Week Ninety One – Mary Berry’s Honey Glazed Walnut Bread & Glazed Lemon Tart

Week ninety one and I obviously had a bit of a “glazed” feel to this weeks bakes! I dipped into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and was inspired to try another bread recipe after watching the efforts on The Great British Bake Off for bread week.  The honey glazed walnut bread sounded scrummy and Mary assures you in the recipe that it also makes fantastic toast (If it lasts that long- take note please chief tasters!!) I added all the ingredients into a bowl, added the dough hooks to my mixer and set it off. Mary says allow five minutes mixing/kneading for a machine or 10 minutes by hand. This is where it was all going so well….until plumes of smoke were coming off my machine! The dough was too much and the motor had burnt out so the machine went to the electrical scrap heap in the sky and I finished the kneading by hand. I left the dough to prove and set about getting the other recipe bits together.

Mary Berry's Honey Glazed Walnut Bread

The proving time was done and I put the bread into the oven to bake, the recipe makes 2 good sized loaves. 25 minutes later, they were done and had that hollow sound when tapped on the bottom!

Kim's Honey Glazed Walnut Loaf

The second recipe was the glazed lemon tart. Firstly Mary asks you to make the pate sucree pastry- its a sweet shortcrust pastry. Then line a flan tin with it and chill while making the topping. Add the other ingredients together and beat well. ( with no mixer, I developed muscles I didn’t know I had!) Pour the mix into the pastry case and bake until brown and set.

Mary Berry's Glazed Lemon Tart Recipe

While this is cooling- and Mary says you can eat it like this if you like, thinly slice a lemon, remove any pips, boils some water and sugar, add the lemon slices to this, boil again and leave in a bowl to cool for 2 hours. Then drain the lemons, arrange them on the tart, and glaze with some apricot jam that has been warmed through.

Kim's Glazed Lemon Tart

This looks and smells lovely and we will be eating some after dinner later!

There have been some strange goings on in my garden lately. It has all become a little overgrown with the bamboo I had planted some years ago, pretty much taking over the garden and with the recent rain, you could barely see up my garden through it all. I looked from my kitchen up the garden recently and found that the local wildlife had diversified somewhat from the native species! I know who to thank for this and will ensure that your garden enjoys a similar experience!

I was also sad to say goodbye to my trusty mixer- it was the best of both worlds, I could detach the mixer and use it as a hand mixer or attach it to the stand and use with the bowl  which could rotate if I needed it to.


Breville Stand mixerI threw it in the chief taster’s trailer to go to the tip ( yes- it went in dirty- it’s going to the tip!) and waved it goodbye.



Eek – I think my fairy god mother is looking after me…..I was telling the sorrowful tale of my mixer and with BIG thanks to one of my chief taster’s. I have a new mixer on the way- YAY!! xxx


Week Ninety – Mary Berry’s Pecan Pie & Walnut & Apricot Sandwich Bars

Week ninety and things had settled a little at home so I settled to this week’s bake with a little less stress than last week. The first bake I chose from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible was Mary’s Pecan Pie. This recipe involved making a shortcrust pastry, allow it to chill in the fridge for a while, roll it out and line a flan tin with it and line the pastry with foil, add beans and blind bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and then bake for another 15 minutes.

Mary Berry's Pecan Pie Recipe

To prepare the topping, lay the pecan nuts in the pastry case and add the other topping ingredients into a saucepan and heat through until mixed, then pour into the pastry case and allow to cool and set. I thought this was a rather yummy pudding but hubby wouldn’t try it as he doesn’t like pecans…..or walnuts…..or most other nuts!

Kim's Pecan Pie

The second recipe was Mary’s walnut and apricot sandwich bars, firstly you need to cut up the apricots and boil them in some water and sugar until soft and squishy (technical baking term!) and then mix together the other ingredients, mainly, butter flour , oats and syrup. Add half the mixture to the square tin and flatten down, add the apricots and again, flatten down and finally the remainder of the mixture and flatten for the last time.

Mary Berry's Apricot & Walnut Sandwich Bars Recipe

Bake in the oven and when ready, cut into bar shapes while cooling. I have eaten various breakfast bars in my life and found these to be quite stodgy, I think it was adding the flour to the mix that did this. They weren’t overly popular in our house and the remainder ended up in the food recycling bin.

Kim's Apricot & Walnut Sandwich Bars

I have been watching the Great British Bake Off with interest and now am showing interest in two or three of the contestants- I like Martha, the young girl who seems to have no fear or nerves, Like Luis the star baker of the week and I Like Nancy….lets see if one of these wins, I liked Frances from the beginning last year-and she won!


Week Eighty Seven – Mary Berry’s Raspberry Meringue Roulade & Date & Walnut Tray Bake

I really don’t know where the weeks go you know, I plan my bakes for the weekends but sometimes life generally just gets in the way. This is my bake from last week, a little late and no bake from this week so far as I have had a cold, studying to do and a birthday to celebrate so I will try to make something in the week to “bank” for the blog! My delve into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible dug out the roulade recipe and a tray bake. I made the roulade first. It was Mary’s usual whisk the egg whites together and add the caster sugar – but one teaspoon at a time. Really? The amount of sugar for the recipe, I would have been there all day, adding a spoon at  a time and whisking well in between, so I am guilty of not following Mary’s recipe to the exact letter this week- tut tut!

