Week One Hundred & Twenty – Mary Berry’s Baked Apple Lemon Sponge & Wholemeal Ginger Cake

Week 120 – phew that’s a lot of baking weeks and I delved into Mary Berry‘s ever shrinking Baking Bible and found her wholemeal ginger cake and baked apple lemon sponge- another hot pudding.

Mary’s wholemeal ginger cake was a tray bake and after melting all the liquid ingredients together with the sugar, all Mary asks you to do is to then blend the liquid with the dry ingredients and bake. She does suggest you put the tray bake tin in a roasting tin and I am glad I did as mine over-spilled and would have made a mess of my oven! I set the timer and began to read what to do on the next recipe.

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After the pinger went, i took a lovely gingery brown sponge out of the oven and let it a cool a short while before turning it out onto a rack to finish cooling. Mary then suggests you use lemon juice and icing sugar to make the icing, I decided to go with the juice from the ginger jar and cut up some ginger to decorate it with. This ginger cake has a twist in that it has some marmalade in it and you can definitely taste the orange in this cake. This was yummy and a tray bake I would be happy to repeat.

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The second recipe was Mary’s baked apple lemon sponge. This is a very rich pudding involving oodles (technical term) of cream, apple slices and lemon curd.  The next step of the recipe is to make a sponge mixture which then goes on top of the apple/lemon mix.

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The pyrex dish then goes into the oven and bakes for about 40 minutes until the sponge is golden brown. I had to give mine another ten minutes or so as mine was still pale. Then Mary asks you to cover the dish with foil and bake for another 45 minutes or so.

I took a very lemony smelling dish out of the oven and it looked okay but smelled better. Again, like last week, it very quickly sank in the middle and didn’t look much but it tasted better than it looked. Again, I am undecided as to whether i would make this pudding again….

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The countdown is now ticking loudly and has reached the heady heights of….

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As the weather has got better, my thoughts have turned to my garden and trying to get it into some kind of shape for the summer for hubby , me and the dogs to enjoy. I spent most of the day on Saturday in the garden, cutting the grass, putting in edging stones and cementing them in and laying some pieces of turf left over from the Chief Tasters garden turfing . I didn’t think I had done that much but my back is telling me otherwise….If anyone has any good tips for dealing with a sore lower back/sciatica, please tell me your secrets.

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My poor mum is seriously struggling with a severe case of sciatica at the moment and as she is a few hours away, all I can do is support her by phone . I want to dedicate this post to my mum and hope she feels better soon x

get well soon mum

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Week One Hundred & Fourteen – Mary Berry’s Tarte Tatin & Sticky Gingerbread

Week 114 and I am actually blogging about this bake the day I baked it ( I won’t mention that I have only just completed the blog for last week’s bake!)shh

I dipped into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and found a lovely pudding – her Tarte Tatin and the sticky gingerbread recipe. My kitchen was going to have some lovely aromas today! I began with the Sticky Gingerbread recipe.

Mary Berry's Sticky Gingerbread

Mary asks you to put the syrups, sugar and butter in a pan and melt while weighing the other ingredients into a large bowl and mixing. Then mix all the ingredients together and pour into a traybake tin that has been lined with grease proof paper . I used my trusty Lakeland traybake foil tin and lined it with paper and popped it in the oven for about 50 minutes. The smell made our mouths water and we were delighted when the timer pinged. The difficulty was keeping everyone away from it until it was cool, cut up into squares and photographed for the blog!

Kim's sticky gingerbread

The second recipe was Mary Berry’s Tarte Tatin. Mary asks you to put the butter and sugar in a pan and melt gently, our this into the bottom of a sandwich tin or springform tin and then line with the sliced cooking apples. Top with the pastry from her recipe and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. This is where I had a slight issue with Mary’s guide to times. I checked my tart tatin after 20 minutes, the pastry was still quite raw and the oven was up to temperature because I had already baked the gingerbread. I set the timer for another 10 minutes, then another, and another. Finally the pastry was golden and crisp rather than pale and soft. Mary then asks you to pour the juices from the tin into a small pan and heat until caramelized. Turn the tart onto a plate and pour the caramelized liquid over the tart and serve warm.

