Saturday, 30 August 2014

Lemon Curd Roulade

Dear readers

I apologise for the lack of recipes and posts recently, it’s just been so busy in the What Claire Baked household. From weddings to babies (not ours before anyone asks!) and parties various, I've struggled to find the time to post.  Although, my fellow bloggers also seem to find that summer is when the blogger world goes quiet, so I feel a little less guilty about my distinct lack of posts.

This week’s recipe is a simple summer dessert, which feeds 5-6 people.  We had Mr WhatClaireBaked’s family over the other weekend and I had time to make this and chill it on the Saturday morning before they came for lunch.

Please note  - when you are rolling your roulade sponge and it’s cooling PLEASE USE NON STICK BAKING PAPER/PARCHMENT.  As I discovered (with no time to remake the sponge) ordinary greaseproof paper will stick to the sponge.  And pull the top of it off.
Clever decoration did mean that the damage was covered, but you know, these little tips might stop you using the foul language I did that morning.

If you like roulades, I also have a recipe for Strawberry & Lemon Roulade, if you’d like to give that one a whirl as well.

This recipe is adapted from the Razzle Dazzle Roulade found on BBC Good Food’s website.


Lemon Curd Roulade
Lemon Curd Roulade

Ingredients

4 medium eggs
100g caster sugar
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 2 lemons

Filling

250g tub mascarpone cheese
¼ jar good quality lemon curd
Juice of ½ lemon
3 tablespoons icing sugar

Method

1. Heat oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6. Grease a swiss roll tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment. Put the eggs, caster sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. 

2. Whisk the mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed until the ingredients have combined and doubled in volume.  Will probably take 4-5 minutes.  When lifting out the beaters the mix should ribbon and ribbons should stay on the surface for a couple of seconds.  
Whisking the eggs and sugar

3. Sift in the plain flour and baking powder and quickly fold the mix together using a metal spoon. Don’t overmix or the sponge won’t rise. 
Adding the zest to the sponge mix
4. Transfer the mix to the tin and using a spatula smooth out the surface so it’s even.   Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes until golden.
Ready to go in the oven
5. Remove from the oven and whilst hot, use a knife to score down around 2cm inward, down the long side of the sponge.  This will help you roll.
5. Cut another piece of baking parchment, slightly bigger than the sponge and transfer the baking parchment to the top of a clean tea towel.
6.  Transfer the sponge to the clean baking parchment so it’s landscape in front of you with the creased section closest to you.
7. Begin rolling the sponge away from you, with the baking parchment round it.  Once rolled, cool inside the tea towel.
8.  Whilst cooling, transfer the mascarpone, icing sugar, lemon curd and lemon juice to a bowl and mix together with an electric mixer until combined.
9. Once sponge is cool, carefully unroll and use around half the mixture to fill the sponge. Don’t go too close to the edge or the mix will seep out.
10.   Re-roll the sponge with the filling and move to your serving plate.
11. Transfer the rest of the filling mix to a piping bag and pipe stars on top of the cake.  Finish with mini chocolate decorations and keep in fridge until ready to serve.

12. Cut into 5-6 pieces and serve with single cream. 
Lemon Curd Roulade

And as usual, I'm entering my recipe into #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too!

Link up your recipe of the week

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sykes Cottages Haggis Championships 2014

Readers, it’s been an interesting week again for me. I’ve been finding out about ways to make haggis more exciting… My friends over at Sykes Cottages have launched, wait for it, The Haggis Championships 2014.

Sykes Cottages recently discovered that Scotland’s national dish, was well, err, not very 21st century.  Apart from eating it with yer neeps and yer tatties on Burns’ Night, people really aren't sure whether or not they'd eat it. Two thirds of the people in the study said they wouldn't order it on a menu in a restaurant in Scotland. 

So that’s where the Haggis Championships come in!  Sykes Cottages have challenged a group of lovely Scottish bloggers to come up with a recipe using haggis.   We were given free reign to do as we pleased and I thought long and hard about the best recipe to create.

My love of Italian food and also my love of my grandmother’s (definitely not an Italian bone in her body) cooking of this great dish, led me to make a new take on a lasagne.  A Haggis lasagne.

Mr  WhatClaireBaked even  managed seconds of this one… so it must have been good.

Oh and new life highlight… I got a lovely apron to wear whilst cooking.  IT’S GOT MY NAME ON IT!