Mary Berry's Raspberry Meringue Roulade

Once I had added all the sugar- and yes it was slowly, I poured it into the lined tray, covered the top with flaked almonds and baked for the recommended time. Half way through, you have to turn the oven down and this needs careful timing. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly then turn out onto greaseproof paper. While waiting for it too cool a little more to roll, whisk the double cream and mix the fresh raspberries into it. Spread the cream and raspberry mix onto the meringue and use the greaseproof paper to help roll the meringue into a roulade. I thought this would be tricky but I didn’t find it too bad at all. Leave the roulade wrapped in the paper and put into the fridge. The roulade was really long!

Kim's Raspberry Meringue Roulade

The second recipe was the date and walnut tray bake. Slightly more fiddly in that Mary asks you to cut up the dates, put them in a bowl with the softened butter and some boiling water and allow to cool. In the meantime, put the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix, then add the date mix when cooler.

Mary Berry's Date & Walnut Tray Bake

Line a tray bake tin and pour the mix in. Cook as per Mary’s recipe. Once cooked, allow to cool in the tin and make the icing topping. I must admit I was a bit dubious about making a lemon icing topping on a date and walnut tray bake but it seemed to compliment it well. Finally decorate with walnut pieces.

Kim's Date & Walnut Tray Bake

I divided my bakes as usual and gave some to my chief tasters ….who have now informed me that they are on strict diets so I may have to half Mary’s recipe amounts or I will have to resort to feeding the neighbourhood by putting a table outside!

funny diet joke

My hubby informs me that our blog has now had over 50, 000 views since we started it – not just for my cake adventures, but also our photography, and Canadian adventure too so thank you all for helping to build up this figure!

Oh and my countdown continues…..93 to go….and having a week’s break isn’t helping…..but on a brighter note- the Great British Bake Off starts next week- I will be there, watching every bake!

Week Seventy Three- Mary Berry’s Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake & Almond Tuiles

Week seventy three and I should heed my words in a recent blog- read the recipe fully and carefully before attempting the bake! I dipped into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found the Swiss wild strawberry & walnut cake which sounded lovely.

Mary Berry's Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake

Stupidly I weighed everything into a bowl and mixed it and turned it into the tin as I kind of assumed that Mary’s recipe would be her usual throw everything in a bowl and mix affair- how wrong I was- but I ended up with a rather thick pancake!

Kim's failed attempt!

So take two- Mary Berry’s Swiss wild strawberry & walnut cake – even though hubby was trying to persuade me to leave the walnuts out. After CAREFULLY reading the recipe and begging three eggs from my other mum, I put the three eggs in a bowl with the sugar and whisked until mousse like and thick, leaving a trail. Then fold in the sifted flour and walnuts. Put into the tin and bake for 45 minutes.

This time the cake rose but despite being on the right temperature for the full amount of time and the oven door not being opened, it still rose less in the middle. But it was 100% better than the last effort.

Kim's Walnut Sponge

When cool, Mary asks you to slice the cake into three- with trepidation I grasped the knife and made my first cut. The top layer came away quite easily as there was a slight crust on the top but the next cut was harder as the sponge is very light but I managed it. In my local Morrisons I found a box of Spanish strawberries which looked heavenly and when I opened them , they smelled amazing and tasted just like strawberries from my childhood. I whipped double cream until it was nice and thick and spread cream onto each layer with some strawberries and finally the cream spread over the top and sides and finished with more strawberries.

Kim's Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake Kim's slice of Swiss Wild Strawberry & Walnut Cake

The second bake I had left for a while as I had watched with amusement the contestants on the last Great British Bake Off making tuile biscuits with varied results .

The almond tuiles recipe was rather bizarre in that you creamed the egg and sugar together. In another bowl, add the egg white and mix the flour in. What Mary doesn’t tell you is that it goes like glue! Then mix all the ingredients together including the chopped almonds. Mary then asks you to put a teaspoon of the mixture onto the baking tray- she suggests four spoonfuls on each tray to allow for spreading. Only bake four at a time and this is really important.

Mary Berry's Almond Tuiles

Bake them until they are brown around the edges but not the middle. Remove from the oven, time is of the essence here. Allow to cool for a few seconds and use a spatula to lift and drape over a rolling pin to create the curve. Allow to cool on this before putting on a rack for final cooling.

Kim's Almond Tuiles

I was pleased with my tuiles and the curves I managed to get!

I usually listen to music while I am in my own little world baking in the kitchen. I can become a bit of a sports widow while there is rugby or formula one on and baking is a good way of filling this time. I have been listening to Robbie Williams album “Swings Both Ways “ and its brilliant. Such an eclectic mix of music, quite different to his normal style and I can highly recommend it. He is no Michael Buble (sigh…) but he has certainly given him a run for his money with this album!

Oh, and the countdown now stands at T – 122 recipes left to go….