Monthly Archives: August 2014

An ice cream baked in the oven?

Baked alaska web

There are many great baking partnerships that go hand in hand -Paul and Mary, bread and butter, jam and sponge … I have always considered ice cream and ovens to not be one of these! Yet the Baked Alaska is a classic dish adored by masses?? So, I set myself the challenge to create a Baked Alaska showstopper dessert.

I think there must be a tiny part of every baker attempting this dessert that holds their breath and squats by the oven ‘Great British Bake Off style’ watching for any sign of ice cream leaking through when baking. It just doesn’t seem logical that an ice cream can bake in the oven without melting, but if you follow these foolproof steps I assure you it does!

You can make the Baked Alaska as simple or complex as you like – make your own ice cream, use shop bought, bake you own sponge or use premade flan bases. If you want to make a real showstopper try mix and matching different flavoured ice cream and sponges too.

Ice cream moulds

I chose to make my own vanilla ice cream, using vanilla bean paste which gave the most delicious rich vanilla flavour and had gorgeous vanilla flecks running through it. I filled this in small pudding moulds (you can also use ramekins) and left to freeze.

Once solid, I carved out a dip in the centre (sneaking a cheeky teaspoon of the leftover ice cream for myself – obviously for tasting purposes!) I filled the hole with a teaspoon of raspberry jam, covered in cling film and popped back in the freezer. The beauty of this is that it can be made days in advance saving you time.

egg whites egg whites 2I then made the meringue using a super clean bowl (this is important in order to achieve the best meringue) and added a touch of cream of tartar to stiffen it up. Using a pastry cutter I cut out circles of sponge, the same size as my ice cream moulds and began to assemble.

Work quickly to assemble your pudding as you don’t want your ice cream to begin melting before being baked, I learn this the hard way with one of mine. I was really generous with the meringue coating and made sure that it was spread right to the bottom meeting the baking tray and covering the base, sealing in the ice cream.

I then baked the meringues, sitting with my nose pushed against the oven door and my fingers crossed. They came out …. perfect!

baked alaska out of oven

I went for the more rustic approach with my meringue but you could pipe it on for a most spectacular showstopper.

So there you have it. Ice cream and ovens can work together and boy did the results taste yummy!!!

Try this Baked Alaska recipe for yourself here.

Bread glorious bread

Who doesn’t love fresh homemade bread? The smell! The taste! The happy feeling when you enjoy the first warm bite smothered in creamy butter…. mmmm!! So imagine our delight when we discovered Lets Cook’s super-sized loaf tins.

‘Lets Cook’ handcraft a selection of non-stick bread tins which range in size from the standard 2lb tins increasing up to the super large 5lb loaf tins, ideal for big farmhouse and extra large loaves, similar to the kind that you would find in a traditional bakery.

Loaf tins

I simply couldn’t resist the thought of a jumbo loaf of bread so I decided to give the 3lb and 4lb loaf tins a try.

Finding a recipe big enough to suit these tins proved to be a bit of mission so a little bit of a trial and error experimenting might be necessary for you to find what works best for you and your oven.

That didn’t stop me though as I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck into channelling my inner Paul Hollywood. In hindsight, on a warm August afternoon, I may have been smarter using a dough hook than working up a sweat kneading by hand!! (Phew!)

When the dough was ready, I lightly oiled the tins, popped the dough inside and left to prove whilst I slipped away to put my feet up for a bit!

Bread dough bread prove

As the tins were deeper than a standard 2lb tin I had to jiggle around a few of the oven shelves to accommodate them, but once in, the loaves baked beautifully – crusty on the outside and delightfully soft on the inside.

I particularly loved the easy release of these tins, the loaf simply tipped out – no coaxing with various random kitchen utensils required. I was also impressed with sharp neat corners that these tins gave my loaves, forming the perfect slice of bread.

baked bread

These tins are so versatile you could even use them for baking pies or as a mould for terrines or ice creams. If you would like to purchase them, please follow the links below. They are currently on promotion until 30th September.

For the 3LB Traditional Farmhouse Loaf Tin, Heavy Duty Non-Stick, Hand made: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CD0IUA2

For the Extra Large Loaf Tin 4lb+ capacity, Heavy Duty Ideal for Farmhouse & Large Loaves: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009QZH3JQ

For the Super Large Loaf Tin 5lb+ capacity, Heavy Duty Ideal for Big Farmhouse & XL Large Loaves: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00I5MEIMQ

Five lucky winner can also get their hands on a set of these tins by entering this month’s BakingMad.com competition so what are you waiting for…enter now and get you bake on!

Great British Bickies

Crunchy, chewy, jammy or dunkers you can’t deny that us Brits love a good biscuit with a brew. With the Great British Bake Off contestants tackling biscuit creations in the big white tent this week, it got us thinking at BakingMad.com what our favourite bickies are?

Everyone has a childhood favourite and in my opinion you can’t beat a retro classic, in particular the Bourbon. Delicious chocolate biscuits sandwiching a rich and sweet chocolate filling….mmm, what more could you want?

So I whipped out my apron and set about creating my own handmade classics. The dough was really simple to make and used a blend of unrefined golden caster and light muscovado sugar to give a rich chocolate flavour and a soft chewy texture.

With the dough chilled in the fridge, I rolled and cut into rectangles and used a skewer to mark the traditional Bourbon design. A good tip is to keep the biscuits pushed together on the baking tray so that they remain uniformed when baked.

Bourbon dough

Back in the fridge they went to chill for a little longer. In my opinion the longer you chill them the better as when baked this will prevent the frustration of your biscuits spreading and mis-shaping.

These little gems only took 25 minutes to bake, which was just as well as the delicious smell coming from the oven was proving difficult to resist!

Bourbon cooling

I left them to cool whilst I made the filling. The inclusion of custard powder and unrefined golden icing sugar gave the chocolate filling an extra chocolate caramel twist. As delicious as this is, it is important not to get too carried away with the amount that you pipe on to your biscuits. Nobody wants a Bourbon with filling oozing out of the sides!

Due to the moisture from the filling, it is best to eat these biscuits within 2 days of baking, otherwise they may become too soft…not a problem with these ones though as they were soon gobbled up by the BakingMad.com team.

Join the Great British Bake Off contestants and have your own biscuit bake off with this yummy recipe:

http://www.bakingmad.com/bourbon-biscuits-recipe/

Happy Baking!

Finished biscuits

Great British Bake Off recipes 2014 – BakingMad.com

The Great British Bake Off is back!

We are all giddy with excitement in the BakingMad.com offices that The Great British Bake Off is back! Find out how to replicate the recipes from the 2014 Great British Bake Off series, from cakes to bread, from showstoppers to technical challenges – let BakingMad.com guide you through them all. We are also here for support to stop you getting that dreaded soggy bottom, so check out our ‘How to’ video section as well as our FAQ’s and tips for extra support.

Throughout GBBO, we will be adding recipes here for you to try. We are told that tonight’s episode is all about the Great British cake, including cherry cake and a Swiss roll. So here are a few of recipes to get you started.

http://www.bakingmad.com/cherry-cake-recipe/

http://www.bakingmad.com/cherry-cakes-recipe/

http://www.bakingmad.com/cherry-and-pistachio-cake-recipe/

http://www.bakingmad.com/jam-filled-swiss-roll-recipe/

http://www.bakingmad.com/chocolate-and-vanilla-swiss-roll-recipe/