Kim's Tart Tatin

This was a lovely recipe to make and smelt gorgeous but looked messy. I looked at other tart tatin’s on Google images and was relieved to see that most looked like mine so I heaved a sigh of relief.

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Today is also Mother’s Day and I would like to wish my mum and my other mum a lovely day with all my love now and always.

mothers day

Week One Hundred & Twelve – Mary Berry’s Sticky Ginger & Orange Cake & Treacle Sponges

Week 112 and I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found two recipes I fancied tackling last weekend. I like a pudding after dinner but try not to indulge too much! I began with Mary Berry’s sticky ginger and orange cake. I wanted a cake I could put under my cake dome and tuck into with a cup of tea when I get home from work!

Mary Berry's Sticky Ginger & Orange Cake

Mary tells you to put the black syrup, the golden syrup and some water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile measure out all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix. Then add the syrup mix, continue to stir and then pour into the prepared, lined cake tin and bake for about 50 minutes.  The resulting cake looked and smelt amazing. Mary advises that you wrap the cooled cake in foil and store for a day or two before icing ( if you want to ice it) . I did that then used the juice from a blood orange with some icing sugar and iced the cake.

Kim's sticky ginger & orange cake

The second recipe was the treacle sponges. Mary asks you to mix about 8 table spoons of golden syrup with a tablespoon of lemon juice and then divide between the pudding cases. I brought some disposable foil pudding cases for this as I had no pudding bowls.

Mary Berry's Treacle Puddings

Mary then asks you to mix the rest of the ingredients together- I just love these kind of recipes- thanks you Mary! Then divide this mix between the cases and smooth the tops. Mary then asks you to cover the top with grease proof paper and foil cover and then steam. I considered using a large pan but then realised I had a steamer in the cupboard that I hadn’t used for ages so I dug it out and put three puddings in the 1st level, and 3 in the second. I filled it up, set the timer and left it to cook. The resulting puddings came out really well and I would definitely do them again..

Kim's treacle pudding

The chief taster has been feeling a bit left out lately with the bakes and sent me a text message with a picture of his lonely empty cake dome…..so he now has half a sticky ginger and orange cake in it!

Chief Taster's Cake Dome

I am still watching the Comic Relief Great British Bake Off, you can see episode 3 here. David Mitchell is hilarious , Michael Sheen seems really down to earth and funny and this is really worth watching. If you haven’t donated or organised some kind of fun bake sale already, please consider it- it’s a great cause.

The countdown continues and there are now 49 recipes left to go…gulp! The end is now very much in sight!

49 recipes left to go!

Week ONE HUNDRED! – Mary Berry’s Ginger Cream Roll & Madeira Cake

Welcome to my one hundredth blog of my Mary Berry challenge to bake every recipe in her Baking Bible. It’s been a long road and sometimes hard to motivate myself each weekend but I am doing well and from over 200 recipes, I am now down to double figures instead.

100 blogs!

I delved into Mary’s baking bible and found this week’s recipes and set off. Mary’s ginger cream roll sounded easy enough, the first step involved a pack of ginger biscuits, some brandy and some whipped cream!.

Mary Berry's Ginger Cream Roll

 

Mary asks you to quickly (!) dip each ginger biscuit in the brandy and then spread cream on one end and sandwich them together on a serving plate to form a roll. Place this in the fridge to set.

part one - Kim's ginger cream roll

Once the roll has set, whip the other half of the cream and pipe swirls all over and then allow to set again. This was a no cook pudding and easy to do. The brandy soaks into the ginger biscuits and they go all soft and gooey with the cream. It makes a very indulgent pudding that is rich and boozy!

part twop Kim's ginger cream roll

The second recipe was Mary’s madeira cake. I thought this fairly plain cake would balance the richness of the cream roll.

Mary Berry's Madeira Cake

This is one of Mary’s all in once recipes and so I weighed everything into a bowl and mixed it together and poured into a tin, smoothed the surface and put it in the oven.This cake is quite a dense cake but provided a nice balance to the other one.

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The clocks have now changed which means dark evenings which I don’t like. This means the hairy hoolies only get street walks until the weekend when we can get to the park and then they get really muddy!

This time of year also brings around “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here” and I am quite partial to this. i have now seen the list of celebrities and it will make for an interesting mix. Bring on Sunday to see what they are made of and whether I will be watching the whole journey or not.

