Tag Archives: Baking

We have got Christmas all wrapped up!

sprouts present

Having recently blogged about the fabulous gifts available at BakerandMaker we are feeling rather smug with ourselves that all our Christmas gifts have been found, bought and are sat waiting to be beautifully wrapped and placed underneath the Christmas tree.

Now all we need to do is locate some beautiful gift wrap to dress up our presents and it will be ‘all stations go’ with our scissors, tape and ribbon.

Of course as we are BakingMad, we are loving all of the foodie wrapping paper available in stores right now and wanted to share with you our favourite picks.

john lewis

For an elegant foodie gift, perhaps for the grandparents, this stylish Mince Pie gift wrap from John Lewis would look beautiful underneath the Christmas tree.

£4.00 (3m)
www.johnlewis.com

notonthehighstreet

The kids are sure to love this adorable gingerbread man wrapping paper from notonthehighstreet.com almost as much as the gift inside (we do!)

£4.00 (5 sheets)
www.notonthehighstreet.com

xmas pud

This cheeky Marks and Spencer Christmas pudding wrapping paper is seriously cute and would be great to dress up a present for Mum and Dad.It is also a bargain roll with a whopping 8 metres!

£3.50 (8m)
www.marksandspencer.com

sprouts

Although not everyone is a fan of the real things served at Christmas dinner we simply cannot get enough of this fun Brussel Sprouts wrapping paper. If we could, we would get wallpaper made up of this quirky design.

£3.50 (3m)
www.paperchase.co.uk

With gift wrap this desirable we are not sure that we will even want to part with our gifts now! You will find us Christmas morning, foraging through the piles of disgarded paper to rescue this paper and ironing out for reuse next year!

For more Christmas wrapping inspiration, follow our BakingMad.com ‘wrapped up…’ board on pinterest.

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!

 

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 Chocolate Chip Pound Cakes

Hi everyone!

My friends and I are having a get together tonight and I’ve been tasked with making dessert. We’ve recently uploaded some fantastic Irish recipes from our Bake with the Best campaign, where BakingMad.com brings you traditional and delicious desserts from around all of the United Kingdom. The Chocolate Chip Pound Cakes caught my eye (mainly because they have Baileys in them), but also because of their diddy nature and therefore easy to share out at a party.

When shopping for the ingredients unfortunately I couldn’t find the mini loaf cases. Asda and Sainsburys stock them however my Asda must not be very good. Instead I made do with some dark brown coloured muffin cases, so they are really Choc Chip Muffins!

First of all you pre-heat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4. Then you cream together 150g light muscovado sugar, 150g golden caster sugar, 225g softened unsalted butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. I used Billington’s sugar and Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract so my cakes are extra delicious.

Gradually beat in three eggs (I used an electric whisk to do this, much quicker) then fold in the 300g self-raising flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 150ml single cream and 75ml Irish liqueur (otherwise known as Baileys). I had run out of self-raising flour so instead added 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 300g of plain flour and it worked fine!

The mixture looks a little wet at this point but keep mixing to make sure it is well combined.

Fold in 150g milk chocolate chips (yummmmm) then divide evenly between loaf cases or muffin cases. I managed to get 14 muffins from this mixture.

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and springy to touch.

Leave the cakes to completely cool (which is difficult I know), then mix together about 100g of golden icing sugar (Billington’s do this type of icing sugar) with 3 tablespoons of Baileys. Scoop a little bit of icing with a tablespoon and drop in the centre of every muffin, leaving it to ooze out to the edges.

And there you have it. I snuck a muffin into work with me today to have with coffee, and I hate to say so myself but they are pretty damn good!

Check out the recipe here and let us know how it goes!

World Baking Day sponsored by Stork

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since its launch in 1920, Stork has established itself as one of the most trusted names in home baking.

Whether you’re baking cupcakes for tea with the girls, a light and fluffy Victoria sponge for a picnic or rustling up some delicious cookies, Stork contains just the right fat content for baking many types of cakes, biscuits, crumbles, puddings and pastries.

This month we are asking you to conquer a cake you’ve never baked before, for World Baking Day 2013, which takes place on Sunday 19th May.
The global event is sponsored by Stork and the theme for 2013 is to ‘Bake Brave’. From novice to master baker, food blogger to food celebrity, World Baking Day has been introduced to inspire people to step out of their baking comfort zone.

World Baking Day has collected 100 Bake Brave recipes (www.worldbakingday.co.uk) ranging in difficulty from ambassadors around the world; from Level 1 for a complete novice, up to Level 100 for a master baker. Check out the website or try your hand at some of our delicious Stork recipes. You could even win a Stork baking hamper packed full of baking goodies, just click here to enter!

