Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Bakewell Tart: GBBO Week #5


After all of the shock news last week, we've had a further blow this week in the news that Mary Berry will not be following the show when it moves to Channel 4. Paul Hollywood confirmed that he would be staying with the show, making him the only one to remain. There was a foreshadowing of the future moment this week when Sue made a joke at Tom's bench and then walked off saying "I'm leaving the tent"... oh Sue, if only you'd known!


The signature challenge this week was to make two different types of Danish breakfast pastries. Mary wanted the bakers to produce a crisp buttery pastry and Paul said this challenge was all about time management. They all used enriched doughs and all of the bakers except Jane made one dough that they split in two. Jane made Pain Au Raisin with a orange and cardamom dough and Raspberry, Chocolate & Almond Danish with a cinnamon dough. Candice was the only baker to brave a savoury pastry with her Croque Monsieur Kites featuring mushrooms, gruyere and pancetta.


Selasi's pastries were very tropical themed and featured pineapple, orange and mango. Val was being her usual unqiue self and had brought dental floss with her to cut her pastry with. I hope it wasn't mint flavoured! Benjamina went all American with her flavours and made peanut butter and banana pinwheels, and pecan swirl with maple syrup and candied bacon. Everyone struggled towards the end with timing, and Rav even forgot to bake one of his pastries.


Tom didn't fare so well during judging as one of his pastries was dry and the other was so raw the judges wouldn't even taste it. Val, Selasi and Benjamina all had problems with their pastry being undercooked too. The judges like the flavour of both Rav and Andrew's fillings. Jane got a great result with her pain au raisins, and Candice's savoury pastries went down very well.


This week's technical was to make a Bakewell Tart, I love how they are bringing all the technical's back to basics this year. There was a bit of internet uproar over the tart in question due to the icing covering the top, however this was Mary's version of a Bakewell Tart. The judges expected all of the bakers to know what a Bakewell Tart looked like and to know all of the techniques involved in making one.


The recipe instructions were very minimal, and Selasi suggested that the more 'aged' bakers would know what they were doing. Val got stuck in straight away, as did Jane. However, Val was only using the second sheet of the instructions and she only saw the first sheet after 20 minutes of time had gone by. She'd guessed all of the recipe quantities. To be honest I'm not sure how she did this as the instructions started from number 5 on the second sheet which would surely have been the biggest clue. Even when she did find out, she still continued to ignore the instructions and made a series of bad decisions, despite the fact she makes a Bakewell Tart every week at home. Rav came last as his pastry collapsed, Val came 7th, Andrew was 6th as his oven wasn't turned on for the first 15 minutes, Benjamina 5th, Tom 4th, Selasi 3rd, Candice 2nd and Jane was 1st.


The showstopper this week was to make 48 filo pastry amuse bouches (aka canapes), one savoury and one sweet. Filo pastry is quite a nightmare to make from scratch, I've done it myself once before when I made a Fruit Strudel. Mary advised that the pastry should be wafer thin and Paul wanted the canapes to be bite size.


Val went with a Christmas theme and used mincemeat in her filo parcels. Jane was quite brave I thought by using cone shaped moulds to wrap her filo around, they looked like such a faff and kept falling over. Tom was very ambitious by mixing chocolate with chilli and steak - yes you read that right! He is taking things too far in my opinion, there's experimental and then there's just plain risky. Selasi was using coffee to flavour his sweet filo, and he said that simplicity was a good thing. Benjamina was influced by her Nigerian roots to add plantain to her showstopper.


Then the stretching began! The bakers used broom handles, rolling pins and even pasta makers to roll out their filo until it was as thin as possible. Rav and Selasi both finished before the time was up, whereas Jane and Val were rushing to complete the challenge. Benjamin, Andrew, Selasi all did well. Paul didn't like the flavour of Tom's filo fillings and said he was 'disappointed'. Even though the judges thought Jane's amuse bouches were too big, they loved her flavours. Val was only able to present 12 of her savoury filos, and the 12 were underdone. The pastry for her sweet filo was far too thick. Candice and Rav both also got great results.


