Monthly Archives: August 2013

Making Sourdoughs

Originally posted on bakingfanatic:
Post updated: September 2016 (a few new photographs added) Introduction The “stretch and fold” method for making sourdough Recipe for standard sourdough loaves Simple flavour variations The sourdough starter (making a starter from scratch; maintaining & feeding the starter) The more traditional kneading method Rising: bulk fermentation & the final proof Shaping Turning out…

Wedding cake practice run!

While making plans for our civil partnership in a few months’ time, we had every intention of buying the “wedding” cake. Being us, it would involve chocolate and sponge rather than a rich fruit cake – although we like fruit cake, we wanted the cake to be more of an indulgent dessert. But the other […]

Making Sourdough bread

Post updated: September 2016 (a few new photographs added) Introduction The “stretch and fold” method for making sourdough Recipe for standard sourdough loaves Simple flavour variations The sourdough starter (making a starter from scratch; maintaining & feeding the starter) The more traditional kneading method Rising: bulk fermentation & the final proof Shaping Turning out the dough If the […]

Lime & Passion Fruit Drizzle Cake

I love the combination of limes and passion fruit: they are two of my favourite flavours for a drizzle cake, complementing each other beautifully, with each flavour able to stand up to the other. This is a very easy to make, with a light texture, a heady citrus perfume and a wonderfully intense lime and […]

Bacon and Brie Tart

Fresh onion chutney, crisp bacon and creamy brie are an excellent combination and they make for a light, flavoursome tart. This tart is perfect served with a green salad dressed with a lemony vinaigrette. I tend to make puff pastry, often doubling up the ingredients in order to freeze half for a later time. However, […]

The joys of Afternoon Tea

All images are of my bakes. A marvellous institution in itself, you do not need a reason to justify taking Afternoon Tea! Wonderfully indulgent, it is one of the most pleasurable ways to spend what should be several unrushed hours, allowing gasps of excitement to escape out as both sweet and savoury goodies are presented. […]

Lemon & vanilla Victoria sandwich

A classic for a reason, a Victoria sandwich cake is a simple yet satisfying treat at any time. And it is a great example of simplicity at its very best. The use of home-made lemon curd, makes the cake even more of a treat.  While most commercial preserves whisper a pitiful “eat me” in an embarrassing […]

Raspberry genoise slices

This is a light dessert cake with a full-on raspberry tang from the mousseline/buttercream. The ones in the pictures are more rough looking than I would like as I made them in something of a rush, but they were devoured very easily. A last-minute cake! These were very much made last-minute for a summer barbeque: I had been asked […]

Croissants and related bakes

Post updated January 2017 Sections in this post: Introduction About the recipe Little tweaks here and there Recipe for a croissant dough How to shape the dough for croissants and pains au chocolat A few tips Proving: a cooler environment Variations A rough timescale for making croissants Quicker croissants Introduction I have been fascinated by laminated doughs […]

Focaccia: higher hydration, no knead

This is my take on a standard focaccia, going for a higher water content than many recipes, handling the dough differently and letting the dough sit in the fridge overnight for its first prove (bulk fermentation) to really develop its flavour. A good focaccia is hard to beat: not too thick with a crisp exterior […]

Raspberry Frangipane Tarts

With a crisp, buttery pastry and the sharp raspberries cutting through the richness of the almond filling, these moist tarts are lovely served warm, dusted with icing sugar and with some whipped cream They are also nice made more bite-sized using shallow mince pie tins, with a generous teaspoonful of frangipane on top of each […]

Chocolate Roulade

I am unashamed to admit my love of chocolate – the very best quality chocolate for my baking, certainly, but a bar of the more synthetic chocolate bar often more than hits the spot. Although I do not always opt for desserts – despite the number of cake and sweet treats I bake – if […]

Almost instant strawberry ice cream (no churn)

This is a ridiculously simple ice cream, using practically no effort, whatsoever: just 3 ingredients, a food blender and the strong will not to eat the ice cream before placing it back in the freezer! While I love making the traditional custard-based ice creams, I have been making this ice cream for decades, and of […]

Amuse-bouches: why stop at just one?

I am such a fan of amuse-bouches/canapés or just a good selection of nibbles: at a restaurant it is often these appetisers that intrigue me the most. I can honestly eat them one after another (the mark of a good canapé) and there are times when I would be happy to forego a meal, opting […]

Sourdoughs – the king of breads

I cannot get enough of sourdoughs and an honest sourdough, with no frills and no pretence at being anything other than the good loaf it is, is a very hard thing to beat first thing in the morning. Especially when toasted and generously buttered. It might not be a champagne breakfast at an exclusive country […]

Simple smoked mackerel canapés

Updated: March 2016 In this post I have given two recipes: one for my version of smoked mackerel pâté and one for gooseberry chutney. Crunchy, with a rich smoked flavour and a sharp tang, this is my simple canapé version of a wonderful mackerel starter I had in a restaurant some time ago. As the […]

Panzanella – total simplicity with great flavours.

A wonderful, intense-flavoured salad in its own right, panzanella is great as an accompaniment for meats or fish. It is such a simple salad, too, and can be put together in moments and is a great way to use up left-over or stale bread. I tend to freeze chunks of bread that are unlikely to […]

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