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


 

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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!

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Banana loaf with Lindt Chocolate
Banana Loaf with Lindt Chocolate

#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