Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Saffron loaf

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

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saffron loaf cake with a large mug of tea | @hisforhome

I’ve somehow managed to get to the wrong side of mid-40 without ever having tasted saffron, although Justin’s used it in some of the kitchens he’s worked in (he’s so windswept & interesting!).

saffron in a saucepan of milk | @hisforhome

It’s often added to rice dishes and sauces, but I obviously decided to give it my first outing in a cake!

cubes of butter on flour | @hisforhome

Saffron loaf is a traditional Cornish recipe. It’s a very straightforward bake; mix the dry ingredients, crumb in the butter, add the saffron-infused milk, form a soft dough, a short prove then pop it in the oven for about an hour.

flour and dried fruit mixture | @hisforhome

This isn’t a dainty cake. You can cut it into small, delicate pieces for a touch of refinement, of course… but we didn’t go down the Ritz afternoon tea route and had a large slice (with a scraping of butter!).

pouring saffron milk and yeast mixture on to dry mixture | @hisforhome

 A rustic pottery mug full of strong tea was the ideal accompaniment.

saffron loaf dough | @hisforhome

 It’s sweet & fruity with the subtle, yet distinctive, saffron flavour coming through nicely.

saffron loaf dough in baking tin | @hisforhome

A delicious late afternoon pick-me-up – a perfect way to satisfy that peckish stage between lunch & dinner.

Saffron loaf
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 0.1g saffron threads
  2. 125ml/4½fl oz milk
  3. 500g/18oz plain flour
  4. 10g/⅓oz dried, fast-action yeast
  5. pinch salt
  6. ¼tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  7. 250g/9oz cold butter, cubed
  8. 250g/9oz golden caster sugar
  9. 350g/12oz mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, currants and sultanas)
  10. saffron loaf cake ingredients
Instructions
  1. Grease a 1kg/2.2lb loaf tin
  2. Heat the saffron and milk in a pan over a medium heat until the mixture has turned yellow and is almost simmering
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and nutmeg
  4. Add the butter and sugar and rub in using your fingertips or pastry blender until it forms the consistency of breadcrumbs
  5. Stir in the dried fruit until well combined
  6. Add the yeast to the saffron milk mixture, stir well before adding it to the dry mixture
  7. Mix until the mixture comes combines to form a soft dough
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth
  9. Put the dough into the greased loaf tin, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour to rise
  10. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  11. Bake for an hour, or until the loaf is beginning to brown
  12. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing it from the tin on to a wire rack and allowing it to cool further
Notes
  1. Great spread with butter and/or thin slices of cheddar cheese. Have it toasted when it's a few days old.
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Cheese soda bread

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

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loaf of home made cheese soda bread | @hisforhome

Sometimes you want a lovely fresh loaf of home-made bread but you don’t always have the time for all the kneading and proving it can involve. On days like that I make a soda bread round. Bish, bash, bosh – it’s mixed, baked and ready to eat in just over half an hour.

cheese soda bread dry ingredients

I’ve not made a cheese soda bread loaf before – or even found a recipe for one anywhere – but you just know it’s one of those things that’s going to be a success!

flour with buttermilk

It’s definitely one to try!

unbaked cheese soda bread loaf

It’s lovely fresh out of the oven with a generous spread of butter. Good with pâté too – and cheese of course.

poached eggs on sliced & toasted cheese soda bread

It also makes great toast and the bread’s flavour combines very well with all kinds of breakfast ingredients – bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms. Or one of our favourites – a simple poached egg.

Cheese soda bread
Yields 1
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g/7oz plain flour
  2. 150g/5oz wholemeal flour
  3. 50g/2oz wheatgerm
  4. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  5. 1tsp salt
  6. 30g/1oz butter, cubed
  7. 300g/10½oz buttermilk
  8. 100g/3½oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
  9. cheese soda bread ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/430ºF/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease a large baking tray and set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients well
  4. Rub the butter into the flour mix before making a well in the centre
  5. Pour the buttermilk into the well and begin bringing the flour from the edge of the bowl towards the centre using a spatula or dough scraper
  6. Add the grated cheddar and knead the dough into a ball, trying not overwork
  7. Put the dough on to the baking tray, make a deep cross on the top using the dough scraper or large sharp knife
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the top
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving
Notes
  1. The buttermilk we buy in the supermarket only comes in 250g containers. We just top up the recipe amount with 50g plain yoghurt
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon curd

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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Lemon curd layered sponge cake | H is for Home

For someone who claims to hate lemons, I sure cook a lot of lemon-based Cakes & Bakes recipes!

This week, I needed one lemon for something or other but saw one of those string bags of lemons in the supermarket for a whole 25p – cheaper than buying it singly.

I ended up with half a dozen lemons in the fruit bowl that needed using up. More drizzle cake? Cookies? Sorbet? Meringue?

I’ll let you in on a secret. Even though I generally can’t bear lemon, I LOVE lemon curd – I don’t know why! Lemon curd on hot, buttered toast is divine – and it’s a doddle to make.