Val left this week, and although I'd found her quite irritating (I think she has a bit of a Marmite personality where you either love or hate her), I did feel sorry for her as she seemed very upset. The winner of star baker was Candice, however Jane came very close. Next week is a new theme - Botanicals week!


I decided to make a Bakewell Tart this week as I've never actually made one. I wanted to make the more traditional looking tart with flaked almonds on top and a drizzle of icing. As pretty as Mary's version looked, it's a bit too much icing than I prefer on my Bakewell.


I started by making the pastry. I rubbed 100g butter into 230g plain flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.


I added 3 tbsp cold water and formed a dough.


I rolled out my pastry on my Joseph Joseph Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat which I am loving using, it's definitely my favourite product from their new baking range which they kindly sent me a few weeks ago. I've already used it three times!


I lined a 9 inch tart tin with the pastry, leaving an overhang. I used a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry. Then I chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.


I scrunched up some baking paper and lined the pastry, then added baking beans. I baked it on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.


To make the frangipane I creamed together 160g butter and 160g caster sugar. Then I added 1 large free range egg, 1 tsp almond extract and 160g ground almonds.


I took the pastry out of the oven and removed the baking beans and paper. I trimmed the edges for a neater finish.


 I baked the pastry again for 10 minutes on the same temperature.
 

I spread a layer of seedless rapsberry jam on the bottom of the pastry case. I used approximately a third of a jar.


I piped the frangipane over the top to avoid it mixing with the jam, then I smoothed it out on top. I sprinkled over some flaked almonds.


I baked the tart on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes


I can understand why Mary and Paul chose this as a technical challenge as it really fits with their theme of going back to basics. Any baker who bakes regularly will be able to knock one of these together easily and without too much fuss. It really is all about basic skills. When it was fully cool, I finished the tart with a drizzle of 60g icing sugar mixed with enough water to get a thick, but pipable paste.


You really can't beat a Bakewell Tart and this was devoured within an hour by my colleagues! It was full of almond and jammy goodness, and the pastry was lovely and crisp.


I'm linking up with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.



And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation.


And Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.


And Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie.


print recipe

Bakewell Tart
Ingredients
  • 260g Butter
  • 230g Plain flour
  • 3 tbsp Cold water
  • 160g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 Egg, large
  • 160g Ground almonds
  • 4-5 tbsp Raspberry Jam
  • A handful of Flaked almonds
  • 60g Icing sugar
Instructions
To make the pastry rub 100g of the butter into the plain flour until it resembles breadcrumbsAdd the cold water and form a doughRoll out the pastry, line a 9 inch tart tin leaving an overhang. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry then chill it in the fridge for 30 minutesScrunch up some baking paper and line the pastry, then add baking beans. Bake it on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutesTo make the frangipane cream together 160g of the butter and the caster sugar. Then add the egg, almond extract and ground almondsTake the pastry out of the oven and remove the baking beans and paper. Trim the edges for a neater finishBake the pastry again for 10 minutes on the same temperatureSpread a layer of the jam on the bottom of the pastry casePipe the frangipane over the top and avoid it mixing with the jam, then smooth it out on top. Sprinkle over the flaked almondsBake the tart on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutesWhen the tart is cool, mix the icing sugar with enough water to get a thick, but pipable paste. Drizzle or pipe over the tart

Monday, 26 September 2016

Treat Petite September - Round Up


I'm really enjoying that me and Cakeyboi decided to stop theming Treat Petite as it's so great to see such a variety of yummy treats every month! I really want to also say a huge thank you to all the bloggers that join in with our little link up - you guys are awesome! I love seeing all the things you make every month. This round up is full of so many tasty looking goodies and there's a lot of GBBO baking too. Don't forget to spread the blog love and share or comment on any recipes you like. I'm hosting for October again as Cakeyboi is off on a very special holiday, so check back soon for October's link up!


Caroline Makes made these Chocolate & Merlot Red Wine Cupcakes, which are served with a shot of red wine!


