Saturday, 29 August 2015

Treat Petite August - Round Up




The theme for this month's Treat Petite was The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) and anything made on any previous series could be submitted (as long as it was given the Treat Petite treatment!) Bake off fever is continuing to sweep to the nation and I love seeing everyone's 'bake alongs'. It's such an inspiring show, and I hope you're as equally inspired by the wonderful bakes below...


Pebble Soup made this gorgeous Tear n Share Crossaint Crown. Crossaints featured in the final episode of last year's GBBO and this take them to another level by stuffing them with tasty ham and cheese.


Only Crumbs Remain made these beautifully golden Mini Madeiras. Flavoured with lemon, they are a classic bake and the full size version featured in episode one of this year's GBBO.


I was also inspired by episode one of this year's series, and I gave the showstopper a go, but in miniature, with these Mini Black Forest Cakes which were my first attempt at Black Forest flavours and left me wondering why I hadn't done it sooner!


Baking Queen submitted these dainty Mini Damson Madeira Loaves which are made with damson's picked from her garden. I love the burst of deep purple against the golden sponge.


Photobrook Photography was brave enough to given the technical challenge from this year's biscuit week a try and made these fabulous Arlettes. They look wonderful and I'm seriously impressed!


Sweet buns featured a few years ago on GBBO and Tin & Thyme made these stunning Liskeard Buns inspired by local history and tradition. Don't you just want to dive into this photo and grab one?!
 

Biscuit week was certainly popular this year and Foodie Quine made these Gingerbread Biscotti complete with tiny gingerbread men sprinkles to decorate. These would make an amazing gift at Christmas!


Belleau Kitchen made some melt in the mouth Orange Blossom Chocolate Creams which look incredibly pretty and after they won first place at a local village show I know they would certainly be welcome on GBBO!


I absolutely love Cake Of The Week's Sour Cherry & Pistachio Crocodile Biscuits, they are so much fun! She found the crocodile cookie cutter on a recent trip to Sweden.


My Treat Petite co-host Cakeyboi was inspired by a Ben & Jerrys ice cream flavour to make Classic Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies. Get me a glass of cold milk and a plate of these right now!


Finally from The More Than Occasional Baker we have more delicious biscotti with her Chocolate, Orange, Almond & Cranberry Biscotti. They sound scrumptious.

Thanks to everyone who joined in! Check out Cakeyboi for next month's theme annoucement soon.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Prosciutto, Manchego and Balsamic Onion Soda Bread: GBBO Week #3


I have to say, bread week on The Great British Bake Off was absolutely phenomenal! The contestants started by making a quick bread, also called soda bread. This is a bread that is made without yeast, therefore requires no kneading or proving. Instead the rising agents used are baking powder or bicarbonate of soda. Mary and Paul warned against using too much raising agent as this would affectthe taste of the bread.


There were a mixture of sweet and savoury flavours from the bakers. Both Mat and Nadiya made a Mexican style bread, Ian picked wild garlic from some nearby woods for his bread, and Sandy used a family recipe containing bacon that she often makes on trips to Ireland. Ugne went for the sweetest flavour with a chocolate quick bread topped with salted caramel sauce, and Paul made a cranberry and orange quick bread - which he got a Paul Hollywood handshake for!


Cheese featured in both Tamal, Alvin and Dorret's breads. Tamal used goats cheese, Dorret went for Stilton and Alvin chose Manchego. Paul called Alvin's bread a 'thing of beauty'. They loved Tamal's bread too, but weren't overly positive about Dorret's. Overall, everyone did fairly well, with only a few disparaging comments.


This week's technical challenge was to make 4 identical crusty baguettes. Of course Paul left out major parts of the recipe, for example how long to prove the dough, and to put water in the oven to create steam when baking. A few of the bakers figured this out and added water, but the rest did not. They all left the dough to prove for an hour, whenever I watch them waiting for things to prove I always wonder why they are not allowed to take a book with them!


The bakers weren't sure where to put the dough during proving, or how to score the top of the bread before baking. I love how such a simple thing, like a baguette, can lead to so much over thinking and confusion! Paul was very brutal during judging and Mary really had to push him to say something nice. Paul, Mat and Nadiya were the bottom three, Tamal came third, Flora came second and Ian came first. Although Paul still wasn't 100% happy even with the better baguettes!


The showstopper challenge was to make a 3D bread sculpture using up to three types of dough, and one of the type had to be a filled bread. A very tricky challenge! Paul Hollywood noted that as dough grows it can loose definition so this was a particularly difficult remit for the bakers. This however, did not affect most of the bakers as they produced some fabulous results! Paul stood out with his brilliant bread sculpture of a lion. I was blown away by how good it was! Paul Hollywood said it was exceptional and the best thing he had seen made in bread ever.


