Week One Hundred & Twenty Four – Mary Berry’s Lemon Griestorte & Petits Fours Aux Amandes

Week 124 and my Mary Berry Baking Bible is shrinking rapidly in terms of what recipes are left to bake! I dived into it and surfaced clutching her lemon griestorte and the petits fours aux amandes.

I began with the lemon griestorte. Mary tells you that it’s made with semolina and ground almonds instead of flour and it has a light but short texture- whatever that means!! I separated the three eggs that the recipe asks for and put the yolks and the sugar in one bowl and whisked them together, then added the lemon juice and finally the lemon rind, semolina and ground almonds. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold into the mixture and pour into the tin . Pop in the oven for 35 minutes and then once golden brown, allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes and turn out. Once cool, cut the cake in half.Mary Berry's lemon gristorte

Whisk the cream until it holds its shape and fold in the lemon curd and sandwich the cake together with it and dust the top with icing sugar. Try to use a good quality lemon curd to give it that lovely lemon tang! I usually shop at my local Morrisons and brought their Signature Sicilian Lemon curd which is really yummy!

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The second recipe was Mary’s petits fours aux amandes. Mary says they make very special presents, I wasn’t that keen but another recipe under my belt.

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The recipe was simple enough, I had to whisk some egg whites, fold in ground almonds, sugar and almond extract and put the mix into a piping bag. Pipe rosettes onto a baking tray and top with a small piece of cherry and bake. When golden, mix some sugar and milk together and lightly brush over the petits fours.

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The countdown continues and has now reached….

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One of the chief tasters brought me a little gift recently, some beautiful measuring spoons. Mine are the usual plastic ones but these are rather special, so thank you and much love xIMG_0588 IMG_0589

Week One Hundred & Twenty Three – Mary Berry’s Strawberry Dessert Cake & Crunchy Top Lemon Cake

Week 123, and my usual dip into Mary berry‘s Baking Bible proved troublesome. I decided on the recipes but divided the bake over the week so that we were not inundated with a mass of cakes that might end up stale and in the food recycling bin.

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I chose Mary’s strawberry dessert cake as my first bake . I followed Mary’s recipe carefully and mixed the sponge up carefully. I poured half the mixture into the tin and then sliced and put strawberries on to of this and then poured the rest of the mix on top and levelled the cake. I sprinkled flaked almonds on the top and then baked it for about 1 1/2 hours and then left it to cool a while before turning it out.

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Mary suggests that you serve it warm with cream and who am I to disappoint ?!

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The second recipe later in the week was Mary’s crunchy top lemon cake. Luckily this is one of Mary’s all in one cakes and so it was an easy bake to put together. I baked it in the oven and then once it was cooked, I poured the crunchy lemony sugary topping on and left it to cool.

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It seemed aged before it was cool enough to turn the cake out and the lemony smell was tantalising!Kim's crunchy top lemon cake

I have been following Mary’s new series ” Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites” , it has given me some great ideas for general cooking and some new twists on some old favourite recipes. I have also enjoyed watching her first fly fishing adventure.

The countdown continues and I have broken the 30 barrier now and it has reached…..

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Week One Hundred & Twenty – Mary Berry’s Baked Apple Lemon Sponge & Wholemeal Ginger Cake

Week 120 – phew that’s a lot of baking weeks and I delved into Mary Berry‘s ever shrinking Baking Bible and found her wholemeal ginger cake and baked apple lemon sponge- another hot pudding.

Mary’s wholemeal ginger cake was a tray bake and after melting all the liquid ingredients together with the sugar, all Mary asks you to do is to then blend the liquid with the dry ingredients and bake. She does suggest you put the tray bake tin in a roasting tin and I am glad I did as mine over-spilled and would have made a mess of my oven! I set the timer and began to read what to do on the next recipe.

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After the pinger went, i took a lovely gingery brown sponge out of the oven and let it a cool a short while before turning it out onto a rack to finish cooling. Mary then suggests you use lemon juice and icing sugar to make the icing, I decided to go with the juice from the ginger jar and cut up some ginger to decorate it with. This ginger cake has a twist in that it has some marmalade in it and you can definitely taste the orange in this cake. This was yummy and a tray bake I would be happy to repeat.