The Gluten Free Alchemist linked up Gluten Free Viennese Whirls to celebrate biscuit week on The Great British Bake Off.


I also baked along to GBBO and made these Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls.


Caroline Makes found a Tirimasu Cupcake recipe for people who don't like coffee, sounds right up my street!


BakingQueen 74 made Blueberry Viennese Whirls with Blackcurrant Curd, using freeze dried blueberry powder to flavour the biscuit dough.


Caroline Makes was back again with Mary Berry Lavender Shortbread Biscuits, she picked the lavender fresh from a local field.


My Treat Petite co-host Cakeyboi made Irn Bru Brownies, with the Scottish soda both in the batter and buttercream topping.


Leeks And Limoni linked up these Apple & Almond Cakes made with fruit from her fruit trees and with a lovely shiny glaze.


Green Gourmet Giraffe made Strawberry Passion Fruit Muffins which was an experimental recipe and turned out very successful.


The Crazy Kitchen also joined in with Bake Off fever and made these Rhubarb & Custard Viennese Whirls.


The Gluten Free Alchemist made these super fun Frozen Pina Colada Lolly Folk which are alcohol, diary and gluten free.


A Keen Cook went savoury with these Mature Cheddar Cheese Scones and smeared them with Chipotle Butter, yum!


Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary sent over these gorgeous looking Chocolate & Chilli Cupcakes that her kids loved.


The Gluten Free Alchemist continued baking along to GBBO with these Sweet Autumn Dessert Yorkshires with Vanilla Sauteed Pear & Walnuts and Blackberry Coulis. They are gluten and dairy free of course.


Charlotte's Lively Kitchen made these super pretty Chocolate Crunch Meringues which are decorated with yummy Digestive Nibbles.


The Gluten Free Alchemist has been busy this month! She linked up this gorgeous selection of Gluten Free Breakfast Pastries.


Charlotte's Lively Kitchen also sent over these drool worthy Millionaire's Cupcakes to celebrate the end of National Cupcake Week.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Midnight Blue Velvet Cake & Bake Box 5 Unboxing


My fifth Bake Box of the year arrived last week and in typical fashion I got rather over excited about the contents. If you've not heard of Bake Box before it's a bi-monthly subscription service for all the baking lovers out there. Once you sign up, every two months you receive a themed box filled with bakeware items, a specialist decorative item and 6 recipe cards to inspire you. You can read my other Bake Box posts here, here and here.


This month's theme was New York and inside the box was:
  • A giant cupcake mould
  • A mini donut mould
  • A whoopie pie mould 
  • Blue food colouring
  • New York themed cookie cutters
  • Chocolate decoration sheet

I had a few favourite items in this box including the mini donut pan, giant cupcake mould and the coookie cutters!


I decided to make the blue velvet cake as I thought it looked really pretty and impressive. I had a few friends coming round and I thought it would really impress them. I followed the same sponge recipe from the Bake Box but I changed the decoration and the buttercream. That's the great thing about Bake Box, it doesn't just provide items and recipes, it also inspires you to bake new things.


To make the sponge I started by sieving 400g plain flour, 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder into a bowl.


In another bowl I mixed together 400ml buttermilk, 3 eggs, 2 tsp cider vinegar and 2 tsp vanilla extract.


The blue food colouring was supplied in the Bake Box, and I also decided to use my Wilton easier layer cake pans which I lined and greased.


In a third bowl I creamed together 350g butter and 350g caster sugar. I then added 1 1/2 tbsp of the blue food colouring. I definitely added way too much as my cake turned out bluer than I wanted, so I would suggest adding 1 tbsp or even 3/4 tbsp. It will depend on how potent your food colouring is to how much you need to use.


I added the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl in thirds, one at a time, and mixed between each addition.


I seperated the batter into the four greased and lined pans. I always make a hole in the middle as it stops the cakes from 'doming' too much in the middle.


I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, and they were definitely bluer than I wanted them to be! More like a midnight blue - hence the name of the cake! I left them to cool.


