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Behind the scenes with Eric Lanlard

Sam clapper clapper lou

We were really excited to go behind the scenes this month with Eric Lanlard whilst he was filming some yummy new ‘How to’ videos for us.

All attempts of any summer holiday diets went out of the window when we saw what was on the cards for this shoot; Comté cheese and ham savoury muffins, heirloom tomato tatin, cinnamon and banana flapjacks, pain au chocolate, salted caramel jumbo macaroons, red velvet ice cream, the list goes on…

As ever, Eric was full of beans and super excited to get ‘Baking Mad.’ The smells that were coming from the kitchen were so amazing it was times like this that we wish our ‘how to’ videos had smell-o-vision to share with you.

tomato tart

It was difficult to decide what our favourite dish was as every time we tried something new our minds were changed. The dishes looked really impressive when finished and were so simple to make. The heirloom tomato tatin was definitely top of our list of must-try recipes when we get back to our kitchen. Fresh tomatoes, wholegrain mustard, pastry…what more could you want for an alfresco summer lunch or a weekend treat?

We also enjoyed the perfect pain au chocolat. Although a lot of effort is required to make the wonderfully buttery flaky pastry you will be glad you have given it a try when you enjoy the indulgent gooey chocolate centre, still warm from the oven. Perfect with a nice hot drink – they were so moreish the crew were fighting each other for the last one.

eric shot

As you can imagine not everything runs smoothly on a video shoot – having to contend with low flying airplanes, builders drilling in the streets outside and the odd mix up of words is par for the course and today was no different with plenty of footage for the blooper reel.

In between takes we particularly enjoyed taking turns to work the clapper board. ’Action!’ We even added little dance moves to each one to keep the baking mad energy going.

bobbi

After a fun, yet tiring day (even Bobbi had to have little power nap) we were so full of delicious cakes we practically had to roll home.

The new videos are now available in our ‘How to’ section so pop over and give them a watch. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we did filming them.

Here are a selection of the videos

Cinnamon and banana flapjack

Upside-heirloom-tomato-tatin

Raspberry Paris brest

Happy Baking!

food shot food shot 2 food shot 3
food shot 3

The Cake and Bake show rolls into London

Earls court

Almost the weekend and what better way to celebrate than a visit to the Cake and Bake show in Earls Court to eat my body weight in yummy cupcakes, brownies and bread! Good job I wore my stretchy jeans!

NM bottle As soon as I entered I was in awe of the gigantic Nielsen-Massey (headline sponsors) bottle on display in the foyer – I wish I had a handbag big enough to bring that home with me. Think of all the cupcakes you could make with that.

There was a whole variety of fascinating stands offering all things baking ranging from tools and ingredients to the baked delights of cookies, marshmallows, fudge – even a gormet sausage rolls and pies stand! I know what I am having for dinner tonight…

I made a beeline for the Nielsen-Massey emporium (it would be rude not to) which was beautifully filled with stunning arrays of lemon and orange trees, orchids and roses representing their range of delicious extracts. Visitors were taken on a journey to discover the many scents and flavours available. I particularly enjoyed the individual scent tests – peppermint was my favourite as it reminded me of Christmas.

NM Emporium nm emporium 2 NM EMPORIUM 3

bakeface2 After discovering Nielsen-Massey, I headed over to the Billington’s stand to share my #bakeface. There was a super fun photo booth set up inviting visitors to try a Billington’s brownie or cookie and take crazy photos of their #bakeface with their friends and family. I must say I got a little distracted with the wind machine when mine was taken (rabbit in headlights springs to mine) but it was a great momento of the day to take away.

The demonstration stages were brimming full of talented chefs and bakers that would appeal to all; Eric Landlard, John Whaite, Frances Quinn and Simon Rimmer just to name a few.

unicorn One of my highlights had to be the outrageously fabulous (and slightly bonkers) cake on display of Queen Mary Berry riding on a majestical unicorn – if you are visiting the show over the weekend this is a must!

Another great show from the Cake and Bake team and it is only the first day. If you have tickets for the weekend get there early and take advantage of all the great activities – and don’t forget to share your #bakeface to be in the chance to win a fantastic prize.

Happy Baking!!

bakeface

Here comes the bride

As a BakingMad.com bride-to-be, the thought of having a go at baking my own wedding cake both excited me and terrified me at the same time. I originally thought “so much to do, so little time” and had visions of me on the morning of my wedding adding final touches to my cake with rollers in my hair! Naked wedding cake

I have felt much more at ease though since I went behind the scenes of our latest BakingMad.com ‘how to’ video shoot with Juliet Sear. Juliet, is renowned for her gloriously stunning specialist wedding cakes available at her Fancy Nancy shop and throughout the shoot showed us some simple and beautiful decorating tips that I cannot wait to put in to practice.

