Category Archives: Biscuits, Cookies and Traybakes

Caramel Brownies

Rich fudgy brownies with the delicious sweetness of caramel. These are seriously moreish!

I love a brownie, but not all brownies were created equal. I’m sure you have all had something that calls itself a brownie and looks promising, but then when you bite into it, it’s more like chocolate cake. Disappointing is an understatement. 

For a brownie to really be a brownie, you  need a slightly crisp exterior with the most deliciously fudgy moist middle. When you have had a really good brownie, you will never be happy with an average brownie again!

Brownies are so versatile for adding extra yummy things. Usually I add chocolate bars to the mix before they go in the oven which is a really tasty way of making them even more exciting. But at the moment I seem to be going through a caramel phase, so obviously I needed to incorporate this into brownies!

As I have said before, I am not the biggest fan of caramel, well until recently apparently. Since I have been making my own caramel, it has definitely made me like caramel more. Although when you are add the caramel to the brownie mix it looks like quite a lot, the taste isn’t too strong or sweet. Compared to how much caramel is in the recipe, it is quite subtle – but don’t panic you definitely know it is there!

When adding the caramel, I would recommend leaving at least a one centimeter boarder around the edge of the mix. If you don’t it is my no means the end of the world, but if you do not leave the boarder, some caramel may seep out during cooking. If it seeps out, it tends to become quite solid and chewy once you have taken them out of the tin. This is only really a problem if you eat them on the same day they were baked. The next day any caramel that has escaped will have softened. 

One fantastic thing about brownies are because of their moistness, they keep really well. As long as you keep them in an airtight container, they will keep well for up to five days. 

I usually cut the try of brownies into 12 squares, but they are quite rich so you would be fine cutting them into smaller pieces. 

I have adapted Nigel Slater’s recipe. I love how he talks about brownies and food in general. 

Makes 12

For the caramel 
58ml water
120g caster sugar
½ tsp sea salt
113g double cream

For the brownies
300g golden caster sugar

250g butter
250g chocolate 
3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
60g flour
60g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder

  1. Start by making the caramel. Add the water, sugar and salt to a pan on medium heat and stir until it comes to the boil 
  2. Without stirring, allow the it to bubble away until it becomes a light to medium amber colour which should take 5-6 minutes
  3. As soon as it gets to the right colour, pour in the cream and then stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it becomes thicker and darker, or reaches 110ºC
  4. Pour into a heatproof container and any extra caramel can be keept in the fridge for up to one month
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 23cm x 23cm tin with baking parchment
  6. Beat the sugar and and butter for at least 5 minutes until white and fluffy

  1. Chop the remaining 50g of chocolate into small chunks and set aside

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  1. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the melted and chopped chocolate and stir with a large metal spoon
  2. Fold in the flour and cocoa mix gently making sure you don’t knock the air out. This can take a couple of minutes to ensure the ingredients are fully combined

  1. Scrape half of the mix into the prepared tin and smooth out. Add a good layer of the caramel and spread out making sure you leave roughly a 1cm gap around the edge

  1. Add the rest of the brownie mix on top and spread out 

  1.  Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Test the brownies with a cocktail stick – it should come out sticky but not with raw mixture. If it does, put back in the oven for 3 minutes. Remember the brownie will solidify as it cools

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Individual Peanut Millionaire’s Shortbread

Crisp shortbread with delicious caramel sauce, topped with peanuts and rich peanut buttery milk chocolate. Oh and it’s an individual portion just for you! 

My lovely friend went on a weekend away to Paris and brought me back a Milka Peanut Caramel chocolate bar. My initial thought, after obviously how nice it was that she had brought me a present, was that I didn’t think I would like it. I am usually not a fan of caramel, especially in my chocolate bars. But because I am a trooper, I decided to take one for the team and try it. Oh. My. Goodness. It was definitely one of the best chocolate bars I had ever had. It didn’t taste very much like caramel, but the most delicious peanut butter covered in chocolate. 

When coming up with the idea for this recipe, I didn’t want the peanut butter to be too strong, just a subtle hint which is why I only included a small amount in the chocolate layer. The peanuts add a crunch to the soft caramel layer which makes it even tastier too! You can also add more or less salt depending on your own taste. I personally love chocolate and salt, but if you don’t just use a small amount or none at all. 