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The second recipe was Mary’s baked apple lemon sponge. This is a very rich pudding involving oodles (technical term) of cream, apple slices and lemon curd.  The next step of the recipe is to make a sponge mixture which then goes on top of the apple/lemon mix.

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The pyrex dish then goes into the oven and bakes for about 40 minutes until the sponge is golden brown. I had to give mine another ten minutes or so as mine was still pale. Then Mary asks you to cover the dish with foil and bake for another 45 minutes or so.

I took a very lemony smelling dish out of the oven and it looked okay but smelled better. Again, like last week, it very quickly sank in the middle and didn’t look much but it tasted better than it looked. Again, I am undecided as to whether i would make this pudding again….

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The countdown is now ticking loudly and has reached the heady heights of….

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As the weather has got better, my thoughts have turned to my garden and trying to get it into some kind of shape for the summer for hubby , me and the dogs to enjoy. I spent most of the day on Saturday in the garden, cutting the grass, putting in edging stones and cementing them in and laying some pieces of turf left over from the Chief Tasters garden turfing . I didn’t think I had done that much but my back is telling me otherwise….If anyone has any good tips for dealing with a sore lower back/sciatica, please tell me your secrets.

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My poor mum is seriously struggling with a severe case of sciatica at the moment and as she is a few hours away, all I can do is support her by phone . I want to dedicate this post to my mum and hope she feels better soon x

get well soon mum

Week One Hundred & Seventeen – Mary Berry’s Angel Sponge Cheesecake & Marmalade Cake

Week 117 and I now delve into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and flip back and forth through the pages looking for bakes I haven’t yet done which is getting smaller by the week!

I chose Mary’s Angel Sponge Cheesecake , I must say I haven’t really liked the baked cheesecakes that I have made and at least this one was not baked but is sounded different. Mary asks you to make a sponge first.  She asks you to beat the eggs and sugar together until it leaves a trail, then sift in the flour and fold in lightly. Put this mix in the prepared tin and bake.

Mary Berry's Angel Sponge Cheesecake

Once baked to a golden brown, allow to cool and then cut in half.

Kin's Angel Sponge

Please one half in the bottom of a deep cake tin, cut side up. Mary then asks you to make the cheesecake filling by beating the sugar and butter together, add the egg yolks , orange rind, orange juice and cheese and mix well. Whip the cream and fold into the cheese mixture, whisk the egg whites and fold them in- quite complicated! Spoon the mix into the tin onto the sponge and level, lay the other half of the sponge on top, cut side down. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge. Now Mary asks you to leave in the fridge for about 4 hours then remove from the tin and serve. Now after four hours, mine was nowhere near set and if I had tried to remove it, I would have had a puddle. At this point, I did what I usually do and looked at Rising to The Berry to see what Anneliese did and having read her blog, decided to leave mine in overnight. Even though I did this, when I turned mine out, it still sagged and when we tasted it, it was more like a mousse between two sponges.

Kim's Angel Sponge Cheesecake

The second recipe was Mary’s Marmalade Cake. I nicknamed it “Paddington Cake” as Paddington loved marmalade. I very carefully chopped washed and dried all the cherries this time and added them to all the other ingredients and mixed well, thankfully it was one of Mary’s all in one recipes.

Mary Berry's Marmalade Cake

I lined a loaf tin with one of my 99p Shop liners, poured the mix in and put it in the oven to bake. I did observe Mary’s warning that it you were heavy handed with the marmalade, the fruit would all sink to the bottom as it would slacken the mixture. Once baked, allow to cool and then remove from the tin and warm some marmalade and brush it over the top. I must say that despite the amount of marmalade in it and on top, it still tasted like a fruit cake, the orange didn’t come through too much.

Kim's Marmalade Cake

I had mentioned my blog might be a little late as indeed it is . This was because I was helping my chief tasters finish their garden by leveling the last bit ready for turfing. They brought a digger in and I had a go, it was great fun but harder than it looked. I was “chief skip leveller” – as in, when they dumped the earth into the skip, I made sure it was evenly distributed and the maximum space was used- with my trusty old Woolworths rake!

