Friday, 27 March 2015

Fat Friday #35 Croissants

First of all, Happy Friday! When this blog post gets published, I'll be in the middle of my synoptic test, which is a pastry test that I need to pass for college. So wish me luck. I'll be making Danish pastries, Florentines, Baked Alaska and Croissants! All of which will most likely be featured on the blog soon. This week we're looking at flaky, buttery croissants. This is a failsafe recipe, ONLY IF, you measure everything in pounds and ounces. I prefer grams, but I've been told by my pastry tutor that its best to weigh it in pounds.

Recipe: Makes loads for breakfast (Kindly provided by my pastry tutor):
·       1 1/2 lb Strong Flour / (680.39g)
·       ¼ lb butter/(113.40g)
·       8oz butter/(226.8g)
·       ½ pint of water
·       1oz milk powder/(28.35g)
·       ¼ pint of egg
·       1 ½ oz sugar/(680.39g)
·       ¼ oz salt/(113.40g)
·       1 ½ oz yeast/(680.39g)
·       Plus extra beaten egg wash

·       Sieve
·       Saucepan
·       Bowl x 2
·       Clingfilm
·       Rolling Pin
·       Croissant cutter (you can get one here)
·       Pastry brush
·       Baking sheet lined with silicone

1.    Sieve the flour, salt and milk powder. Add the smaller amount of butter and rub into the flour mixture.
2.    Warm the water to body temperature and add the fresh yeast and sugar. Add the eggs to the yeast mixture.
3.    Combine the wet mixture to the dry mixture to form a dough. Put in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.
4.    Roll out the dough vertically and place the larger amount of butter in the middle. Fold the dough into thirds to cover the butter. Roll out and perform 1 double turn. Place in the fridge.
5.    Repeat 2 more double turns.
6.    Roll out the dough to about 2 ½ mm thick and cut using a croissant cutter.
7.    Preheat oven to 200c/400f/Gas Mark 6.
8.    Roll up each croissant to form a crescent. Place on a lined baking sheet, egg wash, and place in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.
9.    Bake until golden brown. Serve cool, with jam or cheese and ham or whatever you fancy!
Have an excellent weekend!
Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 20 March 2015

Fat Friday #34 Hot Cross Cupcakes

Its not long until Easter creeps up on us and there's a number of treats that you bake at this time at year. In this case, hot cross buns are a well known Easter time treat. This recipe was designed to put all the flavour of a hot cross bun into a cute cupcake. Its a fairly easy recipe to master as well!   
  • 12g currants
  • 50ml orange juice
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 25g soft dark brown sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 20g mixed peel
  • 135g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk 
  • 1/4 teaspoon golden syrup
  • Chocolate Buttercream recipe here or Vanilla Butter Cream recipe here
  • Muffin tin lined with muffin cases
  • Piping bag
  • Bowl x 2
  • Jug
  • Sieve
  • Wire Rack
  • Whisk
  • Pastry brush
  • Scissors

1.Preheat oven to 170c/375f/gas mark 5.
2.Soak the currants in the orange juice for 30 minutes, then drain.
3.Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Add the currants when drained.
4.Cream the butter and sugars together. Then add the eggs and beat to combine.
5.Add the milk and golden syrup to the sugar mixture, then whisk for 20 seconds, or until well combined. Then add the dry ingredients and mix again until incorporated.
6.Fill the papercases about 2/3 full with the cupcake batter mixture. 
7.Bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
8. Meanwhile, warm the marmalade up in a saucepan and brush the tops of the cupcakes with a pastry brush.
9.Once cooled completely, decorate with a cross of vanilla (or chocolate) buttercream, using a piping bag.
Have a great weekend!

Bake On! Penny x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Happy St Patricks Day 2015

Happy St Patricks Day Everyone! Whether you're Irish or not, you can celebrate in the form of baking one of these yummy recipes:

Chocolate Guinness Mini Cupcakes


St Patricks Day Pishachio Cupcakes and Soda Bread

Have a Guinness and pop a little of Mrs Brown on the TV. Have a great day!
Bake On! Penny x

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Happy Mothers Day 2015

Looking to do a little baking for mum this year? Or have you got some baking planned with you dear old mama? Here are my ideas for making your mum something lovely for Mothers Day this year. 
Remember not to forget mum this year. You do only get one mum and you should love, respect and appreciate her all year round and not just one day of the year.
Love you mum! xxx

Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 13 March 2015

Fat Friday #33 Chocolate Guinness Mini Cupcakes

 "Top of the morning to you laddies!" Next week Tuesday it will be St Patricks Day and do you think of when you think St Patricks Day? In honour of this we're making Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes.Green, Guinness, leprechauns... all of which describes a good St Paddy's day celebration to me. But if you aren't keen on drinking Guinness, give these cupcakes a try because it isn't a strong overpowering flavour of the drink.(Even though its meant to be good for you. They used to give hospital patients, apparently. Well that's what my grandad said. But then again he is Irish, so he would say that!) So sit back, eat a cupcake and watch a little of Father Ted.
(Edit: I was going to do a Mothers Day FF post but I'm sadly not spending it with my mum this year. However, I will be sending her something nice to make up for it.)
(Edit the second: I also would recommend making 12 normal sized cupcakes as well. You can use the same amount of ingredients)

Cake Ingredients (makes 30 mini cupcakes. Recipe Adapted from The Cake Book by Jemma Wilson):
·       125ml Guinness Stout
·       125g unsalted butter
·       37g cocoa powder
·       200g golden caster sugar
·       1 large eggs
·       ½  teaspoon vanilla extract
·       70ml soured cream
·       112g plain flour
·       1 ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Cream Cheese Frosting
·       75g unsalted butter
·       120g cream cheese
·       420g icing sugar

·       Bowl x 2
·       Mini muffin tin lined with mini muffin cases
·       Saucepan
·       Whisk
·       Sieve
·       Jug

Cake Method
1.Pre-heat oven to 160c/350f/Gas Mark 4.
2.Put the Guinness and butter in a pan. Allow the butter to melt but not boil. Whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat.
3.To the egg, add the vanilla extract and soured cream, the beat until well combined.
4.Gradually pour in the Guinness mixture, whisking continuously.
5.Mix the flour and bicarbonate of soda together in a separate bowl, then add to the wet mixture, beating until smooth.
6.Transfer the mixture to a jug, as it will be very liquid and carefully fill the papercases until 2/3 full.
7.Bake for 20 minutes or until they spring back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cream cheese icing method
1.Beat the butter and cream cheese until pale and smooth.
2.Sift the icing sugar into a different bowl, then add to the butter mixture in two stages and mix thoroughly to combine.

Don't forget it is Mothers Day on Sunday. So grab her a bunch of flowers and a cupcake!
Have a great weekend!
Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 6 March 2015

Fat Friday #32 Camembert Brioche

Last week we looked at basic brioche dough to make a basic loaf. This week its something a little more complex in the form of Camembert Brioche. This is a great lunch dish or as a snack and its simply delicious. Its creamy, cheesy, sweet and savoury. Lunch perfection. You can make this with a whole brioche dough or do what I did and use half of the dough. Its great hot or cold with a side salad. Or just stuffed into your mouth.
Serves 8 (or 4 greedy people Recipe adapted from Great British Bake Off Showstoppers by Linda Collister):
·1 quantity of brioche dough
·1 x 350g camembert cheese (13cm across approx)
·5 tablespoons of chutney (I used spiced apple and raisin)

To Finish:
·A little beaten egg to glaze

·Pastry brush
·Baking sheet lined with baking paper
·Cling film
·Wire rack

1. Cut off ¼ of chilled brioche dough and cover and set aside for later use.
2. Roll out a larger portion of dough to a round 23cm circle. Make sure it isn’t sticking to the surface, dust with flour if needed.
3. Spread the top of the cheese with the chutney and put it upset down on top of the flat dough.
4. Using a knife, trim 1cm off the from the edge of the circle.
5. Add the trimming to the reserved dough. Then roll this dough out to about 14cm across.
6. Brush the exposed surfaces of the cheese and the outer 1cm exposed boarder with beaten egg.
7. Lift the dough boarder in small sections, and wrap over the cheese. The top should be exposed.
8. Use a little more beaten egg to stick the smaller dough circle on top. Pat gently to seal together.
9. Carefully, move the cheesy bread over to the baking sheet. Smooth out any lumps.
10. Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes until doubled in size.  Towards the end of rising preheat the oven to 190c/375f/Gas Mark 5.
11. Brush the dough lightly with more beaten egg. Score the top of the bread with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes, glaze with more beaten egg and bake again for a further 10 minutes.
12. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 45 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

Have an excellent weekend!
Bake On! Penny x
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