TGBBO Week 3: Bread

I am a little late with TGBBO Week 3: Bread because my husband has been away with work and I would just never eat a whole loaf of bread on my own, but he is back today so I have been baking for his return!

I was most excited about bread week, as I love making bread, I do not make it often as we just do not eat that much and I really notice the difference in how long it stays fresh (minus all the horrible ingredients) and I really hate waste. However, I think that bread making it one of my best baking skills, from my first attempt to odd experiments I have never had a bad loaf, but then I have never made soda bread, so here is how it went:

Ingredients

  • 450g of Flour
  • 1tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1tsp of Salt
  • 400ml of Buttermilk
Soda Bread Ready for the Oven

Soda Bread Ready for the Oven

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and put a piece of baking parchment onto a large baking tray
  2. Then mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl
  3. Make a well in the middle and pour in all 0f the buttermilk
  4. Stir into the flour quickly until a sticky dough forms
  5. Tip out onto a (heavily) floured surface and shape with well-floured hands as desired (I made mine round with a cross cut in before baking)
  6. Place into the oven and bake for around 45 minutes, until the bread sounds ‘hollow’ when tapped
  7. Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy
TGBBO Week 3: Soda Bread

TGBBO Week 3: Soda Bread

So there is my TGBBO Week 3: Bread attempt, I think it looks amazing and my apartment has smelt delicious all day long, I really like soda bread as much as regular bread and could eat it all warm, but I was really surprised just how quick it was to make especially when you are comfortable with making bread, it seemed almost wrong to put it in the oven that quickly.

I was so pleased with the results that I think I might start making my own bread a little bit more often now!

Chocolate Chip Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting

I was invited to my friends birthday BBQ here in Berlin and knew I would take along some cupcakes as a surprise for her, this was ruined when she messaged to ask me if I could take some cupcakes to the BBQ but of course I still obliged. I took a batch of White Chocolate and Pistachio ones (check out my recipe from 2 weeks ago) and I also made Chocolate Chip Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting:

Ingredients

  • 100g of Sugar
  • 175g of Butter
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100g of Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g of Chocolate Chips
  • 100g of Icing Sugar
  • 25g of Cocoa
  • Rind of 1 Orange
  • Chocolate Decorations for top
Chocolate Chip Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting

Chocolate Chip Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (fan) and put your cupcakes cases into the tin
  2. Start by creaming the sugar and 100g of the butter together in a bowl until smooth
  3. Sieve in the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour and mix until combined and crumbly
  4. Add the eggs and whisk until your cake batter is smooth
  5. Then add the chocolate chips and stir through the mixture
  6. Pour the cake batter evenly into your cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes you know when they are ready when they spring back when you touch them)
  7. Once baked allow to cool
  8. Whilst the cupcakes are cooling you can make the icing
  9. To do this cream the remaining butter together with the icing sugar, cocoa and orange rind until smooth
  10. Then use a palette knife or icing bag to decorate your cupcakes
  11. Finally add your chocolate decoration to the top

Note: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

The inspiration for these Chocolate Chip Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting were the beautiful little discs I found for the top, however on hindsight maybe chocolate, chocolate and chocolate was the not the best combination for a BBQ in the 34 degree sunshine here in Berlin so they certainly looked a lot more squidgy than this when they were enjoyed!

American Chocolate Chip Pancakes

What do you do on a Sunday evening when you have finished your dinner, all the shops are shut but you want something else to eat? In our house it means that I bake and on this particular day I had a craving (for no reason) for pancakes. Having never made them before I was a bit worried, I have never been very successful at pancakes and my husband usually takes the lead, however as I decided to make thicker American-Style pancakes I was left to my own devices this time, here is my attempt at American Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

Ingredients

  • 135g of Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp of Salt
  • 2 tbsp of Sugar
  • 130ml of Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbsp of Melted Butter
  • 50g of Chocolate Chips
  • Butter for Cooking
  • Golden Syrup to drizzle over the top
American Chocolate Chip Pancakes

American Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl
  2. In a jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing
  4. Finally add the chocolate chips and stir throughout the batter
  5. Let the batter stand for a few minutes
  6. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter It will seem very thick but this is how it should be
  7. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm thick
  8. Repeat until all the batter is used
  9. Then stack onto 2 plates (or one!) and drizzle the golden syrup over the top

Note: This recipe made 6 medium sized pancakes

My first few American Chocolate Chip Pancakes left a little to be desired, they weren’t very round and they were a little more cooked on one side, however I started to get the hang out of it and the last few (that you can see in the picture) tasted just as I expected so I was really pleased with the outcome. Now I know I can make them, I probably will more often!