I wanted to make individual portions because I think they look even and precise. I find when I make Millionaire’s Shortbread in one large tray that when you cut it, no matter how careful you are, the chocolate always seems to crack in one place or other so you don’t get the perfect neat edges. This is why I wanted to make individual portions because there is no cutting or messy edges involved.

I used a 12 hole loose based sandwich tin which does make quite generous portions, but sometimes that is the only sized portion you need! You obviously can use any size mini tin, but I do recommend using one with a loose bottom to make it easier to get the shortbread out once they have chilled. 

I find making caramel can be quite hit and miss. I make it the same every time and follow the same steps, but every once in a while it all goes wrong. I’m sure there is a scientific reason for this and someone might be able to tell me what that is, but I wanted to mention it encase it all goes a little wrong for you too! It did also make me feel better that the bakers on last night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off all seemed to struggle at one point to make their caramel, so I’m not alone with this!

If you have any caramel left after making these, it will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a month. You could always use any leftover caramel to make my Caramel Rocky Road

Makes 8 

For the shortbread
112g plain flour

88g unsalted butter
38g caster sugar
Spray oil

For the caramel sauce
58ml water
120g caster sugar
½ tsp sea salt
113g double cream

For the peanut & chocolate
3 tbsp unsalted peanuts

Sprinkle of sea salt 
100g milk chocolate
30g smooth peanut butter 

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC and spray a mini loose bottomed sandwich tin with oil
  2. Put the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until you have a fine breadcrumb texture add the caster sugar and mix again
  3. Divide the mixture between 8 of the holes (roughly 25g per hole) and press down to make a flat surface. You may want to use a back of a teaspoon to do this 
  4. Bake the shortbread for 30 mins, it should be a very light colour. Set aside to cool slightly and make the caramel

  1. Add the water, sugar and salt to a pan on medium heat and stir until it comes to the boil 
  2. Without stirring, allow it to bubble away until it becomes a light to medium amber colour which should take 5-6 minutes
  3. As soon as it gets to the right colour, pour in the cream and then stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it becomes thicker and darker, or reaches 110ºC

  1. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 mins. Be careful – hot caramel burns
  2. Add a few peanuts to on top of each caramel layer and sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt 

  1. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together for short blasts in the microwave, giving it a stir between each blast 
  2. When the chocolate and peanut butter are melted, stir to completely combine and then spoon over each dessert. Once you have added the chocolate, using a spoon smooth out the chocolate. Sprinkle with edible glitter if wanted
  3. Allow to cool completely in the fridge for at least 2 hours

 

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Caramel Rocky Road

This is a must for caramel lovers. Tasty caramel treats covered in chocolate then drizzled with decadent caramel sauce.

Who doesn’t like Rocky Road? The traditional recipe has been one I have been making for years and has been incredibly popular. When thinking of ways to elevate it and make it extra special caramel instantly came to mind, and voila my Caramel Rocky Road was born!

One great thing about Rocky Road is how easy it is to adapt the recipe to include more of what you want and less of what you don’t. For example if you don’t like marshmallows, leave them out and add more popcorn or digestives. It really that simple. 

You can also make this and use bought caramel sauce to drizzle on the top if you don’t want to go to that extra bit of effort to make your own. But as someone who doesn’t usually like caramel, this caramel sauce was pretty damn tasty, so I would recommend making it if you have the time. 

The caramel sauce is quite runny when warm but gets quite firm when cold. If you are using this from the fridge, I would heat a couple of tablespoons of it in the microwave which will then make it far easier for you to drizzle – just be careful as hot caramel burns!

Rocky Road makes a great gift wrapped up in cellophane bags. Each year I usually make a few batches to give as gifts at Christmas because people really like a homemade gift. I have already had requests from people asking for some for this Christmas!

This Rocky Road will easily keep in an airtight container for a week. I haven’t managed to test if it would keep for longer because it’s always eaten far too quickly for that! I took my first batch of this to a little get-together we had for my husband’s birthday and the whole lot went in no time at all. That’ when you know you’ve come up with a good recipe!

The quantities below make a lot more caramel sauce than you will need for this recipe but it keeps for up to one month in the fridge and is so versatile. 

If you are making your own caramel sauce, start by making this before the actual Rocky Road. 

