30 June 2010

Week 24 - Cherry Bakewell

Ok, so the psychic octopus got it right & England have crashed out of the world cup! Guess we have to pin our British hopes on the tennis now, GO MURRAY!! But there was quite enough talk about sport last week & to be honest I'm a bit bored with it...so on to more exciting things.

This weekend I'm heading off for a spot of camping, fresh air & the great outdoors (I have been assured there are showers & we are in walking distance of civilisation!) The weather is set to be pretty good so I'm hoping it'll be a chance to relax, although I'm a little concerned about how you can keep Rose chilled in a tent! Continuing with the trying new things theme of the year there is a stables near by, so I may have a go at horse riding, if for nothing else but to be able to say 'I'M ON A HORSE!' For those of you thinking, Rebecca, that's clearly not funny, click here, you'll laugh out loud, it's definitely one for the ladies!

This weeks recipe is a recommendation from the guys at www.bakingmad.com It's a lovely site about all things baking, they have a great archive of recipes & lots of baking tips. Have a peek if you get a chance. Now I really like Cherry Bakewells, but I have to admit I'm used to mine being from a certain Mr Kipling, topped with white icing & a cherry. Like the Millionaires Shortbread I made a few months back, I always thought they would be too tricky to make at home? It does take a little more effort than usual, but it is worth it. Baking Mad, I hope I've done your recipe justice, my cakes aren't known for looking perfect, but usually taste good!

For the base
300g plain flour
50g golden caster sugar
65g semolina
1/4 tsp baking powder
175g butter

For the filling
340g jar cherry jam

For the topping
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
175g golden caster sugar
175g ground almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
175g butter melted
25g flaked almonds

1. Put the flour, sugar, semolina & baking powder into a bowl, rub in the butter until you get a soft dough. Take a baking tin approx 8 x 12 inches & press in the dough to form the base. I lined my tin with foil to make it easier to remove after cooking. Bake the base in the over on 180c/GM5 for 20 minutes. Lift out & leave to cool for a few minutes.

2. Whisk the eggs together, then stir in the sugar, ground almonds & vanilla. Next whisk in the melted butter.

3. Spread the base with the jam, I found it was easiest to empty the jam into a bowl & give it a good stir to loosen it up. Then pour over the eggy, almond mixture & pop back into the oven for another 25 minutes.

4. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds & return to the oven for a final 15-2o minutes, until the top is golden & set. Leave to cool completely in the tin (I tried to cut it when it was still warm & ended up with a gooey mess!), then lift out & cut into fingers, squares, whatever you like!

These are perfect with a cup of tea, sorry Mr K, your services are no longer required! Let me know what you think if you try them? I'm off to continue packing for the camping trip, it's currently a toss up between sleeping bag or shoes, there just isn't enough space in my rucksack & I've been told there's no way I can turn up with a wheelie suitcase! So, I'll see you in a week, when I will be all at one with nature & I'll tell you more about the plans to celebrate hitting half way in my 52 week baking challenge. Ta ta for now, Rebecca x

23 June 2010

Week 23 - Strawberry Shortcake

Happy days cake fans! It's a gorgeous summer evening & I'm only writing this weeks post in the park! Bit later than usual this week, but what with all the football & Wimbledon (oh & that small inconvenience called work!) it's been tricky to find time to write. Thankfully, my love of cake always wins through & somehow I squeeze in the baking!

So, how do we fancy the chances of our, ahem, 'great', sporting nation bringing home a trophy of some sort this summer? I must admit I think there is something distinctly British about the way we follow sports which I love! We're passionate about it & will come up with the most creative excuses for our teams under performance. So far I've heard England's world cup performance put down to a new ball type, poor turf quality, altitude sickness or the fact the WAGS aren't there. Could it not just be we're actually just a bit rubbish? One world cup does not a great team forever more make! But, it seems the boys have bucked themselves up & actually won this afternoon, so we're through to the knock outs, but second behind the USA...who would have thunk that?? Fingers crossed for Sunday! Anyway, enough about football, maybe I'll share my tennis wisdom with you next week :-)

This weeks recipe is partly to celebrate Wimbledon, but also that it looks like summer has finally arrived. Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits & one thing I will get really fussy over. I'll only ever buy British strawberries when they are in season & if I can get to a pick your own, even better! This is an adaptation of a recipe card I picked up from a Safeway supermarket (remember them?) years ago. It's become one of my staple desserts & always goes down a storm. With all the delicious fresh fruit flavours, it tastes like summer!