Sykes Cottages Haggis Championships 2014
The Great Haggis Lasagne


Ingredients
haggis lasagne


For the cheese sauce
40g butter
40g plain flour
450ml milk
100g mature cheddar
Salt and black pepper

For the meat sauce
1 whole medium haggis
1 onion
Tomato puree
Minced garlic
25g butter
75ml red wine

½ box lasagne sheets (the ones that don’t need pre cooked please)

Method

 1. Crumble the haggis into a pot and set aside
Crumble haggis into a pot
 2. Heat a small frying pan with 25g butter.  Chop onion and add to the pan along with the garlic.  Fry until onion is softened.
Frying pan time

3. Transfer the haggis pot to the hob and add the onions and garlic and tomato puree. Stir to combine and heat over a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes to warm through.  Then add 75ml red wine to the pan and cook the alcohol off for around 5 minutes. Once reduced, remove pot from heat and set aside.
Tasted amazing...
4. Next, make your cheese sauce.  Melt the butter in the pan and add the plain flour, mix until a smooth paste is created.  Next, add a little milk and whisk until no lumps remain.  Then, add the rest of the milk and a little black pepper.  Bring to the boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer for several more minutes, until the sauce is cooked through and thickened.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, until melted and smooth.
Keep whisking!

7. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c Fan/Gas 6.
6. Transfer half your haggis meat to the base of an oven proof rectangular dish. Then, add a layer of pasta on top, breaking sheets if you have to, to cover out to the edge.  Next add half your cheese sauce, then another layer of haggis on top.  Add a final layer of pasta – again, out to the edges and top with the remaining cheese sauce.
7. Grate a little cheese on the top and bake in the oven for around 40 minutes or until the pasta is cooked the whole way through.

haggis lasagne


8. Serve with a side salad and garlic bread.



Disclaimer:  I was given a budget for ingredients and also an apron to wear during the challenge, from Sykes Cottages.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sun Dried Tomato and Herb Dinner Rolls

Readers, I love bread making.  Some people fail to understand the enjoyment in it.  Yes, it’s time consuming and hard work, but the results are delicious and far better than anything shop bought.

We had family over for lunch today and I made a last minute decision to buy some yeast last night and make dinner rolls.  I also had a half jar of sun dried tomatoes in the fridge which weren't proving very useful, so I threw these into the recipe along with some herbs.

This recipe is adapted from an easy white rolls recipe found on BBC Good Food.

Next time, I might add in a splash of tomato puree to bring up the flavour even more.

Great served with an Italian pasta feast!

Sun Dried Tomato and Herb Dinner Rolls

Ingredients – makes 16 mini rolls
Sun dried tomato and herb rolls

75g sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
500g strong white flour
1 sachet dried fast action yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1.5 teaspoons caster sugar
300ml lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil

Method


  1. Star by sifting the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.   Mix the olive oil and water in a jug.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the oil and water. Use a metal spoon to bring the mix together into a dough.
    Make a well in the bowl
  3. Drain and chop your tomatoes and add these to the bowl.  Add the mixed herbs.  Use your hands to begin kneading the herbs and tomatoes into the dough.
    Chop the tomatoes

    Add the tomatoes and the herbs
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for around 10 minutes on a lightly oiled board until the dough is elastic and stretchy.
  5. Return to the bowl and cover with a warm and damp tea towel for 1 hour to prove.
  6. After 1 hour, remove the dough and return to the oiled board, knead for another 10 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape and split into 16 equally sized mini rolls.  Place on oiled baking trays.
    Some of the rolls ready for the second prove
  8. Recover with a damp cloth and prove for a further hour.
  9. Whilst proving, preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas 5.
  10. Once the dough is fully proved, place trays on the middle shelf of a preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and either serve warm or allow to cool.  To check if they are baked, tap the bottom of the roll.  If it sounds hollow, rolls are ready. 

    Sun dried tomato and herb rolls

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Mini Birthday Cakes

Dear Readers,

I had a small baking disaster the other week.   It was a total faux pas.  I always check my cakes are ready by inserting a metal skewer into the cake and checking it’s clean.  I did this and everything seemed ok.

I turned the cakes out and left them to cool.  Everything appeared ok.  Then I moved the cooling rack and there was a gooey mess on the worktop.  Something had gone drastically wrong.  One cake was now a donut.  It had a gaping hole in the middle.  I panicked.  I’d promised my colleague a birthday cake, now I had half a cake. I tried cutting the remaining sponge in half, but it was too thin to make a whole cake look decent.

Then I spotted scone cutters from a few days previous lying on the worktop.  GENIUS… If I couldn't make one cake, I’d make many.

