Anzac Biscuits; easier to bake than going to the shops

It was an autumnal Sunday afternoon and after watching Super Sunday, which was a disappointing match (that goal was never offside) I decided we needed cheering up with a cup of tea and a treat.  I could not be bothered to go to the shops for a pack of biscuits on this wet and chilly day so I reached for Mary Berry’s bible to find inspiration.

The first one I turned to was Anzac Biscuits.  It was fate as these are childhood favourites of mine and Mum used to make these moreish biscuits on a regular basis. I probably have not eaten these since I was in primary school. These biscuits are now all about comaraderie and the were originally  baked in Australia and New Zealand to honour the soldiers from the battle of Gallipoli. They were great to bake during rationing as the binding agent is syrup instead of eggs and they are super easy to make without any kitchen wizardry. 

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I fired up the oven and greased my fabulous Bake-Off baking sheet; I love this adonised aluminium baking sheet and really regret not buying another back in 2015.

The ingredients you will need are:

  • 150g (5oz) butter cubed (to speed up dissolving)
  • 1 dessert spoon of Golden Syrup
  • 1 dessert spoon of Maple Syrup
  • 175g (6oz) Sugar (split between Demerara and Golden Caster)
  • 75g (3oz) Self-raising flour
  • 75g (3oz) desiccated coconut
  • 100g (4oz) porridge oats
  • Equipment you will need are 3 baking sheets, small or medium pan, cooling racks and small palette knife or spatula.

The method is so simple, it’s easier than going to the shops to buy biscuits – just follow these steps:

  1. Turn your oven on to setting 160°c fan or gas mark 6
  2. Lightly grease 3 baking sheets
  3. Melt the butter, sugars and syrups in a pan and melt until melted / dissolved
  4. Add the dry ingredients (SR flour, coconut, porridge oats)
  5. Mix your dry into your wet ingredients and stir until combined well
  6. Spoon a heaped teaspoon onto trays (about 9 per tray) and pressing each one with the back of a spoon to flatten slightly.wp-1477239462139.jpg
  7. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Once baked (edges will be a golden brown) leave for 2 minutes to cool slightly before moving onto your cooling racks.

Store in an air tight container if you can resist eating them all before they have cooled.

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Louise x

 

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MacMillan Bakeathon

I never need an excuse to hone my technical skills so this the MacMillan Coffee Morning was a great opportunity to practice and develop my baking skill. As I was away on the Coffee Morning I decided to bake twice a week leading up the worlds biggest coffee morning.

The first offering was a classic Victoria Sponge, which turned out better than I expected for a first attempt.

I did the all in one method using

225g self raising flour

225g Stork

225g golden caster sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

I was unsure as of my bake mixture  and in my panic and added an extra egg yolk.

It was layered with fresh strawberries and a white chocolate topping.

First Victoria Sponge with a twist
First Victoria Sponge with a twist

However I would say there is no other jam to use than the delicious Tip Tree Raspberry Seedless Jam.

With just jam
Victoria Sponge

So the next Victoria Sponge was baked and this time ensured all the ingredients weighed 225g  using only Tip Tree as a filling.  It still was good but personally I think the extra egg in the first bake really stole the show – others thought not.

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As I had chocolate icing left over I made fairy buns to use this up. I loved these little sponges I just wished I’d put some jam into the centre.

Fairy Cakes
Fairy’s

Next two bakes were my signature bake Banana, chocolate & Pecan Loaf, with my twist of adding Maple Syrup, I usually add 2 tablespoons this time I added 4 of Clark’s Maple Syrup.

Banana loaf with Lindt Chocolate
Victoria Sponge

Over two weeks and four bakes we raised fifty pounds sterling, and probably added a few to our waistlines but I’m sure all who contributed feel good for donated to MacMillian.

This also helped me decided that from now on when baking is taken into the office I will ask for a donation with every slice

Thank you for all your support and if you like my blog or just love looking at food you can follow me on Twitter #EatBakeBlog or Instagram.

Louise

NB : Funds are registered under number  32734220

 

The Great British Bake Off is back and I can’t stop baking

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It started last week when my countdown was at 7 days.  First to be baked was Lemon Drizzle which was a first.  Little did I know Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were about to set the same challenge.   Not content with my first attempt at Lemon Drizzle I baked it again, this time making the drizzle a thicker consistency, achieving this by using smaller lemons which of course gave less juice and giving me a great crunchy zesty topping.