120g butter
120g caster sugar
1 egg
120g plain flour
120g SR flour
200g strawberries (the riper the better!) sliced
1 apple, peeled & grated
Zest of an orange
2 tbsps strawberry jam
Sugar to sprinkle

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg until light & fluffy. Sift in the flours, then combine until you get a soft dough, pop it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes

2. Take half of the dough & squish it into the base of a loose bottom cake tin so it's even. Next spread the jam over the dough, then add the grated apple & orange zest. Finally arrange the sliced strawberries over the top.

3. Take the other half of the dough & roll it out so it roughly fits over the top of the fruit. It doesn't have to be perfect, so you can try & flatten it with your hands instead. Sprinkle a good shower of sugar over the top & bake in the oven on 180c/GM5 for around 50 mins until golden brown on top. Leave to cool completely before taking out of the tin

There are several different ways you could serve this, warm with vanilla ice cream or cold with double cream. My favourite is warm with a generous dollop of marscapone cheese, delicious! If you follow the serving suggestion on the original recipe card, it should be enjoyed with a bottle of Lambrusco!
Enjoy the sport, but if you're really not a fan why not take to the kitchen & bake yourself a cake, with 23 weeks worth of recipes I hope you'll find some inspiration here! Keep cool, Rebecca x

15 June 2010

Week 22 - Cafe au Lait Cupcakes

Good news! I didn't drown myself surfing so I'm back to bake another week! I had a great time in Cornwall, I can really see how people get the surfing bug. Lets face it, I was fairly pants, but I did manage to catch a few waves & although I didn't actually get on my feet, I managed to get about half way up which was far better than I expected. It sounds ridiculous but the most challenging part of the weekend was getting into the wetsuit. It wasn't easy, especially on the 2nd day when I felt muscles I didn't even know I had, aching in my arms! Thank you to Oakley for a fab prize & to the guys at Big Friday for organising a great weekend.

Back to the cakes & this weeks recipe is another request. In a shameless plug for the brand I work for, I made this using Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence coffee (I'm a slave to the brand I know!) I find you need to use quite a strong coffee to make sure it gives a rich enough flavour to the cake. I came across a recipe for an American Frosting in a Good Housekeeping cookbook from the 70's, so I thought I'd have a crack at that instead of traditional butter cream for the topping. It's given them a lovely glossy finish, but if I'm honest I think I prefer butter cream, the frosting tastes nice, but it's got a different texture, but different is good sometimes, right?

For the cupcakes
125g butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
Few drops vanilla essence
125ml milk
4 tsps instant coffee dissolved in a little water
200g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder

For the frosting
175g brown sugar
1 egg white
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cream of tartar
30ml water

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, beat in the eggs then add the rest of the liquids & beat well until light & fluffy. Sift in the flour & baking powder & fold together. Line a 12 hole bun tin with paper cases & divide the mixture evenly between them. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 20 minutes, leave to rest for 5 minutes in the tin, then lift out onto a rack to cool.

2. To make the frosting, put all the ingredients into a bowl & whisk until combined. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water & continue to whisk until it thickens & the mixture forms soft peaks. Now I started with an egg whisk, but realised I was getting nowhere fast! (Especially with achy surfy arms!) So I switched to my electric whisk & it thickened in no time.

3. Leave the frosting to cool for a few minutes so it's not quite as runny, then coat the top of each cupcake. I finished them off with a white chocolate coated coffee bean!

I called these Cafe au Lait as the milk in the recipe gives it that lovely creamy taste. The brown sugar in the frosting gives a complimentary caramel flavour. If I was to make them again, I'd make a vanilla butter cream instead. I guess you could also turn them into Mocha Cupcakes by adding around 75g of cocoa powder to the cake mix...mmm, might just try that!

So I've taken on blogging, marathon walking & surfing so far this year...I need to give some thought to my next challenge. Have a good week, enjoy the sunshine, Rebecca x

8 June 2010

Week 21 - Black Forest Gateau

Aloha cakies! How are you all? I'm so excited, I'm off to the south coast this weekend to attempt to learn to surf! I've never even so much as body boarded before & have a serious case of wet suit fear...I mean how on earth do you get yourself into one? Thankfully I'm a fairly strong swimmer so I'm hoping I won't drown myself, but I think there's probably only an outside chance of me actually getting upright on a surf board. But you never know, I might take to it like a duck to water & transform myself into a surf babe worthy of a part in Blue Crush! It's going to be a lot of fun with a packed schedule, we've got surf lessons & yoga, think I might need another holiday to recover!