The moral of this story… sometimes baking goes wrong.  Sometimes we are tired and make a stupid mistake, but it can occasionally be rectified by some quick thinking. 

Anyway, I turned my baking disaster into a series of mini birthday cakes which went down a treat! It’s amazing what some cake cutters and buttercream can do!

The number of cakes you end up with will vary, depending on the size of cutter you use.


Mini Chocolate Birthday Cakes

Ingredients (makes 2 x 8in sponge cakes) 
Mini Birthday Cakes

170g butter
3 large eggs
160g caster sugar
115g self raising flour
55g cocoa powder

To Decorate/Fill

60g butter
100g cream cheese
300g icing sugar
100g milk chocolate
Raspberry Jam

Method

  1. Prepare your cake tins by greasing and lining with baking paper.  Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan/Gas 5.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.  Weigh out the flour and cocoa powder and sift into a separate bowl.
  3. Add one egg into the butter and sugar, along with a spoonful of flour to prevent curdling. Mix until combined.  Repeat the process with the second and third eggs.
  4. Mix should be thick and smooth – if it appears too thick, add a splash of milk and mix to loosen.
    Prepping the cake batter
  5. Split the batter evenly over two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for around 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool in tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    Split the mix evenly in the tins
  6. Whilst cakes are cooling, make your buttercream by adding the butter and 1/3 icing sugar to a bowl, mix with an electric mixer.  
  7. Melt the chocolate in a microwave proof cup for around 1 minute and set aside to cool.
  8. Keep adding the icing sugar until a smooth buttercream is created.  Then mix in your chocolate (it should be cool but not solidified).  Once chocolate is combined, quickly mix in the cream cheese.  It’s essential you don’t over mix as the cream cheese can go runny very quickly.
  9. Once cakes are completely cool, cut each sponge in half through the middle, so you end up with four thin discs.  Using a flat edge round cutter in a size of your choice, cut out as many discs as you can from each sponge.  Ensure you cut out an even amount of discs as you need two for each cake.
    Cutting out the discs
  10. To assemble cakes, use a pallet knife to spread a little buttercream onto the top of one disk, then add a small layer of jam. Sandwich two discs together. 
  11. Pipe a spiral of buttercream on top of each cake, then finish with a decoration of your choice. 
    Mini Birthday Cakes
 I'm entering this recipe into this week's #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too

Link up your recipe of the week

Friday, 8 August 2014

Chewy Chunky Chocolate Cookies

Readers, I have a confession to make.  I love cookies… almost as much as I love chocolate.  But they have to be big, chewy American style cookies, otherwise I’m not interested.  They are also incredibly quick and easy to make, plus there’s loads of flavour combinations you can put together.

After watching something on tv involving these big wheely chewy wonders the other week, I jumped into the kitchen to make my own.  My recipe makes 18 cookies, but you could easily reduce the quantities to make a smaller batch.

This week, I have kept it simple with a chewy chunky chocolate recipe.  Oh and if you like this one, I also have a Smarties Cookies recipe to try!

Claire’s Chewy, Chunky, Chocolate Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

220g unsalted butter (softened)
340g soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
315g plain flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
150g milk chocolate (chopped)

Method


1. Cream butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Use an electric mixer if you have one.
Butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl 
2. Beat eggs together in a separate bowl and gradually add to sugar and butter mix using electric mixer until fluffy.
3. Add baking powder and salt to the flour and sift into the eggs, sugar and butter. Fold together using a metal spoon. You should create a dough once flour is folded in. 
4. Meanwhile, chop up 100g of chocolate and mix into the dough.  Then form a ball with the dough.
5. Transfer dough ball to a clean bowl and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 40 minutes, ideally an hour, until dough has firmed up.
6. Remove dough from fridge and using your hands roll 18 small balls of dough.   Chop up another 50g of chocolate. Place onto baking sheets, spaced well apart (no more than 6 cookies per baking sheet). Push a few pieces of the extra chocolate onto the top of each tray.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden on top (not brown!)
9. Remove from oven, allow to cook on tray for a few moments to ensure cookies retain their shape. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
chocolate chip cookies
Chunky Chocolate Cookies! 

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Claire's Tips


1. Make sure cookie balls are even in size before baking otherwise you will have seriously oddly sized cookies!
2. Make sure to chill the dough, otherwise cookies wont keep their shape (cue one tray sized cookie).
3. You are aiming for a chewy consistency, so cookies should be soft when removed from oven.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Product Review and Recipe: Ambu Tree Marinades

Last week I received some great new fresh marinade samples from Priya at Ambu Tree Marinades.   I've never tried using fresh marinades before and these are also gluten and dairy free, so I've got an instant dinner in the fridge for when my coelic friends come round!

