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Baking along with the bake off: baking with batter

19 Sep

So this week’s Bake Off was all about batter. I was brought up on Yorkshire puddings, with my grandma’s pudding recipe being legendary in my family.

Sadly though I share Jane’s pain – it’s been an embarrassment of mine for years that I can’t make them, despite my dad’s best efforts.

Until now.

I decided to forget about my inability to make them and to instead treat the recipe like I would a cake. 

I thought I’d also try two sizes of cake tin too just to be on the safe side.

And it worked! Woo hoo!

Ok so they’re slightly over baked and some are a little flat (not enough batter I think) but I’m pretty proud of myself. 


Seriously though…

I ate four!!

I’m looking forward to pastry week and seeing what they all come up with. It’ll be another hard task for me too as pastry isn’t a strength of mine…


Putting a dampener on baking with the Bake Off

17 Sep

I’m a bit late this week with my blog post but wow what a struggle I had with bread week!

I had been excited all week to try out Tom’s chocolate orange bread and happily collected all the ingredients at the supermarket ready to give it a go. Sadly I hadn’t read the recipe though and for the life of me couldn’t figure out how to crush cardamom pod seeds without a pestle and mortar! (Any suggestions welcome!)

I really didn’t fancy making the technical challenge but by this point it was too late to buy more ingredients and I had everything I needed for dampfnudel so the decision was made.

The fact that I haven’t changed my pans for about a decade and only have one with a lid(!) meant the odds were stacked against me for this one. Still, it was worth a try.

Making the dough was surprisingly easy 

Cooking the things, however, was a different story. They managed to swell up quite well:
But I made the same error as the bakers and my pan was the unfortunate victim 

Still, they tasted pretty nice. Having made a ridiculous amount of jam recently (blog post coming soon), I couldn’t be bothered making the sauce to go with the dampfnudel and instead opted for my apple and blackberry jam and some thick double cream. Yum!

I won’t be baking these again but they have made me less terrified of bread. I think I might try a loaf soon…

I know it’s a week old now but I loved the bread week episode, especially as we finally got a glimpse of Val’s kitchen dancing (something I’m partial to myself). I cheered when she won the technical, I’m definitely team Val! She’s as mad as a box of frogs but I love her!

I also LOVED Mary’s phrase, it’s not a mess, it’s informal. I’ll be using that forever more for my baking!

I was sad to see Michael go but sadly I think it was the right decision.

Now I can’t go without talking about the news of the week – channel 4 gate! What do you make of it? Bad decision from Love Productions in my opinion but good on Mel and Sue! 

Baking with the Bake Off: giving biscuits a whirl

7 Sep

Second week of the Great British Bake Off was biscuit week, and oh what fun they had.

How amazing was Candice’s pub with the sticky ginger floor? And Andrew’s biscuits looked lovely!

Val had a lucky escape but I’m glad she’s still around for another week.

For my baking along with the bake off challenge, it had to be Mary’s Viennese whirls.

Biscuits are definitely not my forte and this week was no exception. I made the same story as the Bake Off bakers and forgot to put the mixture in the fridge, meaning they lost their whirl. I also piped then far too big and close together so they were giant and stuck together!

Still, with homemade jam (more to come on that later this week) and some buttercream, they didn’t taste half bad. 

Dreading week three, where I’ll be making bread for the first time. Let’s hope the bakers have tried more than I have!

Baking along with the Bake Off: the good old Jaffa Cake

29 Aug

It would seem as though everyone is making Jaffa Cakes this week. I am no exception.

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE the Great British Bake Off. For me, it’s the only thing that makes the summer transition into autumn bearable.

The first episode didn’t disappoint. With a record number of cake do-overs, and enough innuendos to keep all the non-bakers like my boyfriend happy, there was plenty to entertain us all.

My initial favourite is Selasi and I have to admit I’ve got a soft spot for Val.

For the last few years I’ve attempted to bake along with the Bake Off and failed miserably. This year I’m going to try harder.

So, like everyone else in the country, I decided to give Jaffa cakes a try.

I’m not going to lie, I found it hard – even with Mary Berry’s recipe! I definitely won’t be applying for the Bake Off anytime soon. 



I’ve always loved Jaffa Cakes but I appreciate them all the more after today. Never again will I turn my nose up at a not-quite-centre jelly circle in a Jaffa Cake!

I enjoyed it though – and they taste pretty nice, even if I do say so myself.

In case you haven’t had a go yet and would like to try them out, you can find Mary’s recipe here

 Next week is biscuit week. Argh!

Baking with the bake off: My attempt at a choux-stopper

27 Sep

Having initially set out to bake along with the bake off every week, I’m a little disappointed that this is only my second blog post.

Despite that, I’m pretty chuffed with myself this evening after successfully negotiating choux for the first time!

I’ve never made choux before so the religieuse seemed like a good place to start. 

I got Mary Berry’s recipe from the BBC Food website. You can view it here.

It’s a little complicated for my liking and I did have a mini creme pat disaster which required rescuing by the boyfriend. The choux didn’t rise very much either, they were more like mini doughnuts.

Still, having never made either choux or creme patissiere before, I was quite pleased with the result.

Sure they wouldn’t pass the bake off standards but they definitely passed mine 🙂 

I did cheat though, it seemed a little silly going to the effort of stacking them and dressing them as prettily as Mary did as I knew we’d be demolishing them immediately.


Baking with the Bake Off: week one

12 Aug

A foodie blog would be nothing without a mention of Great British Bake Off.

And as a keen baker, mine is definitely no exception!

For the last few series I’ve loved reading various blogs where their bloggers are baking along with the series and so in tribute to the latest series, I’ve decided to have a go myself.

Ok so I’m a week late but better late than never eh?
Last week was cake week, a great way to see what the bakers were made off.

In case you need your memory refreshing, the bakers made a Madeira, a Black Forest gateau, and a frosted walnut cake.

I can’t stand walnut cake and the gateau seemed like a lot of effort, plus I’ve never actually made a Madeira so that settled it.

I decided to keep it simple and stick with lemon and boy am I glad I did. It’s lovely!

I didn’t get a crack in the top though so I’m sure I did something wrong… 

Having watched this week’s episode, I think I’ll give arlettes a go. Watch this space!

What do you think of the series so far?