Archive | March, 2012

Mother’s Bake

18 Mar

slice of boozy fruit cake
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mothers. I hope your sons and daughters have spent all day being nice to you, or hopefully remembered to give you a card, or at least text to say hi.

I don’t normally see my Mum on Mothering Sunday. Usually I’ll send a card, and sometimes tuck in a packet of seeds as a gift (not sesame seeds, or some other healthy snack you understand – but some seeds to plant in the garden, like some pretty freesias or something…) and it’ll probably turn up a few days late. Hey, is it my fault there is no post on Sunday?
simmer boozy cakesift boozy fruit cakeraw boozy fruit cakeBoozy fruit cake
This year Ma and Pa are in Shoreditch, and it just so happens to be Mother’s Day. I’d better get baking, methought. So I did – this rather lovely boozy fruit cake offering from the hallowed baking bible of Mary Berry (again). It’s really quite quick to make – simmer dried fruit, butter, golden syrup, walnuts and milk for five minutes. Mix with flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs, tip into your 20cm round tin and bake. Splash with booze (brandy for me) when the cake comes out the oven. It Would make a perfect last minute Christmas cake, as you can eat it right away, no maturing required.

Happy Mum’s Day!

Child’s play

17 Mar

candy meltscake pop sprinkles
wilton candy meltsmelts and sprinkles

Cake Pops are so easy to make, even children can do it. Which is a very good thing, as the cake pops I had planned to make for some chums and their kids weren’t quite done when they turned up for dinner. “Hi gang, good to see you! Now, I’ve got a job for you to do….”

We ate dinner, let it go down (for about 5 seconds, can we make them noooooooooowwwww?) – and then got busy with the cake pops. The day before I had already prepared the cake (an orange sponge that didn’t taste very orangey, must try orange essence next time), mixed the cake crumbs with icing and rolled into balls in the usual fashion. All that was left to do was decorate the little fellas.

It was good family fun, as long as you don’t mind your star sprinkles getting mixed up with your confetti sprinkles, and your confetti sprinkles getting mixed up with your star sprinkles, and your hundreds and thousands getting mixed up, well, everywhere! But our little cake pop designer had some pretty interesting ideas – like “lets use all the colours at once” which is how we ended up with the swirly 2 tone cake pop below.
ottos cake pops

This time, I discovered that your cake pops should come straight from the fridge before you coat them in chocolate. If they’re room temperature they won’t be hard enough to take the chocolate coating, and they’ll fall of their sticks (and right into your little cake pop-skateer’s mouth!)

That is all.

Bikes and Bakes

14 Mar

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I love a good, productive evening. Tonight I got home and first fixed a puncture on my bike

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Getting all grease-monkeyed in the process

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And then I just, y’know, baked an orange sponge cake (which will soon be made into cake pops!)

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And the whole time, the picture of domestic/mechanic goddess-ness in a flowery dress. Win!

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Dorset Bakes

10 Mar

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This weekend Mr Bakes and I took a little road rail and road cycling trip, starting in Axminster and finishing in Dorchester. And look how sunny it was!

sunny dorchester

We only cycled 50km, but when you’re either going up a hill, or down the other side of it, 50km seems quite a long way (and we haven’t yet got our climbing legs back after a winter of hibernation)

So, the only thing for it was to stuff our faces at the River Cottage Canteen the night beforehand. To begin we had pigeon breast with garlic potato purée and smoked pollack roe taramasalata. Then razor clams and chorizo, lambs liver and couscous, and a side of roast spuds, and then pudding! A chocolate brownie with cardamom cream, and a big plate o’cheese & biscuits.

Chocolate Brownie

The highlights were the pigeon & the cardamom cream. We also tried a local dessert wine. I wouldn’t recommend it. Sauternes? Yes please! Royal Tokaji? Hell yeah! Lyme Bay dessert wine? Errr, maybe not.

Chicken Pie

The next day we went up and down the Dorset hills on our bicycles, with only a brief interlude to talk marquees. After all that cycling we felt we’d earned ourselves a treat. And it was lunchtime…which = pie time. Sausage roll, and a chicken and bacon pie. I’m pretty sure this is the combo Bradley Wiggins will be ordering post Paris-Nice tonight. Speaking of Bradley, Mr. Bakes just commented that with his helmet on, it looks like he’s wearing a jimmy hat. Time for a hair-cut Wiggo?

Sausage Roll