Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A little announcement...

Hello!

This is just a little note to the tumbleweed clogging up this blog. How are you? Dusty and neglected?

Well, quite. You see, over the last couple of years I've only sporadically been baking and keeping this blog up to date. Life, namely two brand new children, two house moves and a new job have got in the way. Don't get me wrong, 67% of my diet still consists of cake (the other 33% custard creams) but my cake tins haven't seen an airing for rather a long time. I'm hoping one day to return to regular blogging about cakes but in the meantime I'll post every now and again on here, but will keep tweeting and have an exciting BRAND NEW page on facebook

Meanwhile a BIG thank you to all those who have once followed this blog and those who continue to do so xx

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Chocolate and Orange Welsh Cakes

A mixture of the more traditional Welsh Cake and the indulgent Chocolate Orange version

Happy St David's Day!

The Welsh patron saint was known for extreme austerity (yes, he was the forefather of the modern Tory party!) with monks living in monasteries founded by him living on a diet of bread, vegetables, water and milk. After a while, the monks tired of abstaining from worldly pleasures (and chocolate) and attempted to poison St David's bread, but with no avail and St David lived to slay another dragon*

It therefore may do little to impress stern St David and Welsh Cake purists, but how about celebrating Wales' national day with these Chocolate and Orange Welsh Cakes?

* Except he didn't ever slay a single dragon. Mainly because dragons are mythical creatures and don't exist. Obvs.

Chocolate and Orange Welsh Cakes

125g butter (unsalted, softened at room temperature and cut into small pieces)250g self-raising flour75g caster sugar50g orange or mixed peel50g chopped dark chocolate1 beaten eggPinch of salt1 tbsp milk (if needed)

1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs2. Add the sugar, peel and chocolate and mix together3. Mix in the beaten egg and bring together to form a soft dough with a fork, using the milk to bind further if required 4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin roll out the mixture to about 1cm thickness5. Using a cutter or upturned glass cut out the circles6. Heat an ungreased griddle or heavy frying pan on a medium heat7. Place the cakes onto the surface one or two at a time and cook one side before gently turning over to cook the other side8. Cool on a wire rack. 9. Tuck in with gusto

Baker’s notes....
  • Each Welsh Cake takes approximately 2-3 minutes to cook on each side; you should be aiming for a caramel, light brown colour
  • If the cakes turn a darker colour, quickly, your pan may be too hot. Turn down the heat...is that better?
  • My original, traditional Welsh Cake recipe can be found right here
  • Bendigedig!!


Monday, 2 January 2017

Baking Trends 2017

Image result for 2017

Happy New Year!

It's a brand spanking New Year and that only means one thing! Well, two things. Firstly the hurried, panicked consumption of left over Mince Pies and chocolates from Christmas (8 pies and 4 boxes to go!!) and secondly the annual tradition that is the What Kate Baked 2017 baking trends forecast. As unreliable as the weather, as ill informed as the President-elect of the USA and as inaccurate as ever!


Marbling

By the end of 2017 all baked goods will resemble this metamorphic rock. Your standard tin loaf will resemble the marbled Taj Mahal, your Welsh Cakes will resemble the the Washington Memorial and your key lime pie will resemble your ... kitchen worktop. Well, sort of. But doesn't it look pretty? 

marbled meringues

Portugal

Viva! Step aside Peru, this year's hottest travel destination will be influencing the food we'll be eating over the next 365 days. The legendary Portuguese Tart will be on every baker's must-bake list (or must-buy list if you've a brilliant Portuguese Bakery just down the road like we have). 

Fancy flours

Start relegating your plain white flour to the back the cupboard this instant. Coconut flour is the flour you need to be using this year. Sure, it is at least ten times the price of your standard stuff, but you'll be bang on trend my friend. 

Sweet and Savoury 

In the confusing taste turmoil that is combining sweet and savoury on the same fork, look out for savoury doughnuts such as the crab doughnuts served at Chiltern Firehouse and the seafood sundaes currently being enjoyed in the finest Parisian patisseries 

Ice Cream Roll-Ups

Not the illegitimate child of Mr Whippy and a circus ringmaster's favourite saying, but a Thai street-food where liquid ice cream is flash frozen, stuffed with fruit then wrapped up burrito-style before being garnished with cookies. Otherwise known as your entire daily calorie allowance

Image result for ice cream roll up
Image: Buzzfeed

And saving the very best trend for last...

Chocolate Cake for breakfast

Yes, you read that correctly. Throw aside your toast, wave cheerio to your Cornflakes, lets celebrate the dawn of 2017 with chocolate cake for breakfast. According to the Evening Standard the health benefits of dark chocolate means we'll be eating chocolate earlier in the day, not just in December when advent calendars provide a fulfilling, nutritious breakfast. 

Grab a plate, channel Bruce Bogtrotter and have a very Happy New Year!