Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Victoria sponge for Sandra

Instead of the usual batch of birthday cupcakes,
I decided to make a Victoria sponge for Sandra.

I used a Mary Berry recipe and filled it with vanilla buttercream and
strawberry jam, before dousing it with icing sugar.

It weighed about a ton, and had to be carefully airlifted into a tin
using folded sheets of baking paper.

Sandra delicately hacked into it without taking it out of the tin.

Here's Ruth M-J tucking into a slice.

And here's Sandra taking a trademark small bite.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Portuguese custard tarts

I decided to make Portuguese custard tarts.

I couldn't find a recipe that didn't use ready made pastry,
so took the plunge and made my own rough puff.

You have to roll the pastry into a log and cut into spirals first.

I'd also never made real custard from scractch before,
so that was a new experience.

Here are the tart cases filled with the custard.

And here are the finised tarts!

I gave some to my friend Lindsey for her birthday.

She's a real "pastel de nata" aficionado,
so I was pleased when she said they tasted authentic!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Pizza night!

We pizza so decided to make some the other night.

Dough and all, of course!

Here they are before they went into the oven...

And here they are after!

This one had mozzarella, anchovies, pineapple,
roasted red pepper and caramelised red onion...

And this one had smoked ham, caramelised pear and gorgonzola.

Freshly-ground black pepper and a sprinkle of rocket, and they're good to go.

Very tasty, though I do say so myself...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pistachio macarons with chocolate ganache

After those amazing macarons at Dan and Lucy's wedding and GBBO episode 4,
I decided to try to make my own...

These ones feature finely chopped pistachios and should really be green,
but I didn't have any green food colouring.

I sandwiched them together with chocolate ganache.

They didn't turn out perfectly, as they kind of look like mini burgers,
but weren't bad for a first effort and tasted good.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Chicken and mushroom pie

So if I'm going to enter next year's GBBO,
I'm going to need to drastically expand my baking repertoire...

Not sure I've ever made a savoury pie before,
so I decided on chicken and mushroom, with shortcrust pastry.

After making the pastry I baked the base blind, made the filling,
and added the top, making sure to cut a few slits for the air to escape.

Sorry, please excuse the horrible foil pie tin, I didn't have a real one the right size.
Don't worry, Lakeland will be receiving an order soon.

And here's a slice of the pie, served with corn on the cob and carrots.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Eccles cakes and Lancashire cheese

So Scott went to St John recently and had Eccles cakes and Lancashire cheese.

I'd forgotten how obsessed we were when we first tried them,
so decided to take the plunge and make my own.

You make a basic pastry with grated mararine, flour and salt...
chill it, then roll it out into circles.

The filling is made from currants, candied peel, orange zest,
sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. It smells very Christmassy when you warm it up.

So you add a teaspoom of the filling to the pastry and seal in inside,
before turning over and cutting 3 slits in the top.

When you bake them in the oven, the filling oozes out and the currants get caramelised.

And more importantly, here they are with some crumbly
Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese.

So. Good.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Dan and Lucy Forever

So yesterday was Dan and Lucy Forever day.

After an amazing wedding breakfast, they served cheese
and some of the tastiest macarons I've ever eaten.

Here's a selection: pistachio, lavender, lemon, and the piece de resistance...

Salted caramel with bronze dust.


About Me

I'm a fashion writer/baking enthusiast based in North London.

I'm particularly keen on icing and decoration as I love painstakingly laborious tasks, but the cakes taste great too.

Should you wish to get in touch re a commission, please do!