Week One Hundred & Ten – Mary Berry’s Austrian Curd Cheesecake

Week 110 and I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible to look for just one recipe this week as there were still left overs from last week’s bake and I hate any kind of waste where food is concerned. This challenge is to stretch and enhance my baking skills , not to bake so much that food is wasted. I found this unusual Austrian Curd Cheesecake and chose this. Mary asks you to grease and line a springform tin and then mix all the ingredients together and pour into the tin. This cheesecake has no kind of biscuit base and has a lot of soft cheese in it and dried fruit and eggs. I did wonder how it would turn out as it didn’t sound like any kind of cheesecake that I had eaten before. I mixed the recipe and poured it into the tin and put it in the oven to cook.

Mary Berry's Austrian Curd Cheesecake

Mary suggests baking the cheesecake for half an hour , then cover the top of it with foil and bake for another half an hour then turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven. Once cool, remove from the oven , take the springform side off and sprinkle with icing sugar. Mary says it is a moist cheesecake that will need no cream with it.

Austrian Curd Cheesecake

I must admit, I love cheesecakes and so does hubby and the chief taster but this was the most unusual cheesecake I have ever made. Hubby and I didn’t like the texture of it and found it quite bland. Unlike most of the recipes in the baking bible, this is not one that I will be repeating.

This week saw the first of the Comic Relief Bake Off celebrity episodes and it was so so funny. The celebrities all did a sterling job but the one that made me laugh the most was Dame Edna’s approach to baking- if you haven’t seen it, you can find the episode here. A must watch if you want a laugh.

Comic Relief Bake Off 2015

Also seeing Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with their red noses on is enjoyable on it’s own.

mary berry red nose Paul Berry red nose

On a more serious note, Comic Relief raise money for very deserving causes and I will be donating as usual. Please consider donating or even doing yours own bake to raise money.

Finally as I am late with this blog again, it has fallen on Valentine’s Day and I would like to wish my hubby a happy valentine’s day, we will be cooking our own Valentine’s meal at home with fresh bruschetta, Italian prawn pasta – Jamie Oliver style and a lovely bottle of rioja to share….I asked my hubby if he could choose a “romantic” movie to watch, what would he choose- to my surpise, he said there were two- Sleepless in Seattle and The Truth About Cats & Dogs. The Truth About Cats And Dogs is my most favourite romantic move so I was really pleased he likes it too!


Week Fifty Seven – Mary Berry’s Ginger & Treacle Spiced Tray Bake & Anzac Biscuits

Week fifty seven and with the clocks going back an hour, the nights are drawing in fast. What better to comfort you on a colder darker evening than a ginger and treacle tray bake? Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible hasn’t failed to inspire me yet. This is a classic Mary recipe where everything is mixed together all in one go.  No fussing or stages to make.

Mary Berry's Ginger & Treacle Spice Tray Bake

I used my trusty Lakeland tray bake tin to put the mixture in and into the oven. Job done and timer set. The ping of the timer went off about 40 minutes later and the tray bake was risen, a lovely brown colour and the smell was amazing. The cake was left to cool and then Mary asks you to add the juices from a jar of ginger to make your icing. I must say that the amount of icing Mary suggests was very pitiful. I doubled what she suggested and it only just covered the tray bake evenly.  I then sprinkled some chopped ginger from the jar over the top and after the icing had set, cut the tray bake into even slices.

Kim's Ginger & Treacle Spice Tray Bake

Anzac biscuits were next, these are an Australian biscuit also known as Digger biscuits. Mary asks you to put the treacle, butter and sugar into a pan and heat gently until melted. While this is melting, put the dry ingredients into a bowl which would be the flour, porridge oats and desiccated coconut. Add the melted mixture to this and mix well. Place teaspoons of the mixture onto a baking tray and press the middles down slightly.

Mary Berry's Anzac Biscuits

Mary’s recipe asks you to ensure the biscuits have room to spread so you can only add so many to a tray at a time. I managed a 3×3 square on each tray. Mary is right, they do spread so don’t be tempted to bunch them up. They go into the oven for about 10 minutes which isn’t long but long enough when you are cooking in batches. Leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for about five minutes before trying to move them, this allows them to cool and set together more. the result, an unusual, nutty, oaty, syrupy biscuit. I liked these and would probably make them again.

Kim's Anzac Biscuits

I am in seventh heaven this week as Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are doing The Great British Bake Off Master Class programmes pretty much all week, woo hoo and it just helps keep the inspiration going! I have picked up a few hints and tips and have only watched 2 of the four programmes!

Week Forty Nine – Mary Berry’s Focaccia Bread with Onion & Balsamic Topping

Week forty nine and I think this has been the most technical of my bakes to date and the one that has taken most of the day as it’s bread and needed rising time. Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible has the nicest photo of hers and all through my bake, I just hoped that it turned out at least resembling hers!

Mary Berry's Focaccia Bread with Onion & Balsamic Topping

The beginning of the recipe asks you to add every ingredient for the dough into a bowl and mix either by hand or with a mixer with dough hooks. I had never used my dough hooks before and looked forward to playing with them. They made short work of the ingredients and no sooner had I started, than I had a dough bowl ready to start working on. I tipped it out onto my floured surface and set to work, it’s very therapeutic to work dough! Although my method is probably more old school as I was taught in my Home Economics lessons rather than the Paul Hollywood swing the dough around and whack it down method! Once kneaded, I put it in a clean oiled bowl and covered it with clingfilm. I left it for an hour and while it was “proving” I set about making the onion and balsamic topping. Mary asks you to add a teaspoon of olive oil to a pan, cut 2 onions and fry them for several minutes, then add thr lid and turn down the heat and leave for 20 minutes. The next step was to add some balsamic vinegar and sugar and thyme , fry again briskly and then season and allow to cool. Mary asks you to return to your dough and “knock it back” for about five minutes, roll it out and pop it on a baking sheet with the topping on it, place it in a bag and allow to proof again for half an hour…zzzzzz. Finally I could put it in the oven for about 25 minutes.

The final result, no soggy bottom! But the onion is lightly singed around the edges, but on the whole I am happy with it. The only problem is that it is HUGE!! Hubby and I can’t eat it all so we are going to cut it in half and take some to the parents!

Kim's Focaccia Bread with Onion & Balsamic Topping

I loved watching the Great British Bake Off this week with breads and maybe that’s what inspired me to do the Focaccia Bread. I must say, I was impressed with Frances’ matchbox and her bread sticks.