Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cheese Straws - Home Sweet Home Bake Along (18/100)



The more astute among you may have noticed the slightly longer break between posts. Due to a combination of illness and busy-ness, Gill and I agreed to have a little "half term" break. And we both know that cheese straws are hardly exactly high level baking, but sometimes they're just one too many things to do!


These were a slight variation on my usual method, which involved sandwiching the cheese between two layers of puff pastry - here the pastry is brushed with an egg wash and the cheese squashed into the top.


The cheese straws look better - because there is the contrast in the twist of the cheesy side and the non-cheesy side, but the cheese feels less distributed in the twists, I felt.


Also, I think I underbaked these - they could have done with being a bit browner and crispier, but they went down well at Home Group!


Ingredients:
250g puff pastry (shop bought! It's okay - even Mary Berry buys hers...)
180g gruyere cheese (I substituted this for mature cheddar), grated
60g parmesan, grated
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (It's not thyme season, I substitued this for 1 tsp dried thyme)
salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg, beaten.

#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

HTML code to insert badge (copy and paste): 

 <a href="http://beckie-a.blogspot.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://twitchyneedles.com/homesweethome.png" border="0" height="170" width="170" alt="#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong" /></a>  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Peanut Brittle (Mixed Nut Brittle) - Home Sweet Home Bake Along (18/100)


Peanut brittle, such a fun throwback to the days when tuck shops could sell refined sugar and nuts. Like Mrs B, I adapted this recipe to make it more than just peanuts - I used a blend of hazelnuts, almonds, salted peanuts and walnut pieces.


The salted peanuts provided a wonderful contrast to the sweetness of the caramel. I had a little trouble getting the caramel evenly out of the pan and over all of the nuts before it started to cool to much and solidified in the pan.


It did ooze about generally, though, so only a few nuts were not "glued" properly, but some of my difficulties might be the varied sizes of my nuts, rather than the more uniform size of all peanuts.


It's jolly more-ish, I must say.


Peanut Brittle
250g nuts - a blend of your choice!
300g granulated sugar
400ml water

#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

HTML code to insert badge (copy and paste): 

 <a href="http://beckie-a.blogspot.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://twitchyneedles.com/homesweethome.png" border="0" height="170" width="170" alt="#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong" /></a>  

I'm entering this in #CookBlogShare

#CookBlogShare 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Peanut Butter Granola Bars - Home Sweet Home Bake Along (18/100)


Well, these are rather nice. They taste like an American peanut butter candy, but better. You can pretend they are healthy because of the nuts, seeds and dried fruit.


They are so more-ish, that in the time it has taken to write this post I have already eaten three. I had to hide them from myself or I would have devoured more.


I certainly hope to make these again, but will probably add a touch more peanut butter to act as a slightly firmer binding.


I was troubled by a little disintegration, but not to the degree that Gill described.


I made a couple of substitutions in the basic granola mix - I replaced the pecans with walnuts, and used a seed mix rather than just pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I also replaced the raisins with a mix of cranberries, sultanas, chopped dates and chopped dried apricots.


Ingredients:
60g unsalted butter
60ml honey
480g porridge oats
80g flaked almonds
80g pecan nuts, chopped
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
160g raisins
100g crunchy peanut butter
125ml golden syrup
70g soft light brown sugar

#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

HTML code to insert badge (copy and paste): 

 <a href="http://beckie-a.blogspot.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://twitchyneedles.com/homesweethome.png" border="0" height="170" width="170" alt="#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong" /></a>  

I'm entering this in #CookBlogShare

#CookBlogShare 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Peach Cobbler - Home Sweet Home Bake Along (17/100)


I could tell you that I made 2/3 of this recipe because a cobbler that serves 6 to 8 is just too big for three adults (even if those three adults are of the hungry variety.)


Or I could say that I just didn't have a big enough dish for 3 cans of peaches. I could even tell you that portion control is one of the best ways to promote a healthy diet.


Or I could come clean and tell you that my stock-taking skills are dire and what I believed was a can of peaches was in fact a can of mangoes. I briefly contemplated a peach and mango cobbler, but for all of the above reasons, I went for 2/3s of the recipe!


A cobbler recipe was the first time I ever came across the American use of the word, "biscuit." The recipe instructed the user to use their favourite biscuit recipe to top the cobbler. Whilst I briefly contemplated a triple chocolate chip biscuit, actually, what is meant is a tender, buttery dough, that slightly resembles a scone, but is in fact far superior. (Don't look so surprised, I've already expressed my distate for the scone, here.)


Recipes like this do somewhat make me wish I lived the American Dream on a vast homestead, completely self-sufficient, and canning jar after jar of pickles (we will gloss over the fact that I made pickles two years ago to deal with a surfeit of cucumbers, and the jars are still in the pantry waiting to be consumed.)


