Week Ninety Two – Mary Berry’s Banana & Honey Teabread & Chocolate, Brandy & Ginger Cheesecake

Week Ninety Two and this bake was being done away from home. Hubby was being watched over for me and I took the opportunity to bake the last banana recipe and another while I was visiting my mum and taking photos of my great niece. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible had one final banana recipe and I started with this.  The recipe was quite an easy mix, but mashing the bananas needed a bit of elbow grease! I lined the tin with baking parchment and put the loaf in the oven for 1 1/4 hours.

Mary Berry's Banana & Honey Teabread

The loaf needed to be covered with some foil about an hour into the bake and Mary does warn you of this in her recipe. The resulting loaf needed to cool for a short while before being brushed with warmed honey and sprinkled with sugar.

Kim's Banana & Honey Tealoaf

The second recipe proved to be a bit more of a challenge. The first part of Mary’s chocolate, brandy and ginger cheesecake wasn’t too bad, it involved crushing ginger biscuits and combining this with melted butter and sugar. Put this in the base of the tin and press down and leave to set.

Mary Berry's Chocolate, brandy & Ginger Cheesecake

After the banana loaf had baked, I set about making the cheesecake middle layer. This proved to be the challenging part. Mary asks you to melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water- no problem there. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and leave for 10 minutes to sponge- not so good. Beat together the egg yolks, sugar and cheese in a bowl. Add the soured cream and chocolate. Stir in the gelatine. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and fold in to the mixture and add the brandy and chopped ginger. At this point the mixture was very runny and I wasn’t confident that it was going to set. I poured it into the tin on top of the biscuit base and left it in my mum’s fridge. Many hours later it was still runny, with no sign of setting so I put it in her freezer for several hours. Slightly better but not properly set.

I had to leave it for my mum to whip the cream ad sprinkle chocolate over and send me a photo so I never got to taste this one but mum said when she took it out of the tin, while putting the cream on top , the chocolate cheesecake mix was beginning to sag and move so it had to be eaten quickly. All I can think of was that I didn’t do the gelatine properly but who knows? I will chalk this one up to experience.

Kim's Chocolate, Brandy & Ginger Cheesecake

I am still enjoying The Great British Bake Off and my three early favourites are still there. I learnt two things from tonight’s show. Trim your tart pastry once cooked , not before, which I had always done , it looks so much better and if making any kind of custard tart, it’s better to pour the custard into the pastry case while it’s on the oven shelf rather than struggling not to spill it while getting it back into the oven!

Week Eighty Four- Mary Berry’s Brandy Snaps & Chocolate Chip & Vanilla Marble Cake

Week eighty four, or should I say week eighty four and a half as this week’s bake was done in two halves. I actually made the brandy snaps last weekend but didn’t find the time to blog about it so incorporated it into this week’s bake and blog.

Mary Berry's Brandy Snaps

I was inspired to try the brandy snaps after watching one of the celebrity master chef episodes where each celebrity was given the challenge of producing a brandy snap, with quite hilarious results. So I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found the recipe and off I set.

On celebrity master chef, the celebrities were given a dough and asked to make it into a brandy snap. Mary’s mix is quite liquid in comparison. So much so that I thought I had done it wrong initially but when I put teaspoons of the gloopy mix on the baking tray, it produced the desired effect and I was able to roll them into a brandy snap and leave them to cool.

Kim's Brandy Snaps

I served mine with ice cream and yes, they did “snap” when bitten into!

The second recipe, made this week was Mary Berry’s chocolate chip & vanilla marble cake which is made into a tray bake. The basic cake mix is one of Mary’s mix everything together all in one mix ….but with a variation. Mary then asks you to place spoons of half this mixture in random places in the tray and then add the cocoa and hot water and chocolate chips to the other half of the cake mix and mix again, then place spoons of this in the spaces left in the tray. I then used a spoon to ripple it all together.

Mary Berry's Choclate Chip & Vanilla Marble Cake

One tip I have learnt with adding chocolate chips is to roll them in flour before adding them to the mix and this should prevent them all sinking to the bottom which has happened to me so many times. It definitely seemed to work this time.  Once the cake was baked, I left it to cool.

Kim's chocolate chip & vanilla marble cake

Mary asks you to then melt some dark chocolate- I substituted milk chocolate for this and some white chocolate and drizzle them over the top to finish the cake. I decided to created a ripple effect on mine and loved the effect

Kim's ChocolateChip & Vanilla Marble Cake

The countdown continues…and YAY! I have now got 99 left to go- down to two figures at last!