Everyone’s been going on about The Great British Bake Off but I admit I haven’t seen episode one. I tend to dive headfirst into it when there are fewer contestants and you get to know them more so I’ll start tuning in a few weeks from now. That being said, the Berry is very much alive in my household! I’ve recently made the capiccino cake again, this time for my colleagues, and some more delicious brownie. I also tried the flapjack but it was too greasy for my liking. I’m a seasoned baker when it comes to cheese scones but I’ve always made little individual ones so I tried Berry’s scone ‘loaf’ the other week, which was tasty.
I quite like it in this shape/serving – it feels more ‘meal’-like and substantial – though the taste is, of course, the same. (The little black dots are pepper grains – I always add some to add to the flavour).
I made my first batch of macaroons the other week, after months of saying I would. Taste-wise they were fine but in appearance (and let’s face it, that’s the bit we buy them for!) they were quite flat, not perfectly round and cracked on top. And that was just the pink ones. For some reason the green ones, which were from exactly the same mixture but with green food dye instead of pink, were a write-off. Uneven bake and flat as pancakes. 😦 I decided not to waste time making the filling as there were only a few worthy of going forward so I ate some plain ones and vowed to do better next time.
I learnt two very important things:
1. Add the sugar to the egg whites really slowly. Nope, slower than that. Think snail pace. It takes a steady hand and patience of a saint.
2. The food colouring looks hidious when it’s in the raw mixture but it fades a lot whilst cooking so be brave! Add more than looks appealing! My macaroons turned out very pale pink and green rather than the beautiful bold colours one sees in patisseries.
Now, today, on an exceptionally hot Bank Holiday Monday (I know – who’d have guessed?!), I choose to bake in a overly warm kitchen. And not just one bake. Not even two. Yep, three different bakes! I must have a death wish.
So, I started with cupcakes. I made them before and they went down a treat with the volunteers at work but they were simple vanilla ones. Today’s bake included lemon and chocolate variations, as well as vanilla. The plan is to hollow out some of the lemon ones and inject lemon curd before icing as I’ve had a special request for such a cupcake. The chocolate ones will be coffee or caramel flavoured icing, and the vanilla will be chocolate, vanilla or coffee icing. Not particularly original flavours I know but we’ll build up to the spiced tea and blackcurrant ones!! (Only kidding!)
I haven’t iced any of them yet so I haven’t taken any pictures either. In the meantime, drool over this…
I made Berry’s chocolate fudge cake today as well because it’s one of Karl’s favourite desserts – a restaurant favourite. I was a little confused by the need for apricot jam and the lack of ‘fudge’ ingredients given the name, but I figured I’d trust in the Berry.
The overall verdict is that this is more chocolate cake than chocolate fudge cake. It tastes fine but it’s not to die for. One of my layers was uneven (common problem for me) so I’ve nicknamed it Avalanche Cake for obvious reasons!
I didn’t have chocolate with enough cocoa solids so the icing hasn’t set like it’s meant to but it’s not a problem as it’s only for the two of us to see/eat.
Last of all, I made a bacon quice for Karl but the less said about that the better. There was a leakage situation so now I’ve added mopping the kitchen floor and scraping out the oven to my list of Day Off chores! 😑