So, it's been a while since I've baked what I'd call a proper cake, so I thought I'd have a crack at a 70's classic, Black Forest Gateau. It ended up being a bit of a feat of engineering to construct, but I hope you'll agree it looks impressive (if not a little hap-hazard!). I think the original recipes suggested using tinned cherries, but I really struggled to find them. Instead I made my own cherry compote, it takes a bit of time but is well worth the effort. I didn't want to buy Kirsch so sneaked in a little bit of brandy to give it a kick!

For the cakes
225g butter
225g sugar
4 eggs
225g plain flour
25g cocoa
2 tsp baking powder

For the filling
300g cherries
100g soft brown sugar
50ml brandy (optional)
50ml water
300ml whipping cream

1. Cream together the butter& sugar, then beat in the eggs until light & fluffy. Sieve in the flour, cocoa & baking powder, fold together until all combined. Grease 2 sandwich tins & divide the mixture between them. Bake in the oven at 190c/GM5 for around 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin, then tip out onto a rack.

2. Cut the cherries in half & remove the stones, this is a bit fiddly & you will end up with pink fingers! Keep a few fresh to decorate the top with. Put the stoned ones in a small pan with the sugar, water & brandy, give it a good stir. Put it on a gentle heat & bring it up to the boil. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by half & the liquid has thickened into a light syrup. Put to one side to cool.

3. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, then slice each of the cakes in half, I find it easiest to use the bread knife to do this. Now starts the construction! Place a base layer of cake, drizzle a little of the syrup over the top, then add a layer of cream, a scattering of cherries & another layer of cake. Repeat this pattern until you pop on the top, then add a final topping of cream & a few more fresh cherries to decorate.

This is a delicious gooey tower of chocolate, cherry & cream. For the full effect I feel like I should be presenting it on a hostess trolley! Only problem is I'm wondering how I'm going to fit it into the fridge? Oh well, might just have to eat it instead! Maybe this could be the first in a series of Euro inspired cakes? Germany can't be the only one with a famous cake? Well for now, auf wiedersehen, wish me luck for surfing & I'll see you all next week. Take care, Rebecca x

1 June 2010

Week 20 - Rock Buns

Notice anything different about the blog this week? Yes, we've had a bit of a bank holiday makeover! The blogger template was great to get me going, but now I've found my feet a bit with this blogging malarkey I thought it was time for a new look. The design comes from a great site called www.yummylolly.com. It's run by a fab designer who has been kind enough to share her blog templates for free! I loved her designs & found it tough to pick a favourite, it's great, with this new look I feel like a proper blogger now!

This weeks recipe was a suggestion from Our New Life in the Country & it got me thinking back to some of my earliest memories of cooking in home economics at school. The first thing I think we ever cooked at middle school was potato pie. Now from what I remember 'pie' was used in the loosest sense of the word, we basically made mashed potato, tipped it into an oven dish & topped it with grated cheese! I feel sorry for my Mum & Dad who were probably made to eat it, having to make the appropriate noises of appreciation! I do also remember baking at school & have the battle scars to prove it. One week I came home from school with my arm wrapped in cling film after dropping a baking tray out the oven onto my arm. Unfortunately my clumsiness seems to have got worse with age & I'm still a bit of a liability in the kitchen!

I'm sure we made rock buns at school, the traditional ones with mixed peel & sultanas. But keeping with the makeover theme for this week, I thought I'd try a new more grown up version, see what you think?

100g butter
50g light brown sugar
1 egg
225g self raising flour
100g fudge
100g milk chocolate
Dash of milk

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg until it's all light & fluffy

2. Chop both the fudge & chocolate into small chunks (or use chips instead), add them to the mixture along with the flour. Fold it all together until it combines to a stiff dough, use a little dash of milk to help it along if its a bit too dry

3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper & place on small dollops of the mixture leaving a gap to allow them to spread. I made 12 rock buns out of a batch

4. Bake in the oven at 200c/GM6 for 10 minutes until they have just started to brown on the top. Leave to cool completely, then peel them off the paper.

I'm really pleased with the result, the fudgy bits on the top have melted into delicious caramel gooeyness & the cake itself is lovely & crumbly! I hope you like the new twist on an old classic? However if you're a bit of a traditionalist & want to stick to the classic, then simply substitute the fudge & chocolate for 150g of mixed fruit & a good pinch of mixed spice. Right I'm off to research food processors, managed to break mine in the process of this weeks baking...what was that about liability in the kitchen?? Till next week, Rebecca x

30 June 2010

Week 24 - Cherry Bakewell

Ok, so the psychic octopus got it right & England have crashed out of the world cup! Guess we have to pin our British hopes on the tennis now, GO MURRAY!! But there was quite enough talk about sport last week & to be honest I'm a bit bored with it...so on to more exciting things.