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Lemon Drizzle –

Then I spotted the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong run by The Baking Nana and Robert Allen and that just got me inspired further.    The first challenge was a Victoria Sponge – a cake I had not baked since 2009; so I was a little bit rusty.   The timing for this was great, as Linda my colleague had baked a recipe that I had been threatening to copy it for weeks.  I dusted off (well not literally) my cake tins and warmed up the oven.

The cakes went in and I waited impatiently starring into my oven waiting for that moment they looked that beautiful golden colour.

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Victoria sponge in the making

The baking part was easy but the icing was tougher.  It was a white chocolate icing which despite following the recipe to the gram was too runny.

I added more icing sugar and reached a consistency I was happy with and hey presto.  This cake was sold at work slice-by-slice to raise money for MacMillan’s Coffee Morning which I plan to bake for every week until the 30th.

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So what next, well I had white chocolate icing left so on Monday evening I decided to make some Fairy Cakes and top these off with the leftover icing.

My only regret is that I didn’t cut out and insert some strawberry jam.  These little cakes went down well at work and helped top up the funds.

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Fairy cakes – bargain at 50 pence

Wednesday came and it was GBBO day I thought enough baking I will just enjoy watching but its difficult when you’ve come home to find some less than pert bananas.

Oven on, Kenwood out and banana’s mashed I added some Coconut Flour to my usual recipe.

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Coconut Flour added to my Banana Loaf

I loved this new combination and will definitely be experimenting further with coconut and try and make a gluten free cake at some point.

To really push myself I am going to try and make a drizzle loafs as a tribute to a Bounty Bar if you see the standard on #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong you understand why I need to start pushing myself harder.

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Thanks for reading and please leave any comments below – happy baking.

Louise


 

Lemon Drizzle Traybake – #zestybaker

Never baked Lemon Drizzle before yesterday  but a dear colleague is moving on to new challenges and this cake is her favorite.  It’s taken me a while to find the elusive 30 x 23 cms tray that Mary Berry uses  (if you follow me on twitter you may have caught my grumblings).   I was tempted to pimp this but i’m playing safe today.

So what next…

Grease and line your  30 x 23 cms tin with baking parchment/paper (remember, if you use larger tin you wont get the same rise).  Line your tin I and heat your oven to 140°c (fan) or Gas mark 3 then weigh out and prepare your ingredients but hold on for the crunchy topping.

You will need

  • 225g Softened Butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 275g Self-raising flour
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • finely grated rind/zest of 2 lemons

For the crunchy topping you will need

  • 175g granulated sugar (beware not to use a finer grade or you will not get the crunch)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (beware to to use large lemons – read on to see why)
  1. Measure the butter, caster sugar, SR flour, baking powder,eggs, milk and lemon zest/rind into your bowl and beat until well blended.  Remember your butter must be soft to touch before your start this process.
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  2. Turn your mixture into the greased/lined tray and gently level
  3. Place the tray in the oven on a middle shelf for 35-40 minutes – or until the cake has pulled back from the sides of the tin and if you gently press the middle if fingertips you see it spring back
  4. Leave the bake in the tin to cool for five minutes.
  5. When times up, turn it out on a cooling rack and carefully peel the parchment/paper from the base and leave to cool further
  6. Make your crunchy topping by mixing the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to give a runny mixture
  7. Spoon this over the cake while it is still warm
  8. Cut into squares once cold.
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Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake by EatBakeBlogBG

Lessons learnt

My oven was slightly too hot – school girl error – always check your temperature or expect that doming.

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The lemons, despite being fabulously juicy, produced a lot of juice which is never a bad thing.   However  I think the amount of juice they produced took the crunch from the topping – too much juice to sugar.  It could also have been that the bake was too warm and melting the sugar .  What I do know is that baking is a learning curve and next time I will measure juice to try and find that perfect mix and use a more averaged size lemon.  In the meantime a cheats sprinkle of granulated the morning after gave these the crunch they deserved.

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Big juicy lemons – too much juice to sugar for the topping

Every cloud has a silver lining as these lemons gave me an incredibly zest and moist lemon drizzle and I look forward to baking this again but next time with some savory thyme.

Hope you like this and my pictures and if you try this with a twist then please share your thoughts.

