Great British Bake Off: Italian Grissini

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The second week of Great British Bake Off saw the contestants battle it out baking bread.
They were asked to produce crispy bread sticks, light and fluffy English Muffins and an extravagant decorative loaf.
I decided to recreate Ali’s Italian Grissini using Parmesan and Italian seasoning bought bake from Luca by my boyfriend’s parents.
Although they were delicious I was a little impatient and didn’t cut them very well.
They were all different thicknesses and although many of them had an impressive snap others were a little soft and bendy.

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Great British Bake Off: Chocolate Cake

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The Great British Bake Off started with cakes.
The 13 contestants were asked to bake a signature sandwich cake, their skills were tested in the blind test with an Angel Food Cake and they had to wow Paul and Mary with a show stopper chocolate cake.
I took a chocolate and cherry cake into my office to wow my colleagues, and win over my bosses.
I used this recipe for a rich chocolate wedding cake but halved the recipe – I thought 50 portions was probably too much!
I thought half the cooking time would probably be about right but when I checked it after an hour it was still very wobbly so baked for about another five minutes.
I filled it with sweetened whipped cream and topped with cherries for a fuss free but impressive looking cake.
The recipe was simple to follow and the finished product was delicious – I heard yummy noises coming from around the office!

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Lemon Meringue Pie

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Coming home for a Sunday roast with my family is always so exciting, until you realise there’s nothing for pudding!

So today I decided to make a last minute addition to dinner, a lemon meringue pie.

I bought ready-made pastry because that’s what Michel Roux Jnr did on Food and Drink this week and if he can get away with it then so can I!

I used this recipe which was pretty easy to follow.

There were lots of different steps but they could all be done individually so it was really easy!

It tasted great. The pastry was really thin and although the filling was very sharp the soft sweet meringue balanced it well.

Overall a fantastic recipe.

Pork and Cranberry Pies

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As it’s Christmas I wanted to make a special savoury snack for the family.

Cranberries are an ingredient I’ve never used before and I was slightly unsure of what to do with them.

I was looking online for some flavour combinations and saw that Waitrose is making a cranberry topped pork pie┬áso I thought I’d give it a go.

I’ve wanted to try making hand-raised pies since seeing them on Great British Bake Off and this seemed like the perfect time, here’s the recipe:

250ml water

200g lard

750g plain flour

2 tsp salt

First mix the flour and salt together in a food processor and then leave.

Next you need to boil the water and lard together.

Then slowly pour in the water and lard liquid into the flour, mixing as you do.

Once it’s all bound together in a nice dough you can shape it, I used ramekins for the big ones and a greased cake tin for the little ones.

You need to chill the dough once it’s shaped for about 30 minutes.

For the filling you need:

800g pork mince

1 diced onion

A few sprigs of thyme

Salt and pepper

Mix all of the filling ingredients up and season well.

Then you can start filling the pie cases.

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes, wash pastry with a whisked egg and then bake for a further 20 or 30 minutes.

Finish them off by topping with cranberries which have been cooked on a low heat for just a few minutes with 1 tbsp of sugar. You don’t want the cranberries to be too mushy, they still need a bit of a bite.

I crumbled Stilton cheese on this one and baked for another couple of minutes

Pork and cranberry pies

Pork and cranberry pies

 

 

Baking for the office – carrot cupcakes

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So, I’ve made carrot cupcakes before and used the same recipe.

I just thought I’d show you the cute little decorations I did when I took some into work.

I made them out of block icing which I coloured and shaped and they went down really well!

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes

Rum Baba

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First off – apologies for the long absence. I’ve recently started a new job and the time has just flown by.

 

Last month I made rum babas from Paul Hollywood’s recipe on Great British Bake Off.

Rum Babas

Rum Babas

The recipe was quite difficult to grasp. I had to start over with the dough because I tried to kneed it with my hands and it just went everywhere.

On my second attempt, I mixed the dough with a greased wooden spoon and that worked really well.

They took quite a while to do because your have to soak them in the syrup but once they’re all ready they’re really easy to put together and make look pretty.

Rum Baba

Rum Baba

Home made fudge

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I love proper crumbly rustic fudge so I decided to make some.

I think it would be much easier if you had a sugar thermometer because then you could tell when it was done, unlike me. The first time I didn’t cook it for long enough and it wouldn’t set properly.

It’s really easy though, just sugar, milk and butter and then whatever you want to flavour it with, I used disaronno. It was yum.

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