Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cinnamon Breakfast Loaf

Bread hates me. It's just a fact of life that I have to deal with because every single time that I have made bread it turns out rubbish and then someone else will do the exact same recipe and it will turn out perfect. Enriched dough's, however, seem to work in my favour. I found this recipe really easy to follow and the loaf turned out great. I would advise making this the night before and serving it lightly toasted with lashings of butter and a glass of milk for breakfast the next day.

Recipe taken from The Great British Bakeoff: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers.

Best served toasted and with butter

Cinnamon Breakfast Loaf


For the loaf:
> 500g strong white bread flour
> 1tsp sea salt flakes crushed
> 2tbsp caster sugar
> 7g dried yeast
> 125ml milk
> 50g unsalted butter
> 1 large egg, at room temperature

For the filling:
> 50g caster sugar
> 1tsp plain flour
> 1tbsp ground cinnamon
> Milk for brushing

To finish:
> Milk, for brushing
> small knob of butter


1. Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the dried yeast.

2. Gently warm the milk with 125ml water and the butter until lukewarm and the butter has melted. Remove from the heat. Add the egg and beat with a fork until combined. Add this to the flour mixture and slowly stir to make a soft but not sticky dough. If the dough seems too dry then add more milk, one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky then add more strong flour, one tablespoon at a time.

3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead thoroughly for about 10 minutes by hand. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

4. Meanwhile grease and line a 900g loaf tin.

5. In a small bowl mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon together.

6. Punch down the risen dough to deflate and turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and pat out into a rough rectangle. Cover lightly with a sheet of clingfilm and leave to relax for about 5 minutes- this will make it easier to roll out the dough.

7. Lightly flour the rolling pin and roll out the dough to a rectangle as wide as the length of the tin and 48cm long, keeping the sides straight and neat. Brush the dough liberally with milk, then sprinkle over the sugar mixture in an even layer, leaving a 1cm border clear at one short end. Roll up the dough, neatly and tightly, from the other short end and pinch the seam together to seal it firmly.

8. Lift the rolled dough into the tin, gently tucking the ends under to make a neat shape. Slip the tin into a large plastic bag and slightly inflate it so the plastic doesn't stick to the dough, then tie the ends. Leave to rise as before until just doubled in size, (don't let the loaf become too big or it will lose its shape). Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 180C.

9. Uncover the dough and brush lightly with milk. Bake for about 35minutes until a good golden brown and the turned-out loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped on the underside.

10. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and rub the butter over the top to give a glossy finish. Leave until completely cold before slicing. Eat with 5 days or freeze.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Moving on

My sister finished primary school last week and it was quite emotional if I am honest with you. Her and all her friends started to cry because they were going to miss each other and it was very sweet and cute. But it made me think about just how old I am and how time goes by so quickly. Yes, my sister may still have a while to go but for me, I only have two years of school left. It scares me just to type that! In two years time I am going to be an adult! Arggh!! Although most of the time I like to pretend that I am mature enough the truth is that I am far from grown up enough. And I don't mind, I like being young and carefree, for however long that may last. But, I think that's enough of my ranting for one post don't you?

Anyways, back to my original point, my sister had a sort of 'party' and I made a cake for the occasion. The icing said 'Class of 13' but if you made this cake then it is completely up to you what you write. I really like this recipe and I got good feedback from others. In the middle I added strawberries for a fruity and summery touch, this is optional and the fruit can be changed to suit your needs.

This recipe may seem quite big but it did cut up into 30 slices on the day.

Celebration cake


For the cake: (ingredients for 1 layer)
> 225g butter/stork softened
> 225g caster sugar
> 1/2tsp vanilla essence
> 4 large eggs
> 225g self-raising flour
> 2tsp baking powder

For the filling and icing:
> 250g strawberries
> 350g butter, softened
> 200g icing sugar
> 1tsp vanilla essence
> 60ml double cream
> 100g small sweets
> 1 tube of Sliver Spoon Designer Icing


1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a traybake tin.

2. In a bowl whisk the butter, vanilla essence and sugar together until light and fluffy.

3. Add an egg to the mixture one at a time, beating after each addition. Before the first addition add a tablespoon of flour to the mixture from the 250g to stop the eggs from curdling. If the mixture looks like it is about to curdle then you can add another tablespoon  of flour.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and beat the mixture for another 3-4minutes until the mixture is light and airy. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is golden brown.

5. Now that you have the first layer of your cake you need to make the second one so repeat steps 1-4.

6. To make the butter icing beat the butter, icing sugar, and vanilla essence together until light and fluffy. Add the double cream and continue to beat for another 5 minutes.

7. On the top of one of the cakes, ice the top only. Slice the strawberries and place them side by side on top of the butter icing. Add the second layer on top and ice the top and sides of the cake.

8. Place the small sweets around the edges of the cake and cool the cake in the fridge overnight. This way the butter icing will harden and it will be easier to pipe on it the next day.

9. Pipe what you wish to say on the cake and then chill the cake for another couple of hours so that this icing hardens.

10. Slice and serve!

P.S. What do you think of my new header?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Iced Biscuits

I have made these biscuits time and time again and they come out perfect each time. My piping on the other hand is a different story... The icing itself was of a good consistency it is just my piping that needs more practice. If I am honest with you this is the first time that I have done this sort of piping so when I look at the biscuits in that light, I feel relatively happy with them.

I went for pastel colours

Iced Biscuits


For the Biscuits:
>125g Butter softened
>3/4 cup sugar
>1tsp vanilla essence
>1 egg
>2 cups plain flour
>1tsp baking powder

For the icing
>250g icing sugar
>The white of 1 large egg
>Drops of lemon juice
>Food colouring (optional)

1. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet.

2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg and beat well.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder together and mix into the creamy mixture.

5. Roll out the biscuit dough to about 1/2cm thick and cut out biscuits using cookie cutters. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet.

6. Bake for about 9 minutes, slightly longer if your biscuits are bigger or thicker. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown.

7. Take the tray out and leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes and then transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack.

8. In a bowl add the icing sugar, egg white and lemon juice together. If your egg white is not enough then you may have to crack open another egg and use part of that egg white. Beat the egg white and sugar  together for about 5 minutes until you have stiff peaks.

9. Add a couple of drops of water to the icing so that it is easier to pipe. Split the icing into as many colours as you would like and stir in the food colouring.

10. Transfer the icing into piping bags and pipe decorations onto the cookies. Leave the cookies on a cooling rack so that the icing hardens.

11. Serve and enjoy!