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Showing posts from June, 2012

Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Loaf

The recipe for the Weekly Bake Off this week was Mary Berry's Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Loaf. Got to admit, this one was a bit of a revelation, as the recipe itself did not look very promising. No real chocolate in it, see? (You can tell I've become spoilt.) Instead, it relies on its chocolate flavour from  simply cocoa powder. I thought that, given the ingredients, it would be on the dry side. But I was wrong. It was deliciously moist, and the icing and white chocolate drizzle just added to this. Mike and I haven't had much of a look-in with this one, as Josh has somehow managed to polish off the lot himself. Just as a reminder, the Weekly Bake Off is organised by the lovely Amy, and her challenge is to bake her way through Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes , one recipe (or sometimes more) every week. There is an open invitation to join in with her and bake along. I've lost track of where we are, and I haven't been able to take part every week. But

Vanilla Bean Scones with Strawberry Cream Filling

I know it's not terribly original, but when you're faced with the letter 'V' for Alphabakes, what can you do? There have already been some fab entries involving Vodka and Vinegar, as well as Victoria Sponges and Vanilla goodies galore. But I was in a total fug trying to come up with something. Then, I came across this lovely little recipe for scones in an Australian Women's Weekly publication 'Afternoon Tea' . I've never seen one which includes vanilla pod seeds before, so thought I would give this one a go. As with all scone recipes, these are best eaten on the day of baking, and preferably while they are still fluffy and warm from the oven. That said, Mike and I were very happy to finish them off the next day, when they were slightly firmer but still had a lovely soft vanilla flavour coming through. Vanilla Bean Scones with Strawberry Cream Filling Ingredients (makes 9) 375g self raising flour 1 tbspn caster sugar 30g chilled unsalted b

Chocolate and Coffee Cake with Espresso Buttercream

This month's We Should Cocoa challenge is to produce something using chocolate (of course) and coffee. One of my favourite flavour combos, I must admit I didn't know where to start with it. Cupcakes? Muffins? Choux buns? (Yes, I know that's pushing the envelope a little for me, but still, one day I'll make them again, eh?) Anyway, I turned to the interweb thingy for inspiration, and found it in a  fantastic recipe from Ken, of Hungry Rabbit  via a guest post he did last year on My Man's Belly . I was immediately  taken with the simple beauty of the cake, and that it came from a straightforward buttercream icing, carefully applied, with just a few chocolate covered coffee beans as a simple garnish. I immediately realised I wanted to give it a go. My presentation isn't as good, but then that's a great reason to practice a bit more (so I think you can probably expect more iced cakes in future!). Anyway here it is. I've converted the original rec

Apple Crumble Cake

I don't tend to bake all that often with fruit. Unless my lovingly produced goodies contain some form of chocolate, they don't tend to be well received by certain quarters of the household. Apple is one of the few exceptions, as I know that at least Mike will be receptive. A few weeks back I bought some cooking apples, with the intention of using them to make the selected recipe for the Weekly Bake Off . But I ran out of time, so never got around to it. Pretty soon, every time I opened the fridge, the apples would glare at me. I began to feel guilty for what I feared would be yet another example of  profligate waste. That is, buying something intending to use it for something specific and then having to throw it out as it has gone off before I've actually got around to doing it. But then I remembered this recipe, which some years ago, I used to often make for Mike. I don't really know why I stopped, as it a gorgeous cake, which is perfect either as a warm desser

Coconut Raspberry Ruffle Macarons

I had one of those moments the other day. The boys and I were out shopping and popped into our local Cadbury shop. We hadn't been in there for a while, and usually buy a treat when we do go, so had a good look around. I was absolutely amazed to see a blast from my past there. Jameson's Raspberry Ruffles. I hadn't seen these anywhere for years . They are, if you don't know, little chocolates made from raspberry-flavoured coconut fondant enrobed in dark chocolate. They taste (to me, anyway), sublime. One of my grandfather's favourite sweets, too, a fond childhood memory of mine is of him and I going on expeditions to his allotment, and returning, his bike laden with home grown veggies for tea. Of course, what he didn't tell my nan, was that we had had a brief detour via his bookies, and my reward for silence was a few of his treasured raspberry ruffles. Not that I'm easily bought, of course ... Aanyways, I hadn't seen them in ages and so just

Poached Salmon, Soured Cream and Dill Tart

I'm turning savoury today, as I wanted to put into practice again the things I learnt at Eckington Manor back in March (see my post about it here ). I made this last week when the weather was still vaguely summery, so a tart chock full of poached salmon, with a sour cream, dill and paprika filling seemed like a good idea. It was perfect for lunch on the day that I made it, as the sun was shining, the air warm and all seemed well with the world. The pastry was crisp and buttery, and the filling delicate, as there was no cheese giving it heaviness. It took me a little longer to put together than I'd originally anticipated, as I wanted to poach the salmon first and allow it to cool, before making the rest of the tart. All together, with chilling time for the pastry as well, it probably took around two hours to get to the stage where the finished tart was sitting on the table. It was well worth it though! Poached Salmon Two salmon fillets, 240g in total 5 black pepp