Week Seventy Eight- Mary Berry’s Cornish Fairings & Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake

Week 78 already and as it has recently been my other mum’s birthday , I had given her a token with four choices of birthday cake (from  Mary Berry’s Baking Bible – of course) so that she could choose what birthday cake she got. Due to some recent ill health, no choice had been made and suddenly it’s hubby’s birthday too and so a joint birthday cake was the choice of the day otherwise we would be all caked out- literally!

Mary Berry's Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake

So I dipped into the Baking Bible with hubby and he chose the very best chocolate fudge cake. This seemed like an easy recipe to do so off I set. I added cocoa to some hot water and mixed it together then added all the other ingredients and mixed it thoroughly. I then split the mix between 2 greased and lined sandwich tins and popped them in the oven. The smell as they cooked was mouth watering. The cakes rose well and no dips in the middle today so the oven behaved today. To make the topping/filling Mary asks you to melt the chocolate with some cream and when cool, use as a filling and topping. So nearly 2 bars of dark chocolate and a pot of cream later, I had to spread some in the middle and over the top!

Kim's Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake

The second recipe- what to do as I had already made a cake that was going to be very rich and filling. I found the Cornish Fairings recipe and followed Mary’s recipe carefully.

Mary Berry's Cornish Fairings

I rubbed the butter into the flour and then added the sugar. I then heated the golden syrup and added this to the mix until it formed a dough. Mary then asks you to roll the dough into cherry size balls and bake for 10 minutes then remove the tray, bang it on a hard surface and return to the oven for 5 minutes. I found that the biscuits didn’t need to be banged although I did this anyway and that they burnt really easily and almost a quarter of mine were too far gone to be rescued. The one thing they did have going for them was that they had the biscuit snap when you broke them in half!

Kim's Cornish Fairings

So I want to wish a belated birthday to my other mum and I hope that you begin to feel better soon.

I would also like to wish my special hubby a happy birthday too. I know you didn’t get what you wanted for your birthday but we have each other and I love you very much…and so do the hairy hoolies!

Week Seventy Three- Mary Berry’s Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake & Almond Tuiles

Week seventy three and I should heed my words in a recent blog- read the recipe fully and carefully before attempting the bake! I dipped into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found the Swiss wild strawberry & walnut cake which sounded lovely.

Mary Berry's Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake

Stupidly I weighed everything into a bowl and mixed it and turned it into the tin as I kind of assumed that Mary’s recipe would be her usual throw everything in a bowl and mix affair- how wrong I was- but I ended up with a rather thick pancake!

Kim's failed attempt!

So take two- Mary Berry’s Swiss wild strawberry & walnut cake – even though hubby was trying to persuade me to leave the walnuts out. After CAREFULLY reading the recipe and begging three eggs from my other mum, I put the three eggs in a bowl with the sugar and whisked until mousse like and thick, leaving a trail. Then fold in the sifted flour and walnuts. Put into the tin and bake for 45 minutes.

This time the cake rose but despite being on the right temperature for the full amount of time and the oven door not being opened, it still rose less in the middle. But it was 100% better than the last effort.

Kim's Walnut Sponge

When cool, Mary asks you to slice the cake into three- with trepidation I grasped the knife and made my first cut. The top layer came away quite easily as there was a slight crust on the top but the next cut was harder as the sponge is very light but I managed it. In my local Morrisons I found a box of Spanish strawberries which looked heavenly and when I opened them , they smelled amazing and tasted just like strawberries from my childhood. I whipped double cream until it was nice and thick and spread cream onto each layer with some strawberries and finally the cream spread over the top and sides and finished with more strawberries.

Kim's Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake Kim's slice of Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake

The second bake I had left for a while as I had watched with amusement the contestants on the last Great British Bake Off making tuile biscuits with varied results .

The almond tuiles recipe was rather bizarre in that you creamed the egg and sugar together. In another bowl, add the egg white and mix the flour in. What Mary doesn’t tell you is that it goes like glue! Then mix all the ingredients together including the chopped almonds. Mary then asks you to put a teaspoon of the mixture onto the baking tray- she suggests four spoonfuls on each tray to allow for spreading. Only bake four at a time and this is really important.

Mary Berry's Almond Tuiles

Bake them until they are brown around the edges but not the middle. Remove from the oven, time is of the essence here. Allow to cool for a few seconds and use a spatula to lift and drape over a rolling pin to create the curve. Allow to cool on this before putting on a rack for final cooling.

Kim's Almond Tuiles

I was pleased with my tuiles and the curves I managed to get!

I usually listen to music while I am in my own little world baking in the kitchen. I can become a bit of a sports widow while there is rugby or formula one on and baking is a good way of filling this time. I have been listening to Robbie Williams album “Swings Both Ways “ and its brilliant. Such an eclectic mix of music, quite different to his normal style and I can highly recommend it. He is no Michael Buble (sigh…) but he has certainly given him a run for his money with this album!

Oh, and the countdown now stands at T – 122 recipes left to go….

Week Seventy One – Mary Berry’s Apricot Swiss Cakes & Lemon Cream Tartlets

Week seventy one and this week’s venture into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible found these two recipes. The first was the lemon cream tartlets. This tartlet has a shortbread base so I followed Mary’s recipe and made the shortbread and then had to wrap it in cling film and pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes.

 Mary Berry's Lemon Cream Tartlet

When the time was up, Mary asks you to roll out the shortbread and use a cutter to cut out 12 circles and put them into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Once cooked, Mary tells you to allow them to cool in the tin before attempting to get them out- wise advice, I only attempted one while they were warm and took part of the edge off!

Kim's shortbread cases

When they are completely cool, whip some double cream and add some lemon curd. This is the filling for the tartlet. Mary tells you one important thing here- only fill the tartlet when you are ready to eat it or the filling will make the crispy shortbread go soggy- and you do not want a soggy bottom here! Mary suggests adding a strawberry to the top. I decided to stick with the citrus theme and added a clementine slice.

Kim's lemon cream tartlet

The second recipe was the apricot swiss cakes. This is pretty much a mix all the ingredients together recipe and then add to a piping bag and pipe circles into 12 cake cases and bake for 15 minutes.

Mary Berry's Apricot Swiss Cakes

Once cooked and golden brown, allow to cool and add a spoon of apricot jam to each cake and sprinkle with icing sugar. These remind me very much of Viennese whirls.

Kim's Apricot Swiss Cakes

As usual, the hairy hoolies were in the kitchen while I was cooking. Hubby came in at the end to see if he could scavenge some remnants from the bowl- his favourite part and he allowed the hoolies to sample a little of the whipped cream- not all of it I hasten to add and then thank goodness for a dishwasher!

The Hairy Hoolies

Well I did a really silly thing just now- I decided to count how many recipes I had left to cook- I thought it would be significantly less by now but no …. I still have …..126 recipes to go….but at least I now have a countdown!

On a lighter note- Mary Berry is back on the television this week- yay!