If you like my blog why not follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

Louise x

EatBakeBlogGB

 

Banana loaf with Lindt Chocolate

Banana Loaf #badboy

I’m on a roll at the moment or should I say loaf. I’m slowly working my way through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and adding and changing recipes until I feel I have mastered them or added a twist that leaves me happy.   The latest conquest was Banana Loaf.

Luckily for me, my colleagues are not keen on banana’s once they are showing signs of ripening which also gave  my the perfect opportunity to try out my new tin liners.  I love baking and I think I’m doing okay, but lining tins is not my area of strength so theses are a welcome addition.

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This bad boy is perfect (it’s no secret any great banana loaf needs really ripe bananas).  My first loaf was plain banana. My next bake had chocolate (a handful of chopped up dark chocolate) then I added Clark’s Maple Syrup and finally maple syrup and pecans which became the office favorite. The balance of Maple syrup was a learning curve and after 3 attempts and feedback from the office I think I have the right balance.

Lindt Dark Chocolate
Clarks Maple Syrup and a handful of  Lindt Dark Chocolate

So what next….

Line your tin. Now you’d think this is straight forward but be careful choosing your tin. For this recipe you needs a 2lb /900g loaf tin; if you’re not sure measure out and this size tin should hold one litre of water.

Ingredients

  • 100g (4oz) softened butter * (very important don’t cheat this)
  • 175g (60z) Caster sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Ripe Banana’s mashed
  • 225g  (8oz) self raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

The Extras

  • 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup (I use Clarks)
  • 2 tablespoons of pecan nuts, cut in halves.
    or 1 handful of chopped dark chocolate (both is too much so I recommend you pick one or the other)
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  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160c (fan assisted)/gas mark 4 and lightly grease and line your 2lb loaf tin (bottom and sides).
  2. Measure out your ingredients into a mixing bowl and the mashed banana and if desired the maple syrup mix well for 2 minutes or until well blended.
  3. Next stir in your chocolate and or pecans
  4. Pour / spoon the mixture into your lined tin and level the surface
  5. Bake on your middle shelf for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin on your cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turnout and peel off the parchment until cooled.

Or if like me, why not have slice while still warm with a cup of tea!

If you like my blog you could follow me on Twitter or Instagram

 

Banana loaf with Lindt Chocolate
Banana Loaf with Lindt Chocolate
Finished article. Serve immediately with custard, cream or ice cream

All round winner – Jaffa Self Saucing Pudding

Made this first for my Mum’s birthday meal.  My mum doesn’t have the sweetest tooth in the family that belongs to my Dad.  He truly is a pudding / dessert lover…and if he could, he would eat puddings for starters, mains and afters!

They both raved about this pudding, in fact Dad said its the best pudding he’s ever had. Since then David’s parents have enjoyed this  and they have requested this for the Ord family Easter Sunday dinner.  With this in mind I thought it was time to share this wonderful pudding with you.

I first found on the BBC Good Food website and I have made no tweaks as its perfect.

  The Batter

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g soften butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Zest and Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml Milk
  • 100g orange milk chocolate (I use Terry’s Chocolate Orange)

    The Sauce
  • 200g  light muscovado sugar
  • 25g cocoa
  • 300ml boiling water
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Self Saucing Jaffa Pudding

 

  1. Butter a 2-litre baking dish and heat oven to 160°C fan/gas 4 and put your kettle on.
  2. Put the flour, caster sugar, 50g cocoa, baking powder, orange zest and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop your chocolate into pieces.

    I aim for pieces about the size of a Cadburys’ buttons give or take; this means you find lovely pieces of half melted chocolate in each mouthful.

  4. Squeeze the  orange juice into a pyrex jug and whisk in the 3 eggs, melted butter and milk.
  5. Pour onto the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth  (it takes about 2-3 minutes in  my Kenwood)
  6. Stir in the chocolate chunks and then scrape everything into the buttered dish
  7. Mix 300ml of boiling water from your kettle with the light muscavodo sugar and remaining 25g of cocoa for the sauce.
    Batter Mix
    Batter mix before your pour the sauce over
  8. Slowly pour this all over the pudding batter which will look very wrong at this stage!

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    Batter covered with the bubbling hot sauce mix
  9. The Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 mins or until the surface looks firm, risen and crisp.
    Finished article. Serve immediately with custard, cream or ice
    Self Saucing Jaffa Pudding

     

 

I hope you like this pudding as much as we do and if you do try this please let me know if you make any additions as I’m always looking for new ideas.

