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.

phew

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 Sixty Two – Mary Berry’s Bakewell Slices ( and some sugarcraft too!)

Week Sixty two and only a week’s gap, not so bad. I’ve had my operation, let’s just say all that should have been done, was not and I will have to back again..sigh. The general anaesthetic and procedure has had me feeling tired and generally under the weather, hence no bake until this weekend and only one.

Mary Berry's Bakewell Slices

So I delved as ever into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and decided to do her Bakewell Slices. They looked easy enough. Mary asks you to make a shortbread type of base , I made this and rolled it out and as ever, Mary’s quantities don’t go as far as she seems to be able to make them. I struggled to get the pastry to cover the bottom of my ever faithful Lakeland tray bake tin. Eventually with a lot of prodding and poking, I covered the base.

Mary then asks you to use 4 tablespoons of raspberry jam to cover the pastry and then proceeds to tell you to be generous with it as the jam makes all the difference. Again, four tablespoons over a tray bake tin didn’t go very far, by the time I had added an even layer, pretty much the whole jar of jam had gone- well she did say it made the difference! Finally the sponge topping, one of Mary’s throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix instructions and spread over the jam. Not easy and took a while to get it all even. Finally I sprinkled flaked almonds over the top and popped it in the oven for 25 minutes.

The final product looked nicely browned and when cool, sliced well. I am not overly keen on cakes with almond in but I must say, I didn’t mind it at all!

Kim's Bakewell Slices

A Bakewell SliceA quick update from the Christmas cakes made. They are all marzipaned and iced now and had a little bit of port to “feed” them.

Kim's Christmas Cakes

I have begun to make some of the decorations, here is one I made earlier, I am not going to reveal much more as some of the cakes are going to friends and family and I don’t want to reveal too much! Spoilers……..

Kim's icing igloo

Week Fifty Four – Mary Berry’s Mini Cakes, Mini Jammy Cakes & Danish Pastries!

Week fifty four and this weekend I was on top form-well as good as it gets! Looking through Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible , I still haven’t got half way yet but this week gets me a bit closer to that goal!

Mini Cakes & Mini Jammy Cakes

I started with Mary’s mini cakes and mini jammy cakes in the children’s section. I have a mini muffin cooker gadget so used that to bake the mini cakes in batches. While the first batch was on, I made the mini jammy cake mix which is more of a dough and in between swapping batches in the muffin maker, I rolled out the cake dough into balls, used a wooden spoon end and made holes in them and added some jam into each one. I placed them onto the baking trays and popped those into the oven.

Mini Cakes

The mini cakes were done in about three batches so I mixed the icing and found some flavoured chocolate buttons for the toppings, they look very cute.

The mini jammy cakes came out looking like half doughnuts and I thought they were quite stodgy and I wasn’t overly keen on these.

Mini Jammy Cakes

The final recipe of the weekend was Danish pastries, as this involved fiddly pastry making, I begin that process before the other cakes and by the time I had finished the mini cakes, the pastry was pretty much ready and I decided not to do the almond filling as I am not overly keen on that so used Mary’s alternative fillings of a vanilla cream and also used apple.

Mary Berry's danish pastries

I folded them carefully into the envelope parcels as Mary describes and they finally went in the oven. When they came out, the pastry had certainly risen and I left them to cool. Then I mixed some icing sugar into a loose paste and drizzled it over the pastries and sprinkled some almonds over. They certainly looked lovely and tasted good but if I made them again, I would probably cheat a little and buy ready-made pastry!

Danish Pastries - Apple and Vanilla

The Great British Bake Off is nearly done now, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s instalment tomorrow. I loved Beca’s traditional welsh spring lamb and vegetable suet pudding last week and Frances’ musical pastries. She managed to combine the taste and the creativity! What will tomorrow bring?

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