 

Your baking questions – answered!

The lovely Eric Lanlard recently held an online web chat in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Check out the transcript below for some fantastic baking tips and other questions for Eric.

If you were decorating a special cake, what decoration would you choose?

I am a great fan of edible glitter and gold leaf. It’s a glamorous touch!

Is it ok to buy pastry pre-made? I’m not talking about short crust, obviously, but the more tricky ones?

Yes absolutely – if you do have the time and are a confident baker I would suggest making your own puff pastry – but for those of you short on time buying good quality puff pastry or filo pastry is absolutely fine.

We all know you are amazing at making sweet treats, but this year we’re thinking of making something savoury for our World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. What are your favourite savoury bites?

My current favourite is fig, lardon and dolcelatte tart. I’m a big fan of savoury bakes because I don’t actually have a sweet tooth.

I have seen your gypsy tart recipe in the Little Book of Treats. Are there any tips for me to make it perfect? Also, what goes well with a gypsy tart?

A top tip is to make sure that you put the tin of condensed milk in the fridge overnight so that it is really cold. To serve, try a dollop of mascarpone cheese with grated lemon zest to cut through the sweetness. Happy baking!

Which do you prefer to use: Italian, Swiss or French meringue?

It depends on what you are making. I love Italian meringue to decorate cupcakes and desserts. For dry meringues, I prefer the French. I’ve never really been a fan of Swiss meringue.

What was the first cake you ever remember baking?

I made some chocolate éclairs aged 6 and it was a disaster!

What’s your ultimate dessert recipe book? Is there one that you use all the time that never fails?

The Roux Brothers book – On Patisserie – a lot of classic and great basic recipes.

When making basic sponge, should I use cold eggs or room temp? I have heard mixed messages.

Always have all of your ingredients at room temperature for best results.

Do you have any favourite gluten-free or vegan cake recipes or tips?

There are some delicious recipes only using ground almonds as a substitute for flour but gluten-free flours are very good these days. For vegan recipes I would suggest that you search dedicated/specialist websites or books. I hope that helps.

I have had quite a few disastrous attempts at baking macaroons. Are there any recipes you recommend using, or tips on how to get the consistency right?

A good macaroon should be a little bit chewy. It might be worth trying a different technique or recipe to improve results.

I’m baking a chocolate cake this weekend for my friend’s birthday, however I’m not the best cake decorator! Do you of know of any good decorating kits which I can use?

I love using the Silverspoon Creates range – perfect for everyday cake decorating and they are available in most supermarkets.

If you really, really wanted to impress someone, what would you bake them? What’s your most show-stopping cake?

I would bake a mini croquembouche to share – it’s a traditional French celebration cake. A tower of profiteroles filled with crème patissier. It’s very impressive.

Are there any plans for more series of Baking Mad? I really love that programme.

Not as yet but working on a bigger project – watch this space! I’m glad that you like the series.

What a tease! Please give us a clue!

My lips are sealed!

I really love your recipe in the Little Book of Treats. Why have you chosen to support Macmillan and their coffee morning this year?

I am supporting the Macmillan Coffee morning because it’s an important cause – Macmillan do an amazing job and it’s a fantastic charity and resource. Baking is a great way for people to get involved and have fun and support a very worth cause.

I’m holding a coffee morning at work this year. I love baking and am really looking forward to rustling up some treats for everyone in the office. My question for you is how do I transport all my baked goodies without ruining them?

There are some fantastic cake and cupcake carriers online – have a Google. Good luck with your coffee morning.

I wonder if you could recommend a cake I could bake especially for my Mum? She will be chief guest at my coffee morning. Mum loves fruit, if that helps.

If your mum loves fruit, I would recommend my upside-down berry cake – perfect for the end of the summer season.

Can you recommend any recipe with salted caramel in it? I’m a bit obsessed!

I would recommend my salted butter caramel mousse with mini pears – the recipe can be found in my book Home Bake.

I’m killing Google these days but no luck. Have you posted somewhere the recipe for that energy-packed apple pie you made for the wheelchair rugby club? Unfortunately the video is not available in my country so I can’t watch it again! Thanks. Croatia loves you.

That recipe for the Wheelchair Rugby Club will be on the Bakingmad.com website. It was from series 1 of Baking Mad. I love Croatia!

Does anyone know how I can get involved with the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning?

It’s great that you want to get involved – find out more on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning site.

I’m away the weekend of the 28th September. Can I still hold a Coffee Morning? I’ve held one for the last two years, and everyone always really enjoys them!

It’s fine to hold one on a different day – thanks so much for wanting to get involved.

