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 Fifty Three – Mary Berry’s Macaroons & Coconut Pyramids

Week fifty three and I am back on form after last weekend and thought I would try two recipes again this week. The first, Mary Berry‘s coconut pyramids was a very simple recipe from her children’s part of her Baking Bible. The recipe was the usual throw everything together mix which Mary is famous for and add some pink food colouring. Mary asks you to spoon the mixture into a dariole mould, press down gently, and then turn out onto a lined baking tray, repeat until the mixture is used up. The colour was quite eye catching!

Mary Berry's Coconut Pyramids

I put the coconut pyramids into the oven and set the timer. When it pinged, I had these umm interesting bright pink coconut towers! I must say though that they taste better than they look!

Kim's Coconut Pyramids

The second recipe was Mary Berry’s macaroons. I had managed to source some sheets of rice paper as I remember eating coconut macaroons on rice paper as a child . Even more amazingly, I couldn’t find these sheets anywhere, not in any of the supermarkets or even my favourite shop Lakeland. I had to resort to good old Ebay for this item.

Mary Berry's Macaroons

I mixed the ingredients together as Mary suggests but I did add some coconut to this recipe instead of so much almond as I am not a great almond fan. I cut out rice paper circles and put a spoon of the mixture in the middle of each circle and flattened them slightly. Into the oven they went.

After the allotted time, I checked the macaroons but I didn’t think they were ready and I ended up giving them an extra ten minutes. I allowed them to cool mainly on the baking tray and transferred them to the rack. Mary suggests you put an almond on each macaroon as a decoration (bleugh!) so I decided to “enhance” the coconut in the macaroons, that some chocolate decoration would look and taste nicer!

Kim's Macaroons

I am sitting writing this after watching this week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off and thoroughly enjoyed it as usual. I am pleased to see that Frances is still in there and her baking has found it’s flavour without losing too much of her artistic flair and I am also pleased to see Beca coming into her own too, I would be happy to see either of these two girls win!

Week Fifty One – Mary Berry’s English Madeleines & French Madeleines

I was on a roll this week and full of enthusiasm and ready to bake. I had found a few bargains for these bakes and surprise surprise, they weren’t from Lakeland this week but from T K Maxx of all places! The tins were a fraction of the price they should be and the silicone dariole mould was from Ebay.

Kim's madeleine tin and dariole mould

Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible lists both types of madeleines and I made the French madeleines first. The batter was easy enough to mix and I used a spoon to put some in each shell space and put the tray in the oven- oh I did oil and flour the mould first to try and ensure no sticking. The first batch came out soon enough and they came out of the tray fairly easily. The second batch went in soon after. The mould provides a shell shape with some ridges. I wasn’t overly keen on these, I thought they were quite plain and needed something to liven then up, perhaps dipped partly in icing of some flavour? I didn’t fancy dipping them in my tea as Mary suggests!

Mary Berry's French Madeleins recipeKim's French Madeleines

The second recipe, English madeleines looked lovely but I was a bit more daunted by these. I oiled and floured the silicone mould, made the batter and filled each dariole mould half way. I put the mould on a baking tray and into the oven it went. When this batch was done, I left the cakes to cool slightly and then had the fun of trying to get the cakes out of a floppy mould….it is a technique! I refilled the mould and put that in. Mary’s recipe asks you to cut the bottom of the cake so that it sits upright. Then push some jam through a sieve, heat it, put the cake on the end of a fork, roll it in the jam and then into a bowl of dessicated coconut. Finally top them with a cherry half and I found instead of normal cherries for cooking, I have found morello cherries- they are very tasty but are quite a lot darker as you can see in the picture.

Mary Berry's English Madeleines recipeKim's English Madeleines

The Great British Bake Off is getting more exciting by the week, I loved the traybakes this week and I though Christine deserved the Star Baker award this week, she was on top form. The tuiles were a challenge and a half…and there is a recipe for almond tuiles in Mary’s book that I have yet to do….gulp!

Week fourteen – Mary Berry’s Very Special Scones & Special Fruit Scones

It’s been a very busy week and an even busier weekend and I wasn’t sure I was going to get time to bake this week but I managed to find time – at the expense of the ironing…..oh well……(smile).

 

 

 

I thought scones would be fairly quick and easy this week and the recipes for Mary Berry’s special scones and special fruit scones were so similar, I kind of cheated and made the dough, halved it and added the fruit, so covering two recipes in one week. Otherwise, I will still be at this challenge a year from now!

Any way, the mix was straight forward, the dough was sticky, as Mary explains and it turned out very sticky. I found my fluted cutter and cut out my first batch. I placed those on my baking tray and then rolled out the second fruited batch and then into the oven they went.

Mary recommends 10-15 minutes for the bake and having made a few of her recipes, and often had to add a few minutes, I set the timer for 15 minutes…….oh silly me! Well Mary says they should be risen and golden, I think “golden” could loosely describe the colour of them! I think they might be a bit crunchy!

 

 

Week Eight- Fast Flapjacks- with chocolate chips!

Week eight and I have adjusted to mum living at a distance again.

I didn’t want to cook anything too taxing this week so chose flapjacks. Mary Berry’s Fast Flapjacks with the option of adding chocolate chips sounded like it fitted the bill.

Since I have started this challenge, I have 2 avid fans in the kitchen watching my every move and if I drop anything, well, they make sure it’s cleaned up quickly!

Ok, the recipe seemed simple enough, golden syrup, butter, Demerara sugar and porridge oats– vaguely healthy too- well the porridge oats say they are a “super food” any way!

The syrup, butter and sugar all went in the pan and melted together.

Then in went the porridge oats, a thorough stir in and left to cool for 10 minutes before adding the chocolate chips, then pressed into a tray bake tin and into the oven for 35 minutes.

 

All in all, another success, quick and easy and no hidden extras- such as preservatives that you get in shop bought things. I am also beginning to think more about buying things in the supermarket, before I stop and I think- ” I can make that!”.