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….

34

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

Week One Hundred & Nineteen – Mary Berry’s Coburg Buns & Hot lemon Souffle Pudding

After the gluttony of last week’s chocolate fest, I looked for something with absolutely no chocolate in when I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible. I found these unusual buns and a lemony pudding.

I began with the Coburg buns. These seem quite a plain little bun that I have never heard of, they have some all spice and ginger in them and some flaked almonds. Mary suggests you make them in mini brioche tins but can make them in a bun tin which is what I decided to do. The mix is fairly easy and Mary asks you to put some flaked almonds on the bottom of each bun tin, put the mixture on top and bake.

Mary Berry's Coburg Buns

The resulting buns rose beautifully and were a lovely golden colour . They came out of the bun tins quite easily and Mary then suggests you present them bottom up so the almond flakes can be seen. They are quite a plain bun and something I probably won’t bother with again but it’s another recipe to tick off the list.

Kim's Coburg Buns

The second recipe was a whole other story. It’s Mary’s hot lemon souffle pudding. It seemed quite a fiddly recipe. Mary asks you to beat a  small amount of butter with the sugar. Once smooth, beat in the egg yolks. Add a little flour, grated lemon zest and also the juice. Then add the milk.Mary reassures you that the mixture can look curdled. Luckily mine looked okay…so far so good… The next step was to whisk the egg whites until they reached the soft peak stage.Fold the whites into the lemony mixture and put into an ovenproof dish before placing the dish into a large roasting tin. Mary then asks you to fill the roasting tin with boiling water and place in the oven…CAREFULLY!  Mary says it should take around an hour in the oven. I checked it when the pinger went and it looked brown on top but didn’t look particularly appetizing. Mary says that this is a pudding she has successfully reheated.

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Mine hadn’t been out of the oven too long before it began to sink in the middle so I took my photo quickly and split it between us and the chief tasters. It was okay, not sure it was quite how Mary’s would have turned out but again, another recipe under my belt.

Kim's Hot Lemon Souffle Pudding

The countdown continues and with these two done and dusted, I now have…

36

recipes left to go…..

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 One Hundred & Thirteen – Mary Berry’s Buttermilk & Honey Cheesecake

Week 113 and I decided to choose just one recipe this week as I was very conscious that I had an uneven number of bakes left so I decided to even it up by doing just one bake this week, at least that was the theory! I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and chose one of the few cheesecakes left. I hadn’t been overly keen on the last baked cheesecake I made but hoped that this one would be more to our taste.

Mary Berry's Buttermilk & Honey Cheesecake

Mary asks you to buy a flan base from the supermarket for the base and use this to line the base of a springform tin. This certainly cut down on the preparation and I am all for making life easier when baking! I then followed Mary’s instructions for the topping and poured it onto the flan case bottom and put it into bake. I had never used buttermilk before but as Mary advises in her book, you should be able to find this with the creams in the supermarket, and she was right. I set the timer and did the usual weekend stuff…housework, dog walking, baking, the usual multi tasking and juggling!

multitasking

housework

When the timer pinged, I brought out the cheesecake and allowed it to cool thoroughly before removing it from the springform tin. It looked more like a cheesecake than the last one I had attempted and it definitely tasted better but we still found it quite dense and filling so another recipe to add to the not to be repeated list!

Kim's Buttermilk & Honey Cheesecake

People have been asking me what I will do when I have completed this challenge. I have given this a lot of thought and I have to say that it will be nice to bake something because I want to or it’s what I fancy rather than having to complete the challenge I set for myself. I probably won’t bake every week , I will use the time to improve my photography , or set some more time aside for my artwork which I very much enjoy but never seem to have the time to do anything of worth.

So, having completed just one recipe this week, the number of recipes left to go is …

48

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!

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Week One Hundred & Nine – Mary Berry’s Courgette Loaf & Creme Brulee

Week 109 and I am back in the baking saddle but not so much with the sitting and putting the fingers to the keyboard- oh well. i delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible and it was quite apparent this week that there are not so many recipes left now to do and I am going to have to make a lot of celebration type cakes this year so watch out for- Happy Sunday cakes or Happy Weekly Shop Cakes or just Happy it’s one of the only recipes left cakes!


Mary Berry's courgette loaves

Anyhow, I found this unusual recipe not yet done- Mary Berry’s courgette loaves. The recipe makes 2 loaves- quite handy for the chief taster! This recipe involved grating loads of courgette- my machine featured last week came in very handy for this. This is one of Mary’s throw all the ingredients in and mix, then divide between 2 lined loaf tins and bake. The mixture looked ” different” and a bit yuk to be honest

Kims courgette loaf mix

The finished loaf looked fab and it didn’t look like a veggie loaf!

Kim's courgette loaf

Mary suggests you put one in the fridge and one in the freezer- we put one in the fridge and one in the chief taster!

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The second recipe was Mary’s creme brulee. This involved numerous egg yolks , and almost bucket loads of single and double cream- oh and sugar and vanilla extract- so really healthy for you! Mary asks you to whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla, then heat the cream until it is just too hot to stick your finger in- I took her word for this, I didn’t fancy a burnt finger! Then allow the cream to cool slightly and whisk all the ingredients together. Mary then asks you to either pour this into a large bowl or some ramekin dishes and then stand in a roasting tin, fill up halfway with hot water and cook in the oven until set. Once cooked, put in the fridge over night.