If you could eat any dessert in the world what would it be?

A piping hot pear tatin with crème fraiche.

My dad’s diabetic but loves cheesecake – is there any other way to make him one apart from using a sweetener instead of sugar?

I would suggest using an alternative to sugar like Truvia.

I take it that would work in other types of cakes for diabetics, too?

Yes, but it’s also worth experimenting and visit the website for recipe ideas.

What’s the most amount of cake you’ve ever baked in one day? It feels like it takes me all day to bake and ice a cake.

The most I have baked in one day was 5000 cupcakes in one day for a very glamorous event!

Are there any other events coming up where you will be sharing your expertise?

I am going to be at the Cake and Bake Show on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September, Earls Court. I hope to see you there!

How can I stop the biscuit base on an uncooked cheesecake from going soggy, before I have cut it?

I like to toast my base in a hot oven for a few minutes to enhance the flavour and to keep it crisp before putting the filling on top.

Whenever I bake cupcakes they are always crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. Do you know why that is?

It could be your oven temperature – have you checked it using an oven thermometer?

Are you doing the local hero competition again this year? I’ve got someone I’d like to nominate.

I am supporting Silver Spoon’s Local Little Hero Award in aid of Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. We’re encourage more people to get baking and also select a little local hero to win an extra special cake baked by me and be crowned a local hero.

Eric Lanlard answers all your baking questions

Calling all Baking Mad fans!

In advance of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning we’ve teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to bring you a live web chat with Eric Lanlard on Macmillan’s Online Community (www.macmillan.org.uk/onlinecommunity).

Grab your diary and add in 14th September from 12 – 1pm to join Eric who will be on hand to answer all your baking questions.

Whether you want to produce the perfect pastry, master the art of the soufflé or if you’re simply in need of some inspiration, join in and put Eric to the test.

Don’t miss the opportunity to ask all those baking questions that have been tickling your taste buds.

To find out more, or to join our online chat, please click here to visit the Macmillan online community!

Baking Mad.com brings you British Baking in 2012

Baking Mad fans, have we got news for you!Best of British Baking Recipe Book

We’ve just launched our very own  recipe book and it’s available to buy now!

The cookery book, entitled British Baking in 2012, celebrates the nation’s favourite recipes from the ultimate Victoria Sponge cake to Sticky Toffee Cupcakes and Sausage and Chuntney Rolls. And of course, as you’d expect from Baking Mad.com there’s plenty of top tips and advice to help you achieve your baking best too.

So if we’ve wet your appetite for some Great British baking why not pick up a copy of our new book to add to your collection. Available from Sainsbury’s supermarkets, our book costs just £2.99 and can also be bought as part of a 3 for 2 promotion along with some of our favourite baking brands such as Billington’s and Nielsen Massey. Go, on treat yourself! What are you waiting for?

 

Get 35p off your Billington’s Demerara Sugar

Now here’s a little sweet treat for everyone this month. Billington’s have given us a coupon to share with all the Baking Mad fans and you can get 35p off a 1kg bag of Billington’s Demerara Sugar. Think of all the delicious goodies you can make with this!

Just click this link to download your coupon today:

Click here to get your Billington’s coupon

Enjoy

Baking Mad x

 

Win a chance to appear in the Little Book of Treats!

Our friends at Silver Spoon and Macmillan Cancer Support are collaborating to run an exciting competition for fantastic foodie bloggers in the UK.

They’re looking for keen bloggers who love to bake to enter their favourite luxury recipe to win a chance to feature in the new edition of Macmillan2011 Little Book of Treats Cancer Support’s Little Book of Treats 2012.

The book will be on sale in M&S Cafes  throughout August and September and 100% of the proceeds will go towards people affected by cancer.

The recipes should be -

- Innovative and exciting with a touch of  luxuriousness
- Easy to replicate with everyday kitchen utensils and easy to source ingredients
- Visibly pleasing to the eye with a ‘wow’ factor
- Taste great!

Indulgent Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

The winning recipes will appear along with your name and blog in the book. They will be tested by a home economist and photographed professionally. The runners up will be featured on Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning website throughout August and September 2012.

Creme Brulee Cupcakes

How to Enter

To enter e-mail info@bakingmad.com with the title ‘Little Book of Treats‘ in the subject header. Include the following in your e-mail:

- Recipe title
- Recipe ingredients
- Size/how many portions
- Recipe method
- A picture
- Your full name
- A link to your blog

Competition closes on the 25th April 2012, click here for the terms and conditions.

To take part in Macmillan Cancer Supports World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, follow this link to register your event – coffeeregister.macmillan.org.uk/2012/register/