Louise x

EatBakeBlogGB

#EatBakeBlog Seeking Brownie perfection

Ever since I dined at the Saddleroom in beautiful Coverdale over a year ago I have been trying to recreate this brownie which was a little piece of heaven.

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Ingredients used:

  • Pack of unsalted butter (250g)
  • 250g golden Caster Sugar
  • 225g dark muscovado sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs (whisked)
  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • 85g Blanched Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 4 Tablespoons of dark rum (or leave out)

Equipment you will need : scales, large glass bowl (about 20cms in diameter), pan to sit the bowl on, good heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, fork or whisk, baking parchment (greaseproof paper) and a square bake tin (21cms or 22cms).

The method. I  writing this bullet pointed as I think it makes it easier to follow, but first heat your oven to 180C or if a fan 160C (equivalent Gas mark 4) and lightly grease a square non-stick baking tin and line it with baking parchment /greaseproof paper.

  1. Weigh out your ingredients first and beat the eggs – this makes the process easier, leaving you to focus on baking rather than weighing (I lay them out in order of use it helps me when I am doing new recipes it keeps me focused on where I am)
  2. Put a pan of water (about a 1/4 full) on to simmer and place the glass bowl that sits neatly on top making sure the water is not too high that it is touching the bottom of the glass bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and place in the bowl
  4. Add both sugars and the cocoa and stir regularly so it doesn’t stick until the sugar is dissolved and you have a rich chocolate mix.
    EatBakeBlog Butter Sugar and Cocoa mix
  5.  Take the bowl off the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes
  6. Add the beaten eggs bit-by-bit into the mix until you have a smooth and glossy mix.
  7. Stir in the self raising flour and chopped hazelnuts and the rum and mix until you cannot see any flour (really scrap down into the bottom of that glass bowl).
    Eatbakeblog Chopped Hazelnuts
  8. Pour the mixture into your lined tin.
    EatBakeBlog Ready to bake
  9. Place in the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 35 minute or longer if needed (check by putting a skewer (or a sharp knife) into the mix our looking for a slightly clean blade.
  10. Remove and leave to cool in the tin – this is really important; your brownie is still cooking and developing its flavour.

Turn out only once it is cool. I turn it out onto a board so I have the base upwards it makes cutting it easier as the top should be crunchy and it will crumble.

Your Brownies should keep in an airtight (I use an old biscuit tin lined with greaseproof paper) for about 3 days and we are sure it tastes better on day 2. This is still the best  brownie I have made but I am still seeking the chewy perfection.

 

Eatbakeblog Hazelnut Brownie
Hazelnut Brownie by EatBakeBlog

Thanks for reading my blog and if you like this then please show your support and comment below or share on social media.

 

Louise x

#EatBakeBlog

#EatBakeBlog won’t jack on Flapjacks

It has been a while since I made these sticky oaty bars and in my efforts to use up the sugar in the house and continue with my attempt to remove it from my daily life it seemed like a good use of  our cupboard staples.

Why I am doing this today after stepping on the scales since before Christmas is beyond me, as the news was as grimmer than I’d expected. Not since ten days in Vegas back in 2010 have the scales creaked as much.

This time I used this recipe from my recently purchased book Mary Berry’s Baking Bible see page 191 for her Fast Flapjacks.   I made same minor tweaks as I had no demerara sugar so I used the following ingredients:

  • 225g / 8 oz Butter (unsalted)
  • 100g /  3.5 oz   Caster Sugar
  • 125g / 4.4 oz  Soft brown sugar
  • 275g/ 10 oz  Porridge oats (organic)
  • 100g (3.5oz) Sultanas

With the butter and sugars melted, the oven hot and ready to go, I mixed in the oats and sultana’s into the greased tin, flattened and popped this sticky buttery mix it into the oven.

Now our favourite baker tells us to cook for about 35 minutes, so knowing our furnace of an oven (which would incinerate you, as soon as look at you) and I took them out at 30.  But alas it was too late –  the Flapjacks are beyond what I call golden (think the dress – we all have our own colour charts)

Now, I know David will tell me they are perfect (he is too kind plus I am sure worries if he critiques I may give up)  but I know better so next time it will be 25 minutes and I will invest in a thermometer to try and seek a more golden offering.

Flapjack by EatBakeBlog
Flapjack by EatBakeBlog

Thank you for reading if you like my blog then please follow me on twitter @LouiseWinder

Louise x

#EatBakeBlog