Ingredients:
For the filling:
3 x 400g tins of sliced peaches (in juice)
50g soft light brown sugar (I reduced this by 10g and didn't miss it, I wonder if it is needed at all)
20g caster sugar (I reduced this by 10g and didn't miss it, I wonder if it is needed at all)]
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cornflour (I substituted this for arrowroot)

For the topping:
170g plain flour
60g caster sugar, plus 3 tbsp for sprinkling
50g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
60ml boiling water
1 tsp mixed spice

#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

HTML code to insert badge (copy and paste): 

 <a href="http://beckie-a.blogspot.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://twitchyneedles.com/homesweethome.png" border="0" height="170" width="170" alt="#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong" /></a>  

I'm entering this in #CookBlogShare

#CookBlogShare 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chocolate Truffle Cookies - Home Sweet Home Bake Along (16/100)


These are probably my go-to cookies for birthday gifts, home groups, general consumption.


In fact, they are the item I have made most from Home Sweet Home, having made them at least thrice before we began this bake along.


They are simple, and the amaretto really makes them special (and I think is what makes them truffle-y, which may be why Gill didn't feel them appropriately named).


They disappear quickly, and small children have to be restrained from seconds.Adults, on the other hand, may indulge freely. Ah, the contradictions of age.


Ingredients:
80g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
90g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
10ml amaretto
50g icing sugar, to coat



#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong


HTML code to insert badge (copy and paste): 



 <a href="http://beckie-a.blogspot.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://twitchyneedles.com/homesweethome.png" border="0" height="170" width="170" alt="#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong" /></a>  


I'm entering this in #CookBlogShare


#CookBlogShare 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sweet Dough Lemon Loaf - Home Sweet Home Bake Along (15/100)


This loaf is somewhat of a mystery to Gill and I.Gill has explained her woes here. However, her woes are not my woes - my loaf is also a bit disappointing.


Rather than no rise - I had a deceptive lack of rise in the tin, followed by an explosion in the oven. I was going to put this in two tins, like the Blueberry Loaf, but there was so little dough on the roll out, it easily fitted in one tin. Humph.


Then, rather than being dry, it was still raw in the middle after the baking time was up (yet already very brown on top).


Then, to add insult to injury, as always seems to happen when I make cream cheese icing, the icing was more of a glaze/drench! On the up-side, it is really lemony and quite delicious!


Given that it needs the zest of four lemons, and the juice of half, and is rather a faff, I'm not convinced I'll be repeating this, although the stack and rotate sweet dough loaf method does produce a rather wonderful tear-and-share loaf. I'm already plotting a variation of babka, and a variation of chelsea buns or cinnamon buns along these lines!


Ingredients:
Dough:
75ml lukewarm whole milk
60ml lukewarm water
1/2 tsp salt
50g caster sugar
1.5 tsp instant or "quick action" yeast (original recipe = 2.25tsp dried active yeast)
350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
55g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 large eggs, beaten
2tsp vanilla extract

Filling:
60g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons

Topping
90g full-fat cream cheese
40g icing sugar, sifted
1tbsp lemon juice
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus extra to decorate
1tbsp whole milk


#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

HTML code to insert badge (copy and paste): 


 <a href="http://beckie-a.blogspot.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://twitchyneedles.com/homesweethome.png" border="0" height="170" width="170" alt="#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong" /></a>  


I'm entering this in #CookBlogShare


#CookBlogShare 

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Doughnut Cupcakes - Home Sweet Home Bake Along (14/100)


This is what we want from Hummingbird Bakery - sugary treats, filled with calories and American-style charm.


A simple concept - jam filled doughnut, but in jam filled cupcake form. Iced with a cinnamon buttercream, and topped with a little doughnut.


The recipe warns you to make extra little doughnuts as several will miss the cakes and accidentally fall into your mouth. I concur with this advice, and thankfully there is dough to make a good few more little doughnuts than you will need for topping purposes.


Another lot of deep fat frying, and I'm well out of the fear range. Armed with my sugar thermometer and copper bottomed pan I'm almost *whispers* confident!


Plus these little doughnuts were a lot quicker to fry than the Funnel Cakes, so the frying smell was less entrenched, and disappeared more quickly! I think I'll definitely be making the doughnuts again at least.


I made less icing than recommended, and would advise you to do the same - the whole recipe is distinctly profligate, but 1/2 didn't yield quite enough to ice all the cupcakes, perhaps 3/4 of the recipe would be the charm?


Ingredients:
For cupcakes:
70g unsalted butter, softened
210g plain flour
250g caster sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
210 ml whole milk
2 large eggs

For filling:
100g strawberry jam (I used blackberry jelly, because, well, that's what I had!)

For the cinnamon sugar:
1 tsp cinnamon sugar
100g caster sugar

For the doughnuts:
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting (I used bread flour, for a more bready doughnut)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
25g cold unsalted butter, cubed
35g caster sugar
1 large egg
125ml whole milik
~1 litre sunflower oil (for frying)

For icing (I halved this and had enough for 14 cupcakes, but two had to remain un-iced, as the recipe yielded 16 cupcakes)
660g icing sugar, sifted
1tsp ground cinnamon
210g unsalted butter, softened
60ml whole milk





#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

HTML code to insert badge (copy and paste): 


 <a href="http://beckie-a.blogspot.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://twitchyneedles.com/homesweethome.png" border="0" height="170" width="170" alt="#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong" /></a>  


I'm entering this in #CookBlogShare


#CookBlogShare