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!

Week Seventy Four – Mary Berry’s Sultana Streusel Buns & Banana & Chocolate Chip Bars

Week Seventy four found me up at silly o’clock on a Sunday morning , having walked the dogs and completed both bakes by 8.45am! I chose Mary Berry’s sultana streusel buns and the banana & chocolate chip bars from her Baking Bible.

Mary Berry's Sultana Streusel Buns

I made doubly sure that I read the recipe for the sultana streusel buns before I started, as I didn’t want any disasters this week. Mary asks you to put the flour and baking powder in a bowl and rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. I must admit this is my least favourite method as I never feel that it looks like it should! Mary then asks you to stir in the sugar and the sultanas. Then lightly beat the egg and milk together and mix all in one go to the bowl and beat to a smooth mix. Put spoons of the mixture in the cases.

This recipe has a topping that is made by flour, sugar and melted butter. Use a fork to mix it until it is crumbly and put a spoon of this on top of each bun. Then put it in the oven.

Kim's Sultanas Streusel Buns

I have never made these before and they needed about 5-10 minutes longer to cook than Mary suggests but they looked quite unusual.

The second recipe was the banana and chocolate chip bars. As I have mentioned before, my hubby is allergic to banana and I have made other banana recipes when visiting my mum so that the family can eat them. Mary does suggest in this recipe that you can substitute apricots for the banana so that’s what I did.

Mary Berry's Banana & Chocolate Chip Bars

The recipe is quite simple. Mary asks you to put the flour, oats and sugar into a bowl and mix and then rub in the butter- ( did I mention that I don’t like this method?!) Put half the mix into a tin- Mary suggests a square tin but I put mine in a round one. Then add the apricots and then top with the rest of the mixture. Bake in the oven.

Kim's Apricot & Chocolate Chip Bars

Allow the finished product to cool in the tin and then cut into bars. I am renaming my bake to “Mary Berry’s Apricot & Chocolate Chip Bars”

The countdown continues…..120 left to go…..

Week Sixty Six – Mary Berry’s Chocolate Chip Brownies

Week clickedy click, oops I mean sixty six. Anyone would think I played bingo – and actually I don’t- honestly!  I chose a chocolate fest of a recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible chocolate chip brownies.

Mary’s brownie recipe was really simple, add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix- not much to go wrong here! Then pour into a tray bake tin ( one of my trusty recycled Lakeland tray bake foil tins) and level. Pop into the oven and bake!

Mary Berry's Chocolate Chip Brownies

Once baked, allow the brownies to cool in the tin, then remove and cut into squares and store in an air tight tin. The smell of these cooking was mouth watering indeed and while they were cooling, my kitchen had the most amazing chocolaty smell about it.

Kim's Chocolate Chip Brownies

My chief taster was home from his stay in hospital so I packed some into his tin for him to try and also made him some cheese scones which he loves s much to welcome him home. It was his birthday yesterday and as we weren’t sure if he would be home, I didn’t get to make him his birthday cake, so watch this space, that will be next week’s challenge recipe!


Week Nine – Blueberry Muffins AND American Chocolate Chip Muffins

Week nine already, and because of work commitments, I only had Sunday to clean shop and cook so decided to go for the muffins recipes as I thought “Oh, they’re easy”…….. but I was wrong………..





I decided to do both the blueberry and the chocolate chip muffins as the mix was pretty much the same at the beginning and thought as I was tired and time was short, to halve the recipe and do half the batch as blueberry and half the batch as chocolate chip. I also found at 5pm that I only had enough muffin cases for half of them and decided (oh silly me) to just use normal cake cases for the others but a few more……

Well, we all have baking disasters and Sunday was mine. The muffins didn’t really rise, they were heavy and all stuck like glue to the cases. I decided that I would make them again, but on Monday after a good night’s sleep and a quick dash around Morrison’s to get more cases…blueberries…chocolate chips…etc, think you might be getting the picture….


SO Monday came and I got home from work, took the hairy hoolies for a quick dash in the rain , dried them and got out Mary Berry’s Bible. I read the recipe instructions more carefully and off I set. I had googled the muffins sticking and came upon this blogger who also had the same issues with Mary Berry’s recipe, so I was pleased I wasn’t the only one.http://risingtotheberry.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/chocolate-chip-american-muffins.html

Ok, batch one – the blueberry muffins seemed to go well and so did the second……set the timer and into the oven they went. The result?…………………….

Well they look much better than the first batch, but the test will be- do they stick to the case? Well, they need to cool totally so watch this space….

Week Eight- Fast Flapjacks- with chocolate chips!

Week eight and I have adjusted to mum living at a distance again.

I didn’t want to cook anything too taxing this week so chose flapjacks. Mary Berry’s Fast Flapjacks with the option of adding chocolate chips sounded like it fitted the bill.

Since I have started this challenge, I have 2 avid fans in the kitchen watching my every move and if I drop anything, well, they make sure it’s cleaned up quickly!

Ok, the recipe seemed simple enough, golden syrup, butter, Demerara sugar and porridge oats– vaguely healthy too- well the porridge oats say they are a “super food” any way!

The syrup, butter and sugar all went in the pan and melted together.

Then in went the porridge oats, a thorough stir in and left to cool for 10 minutes before adding the chocolate chips, then pressed into a tray bake tin and into the oven for 35 minutes.


All in all, another success, quick and easy and no hidden extras- such as preservatives that you get in shop bought things. I am also beginning to think more about buying things in the supermarket, before I stop and I think- ” I can make that!”.