This weekend I'm heading off for a spot of camping, fresh air & the great outdoors (I have been assured there are showers & we are in walking distance of civilisation!) The weather is set to be pretty good so I'm hoping it'll be a chance to relax, although I'm a little concerned about how you can keep Rose chilled in a tent! Continuing with the trying new things theme of the year there is a stables near by, so I may have a go at horse riding, if for nothing else but to be able to say 'I'M ON A HORSE!' For those of you thinking, Rebecca, that's clearly not funny, click here, you'll laugh out loud, it's definitely one for the ladies!

This weeks recipe is a recommendation from the guys at www.bakingmad.com It's a lovely site about all things baking, they have a great archive of recipes & lots of baking tips. Have a peek if you get a chance. Now I really like Cherry Bakewells, but I have to admit I'm used to mine being from a certain Mr Kipling, topped with white icing & a cherry. Like the Millionaires Shortbread I made a few months back, I always thought they would be too tricky to make at home? It does take a little more effort than usual, but it is worth it. Baking Mad, I hope I've done your recipe justice, my cakes aren't known for looking perfect, but usually taste good!

For the base
300g plain flour
50g golden caster sugar
65g semolina
1/4 tsp baking powder
175g butter

For the filling
340g jar cherry jam

For the topping
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
175g golden caster sugar
175g ground almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
175g butter melted
25g flaked almonds

1. Put the flour, sugar, semolina & baking powder into a bowl, rub in the butter until you get a soft dough. Take a baking tin approx 8 x 12 inches & press in the dough to form the base. I lined my tin with foil to make it easier to remove after cooking. Bake the base in the over on 180c/GM5 for 20 minutes. Lift out & leave to cool for a few minutes.

2. Whisk the eggs together, then stir in the sugar, ground almonds & vanilla. Next whisk in the melted butter.

3. Spread the base with the jam, I found it was easiest to empty the jam into a bowl & give it a good stir to loosen it up. Then pour over the eggy, almond mixture & pop back into the oven for another 25 minutes.

4. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds & return to the oven for a final 15-2o minutes, until the top is golden & set. Leave to cool completely in the tin (I tried to cut it when it was still warm & ended up with a gooey mess!), then lift out & cut into fingers, squares, whatever you like!

These are perfect with a cup of tea, sorry Mr K, your services are no longer required! Let me know what you think if you try them? I'm off to continue packing for the camping trip, it's currently a toss up between sleeping bag or shoes, there just isn't enough space in my rucksack & I've been told there's no way I can turn up with a wheelie suitcase! So, I'll see you in a week, when I will be all at one with nature & I'll tell you more about the plans to celebrate hitting half way in my 52 week baking challenge. Ta ta for now, Rebecca x

23 June 2010

Week 23 - Strawberry Shortcake

Happy days cake fans! It's a gorgeous summer evening & I'm only writing this weeks post in the park! Bit later than usual this week, but what with all the football & Wimbledon (oh & that small inconvenience called work!) it's been tricky to find time to write. Thankfully, my love of cake always wins through & somehow I squeeze in the baking!

So, how do we fancy the chances of our, ahem, 'great', sporting nation bringing home a trophy of some sort this summer? I must admit I think there is something distinctly British about the way we follow sports which I love! We're passionate about it & will come up with the most creative excuses for our teams under performance. So far I've heard England's world cup performance put down to a new ball type, poor turf quality, altitude sickness or the fact the WAGS aren't there. Could it not just be we're actually just a bit rubbish? One world cup does not a great team forever more make! But, it seems the boys have bucked themselves up & actually won this afternoon, so we're through to the knock outs, but second behind the USA...who would have thunk that?? Fingers crossed for Sunday! Anyway, enough about football, maybe I'll share my tennis wisdom with you next week :-)

This weeks recipe is partly to celebrate Wimbledon, but also that it looks like summer has finally arrived. Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits & one thing I will get really fussy over. I'll only ever buy British strawberries when they are in season & if I can get to a pick your own, even better! This is an adaptation of a recipe card I picked up from a Safeway supermarket (remember them?) years ago. It's become one of my staple desserts & always goes down a storm. With all the delicious fresh fruit flavours, it tastes like summer!