The showstopper for me though was the three tier naked wedding cake that Juliet created. The tiered triple layered sponge cakes, filled with vanilla bean and strawberry and raspberry buttercream and decorated with fresh seasonal berries looked so picture perfect that I couldn’t believe just how simple it was to construct. Juliet piping

Juliet shared great tips on how layer the cakes, pipe the filling and securely stack with dowels. I particularly loved the tip to ensure an even flat cake when the sponge has baked into a dome shape in the oven. By removing the cake from the tin, then placing a thick small cake drum in the base and returning the cake inside, the sponge was then lifted above the level of the top of the tin allowing a knife to trim the excess sponge using the tin as a guide – this left me wondering why did I not think of this before?

Despite having fallen in love with the idea of a naked wedding cake, I then was swayed once more when I saw Juliet’s royal icing and buttercream piping skills. She showed us how to pipe buttercream ruffles and roses, an amazing royal icing floral lace effect and how to create realistic sugar paste roses. Now I am completely spoilt for choice with inspiring cake ideas for my big day. Lace cake

If you are looking to make a showstopper celebration, anniversary or wedding cake then all of these videos are a great place to start. Juliet really makes the unimaginable achievable – I am already planning to marry off other members of the BakingMad.com team just so that I can try out all of these cakes!

All of Juliet videos are available to watch in our how to sections or via these links.

How to make a naked wedding cake
How to decorate a wedding cake
How to decorate a cake with a buttercream effect
How to make sugar paste roses

Eurovision baking by Katie

Katie

You make call it fickle, but give me a quirky or fun event outside of the norm and I’m racing to get on board. They’re exciting, creative and can be very inspiring.

Given this, Eurovision is the word on my lips spoken with excitement at least twice an hour (to the horror of the rest of the BakingMad.com team), and I think a little mention on the BakingMad.com blog is long overdue.

‘What has Eurovision got to do with baking?’ I hear you say. Only everything!

It doesn’t have to be just about watching a fantastic and engaging programme that unites the EU; it’s an opportunity to learn about other cultures and, most importantly, their food!

At BakingMad.com headquarters we’re asking the office to get their Euro-bake on by hosting a little continental sweepstake. The names of all the countries involved in Eurovision are folded and placed in a draw, the team blind pick a country, then we bake/cook something that represents our pick. Easy.

We can’t wait to share our recipes and photographs on Facebook with you, but until then we’re encouraging you to Euro-bake and would love to hear from you with your recipes and pictures!

Check out the links below for a little inspiration.

Will your bakes be more inspiring than the BakingMad.com team’s? Challenge accepted!

Greece:     Spanakopita                http://www.bakingmad.com/spanakopita-recipe/

Italy:          Olive Focaccia             http://www.bakingmad.com/olive-focaccia-recipe/

Germany:  Lebkuchen                  http://www.bakingmad.com/lebkuchen-recipe/

Spain:        Tarta de Santiago       http://www.bakingmad.com/tarta-de-santiago-recipe/

Check out the new Whisk widget!

 

Hi everyone,

You may have noticed recently that we have a cool new feature on the recipes pages on BakingMad.com. It’s a nifty little widget called Whisk and it appears under all the recipe ingredients.

 

Simply click on ‘Create a shopping list with Whisk’ and a screen will slide in from the right, displaying all the recipe ingredients in a basket.

You will then have the choice the change the supermarket or the ingredients including the portion size, and the total cost will be displayed at the bottom. When you click on ‘send to basket’ it will take you through to your chosen supermarket website where your shopping basket ingredients will be added and then purchased. You can also sign up to the Whisk widget which will allow you to save more than one recipe to the shopping list at a time.

So now it’s so easy to purchase ingredients straight from the recipe you’re viewing! And more ingredients means lots more baking!

Please feel free to give us any feedback on the widget and we hope you enjoy using it.

BakingMad.com

 

Bag yourself a Billington’s Cake Tin!

Christmas has come early from our lovely friends at Billington’s Natural Unrefined Cane Sugars with these beautifully embossed ‘I’ve Been Baking’ Cake Tins.  They’re perfect for storing anything delicious – from brilliant brownies to classic Christmas cakes.

All you have to do is purchase 2 promotional packs of Light Muscovado, Dark Muscovado or Molasses 500g packs.  You will be able to find promotional packs of Billington’s sugar in all main retailers including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrison’s, Waitrose and Aldi from September.

