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!

 

 

Week Ten – Orange Wholemeal Victoria Loaf

Week ten, so what to choose to bake this week?  Well, I know one of my previous posts told the tale of the scalded hand……well this week has been influenced by the fact that I have strained the collateral ligaments in my thumb.  It doesn’t sound much but I couldn’t even take the plastic screw lid off the milk without excruciating pain so I took myself to get it looked at and it needed to be strapped and I have to take regular ibuprofen and try not to use it.

SO with this in mind, I sat with a cup of tea and Mary Berry’s Bible and looked through to see what I could make where my mixer could do all the work and this is what I came up with. The only bit I needed help with was grating an orange for the rind and that’s where my angel of a hubby came to the rescue – what a star!

So, I (carefully) weighed everything out, stuck it under the mixer and hey presto – one mix with no fuss. I put it into the tin, Mary does say it doesn’t look like it will fill the tin and she was right!

 

 

Timer on , 40 minutes later, this is what came out. I must say, it rose beautifully, was a great golden colour and the aroma wafting upwards was lovely.

 

It needed a topping when it was cool, of softened butter, icing sugar and marmalade. I think even Paddington Bear would approve of this recipe!

 

 

 

I am going to start looking now at other recipes i can use the mixer to do all the work as I get the feeling my hand will need to heal for a while yet……..sigh.