Scones

A quick blog before todays blogging chance goes.

I never used to like scones, but a couple of years ago I went to The Angel, and they had scones there, and since then I haven’t been able to get enough of them; especially with clotted cream, which I love.

So as I had a day off today, and me and my Mam were having a picnic and I thought it would be nice to have some scones.

To make scones the best that they can be and have a nice rise, the mixture can’t be over worked when kneading your dough you are converting the protein in the flour to gluten and overworking will create chewy, tough scones.

The scones turned out nice and brown and it is the best recipe, just like the recipes title says.

The recipe made 14 and already we only have 10 left, which says that scones just don’t last in our house.IMG_3353

Chocolate Spaghetti

I’ve not really had much time to bake this week as I’ve got end of year exams so I thought I would do something simple but what I thought was simple was very hard and definitely didn’t work out like it should have.  After three attempts I had to give up and go back to revising.  I think I need to do this again when I have a bit more time.

Chocolate Spaghetti is chocolate piped onto a baking tray that has been frozen.  IMG_5577When the chocolate touches the baking tray it partially sets the chocolate but not too much and this means you can shaped the chocolate. The idea is to pipe the chocolate onto the frozen baking sheet and then to mould the chocolate into nests but as you can see my nests are not that good but the good news is they can still be eatenIMG_3248

Meringue Ice Cream Cake

This year is turning into an amazing year as I found out this week I am going to a Bakery Demonstration at Abergavenny Food Festival with Frances Quinn who won the Great British Bake Off in 2013.  I’m so excited to meet her.

Back to my bake.  Meringues and ice cream are two of my favourite puddings so when I saw this recipe I got very excited as I was going to be able to have two of my favourite puddings in one go.

This pudding is made up by layering meringue, vanilla ice cream, raspberry sorbet and then another layer of meringue and then covered in cream.

The meringue was made by whisking together egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks and then splitting the mixture into two and spreading each portion into circles on greaseproof paper.  The meringue is then baked at a very low temperature for an hour, then the oven is turned off but the meringue is left in the oven until it is needed.

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Whilst the meringue was cooking I made the strawberry sorbet by placing chopped strawberries in a bowl with lemon, water and sugar for 15 minutes.  The mixture is then put into the liquidiser and pulped to a liquid.  The mixture is then sieved to remove all the pips.  The sorbet is then put into a freezer container and placed in the freezer.  You need to stir the sorbet every couple of hours until it has fully set.

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Once everything is made layer the pudding together by placing one of the meringue circles on the base then top with vanilla ice cream (I bought ice cream for the cake which is a bit naughty!).  Top the ice-cream with the set sorbet and top off with the second meringue.  Whip up cream and cover the pudding with the cream  and decorate with strawberries and some torn mint leaves and serve

The is perhaps the most yummiest pudding ever

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Panacotta

We have a family tradition whereby if we go to a family members house for supper we all take a pudding and this is going to be my next pudding that I take to one of our family get togethers and it will beat my granny’s pavlova.

Panacotta is is an Italian Dessert made of cream, milk, sugar and gelatine.  I had intended to follow the recipe from my big Patisserie book but when I was in Waitrose they had a recipe in one of their give away booklets for basil infused panacotta with berries soaked in balsamic vinegar and sugar so I decided to go with this recipe as basil is one of favourites.

Panacotta is a fairly easy pudding to make the only hard bit is having wait for it to set (it takes six hours) before you can eat it.

To make the panacotta the milk, sugar and basil are bought to the boil and then left to cool while the basil infuses it’s flavour into the liquid.  When the milk mixture has cooled melted gelatine is added to the mixture as is the cream.  Sieve the mixture to remove the basil and any lumps and pour into bowls or as I did into some tea cups.  Leave to set for six hours in the fridge.  Mix together balsamic vinegar and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved pour over a mixture of berries and serve with the set panacotta……………… yummy

Another little trick is always to check you have all ingredients before cooking otherwise you have to do what I did and ring our lovely neighbour Sharon to borrow the missing ingredients.

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Baklava

This week I’ve baked Baklava.

Baklava is a treat at home and so I thought it would be nice to make my own.

Baklava is made up of layered filo pastry with a sweet nutty filling between the layers.

I’ve made filo pastry before when I made my apple strudel.

Once the dough has been made it is placed in a bowl full of grape seed oil.  You use grape seed oil because it doesn’t have an after taste which would seep into the dough.  Soaking the dough in the oil helps when rolling out the pastry. The hard bit about filo pastry’s is rolling it out so that it is thin enough to read a piece of paper through it.

Once the dough has been rolled out, divide it up into 16 equal size pieces and lay eight of the sheets into a baking tin one by one brushing each sheet with melted butter this helps to make the pastry crispy and adds colour.  I then covered the pastry with my nut mixture and added the remaining eight sheets of pastry brushing them with melted butter. Finally I cut the Bakalva into diamond shapes and placed it in the oven until it wasgolden and crisp.

The recipe I was using said to make the syrup from lemon and orange juice as well as water, but I felt that this would not be sweet and sticky enough so I messed about with the syrup recipe a bit and used golden syrup. This made it nice and sticky although I felt that it could have had a bit more zing to it, I could have perhaps used some more lemon juice or maybe orange juice

It was a fun bake and I will be back to try some different fillings.

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