Sunday, 25 November 2012

Mince Pies

Week 48, Bake 48. 

We only have two weeks left at school (I love working in a private school). And so I have started my Christmas bakes early so my colleagues can appreciate them too! This week I have baked mince pies with homemade mincemeat and it is magic! So here is the recipe for the mincemeat:

Makes approximately 22

  • 500g of plain flour
  • 300g of unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • a good few pinches of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (for the pastry)
  • milk
  • butter to grease the pan
  • mincemeat
  • an egg to glaze
  1. In a large bowl mix the flour, butter, salt, sugar and eggs together by scrunching them with your hands. 
  2. Add in enough milk to bring the mixture into a ball. 
  3. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. 
  5. Now divide the ball into manageable chunks to work on whilst the rest will sit in the fridge until needed. 
  6. Grease a muffin pan with butter. 
  7. Roll out the pastry and using a 10cm cutter and a 7cm cutter, cut out the base and top. 
  8. Place the base in the muffin pan and fill with the mincemeat. Fold in the edges of the base and using the beaten egg glue the top to the base. 
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. 
  10. Eat slightly warm. Yum!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Somerset Floods

So we have had some very rainy days in Somerset and here are my pictures of the terrible floods which we have faced. Clearly the only thing to do in a flood is to pop out and take pictures!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Polaroid Fridge Magnets

I have been planning to make these Polaroid Fridge Magnets for ages but just have never got round to it. Well, last weekend with all the rugby on I finally sat down to make these Polaroid fridge magnets.

What you need:
  • Get yourself a Polaroid template on Google
  • Pictures printed onto the template, your chosen size
  • Sticky magnets
  • Paint brush
  • Mod Podge

What to do: (its very simple)
  1. Cut out your pictures and stick one of the sticky magnets onto the centre back. 
  2. Carefully paint a thin layer of mod podge over the pictures, be careful not to smear the ink. 
  3. Continue to paint layers of mod podge over the Polaroids until they are sufficiently covered. 
  4. Let them dry and your done! Easy. 

Jammy Dodgers

Week 47, Bake 47. 

It is rapidly beginning to look like Christmas and we have only got 3 weeks left of our school term. So from now on my bakes will be christmassy. Here is my recipe for Jammy Dodgers, my last non-Christmas bake (before my brothers birthday of course).

  • 175g of slightly salted butter 
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 250g of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam per cookie
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together (making sure the butter is at room temperature). When smooth (not fluffy) beat in the flour. 
  2. When the flour is almost all mixed in, add in the vanilla essence and then knead it into a dough. 
  3. Pop in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. 
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. 
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is half a centimetre thick, cut into circles using an 9cm cookie cutter. 
  6. Place the discs onto baking parchment then in half of the discs cut out a star from the centre. 
  7. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the cookies are slightly coloured. 
  8. Leave on the baking parchment until the cookies are solid then allow them to cool on a cooling rack. 
  9. Now carefully assemble the cookies, spreading a teaspoon of the jam in the centre. 
  10. Sprinkle with icing sugar if you wish.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Week 46, Bake 46. 

I am actually really happy to be back at school, last week with my parents they had the builders in and so the house was busy and very cold! So this week I'm back to school and back in Somerset where there is heating! Thankfully I had it turned up on Saturday night as we had an unexpected snowfall. It was very exciting, until the moment I realised I had to get to church and had never driven in the snow before. After getting halfway up one hill, I realised it was too dangerous to risk going so I went home (past many cars getting help from the AA and branches in the road).

Anyway, this weeks bake is a cinnamon swirl loaf. Enjoy!

  • 512g of plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 7g of dried fast action yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 60ml of oil
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 300ml of warm water
  • 20g of soft butter
  • 50g of soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 15g of butter
  • 120g of icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of warm water
  1. In a large bowl place the flour, egg, yeast, sugar, salt (not touching the yeast) and oil together and using your hands combine. 
  2. Add the lemon juice and water and bring into a sticky dough. 
  3. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead until elastic (about 10 minutes). 
  4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover (I use an oiled shower cap) to leave in a warm place for 1 hour until it has doubled in size. 
  5. Now make the cinnamon sugar, combine the sugar and cinnamon together making sure there are no lumps.  
  6. Punch down the dough, and roll it out into a 12" x 24" rectangle. 
  7. Spread the dough with butter then sprinkle all the cinnamon sugar on it. 
  8. Now roll it using the longest side and make sure the seem is sealed. 
  9. Cut along the length of the roll and turn out the 2 sides so that the layers show. 
  10. Now start twist the two sides together so it looks like rope. Roll it into a bun, then pop it into a greased spring-form cake tin. 
  11. Cover again and let it rise for 30 minutes whilst you pre-heat the oven to 190c. 
  12. Cook for 25-30 minutes. 
  13. Now make the icing, mix the soften butter, icing sugar and water together until you get a consistency you like. 
  14. Using a piping bag, pipe lines across the bread and serve warm. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Vanilla and chocolate swirl cake

Week 45, Bake 45. 

It is half term! And so as my parents could not visit me I decided to visit them, which sadly has meant staying in their freezing house this past week (they are having building work done currently which means a massive whole in the roof). So this week mum and dad requested that I make them a chocolate cake, so here it is, a chocolate and vanilla swirl cake.

  • 225g of salted butter
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon on vanilla essence
  • 225g of self-raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of coco powder (one mixed with one tablespoon of warm water)
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • Butter for making buttercream
  • Icing
  • Splash of double cream
  • 150g milk chocolate
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c and line two cake tins. 
  2. Beat the soften butter and then add the sugar, beat until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the eggs a little at a time so the mixture doesn't curdle. 
  4. Now add the vanilla essence and fold in the sifted flour. Add the milk. 
  5. Divide the mixture into half and add the coco to one of the half. This is now your chocolate mixture.
  6. Pop each mixture into a piping bag and pipe a blob of the vanilla mixture into the center of each pan. Now using the chocolate mixture, pipe a blob of that into the center of the vanilla blob. Keep alternating until you get a tiger effect and use up all the mixture.
  7. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes. 
  8. Cool on a wire cooling rack. 
  9. Make the butter cream but beating the butter and icing sugar together, add the cream to make it spreadable. 
  10. Put the butter cream into the center of the cake and peice the cake together. Now melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water and pipe it into a cobweb shape on top.