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Archive for the ‘Biscuits’ Category

We have been super busy baking at home this week! So this is the first of my Christmas baking blogs, hopefully plenty more to come. I tried to pick recipes this year that the girls could help with to keep us busy at home. These were really good fun to make and look very cool too. Click here for the recipe.

The recipe was from November’s Sainsbury’s magazine – mince pie tiffin bites. We all love rocky road in our house, so this festive version will definitely be a favourite. Here is the recipe:

Mince Pie Tiffin Bites

100g skin on almonds

85g glacé cherries, quatered

55g dried cranberries

2 tbsp brandy or orange juice

125g butter

100g golden syrup

20g cocoa

Zest of 1 orange

150g dark chocolate

275g mince pies (roughly 5)

For the topping:

200g milk chocolate

3 tbsp double cream

16 chocolate covered pretzles

8 red glacier cherries

Small amount of white and black fondant for the eyes

  • Preheat the oven to 200C (180 fan). Toast the almonds for 5-10 minutes then leave to cool.
  • Put the cherries, cranberries and brandy in a small bowl and leave to soak.
  • Line a 7” round tin with baking paper
  • Put the butter, syrup, cocoa, orange zest and a pinch of salt in a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the chopped dark chocolate and remove from the heat, leave to melt fully.
  • Stir in the brandied fruits, toasted almonds and broken up minced pies. Tip into the lined tin, spread out and allow to cool, then chill for an hour in the fridge till set.
  • Place the chocolate and cream for the topping in a heat proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, leave to melt, then remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Pour over the tiffin and smooth out. Allow to set.
  • Remove the tiffin from the tin and using a hot knife slice into 8 portions.
  • Melt a small amount of milk chocolate and lightly dip the top of the glacier cherry into the chocolate then stick it to the point of the slice of tiffin. Take 2 pretzels and drip the underneath of each in a small amount of chocolate and stick to the outsides of each slice of tiffin for the antlers.
  • roll out the white and black fondant and cut circles for the eyes. Using a paint brush, brush a small amount of chocolate on the back of each eye and secure in place.

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This years bake off final really was super exciting and I was so happy for Peter to win, he thoroughly deserved it! Emily enjoyed it so much this year too and was quite sad this week when she realised there was no bake off to watch when she got home from school. But we still have one technical to do at some point as we never got round to making the eclairs. But for now I am looking forward to doing some Christmas baking! So here’s the last technical challenge and they certainly saved a good one till last! Click here to see how we got on.

Prue’s recipe for the walnut whirls can be found here. The girls helped make the biscuits and the ganache, then the rest was down to me. Unfortunately my ganache didn’t really firm up, even after several hours in the fridge, so when I piped it I ended up with a puddle on the top of each biscuit. I ended up putting it in the freezer and managed to squish it into roughly the right shape on top of each biscuit. Luckily my marshmallow hadn’t set too much in the piping bag so I was still able to pip around the outside of the ganache.

Covering them with chocolate was pretty messy! The recipe made about 3 times the amount, so I just kept remelting the chocolate to cover the rest and we had plenty of left over marshmallow too. They were super yummy, probably my favourite technical along with the doughnuts! We’ve had so much fun again this year and really enjoyed trying a few things that we wouldn’t normally attempt. Now time for some Christmas baking!

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I can’t believe that the final of the Great British Bake Off is tomorrow, this series has gone super quickly and we’ve really enjoyed trying all the technicals again. When we watched last weeks episode I really wasn’t too sure we would manage to make it, it really did look like a super hard challenge! But I love a challenge, click here to see how I got on.

I made the biscuit dough with Emily and Chloe after school on Friday and left it in the fridge over night till Saturday afternoon when we had some free time. Emily didn’t really want to help, so while she was busy playing with her lego I shaped and rolled all the biscuits and baked them. They all cracked quite a lot but smelt pretty good! The recipe can be found here.

I tempered the chocolate and piped the swirls, I found the chocolate much harder to pipe than royal icing and much messier! I piped loads of extra swirls as i could see it was going to be very fiddly to stick them on without breaking them. Once the biscuits were cooled I piped on the royal icing then left them to dry.

Unfortunately the only time I had left to assemble them was while I was trying to get the girls tea ready and also get a chicken curry prepared and in the oven, so it was a bit messier and more rushed than I would have liked! I also found that where the royal icing was piped on the top of the biscuits the caramel didn’t want to stick making assembly quite tricky. I got there in the end and it held its shape while I carefully stuck the chocolate swirls on, plenty of them broke, but I had just enough. The biscuits tasted really good and were perfect the next day with a coffee! I would definitely make the biscuits again, but not in a horn shape!

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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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I love making and baking things to give to people as gifts and biscuits are perfect as they have a longer shelf life than cakes and they tend to travel better too. I bought this elephant cookie cutter a few years ago and it really does make the cutest shaped little elephants, whether it’s for a cake or some biscuits. Click here to see how these little elephants are made.

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This week on the Bake Off it was biscuit week. Some of the showstoppers were amazing – I have chickens so I was very tempted to try to create a biscuit Chicken! But I’ve stuck with the technical challenge this week which was fig rolls, something I haven’t had for years.

Click here to keep reading.

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Rock Cakes

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A couple of weeks ago at nursery Emily baked rock cakes, we used to bake them lots when I was little too and they are an old favourite! At the weekend Emily and my Mum also did some baking and made more rock cakes, so thought it was about time I added them on here. Click

here to get the recipe. 

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I didn’t get round to uploading any photos of last years ginger bread house but anyone that’s been to our house in the last year will have seen it! It’s been on the sideboard as a permanent feature all year! There’s no chance we’ll eat it now, but it makes a great Christmas decoration and having had baby Chloe just three weeks ago there certainly won’t be time to make one this year! Click here to see more photos of my magical house.

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I think I must be one of the only people who actually liked blancmange when I was little! So this recipe definitely appealed and sounded very yummy. I had a bit of help from Emily with the biscuits, but it was a tricky one for a toddler to do! Click here to see how we got on.

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Finally this years GBBO is underway! It was a great start to the series and I can’t wait for next weeks episode already. This year I am getting a bit of help with my baking from Emily who really enjoyed watching it for the first time on Wednesday morning and couldn’t wait to try and make them. So click  here to see how we got on.

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