Kim's digger fun

I have now reached the heady countdown of…….forty

 

 

Mary’s Baking Bible has 19 sections to it and I have now completed all the recipes in the following sections:

“Cupcakes and Other Small Bakes”

” Traybakes and Flapjacks”

“Shortbreads and Bars”

“Baking for Children”

“Tarts and Pastries”

“Fruit Breads”

thumbs up

 

 

Week One Hundred & Sixteen – Mary Berry’s English Cherry Cake & Mississippi Mud Pie

Week 116 and strangely enough I find myself blogging about this bake on the same day that I actually tackled it! Wonders will never cease! I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and found these two recipes- her English cherry cake and Mississippi Mud pie.

I began with the Mississippi mud pie. It began with crushing digestive biscuits, combining with melted butter to create the base. I always find Mary is a bit stingy in this part so I doubled the amount of biscuits and butter and I felt it was just about enough. I pressed it into the tin and got on with the next step of the recipe.

Mary Berry's Mississippi Mud pie

Mary asks you to put the chocolate, butter and water into a pan and melt gently. In another bowl, whisk six eggs (!) with the single cream and dark sugar and add the chocolate mix when melted and cooled slightly. Whisk all together, pour onto the base and cook. One word of warning, if you fancy tackling this bake, if you are using a loose bottomed tin, then stand it on a baking tray as it may leak slightly. Once baked, Mary tells you to leave it in the tin until cool. It will recede from the edges and sink/settle slightly. Once cool, add some whipped cream to the top and serve.

Kims mississippi mud pi side view

The second recipe was Mary Berry’s English cherry cake. One of the first things Mary tells you is to quarter the cherries, wash and dry thoroughly. I did all of this and covered the cherries in a fine layer of flour.

Mary Berry's English Cherry Cake

Put all the other ingredients in a bowl andmix thoroughly, then fold in the cherries so hopefully they don’t all go to the bottom. Put the mix into a lined cake tin, I chose a square one rather than Mary’s recommendation of a circular one. Bake for the recommended time.

The cake came out well but I was disappointed to see that my cherries occupied the lower half of the cake rather than being distributed evenly- must try harder!

Kim's english cherry cake

The Easter weekend is coming up but I am going to be a little busy so the bake and the blog may be a little later than the usual weekend.

The countdown has now reached the heady heights of…

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Week One Hundred & Fifteen – Mary Berry’s Battenburg Cake & Glazed Fruit Tartlets

Week 115 and as is becoming usual, i am blogging about this bake a week behind, but I will also be blogging about this week’s bake after this so I will be all caught up if you get my meaning ..or ahead of myself even! I delved into Mary Berry‘s ever shrinking baking bible to find some recipes and found her Battenburg cake and the glazed fruit tartlets.

Mary Berry's Battenburg

I began with the battenburg cake, I think I had put off doing this recipe for so long because it’s one of the few cakes that I really don’t like but luckily my hubby and the chief tasters do. Mary asks you to do one of her all in once recipes for the cake mix- with a bit of a twist. Once the cake mix is done, put half of the cake mix into one half of the tin, then add red food dye to the rest of the mix, blend in and put the pink mix on the other side of the cake tin. I thought this would be really tricky but actually it wasn’t too bad but I was worried about how it would look when I cut into it.

KIm's battenburg mix

Mary gives you two options for the marzipan, either make your own or buy a ready made pack and I must confess that that’s exactly what i did, ready made is fine with me- I really don’t like marzipan anyway! Once the sponge was cooked and cool, Mary asks you to cut the cake into sections and put together in a checker board style, held together with warmed apricot jam. Then cover the cake with the jam and wrap in marzipan. Finally score the marzipan and hey presto- one battenburg cake. I was pleased with the way it looked but can’t tell you what it tasted like!

Kim's battenburg

The second recipe was for Mary’s glazed fruit tartlets. Mary asks you to make the pastry, put it in the fridge for half an hour then line four tartlet tins and blind bake until golden brown.

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When the tartlet cases are cool, put some whipped cream in the bottom, fill with fruit- I chose strawberries and tried to make them look pretty. Finally glaze with warmed jam – now these were quite yummy!

Kim's fruit tartlet

The countdown seems to be gathering pace now and we have not got to…

44

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!

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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!

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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