Holiday time!

So, the bikini has been located from the back of my underwear drawer, the suncream and adorable miniature toiletries have been bought, passports have been found and bags weighed…yup Tom and I are off on holiday to sunny sunny Egypt tomorrow morning!

Hence the reason for my lack of baking this week. Amongst finishing work for 2 weeks, packing, cleaning the flat and general sorting out I haven’t had time to attempt anything new baking wise – however we did buy a few new cooking items yesterday so when I get back I think I may try a few of the following….

I’ll keep you posted after the holiday on how things turn out!

Au revoir!

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“Whoopie!”

Having seen the biscuit episode of The Great British Bake Off a friend from work smiled her most winning smile at me and said how much she was craving chocolate biscuits. So this weekend I decided to make chocolate whoopie cakes or whoopie pies – not biscuits exactly, but hopefully they’ll be chocolatey enough to satisfy her craving!

The whoopie pie or cake is made when two round sides of chocolate sponge are squished together with a buttercream filling. It is believed that Amish women baked them and would then put them in the farmers’ lunchboxes. When the men opened their lunch and saw the pies they’d shout “whoopie”! 

An understandable reaction, as these cakes are utterly delicious! I followed a recipe in Baking Made Easy which was really easy to follow and resulted in perfect cakes. The only issue I had was using my piping bag for the first time – I had no idea it would be so tricky to fill the bag and then use it to make accurate rounds of cake mixture!

I also made another attempt at baking bread – a simply white loaf. I was so pleased with how this turned out – the dough rose well, it had a good crust and it tasted so yummy and bready!

This was a good weekend for baking 🙂

a busy baking Sunday

This weekend I treated myself to a new sugar thermometer, baking tray and cupcake cases – I had to control myself to not buy the whole shop!

When I got home I found the boyfriend had made pasta dough ready for our dinner – it seems the baking bug has got him too!

I also bought myself a new baking cookbook and chose to make focaccia having seen the contestants on The Great British Bake Off turning their hands to it last week and seeing how delicious it looked! Mmm mmm mmm!

My first attempt went mediocre I would say – the dough needed much more kneading and longer time prooving – it came out not as light or fluffy as I would have liked – but it tasted ok! It was nice with a sprinkling of sea salt and sprigs of rosemary – despite it not being perfect it smelled delicious while it cooked!

I also made fudge for the first time – sweet, scrumptious delicious fudge that melts in your mouth 🙂 yum yum yum!

Sugar, double cream, golden syrup and lots and lots of butter – that is fudge in all its glory! Melted together until its golden and boiling and then put to set in the fridge! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s easy peasy recipe was a triumph – it worked perfectly and tasted great – just don’t check the calories!

the little cake from Genoa…

génoise cake is an Italian sponge cake named after the city of Genoa and closely associated with Italian and French cuisine that does not use any chemical leavening, instead using air suspended in the batter during mixing to give volume to the cake. 

Genoese sponge cake is delicious. Fact.

And all the more satisfying knowing you’ve baked it yourself 🙂

My first attempt worked amazingly much to my surprise, as I wasn’t really sure if I was doing the right thing but it turned out light and fluffy and delicious!

So far so good I thought, I’ve mastered it!

Having told everyone about how delicious the cake was and how easy it was to make, it was only natural that I’d bake one for the boyfriend’s birthday when all his family were coming to visit. Obviously this meant I burnt the cake to within an inch of its life and had to serve the cream and strawberries on their own!

Nevermind, I’ve now learned how much to turn down the fan oven and my latest attempt at baking a genoese worked perfectly, according to the girls at work it tasted “like it was made professionally”!

All’s well that end’s well 🙂