Tag Archives: Baking

Large Raspberry or Chocolate Meringues

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Large Raspberry or Chocolate Meringues

It’s bake-off time again at work, and I wanted to make something different to the usual cupcakes that most people roll out every year. It’s taken three attempts to get this meringue recipe right, but I think I’ve finally cracked it! My own recipe but based heavily on The Meringue Girls and Ottolenghi’s techniques. See here for the meringue girls website. And check out their videos in YouTube – they’re really helpful. They are my new girl crush. Both of them! And this article in the guardian is also full of great advice.

6 egg whites
Caster sugar (double the weight of your egg whites)
Dried raspberries
50g fresh raspberries for purée
100g fresh raspberries for decoration
Double cream for sandwiching together

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
– Separate the egg whites and weigh them
– Double this figure and weigh out that amount of caster sugar (in my case my eggs weighed 200g so I had 400g sugar)
– Put the egg whites in a food mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk until stuff peaks. I tried this with an electric hand whisk and it’s much harder work, and the results weren’t as light and fluffy. Using a food mixer makes all the difference in the world!
– Line a deep baking tray with grease proof paper and pour in the sugar, spreading evenly over the bottom. Put the tray in the oven.

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– Wait until the sugar is hot and the edges are beginning to caramelise.

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– Turn down the oven to 80 degrees (or lower If you can) and remove the sugar.
– Turn the food mixer back on and add the sugar a spoon at a time to the mixture, allowing each spoon to incorporate fully. The warm sugar will dissolve more quickly and create a lovely shiny mixture.
– Continue to mix until the meringue is shiny and thick and if you dip your finger in and rub it together with your thumb the mix should be warm and not grainy. It should hold its shape if you take a spoonful and not be runny (otherwise you will get flat meringues like these)

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– In the meantime, crush the dried raspberries with a spoon so they are little lumps (not powder), and blitz the 50g of fresh raspberries with a hand blender, then push through a sieve to make a smooth purée.

– Take the bowl off the mixer and gently fold in the dried raspberries.
Spoon generous helpings of the mix onto baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper. I used a serving spoon; choose a spoon that corresponds to the size of the meringues you want to make. I made 18 medium meringues with the intention of sandwiching them together.

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– Drizzle over a little purée onto each meringue.

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– Then swirl with a cocktail stick (I used a wooden kebab skewer) to mix in slightly. The purée will darken and thicken as it bakes.

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-Bake for around two hours. The idea is to slowly dry them. I then turned the oven off and left them in there to go completely cold. If you don’t like them sticky in the middle , bake for longer. When you turn them over they should be crisp on the bottom. No soggy bottoms here.
– Whisk the cream and use it to sandwich the meringues together, using the fresh raspberries as garnish.
– Eat quickly before everyone else gets their hands on them.

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– To make chocolate meringues, replace the dried raspberry with 50g of chopped dark chocolate ( and fold it in gently).

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– And instead of the raspberry purée, sift a small amount of cocoa over the bowl of meringue, but don’t fold it in.

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– Put spoonfuls of the meringue in a baking tray

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– and bake as above.
Delicious!

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I tried a new version of these chocolate ones today. I added in a tsp of orange essence, made the chocolate more chunky and barely folded it in. I also sifted the cocoa directly over the meringues instead of into the bowl.

The meringues are whiter because the chocolate hasn’t melted so much and mixed in the mixture.


Oh my god, they are amazing! The chocolate is still in chunks (it melted into the mix previously) and you can really taste the Orange. It’s like a Terry’s chocolate orange meringue! I’m going to eat them with the raspberry ice cream I made earlier this week (recipe here).

Dutch Apple Pie

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Many moons ago my brother owned a cafe in The Lake District.

He’s a particularly friendly chap, and visitors would come in just to chat to him. One year a Dutch couple came in every day of their week long holiday. When they returned home they sent him a special pie tin and a recipe for Dutch apple pie. The pie was a massive hit in the cafe. It was about 3 inches deep and we served it hot with cream or ice cream.

In the mists of time the recipe has been lost, but I made it so many times I half remember how to do it.

