Week One Hundred & Twenty One – Mary Berry’s Quick Granary Rolls & Chocolate Rum Cake

Week 121 and yes I confess this post is long overdue. I will explain why a little later. I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible with my hubby’s birthday in mind. He wanted to have a b-b-q with some “exotic” meats such as buffalo and I found Mary Berry’s quick granary rolls for the burger buns and her chocolate rum cake for his birthday cake- perfect.

I began with the quick granary rolls. Mary asks you to  mix all the dry ingredients together and rub the butter in with your fingers. Mary then asks you to add the milk and water mixture in a “continuous ” stream while mixing the ingredients to a dough and she suggests using a machine with a dough hook. At this point I read and re-read the recipe, Mary definitely asks you to add 3/4 pint each of tepid milk AND water. I thought this was a lot of liquid but I thought “Mary has been doing this for years and knows what she is doing”.

Mary Berry's Quick Granary Rolls

I ended up with a gloopy mess that even with the dough hook didn’t resemble anything like a dough. I added more flour- I had been using a white spelt flour that I had been given and a granary flour and added more of both until the liquid became a dough.

Dove Spelt Flour Hovis Granary Flour

Kim's dough hook

This took a long time and an awful lot of flour to achieve this. When I had got it to the dough stage, I divided it into the roll shapes and covered them to rise. I then checked on the rising to the Berry blog to see if Anneliese had struggled with this and yes, she too had the liquid issue and had to add more flour so I am glad I was not alone in this. Once the dough had proved, I baked them and even though I had to use an awful lot more flour than the recipe said, I was pleased with how they came out and the buffalo burgers tasted very nice inside these rolls. Hubby was very cheeky though and took a photo of them and said he was pleased with his wife’s baps! This was after we were laughing at one of the search terms on the blog where someone had searched for “kim’s buns”!

Kim's quick granary rolls

The second recipe was Mary Berry’s chocolate rum cake. This was for hubby’s birthday and involved two of his favourite things- chocolate and rum!  I started by breaking up an awful lot of chocolate into a bowl. As usual, Mary asks you to use dark chocolate and I compromised with 3/4 dark chocolate and 1/4 galaxy milk chocolate.. When this has melted, let it cool and whisk the egg yolks and sugar together, then add the chocolate and rum then fold in the flour and almonds.

Mary Berry's Chocolate Rum Cake

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mix and pour into the cake tin and bake. When cooked, while it cools, make the filling/icing by breaking yet more chocolate into a bowl- same mix for me, add loads of butter and stir lots. Cut the sponge in half and use this chocolate icing to sandwich the two sponges together and ice the top.

Kim's chocolate rum cake

Once this was done and set, I then decorated it for hubby’s birthday.

Hubby's birthday cake

We had a lovely b-b-q using meat ordered from the alternative meat company and their buffalo burgers were delicious. Hubby, I hope you had a lovely birthday and this blog is dedicated to you for your birthday.

happy birthday hubby

The countdown continues and has now reached ……

32

Now finally the reason this blog is so late – not long after I baked these, I went down hard with flu/norovirus and was really knocked for six with both. I was literally in bed for five days with aching muscles, fever and upset stomach.  I lost a stone in a week and even though I went back to work probably before I should, I was not up to baking or blogging.

flu

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Week One Hundred & Nine – Mary Berry’s Courgette Loaf & Creme Brulee

Week 109 and I am back in the baking saddle but not so much with the sitting and putting the fingers to the keyboard- oh well. i delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and it was quite apparent this week that there are not so many recipes left now to do and I am going to have to make a lot of celebration type cakes this year so watch out for- Happy Sunday cakes or Happy Weekly Shop Cakes or just Happy it’s one of the only recipes left cakes!


Mary Berry's courgette loaves

Anyhow, I found this unusual recipe not yet done- Mary Berry’s courgette loaves. The recipe makes 2 loaves- quite handy for the chief taster! This recipe involved grating loads of courgette- my machine featured last week came in very handy for this. This is one of Mary’s throw all the ingredients in and mix, then divide between 2 lined loaf tins and bake. The mixture looked ” different” and a bit yuk to be honest

Kims courgette loaf mix

The finished loaf looked fab and it didn’t look like a veggie loaf!

