Week One Hundred & Thirty Six- Mary Berry’s Gateau Saint Honore & Chocolate Mousse Cake

Week 136 and I am catching up with my blogs all in one go….this week’s dip into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible brought forth her gateau saint honore and her chocolate mouse cake.

I began with Mary’s chocolate mousse cake and had read the rising to the berry blog to see how this had gone for Annalise – my inspiration for doing this challenge. I read her blog carefully and set off.

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I halved all the ingredients so not to make too much and began with the sponge, another whisk the eggs and sugar together and then fold in the flour. This time I made extra sure that it was well whisked first and left a good trail. I poured the mix into two small tins and put them into bake. When the time went, I was really pleased to see well risen sponges and let them cool. I then put them on a cooling rack and got on with the next stage.

The mousse was interesting to make and I read the recipe really carefully and melted the chocolate with some brandy while sprinkling some gelatine on some water to begin to “sponge”. Once the chocolate had melted, I put the gelatine bowl over the hot water to allow this to dissolve gently.  I then mixed the egg yolks into the chocolate mix, whipped the cream , folded this in and stirred in the gelatine. Finally I whipped the egg whites and folded them in.  The next job was to slice the cakes in half and return the bottom half to the tins, fill with the mousse, add the sponge top and put in the fridge. I left mine overnight.

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The next morning I removed the cakes from their tins and the mousse was solid. I whipped some cream to cover the cakes and decorated with chocolate curls.

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The second recipe was a really long one – the gateau saint honore. Mary asks you to make patte sucree pastry and when ready, roll it out and cut out a 7″ circle and bake.

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The second part of the recipe was to make choux pastry and pipe out a 7″ circle and small walnut sized shapes. Bake these according to the recipe and prick them after baking to allow the steam to escape. The next part of the recipe was making the cream patissiere which involves several steps too.  I boiled my milk and vanilla, I beat in the eggs, sugar and flour and returned to the heat and cooked until thickened and then poured into a bowl to cool with cling film on to prevent a skin forming.This recipe was proving to be challenging and I wasn’t even halfway there yet and hoped it would be worth the effort. Once the mix was cool, I had to whip some cream and mix this in with the mix and then chill. Once this was chilled, I put it into a piping bag and filled the choux pastry. Finally I followed Mary’s recipe for the caramel- tricky stuff and began to assemble this dreaded thing!I started with the pastry base and put the choux ring on top, i dipped the small choux buns into the caramel and stuck them in a ring around the edge and filled the middle with the rest of the creme patissiere.

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It was not a thing of beauty but it was another recipe ticked off…..the count down had now reached….2

Which means that next week is my final two bakes and this amazing journey on my challenge to complete all the bakes in Mary’s Baking Bible will finally be at an end.

finish line ahead

I have left the New Year tipsy celebration cake as one of the recipes and …. the recipe that filled the Great British Bake Off contestants with dread…the “BIN-GATE” of all recipes….the Baked Alaska!

The 1 & 3/4 hairy hoolies are in the swing of the baking….but the pesky puppy did manage to run off with a crem pat filled choux bun! They liked the cream though….

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and now seem to be becoming good cuddle buddies too.

Cuddle buddies

Tune in next week for the final of Kim’s Cake Challenge!

you can do it too

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Week One Hundred & Thirty Five- Mary Berry’s Quick Boiled Fruit Cake & Hot Chocolate Souffles

Week 135 and the end is nearly in sight now…and the puppy is getting bigger…no excuses still, I now had the last few recipes marked with book marks and dipped with some sadness into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and came out with her quick boiled fruit cake and chocolate souffles. I was in awe of the souffles as I had watched them on the Great British Bake Off and it did fill me with dread….

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Anyhow, I began with the strangely names quick boiled fruit cake. The main stay of this recipe is condensed milk which you pour into a saucepan and add the butter, fruit and cherries. Mary asks you to heat slowly until the butter has melted and then simmer well for five minutes and then set aside.Measure out the dry ingredients, add the eggs and fruit mix and stir well and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours and allow to cool in the tin, then tip out. This cake was quite a contrast from the rich fruit cake and was quite sweet in comparison. I must say I loved this and would make it again.

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Now for the hot chocolate souffles. I prepared my ramekin dishes and then began melting the chocolate. I added the milk then removed this from the heat.

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In another pan, I melted some butter and stirred in the flour, cooked on a low heat for a short while and then stirred in the chocolate milk, brought it to the boil until thickened and then left it to cool. Finally I beat the egg yolks into the cooled mix, added the sugar, whisked the egg whites and folded this into the mix. Finally, I poured the mix between the souffle dishes and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes. I made a quick call to the chief tasters who were present with spoons at the ready when the souffles came out of the oven.

