Since starting The Great Bloggers Bake Off I have learnt quite a few new skills, made new friends, and have really enjoyed taking part.  ...

0 Comments

Since starting The Great Bloggers Bake Off I have learnt quite a few new skills, made new friends, and have really enjoyed taking part. 

For my master-class I have decided to revisit a few of the themes from The Great British Bake Off challenges, but I have opted to stick to fairly basic recipes rather than the more challenging ones that I have been trying previously.  
I have a couple of reasons for this: the main reason being that I feel it is really important to have a basic knowledge in baking.  It is really helpful to know and understand basic recipes for things that you can/will bake in every day life, and it will also help to play a big part in your success when you become a little more confident and play around with recipes to make them more exciting and unique.
My second reason is time.  I love to bake, but as a mummy of 6 it can be really hard to find the time to make the more complex recipes.  
So instead I have included 4 simple and effective recipes that are really tasty, easy to do, and brilliant for sharing with your loved ones.  
I want my children to learn how to cook and bake as they grow up so that they have a good basic knowledge when the time comes for them to be independent.  Because of this I have decided to create my own little recipe book that I can pass on to them.  Nothing fancy, but basic recipes that will enable them to stand on their own two feet in the kitchen.


Victoria Sponge (Week 1)



Recipe

220g Self Raising Flour (sieved)
220g Butter
220g Sugar
4 eggs (lightly whisked)
200ml double cream - whipped 
Jam of your choice (traditionally strawberry)
Icing Sugar (for dusting)

Method
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. 
  2. Add a quarter of the egg to the bowl with a little flour and mix together. Continue to do this until all of the egg and flour have been included in the mixture.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180c (350F/Gas mark 4)
  4. Grease and line 2 20cm/8inch tins and divide the mixture evenly between the tins. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 mins until golden brown and springy to touch. For an even bake ensure you place both cake tins on the same shelf in the oven.
  6. Once baked, leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the tins.
  7. Remove the cakes from the tins and leave to cool completely.
  8. To assemble the cake, turn one cake upside down and spread with plenty of jam.  Whip the cream until thick and spread this on top of the jam.
  9. Gently place the other cake on top and dust lightly with icing sugar.
You can make the cake without cream if you prefer  and you could also jazz it up a little by using fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries between the cakes, on top of the cream.


White Bread (week 2)




















Recipe

500g strong white flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp salt
Dried active yeast
200ml water (not including water used to activate yeast)
1 tsp oil for greasing (usually sunflower oil)

Method
  1. In a small bowl dissolve 1 tsp of sugar in 150ml of warm water. (1 part boiling 2 parts cold).  Sprinkle 1 tbsp of dried active yeast over the water and then whisk thoroughly.  Leave the bowl for approximately 20-30 minutes until the surface of the water is covered in froth. Whisk the yeast again.  It is now ready to use.
  2. Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl.  Pour in most of the water and use your fingers (or a wooden spoon) to mix it all together until it becomes a slightly wet, workable dough. (Add a splash more water if necessary). 
  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 mins until smooth and elastic. 
  4. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover it with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour (until doubled in size).
  5. Heat your oven to 220C (425F/gas 7). 
  6. Tip your dough onto a floured surface and push the air out using your fists. 
  7. Mould the dough into a rugby ball shape and place in a 900g loaf tin.
  8. Cover the tin with a clean tea towel and leave the dough to prove for another 30 mins. 
  9. Dust the top of the loaf with a little more flour and slash the top with a sharp knife, if you want. 
Bake the bread for 15 mins and then reduce the oven temperature to 180C (350F/gas 5) and bake for another 30 mins. The loaf should sound hollow when removed from the tin and tapped on the base. Place the bread on a wire rack to cool completely.         
This loaf will stay fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container and is also suitable for home freezing :)                                                                                                                                       
To make this loaf I used Tesco Finest Very Strong White Flour that I had very kindly been sent by Tesco. 
It made a really lovely, soft loaf of bread that the whole family loved, and demolished in record time!


Spiced Apple Crumble (Week 4 - although it is a crumble not a pie!)


Recipe
For the filling:

6-8 large apples (depending on size of crumble)
50g sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
2-4 tbsp water (depending on amount of apples used)

For the Crumble:

300g plain flour
175g sugar
200g Stork
1/2 tsp Steenbergs Organic Mixed Spice

Method
  1. Peel and core the apples, cut them into small chunks and place them in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar, mixed spices and water over the apples and stir well to coat the apples, being careful not to break them up.
  3. Heat the apples over a low heat until they begin to soften.  Then remove them from the heat and leave them to sit in the juices for around 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  This will ensure the apples are deliciously soft and that they soak up the flavour of the spices.
  4. Once the apples are ready tip them into an oven proof dish that can be used to bake your crumble.
  5. Heat your oven to 180C (350F/Gas Mark 4)
  6. Prepare the crumble by mixing the flour, sugar and mixed spices together in a large bowl.  Once the ingredients are combined together, add the butter to the bowl a little at a time and rub it into the flour using your fingers.  How much you rub the mixture depends on how you like your crumble.  If you prefer a fine crumble topping then rub together until it resembles bread crumbs. I personally prefer a nice crunchy, but chewy crumble so I make mine into larger lumps (see image above)
  7. Spoon the crumble over the top of the apple mixture and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the crumble is golden.
I was fortunate enough to be sent Stork (butter) and Steenbergs Organic Mixed Spice to use in my bakes, and I have to say this crumble has fast become a family favourite.  
I will only bake it with Stork and Steenbergs now, as it really does make the most perfect crumble!


Stars and Hearts Biscuits (Week 5)




Recipe

250g soft butter
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
300g plain flour
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Method
  1. Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract (if using) and beat until combined.
  3.  Sift the flour in to the bowl and stir until the mixture is well combined. You may find it easier to use you hands towards the end, to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together.
  4. Place the dough on to a lightly floured surface and roll to your preferred thickness. 
  5. Heat your oven to 180C (375F/Gas mark5)
  6. Use biscuit/cookie cutters to create your biscuit shapes.  (I opted to used hearts and stars but size and shape are all personal preference). 
  7. Place the biscuits on to a non-stick baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins, or until golden.
  8. Once baked, place the biscuits on to a wire wrack and leave to cool completely.
  9. Decorate the biscuits as desired.
This is a really simple biscuit recipe to follow and is great for baking with children and letting them get creative with their own shapes and decoration ideas.

Once again, a massive Thank You goes out to Jenny and Helen for organising such a fun event for us all to take part in.  I can't wait for next years' series to begin.
  
I really hope you enjoy making these recipes as much as I have.  They are simple to follow and really are very tasty.  

Why not have some fun in the kitchen and get the kids involved!
I'd love to see your creations.

Missy xx




mummy mishaps