Kim's courgette loaf

Mary suggests you put one in the fridge and one in the freezer- we put one in the fridge and one in the chief taster!

funny

The second recipe was Mary’s creme brulee. This involved numerous egg yolks , and almost bucket loads of single and double cream- oh and sugar and vanilla extract- so really healthy for you! Mary asks you to whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla, then heat the cream until it is just too hot to stick your finger in- I took her word for this, I didn’t fancy a burnt finger! Then allow the cream to cool slightly and whisk all the ingredients together. Mary then asks you to either pour this into a large bowl or some ramekin dishes and then stand in a roasting tin, fill up halfway with hot water and cook in the oven until set. Once cooked, put in the fridge over night.

Mary Berry's creme brulee

The next day, pour some demerara sugar on the top of each one and either place them under the grill or use a cook blowtorch on the top. I just so happened to get a blowtorch for Christmas, thanks to my other mum who probably got fed up with me borrowing hers. It was great fun!

blowtorch

Once the sugar had been caramelised on the top of the brulees, Mary asks you to put them back in the fridge again overnight and then enjoy. I made 8 in ramekin dishes and we gave 4 to the chief tester- and he and my other mum tucked into 2 each back to back- and so did we!

Kim's creme brulee

Naughty but nice!

naughty but nice

 

Week One Hundred & Eight – Mary Berry’s Cheese & Celery Crown Loaf & Basic White Meringues

Week 108 and I am on track this week with my blog- for a change! This week I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible with more enthusiasm and found the cheese and celery crown loaf recipe and the basic white meringues. My goal this week was being able to use what ever kitchen gadgets I have to help with my sore hand.

Mary Berry's Cheese & Celery Crown Loaf

I began with Mary Berry’s cheese & celery crown loaf and got out a large bowl. I mixed the flour and the butter together with my hand mixer. I added the pepper, the chopped celery and the garlic from my garlic roller.

Kim's garlic roller

I then added the cheese from my electric grater! I stirred these together and then added the milk and the beaten egg. I added the dough hooks to my mixer and mixed it until I had a lovely dough mix.

cheats grating

Mary suggests you either knead the dough lightly into a neat round and put on a baking tray or divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls into a greased cake tin , sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for about 40 minutes.

Prepared cake tin

This worked well for me and the finished crown loaf looked good and smelt amazing. I have managed to make a loaf without hurting my hand and this week my hand has been recovering in this brace which keeps it still so that the ligaments can heal with the occasional break for some physio so that I retain full movement.

Kim's sore hand

The second recipe was Mary Berry’s basic white meringues. I had to find some recipes this week that hubby could also eat- he had minor surgery in his mouth on his jaw and has had a liquid diet for a while. I thought the meringues with some ice cream might tempt him!

This recipe needed 3 egg whites so i used my egg separator to do this and save my hand and then my hand mixer to beat the egg white until thick and glossy.

Kim's egg separator

I then added the sugar , a little at a time , continuing to beat with the mixer until all the sugar was in. Mary then asks you to add the mix into an icing bag.One tip I have found really useful is to buy disposable icing bags, really easy to find now.

Kim's disposable icing bags

I then use a large glass to hold the bag open so that you can put the mixture into the bag really easily.

Kim's icing bag holder

I then piped small rounds as per Mary’s instructions and put the meringues in to bake for about 1 1/2 hours. I then left the oven door open while turning the oven off to allow the meringues to cool.

Kim's meringues

Hubby has yet to sample the meringues but hopefully they will be tasty with some ice cream. Hope you feel better soon hubby. xx

get well

 

The countdown continues and now there are 56 recipes left to go…..

 

 

Week Ninety Five – Mary Berry’s Crown Loaf and Griddle Scones

Week ninety five here already and after the excitement of last week, I browsed through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible looking for some more savoury recipes after the richness of last week’s recipes and I was wiped out by a migraine which set all my usual housework jobs back by a day. I settle on Mary’s crown loaf and griddle scones.