These newly launches marinades come in three flavours – Mild Tandoori, Spicy Tandoori and Chinese Five Spice.   So far I've used the Mild Tandoori and have plans to do a Chinese shredded duck recipe next week using the Chinese Five Spice.
The varieties available

Ambu Tree’s website mentions that these are great for people who aren't confident working with spices and I couldn't agree more.  It was so simple to cover the meat in the marinade, set it aside for an hour or so, then cook it up.  The kitchen was filled with amazing spice aromas and it was so easy to create a great tasting dish.

Each pot is sleeved and each sleeve contains a recipe, top tips and meal ideas: perfect for non confident cooks.  Each pot may only weigh 100g, but as it says on the sleeve, “I may be small but I serve 4-6 people.”   We only used half a tub in our dish and it packed a punch with flavour.


The marinades retail at £3.85 per pot which may seem expensive for the pot size, but given the work and love that goes into each pot, the fact that they are suitable for dairy and gluten intolerant diets and that there are no nasty ingredients in there, it’s perfectly reasonable as an ingredient for a dinner party dish.

The marinades have only just launched at the Allergy and Free From Show, so why not get ahead of your friends and order some before everyone knows about them?!  They are available directly from the Ambu Tree Shop and come shipped with cool pack and in a polystyrene cool box, which is fine.  Just pop them in the fridge as soon as you get the delivery!

You can also follow Ambu Tree on Facebook and Twitter.

So here's the dish I created...
Tandoori Chicken with Peppers Halloumi and Rice

Tandoori Chicken with Peppers, Halloumi and Rice
Serves 2 


Ingredients


6 mini chicken breast fillets
1 red pepper
1 yellow paper
125g halloumi
1 pouch microwave long grain rice

Method

  1. Coat the chicken  in the Ambu Tree marinade and leave aside to chill in the fridge for around an hour.
    Marinade for around an hour
  2. Whilst chilling, start to prep the halloumi and peppers.  Chop each into decent sized pieces, to sit on the grill.
  3. Once the chicken has marinaded, heat a large frying pan or wok with a little olive oil.  Add the chicken and cook through.
    Pan fry the chicken
  4. Whilst the chicken is cooking, add the peppers and halloumi to a medium/hot grill and grill until the peppers go soft and the halloumi begins to colour. 
    Grill the halloumi and vegetables
  5. Once grilled, add to the pan along with an additional teaspoon of marinade and stir to coat.  Continue to cook through.
  6. Meanwhile, cook your rice according to packet instructions, then transfer to the pain and mix through the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Serve immediately.
    And serve!

Disclaimer:  I received the samples free from Ambu Tree to cook with.  Any views expressed are my own. 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes (Entry for Wimbledon Bake Off)

Readers, I’ve been experimenting with cupcakes again.  For a family get together a few weeks ago, I wanted to share a taste of summer with everyone and support our local farmers who are busy growing great tasting strawberries.

For this recipe I paired my cupcake recipe with a strawberry jam filling, cream cheese style frosting and made my own strawberry syrup to coat the strawberries on top of the cake.

The result: a delicious and summery cupcake perfect for garden parties and afternoon tea!

This recipe could also be adapted for raspberries or even a mix of Summer berries.

Oh and I'm also entering this recipe into the Wimbledon Bake Off 2015, held in conjunction with Ralph Lauren. 

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes for the Wimbledon Bake Off

Ingredients

175g self raising flour
175g slightly softened butter
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Filling

4 heaped teaspoons strawberry jam (pulsed in blender for 10 secs to get through a piping bag with thin nozzle)

Cream Cheese Frosting

60g butter
100g full fat cream cheese
400g icing sugar
12 small whole strawberries

Strawberry Sauce

½ cup caster sugar
½ cup water
1 cup chopped strawberries

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/ Fan 170c/ Gas 5.  Fill a muffin tin with 12 large cupcake cases.
  2. Firstly set aside 12 whole berries for the topping. 
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the vanilla essence and mix together with an electric mixer.
  4. Next add two eggs and sift in the flour. Mix with an electric mixer until combined.  If your mix is fairly wet, you won’t need the third egg. (I did!)
  5. Then add in the final egg and mix until your cake batter comes together.
  6. Spoon the mix into the 12 muffin cases and bake in the oven for 17-18 minutes until golden on top and a metal skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven, remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack.
    Straight out of the oven

Filling

  1. Transfer 4 heaped teaspoons of quality strawberry jam to a blender and pulse until smooth but not runny. Next take a disposable piping bag fitted with a cupcake filler long nozzle (I got one in The Range) and check cakes are fully cooled.
    Smooth out the jam in the processor
  2. Insert the nozzle into the top of each cake and with a small, light squeeze, fill the cake with a little jam.  Remove the nozzle and ensure that the filling doesn’t come out of the top of the cake.