I found a really simple recipe in my favourite celebrity chef, Delia Smith’s Cookery Course Part Two. I scaled up her recipe which made enough to fill two 400ml Mason jars. As well as being good on breakfast toast, you can use it in a sponge sandwich like I did here, lemon curd tarts or lemon roulade.

Lemon curd sponge sandwich with jar of home made lemon curd

Don’t worry if your mixture looks like it’s curdling when it begins to cook. Once the temperature is low, you keep stirring and the butter begins to melt – it will all be fine!

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon curd

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 x 400ml Mason jars

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon curd

Ingredients

  • 300g/10½oz caster sugar
  • 4 large lemons, finely grated zest and juice
  • 8 large eggs
  • 200g/7oz butter
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Instructions

  1. Put the grated lemon zest and sugar into a large bowl
  2. In a large measuring jug, whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs
  3. Pour the lemon juice & egg mixture over the zest & sugar mixture
  4. Add the butter cut into small cubes and put the bowl over a pan of just simmering water
  5. Stir frequently until thickened - about 30 minutes
  6. Decant into sterilised jars before screwing the lids down tightly
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-lemon-curd/

Cakes & Bakes: Peanut butter & banana dog treats

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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peanut butter & banana dog bones

We must have published at least 100 Cakes & Bakes recipes. This is the first one that’s specifically for our canine friends. Peanut butter & banana dog treats are Fudge’s idea of heaven. They contains all the things he loves the most; egg, honey, peanut butter and bananas.

He hung around the kitchen the whole time I was making these – it must have been the smell of the bananas and the peanut butter. Torture when you’ve got a dog’s super-sensitive nose!

Fudge paying close attention to me making peanut butter banana dog treats

He must have known they were for him – “Are they nearly ready yet?” he was thinking!

Fudge sitting and waiting to be given one of his peanut butter banana dog treats

It was worth his wait. He sat to attention putting on his best behavior as the treats were unveiled.

Fudge eating one of his peanut butter banana dog treats

….and then the first taste. Wow! Things will never be the same in his little doggy world ever again!

Cakes & Bakes: Peanut butter & banana dog treats

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Cakes & Bakes: Peanut butter & banana dog treats

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 75g peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 225g rolled oats
  • 40g wholemeal flour
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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC/350°F
  2. Mash the banana with a fork until smooth
  3. Mix in the peanut butter, honey and egg
  4. Add the oats and flour and stir until well combined
  5. Drop the dough (I moulded them into bone shapes using a cookie cutter) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment/greaseproof paper
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until just turning brown
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-peanut-butter-banana-dog-treats/

Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire curd tarts

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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detailed view of two Yorkshire curd tarts

I’d never eaten Yorkshire curd tarts before I’d moved to Yorkshire. I’ve never eaten a home made one until this week – just supermarket-bought… which were nice, but just nice. If you’ve never had one, I’d say they’re a cross between a cross between an Eccles cake, cheesecake and an egg custard tart.

They’ve been made since the 17th century, usually around Whitsuntide, using leftover curds from cheesemaking. Rather than being cooked in cake or tart tins, they’re traditionally done in saucers. Don’t try this if you think your lovely vintage china saucers may shatter in the oven!

I’ve wanted to make them before but I’ve never seen curd for sale anywhere. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own curds, I’ve giving Yorkshire curd tarts a go!

You’ll need 2 pints of full-fat milk to make the right amount of curd for this recipe. Don’t be disappointed by the curd to whey ratio. All that resultant liquid shouldn’t be wasted. It can be used in bread making, cooking pasta, soaking & cooking pulses, lassi… some people even recommend using it as a shampoo!

I used a recipe from Joan Poulson’s Old Yorkshire Recipes teamed with Delia Smith’s version of shortcrust pastry.

Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire curd tarts

Yield: Makes 4 tarts

Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire curd tarts

Ingredients

  • For the filling
  • 225g/8oz curds use 2pts of milk & 2tbs white or white wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g/4oz sugar
  • 55g/2oz currants
  • small knob of butter, melted
  • a little grated lemon rind I left this out
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  •  
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 115g/4oz plain flour
  • 55g/2oz butter, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cold water
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  •  

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour
  3. Using your fingertips, gently rub the fat into the flour
  4. When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, sprinkle over about 2tbs of cold water
  5. Bring the mixture together using a round-bladed dinner knife; mixing and cutting
  6. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that will leave the bowl clean
  7. Rest the pastry, wrapped in cling film or tin foil, in the fridge for 20-30 minutes while you make the filling
  8. To make the filling: Heat the milk until almost boiling and add the vinegar
  9. Remove from the heat and stir until it curdles
  10. Allow to cool slightly before straining through a fine muslin you can save the whey to use in bread baking or soaking/cooking pulses
  11. Mix the curds with the dried fruit and flavourings
  12. Beat the eggs well and stir into the curd mixture with the sugar and melted butter
  13. Roll out the pastry and line 4 oven-proof saucers/sideplates before adding the curd mixture
  14. Bake in a moderate oven (180ºC/350F) for 20 minutes or until set
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-yorkshire-curd-tarts/