I also am posting a “joke” that my chief taster sent to me- I had had need of his trolley pushing duties for supermarket trips when I was recovering from my operations and I think he is trying to tell me something! I only go up and down the aisles twice-up one side and down the other!

shopping patterns

Week Ninety Two – Mary Berry’s Banana & Honey Teabread & Chocolate, Brandy & Ginger Cheesecake

Week Ninety Two and this bake was being done away from home. Hubby was being watched over for me and I took the opportunity to bake the last banana recipe and another while I was visiting my mum and taking photos of my great niece. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible had one final banana recipe and I started with this.  The recipe was quite an easy mix, but mashing the bananas needed a bit of elbow grease! I lined the tin with baking parchment and put the loaf in the oven for 1 1/4 hours.

Mary Berry's Banana & Honey Teabread

The loaf needed to be covered with some foil about an hour into the bake and Mary does warn you of this in her recipe. The resulting loaf needed to cool for a short while before being brushed with warmed honey and sprinkled with sugar.

Kim's Banana & Honey Tealoaf

The second recipe proved to be a bit more of a challenge. The first part of Mary’s chocolate, brandy and ginger cheesecake wasn’t too bad, it involved crushing ginger biscuits and combining this with melted butter and sugar. Put this in the base of the tin and press down and leave to set.

Mary Berry's Chocolate, brandy & Ginger Cheesecake

After the banana loaf had baked, I set about making the cheesecake middle layer. This proved to be the challenging part. Mary asks you to melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water- no problem there. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and leave for 10 minutes to sponge- not so good. Beat together the egg yolks, sugar and cheese in a bowl. Add the soured cream and chocolate. Stir in the gelatine. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and fold in to the mixture and add the brandy and chopped ginger. At this point the mixture was very runny and I wasn’t confident that it was going to set. I poured it into the tin on top of the biscuit base and left it in my mum’s fridge. Many hours later it was still runny, with no sign of setting so I put it in her freezer for several hours. Slightly better but not properly set.

I had to leave it for my mum to whip the cream ad sprinkle chocolate over and send me a photo so I never got to taste this one but mum said when she took it out of the tin, while putting the cream on top , the chocolate cheesecake mix was beginning to sag and move so it had to be eaten quickly. All I can think of was that I didn’t do the gelatine properly but who knows? I will chalk this one up to experience.

Kim's Chocolate, Brandy & Ginger Cheesecake

I am still enjoying The Great British Bake Off and my three early favourites are still there. I learnt two things from tonight’s show. Trim your tart pastry once cooked , not before, which I had always done , it looks so much better and if making any kind of custard tart, it’s better to pour the custard into the pastry case while it’s on the oven shelf rather than struggling not to spill it while getting it back into the oven!

Week Eleven – Gingerbread Traybake

My hubby actually asked last week if Mary Berry’s Bible had any gingerbread recipes in it as he fancied some gingerbread……well when I looked, there are several gingerbread recipes so I read each one carefully as my thumb is still out of action and I needed a recipe that I could manage with one hand.

So, most of this recipe involved weighing most of the ingredients into a large saucepan, heating gently, to melt them all together, adding the flour and spices and finally beating in four eggs and some milk. The last part was bit tricky but I managed it without needing hubby’s help and only dropped one egg on the floor and the dogs thought their luck had changed!

This recipe calls for quite a lot of each ingredient and I found at the end of the mix that the tray I used, (the size that Mary Berry recommends in her recipe) there was too much to fit in this so I dug out a smaller round tin and lined that and ended up with a tray bake AND a round bake too………

The gingerbread seemed easy enough to make, loads of treacle in it though so it’s going to be very sweet. It baked well and was ready at the recommended time. I took both tins out and let them stand for a while before turning them out onto the cooling rack.

 

Once they were both totally cool, I made the topping, Mary recommends using icing sugar, a small amount of water and some finely chopped crystallised ginger. This is when my hubby made me laugh, he asked what the topping was made of and when I told him about the crystallised ginger, he said “BLEUGHHHHHH!!” I was highly amused that he asked me to make a GINGERBREAD cake but didn’t want TINY amounts of GINGER on the topping……..MEN!!!!!