For the Caramel Sauce
115ml water
240g caster sugar
½ tsp sea salt
225g double cream

For the Rocky Road
300g milk chocolate
150g golden syrup
100 unsalted butter 
100g digestive biscuits
80g toffee popcorn
150g caramel wafer bars (5 bars), chopped
50g mini marshmallows
60g caramel buttons
Sprinkles to decorate 

  1. Add the water, sugar and salt to a pan on medium heat and stir until it comes to the boil 
  2. Without stirring, allow the it to bubble away until it becomes a light to medium amber colour which should take 5-6 minutes
  3. As soon as it gets to the right colour, pour in the cream and then stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it becomes thicker and darker, or reaches 110ºC
  4. Pour into a heatproof container and keep in the fridge for up to one month

  1. Line a square 20x20cm tin with parchment paper and set aside
  2. Add the chocolate, butter and golden syrup to a heatproof dish and melt in short bursts in the microwave, stirring between each burst
  3. While the chocolate is melting, add the digestive biscuits to the bowl and crush using something like a rolling pin. You can do this in a food processor, but you don’t want them to be broken into a fine crumb. Plus why create more washing up than you need to?

  1. Once the biscuits are crushed, add the chopped caramel wafers, mini marshmallows, caramel buttons and toffee popcorn and mix through
  2. Once the chocolate is fully melted give it a really good stir to fully combine and then add to the dry ingredients and stir through to make sure everything is coated in the chocolate

  1. Tip into the lined tin and spread out evenly 

  1. Add any sprinkles or extra caramel buttons you fancy and then drizzle with the caramel sauce using as much or as little as you fancy 

  1. Chill in the fridge for around 4 hours, or even overnight 
  2. Once fully chilled, cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for at least one week

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Soft and chewy cookies sandwiched with deliciously smooth peanut butter filling – this is my idea of heaven. Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic combination of flavours, and one that I am a big fan of! 

Fancy sandwich biscuits aren’t as popular here in the UK as I think they are in the US. They also haven’t been around as long in the UK and are quite new. I’ve just been a bit nerdy and had a google and Oreo’s, which are the best-selling biscuit in the United States, have been around since 1912. We only received these in widespread supermarkets here in the UK in 2008! So all those years, the US have been enjoying the biscuits with us having a Jammie Dodger as our most exciting sandwich biscuit! 

Now don’t get me wrong, I like a custard creme as much as the next person, but they’re not extremely exciting and different, unlike today’s modern sandwich biscuits. 

That then leads me to discuss the difference between a cookie and a biscuit. As far as I am aware, unless you are from the US or Canada you will refer to these crisp sweet treats as biscuits. That is unless they are softer and chewier, then they are referred to as a cookie. Whereas if you’re in the US or Canada, all ‘biscuits’ are cookies to you. Please correct me by commenting below if I’m wrong! 

Whatever you call them, they are delicious and are that bit more exciting than a normal biscuit especially as the filling flavours are becoming more inventive each year. 

I may be going against my British nature to say this, but I am not too much of a fan of traditional biscuits. I don’t particularly like a crisp biscuit because I find them quite dry and again, going against everything that is British; I don’t drink tea so I can’t even dunk my biscuits to soften them. That is why sandwich biscuits are the biscuit for me!

My husband brought me these peanut butter chips back from a work trip to the US. He went straight from the airport to Wallmart where he stocked up on goodies for me – I think they weighed 9kg! I haven’t seen these peanut butter chips in supermarkets here in the UK, but you can buy them online from Amazon. They are a bit pricey so you can easily leave them out and just double the chocolate chip quantity. 

The quantities below will make approximately 40 cookies which will therefore make 20 sandwich cookies. The will keep well in a sealed container for at least 3 days. 

Makes approximately 20 sandwich cookies

For the cookies
125g butter or margarine

100g light brown sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
½ tsp salt
100g milk chocolate chips
100g peanut butter chips 

For the filling
30g unsalted butter
130g smooth peanut butter
60g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 – 2 tbsp milk 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line two baking trays with baking parchment or cooking liners
  2. Beat the butter and sugars together until pale and very light; this should take around 10 mins

  1. Add the egg and vanilla and mix briefly before adding the flour and salt. Once just combined, add most of the chocolate and peanut butter chips and mix once more to incorporate the chips. Keep a couple of spoonfuls of chips for later 

  1. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mix and then roll in your palms to get a smooth, uniform ball. Place on the lined baking tray leaving enough room between each ball to allow for the mix to spread

  1. Stud the balls with a few of the reserved chips before baking in the oven for 10 minutes – they will be slightly gooey when they come out of the oven