Mary Berry's Crown Loaf

I began the dough this morning , mixing all the ingredients together for the crown loaf and then spending five minutes kneading it before setting it into an oiled bowl to prove for 1 1/2 hours. After this time, the dough was nicely risen and I had to then knock it back and knead again, divide into 12 balls and set these inside a springfold tin and cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for another half an hour.

Finally , once the last prove is done, bake in a hot over for 25 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. The crown loaf looked lovely and the smell of freshly baked bread is a winner in our house.

Kim's Crown Loaf

The second recipe was Mary’s griddle scones, these are thicker than drop scones and I followed Mary’s recipe carefully to make the dough, I then rolled it into a circle and cut into segments. I heated a heavy based pan and cooked the segments for about five minutes each side and left them to cool on a rack.

IMG_0314

Mary suggests eating them fresh with butter but we ate some of the crown loaf first for lunch and look forward to these for supper. Sorry chief tasters, no sharing with you guys this week- but I am guessing that you are still wading through your dobaz torte from Thursday.

Kim's Griddle Scones

The Great British Bake Off is coming up to quarter finals now and the three contestants I initially named are still in it so far- lets see how they do this week and if Mary has any more recipes I have yet to do?

Countdown now reaches 78.

Week Ninety One – Mary Berry’s Honey Glazed Walnut Bread & Glazed Lemon Tart

Week ninety one and I obviously had a bit of a “glazed” feel to this weeks bakes! I dipped into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and was inspired to try another bread recipe after watching the efforts on The Great British Bake Off for bread week.  The honey glazed walnut bread sounded scrummy and Mary assures you in the recipe that it also makes fantastic toast (If it lasts that long- take note please chief tasters!!) I added all the ingredients into a bowl, added the dough hooks to my mixer and set it off. Mary says allow five minutes mixing/kneading for a machine or 10 minutes by hand. This is where it was all going so well….until plumes of smoke were coming off my machine! The dough was too much and the motor had burnt out so the machine went to the electrical scrap heap in the sky and I finished the kneading by hand. I left the dough to prove and set about getting the other recipe bits together.

Mary Berry's Honey Glazed Walnut Bread

The proving time was done and I put the bread into the oven to bake, the recipe makes 2 good sized loaves. 25 minutes later, they were done and had that hollow sound when tapped on the bottom!

Kim's Honey Glazed Walnut Loaf

The second recipe was the glazed lemon tart. Firstly Mary asks you to make the pate sucree pastry- its a sweet shortcrust pastry. Then line a flan tin with it and chill while making the topping. Add the other ingredients together and beat well. ( with no mixer, I developed muscles I didn’t know I had!) Pour the mix into the pastry case and bake until brown and set.

Mary Berry's Glazed Lemon Tart Recipe

While this is cooling- and Mary says you can eat it like this if you like, thinly slice a lemon, remove any pips, boils some water and sugar, add the lemon slices to this, boil again and leave in a bowl to cool for 2 hours. Then drain the lemons, arrange them on the tart, and glaze with some apricot jam that has been warmed through.

Kim's Glazed Lemon Tart

This looks and smells lovely and we will be eating some after dinner later!

There have been some strange goings on in my garden lately. It has all become a little overgrown with the bamboo I had planted some years ago, pretty much taking over the garden and with the recent rain, you could barely see up my garden through it all. I looked from my kitchen up the garden recently and found that the local wildlife had diversified somewhat from the native species! I know who to thank for this and will ensure that your garden enjoys a similar experience!
image

I was also sad to say goodbye to my trusty mixer- it was the best of both worlds, I could detach the mixer and use it as a hand mixer or attach it to the stand and use with the bowl  which could rotate if I needed it to.

 

Breville Stand mixerI threw it in the chief taster’s trailer to go to the tip ( yes- it went in dirty- it’s going to the tip!) and waved it goodbye.