To make the cream cheese frosting I started by mixing together 600g icing sugar and 100g butter. Then I added 250g full fat cream cheese and 1 tsp vanilla and mixed it well with an electric mixer. I put it in the fridge to chill.


I'm not the most talented with fondant icing so I decided to decorate the cake with some blue, white and red meringues in keeping with the American theme. I followed a Meringue Girls recipe and started by heating the sugar in the oven on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes. To find out the weight of sugar to use, weigh your egg whites, then double the sugar weight.


Meanwhile I whipped up the egg whites (I had 3) with 3/4 tsp cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed.


I prepared the piping bags whilst the sugar was in the oven. I turned them upside down and painted stripes of red food colouring on one, and blue food colouring on the other.


I continued to whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer and added the warm sugar a spoonful at a time. When it was all mixed in, I kept mixing for 5 minutes until I could rub the meringue between my fingers and could not feel any grains.


I halved the meringue and put it into the prepared piping bags. I piped it out onto baking trays. It took me a few tries to get the kisses neat, and the recipe made way more than I needed for the cake, but they were so yummy it was ok with me!


I baked the meringues on 90C/200F (it's hard to convert this into Gas Mark as it's less than a half) for 40 minutes.


I trimed the edges of the sponges as needed then started to stack them, spreading the cream cheese frosting between each layer. I piped the cream cheese frosting on top for a neat finish, then sprinkled some of the crumbs from trimming the sponges on top.


Finally I decorated the top of the cake with the meringues. Both the cake and the spare meringues went down really well with my friends - despite making everyone's mouths blue! Thankfully I was told it was completely worth it. The little meringues are amazing and they just melt in the mouth, definitely a recipe I'll use again both on their own and to decorate cakes.


I'm linking this cake up with Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello.



And with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte's Lively Kitchen, this would be a great bake for a Macmillan Coffee Morning.


And with the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, as I used leftove egg white that I had in the freezer to make the meringues.

Disclaimer: I am sent the Bake Box free of charge, all opinions are my own.


print recipe

Midnight Blue Velvet Cake
Ingredients
  • 400g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 400ml Buttermilk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 450g Butter
  • 350g Caster sugar
  • 3/4 - 1 tbsp depending on strength Blue food colouring
  • 600g Icing sugar
  • 250g Cream cheese
  • 3 Egg whites
  • Double the weight of your egg whites Caster sugar
  • Red food colouring
  • 3/4 tsp Cream of tartar
Instructions
To make the sponge sieve the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into a bowlIn another bowl mix together the buttermilk, eggs, cider vinegar and 2 tsp of the vanilla extractIn a third bowl cream together 350g of the butter and the caster sugar. Then add the blue food colouring, add enough for a deep blue colourAdd the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl in thirds, one at a time, and mix between each addition.Seperated the batter into four greased and lined pansBake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, then turn them out of the pans and leave them to coolTo make the cream cheese frosting mix together the icing sugar and 100g of the butter. Then add the cream cheese and 1 tsp of the vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer then put it in the fridge to chillTo make the meringues heat the caster sugar in the oven on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes. To find out the weight of sugar to use, weigh your egg whites, then double the sugar weightWhip up the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks formedPrepare the piping bags by turning them upside down and painting stripes of red food colouring on one, and blue food colouring on the otherWhen the sugar is done, continue to whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer and add the warm sugar a spoonful at a time. When it is all mixed in, keep mixing for 5 minutes until you can rub the meringue between your fingers and cannot feel any grainsHalve the meringue and put it into the prepared piping bags. Pipe it out onto lined baking traysBake the meringues on 90C/200F (it's hard to convert this into Gas Mark as it's less than a half) for 40 minutesTrim the edges of the sponges as needed then started to stack them, spreading the cream cheese frosting between each layer. Pipe the cream cheese frosting on top for a neat finish, then sprinkled some of the crumbs from trimming the sponges on topDecorate the top of the cake with the meringues