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All I can say is thank you to the Great British Bake off, I think watching the contestants go through it before me helped and they were rather tasty!

The countdown is getting scarily low….it’s now at the head heights of….

4

almost there

The puppy is ever growing and now joins the other hairy hoolie in greeting me when I bring the shopping back but he insists then on laying on all the bags! At the rate he is growing, I guess  I know have to say 1 & 3/4 hairy hoolies at the moment!

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Week One Hundred & Thirty Three – Mary Berry’s American Chocolate Wedding Cake

Week 133 and this week I had to try and see if Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible would come up with a cracking recipe to suit the occasion. It was the Chief Tasters Golden Wedding Anniversary so I found the perfect recipe. Mary’s American Chocolate Wedding Cake.

golden wedding anniversary

When you read this recipe, you realise this is a MONSTER of a recipe and if followed to the letter, the three tiered cake would feed over 100 people. Now I made a decision to scale this down to a realistic level. I chose the middle tier sized cake to make and split the mix between three sized tins to create the tiers. Even making this one mix, involved melting obscene amounts of chocolate ! I followed Mary’s recipe carefully and carefully separated the eggs and beat the yolks with one whole egg and the sugar, then whisked the egg whites until thick and light then added the melted chocolate and ground almonds and a taste of coffee. the mixture did not want to fold into together and it took a little while to wrestle this mix into shape! I then poured it into my tins and waited for them to bake.

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The sponges came out well and I left them to cool. I then melted yet more chocolate and butter for the covering and drenched each sponge in this, smoothed them as much as a I could with a palette knife and stacked them. I was fairly pleased with my miniature version of this enormous cake. i decorated mine with golden edible bits and gave it to the chief tasters as part of their anniversary present…as their main present is still ” in production” and yet to be dispatched. I would like to wish you both a very happy anniversary with much love x

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We enjoyed an amazing meal with them to help them celebrate.

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The 1 1/2 hairy hoolies seem to have settled into a relationship of sorts and he is such a character! He is certainly keeping us on our toes and we are certainly sleeping well at night…in exhaustion!

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The Countdown is now at the heady heights of ….

eight left to go

 

The recipes left to go are:

Mary’s Rich Fruit Cake, Quick Boiled Fruit Cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, New Year Tipsy Cake, Gateau Saint Honore, Gateau Moka aux Amandes, hot chocolate souffles and….the “bin-gate” of the last Great British Bake Off- the BAKED ALASKA!!!!

Week One Hundred & Thirty Two – Mary Berry’s Walnut & Raisin Loaf & Cranberry & Apricot Fruit Cake

Week 132 and again apologies for the tardiness of the posting but losing our beloved hairy hoolie Bailey, dampened spirits and moral and a lot has happened since then…but more of that later. I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and surfaced after a brief browse with the last of the bread bakes, the walnut & raisin loaf and the cranberry& apricot fruit cake.

I began with the walnut & raisin loaf as this was going to take a while.I mixed together the flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, water and yeast into a sticky dough and by hand too this time, back to traditional methods for this last yeast recipe. I kneaded it for a while and then put it in an oiled bowl and covered it and left it to rise. While this was doing it’s thing, I weighed out the walnuts  and began the tedious task of chopping them, then weighed out the raisins and when the dough had finished rising, I had to knock it back and add the raisins and walnuts and divide the mixture into two loaves. I placed them on a baking tray and covered them with a bag and left them for a final rise. I then sent them to the chief taster’s to bake as my other bake was in the oven for a long slow cook and these guys needed a hot quicker bake.

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The loaves arrived back hot out of the oven after about 25 minutes and finished their cooling here. I then sent one loaf back to the chief taster with half the other bake.

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The second recipe was the cranberry and apricot fruit loaf. Mary tells you at the beginning of the recipe that this cake is robust enough to pack for a picnic but could also make a great alternative to a christmas cake.  I had to begin by draining a large tin of pineapple , coarsely chopping it and drying it as much as possible which involved lots of kitchen roll. I then had to cut the apricots into pieces and chop the almonds. Finally I was ready to mix all the ingredients together and pour into a tin and level the top. I didn’t decorate the top with whole blanched almonds as suggested- I forgot!!!

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The cake baked for about 2 1/2 hours and finally was ready, I left it cool as Mary suggested before turning it out. I got great compliments from the chief tasters who thought it made a really tasty fruit cake and dropped big hints about it being nice as a christmas cake!

