Monthly Archives: October 2014

Frightfully good fun

Frankenstein pop It’s October, the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in earlier. That can only mean one thing….Halloween is on its way. Whether you are a fan of guts and gore or tend to lead more towards a ‘Casper the friendly ghost’ type of celebration, Halloween can be fun for the whole family.

We think these spook-tacular Halloween pops are a great way to get everyone involved this year. Depending on how much time you have, you could opt for either the simple Frankenstein marshmallow pops or push the boat out with the Pumpkin and Ghost cake pops. We had some leftover cupcakes from a recent bake session which worked perfectly to make up our cake pops so gave these a try first.

A brilliant, kid-friendly task would be to get hands on and crumble the cakes up into a large bowl. Next add the buttercream and mix together until it begins to form a big ball, then it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get stuck in again rolling your cake pops. A good tip is to use an ice cream scoop to get an even sized ball each time – if you don’t have one of these to hand though don’t worry, you can always use a teaspoon. Cake pops stand

It’s important to leave your cake balls to chill in the fridge and firm up. This will make them much easier to stay in shape when you dip them in the chocolate coating.

There are many brands of coloured chocolate that you can use, such as Candy Melts and these can often be found in cake and craft stores. Be careful not to overheat them though as they can become congealed and difficult to work with. A handy tip if this happens is to drizzle a very small amount of oil into the chocolate to loosen it up again. Decorating cake pop

Sometimes the trickiest thing when making cake pops is to find somewhere to dry them. I used an empty, fairly shallow cardboard box and punched small holes in it using my leftover cake pops sticks. Make sure that the holes are at least an inch apart as cake pops like to lean a little when drying and you don’t want them to stick together.

Once dry, the fun part can begin…decorating. You can be as creative as you like and if you go wrong, don’t worry simply eat the cake pop and no-one will ever know!!

If you don’t have any spare cake to make the cake pops you can dip marshmallows and follow the process in exactly the same way. This works perfectly for the freakish Frankenstein pops and tastes just as yummy. Pumpkin pops

So what are you waiting for? Gather together your little ghosts and ghouls and get creative with our Halloween treats.

To try our BakingMad.com recipes click here.

Happy Halloween!!!

Bye bye bake off

So the Great British Bake Off came to an end last week (sob sob) and what a fabulous series it has been. Our emotions have been up and down more often that Luis peering into his oven – we have had the fresh young face of Martha, who taught that age is just a number, right through to good old Norman, who taught us that lavender and meringue should never appear together in a dessert!!

There was drama and scandal with the infamous ‘bin gate’ which we are sure will go down in Great British Bake Off history, as well a triumph as Richard smashed the ‘star baker’ record. But above all that, how amazing was the standard of baking this year?? The final three bakers fully deserved their places after their consistent performances throughout the show. The creativity expressed by some of the bakers was purely remarkable – who could forget Luis’ 3D dragon, Richard’s polka dot Entremets and Nancy’s exquisite mini jaffa orange cakes in the very first week.

We also loved the ingenious kitchen gadgets the contestants had brought along – who would have thought of cutting small cakes evenly with a guillotine?

Prinsesstarta The show has also sparked many a debate in the BakingMad.com HQ and I am sure across the nation, such as the pronunciation of ‘Bak-lava (or was it ‘Baklaaaaava’?) and how acceptable is the ‘oops I’ve dropped it’ 3 second rule when serving a dropped cake on the show.

You can’t deny the personalities this year were great as were the cakes and bakes. My personal favourite were the creative Swiss rolls in week one and the Prinsesstårta ‘Swedish Princess Cake’ technical challenge that Mary set. The cakes looked almost too beautiful to eat and we just simply had to have a go at our own showstopper version. Give our recipe a try here.

GBBO 2014 It was great to catch up with the Great British Bake Off contestants of new and old at the Cake and Bake show a few weeks ago and cannot wait to hear what they get up to following on from the show. We are off to start our countdown to next series …

You can try our showstopper swiss roll recipe here

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