Florentines

This week I baked florentines. They are one of my Mam’s favourites and she thought they would be a fun bake for me to do, and she was right.

To make florentines you add butter, golden syrup and sugar to a sauce pan and stir it until the butter has melted. Then take it off of the hob and add the chopped glace cherries, mixed candied fruit, plain flour and mixed nuts and stir it in with the butter mixture.

Then make them into a biscuit shape and let them cook in the oven for ten minuets.

Once they are cooled dip half the biscuit into thick melted chocolate.

Did you know :-  Its been hard to find information on Florentines.  But its likely that Florentines originated from France because the ingredients are similar to those used in France and the florentine biscuit like a Roux which is a French cooking technique.

The name Florentine is used by the French a lot in foods like eggs Florentine and quiche Florentine and so it is possible the French used the word for their Roux like biscuit.IMG_2558

Hot cross buns

As it was Easter this weekend i decided to make hot cross buns. This bake was a challenge with a lot of new and hard techniques.

The dough was fun to make and shape but they had to prove for an hour so all i was doing while waiting was washing up.

The buns consisted of flour, milk, eggs, mixed spices, mixed fruit and yeast all mixed together then proved and shaped, then just before putting them in the oven you put a cross on them made from plain flour and water.

Since making the buns I have been waking up every morning and going downstairs then putting one in the toaster and then spreading it with butter. Yum!

Did you know :-

Hot cross buns are usually eaten during lent.  In Tudor times it was forbidden to sell buns except on Good Friday, Christmas and at burials.  Supersition says that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday won’t go mouldy through the year.

The cross on top of the bun represents the cross on which Jesus died and the fruit and spices are the cloth that was wrapped around him after he was taken from the cross

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Quiche

IMG_2406This week i made Quiche. I enjoyed making the pastry and the filling consisted of frying up bacon and onions and then whisking together 2 eggs, single cream, salt and pepper.

The pastry had plain flour, butter and water and all I had to do was knead it like I was making bread.

It is a very tasty quiche and would make a nice lunch with salad.

Did you know :-

Quiche lorraine is an open pie with a filling of custard with smoked bacon or lardons. Cheese can be added and some Quiche Lorraine recipes also include ham.

Quiche Lorraine is thought to be a French dish but it actually came from Germany.

The word ‘Quiche’ is from the German word ‘kuchen’, meaning cake.

 

 

Apple & Raisin Strudel

I thought I would bake strudel this week as I wanted to try and make the pastry that goes into strudel.

Strudel is a sweet dough that takes lots of kneading and stretching.  It needs to be stretched into a very thin sheet that you can see through.  It should be so thin that you can see lined paper underneath it.

I made a traditional apple strudel with raisins, cinnamon, apple and ground almonds.

This bake had lots of new techniques for me and I did have to get a bit of help when stretching the dough.

Did you know:-  IMG_2331A strudel  is a type of layered pastry with a filling that is usually sweet. The pastry comes from the Turkish Baklava which came to Austria in 1453.

The name “Strudel” means Whirlpool because the dough is rolled around the filling and the center of the pastry looks like a whirlpool.

Strudel is the national dish of Austria

 

Mothering sunday – Afternoon tea

On Sunday it was mothering sunday so I made my Mam afternoon tea

I made two types of sandwiches (with no crusts on them) and scones with my own homemade rhubarb jam topped off with clotted cream.  It was all very nice.

My first batch of scones didn’t go to well as I had over worked them and when they came out of the oven they had lost their shape and when i tasted one it was very heavy and doughy, so I made another batch which turned out like scone should be  although some of the ones at the back of the oven and had some burnt edges.

Did you know :-

Afternoon tea was a time for women to socialise and is often thought to be a posh event.

Afternoon tea is sometimes mistaken for high tea but it is actually called low tea.

In the early 19th century People would only have two meals a day which was breakfast and dinner.  Anna, the Duches of Bedford use to have “that sinking feeling” late in the afternoon and so she would have a pot of tea and a light snack in her bedroom and then later on she started to invite friends to join her for tea at Woburn abbey where she spent her summers. When she returned to London she sent her friends cards inviting them to tea and soon after afternoon tea became a popular traditionIMG_2184.