  1. Allow to cool for around 5 minutes on the tray before carefully moving to a wire rack to cool completely

  1. Once cooled, match each cookie with another that matches it’s size – find your cookie a twin!

  1. Make the filling by beating the peanut butter and butter together. Then add the icing sugar and mix before adding the salt and vanilla. Add enough milk until you get a smooth mix that is thin enough to pipe but not too runny
  2. Spoon the filling into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe the filling onto one of the cookie pairs, making sure you don’t go too close to the edge. Then add the other cookie on top and press down slightly so the filling squidges to the edges of the cookie

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Frangipane Mince Pie Slices

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Mince Pies but without all the fiddly pastry! These Frangipane Mince Pie Slices have all the flavours you’d associate with mince pies but in a tray bake instead of an individual little pie.

Mince Pies may not be something you are aware of if you’re not from the UK. They are little sweet pies filled with mincemeat which is a sweet filling consisting of dried fruits, spices and spirits. Although I love a mince pie, mincemeat does divide people and it’s not everyone’s thing!

For me it isn’t Christmas until the mince pies have been made. However the traditional way of making them is a little fiddly as you have to cut out circles of pastry before filling with mincemeat and then topping with more pastry. At a time of year when there is always so much going on, a quicker version is always welcome!

I thought about making a tray bake as a way to speed the mince pie process up. I have come up with this recipe which includes the added extra of frangipane and after a couple of tester bakes sampled by my friends at work, I have come up with the below recipe. I like a good thick layer of mincemeat but feel free to use a bit less if you would like. You could also scatter the top with flaked almonds before putting it into the oven.

These Frangipane Mince Pie Slices freeze really well so make a batch and freeze some ready to whip out the night before you have guests coming. You will then have a lovely home baked treat for your guests without any last minute stress!

Enjoy and remember to thank me when you’re no longer cutting out circles of pastry!

For the shortcrust pastry
175g plain flour
75g butter 
2 – 3 tbsp cold water 

For the frangipane
150g butter, softened

150g caster sugar
60g plain flour
90g ground almonds
2 ½ large eggs, beaten
¼ tsp almond extract
½ an orange zest, grated

600g mincemeat 

  1.  Start by making the pastry. Measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  2. Add enough water to form a soft dough. Add it gradually because you might not need to add all three tablespoons
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface and line the bottom of the tin with it

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  1. In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the frangipane ingredients and mix until combined

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  1. Spread the mincemeat evenly across the pastry making sure you get right to the edges

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  1. Dot spoonfuls of the frangipane on top of the mincemeat and spread evenly

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  1. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so before turning out onto to wire rack to cool completely. Then cut into squares and enjoy!

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No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

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Gloriously indulgent and pure peanut butter chocolatey goodness. These bars will change your life.

Ok so maybe that was slightly dramatic, but they will mean you don’t need to buy Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups again! These bars are everything you want when you get the craving for peanut butter and chocolate. You will find it incredibly hard to have just one!

This recipe is from a fantastic blog  which I have featured before – Sally’s Baking Addiction. Make sure you go and have a look at the recipe on her blog as there is a video showing you exactly how she makes them. I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly by using digestive biscuits instead of graham crackers and milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate. Here in the UK we do not have graham crackers, so digestives are our closest alternative. The chocolate was simply because I like milk chocolate more so feel free to use which you would prefer.

Apart from how amazing these bars taste, they are also fantastically easy to make and you don’t even need an oven! Don’t get put off by the simplicity of the ingredients, they really do taste like Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. I was more than slightly dubious about the digestive biscuits as I thought there was no way biscuits would provide the right flavour or texture. I was definitely pleasantly surprised!

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115g salted butter, melted
1 cup (approximately 120g) digestive biscuits, crushed
120g icing (powdered) sugar
185g + 30g smooth peanut butter
180g milk chocolate

  1. Line a 20x20cm baking tin with parchment paper
  2. Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave and set aside. Blitz the digestive biscuits in a food processor into a fine crumb and add to the melted butter along with the icing sugar and 185g peanut butter

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  1. Spread the mix evenly onto the bottom of the prepared tin
  2. Melt the chocolate along with 30g peanut butter in  heatproof bowl in the microwave making sure you check and stir the mix often

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  1. Pour the melted chocolate and peanut butter mix over the biscuit base and smooth out evenly

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  1. Allow to full cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Cut into small squares and enjoy!

