this week, aargh! These were trickier than recipes if normally choose, but to be fair I’d make them again. They weren’t that bad! I used a recipe from nigella’s domestic goddess cookbook, which chris and I felt was nicer than his recipe… But at his work where they’re actually judging it they preferred his 😦 they were wrong!

100g whole blanched almonds (they sell them like this, I was worried I’d have to blanch them myself!)
90g mixed candied peel (nigella says to buy it in whole chunks and cut it, but this is pointless and nowhere normal sells it like this)
40g glacé cherries, chopped
25g butter
90g caster sugar
15g plain flour
150ml double cream
100g dark chocolate
50g white chocolate (nigella says 200g total but I found 150g was plenty. Use whatever ,mix you like)

Start by chopping the almonds. This is tricky and takes ages. I tried with the processor which worked quite well!
Chop the cherries and peel if you haven’t already
Melt butter and sugar without letting it catch
Add the flour, as if you’re making a roux for a white sauce. It should form a thick paste
Remove from heat and whisk in cream. I expected this to be tricky but it was easy. I used a hand whisk even.
Put back on heat to beat out any lumps, them remove again and stir the almonds, cherries and peel in
Drop spoonfuls on a tray to make little blobs. Space well as they spread out
Bake at 190 for 10-12 mins. I undercooked mine which is how I lost, make sure they’re browned a little
Give them 2-3 mins to firm up
When they can be easily lifted use a thin spatula to remove them from tray.
Melt your chocolates, separately. Use a brush to brush each one into the back of a few Florentines. Use a fork to create the traditional patterns on this
Nigella reckons this makes 30 but I only got about 20 from it

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Cheese and mustard scones

I have so many recipes to blog so best just get on with it! I made this one because I’d run out of bread and needed something for a picnic. These are lovely cheesy scones. The recipe is by James Martin in good food magazine, but it was for cheese and sage scones. I thought I had sage to use up but couldn’t find it so substituted mustard. I think so long as you’ve got a flavour alongside the cheese they’d work well. Chris found the mustard a bit much so I might tone it down to one tablespoon next time. The final thing to say is the recipe calls for mustard powder which I haven’t got round to buying as it’s really expensive, so I just used wholegrain mustard, which I rubbed in just after the flour.
207 calories and 11g fat

225g sr flour
1/2 tsp salt
Grind of black pepper
1-2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
50g butter
100g mature cheddar, grated
1 egg, beaten
100ml milk, soured with a few drops lemon juice for 5 minutes or more

Mix the flour, pepper and salt together
Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
Rub in the mustard
Stir in half the cheese
Mix the egg and milk in a jug
Quickly stir the wet mixture into the dry until a dough forms
Line and grease a baking tray
Place the dough on it (it will be very sticky) and push it into a large round disc)
Use a knife to cut out the pieces, but just leave the marks rather than actually separating them
Ate the rest of the cheese on top and spread it around
Bake for 12-14 mins until risen and golden. They sound hollow when tapped apparently

These seemed to last a little longer than normal scones, 2 days not 1. Maybe because of the egg I think. You could freeze these.

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Honeybee biscuits

I’ve eaten loads of home baking today, whoops! These are brilliant! Samantha desperately wanted to try honey, so we tried these out (she also tried the honey and almonds on the way and loved them). The original recipe is here in video form (which is really useful when baking with those who can’t read at all!) it’s from Cathryn Dresser, whose book I discovered in tesco last week. I intend to buy it as a present for Samantha for Christmas. My only comment on the recipe would be at you need more flour. I used the amount it ways and then at the end shook some more in until it was a realistic dough to work with. It started off way too sticky, there was no way we could shape it at all.

125g butter
65g icing sugar
130g plain flour (add more after)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp honey
Pinch salt
Demerara sugar

More honey to decorate
Yellow and black sugar paste (I bought a mixed box of colours for just over £2. Means I have other colours to use up but cheaper than buying a whole pack of each, and around the right amount for 10 biscuits, we actually managed to decorate 8)
Flaked almonds (only for the wings, probably don’t buy these just for this recipe, you could do without!)

Blend sugar and butter with electric whisk
Add honey and whisk
Add egg yolk and whisk
Add flour and salt and whisk briefly to mix
Stop whisking and mix a little with a spoon. Add a bit of flour to make the dough less sticky so you can work it
Put some cling film on surface and sprinkle Demerara on it
Form the dough into a sausage on top of the sugar, then sprinkle sugar all round the sausage
Tie up the ends of the cling film sausage like a sweet and put in fridge for 20 mins

Whilst waiting make your bees…
Cut yellow sugar paste into 10 squares
Roll each square into a bee shape
Use your black sugar paste to make 2 stripes and 2 eyes for each bee
Stick 2 flaked almonds into each bee like wings

After 20 mins, take the dough sausage out of fridge and unwrap
Slice it. It should make about 12. 10 proper biscuits and 2 ends (‘chef’s perks’!)
Place slices on a lined greased baking tray and bake in pre heated oven for 10 mins approx
Let biscuits cool a bit, then decorate…

Brush each biscuit with a little honey (used like glue here!)
Place a bee on each one

Here is the finished item, complete with bees, some of which have been single-handedly decorated by panther, age 3!


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Snickers and peanut butter muffins

This is another nigella domestic goddess special! They are pretty yummy although I did make a bit of a stupid mistake… I forgot to put in the sugar! They are still pretty nice, but it helps make them sweeter to spread them with Nutella. However, when you make them, do include the sugar! Remember not to over mix these… They are muffins, not cupcakes.

250g plain flour
85g sugar
1.5 tbsp baking powder
Pinch salt
160g peanut butter, ideally crunchy
60g melted butter
1 large egg, beaten
175ml milk
3 x 65g snickers bars (this is the smallest multipack size they sell, just over £1 normally)

Stir flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together
Add peanut butter and mix to coarse crumbs
Put the wet ingredients together (egg, butter, milk)
Stir in gently (this is when you don’t mix much, batter should be a bit lumpy)
Snip up the snickers bars into the bowl (use scissors)
Gently stir this in
Spoon into muffin cases. Nigella says it makes 12 but they are very full (you have no chance using cupcake cases) and if you have a second muffin tray you might find it easier to make more
Cook for 20-25 mins

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