Week One Hundred & Twenty One – Mary Berry’s Quick Granary Rolls & Chocolate Rum Cake

Week 121 and yes I confess this post is long overdue. I will explain why a little later. I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible with my hubby’s birthday in mind. He wanted to have a b-b-q with some “exotic” meats such as buffalo and I found Mary Berry’s quick granary rolls for the burger buns and her chocolate rum cake for his birthday cake- perfect.

I began with the quick granary rolls. Mary asks you to  mix all the dry ingredients together and rub the butter in with your fingers. Mary then asks you to add the milk and water mixture in a “continuous ” stream while mixing the ingredients to a dough and she suggests using a machine with a dough hook. At this point I read and re-read the recipe, Mary definitely asks you to add 3/4 pint each of tepid milk AND water. I thought this was a lot of liquid but I thought “Mary has been doing this for years and knows what she is doing”.

Mary Berry's Quick Granary Rolls

I ended up with a gloopy mess that even with the dough hook didn’t resemble anything like a dough. I added more flour- I had been using a white spelt flour that I had been given and a granary flour and added more of both until the liquid became a dough.

Dove Spelt Flour Hovis Granary Flour

Kim's dough hook

This took a long time and an awful lot of flour to achieve this. When I had got it to the dough stage, I divided it into the roll shapes and covered them to rise. I then checked on the rising to the Berry blog to see if Anneliese had struggled with this and yes, she too had the liquid issue and had to add more flour so I am glad I was not alone in this. Once the dough had proved, I baked them and even though I had to use an awful lot more flour than the recipe said, I was pleased with how they came out and the buffalo burgers tasted very nice inside these rolls. Hubby was very cheeky though and took a photo of them and said he was pleased with his wife’s baps! This was after we were laughing at one of the search terms on the blog where someone had searched for “kim’s buns”!

Kim's quick granary rolls

The second recipe was Mary Berry’s chocolate rum cake. This was for hubby’s birthday and involved two of his favourite things- chocolate and rum!  I started by breaking up an awful lot of chocolate into a bowl. As usual, Mary asks you to use dark chocolate and I compromised with 3/4 dark chocolate and 1/4 galaxy milk chocolate.. When this has melted, let it cool and whisk the egg yolks and sugar together, then add the chocolate and rum then fold in the flour and almonds.

Mary Berry's Chocolate Rum Cake

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mix and pour into the cake tin and bake. When cooked, while it cools, make the filling/icing by breaking yet more chocolate into a bowl- same mix for me, add loads of butter and stir lots. Cut the sponge in half and use this chocolate icing to sandwich the two sponges together and ice the top.

Kim's chocolate rum cake

Once this was done and set, I then decorated it for hubby’s birthday.

Hubby's birthday cake

We had a lovely b-b-q using meat ordered from the alternative meat company and their buffalo burgers were delicious. Hubby, I hope you had a lovely birthday and this blog is dedicated to you for your birthday.

happy birthday hubby

The countdown continues and has now reached ……


Now finally the reason this blog is so late – not long after I baked these, I went down hard with flu/norovirus and was really knocked for six with both. I was literally in bed for five days with aching muscles, fever and upset stomach.  I lost a stone in a week and even though I went back to work probably before I should, I was not up to baking or blogging.


Illness stops play….but only temporarily!

It should be week sixty nine and I should be posting about the culinary delights that I have attempted from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible this week. Alas that is not the case as from Friday, I have had the sickness bug that has been going around and I have pretty much just curled up on the sofa most of the weekend and the thought of trying to bake something without either being sick or infecting any of my tasters was just too much to take.

I find myself missing the time in the kitchen though, just me and Mary’s book and getting lost in the moment, with the hairy hoolies waiting to see if I drop anything.

I found myself tucked up in bed rather early yesterday, a combination of being a winter Olympic/rugby union widow and just generally feeling wiped out. I put on a DVD that my friend at work had lent me when she heard about my challenge and blog and the dvd had sat on my kitchen table for some while. It was called “Julie & Julia” and within minutes I was captured and thoroughly enjoyed the tale of Julia Childs and Julie Powell who set herself a challenge to cook her way through Julia Childs cookbook and blogged about it. If you haven’t seen it, I would thoroughly recommend it and it has given me a real boost while flagging a little with my challenge. The only jaw dropping moment was when Julie heard that Julia Childs “hated” her blog and she was devastated. I was astonished given the kind of woman she was portrayed as that she would say such a thing. I researched this further and found an article here that explained it in more depth and that is wasn’t as harsh as the journalist in the film tried to portray.

The film reminded me of the day I read in the Daily Mail the article about Anneliese, a young mum who baked her way through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and wrote “Rising to the Berry” , her blog of her adventures. This inspired me to begin this journey and I have seen others who have started this journey too.

Everyone needs to rise to a challenge sometimes and this has certainly challenged me. I have enjoyed every moment so far even with time restrictions and various health issues. The challenge continues until I had baked every single recipe in Mary’s book…but the bigger question is- what do I do then?