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Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

We were all very excited for chocolate week on the GBBO, its got to be one of our favourite things to bake with in our house. And even better, the babka was a perfect treat for breakfast at the weekend. So on Friday when Emily finished school, we headed home and made the chocolate fill and the dough. Click here to see how we got on.

Once the chocolate filling was made and cooling down in the fridge, we make the dough, it was very sticky, but I kept the mixer running and amazingly it all came together to make a super soft lovely dough. Once done, I rolled it out and Emily helped sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top, before I rolled it up, cut it and plaited it. It was actually relatively easy to do.

I then left it to prove, but even after 3 hours there was barely any change and I was running out of time before going to bed, so I just bake it anyway. Luckily it rose a bit, not as much as I had hoped, but when we cut into it for breakfast on Saturday morning it was beautifully soft and light and the chocolate filling was so super rich and sugary, we all loved it!

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Emily was very excited again this week to watch the bake off when she got back from school on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and couldn’t wait for Saturday morning to make the technical challenge. Coconut macaroons are one of Rich’s favourites, so he was pretty happy too! Click here to see how we got on this week.

Luckily we had all the ingredients and even had some frozen mango which I cooked with some lime juice and zest to make a purée. The recipe for the macaroons can be found here. I used desiccated coconut instead of coconut flakes as that’s all I had, but they seemed to work ok. The mixture was far too hard to pipe for the mango curd filled ones, may be due to the desiccated coconut absorbing some of the moisture, but I shaped them into little nest shapes with a teaspoon and my finger instead. 

We had a few problems with Chloe eating the chunks of chocolate before we managed to put them in the centre of the coconut mixture as captured in the photo and then picking at the coconut mixture too! Cheeky monkey! 
The final macaroons were a decent size and we enjoyed trying them with a cup of tea on Saturday afternoon! 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just love making and decorating Christmas cakes, so as a Christmas pressie this year for our friends Matt and Beckie and their 2 kids I decided to make them a cake again! While we were away with them in the Peak District I was looking at pictures of Christmas cakes on Pinterest and Freddie and Ellie loved all the penguin ones, so I thought that’s what I would do. I found a few designs and picked my favourite bits to design this cake. Click here to see some more photos and info on decorating it.

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PC177229.JPGOne of Rich’s favourite treats is rocky road, we even had the bottom tier of our wedding cake made from rocky road! So making a Christmas version would definitely be popular in our house. I cut this recipe out of Olive Magazine last Christmas but never got round to making it, so this year when I was looking through my recipes I added this one to the list. Click here to give this a go.

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I wanted to do something different for our Christmas cake this year, so decided on a big Father Christmas! I found a lovely design on Pinterest and thought I would give it a go, Emily is very excited about Father Christmas this year so I thought it was perfect. This year I am breaking from some of the traditional recipes I usually make, so the Christmas cake is a new one from October’s Sainsbury’s Magazine – clementine and chocolate, can’t wait to try it! Click here to see the recipe and more pics of the cake.

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Before we start all our Christmas baking I thought I would quickly upload some photos of the cake that Emily made for Rich for his Birthday this year. We all love watching the Great British Bake Off and also enjoy watching An Extra Slice. Rich’s absolute favourite bit is when they show photos of things that other people have had a go at baking, in particular the famous hedgehog cakes. So for his Birthday this year I thought we could make him a hedgehog cake and I would let Emily decorate it all by herself! I was secretly hoping it would be very funny leaving a 4 year old to do it! Click here to see how Emily got on.

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I can’t believe we are nearly at week 8 on the GBBO already! We had a very dark and rainy Friday afternoon here, so Emily and I decided it was perfect timing to make this weeks technical challenge. And luckily Chloe decided she was exhausted and had a 2.5 hour nap giving us plenty of time to get these done and in the fridge ready to deep fry for pudding as a Friday treat. Click here to see how me and my little helper got on.

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A couple of years ago we hosted Christmas with my sister-in-law, hubby and our nephew, I wanted to make a chocolate log but really wanted to make something slightly different. One of my favourite flavours is chocolate orange which feels like quite a Christmassy flavour, so I adapted a chocolate log recipe and this was the result! Click here to find out more.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust over a month ago it was Emily’s 3rd Birthday. Being a typical 3 year old she was changing her mind every day about what kind of party and cake she wanted, slightly tricky when trying to plan things! Her favourite cuddly toy is her panda and so when I suggested that she had a panda themed party and cake, she seemed very excited and the idea stuck, phew! She takes after both her Aunties with her love of pandas. She asked for the cake to have a Mummy panda, a Daddy panda and and Emily panda on as well as some bamboo, so I did a bit of research and came up with a design. Click here to take a look at the panda cake.

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I was really pleased when I saw what the technical challenge was last week – it’s been ages since I’ve made something like that and I couldn’t wait to try it! The only downside was that it’s pretty big (it’s huge!) and I was on my own for the weekend. Luckily I had a cross-country race and my team mates were more than happy to help me eat it up!
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