RIP

 

Eek – I think my fairy god mother is looking after me…..I was telling the sorrowful tale of my mixer and with BIG thanks to one of my chief taster’s. I have a new mixer on the way- YAY!! xxx

 

Week Eighty Six – Mary Berry’s Mushroom & Garlic Stuffed Picnic Loaf & Cheese Straws

Week eighty six and I thought I would be a little adventurous this week and attempt something with yeast! I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found the mushroom and garlic stuffed picnic loaf and to complete the savoury theme, cheese straws to compliment.

I made the bread dough as per Mary’s instructions and left it to rise or prove for two hour. With the lovely weather we have been having, this wasn’t an issue for me this time! I read the recipe carefully and Mary suggests either making one whole loaf that is stuffed or rolls so I opted for rolls as they are shared more easily.

Mary Berry's Mushroom & Garlic stuffed picnic loaf

The only issue I had was following the instructions for filling and folding the dough which proved to be tricky as it isn’t a sealed loaf. I added the filling and molded, coaxed, prodded and poked the dough until it resembled a roll rather than a wreck and left them to prove for a while longer. Then finally they went into the oven for about 15 minutes. When they came out, I had to brush them with some of the mushroom oil from the recipe and leave them to cool.

Kim's mushroom & garlic stuffed picnic loaf

The second recipe was for cheese straws. This was an easy dough to put together and then wrap in clingfilm for half an hour. Time ran out and the dough wasn’t used until the following day and needed to be worked a bit as it was a solid block!

Mary Berry's Cheese Straws

I rolled it out and cut the dough into straws and brushed them with egg and sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese. Into the oven they went for a short while until golden and brown.

Kim's cheese straws.

I have been trying to catch up with the Celebrity Master Chef – the episodes are currently stacked up ready to watch but I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Wayne Sleep did and how much he learned in such a short space of time.

I treated my kitchen this week too. I have seen some wall signs where the words are transferred directly onto the wall and found a lovely kitchen sign that reflected my love of baking! It was a bit of a pain to put up but worth it and I love it!

Kim's kitchen sign

Week Forty Nine – Mary Berry’s Focaccia Bread with Onion & Balsamic Topping

Week forty nine and I think this has been the most technical of my bakes to date and the one that has taken most of the day as it’s bread and needed rising time. Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible has the nicest photo of hers and all through my bake, I just hoped that it turned out at least resembling hers!

Mary Berry's Focaccia Bread with Onion & Balsamic Topping

The beginning of the recipe asks you to add every ingredient for the dough into a bowl and mix either by hand or with a mixer with dough hooks. I had never used my dough hooks before and looked forward to playing with them. They made short work of the ingredients and no sooner had I started, than I had a dough bowl ready to start working on. I tipped it out onto my floured surface and set to work, it’s very therapeutic to work dough! Although my method is probably more old school as I was taught in my Home Economics lessons rather than the Paul Hollywood swing the dough around and whack it down method! Once kneaded, I put it in a clean oiled bowl and covered it with clingfilm. I left it for an hour and while it was “proving” I set about making the onion and balsamic topping. Mary asks you to add a teaspoon of olive oil to a pan, cut 2 onions and fry them for several minutes, then add thr lid and turn down the heat and leave for 20 minutes. The next step was to add some balsamic vinegar and sugar and thyme , fry again briskly and then season and allow to cool. Mary asks you to return to your dough and “knock it back” for about five minutes, roll it out and pop it on a baking sheet with the topping on it, place it in a bag and allow to proof again for half an hour…zzzzzz. Finally I could put it in the oven for about 25 minutes.

The final result, no soggy bottom! But the onion is lightly singed around the edges, but on the whole I am happy with it. The only problem is that it is HUGE!! Hubby and I can’t eat it all so we are going to cut it in half and take some to the parents!

Kim's Focaccia Bread with Onion & Balsamic Topping

I loved watching the Great British Bake Off this week with breads and maybe that’s what inspired me to do the Focaccia Bread. I must say, I was impressed with Frances’ matchbox and her bread sticks.