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Archive for the ‘Fruit/Veg’ Category

I am sure plenty of people will agree with me that this weeks technical wasn’t really the most appealing, but I wanted to give it at go and I could see that the flavours should be pretty tasty. Luckily I had some suet in the cupboard as I was planning on making my mincemeat for Christmas this weekend. I ran out of time to bake with the girls, so this was my first solo challenge, click here to see how I got on.

I decided that we really didn’t want to make the whole recipe, Rich really wasn’t keen and I also didn’t have the right sized pudding bowls, so I used a small metal one instead and made just under half of the recipe. The full recipe can be found here. The recipe was easy enough to make. But I was not paying enough attention and forgot to line my tin, I had greased it though, so hoped that would be enough.

I didn’t time it very well as the 2 hours was up on the steamer while Rich was on a work phone call and we hadn’t even eaten dinner yet, so I left it another 20 mins before getting it out and having a go and turning it out. Unfortunately it wasn’t very easy to remove from the tin and broke, making a big puddley mess on the plate, just like most of the bakers! I think this is my first proper bake off fail! Amazingly it tasted much better than it looked and the lemon inside was soft and it was a bit like eating a sweet marmalade pudding. Emily and Chloe had a small bit to share and they really enjoyed it. It’s not really something I will be making again though!

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I’m getting a bit behind with blogging about the Bake Off technicals, but we have been giving them a go! I think I have only made doughnuts a couple of times as I don’t have a deep fat fryer, but these looked so good that it seemed worth the effort of filling a large saucepan with oil and using the thermometer to check the temperature, its definitely much harder to regulate it on the hob. We were all very excited to give these a go! Click here to see how we got on.

I didn’t have any strawberries, but had some of my parents homegrown raspberries in the freezer, so used some of these to make the jam instead. Emily and Chloe helped measure things out and helped with kneading the dough a bit too. Chloe loved poking her fingers in the soft dough! Pauls recipe can be found here.

I fried the doughnuts while the girls were having their tea so we could all have them for pudding. I couldn’t believe how big they got when they were put into the hot oil! They had just enough time to cool down so I could pipe in the filling and the jam. We very much enjoyed eating them! Probably one of the best technical challenges ever, they were so good!

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We missed last week’s technical challenge as the recipe wasn’t on the website until after the weekend so we didn’t have time. But we will catch up and make them at some point during lockdown. This weeks recipe looked really interesting, but neither Rich or I are keen on matcha so we decided to make a crepe cake half the size in case we didn’t like it! Click here to see how we got on.

I had some matcha powder left over from a wedding cake I made and hadn’t been brave enough to bake anything else with it, so this was the perfect bake to use it up. Prue’s recipe can be found here. Emily and Chloe helped make the pancake mixture, we had to add a bit of Green food colouring as the matcha I had wasn’t a very vibrant green!

I made the ganache meringue filling, it was super smooth and rich. Emily helped me assemble the crepes and did a good job of spreading out the filling and topping with the sliced strawberries. We popped it in the fridge to chill before decorating it, it looked quite pretty especially when you cut into it. Rich and I enjoyed some for pudding with some extra mango and strawberries on the side, it was actually quite yummy – apart from the dusting of matcha powder on top!

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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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It’s been quite a while since either Em or I updated anything on here and the Great British Bake Off being back on has kicked me into action again! It’s not because we haven’t been baking, just that we have both been so busy we have struggled with finding the time. So this week having watched the first episode in this weeks series of GBBO I thought it was about time I wrote something. Emily was super excited to be allowed to watch the bake off when she got back from school last week and even more excited to actually have a go at making the technical challenge. This year Chloe is joining in too as she just wants to do everything her big sister does. It’s going to be a messy few months in our house! Click here to see how we all got on with the first technical.

I think one of the main challenges this year will be making sure we have the right ingredients without having to make loads of extra supermarket trips, something I am keen to avoid. I generally have a well stocked baking cupboard, so hopefully we can get by. The recipe can be found here. The recipe was pretty easy to follow, although I did take my eye off the sugar and burnt the first batch of caramel. Emily loves cracking eggs into the bowl and Chloe is enjoying helping to hold the bags of flour and sugar as we weigh things out and generally causing havoc by pressing the buttons on the scales half way through weighing things out!

Luckily we managed to weigh things out correctly and even made the custard too. Although the timing wasn’t great and I found myself juggling stirring custard, caramel and the girls tea all at the same time! By the time they were cooked and cooled down enough for the girls to try them unfortunately neither of them ate more than a couple of mouthfuls as both were too full up and tired to want any more! Although the following day Emily demolishing a whole one for pudding!

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It wouldn’t be Christmas with out something gingerbread flavoured! It’s one of my favourite Christmas flavours, so I was really keen to try this recipe from Octobers Sainsbury’s Magazine. Click here to try this yummy recipe.

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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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IMG_2236.JPGI love making pavlova and more often than not I end up making one as a dinner party or Sunday lunch pudding especially as it’s gluten free and can be adapted for any season. It’s also quite easy to turn a simple pavlova into a big show stopping desert. I made this for New Year’s Eve last year and it’s full of festive flavours as well as looking very impressive! Click here for the recipe.

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