TGBBO Week 2: Biscuits

So week 2 of The Great British Bake Off and I am loving it as much as ever, this week I really wanted to stay on theme and I do love making biscuits, but instead of cheating I decided to try my hand at something new, Biscotti. I didn’t want to use one of their recipes but a flavour combination that I always love, so here is my TGBBO Week 2: Biscuits recipe for White Chocolate and Almond Biscotti:

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 250gt of Flour
  • 1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 50g of Chopped Almonds (whole almonds chopped so they are chunky not flakes)
  • 50g of White Chocolate Chips
White Chocolate and Almond Biscotti ready for the first bake

White Chocolate and Almond Biscotti ready for the first bake

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (fan) and line a large baking tray with baking paper
  2. Start by measuring your sugar and eggs into a bowl and whisking (with an electric whisk or your arm will kill you) until light and fluffy
  3. In another bowl sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda before adding your almonds and chocolate
  4. Fold the dry mix into the eggs gently until a dough starts to form
  5. Tip your dough onto a floured surface and shape gently (with floured hands) into a roll around 25cm long
  6. Move to your baking tray and flatten until about 3cm thick (as above)
  7. Then bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned
  8. Take your biscotti out of the oven and slide gently onto a chopping board
  9. Reduce the heat of the oven to 130C (fan)
  10. Cut the log into even 1cm thick (roughly if you’re like me) and return to the baking sheet cut side up
  11. Place back into the oven and bake for 12 minutes until crisp to the touch
  12. Cool fully on a wire rack before enjoying
TGBBO Week 2: Biscuits

TGBBO Week 2: Biscuits

Now, being brutally honest, I would not score any points for my White Chocolate and Almond Biscotti being in even pieces…that is why I am not going on The Great British Bake Off anytime soon! However, the taste, now that was spot on, the almonds give in a marzipan flavour and I like the softness of the chocolate in contrast to the crisp biscuit. I am not sure this will be a regular in our house as I must say I prefer a softer biscuit and they did seem to look a lot larger than the ones on the show, I think my eggs may have been a little fluffier than needed.

But all in all TGBBO Week 2: Biscuits was a success. Are any of you making anything from the show?

Sliced Baked Potatoes

A picture of today’s recipe popped up on my suggested posts on Facebook recently and I hardly took a second glance, that was until I fancied a baked potato for dinner and thought hmmmm I can make this with a twist and that is what I did. Here is my take on Sliced Baked Potatoes:

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Potato per person
  • Butter
  • Black Pepper
  • Topping of your choice
Sliced Baked Potatoes

Sliced Baked Potatoes

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (fan)
  2. Clean the potatoes under cold water and pat dry
  3. Taking a sharp knife slice through the middle of the potato until there is around 1/4 uncut
  4. Then work your way out on each side making similar cuts to the potato
  5. Once this is done brush the potato generously with butter, do not worry if the butter does not got into the slices, once in the oven they will open and the butter will melt through
  6. Then place on a baking tray and put into the oven
  7. Turn the oven down to 150C (fan) and leave for 50 minutes (maybe a little longer if you have huge potatoes)
  8. After 50 minutes take the potatoes out and brush with butter again before adding a little black pepper
  9. Place back into the oven for 10 minutes
  10. After this they are ready to have the topping of your choice added (I went for the good ol’ grated cheese)

I really loved these Sliced Baked Potatoes as they were a little crisper and crunchier than normal, almost like lots of slices of sauteed potatoes, which I also happen to love, and I just thought that it made something we are all used to a little more exciting!

TGBBO Week 1: Cake

As my favourite show The Great British Bake of is back, I want to make what they make each week, I am not a fan of making large cakes so for TGBBO Week 1: Cake I have made White Chocolate and Pistachio Cupcakes, I know it is cheating a little bit but I had to make a large batch for a friends Birthday so I am allowing it this week but next week will be strictly on theme (I hope!). Here is this weeks cake recipe:

Ingredients

  • 100g of Sugar
  • 150g of Butter
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100g of Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g of White Chocolate
  • 75g of Icing Sugar
  • 100g of Crushed Pistachios
TGBBO Week 1: Cake

