Week four of the Great British Bake Off saw the contestants attempting 'batter week' for the...

Week four of the Great British Bake Off saw the contestants attempting 'batter week' for the very first time in the history of the show.

They were challenged to try and make perfect Yorkshire Puddings, lace pancakes, and churros.

I would have liked to have a go at making the lace pancakes, but my frying pan has lost all of it's non-stick ability, so they would have ended up being a clumpy mess.

So, as I have never made them before, I had a go at making churros.




I used a very basic recipe for my churros and found they weren't as difficult to make as I had originally expected.

Unfortunately my churros didn't have the traditional ridges on them as my delightful children have taken to playing with (and losing) my baking equipment, including my piping nozzles.




Ingredients -

50g butter - melted
half a teaspoon vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
approx 1 litre sunflower oil

100g sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Method -

  • Boil a kettle full of water and measure 350ml of the boiling water into a jug.  
  • Add the melted butter and vanilla extract to the water.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the contents of the jug and beat together quickly using a wooden spoon, until lump free.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once rested, fill a large saucepan with the oil.
  • Heat the oil.
  • Fit a star nozzle (approx 1.5 - 2cm wide) to a piping bag.
  • Fill the bag with the rested dough.
  • Pipe 2-3 strips directly into the pan of hot oil, or pipe the strips onto baking paper and then add them to the oil 2-3 at a time and fry until golden and crisp. (I found piping mine on paper first meant that they kept a more uniform shape).
  • Once golden, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place onto kitchen paper to drain.
  • repeat these steps until all of the dough has been used.
  • Once all of the churros are cooked, mix the sugar and cinnamon together and toss the churros in the sugar mixture.
  • Serve and enjoy.



I chose to serve my churros with melted chocolate for dipping.  
The children loved it, but I preferred mine without the chocolate.

I really enjoyed making these, and they were literally gone in 60 seconds once the children got their hands on them.



Definitely a winner!

Missy. x



Mummy Mishaps

As usual with 6 children running around the house it is not always easy to spend time baking in the...


As usual with 6 children running around the house it is not always easy to spend time baking in the kitchen.

I had to miss out on joining with week two (biscuit week) of the bloggers bake off due to the fact that the children were still on their school holidays and I was unwell with a chest infection.

But this week I am back and joining in with 'bread week'.

This week on The Great British Bake Off the contestants were challenged to make a sweet loaf, dampfnudel (steamed bread) and a plaited bread centre piece.

I have chosen to make a sweet loaf, which I have also plaited (poorly).

The loaf I made is a Paul Hollywood recipe and is a cherry and chocolate loaf.



Unfortunately I had some problems with my yeast.  I'm pretty sure it was 'dead', meaning that my dough didn't rise properly during the first prove and the final loaf ended up having quite a close texture.
This also meant that the loaf split in a couple of places while baking.



I am quite disappointed but at least I know what the problem was, and the flavours of the loaf were delicious.

It has almost gone already so it can't be that bad!



If you would like to give Paul's cherry and chocolate loaf a try then you can find the recipe HERE.

Happy baking, and don't forget to share your baking triumphs with me in the comments below.

Missy x



Mummy Mishaps

It's that time of year again. Here in the UK The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens...

It's that time of year again.

Here in the UK The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens.  
I know that 'Bake Off' splits opinions and that some people find it a bit pointless and boring, but I love it.  

I really enjoy watching the show each week to see what challenges the bakers are tackling, and also to gain a bit of creative inspiration as well.

Once again I have decided to take part in The Great Bloggers Bake Off, which consists of watching the show each week and then attempting one (or more) of the challenges that the bakers were set.

This week was the first week of the show and saw the bakers making drizzle cakes, jaffa cakes and a mirror glaze cake.

I would have loved to try a mirror glaze cake, but in all honesty I just haven't had the time or the energy to attempt something so complicated, especially with it being the first week of baking.
Not to mention the fact that it is still the school summer holidays, and let's just say that baking with 6 children hanging around in the kitchen is not the easiest of tasks.

So, in order to keep things relatively simple, I have made a drizzle cake for the first week of the bloggers bake off.

I didn't want to be too traditional though so I made a vodka and tonic drizzle cake.

Unfortunately the vodka didn't work too well in the cake and made the flavours overpowering, burning the back of the throat, and threatening to get everyone drunk after just one slice.

So, I had to remake the cake.
This time I used gin and tonic which worked a lot better, although I did find the sponge quite dense once I had added the drizzle to it.
It was still delicious though.




Recipe 

225g butter
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
4 eggs
4 shots of gin (100ml)
2 lemons (or limes depending on personal preference), zest

For the drizzle

25ml tonic water
8 shots of gin (200ml)
150g granulated sugar
2 lemons (or limes), juiced






Method

Preheat your oven to 180.
Grease a loaf tin and line with baking paper.
Beat the butter, sugar and lemon (or lime) zest together until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time and beat completely between each one.
Fold the flour into the mixture until completely combined.
Add the gin and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.  
Check the cake is cooked through properly by inserting a skewer (or knife) into the centre of the cake.  If the cake is cooked the skewer will come out clean.