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I have still been following the Great British Bake Off but with a heavier heart than before , and I have been keeping a close eye on Paul, Tamal and Nadiya and would be happy to see them in the top three.

As you may have read in my last blog, we were devastated to lose our beloved Bailey so quickly. The poem, The Rainbow Bridge gives us both comfort and hope that we will be reunited with all our dogs when it’s our time.

rainbow bridge

The day after we lost Bailey, we went to see our friends who had bred both our dogs to tell them about Bailey as they have his mum and his brother. We couldn’t tell them on the phone and there were lots of hugs, tears and tea. It’s funny how things happen. Three months before, they had another litter of puppies that we enjoyed spending time with and helping to socialise and then we waved them off to their new homes. The day we lost Bailey, they had contact from one of the new owners asking them to take back one of the puppies as they were struggling to cope with him. Our friends knew we were still raw and heartbroken about our Bailey but asked if we would consider having him. We went away and spoke lots about it. Our other hoolie was very down and quiet as she had never been an only dog and was missing him lots…as were we. We came to the decision that when they collected the puppy, that they should bring him back via us to see how the two of them got on….and he never left. We now have 1 1/2 hairy hoolies ! He is not a replacement for Bailey- Bailey can never be replaced, he will always hold a special place in our lives. However, the new young hoolie is helping with the heartache as he needs a lot of attention. He is learning about my baking challenge already and has learned that the oven gloves are fair game!

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The count down continues as is now….9 recipes left to bake!

Week One Hundred & Thirty One – Mary Berry’s Buche De Noel & Old Fashioned Seed Cake

Week 131 and I apologize, I know that is has been longer than usual for either a bake or blog or both and I will explain why further at the end of this blog.

I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible with less than my usual gusto and came out the the old fashioned seed cake and the Buche de Noel. I began with te Buche de Noel which involved making the swiss roll recipe again

Buche De Noel

. Not an easy bake to make/roll and I had an issue in that I wasn’t keen on making a christmas log in August…..so I took the recipe and decided to give it a Kim twist and created a Buche D’ete or a summer log. I made a plain sponge swiss roll, filled it with lemon curd and cream.

kim's swiss roll

I covered it with freshly whipped double cream and decorated it with mini lemon and orange sweet slices. I loved how refreshing it was and I was pleased with it.

Kim's Buche d'ete

The second recipe was Mary’s old fashioned seed cake. This was a sponge cake recipe with caraway seeds and mixed peel. It was one of Mary’s all in one cakes and the caraway seeds revived memories of my Nan baking cakes with this seed and the unique smell and taste of caraway.

Mary Berry's Old Fashioned Seed Cake

Once baked, it was a light sponge with a unique taste. A bit like marmite, you will either love it or hate it, there is no in between!

Kim's old fashioned seed cake

I have been avidly watching The Great British Bake Off and have been predicting the person who leaves with good accuracy, as the numbers begin to dwindle I like to place my bet on the winner!

Now it is with a heavy heart where I need to share some sad news. I have frequently mentioned my two hairy hoolies and how they watch me bake each weekend. Well my big boy had a sudden illness that he was unable to recover from and we sadly had to say goodbye and let him cross the rainbow bridge to join Rosie, Tai and my Dad to await us to join them. We are devastated and heartbroken and all thoughts of baking went out of the window as we nursed him through his final time. Many tears have been shed as he was more than a pet- he was part of our family and leaves a  huge hole in our lives. xx

pawprints on our hearts

pooped pooch

The countdown has now reached….11

Week One Hundred & Eighteen – Mary Berry’s Death By Chocolate Cake & Swiss Roll

Week 118 and when I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible this week I was looking for appropriate birthday cake for my other mum and one of my chief tasters. Death by Chocolate definitely seemed to fit the bill!

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This is a seriously chocolatey cake and the first step Mary asks you to do is grease and line 2 sandwich tins. The sponge mix has a lot of cocoa powder in it as well as golden syrup and vegetable oil. I followed the step by step instructions for mixing and poured the mix into the tins and put them in the oven. When the pinger went, I took out 2 beautiful chocolate sponges and put them on the airing racks to cool. Mary then asks you to cut each sponge in half so this cake will have 4 layers….gulp.