TGBBO Week 1: Cake

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (Fan) and put your cupcake cases into your tin
  2. Then start by creaming the sugar and 100g of butter together in a bowl until smooth
  3. Sieve in the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour and mix until combined and crumbly
  4. Then add the eggs and whisk until your cake batter is smooth
  5. Pour evenly into your cupcakes cases and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes (you can tell when they are ready by touching the top and they will spring back)
  6. Allow to cool
  7. To make the frosting cream the remaining butter and icing sugar together in a bowl until smooth
  8. Then melt your chocolate, I do this is a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water
  9. Let the chocolate cool to room temperature before adding to the buttercream
  10. Stir until combined and creamy
  11. Use a palette knife or icing bag to decorate your cupcakes before sprinkling the pistachios over the top to finish

Note: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

I hope I can keep up with this and share my recipes with you, I am hoping that now it is online I will be spurred to do so! 10 week of pure joy coming up, please stay tuned and let me know how much you love The Great British Bake Off!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

I have recently been using Pinterest a lot more again and I saw a little pin listing all different types of Cupcakes available at a little cupcake store somewhere in America and I absolutely adored it. It gave me the inspiration to create my own version and my first idea was Lemon Meringue Cupcakes and here is how I made them:

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 100g of Sugar
  • 100g of Butter
  • 100g of Flour
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 Eggs

For the Frosting

  • 75g of Icing Sugar
  • 25g of Butter
  • 2 tbsp of Lemon Juice

For the Meringue

  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 120g of Sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Method

  1. Firstly you want to make the mini meringues as they will need to rest for an hour before they can be used, it is best to do this either the night before, or earlier in the day
  2. Preheat the oven to 150C (Fan)
  3. To make the meringues whisk your egg whites in a bowl until they are stiff
  4. Then gradually add the sugar through a sieve whilst whisking until it is all combined and the mixture is still stiff
  5. Finally add the the lemon juice and give a final whisk
  6. Place a piece of baking paper on a tray and draw 12 small circles with space in between, the circles should be around 3cm (this size of a cupcake)
  7. The spoon out your mixture onto these circles making them into a cone shape (some people use a piping bag but you risk losing the air in the mixture so I prefer to freehand)
  8. The place the meringues into the oven and turn it down to 130C and bake for 20 minutes
  9. After 20 minutes turn off the oven but leave the meringues in the oven to cool
  10. Once your meringues are fully cooled you can start on the cupcakes
  11. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) – Make sure you take out the meringues!
  12. Start by creaming the sugar and butter together in a bowl until smooth
  13. Then sieve in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir until the mixture is crumbly
  14. Finally add the eggs and mix until your cake batter is smooth
  15. Divide evenly into the cupcake cases and bake for 10 minutes
  16. Once the cupcakes are ready you can prepare the frosting
  17. This bit is easy, put the icing sugar, butter and lemon juice into a bowl and stir until combined and smooth
  18. Once this is done you are ready to assemble your Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
  19. Take one cupcake, if it has a little knobbly bit on the top, cut this off so you have a flat surface then place a generous dollop of the lemon frosting into the middle, then place of your mini meringues onto the frosting to stick it down
  20. Repeat the process for all 12 cupcakes and you are ready to enjoy!

Note: This recipe will make 12 cupcakes

I must be doing something right at the moment as these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes came out just as I had imagined and looked really great. They were a little bit difficult to eat but when they taste good who cares right!

I have to think up my next cupcake now… If you have any ideas or a favourite recipe you would like me to try, just comment below!

Chicken Gyoza with Homemade Wrappers

In the week I shared my recipe for Homemade Gyoza Wrappers, now I am showing you how to make Chicken Gyoza with Homemade Wrappers. I won’t be writing out the recipe for the wrappers so please reference my last blog post for that and this recipe will just pick up where that one ended:

Ingredients

  • 100g of Chicken, Chopped into Small Pieces
  • 1 Red Onion, Finely Diced
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 tsp of Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp of Chili Flakes
  • 1 tbsp of Soy Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Oil for frying
  • 16 Homemade Gyoza Wrappers
Chicken Gyoza with Homemade Wrappers

Chicken Gyoza with Homemade Wrappers

Method

  1. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the chicken for a few minutes until it starts to brown
  2. Then add the garlic and onion and fry for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the salt, pepper and chili flakes and stir so it coats the chicken
  4. Add the soy sauce and fry until the chicken is cooked through
  5. Then allow the filling to cool before you assemble your gyoza
  6. Once cool take one gyoza wrapper and place around a teaspoon of the filling into the centre, fold up the sides and crimp the wrapper along the edges to form the traditional shape
  7. Repeat this process for all of the wrappers
  8. Now they are ready to be cooked
  9. In a clean pan, heat a generous amount of oil for shallow frying the gyoza
  10. Once the oil is hot add the gyoza to the pan
  11. Fry on each side until golden, this will take around 3 minutes on each side
  12. Once cooked take out of the pan and place onto kitchen roll to allow the excess oil to be soaked up
  13. They are then ready to serve, you can serve them with soy or chili sauce, dependent on your preference

Note: This recipe will make 16 gyoza

Now, I have to be honest and sometimes being honest is being bigheaded but these Chicken Gyoza with Homemade Wrappers are amazing! They taste like the ones you get at Wagamamas (in the UK) and those are my favourite, I have to go and get them every time we visit the UK but now I don’t need to, I can just make them at home whenever I want! How awesome is that?

