Monday, 30 September 2013

October Tea Time Treats and Marriage's Millers Giveaway!

What a delightful, scrumptious September round-up from Lavender and Lovage's Karen - all the delicious Oaty, Flapjack and Traybake recipes can be found here.

Meanwhile, this month's theme is:


I'm delighted to announce, together with Marriage's Millers, a giveaway in association with this month's Tea Time Treats. One lucky Tea Time Treater will win a Mixed Selection Box of Flours.

Image courtesy of Marriage's Millers

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sticky Ginger and Orange Cake for the 'Make A Wish' Charity Bake Sale

I love baking for family, friends and work colleagues. They are a terribly appreciative bunch. But baking in aid of charity can amplify the baking feel-good factor by the equivalent of an exceptional rise on a dough Paul Hollywood would be proud to call his own. 

When the folks at goodtoknow emailed to ask if I'd like to be involved in the Bake A Wish bake sale in aid of Make A Wish charity I'd tied on my apron and preheated the oven faster than I'd typed 'Yes!' and pressed 'Send' on the laptop.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Muesli Bars with Vanilla Yogurt Topping and Baking Music

The other day a keen runner friend of mine explained excitedly how her times had improved dramatically after she began listening to a specially compiled 'Running Trax' album. 

It got me thinking. Could a specially created 'Cooking Tunes' album provide more rise in my bread? More flavour to my Florentines? More skill to my piping?

I'm not the first to have thought this. Way back when, Jamie Oliver put together a selection of his favourite Brit Pop songs in "Cookin'" and more recently the imaginatively titled 'Cook Songs' has been released. 

If the BigWigs at Song Music came to me for my Cooking Compilation album, these would be my suggestions, niftily split into helpful sections...

Monday, 16 September 2013

Giveaway! Win a copy of 'PIE' by Dean Brettschneider

If you were to turn to a dictionary and look up the definition of the words 'Comfort Food', you'd almost certainly find a picture of a nice piece of pie. And as the nights are drawing in, the days becoming cooler and comfort food is most certainly on the menu, I'm thrilled to offer this giveaway in conjunction with publishers Jacqui Small. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

My Entry to the 'Cake on the Catwalk' Competition at The Cake and Bake Show!

Meet Roxy, my '80s inspired Punk Rocker Cake.

Roxy is my entry into the amateur category of the 'Cake on the Catwalk' competition at this weekend's Cake and Bake Show. The brief was 'London Fashion Through the Decades' and Roxy will be on display all weekend at the show at Earls Court.

I've absolutely no idea what possessed me to enter. I have no experience whatsoever of sugarcraft and decorating a cake. Nil. Nadda. Heck, I can't even pipe icing on a cupcake in pretty swirls. I've only entered one other cake competition in my life. And that wasn't exactly a roaring success

Having said that, it was an incredibly enjoyable afternoon baking and decorating Roxy. But there ere problems. Yep, I know her eyes are a bit wonky. That'll be the recreational drugs this particular Punk Rocker was partaking in (don't do it kids!) and not because I was decorating at an angle (schoolgirl error). I had to free form the letters for 'The Sex Pistols' because I couldn't find my letter cutters despite turning the entire kitchen upside down. And there are more dents and fingerprints in the white icing than in a luxury jewellers window in an attempted Bond Street diamond heist. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Book Review and Recipes: The Great British Bake Off Everyday

I've tended to stay away from book reviews on What Kate Baked. I put this down to a traumatic experience aged 15 in an English Lit class at school. We were studying 'Of Mice and Men' and Mrs Pearce asked for an essay critiquing the theme of the impossibility of the American Dream evident throughout the novella. I went home that night somewhat anguished. 'I can't possibly criticise John Steinbeck' I thought, 'One of the all time greatest American authors! Pulitzer Prize Winner! Noble Prize Winner! How can I possibly critically analyse this ''Great Work of Fiction''?'. 

Sixteen years later it is high time I overcome this fear. (Mrs Pearce will hopefully be proud). Here goes... 

Accompanying the brand new, more popular than ever, series of The Great British Bake Off comes 'The Great British Bake Off: Everyday'. This is the fifth Bake Off book and, on first appearances, appears to attempt to fit the middle ground between the beginners 'How to Bake...', which accompanied Series Two and last year's 'How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers'. It is written by the very experienced cookbook writer Linda Collister, author of all Bake Off books (and about 68 others) with introductions and recipes from Mary and Paul.