120g butter
120g caster sugar
1 egg
120g plain flour
120g SR flour
200g strawberries (the riper the better!) sliced
1 apple, peeled & grated
Zest of an orange
2 tbsps strawberry jam
Sugar to sprinkle

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg until light & fluffy. Sift in the flours, then combine until you get a soft dough, pop it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes

2. Take half of the dough & squish it into the base of a loose bottom cake tin so it's even. Next spread the jam over the dough, then add the grated apple & orange zest. Finally arrange the sliced strawberries over the top.

3. Take the other half of the dough & roll it out so it roughly fits over the top of the fruit. It doesn't have to be perfect, so you can try & flatten it with your hands instead. Sprinkle a good shower of sugar over the top & bake in the oven on 180c/GM5 for around 50 mins until golden brown on top. Leave to cool completely before taking out of the tin

There are several different ways you could serve this, warm with vanilla ice cream or cold with double cream. My favourite is warm with a generous dollop of marscapone cheese, delicious! If you follow the serving suggestion on the original recipe card, it should be enjoyed with a bottle of Lambrusco!
Enjoy the sport, but if you're really not a fan why not take to the kitchen & bake yourself a cake, with 23 weeks worth of recipes I hope you'll find some inspiration here! Keep cool, Rebecca x

15 June 2010

Week 22 - Cafe au Lait Cupcakes

Good news! I didn't drown myself surfing so I'm back to bake another week! I had a great time in Cornwall, I can really see how people get the surfing bug. Lets face it, I was fairly pants, but I did manage to catch a few waves & although I didn't actually get on my feet, I managed to get about half way up which was far better than I expected. It sounds ridiculous but the most challenging part of the weekend was getting into the wetsuit. It wasn't easy, especially on the 2nd day when I felt muscles I didn't even know I had, aching in my arms! Thank you to Oakley for a fab prize & to the guys at Big Friday for organising a great weekend.

Back to the cakes & this weeks recipe is another request. In a shameless plug for the brand I work for, I made this using Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence coffee (I'm a slave to the brand I know!) I find you need to use quite a strong coffee to make sure it gives a rich enough flavour to the cake. I came across a recipe for an American Frosting in a Good Housekeeping cookbook from the 70's, so I thought I'd have a crack at that instead of traditional butter cream for the topping. It's given them a lovely glossy finish, but if I'm honest I think I prefer butter cream, the frosting tastes nice, but it's got a different texture, but different is good sometimes, right?

For the cupcakes
125g butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
Few drops vanilla essence
125ml milk
4 tsps instant coffee dissolved in a little water
200g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder

For the frosting
175g brown sugar
1 egg white
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cream of tartar
30ml water

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, beat in the eggs then add the rest of the liquids & beat well until light & fluffy. Sift in the flour & baking powder & fold together. Line a 12 hole bun tin with paper cases & divide the mixture evenly between them. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 20 minutes, leave to rest for 5 minutes in the tin, then lift out onto a rack to cool.

2. To make the frosting, put all the ingredients into a bowl & whisk until combined. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water & continue to whisk until it thickens & the mixture forms soft peaks. Now I started with an egg whisk, but realised I was getting nowhere fast! (Especially with achy surfy arms!) So I switched to my electric whisk & it thickened in no time.

3. Leave the frosting to cool for a few minutes so it's not quite as runny, then coat the top of each cupcake. I finished them off with a white chocolate coated coffee bean!

I called these Cafe au Lait as the milk in the recipe gives it that lovely creamy taste. The brown sugar in the frosting gives a complimentary caramel flavour. If I was to make them again, I'd make a vanilla butter cream instead. I guess you could also turn them into Mocha Cupcakes by adding around 75g of cocoa powder to the cake mix...mmm, might just try that!

So I've taken on blogging, marathon walking & surfing so far this year...I need to give some thought to my next challenge. Have a good week, enjoy the sunshine, Rebecca x

8 June 2010

Week 21 - Black Forest Gateau

Aloha cakies! How are you all? I'm so excited, I'm off to the south coast this weekend to attempt to learn to surf! I've never even so much as body boarded before & have a serious case of wet suit fear...I mean how on earth do you get yourself into one? Thankfully I'm a fairly strong swimmer so I'm hoping I won't drown myself, but I think there's probably only an outside chance of me actually getting upright on a surf board. But you never know, I might take to it like a duck to water & transform myself into a surf babe worthy of a part in Blue Crush! It's going to be a lot of fun with a packed schedule, we've got surf lessons & yoga, think I might need another holiday to recover!