Sauce Topping

  1. Firstly, make your strawberry sauce by adding the sugar and water to a medium, heavy based pan.  Setting the hob to a medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Next, add in the strawberries and bring to a boil, for around 10 minutes.  Then, reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is thick and mushy.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.  If you want a smooth sauce, use a hand blender to break down any remaining fruit.

Decorating


  1. Chop your butter and add to a clean bowl, using an electric mixer beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add the icing sugar until a buttercream is formed, mixing as you go. 
  3. Keep the cream cheese in the fridge until ready to use.  Then, scoop out 100g and add to your buttercream mix.  Whisk into the mix to combine but be careful not to over-mix as cream cheese goes runny very quickly.  If too soft, set aside in the fridge to firm up slightly before transferring to a piping bag.
  4. When ready to ice, use a disposable piping bag with open star nozzle to pipe swirls on top of each cake.  Decorate with a whole strawberry and drizzle with the now cool sauce. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Liebster Awards (or supporting your fellow bloggers!)

Well, I had no idea either.  It’s not an award as such.  More of a pay it forward to all newbie bloggers, to give them a chance to promote their work.  Lovely Elizzibeth over at Elizzibeth gave me a nomination.

If your blog has under 200 followers the Liebster Award provides an opportunity to tell people why you blog and share your experiences with them.

In turn, you ask your nominees to answer some questions you’ve posed to them and the whole thing starts again. Basically, it’s link building between bloggers and introducing the world to new blogs to help them grow their following.   


Elizzibeth also shared the rules of Liebster:
1. You have to link back to the person that nominated you.
2. You must answer 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you.
3. After completing the questions you must nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
4. You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
5. You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

The whole point is to encourage new blogs and share some information about yourself with new readers!  So here goes…  The answers to my questions are...
Where would you like to travel to and why?
 Vietnam and Cambodia – I love Asian food and the culture.
What is your favorite Beauty product? 
 Elizabeth Arden 8h cream – it’s my secret weapon!
What is the best achievement you've had since being a blogger?
Winning Rix Petroleum’s Recipe of the Month back in March. I won £100 of Waitrose/John Lewis vouchers
Who is your favorite YouTuber?
Lennon and Maisie Stella – the two sisters in Nashville who have some great performance videos. Incredibly talented girls.
What is your inspiration for starting your blog?
Other bloggers.  I thought to myself, I could do that too.  Now you can’t keep me out of the kitchen.
What is your favorite blogger event that you've been to? If you haven't then which one would you like to go to?
I haven’t yet been to one. Next year, hopefully I’ll go to Blogger Connect.
When did you decide to start your blog?
In September 2013.  It was very much a spur of the moment decision.  I’ve been hooked ever since.
     What's the most difficult thing you've had to overcome whilst being a blogger? 
Losing out on some great PR opportunities, as I’m not yet well enough established with a big enough following.
If you had 24 hours to do all of your favorite things to do what would be first?
I’d bake a batch of double chocolate cookies so my home smells nice for the rest of the day
What is your favorite song of all time?
Oooh tough one… Maybe Mr Jones by the Counting Crows or Fast Car by Tracey Chapman.  And after a vino or two, I’m partial to Galway Girl… long story.
Who has been the most supportive whilst starting your blog?
Mr WhatClaireBaked – he eats everything I make without complaint.  And some lovely bloggers who've taken the time to read and comment on my posts.  Thank you all! 
     
Now to list my bloggers:

And your questions...
1.      How long have you been blogging for?
2.      What made you decide to start a blog?
3.      Where is the most interesting country you've had readers from?
4.      Did anyone inspire you to start your blog?
5.      If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
6.      What’s your ultimate food of choice?
7.      What’s been the highlight of blogging so far?
8.      What’s your favourite blog out there?
9.      What’s your dream job?
10.   What’s been the most successful post on your blog?
11.  Where did you last go on holiday?

Happy Blogging guys! Keep spreading the word!