Week Seventy Five- Mary Berry’s Date & Chocolate Loaf & Iced Chocolate Tray Bake

Week seventy five and I sat on Saturday with my coffee and my well used copy of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible to see what I fancied doing this weekend. I chose Mary Berry’s date & chocolate loaf firstly as I knew that my other mum would particularly like this and what else could I give her for Mother’s Day?!

Mary Berry's Date & Chocolate Loaf

Mary asks you to soak the dates in hot water for 30 minutes. Melt the chocolate and roughly chop the brazil nuts- they pinged every where! Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and pour in the egg and milk then everything else and mix well together. Pour the mix into a lined loaf tin and sprinkle some brazil nuts and sugar on the top. Put in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours.You might need to cover the top of it towards the end of the bake to prevent over-browning.

Kim's Date & Chocolate Loaf

The second recipe was one of Mary’s tray bakes which always go down well in our house.

Mary Berry's Iced Chocolate Loaf

Apart from blending the hot water and cocoa together, it’s one of Mary’s usual throw everything in together and mix. Pour into a tin , level it and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin.

Once cool, melt some chocolate- I must admit, that Mary suggests dark chocolate but I went with galaxy for this topping! Beat in some icing sugar and pour over the cake. Mary suggests covering the top of the cake with some melted apricot jam first which I did.

Kim's Iced Chocolate Tray Bake

Once set, cut the cake into squares and serve.

So , 118 recipes to go, but there will now be a break for a week or maybe two as I go into hospital soon to have a procedure that should have been done last year. I will try and blog perhaps about the recovery and how I found it and also about my favourite bakes of the challenge so far.

Finally I would like to wish 2 special ladies a very happy mother’s day with love always. xx

Happy Mother's Day

Week Twenty Seven – Mary Berry’s Chocolate Eclairs & Profiteroles

Choux pastry was the order of the day this weekend and as both Mary Berry‘s eclairs and profiteroles are made form the same pastry method, I decided to make both…or I will never get to the end of this challenge!

Mary Berry's Chocolate EclairsMary Berry's Profiteroles






I read Mary’s baking bible carefully and got out a medium size saucepan, and weighed out the butter and measured the water and put the pan on a low heat. Once the butter had melted and the mix was beginning to boil, I added the flour and mixed it together until it formed a dough ball that came away from the sides of the pan.

Kim's choux pastry mix 1

Mary tells you to allow it to cool a little before adding the 2 large eggs and then mix it together to form “a smooth shiny paste” and I used my electric mixer for this.

Kim's choux pastry mix 2

Then the fun part, trying to put this lovely mix into a piping bag without making a mess- I failed dismally at this part…but what’s a little mess when you are cooking? Mary recommends using a 1cm piping nozzle, I didn’t have one of these, so used the largest plain nozzle I had, the eclairs kind of resembled caterpillars!! Anyhow, I piped some eclairs and some balls for the profiteroles and then into the oven they went, on a higher temperature for part of the bake and then a lower temperature for the rest of it.I took the goodies out of the oven and cut them to allow the steam out.

Kim's eclairs & profiteroles

Then while they were cooling I whipped the cream and made the chocolate icing topping. Although Mary uses dark chocolate for this, I don’t like dark chocolate very much so this is where I decided to put my own twist on it- with GALAXY chocolate! It looks much lighter than the traditional topping but it was very yummy!

Kim's profiteroles with galaxy toppingKim's eclair with galaxy topping