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…

42

Week One Hundred & Eleven- Mary Berry’s Wholemeal Sultana & Apricot Rock Cakes & Singing Hinnie

Week 111 and another late blog, think this is the theme for 2015! I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and wanted to find some bakes that were fairly plain and simple and the wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes and singing hinnie certainly fitted this brief.

I began with the wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes and this was a simple Mary recipe that was a throw every ingredient in together and mix. Then use 2 teaspoons to put rock sized pieces on baking trays, sprinkle with a little sugar and bake.

Mary Berry's wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes

Mary suggests as they have wholemeal flour in , that they are eaten fairly quickly as they will dry out but I kept them under my baking dome and they lasted for several days without drying out.

Kim's wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes

The second recipe was Mary’s singing hinnie, a northern recipe. It is like a giant drop scone and Mary tells you that it makes a singing noise while it cooks. If it did- I couldn’t hear it!

Mary Berry's singing hinnie

I had read the Rising to the Berry blog and remember it said that this was not one of Anneliese’s favourite recipes. I must admit that it seemed to go well for me- maybe because I divided my mix into two pieces and rolled each one out into a round so it was the thickness Mary suggests and it fitted in my big frying pan as I don’t have a griddle. Mary suggests it is best eaten warm, split and buttered and put back together- she wasn’t wrong, it was delicious and certainly a recipe that I would consider doing again.

Kim's singing hinnie

The Comic Relief Great British Bake Off continues and I watched last week’s with glee. I have missed the GBBO and this certainly has been entertaining. Episode two was very entertaining. If you missed it, you can see it here. Please consider buying the recipe book to help you raise some money for your Comic Relief Bake Off.

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off

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 Thirty Three – Mary Berry’s Cheese Scone Round

After the over indulence of chocolate and big cakes of the last few weeks, I searched Mary Berry‘s baking bible in search of something savoury and found this recipe that I had yet to cover.

Mary Berry's Cheese Scone Round recipe

The recipe seemed easy enough and Mary’s instructions as always are clear and concise. I assembled all the ingredients as instructed and ended up with a scone dough that Mary suggests shaping into a round and dividing into 6 sections. This is where I added my own twist and decided to cut them out as usual scone shapes which I think looks nicer and is easier to store. I managed to cut out 9 scone shapes , sprinkled the top of them with the leftover grated cheese and popped them in the oven.

The smell as they were cooking was mouthwatering! After the pinger went off, I had a look at them and they were a beautiful golden colour and pretty even so I was pleased with them.

Kim's cheese scones

I am afraid to say that one didn’t get to cool off totally, before it was sampled but I maintain that this is the cook’s perk!

Week Thirty One – Mary Berry’s Special Shortbread Biscuits

This week I wanted a quick easy bake, I will tell you why a little later…. so I decided to do Mary Berry‘s Special Shortbread Biscuits as I always have a weakness for shortbread.

Mary Berry's Special Shorbread Biscuits

I needed just three ingredients for this, plain flour, butter and light muscovado sugar. Mary “just” says put the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter and form into a dough….sounds easy huh? Well, I tried ….and I tried…..but it was so crumbly , and I managed to get it into a dough but then it fell apart when I tried to roll it out. Luckily, I thought I would take a peek at Rising To the Berry blog to see how Anneliese got on with this. I was thankful that she struggled with the crumbly mix too. I eventually put the mixing bowl in the microwave and put it on high for 10 seconds. I allowed the butter-which had been at room temperature already to soften a little further and keep the dough together. I managed to roll it out and cut out the biscuits. Even with the smallest cutter, I struggled to get the amount Mary says out of this. At the end of the recipe Mary recommends other varieties including cherry and walnut. They both sound delicious but when your hubby is one of the tasters and doesn’t like either of these, I had a little look in my cooking box and found pistashio nuts. I thought perhaps one or two biscuits topped with pistashios might be different but again hubby wasn’t so keen.

Into the oven they went and I set the timer. After the timer went ping, I checked them and to my surprise they were all a golden brown with a fairly even bake so I was pleased! I will even go so far as to say that the pistashio shortbread was lovely!

Kim's special shortbread biscuits

Next week is hubby’s birthday so I feel another Mary Berry “special” cake coming on.

Week Twenty Three – Mary Berry’s Traditional Parkin

Parkin?? Until today, I had only vaguely heard of it and didn’t really know what it was or it’s origins. According to Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, it is ” a favourite from the North of England“……this got me curious so I tried to dig a little further into the history of this gingerbread type of cake.

I found a few variations of it’s “history” but little seems to be known about where it started other than- “Parkin is a traditional gingerbread eaten in Autumn, in Yorkshire. It is a sweet and sticky cake that is perfect for long winter evenings. Often associated with NorthYorkshire, particularly the Leeds and York regions, the origins of parkin are not known. It is also baked in other Northern regions such as Lancashire. Parkin is a moist and sticky cake which is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, but can be eaten all year round. Guy Fawkes was born in Yorkshire, and this tasty gingerbread, which originated in that area, is traditionally baked in November to celebrate the foiling of his plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament!The principal ingredients of parkin are white flour, oats, black treacle or molasses, butter and ginger. All these ingredients were important constituents of Northern, working-class diet in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, so it is likely that parkin evolved in that period. It is a cheap and filling cake that is distinguishable for its dark colour and lovely rich consistency.”

So , with Mary’s recipe in mind, I melted the butter with the black treacle and dark sugar. I had put the dry ingredients of flour, spices and porridge oats in a bowl and in a jug had the milk, egg and bicarbonate of soda. Once the butter and treacle had dissolved the sugar, I let it cool and then mixed all the ingredients together. Into the prepared tin it went and into the oven for an hour.

Mary Berry's Traditional Parkin

My dogs were hanging around drooling, like they always do when I am baking but they were out of luck , no drips, no bowl to lick as they have both put weight on and need to watch their waist lines!!

PING went the timer after an hour and I took the parkin out, it was dark and firm (!) and I left it in it’s tin for Mary’s recommended 10 minutes, then put it on the cooling rack. When it was cool, I cut it into squares and have put it away for a week as apparently it will be much nicer…..according to Mary!

Kim's parkin

Although it’s not November, as is traditional, it’s bloomin’ cold outside, we have coal in our fuel burner and the dogs are laying on their bed in front of it- I think that qualifies!

Week fourteen – Mary Berry’s Very Special Scones & Special Fruit Scones

It’s been a very busy week and an even busier weekend and I wasn’t sure I was going to get time to bake this week but I managed to find time – at the expense of the ironing…..oh well……(smile).

 

 

 

I thought scones would be fairly quick and easy this week and the recipes for Mary Berry’s special scones and special fruit scones were so similar, I kind of cheated and made the dough, halved it and added the fruit, so covering two recipes in one week. Otherwise, I will still be at this challenge a year from now!

Any way, the mix was straight forward, the dough was sticky, as Mary explains and it turned out very sticky. I found my fluted cutter and cut out my first batch. I placed those on my baking tray and then rolled out the second fruited batch and then into the oven they went.

Mary recommends 10-15 minutes for the bake and having made a few of her recipes, and often had to add a few minutes, I set the timer for 15 minutes…….oh silly me! Well Mary says they should be risen and golden, I think “golden” could loosely describe the colour of them! I think they might be a bit crunchy!