I also loved Ian's flower pot sculpture, it was so clever. He brought another home made baking tin with him to make it, such a talented guy! Alvin also made an absolute ton of bread, and he made it all beautifully for his cornucopia sculpture. Paul Hollywood said his bread baking skills were perfect.



Tamal made a very impressive bicycle sculpture, which was even more amazing because it stood up. Paul Hollywood called it spectacular and loved his range of techniques. And Nadiya made a fabulous snake coming out of a woven basket. The level of creativity and skill was stunning.


Dorret and Sandy didn't do too well. Dorret's unmade bed sculpture was not baked through, and Paul Hollywood did not think it looked like 5 hours worth of work. Sandy's bread sculpture looked messy and was told her pitta bread poppies tasted like cardboard.


Dorret left us this week, to be honest I have thought she was lagging behind everyone else since the first episode, but she had managed to stay under the radar. With this week's amazing bakes, hers just could not compete. Ian was awarded star baker for a second week running, deservedly so! Paul also got a special mention for his lion sculpture as even Paul Hollywood said he would never have attempted something like that. Next episode: desserts!



I absolutely loved the sound of Alvin's quick bread and I found the recipe for it on the BBC website, so I decided to give it a go myself. As it includes meat, I made two of them, one without any prosciutto for my vegetarian boyfriend. I'll detail the ingredients for just one loaf below, so if you want to make two, double the ingredients. Or if you want to make a vegetarian version, just omit the prosciutto.


I started by cooking 1 finely sliced red onion in 1 tbsp olive oil. When it was soft I added 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 1/2 tbsp soft light brown sugar. I let them simmer for around 15 minutes. The recipe suggested more balsamic vinegar, but when I added half it looked more than enough.


I diced up 200g manchego cheese. I've never tried manchego before, it's pretty expensive! But it is very tasty so for a one off recipe I felt it was ok. I also cut up 80g prosciutto.


In a bowl I sieved out 450g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp table salt. I rubbed 30g cold diced butter into the flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.


I mixed the cheese, prosciutto and onion into the flour along with a squeeze of basil puree, I reserved a small amount of the fillings for topping the bread.


In a jug I mixed 300ml buttermilk with 25ml water.


I added the buttermilk to the flour and brought it together to make a dough. Work it as little as needed. I shaped it on a lined baking tray, dusted with flour and scored it with a cross down the middle.


I topped it with the reserved cheese, onion and prosciutto.


I baked the loaf on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for an hour. It took a bit longer than the recipe suggested. I covered it with foil after the first 40 minutes as it was browning enough. I waited until it sounded hollow when tapped on the bottom to take it out. The kitchen certainly smelled good! I brushed it with melted butter and left it to cool.


Well my bread certainly didn't look as good as Alvin's! But for a first attempt I was pleased, it was cooked all the way through and it tasted really delicious. My boyfriend loved his vegetarian version too and we both gobbled up a chunk of the bread with some soup.


I'm linking this bread up to Bready Steady Go, hosted by Jen's Food and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Golden Oreo Cheesecake




We are pretty familiar with Oreos now in the UK, but unlike America we don't have easy access to all the different Oreo flavours and varieties. Well the wait is over as two new flavours are now widely available in all major UK supermarkets! I recently got sent the two new Oreo flavours being released in the UK. Golden Oreos, which have a vanilla biscuit surrounding the cream centre. And Peanut Butter Oreos, which are the standard chocolate biscuit filled with a peanut butter flavoured cream. So of course I had to bake with them, and I came up with this indulgent cheesecake for the Golden Oreos.


Recipe with the Peanut Butter Oreos coming soon!


I started by whizzing 200g of the Golden Oreos into fine crumbs using a food processor.


I added 50g melted butter to the crumbs and then pressed it into a springform tin, making sure it was compact and even. I chilled it for 30 minutes in the fridge.


Using my Kenwood kMix Hand Mixer I whisked up the egg whites of 3 eggs until stiff.


In a separate bowl I mixed together 575g full fat cream cheese, 3 egg yolks, 135g caster sugar and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.


I added the egg whites and folded them in gently.


I poured the mixture over the chilled biscuit base and baked it for 40 minutes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Make sure to put the tin onto a baking tray as I had some butter leak out of the tin while it was cooking and it got all over the bottom of my oven - not a fun clean up job! I let it cool fully to room temperature before decorating. Unfortunately my cheesecake decided to do it's best impression of the Grand Canyon!


I whipped up 200ml double cream and spread it over the top of the cheesecake.


I broke up the leftover Oreos and sprinkled them all over the top, finally I melted 5 blocks of white chocolate and drizzled it all over the cheesecake.


I loved the final look of the cheesecake, it looked so indulgent! The cheesecake itself is really light and moussey because of the addition of whisked egg whites. The Golden Oreos tasted delicious, they have a beautiful vanilla flavour and the creme centre is fabulous as usual. This cheesecake was a huge hit with my boyfriend and his friends!