My cutie as pie daughter and I picked a load of apples at RHS Wisley the other day, so I decided to have a go at making my own version of the famous pie.

The original pie was really deep amd made with a sweet pastry crust, but feeling a bit lazy, I just bought some jus roll frozen short crust pastry and made it a normal pie size. If you are feeling adventurous make some sweet pastry (pâté sucre?) and use a deep springform tin.

Peel, core and slice some cooking apples. I used about 5, and i wish i had done another one. Over estimate what you think you will need as there is nothing worse than a skinny pie. Chuck them in your chosen pie dish as you slice them if you want to know how many you need. Then add at least one more (they shrink!).

Mix together some sugar and cinnamon (as much or as little as you like). I guess I used a couple of tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon.

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Put a layer of apples in a bowl and sprinkle over some of the sugar.

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Keep on layering like this until all of your apples are used up.

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Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest. A couple of hours or ideally overnight. The idea is to let the sugar infuse with the apple and to draw out a lot of the juice.

Get a handful of sultanas (as much or little as you like) and put in a bowl. Pour over some rum or other delicious alcohol. I used cherry brandy this time. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.

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The next day drain the apple and the sultanas. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Roll out your pastry and fill your pie dish.

Layer in the apples and sultanas. Then top with a pastry crust. On the original version we used thin strands of pasty twisted in a lattice over the top. But this time I just did a normal rolled out top.

Glaze with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Cut two holes in the top for the steam to escape through. Cook at 200 degrees for about half an hour. Reduce to 180 if it looks like the top is catching but you don’t think it’s cooked. Poke a knife through one of the slits in the top to check the apple is cooked.

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Serve hot with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. This will be one of the best apple pies you have ever tasted. I guarantee it. And no soggy bottoms.

Chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting

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A quick post to share the delicious cupcakes I just made to celebrate the 9th birthday of my nephew Gordon and 5th birthday of my Niece Farrah.

As they live up North we don’t get to see them that often, so I always try and coincide my visits close to somebody’s birthday. With 2 of my 3 siblings, 6 nieces and nephews and 2
parents all living close to each other, it’s not that difficult!

We’re off to a scarecrow festival at Wray in Lancashire tomorrow (see here), all 13 of us. We’re having a picnic,so I’ve made some cakes to celebrate the birthdays.

I’m at my Mum’s so don’t have access to my massive collection of cookery books, therefore I googled and found some good recipes on the BBC website.

The cupcakes one is here

I used self raising instead of plain flour, omitted the baking powder and added orange zest.

For the frosting I used 280g butter, 500g icing sugar and the juice of one orange. I used some of it and them added a bit more juice about 100g more icing sugar and about 20g of cocoa.

It was great to try out my new icing set from Lakeland. The bag is quite small, but the nozzle I used was great. I’ve never iced cupcakes like this, but I reckon I did ok.

I made decorations by piping melted chocolate. The decorations represent the birthday kids names and ages.

They taste yummy, and I will definitely use this recipe again as the cake is lovely and moist.

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Oops one missin

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Cheats Chocolate and Orange Cookies

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I love baking, but sometimes even I like to cheat and make something with minimal effort and fuss. And that is where the lovely Iris at Baked By Me comes in. She sells a great range of cookie mixes and fantastic bakeware.

My last week in my current job starts tomorrow, so I thought I would take in some cookies as a treat for my colleagues. Of course I decided this at 8.30pm in Sunday night, so I needed something quick and easy.

I always keep a packet or two of Iris’ cookie mixes in the cupboard. I decided to use the Double Chocolate one, and pimp it up with some orange zest.

After mixing some soft butter and an eg together I tipped in the contents of the mix. The chocolate chips come separately from the rest of the mix, so I put half in the mix, an saved the rest for later. I also grated in the rind of an orange.

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A quick mix is all it needs, and then put walnut sized dollops on a baking tray. It’s quite sticky, but I don’t add extra flour as it makes lovely flat and slightly chewy cookies.

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Bake for 8-10mins at 180.

When they’re done whip them out and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.

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Eat when cold. If you can wait that long!