Homemade Gyoza Wrappers

I love Japanese food, a lot, but I haven’t found a Japanese restaurant here in Berlin that I love yet so when I had a craving for Gyoza, possibly one of my favourite things in the whole wide world, there was only one thing for it. I had to learn to make Homemade Gyoza Wrappers and here is my recipe:

Ingredients

  • 120g of Flour
  • 60ml of warm water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Extra flour for dusting
Homemade Gyoza Wrappers

Homemade Gyoza Wrappers

Method

  1. Start by adding the salt to your warm water and stirring until it has dissolved
  2. Then sieve the flour into a bowl and gradually add the water whilst combing, at this point the douch will be quite dry and look rough but this is OK, if you think it is too dry you can add a tiny bit more water
  3. Once combined, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and has some stretch
  4. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each into a log shape, wrap in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes
  5. After the dough has rested, unwrap and divide each log into 8 equal pieces, place onto baking paper and cover with a damp piece of kitchen roll to stop it drying out
  6. Take one piece of dough and roll into a ball in your hands
  7. Then place onto a floured surface and flatten into a disc before using a rolling pin to fully roll out the wrapper
  8. Roll out the wrapper until it is as circular as can be and around 1mm thick
  9. Place on the baking paper under the wet kitchen roll and dust with a little flour to stop it sticking and repeat with each piece of dough

Note: This recipe makes 12 wrappers

The Homemade Gyoza Wrappers are then ready to be filled and wrapped, I will be sharing our recipe for this with you at the weekend, so keep your eyes peeled! I can assure you they work and taste great, we have made them twice now and they taste as good as any you will get in a restaurant but you can easily make them at home!

Chocolate Fondants

We have a slight obsession with Celebrity Masterchef at the moment and although our culinary talents are probably not to their level we can try right? You bet we can… and we did, here is our attempt at making Chocolate Fondants (a very popular Masterchef dessert):

Ingredients

  • 50g of Melted Butter
  • 100g of Cocoa Powder
  • 200g of Good-Quality Dark Chocolate
  • 200g of Butter
  • 200g Of Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 200g of Flour
  • 20g of Icing Sugar
Chocolate Fondants Fresh from the Oven

Chocolate Fondants Fresh from the Oven

Method

  1. Start by getting your moulds ready. Using upward strokes, heavily brush the melted butter all over the inside of the pudding mould
  2. Place the mould in the freezer for 30 minutes
  3. Brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the mould. Tip the mould so the powder completely coats the butter. Tap any excess cocoa back into the jar, then repeat with 1 the next mould
  4. Place a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then slowly melt the chocolate and butter together.
  5. Remove bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes
  6. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail (I would receommend using an electric whisk or you will get arm ache!)
  7. Sift the flour into the eggs, then beat together
  8. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter
  9. Tip the fondant batter into a jug, then evenly divide between the moulds
  10. Heat the oven to 200C (Fan).
  11. Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook for 10-12 minutes until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds
  12. Remove from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 minutes before turning out
  13. Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides, easing them out of the moulds. Tip each fondant slightly onto your hand so you know it has come away, then tip back into the mould ready to plate up
  14. Finally dust with icing sugar before serving
Chocolate Fondants

Chocolate Fondants

Note: This recipe will make 6-8 fondants, dependent on your ramekin size

To be honest, I expected us to fail as many many do on these cooking shows, but it turns out they make a fuss for nothing! Our Chocolate Fondants came out absolutely perfectly and were so so so delicious, if not a little rich, I think a cream or vanilla ice cream would be a good accompaniment if we make them again just to soothe the flavour a little! The best thing, you can freeze the left overs in the ramekins and then bake them from frozen at a later date, just add 5 minutes onto the baking time and they taste just as good! So this way, you can enjoy them for longer (or just the next day if you are greedy and cannot resist eating them all like us).

So if you have been put off making them by failure, DON’T just follow this recipe for perfect Chocolate Fondants! (Or maybe my baking skills are just that special).

Have you had any recipes you thought would fail turn out better than expected, if so, what?