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Fruity Biscotti

Cat Biscotti 1 copy

Photo by Betty

Crunchy biscuits packed with fruits and nuts with a subtle hint of spice, perfect dipped in a cup of coffee.

Week 2 of GBBO is biscuit week! As with most things, I am quite fussy when it comes to biscuits. I will never be the person getting exited over a bourbon! The one biscuit I cannot resist is a chocolate caramel digestive biscuit which is strange as I’m not usually a fan of caramel. It is just not safe if they’re in the house because I do find myself eating more than I should!

The three bakes were Biscotti, Arlettes and a 3D box made of biscuits, filled with biscuits. For Christmas last year I made Fruity Biscotti as part of my Chistmas Menu but never got round to blogging about them so now was the perfect opportunity! After looking at a number of recipes I decided to make this one by Good Food because of how many different fruits and nuts were in it and it went down very well. The original recipe can be found here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8022/fruity-christmas-biscotti

One of the great things about biscotti is that you can make a batch and keep it in a airtight container for up to a month. This makes it perfect to make ahead and bring out at family occasions – particularly Christmas. They also make really lovely gifts put in cellophane bags and tied with ribbon.

350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
250g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
grated zest of 1 orange
85g raisins
85g dried cherries
50g blanched almonds
50g shelled pistachios

  1. Heat oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC) and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Mix the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs and orange zest until it starts to form clumps. Bring the dough together with your hands – don’t worry it will be dry at first but keep kneading until there are no floury patches left in the bottom of the bowl
  2. Add the fruit and nuts and knead them into the dough making sure they are evenly distributed
  3. Lightly flour your surface and tip the dough out onto it. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and then roll each piece into a sausage approximately 30cm long. Put 2 ‘sausages’ on each tray making sure they are well apart
  4. Bake for 25-30 mins until the dough has risen and feels firm to the touch, it should still be pale at this stage. Transfer onto a wire rack and allow to cool until they are cool enough for you to touch
  5. Turn down the oven to 140ºC (fan 120ºC). Cut the dough into slices about 1 cm thick on the diagonal using a bread knife and then lay them flat on the baking tray. You can cool the biscuits at this stage and freeze them flat on the baking tray, then put into bags and frozen for 2 months
  6. Bake for another 15 mins (20 mins if from frozen), turn them over and thne bake for another 15 minutes until dry and golden
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container for up to one month

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Make sure you check out the rest of the bloggers baking biscuits this week for the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2015 at http:///www.mummymishaps.co.uk

Mummy Mishaps

Chocolate Bark

2015-06-20 09.15.35Your favourite chocolate sprinkled with some of your favourite flavours – what’s not to love?

This is almost not a recipe, but more of an assembly of ingredients which makes it perfect for people of all cooking abilities. It is also extremely easy to adapt the recipe depending on what you like.

I initially made this for Father’s Day (yes it has taken me a while to write this post!) for mine and Rien’s Dad’s. I’ve never gone crazy on Mother’s and Father’s Day but I like to do something thoughtful. Instead of just buying our the Dad’s chocolate, I decided to make them Chocolate Bark.

My Dad’s chocolate of choice is always dark chocolate. I added flavours I know he likes and would go really well with the dark chocolate; cashews, sea salt and chilli flakes. Add as much or little as you like, my Dad likes chilli so I added quite a generous sprinkle.

Rien’s Dad has a major weakness for Galaxy so I knew I had to use that. Unlike the dark chocolate, I added different chocolates I knew Rien’s Dad likes such as Malteasers and Minstrels as I wasn’t as sure of what flavours he would like. I finished it by adding some mini fudge pieces and gold sprinkles.

  1. Melt 400g of your chosen chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water – make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl and you stir the chocolate occasionally

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  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Once the chocolate has completely melted, pour it onto the lined baking tray and spread until it is the thickness you would like
  2. Add any toppings/flavourings you want onto the chocolate and then put in the fridge for a couple of hours until set

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  1. Once hard, break the chocolate into shards and enjoy!

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I put the chocolate in cellophane bags and tied with some ribbon to make them look good but also manly!

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Bakewell Slices

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My Mum has been asking me to make Bakewell Slices for months. She had one from Pret A Manger a while ago and thought it was delicious so she asked me if I could make them for her. I thought Mother’s Day was the perfect time to make them for her, but it did mean keeping her waiting for a while!