Not only do the packs contain a unique code for you to claim your tin (don’t forget you need 2!) they also contain 3 of the most scrumptious festive recipes for you to try this Christmas.

For full terms and conditions and details on how to claim your tin click here.

Make sure you show us what sweet treats you have been storing in your tin by posting a picture on our Facebook page!

How to make Salted Caramel Ring Doughnuts

Some people think making doughnuts is too difficult, but our simple four step ‘how to’ will show you how!

 

You will need for these for the doughnuts:

500g self raising flour (we recommend Allinson)

1 tsp baking powder

90g golden caster sugar (we recommend Billington’s)

2 medium free range eggs

2 tbsp sunflower oil

200ml whole milk

 

You will need these for the topping:

110g Dark Muscovado sugar (we recommend Billington’s)

110g salted butter

1/2 tsp sea salt

175ml double cream

plus sea salt to decorate

 

1. To make the caramel sauce: Place the sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has melted then add the cream and stir through. Bring this to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes until thick. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

2. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Beat together the eggs, oil and milk then add to the dry ingredients. Mix together until a smooth dough forms.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1cm thickness. Cut circles out of the dough using a floured cutter, then use a smaller cutter to cut out the centres.

4. In a deep saucepan heat some vegetable oil to about 170°C then fry the doughnuts 2-3 at a time by carefully placing in the oil for 3-4 minutes until they are golden brown on the bottom. Then turn them over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until golden in colour and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper. Finish the doughnuts by pouring over the caramel sauce and sprinkle over some flakes a sea salt.

These beauties are absolutely delicious warm, or you can keep them in an airtight container and eat within 1-2 days.

Enjoy!

 

Make the most of Molasses

Molasses is a dark brown type of sugar made from sugar cane. It has a deep, strong flavour is attained through it’s high content of natural cane molasses.

Molasses is perfect to use in marinadeschutneys and pickles along with rich fruit cakesmincemeat and gingerbread. It adds a distinct deep and rich flavour to your baking that no other ingredient can match.

We recommend using unrefined natural cane molasses such as Billington’s. Unrefined sugar cane retains a natural locked in flavour and colour which refined brown sugar loses in the refining process. You can find Billington’s molasses in all major supermarkets.

Why not try the following recipes which include Molasses sugar and discover the incredible flavour for yourself?

Molasses is a great ingredient in sticky sauces and marinades.

Discover the depth it can add to your fruit cakes.

If you’d like any more tips and advice on using molasses simply leave your question below!

Happy Baking!

Perfect weather for strawberry picking!

Strawberries are everywhere right now! And as English strawberries are of course the tastiest,  the Baking Mad team recently decided to take a trip to a local strawberry picking farm – ‘Hill Farm‘ in Chesterton, so we could pick some for ourselves.

Thankfully it was a beautiful day as we set off, and driving up to the farm we saw that we could also grab ourselves some gooseberries while we were here, and come back again for some delicious blackcurrant and blackberries later in July.

Hill Farm

Blackberries

The strawberry fields were huge and the little signs showed us which strawberry varieties were planted there. ‘Christine‘ is apparently a strawberry type from the Fragria Ananassa species which is highly resistant to Verticillium wilt and powdery mildew, not that we’re exactly sure what that means!

Christine

There were tons of juicy ripe strawberries ready to pick, it was tempting not to eat them there and then although some of us did have a nibble.

Strawberry field

Strawberry

A top strawberry tip is to pick firm, ripe and red looking berries. Strawberries will not ripen any more once they are picked, so go for the biggest. Strawberries are also jam packed full of vitamin C, so you can eat as many as you want!

strawberries

A tub like this came to a total of £4 and would be sure to last you a while.

Weighing strawberries

About 1kg of strawberries could make some delicious strawberry jam to go in some tasty strawberry tarts. Or why not try some pretty strawberry tarts with elderflower cream or any of our other strawberry recipes.

Why not see if there is a local strawberry farm near you? Enjoy!

Save 20% off tickets at the London Cake and Bake Show

Here at BakingMad.com we like to offer our members exclusive discounts and here’s our latest one…

If you haven’t already bought your tickets for The Cake & Bake Show London 2013, make sure you quote code “BM20″ when you are booking and you will get a fantastic 20% off of your tickets.

Click here to buy tickets

Event details:

  • 13th-15th September
  • Earls Court London SW5 9TA
  • Friday open 11am-6pm
  • Saturday open 10am-6pm
  • Sunday 10am – 5pm

We are looking forward to seeing you at the show!!