Next step was to tackle the icing. This is where the “death” bit comes in. Mary asks you to melt 450 g or 1 lb of dark chocolate! I have said before that I really am not a fan of dark chocolate but most of my tasters are so I compromised with 3/4 dark chocolate and 1/4 milk chocolate to try and take the bitterness of the dark chocolate away. Once the chocolate has been melted, Mary then asks you to add the 200g of butter to it and allow it to melt into the chocolate…… ( cholesterol comes to mind….lol) . Mary then asks you to sandwich each layer of the cake together with this icing and then stand the cake on a wire rack and use the rest of the icing over the top and sides of the cake! I gave it a liberal covering but still had some icing left over. Mary asks you to leave it to set then decorate with coarsely grated plain and white chocolate. I must admit I ” cheated” here by buying a pot of ready mixed chocolate curls!

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The cake went down well and I would like to take this opportunity again to wish my other mum and one of the chief tasters a happy birthday!

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The second recipe was Mary’s swiss roll recipe. I have tackled some of the swiss roll recipes before with varied success. The baking part isn’t the issue it’s the rolling!

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The sponge is a fatless sponge and easy to make. I whisked it all together and poured it into the prepared swiss roll tin. I put it in the oven for ten minutes and while it was baking put a sheet of greaseproof paper on the side with caster sugar sprinkled on it.  Soon enough the sponge was done and I tipped it onto the prepared paper. Mary asks you to allow to cool “slightly” and then spread with jam. Slight hiccup here, my jam had grown a lovely mold on it so I quickly made some buttercream and used this instead. I rolled the cake into the roll and again , it split to my dismay but not all the way through. I sprinkled it liberally with caster sugar and took the photograph!

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Well the countdown has now reached 38….. so near yet so far!

38

Week One Hundred & Seven-Mary Berry’s Nusskuchen & Jumbles

Week 107 and yes- I know- I am late again with the blog but today I am doing both last week’s and this weeks so will catch up so you get two for one today! I will get into the swing of this blogging again! I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible looking for a birthday cake for my chief taster ( dad-in-law) and saw the Nusskuchen which is a german nut cake-perfect! The other recipe I found was Mary’s jumble biscuits.

Mary Berry's Nusskuchen

I started with the Nussskuchen cake which was quite a fiddly sponge. I had to roast the hazelnuts to remove the skins and then crush them to add to the sponge which had various stages to it. I roasted the hazelnuts and then followed Mary’s instructions to roll them together in a tea towel to remove the skins. What I hadn’t mentioned was that just before Christmas while walking my hairy hoolies on a street walk, my big lad suddenly ran across in front of me and I fell- the classic fall onto both knees and both hands and grazed my nose. I dented my ego , skinned my knees and had sore hands but picked my self up and finished the walk.

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I didn’t realise how much i had hurt myself until a week or two later when i was struggling to hold things in my right hand and it really hurt when  I rotated the wrist. I had it x-rayed but no break thank goodness but strained or pulled ligaments and advised to keep the thumb/wrist strapped to help it heal. This has proved to be good except for baking and removing the skins from the hazelnuts really hurt! Mary asks you to beat the sugar and butter together, beat in the egg yolks and stir in the crushed hazelnuts. Mary then asks you to dissolve a spoonful of coffee in some warm milk and add it to the mix, then fold in the flour. Mary then asks you to whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until light and fluffy then fold this into the other mix.  Put this mix into a 20cm tin and bake.

What Mary then says is that while this cake is baking, prepare the filling. Peel , core and slice some baking apples and put them in a pan with some apricot jam, lemon juice an rind and cook slowly until the apples are soft but retain their shape. Leave to cool. At this point, all was ok and I was on track. I took the sponge out of the oven and took it out of the tin. At this point I realised I had a problem. Mary asks you to cut the sponge in half. I want to know how I can do this with such a thin sponge so i did the only thing I could think of, I made another sponge- and yes, I  had to roast more hazelnuts and then remove their skins- OUCH!!! the things I do for love!

Kim's Nusskuchen sponges

 

sore hand

Finally I had 2 sponges, I added the apple and some cream to the middle and melted some chocolate for the topping with some chocolate buttons to make it a birthday cake.PHEW!

Kim's Nusskuchen cake

The second recipe was Mary Berry’s jumbles biscuits. This was an easy dough to make, one of Mary’s throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.

Mary Berry's Jumbles

Mary then asks you to divide the dough into 32 pieces.  As my hand was sore, i divided mine into 16 and made my biscuits a little larger. Mary suggests making the biscuits into the shape of the letter S. I did play with the idea of making them into various initials but stuck with the S shapes as it was easiest on my poor hand.

Kim's jumbles

When you read the blog, it must seem like we lurch from one accident, incident or operation to the next- sometimes it does seem like that!

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