Tag Archives: bake

Sam’s Sourdough Loaf

Following a recent move to my new home, I decided that it was a perfect opportunity to begin a new sourdough starter. Using the BakingMad.com starter recipe, I filled a large 1litre kilner jar with 70g flour and 70ml water, giving it a good whisk together with a mini whisk until all the lumps of flour had been dispersed. I left the sourdough in pride position in my warm kitchen and set my phone as a reminder to feed again the same time next day.

The following day I repeated the process, and perhaps due to the extreme warm weather, the starter was bubbling and increasing in size in no time. I found that due to the sealed lid on my kilner jar I felt the need to open it and let out some of the air pressure when I passed by it in the kitchen, as I had heard tales of monstrous sourdough starters that had built up excess C02 pressure and burst open!

By day 3 of feeding my sourdough it had begun to develop a rather unsavoury smell, which whilst perfectly normal for a starter, does make you want to reach for the air freshener! I took it as a sign that the starter was doing its sweet merry little thing and bubbles continue to produce following each feed.

Day 4/5 I noticed that the sourdough had appeared to separate with a liquid layer on the top. Some sources suggest that you pour away this top liquid and others say to mix back in with the starter. I must say that I tried both methods and both seemed to keep my sourdough starter ticking away nicely.

By day 6 the kilner jar was beginning to fill up near the top – in hindsight I think I probably needed a bigger jar than expected (perhaps a 1.5/2 litre). There was an unfortunate incident on this day when the starter decided to make an escape from the jar and run all over my new kitchen surfaces! That was the day the starter was nicknamed by the family as ‘The Beast’.

Day 7 and I couldn’t wait any longer to bake my first sourdough loaf . Before baking, I would recommend that you have a whole day spare, as unlike a standard loaf, sourdough takes an age to prove – but it is totally worth the wait believe me!

Over 6 hours later the dough was ready to be baked, so I scored the top with a knife and baked in two batches in the oven. Although the loaves were only small on this occasion, they certainly made up for it in flavour and the second loaf was given away to family members as a dinner gift.

I fed the starter again the next day to top it up a little and have stored it in the fridge now, with a view to feeding it once a week. I plan to bake another loaf next weekend before experimenting with other sourdough style recipes.

Whilst the sourdough starter can seem a bit high maintenance to begin with, it’s certainly worth the wait so give it a try!

Click here for our sourdough starter recipe

Click here for our Sourdough bread recipe


 

 

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!!

 

Sam’s Father’s Day Strawberry Jam

So this weekend I faced the annual dilemma of what to give my Dad who ‘has everything he needs and doesn’t want a fuss’ for Father’s Day… Well I came to the conclusion that there is nothing better than a homemade treat.

With the British summer a bit wet and dreary outside I thought I would bring the summer inside and make some delicious homemade strawberry jam using a recipe from BakingMad.com.

I had picked some fresh strawberries (1kg) and washed, hulled and dried them before blending them which released a gorgeous strawberry scent into my kitchen (tempting not to nibble on the remaining strawberries!).

I used jam sugar (1kg) and warmed it in the oven on a low temperature. At the same time I simmered the strawberries on a low heat on the hob, then mixed the pre-warmed sugar in. Keep stirring until sugar had fully dissolved, creating a strawberry syrup.

Once dissolved, I turned the heat up to a rolling boil. A good tip to add is that you should use a large pan to make your jam as it will froth up when boiling and you don’t want it to boil over making a mess!

I used a jam thermometer to test the temperature of the jam (105°c is ideal), but as an extra precaution also did the wrinkle test. To do this put a spoonful of the jam on a chilled saucer and push it gently with your finger. If the jam wrinkles on top then it is ready to pot (and is also a great excuse to have a sneaky taste of the jam).

When my jam was ready, I spooned it into sterilised jam jars quickly and sealed with a waxed disc. I managed to fill two 2lb jam jars, so not only did I have a yummy gift for my dad but also a reward for me too!

I decorated the jar with navy ribbon and a handmade ‘Fathers Day’ tag, and I must say I was really pleased with the outcome and my dad was over the moon. Now I have the great dilemma of whether to make scones or jam tarts with my leftover jam….hmmmmm the possibilities are endless!

Why not try out the recipe yourself here or any of our other jam recipes, or watch our handy video on how to make jam.

 

Nancy’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hello! It’s me again, Nancy, part of the Baking Mad Team trying out recipes and blogging about my experiences every month :)

At the moment we are running a Valentine’s Baking competition with fifteen bloggers who are entering their Valentine’s creations in attempt to win some fantastic prizes.

All the talk about Valentine’s and cakes and baking got me thinking maybe I should have a go myself..I also decided to take a risk and try a recipe that looks a little bit harder than ones I have done in the past. I decided to have a go at Eric Lanlard’s Red Velvet Cupcakes, and here’s how it went!

Red Velvet Cupcake Ingredients

Eric's Red Velvet Cupcakes
75 grams pure cocoa powder
1.50 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract Blend
125 grams Butter unsalted, softened
250 grams Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
4  Happy Eggs Yolks
240 ml Buttermilk
1 tsp Salt
325 grams Allinson Nature Friendly Plain White Flour sifted
1 tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar

Additional Ingredients
240ml milk
3 tbsp Allinson Nature Friendly Plain White Flour
1 pinch Salt
225 grams of white chocolate, broken into pieces
200 grams Butter unsalted, softened
300 grams Silver Spoon Homegrown Icing Sugar

How to make Red Velvet Cupcakes

First, preheat the oven to 180.C and line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. (Note this makes 24 cupcakes, not your usual 12!)

Sift the cocoa and mix with the vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. Then beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. After spraying golden gaster sugar across the kitchen I realised my butter was not soft enough to be using with a hand mixer. Also, my hand mixer on low speed is far too fast! I think I need a new one…

Once the butter and sugar mixture is pale, light and fluffy, add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until everything is combined. I almost put the egg whites in as well but caught myself at the last minute, phew! Then  add the cocoa mixture and beat well for another minute to combine.

You will end up with a chocolatey, sticky, gooey mess, like this.

Chocolate mess

Stir the buttermilk and salt together and add it to the butter and sugar mixture, a third at a time, alternating with the flour. The mixture starts to get really thick and gooey at this point, my poor hand mixer almost couldn’t take it.

Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar and blend into the batter. The reaction of these two ingredients is what gives the cake its rich colour. Eric does this instead of adding the usual red food colouring.

bicarbonate of soda and vinegar

With your mixer on high, beat everything together on a high speed for about 5 minutes, until you have a smooth, glossy batter.mixture

Fill each cupcake case to three-quarters full. Bake for 18–20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cupcake centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes and cool completely before frosting.

 

 

 

The Frosting

I decided to do white chocolate icing for my cupcakes, however in Eric’s recipe it gives you the option of doing either white choc or

milk choc.

First, melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool.

Then in a small saucepan whisk the milk, flour and salt over a medium heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool.

Then beat the butter and icing sugar  together until fluffy. Add to the cooled chocolate followed by the milk mixture. Beat together until smooth, then spoon into a piping bag with a small plain or star tube and pipe immediately on to the cupcakes. I didn’t have any piping bags, and I don’t really have the patience for piping so instead I just spooned some of the mixture on to the cakes and sprinkles them with Silver Spoon Create Pink and Blue Shimmer Balls.

And there we have it, my Red Velvet Cupcakes all ready to be eaten. Now I just need to find a Valentine to give them to….

my cupcakes