THE ART OF BUTTERING CRUMPETS AND MUFFINS…

All crumpets should be toasted on both sides, the smooth side first, the holey side last, as this produces a suitable concavity for the butter…Never cut a muffin, snip round the curved side and pull top and bottom apart and insert the butter in thin slices, do not attempt to spread it.

Dorothy Harley Food in England

8 TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CAKE TEXTURE…

We all try to make our cakes taste delicious but at the same time it’s important to have the right texture to your cake. Some tips I have found to help you make the best cake texture are –

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of salad oil to your cake mixture, as this can keep the mixture moist and less crumbly.

2. Try using buttermilk instead of milk as it gives a better texture to your        cake. For every 250ml of buttermilk used add half a teaspoon of baking soda.

3. If you weigh four whole eggs in their shells, then whatever the weight is,  that’s how much each of flour, sugar and butter you should add. This will  ensure an delicious cake every time.

4. Measure all your ingredients accurately.

 5. Avoid over mixing as it can cause a heavy texture, beat the mixture until it  is just smooth.

6. Bake your cake immediately once mixed as the baking powder begins to  act as soon as its combined with liquid.

7. Leave scones for a minute before you pop them into the oven as resting  them allow the baking powder to become active.

8. Never open the oven for at least the first half of the baking time as the cold  air will interfere with the rising of the cake.

7 TIPS ON USING YOUR OVEN TO BAKE A CAKE…

  1. If you don’t have a skewer or something similar to check your cake try using a piece of dried spaghetti instead.
  2. Before putting your cake mixture into the oven, tap the cake tin on a counter to release any large air bubbles in the mixture.
  3. Never open the oven door in the first half hour of baking as the cold air will interfere with the rising of your cake.
  4. For a moister fruit cake in electric ovens or Aga’s, place a dish of water on the floor of the oven when baking.
  5. ‘Always’ turn Your oven on before you start, to ensure it is the correct temperature.
  6. Avoid opening the oven door to often as this reduces the temperature of your oven and can then cause the cake to sink.
  7. Do not overcrowd your oven, the pans should never touch each other, or be placed over or under each other.

THIEVES BREW(BEV’S TEA CO) AND PISTACHIO SCONES…

I have written before that I receive the Tea Tourist tea box’s which come with a surprise selection of loose teas from some of the hottest artisan tea companies each month. They are sent in taster size portions for you to try. In this month’s box I had yet another amazing selection to try from and after sampling the Thieves Brew from Bev’s Tea Company, I decided to try and bake with it as well. I turned out rather tasty to say the least.

THIEVES BREW AND PISTACHIO SCONES…

Makes 14 to 16 scones

Working time: 35 mins
Resting time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes

1 teaspoon Thieves Brew Tea (By Bev’s Tea) seeped in 100g/3.5oz of boiled water for 3-4 mins
250g sultanas
160g  milk
150g unsalted butter
600g plain flour
30g baking powder
150g caster sugar
160g double cream
75g crushed pistachios
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Seep the tea in the water for 3-4 mins.
  2. Add the sultanas and leave to infuse for two hours.
  3. Place the milk in a pan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Rub the butter into the flour. Add the baking powder and sugar. Stir in the cream and milk. Drain the sultanas from the tea infusion and add them and the pistachios to the bowl and stir into the mix until you get a soft dough.
  6. Dust with a little flour and rest the dough for half an hour. Roll it out to 3cm thick and cut out your scones.
  7. Place the scones onto a tray.
  8. Beat the egg in a cup with a pinch of salt and use to glaze the top of the scones.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Leave to cool.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE 60’s CAKES RECIPE…

I was clearing out some of my books recently and came across my GCSE Cookery Book. It all came flooding back when I started looking through my recipes but one that stood out from the others was Rock Buns which I seemed to bake whenever I could. I even had some old photos of the first ones I made. You don’t hear of them nowadays but I thought I would share the old style recipe with you, in old style measurements. Enjoy …

Rock Buns

Ingredients

6oz Flour, 2-3oz Margarine, 2oz Currants or sultanas, 2-3oz Caster Surgar, 1 small tsp baking powder, 1/2 oz candied peel (chopped)1 egg and milk, 1/4 tsp mixed spice.

Method

Wash and dry the currants or sultanas. Rub the fat into the flour, and add the dry ingredients. Mix with a knife or fork to a stiff paste with beaten egg and milk. Put small heaps onto a greased baking sheet and bake in a hot oven for about 15 mins.

I love the way I haven’t even put ‘preheat’ the oven nor the oven temperature. Baking was sooooo much more laid back in those days.

 

APPLE AND CLOTTED CREAM LOAF CAKE RECIPE…

As I am sure you know by now that I have a love of loaf cakes. I find them a perfect size for just the two of us and most like the recipe below from Woman & Home and easy to bake. We had this at the weekend and it was delicious.

APPLE AND CLOTTED CREAM LOAF CAKE…

Ingredients

5 small bramley apples (peeled and cored) 1 tsp lemon juice 300g plain flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 200g softened unsalted butter or margarine 175g caster sugar 3 large eggs ( lightly beaten) 1 tsp vanilla extract 150g clotted cream 3 tbsp apricot jam

Method

Line or grease a 2lb loaf tin Preheat oven to 170C/Gas 3

Thinly slice enough apple to cover the top of the cake Pop in the lemon juice

Chop remaining apples and heat in a heavy based saucepan with 1 tbsp water for 5 mins until soft.

Leave to cool. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.

Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until all combined.

Fold in the sifted flour mixture and when almost combined add the cooked apple and clotted cream and mix well.

Pour into the tin and level Arrange the other apple slices evenly on top of the cake Bake for 1 hour 10 mins or until cooked through.

After cake has cooled, heat jam in a small saucepan and brush over the top.

THE LATEST BAKING TREND AND GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT…

winning_cakes_2016

A new trend for cupcakes is to infuse your cupcake with a shot of intense flavour by turning your bakes boozy using shots.

Lakeland have some Wilton Martini Bottle Topper Shots which you fill with your favourite tipple and pop into the top of your cupcake, ready to be squeezed into the sponge before eating. They would make a great stocking filler for someone who loves to bake.

12 Wilton® Martini Toppers

Product Features

  • 12 Martini glass-shaped pipettes
  • Infuse cupcakes with your favourite tipple
  • Make your own flavour combinations
  • Great for fans of cake and cocktails
  • Part of Wilton’s Cupcakes are my Cocktails range

# GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF #TudorWeek…

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So we are fast approaching the end of the brilliant ‘Great British Bake Off 2016′,  boo hoo… I will be so sad when it comes to an end not just because it’s the end of this particular series but because it’s the end to the ‘Great British Bake Off’, as we know it.

A massive 3.5k of other peoples recipes have been added to their site so far. Tuesday nights will never be the same again. Tomorrow’s theme is #TudorWeek! in what looks like a very empty marquee. The question now is who is in the running to win this year’s Bake Off. Every week I seem to get a different idea of who I think will win and that person has sometimes been the one to be eliminated so I’m not holding my breath that I will get it right on the night.

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I guess it’s a bit like chocolate in that all good things have to come to an end.