So, it's been a while since I've baked what I'd call a proper cake, so I thought I'd have a crack at a 70's classic, Black Forest Gateau. It ended up being a bit of a feat of engineering to construct, but I hope you'll agree it looks impressive (if not a little hap-hazard!). I think the original recipes suggested using tinned cherries, but I really struggled to find them. Instead I made my own cherry compote, it takes a bit of time but is well worth the effort. I didn't want to buy Kirsch so sneaked in a little bit of brandy to give it a kick!

For the cakes
225g butter
225g sugar
4 eggs
225g plain flour
25g cocoa
2 tsp baking powder

For the filling
300g cherries
100g soft brown sugar
50ml brandy (optional)
50ml water
300ml whipping cream

1. Cream together the butter& sugar, then beat in the eggs until light & fluffy. Sieve in the flour, cocoa & baking powder, fold together until all combined. Grease 2 sandwich tins & divide the mixture between them. Bake in the oven at 190c/GM5 for around 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin, then tip out onto a rack.

2. Cut the cherries in half & remove the stones, this is a bit fiddly & you will end up with pink fingers! Keep a few fresh to decorate the top with. Put the stoned ones in a small pan with the sugar, water & brandy, give it a good stir. Put it on a gentle heat & bring it up to the boil. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by half & the liquid has thickened into a light syrup. Put to one side to cool.

3. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, then slice each of the cakes in half, I find it easiest to use the bread knife to do this. Now starts the construction! Place a base layer of cake, drizzle a little of the syrup over the top, then add a layer of cream, a scattering of cherries & another layer of cake. Repeat this pattern until you pop on the top, then add a final topping of cream & a few more fresh cherries to decorate.

This is a delicious gooey tower of chocolate, cherry & cream. For the full effect I feel like I should be presenting it on a hostess trolley! Only problem is I'm wondering how I'm going to fit it into the fridge? Oh well, might just have to eat it instead! Maybe this could be the first in a series of Euro inspired cakes? Germany can't be the only one with a famous cake? Well for now, auf wiedersehen, wish me luck for surfing & I'll see you all next week. Take care, Rebecca x

1 June 2010

Week 20 - Rock Buns

Notice anything different about the blog this week? Yes, we've had a bit of a bank holiday makeover! The blogger template was great to get me going, but now I've found my feet a bit with this blogging malarkey I thought it was time for a new look. The design comes from a great site called www.yummylolly.com. It's run by a fab designer who has been kind enough to share her blog templates for free! I loved her designs & found it tough to pick a favourite, it's great, with this new look I feel like a proper blogger now!

This weeks recipe was a suggestion from Our New Life in the Country & it got me thinking back to some of my earliest memories of cooking in home economics at school. The first thing I think we ever cooked at middle school was potato pie. Now from what I remember 'pie' was used in the loosest sense of the word, we basically made mashed potato, tipped it into an oven dish & topped it with grated cheese! I feel sorry for my Mum & Dad who were probably made to eat it, having to make the appropriate noises of appreciation! I do also remember baking at school & have the battle scars to prove it. One week I came home from school with my arm wrapped in cling film after dropping a baking tray out the oven onto my arm. Unfortunately my clumsiness seems to have got worse with age & I'm still a bit of a liability in the kitchen!

I'm sure we made rock buns at school, the traditional ones with mixed peel & sultanas. But keeping with the makeover theme for this week, I thought I'd try a new more grown up version, see what you think?

100g butter
50g light brown sugar
1 egg
225g self raising flour
100g fudge
100g milk chocolate
Dash of milk

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg until it's all light & fluffy

2. Chop both the fudge & chocolate into small chunks (or use chips instead), add them to the mixture along with the flour. Fold it all together until it combines to a stiff dough, use a little dash of milk to help it along if its a bit too dry

3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper & place on small dollops of the mixture leaving a gap to allow them to spread. I made 12 rock buns out of a batch

4. Bake in the oven at 200c/GM6 for 10 minutes until they have just started to brown on the top. Leave to cool completely, then peel them off the paper.

I'm really pleased with the result, the fudgy bits on the top have melted into delicious caramel gooeyness & the cake itself is lovely & crumbly! I hope you like the new twist on an old classic? However if you're a bit of a traditionalist & want to stick to the classic, then simply substitute the fudge & chocolate for 150g of mixed fruit & a good pinch of mixed spice. Right I'm off to research food processors, managed to break mine in the process of this weeks baking...what was that about liability in the kitchen?? Till next week, Rebecca x
 

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