Toffee Apple Puddings

Toffee Apple Puddings

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So there was drama on the Bake Off this week! ‘Bin gate’, and especially the reaction to it on the internet really shocked me. When I first watched it, I thought Diana was completely to blame for Iain’s baked Alaska melting, and I was really sad to see him leave, as it wasn’t his fault! However, some of the comments on Twitter  I saw, and especially the ‘#dirtydiana hashtag were ridiculous. Sometimes I think people need to remember that it’s just a cake competition!

The bakers had to make self-saucing puddings this week, and I knew I had to make these, as they have such a lovely caramel sauce. My self-saucing puddings are made with apples, as apples and blackberries in particular remind me of Autumn. These apples were given to my sister and me when we were picking blackberries. A lovely man saw us and offered us some apples from his garden to go with them! I’ve also used muscavado sugar in the base and sponge, as it gives a lovely toffee flavour! 

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Toffee Apple Puddings

For the base:

  • 50g soft butter
  • 50g light muscavado sugar
  • 1 large eating apple, sliced

For the sponge:

  • 100g soft butter
  • 100g light muscavado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 20g soft dates, chopped

For the sauce:

  • 150ml boiling water
  • 50g light muscavado sugar

4 glass ramekins

Heat your oven to 180°C

  1. For the base, mix the butter and sugar in a bowl, then spread some on the bottom of the ramekins.
  2. Arrange the sliced apple on top, then put the ramekins on a baking tray.
  3. Next make the sponge by beating the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Next add the eggs and dates and beat again.
  4. Sift over the flour and stir until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Spoon the mixture over the apples and smooth, then mix the boiling water and sugar together and pour a little over each ramekin, to just cover the sponge.
  6. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the sponge is risen and springs back when you touch it.
  7. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!

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This post is entered in week 4 of the Great Bloggers Bake Off, run by the lovely Jenny Paulin over at http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk/.

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Basil, pine-nut and mozzarella bread

Basil, pine-nut and mozzarella bread

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So this week was bread week on the Great British bake off! None of the showstopper bakes really wowed the judges as they have done in previous weeks, and I have to say I agree – Luis’ Spanish influenced loaf looked amazing with the gold leaf on the olives, but not very appetising, and Richard’s pesto pinwheel looked really tasty, but didn’t quite stand out. Pesto seemed to be the ingredient of the week, with even Norman using it!

So in honour of Norman’s exploration into the “exotic” world of pesto, I have made a tear and share spiral bread, also with pesto flavours. This uses the same technique as cinnamon rolls, with the separate pieces of dough baked together into a loaf, so it is easy to pull a roll or two off. This bread is best when eaten warm, as the mozzarella will still be melted and stringy, but it can also be reheated in the oven after a couple of days.

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Basil, pine-nut and mozzarella bread

For the dough

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g fast action yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 320ml warm water
  • 30ml olive oil

For the filling:

  • 1 tub fresh pesto
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 50g toasted pinenuts
  • 1 ball mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • 150g cheddar, grated

Heat your oven to 180°C

  1. For the dough, put the flour, salt, yeast, oil and water into a large bowl and work together into a dough. Tip onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny.
  2. Lightly oil the dough and put back in the bowl, then cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size, roughly 1 ½ hours, depending on how warm it is.
  3. When the dough has risen, tip out of the bowl and knock back with your hands, then roll into a rectangle. Spread the pesto over, then sprinkle with the basil leaves, pine-nuts and mozzarella.
  4. Roll the dough up tightly lengthways, then cut into 12 pieces. Flour a baking tray, and place a loose bottomed cake tin on it (without the bottom bit). Arrange the spirals inside, then leave to rise for 30 minutes while the oven is pre-heating to 180°C.
  5. Once the loaf has risen again, remove the cake tin, sprinkle over the cheddar and, cook for 30 minutes until golden brown and the loaf feels cooked.
  6. Put on a wire rack to cool and then tear and share!

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This post is part of the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014

 

This post is entered in week 2 of the Great Bloggers Bake Off, run by the lovely Jenny Paulin over at http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk/.

Link to the second week’s round up post: http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk/2014/08/great-bloggers-bake-off-round-up-week-2-biscuits.html

Lemon and white chocolate biscuits

Lemon and white chocolate biscuits

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The return of the Great British Bake Off last Wednesday made me so happy – Bake Off seems to unite the country in a way little else does. My favourite baker so far is definitely Norman – who could forget his hand made skateboard swiss roll plate, or his assertion that his swiss roll was ‘for men’!

This year I am taking part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off (link is at the bottom!), which means I have to bake something along the same theme as the Bake Off contestants every week. This week, however, I’m on holiday in Jersey, so having to bake this week’s theme – biscuits, in our holiday apartment kitchen! It was all going fine, until I realised that not only did I not have scales, but I was also lacking a rolling pin, baking paper, or a baking tray…!

Nevertheless, I have not spent a year baking in a student kitchen without learning anything, so I managed, using a beer bottle as a rolling pin, and roughly guessing the quantities. Despite this, they haven’t turned out badly!

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Lemon and white chocolate biscuits

For the biscuits:

  • 125g softened butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 100g white chocolate, melted

Heat your oven to 180°C

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the egg and lemon zest and beat well again.
  2. Stir in the flour until you have a dough, then chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
  3. When chilled, roll out and cut into shapes (I used a knife to cut them into rectangles because our holiday apartment was unfortunately lacking biscuit cutters..!)
  4. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 9-10 minutes until lightly golden.
  5. When the biscuits are cool, dip half into the white chocolate, then leave to set on a sheet of baking paper.

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This post is entered in week 2 of the Great Bloggers Bake Off, run by the lovely Jenny Paulin over at http://www.thecrazykitchen.co.uk/.

Link to the first week’s round up post: http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk/2014/08/great-bloggers-bake-off-2014-week-1-cakes-round-up.html

Chocolate and hazelnut cupcakes

Chocolate and hazelnut cupcakes

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Baking is one of those things which is great at bringing back memories. I can bake something, and it instantly reminds me of when I first baked it, or when I thought of the idea for the recipe.

These cupcakes are an example of just that. I first made some nutella cupcakes about two years ago, in the summer of 2012, on a sunny day just like the ones we’ve been having, and they were very good. This ones though, are better, baked with ground hazelnuts, prettier cupcake cases, and the help of a sister!

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I then forgot about nutella for a while (how on earth I could have done this I have no idea!), until we stayed in a hotel during a weekend in London recently, and I rediscovered it! So these cupcakes are a little reminiscence, both to nutella and to my 17 year old self.

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