Once the cake is coming towards the end of it's cooking time mix your drizzle ingredients together.
When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over the surface of the cake and pour the drizzle over it.
Leave the cake to cool completely until a crust has formed on the top of the cake.
Slice, serve and enjoy.






Next week is biscuit week in the bake off and I am very much looking forward to seeing what the TV bakers, and the other bloggers, come up with.

If you do try the gin and tonic cake for yourself then I would love to hear how you get on.  
Feel free to post a comment below, find me on twitter, or Facebook and share your bakes with me.

If you would like to find out more about The Great Bloggers Bake Off, and maybe even bake along, then head over to Mummy Mishaps for more information and some fabulous recipes.

Missy x




Mummy Mishaps

To my neighbour who chooses to remain anonymous - I received your note through my door. A not...

To my neighbour who chooses to remain anonymous -

I received your note through my door.
A note informing me that it was a 'polite request' when actually there was nothing polite about your note at all.
The note went on to inform me that my children are too noisy when they play in the garden during the day and that it apparently stops you from being able to hear your own tv. 
A claim that I find to be extremely far fetched, especially as I am able to hear my own tv perfectly well ..... and I am on the same property as my children while they are playing.

You then continue to inform me that my children's playing is stopping other people from being able to enjoy their own gardens during the summer and that I need to be more considerate of my 'suffering neighbours'.
Very polite. 
Not.
And how do you know this? 
Have other people complained to you? Because we certainly haven't had any other complaints.


I WOULD like to apologise for the point you made about Sunday morning. 
I knew my children were out too early that morning.
In my defence, I had had a really bad night with my youngest and just needed the children to be occupied that morning.
So, against my better judgement, I let them go outside.
I apologise sincerely for the fact that they disturbed you that day.

But that is the ONLY thing I will apologise for!

I will NOT stop my children from playing outside. 

I have 6 children.
When they play they are noisy.
They shout and scream and sing and laugh.

It is the school summer holidays and I am encouraging them to play outside (when the weather allows) and to spend their summer playing on the trampoline, in the sandpit and in the pool (when hot enough), looking for bugs and running around.

I want my children to play, and to be happy, and to make noise !
I want them to use their imaginations and make up games.
I LOVE to listen to them singing and making up new games to play when they are bouncing on the trampoline.
I know they fight and argue (and the little ones cry), but show me siblings that don't !
They are in their own garden !!!!
They are not running around in the streets causing aggravation for anyone else.
They are not spending their summer sitting glued to television and computer screens.

They are JUST BEING CHILDREN.

And I will NOT apologise for that.

Missy x

I fell in love with Rachael Lucas' books as soon as I started reading them. I was recommended ...

I fell in love with Rachael Lucas' books as soon as I started reading them.

I was recommended 'Coming Up Roses' by a friend and was completely hooked after reading just a few pages.  
From there, I went on to purchase/download all of her previous books and got stuck in.

Rachael has a way of writing that completely draws you in to the story, and has you wishing the book wouldn't come to an end.

One of my favourite books by Rachael is 'Sealed With A Kiss'.

I adored reading about the main characters and getting to know them via Rachael's words.

When the book came to an end I couldn't help but feel disappointed.

Until now.

'Wildflower Bay', although following a different character, is set on the same island as 'Sealed with a Kiss' and you get a little glimpse into previous characters lives while learning all about the new girl, Isla.



Image Credit - Rachael Lucas


'Isla’s got her dream job as head stylist at the most exclusive salon in Edinburgh. The fact that she’s been so single-minded in her career that she’s forgotten to have a life has completely passed her by – until disaster strikes.
Out of options, she heads to the remote island of Auchenmor to help out her aunt who is in desperate need of an extra pair of scissors at her salon.
A native to the island, Finn is thirty-five and reality has just hit him hard. His best friends are about to have a baby and everything is changing. When into his life walks Isla…'

Wildflower Bay didn't disappoint in having me completely hooked again.

I laughed, I smiled, and I even cried a few tears!  
Trust me when I tell you that it is not very often a book manages to make me cry!


Wildflower Bay is available to purchase from today from Asda, WHSmith and all good bookstores.

It is also available to download via Amazon and iBooks.


If you would like to find out more about Rachael and her wonderful books; you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also read her Blog.

I would love to hear you thoughts about 'Wildflower Bay' (and any other books by Rachael) so please feel free to post your comments below.


For any Rachael Lucas fans reading this... there will be a Q&A with Rachael appearing on this blog very soon!

Happy Reading.

Missy x