Mary Berry's creme brulee

The next day, pour some demerara sugar on the top of each one and either place them under the grill or use a cook blowtorch on the top. I just so happened to get a blowtorch for Christmas, thanks to my other mum who probably got fed up with me borrowing hers. It was great fun!

blowtorch

Once the sugar had been caramelised on the top of the brulees, Mary asks you to put them back in the fridge again overnight and then enjoy. I made 8 in ramekin dishes and we gave 4 to the chief tester- and he and my other mum tucked into 2 each back to back- and so did we!

Kim's creme brulee

Naughty but nice!

naughty but nice

 

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.

dog walking

 

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!

I

Week One Hundred & Five – Mary Berry’s Pineapple & Cherry Cake

Week 105 and this blog is a little late- nothing new as this time of year brings other pressures! I delved with pleasure into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and came up with this lovely tea loaf type bake. The recipe was one of Mary’s throw all the ingredients together and mix. The only tricky bit was washing the syrup off the cherries, cutting them into quarters and drying them. The pineapple came out of a tin. I  mixed it all together, lined a loaf tin with a liner from the 99p shop and put it in the oven and set the timer.

Mary Berry's Pineapple & Cherry Loaf

When the timer pinged, I checked the loaf and the skewer test came out clean. I left it to cool in the tin. I took my photo then cut it in half and sent half to the chief testers. Mary does tell you to keep it in the fridge as it will go moldy in a tin in a warm kitchen.

Kim's pineapple & cherry loaf

I can now reveal my finished Christmas cakes as those who are getting them should have received them by now so here are some photos of the mini victorian christmas cakes in the boxes I found in the £ shop and the tiny christmas cakes I made in the silicone moulds and then sandwiched together with marzipan and iced. I didn’t get these boxes from the £ shop but on ebay. I had such fun printing our labels too but my kitchen up until this weekend looked like an Elf factory!

Christmas cake gift Kim's victorian christmas cake

 

Kim's packaging Kim's mini christmas cakes

Well hubby and I will do a seasonal blog shortly but from kimsideas, I would like to wish you all season’s greetings for this time of year.

seasons greetings

I hope for all those of you who celebrate that you don’t end up spending pretty much all of one day wrapping as I did this year- I can’t help it- I love wrapping the presents and making them look pretty but is it exhausting!

stressy wrapping!

Week Ninety Seven – Mary Berry’s Sultana & Orange Tray Bake

Welcome to week ninety seven- almost at the hundredth blog for our site- that’s quite an achievement and an awful lot of blogs!  Thank you to all who stop by to have a look at our blog, our stats show that we have now had over 60,000 visitors – so welcome, feel free to stop and look around for a while!

60000 visitors

I delved with less enthusiasm than usual into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible this week, I don’t know why, perhaps it was because The Great British Bake Off has finished? I must say before I continue with my blog that I was pleased that Nancy won and thought the standard generally of the baking skills this year was exceptional and enjoyed watching every episode- I have now downloaded the Masterclass episodes to ease the pang of no more Bake Off for another year…..

Mary Berry's sultana & orange tray bake

Any how, back to my bake, I only chose one recipe this week, as was my woe and I chose Mary’s sultana and orange tray bake. The recipe was simply one of Mary’s throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Pour into a tray bake tin ( Thank you Lakeland for my trusty foil tins!) I set my timer and into the oven it went. About 40 minutes later it was ready to come out and sit on my cooling rack. Mary suggests either putting some demerara sugar on the top about 10 minutes before the end of the bake so it caramelises or to use some fresh orange juice and icing sugar to make an orange icing for the topping. I opted for the orange icing. I then cut it into squares and sent some in a tin to my chief tasters and put mine on my stand.

Kim's sultana & orange tray bake

I would like to dedicate this week’s post to my friend Caron, a former colleague and a friend who sadly passed away today , taken too soon. Rest in peace my friend, your smile and energy will be sorely missed. I know you read my blog when you could and am proud to dedicate this week in your memory xx

my friend Caron

Week Thirty Seven – Mary Berry’s Strawberry Pavlova

I faced the usual dilemma this week, what to choose from the still numerous recipes from Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible that I haven’t yet covered. My decision was made when my other mum and dad invited us to Sunday lunch so I said I would provide the pudding. I had plans to do a lot of gardening on Saturday so I needed something that would be fairly quick as usual and could be put together in parts- the strawberry pavlova fitted the bill nicely.

Mary Berry's Strawberry Pavlova

Mary’s recipe wasn’t too daunting, whip the eggs whites until stiff, add the caster sugar, a little at a time and continue to mix well. The final part of the recipe had me a bit stumped, Mary asks for you to mix a little white wine vinegar and corn flour and whisk in to the meringue– if you have any idea why this is necessary, I would love to hear from you. I then drew a circle on some greaseproof paper and spread the meringue mix until it roughly filled the circle. I added the last of the mix to a disposable icing bag and swirled it around the sides to build them up. It was now ready to go into the pre-heated oven.

Kim's meringue base ready to bake

An hour later, the timer pinged and I simply turned the oven off and allowed the meringue to cool down inside the oven. Mary recommends this in her recipe to give the meringue a softer middle. The next morning, I retrieved the meringue, chose some Emlea Double Light cream to whisk – I try to cut a few calories where I can! I then sliced some strawberries and added both to the meringue and took it with us for a delicious dinner.

Kim's finished Strawberry Pavlova

The meringue went down well, especially with my other dad, he politely had his given slice, and then sat there with big puppy dog eyes, waiting to be asked if he would like some more!

Kim's Strawberry PavlovaPlease can I have some more?