I had tried to throw her off the scent by telling her I had made her cupcakes. She does like my cupcakes, but like me isn’t really a fan of buttercream so it wouldn’t be the best thing to make her for Mother’s Day. When I went over to my parent’s house on Mother’s Day, I gave Mum the box and said “here are your cupcakes”. When she opened the box and saw the Bakewell Slices her face lit up, she looked so happy! It was so lovely to see her so excited, I don’t think I could have got her a present she would have liked more. She ate one in seconds and said how tasty it was and she even joked and said Dad would be lucky if she let him have one!

Mum did say she hadn’t expected me to make my own pastry, but this was so simple and quick I thought it would be more fuss to use pre-made pastry! Feel free to use pre-made shortcrust pastry if you find this easier.

Mary advised to use roughly four tablespoons of jam but at the same time said to be generous. I didn’t actually measure the jam out, I just used enough to make a good thick layer which turned out to be about half a jar. The last thing I would have wanted would be a thin layer of jam!

A tip for this recipe is to dot the sponge mix around instead of adding it all in one area. Then using a spatula, spread it out carefully making sure you don’t mix the jam in with the sponge mix. It may look a little messy when you’ve finished but don’t worry after it has baked it will look great.

 For the shortcrust pastry
175g plain flour
75g butter 
2 – 3 tbsp cold water 

For the sponge 
100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp almond extract 

To finish
Approximately 4 tbsp raspberry jam
Flaked almonds to sprinkle on top

  1.  Start by making the pastry. Measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  2. Add enough water to form a soft dough. Add it gradually because you might not need to add all three tablespoons

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface and line the bottom of the tin with it

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  1. Measure all of the sponge ingredients into a bowl and beat until all of the ingredients are combined
  2. Spread the pastry with the raspberry jam and then top with the sponge mix and spread out making sure you completely cover the jam

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  1. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when you press the centre with your finger

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  1. Leave to cool in the tin and then turn out and cut into slices

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I can’t remember eating that many Bakewell Slices to be honest but after making this recipe, I will definitely be making them time and time again. The recipe was simple and quicker than I thought it would be. I really loved the three layers; the cake was light an fluffy followed by a lovely layer of raspberry jam and finished with a layer of pastry.

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I found the recipe in Mary Berry’s baking bible. Yet another fantastic recipe from a a great book.

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Gym Bunny Mummy

Welsh Cakes

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Welsh Cakes are one of my friends Millie’s favourite things. She’s a bit of an expert as she has tried every Welsh Cake out there; but her favourite are from Waitrose. I knew I had a lot to live up to, but when she asked me to make them for her, I accepted the challenge!

Where better to look for a great baking recipe than the legend that is Mary Berry? Rien bought me one of her books, A Bakng Bible, after I went for afternoon tea with my Mum months ago and had the most delicious orange cake (I still need to make that!) but couldn’t find the recipe on the internet. For traditional British recipes I always look to Mary Berry first because her recipes have always been fantastic.

The weekend my Uni friends came I went a little over the top with baking. I made Reece’s Peanut Buttercup Brownies (http://www.curlyscooking.co.uk/?p=1354), Gluten-Free Sundried Tomato Bread (http://www.curlyscooking.co.uk/?p=1443), Gluten Free Apple Crumble and these Welsh Cakes. I had a lovely assistant helping me make these though.

The original recipe says to use currants, but I don’t like them as much as sultanas and raisins so I decided to use sultanas instead. It was when Zoe was cutting them out she said she thought the reason why the recipe said to use currants was because they’re smaller so might get in the way less when you’re cutting them out. Use whichever you prefer!

Zoe has since made the recipe using gluten free flour and she said it works just as well so it is really easy to adapt this recipe if you would like to.

350g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
175g butter
115g caster sugar
100g sultanas
¾ tsp mixed spice
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
Spray oil

  1. Add the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs

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  1. Add the sultanas, sultanas and mixed spice
  2. Beat the egg and milk together and then add to the mixture. Mix to form firm dough adding a little more milk if needed

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  1. Lightly flour your surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately 5mm

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  1. Cut them out using a round cutter

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  1. Heat a frying pan on a low heat and spray with oil. Cook the Welsh Cakes on a low heat for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Make sure you don’t cook them too quickly or else they will turn brown on the outside and won’t be cooked inside

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  1. Cool on a wire rack

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You can sprinkle them with caster sugar and eat them spread with butter if you like. Or if you’re like Millie, you can eat them straight out of the pan! She told me they were even better than Waitrose which was definitely a compliment!

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