Saturday, 27 August 2016

Profiteroles



Last year on the day before school started again I made eclairs for the first time ever. They were actually successful unlike the time when I tried to make macaron and epically failed.


This time I made profiteroles which are basically eclairs that are in a round shape. I used the same recipe except I piped them into little round things. It made way more that I remembered and since you are meant to eat them the day you make them, I froze quite a few of them. They last in the freezer for about 3 weeks. Last time I froze the eclairs and then forgot about them so we ended up putting them in the bin but this time I have set reminders so that we actually eat them.


To make the chocolate glaze you heat the cream and pour it over the chocolate and syrup, leave it a few minutes and then mix it together. The recipe says to fill them with pastry cream however I just used whipped cream to keep it simple.


You can find the recipe here.



Saturday, 20 August 2016

Butterscotch Blondies

Hello!

I've mentioned the Violet Bakery Cookbook multiple times and have posted recipes from it multiple times because it is one of our favourite cookbooks. When I went to the Abergavenny Food Festival I saw Claire Ptak do a demonstration (I've told this story before) and she showed us how to make these blondies and some Coconut Macaroons.


I actually made these for a tea party we went to because we brought along my grandparents as well as the rest of my family.

These are actually pretty easy to make and you can make them without having to wait for your butter to soften because you melt it. The caramel shards take a while and you have to just stand there and watch but not stir the pan. I might have slightly overdone my caramel because it tasted a bit bitter but I used it anyway and it didn't really give it a bitter taste in the overall blondie.



My blondies took ages to cook (like double the time it said in the recipe) and I don't know why - it might be because of my oven. The top of them also looked a little bit rubbery but once they were fully cooked the rubbery look had gone.


This recipe is from the Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak. 


Ingredients;

250g unsalted butter
2 eggs
300g light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
240g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
125g milk chocolate
75g caramel shards (recipe below)

Method;

Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 3. Butter a 30x20cm (I used a 20x20 tin because we dont have a 30x20 one) and then line with baking paper.

Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until it is frothy. Whisk in the melted butter.

In a different bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Add it into the egg and butter mixture. Mix and then add in the chocolate. Fold until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth over with a spatula. Sprinkle with the caramel shards. Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool completely in the tin, then cut into 12 pieces. They keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.




Caramel Shards-

Ingredients;

2 tbsp water
150g caster sugar

Method;

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper with the smooth side up on a baking tray and then place the tray on a heatproof surface. In a small pan place the water and the sugar. Place it on a medium-low heat and heat until the sugar starts to dissolve. Do not stir it because this can cause crystallisation. One the sugar has started to dissolve, turn up the heat to medium-high and heat until the sugar is a dark golden brown.

Pour the caramel onto the prepared sheet in a thin layer and leave to cool. Cut it into shards or use your hands to break it into pieces. This caramel should be used straight away or stored in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Orange and Rhubarb Cake



I made this cake on World Elephant Day so I made sure there was an elephant in the background of the photos. I love elephants; anyone who knows me knows that they are my favourite animal. I have millions of elephant themed things and I have adopted one through WWF. If you want to learn more about World Elephant Day, visit this website here.




This cake is really easy to make because you put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix it. Then you place it in a pan, cover it with rhubarb and then you bake it. It is so tasty - the sponge tastes of orange and then there is a slightly sharp taste of the rhubarb.



This recipe is from Rhubarbaria by Mary Prior which is a book all about Rhubarb. 

Ingredients:

350g self raising flour
3 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
250g butter, softened
250g castor sugar
6 tbsp milk
grated rind of 2 oranges
9 sticks of rhubarb, chopped 
demerara sugar

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and then add in all the other ingredients (except for rhubarb and demerara sugar). Mix well until fully combined and pale in colour, about 2 minutes on a high speed. Line a large roasting tin with foil and spread in the cake mix. Top with the chopped rhubarb and then sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.




Saturday, 6 August 2016

Coconut Macaroons

Last September I went to the Abergavenny Food Festival, as I have mentioned before in previous posts. While I was there I saw Claire Ptak and we (my mum and I) bought her book. It is really good and there are loads of amazing recipes in it. She made these coconut macaroons in the demonstration and they looked soooo good. They are really easy to make; you put everything in the pan and mix then scoop them out and bake them. They are sweet and coconuty and just amazing.


She has a cafe in London that I haven't been to yet but I really want to go. It looks amazing and hopefully next time I go to London I can go and buy food there.



This recipe needs egg whites so if you need something to make using the egg yolks you can try these Mini Custard Tarts or you can make Egg Yolk Cookies from her book however I haven't put the recipe on the blog yet so you'll have to wait for that or just buy the book. 

This recipe is from Claire Ptak's Violet Bakery Cookbook. It makes about 10 large macaroons.

Ingredients;

4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
200g unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method;

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pan. Place it on medium-low heat and slowly heat it making sure you are stirring constantly. The mixture will begin to loosen up. Reduce the heat and continue to stir. It will begin to look like rice pudding. The mixture should thicken and begin to dry out. Make sure that it doesn't catch on the bottom.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out macaroons onto the prepared sheet. Leave some space between them as they usually grow. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Allow them to cool and then enjoy. They keep for about 1 week in an air tight container.


Monday, 1 August 2016

A Weekend in London

This weekend I went up to London with my mum and sister to see some friends who were visiting from America. They came to stay with us a few weeks ago and then we decided to go and see them for a few days.
                                       

We went there by train and after dropping our stuff off where we were staying we went and met them in Borough Market. I've never been there before and I was amazed. It was Saturday at midday so as you can imagine it was crazy. We had burgers for lunch which were amazing but I forgot to take a photo. I also had a beetroot, apple and raspberry smoothie to drink. It was really tasty but had separated and when I mixed it nothing happened. I ended up drinking the part that tasted like raspberry first and then the part that tasted beetroot afterwards.







We then walked to St. Paul's Cathedral and went up to the top. I would really recommend this; I did it with school when I went to London in Year 6 and the views you get are amazing however it is quite scary. 




We then went to Bea's Tea Room near St. Pauls. I had carrot cake which was very good. And yes I forgot to take a photo again.

The next day we went to Columbia Road Flower Market and it was amazing. There were flowers everywhere and cute little shops and cafes. 









We went to Lily Vanilli's Bakery and I got a Poached Apple and Custard tart and a Pink Lemonade that was super bitter but really nice. 




We then walked to the Geffrye Museum and looked around it. We also ate lunch there. I had a vegetarian hash which was basically fried eggs with potato, pepper, courgette etc. 





Saturday, 9 July 2016

Hay Festival

BONUS POST WHOOP WHOOP!


I know the Hay Festival happened  a month ago but I thought I might as well post this anyway. For those of you who don't know what it is, the Hay Festival is a book festival that happens in a town called Hay-On-Wye every May half term.


We usually go and see one or two talks there. This year we went to see Chris Riddell and it was great.

The food hall was full of wonderful options. For lunch I had Calamari with chips from the Pembrokeshire Beach Food company. It was amazing. I had some lemonade to drink with it.





                               

While my mum was watching another talk, me and my sister went and got ice cream and sat on the grass reading. I got blackcurrant and it was really good.