Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bakewell Slice & Melting Moments

Wow this is fabulous, last week I made Bakewell tart with ground almonds, living in France it works out quite expensive, this week I made Mary Berry Bakewell slice and it is delicious, in fact I prefer it as it's lighter. I bake for Hope Animal Charity every week, and this will def be on the menu
Cake tin needed: a 30 x 23cm (12 x 9in) traybake or roasting tin
for the shortcrust pastry
175g (6oz) plain flour
75g (3oz) butter
for the sponge mixture
100g (4oz) butter, softened
100g (4oz) caster sugar
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp almond extract
to finish
about 4 tbsp raspberry jam
flaked almonds, for sprinkling
Step One
To make the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2–3 tablespoons cold water gradually, mixing to form a soft dough.
Step Two
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and use it to line the tin.
I did blind bake my pastry at this stage as I seem to get a soggy bottom if I don't

Step Three
Measure all the sponge ingredients into a bowl and beat until well blended. Spread the pastry with raspberry jam and then top with the sponge mixture. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

Step Four
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin and then cut into slices.

I have finally mastered the size of my Viennese Whirls, the last few weeks they have been huge, but went down very well, they sold out.

I have chocolate and plain meringues in the oven but I don't know if they will reach Hope as they are everyones favourite here

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Twiddle Muff

These are twiddle Muffs for dementia patients
the first two are the same one but top and bottom

The last one I have yet to finish with more embellishments

Friday, February 27, 2015

Catching up

It seems like forever since I wrote last, so many things going on, we have a new CD for next month from a very talented artist who's attention to detail is outstanding, sneak peaks soon.

I am still enjoying my painting of furniture, I have just finished a chair, lamp and shade using stick on lead and gallery glass paint, sewing machine table and bedside table, all of these started out as brown furniture.
I have also made this cake stand from some old French plates as another passion of mine is baking and I need some pretty plates to show them off.



I have also taken up a new craft and just had a lesson 3 weeks ago on how to crochet, and I am hooked, excuse the pun.
I started with a Granny Square, progressed to a couple of headbands for my beautiful grand daughter and just this week I have completed a scalloped beanie hat with rose and shall complete my second one for my daughter tomorrow. Oh and I have just completed 70 Wedding invites for my niece

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cookie Cutter Shapes

    Practicing making Specaloos and Gingerbread shapes for school Xmas market 13th December 2014 Lezay recipe for Specaloos from Marie Rayner's blog…/speculaas-for-chr… and the Gingerbread comes from Waitrose recipes….../recipe…/f/festive-gingerbread.html They smell heavenly when they are baking. Your house will smell like Christmas!
    Store in an airtight container.

Sweets from my new recipe book SWEETS MADE SIMPLE by HOPE & GREENWOOD

    I'm loving this book so chuffed mine look like the ones in the book, and I have learnt how to temper chocolate this morning, makes such a difference.
    This morning I have made coffee walnut whips, coconut creams, instead of putting the coffee in I put some Crème au lait noix de coco found in Lidl last week so delicious, and last but not least I put some cherries from our tree into brandy in the summer and they are well and truly soaked, just cut them in half and de pipped then dipped in some Lindt red pepper chocolate found in Intermarche and the moulds were from Baboo and cost just 1euro each
    These are so simple takes minutes to make and are so yummy and they come from The English Kitchen so thank you Marie once again this lady is amazing with her recipes, I think I use Marie's blog more than my cook books here is the recipe Nutella Cookies…/nutella-cookies-only…

Monday, November 17, 2014

Black Forest Fudge

        For my Birthday last month I had the Sweets made Simple by Miss Hope & Mr Greenwood what a gorgeous book and such clear instructions.   I made the Black Forest Fudge yesterday, so scrummy, smooth can't stop eating it fudge, so pleased with the results, I will share this recipe with you                                                                                                                                                                                                BLACK FOREST FUDGE

        40g unsalted butter plus extra to grease...
        75g dark glace cherries, (I did not have these so used Maraschino cherries instead)
        500g golden caster sugar ( I only had white)
        275ml double cream ( I only had whipping)
        75g dark chocolate grated
        50g white chocolate grated

        Butter square tin ( I used a 7" one ) and line with baking parchment
        Cut 50g of the cherries in half then the remaining 25g in quarters
        Put the sugar, cream and butter in a large heavy bottomed pan with 3 tablespoons of water. Heat gently for 5-10 mins to dissolve the sugar
        Pop a sugar thermometer in the pan and bring the liquid up to boil. Boil until the thermometer reaches 113°C 235°F
        Take pan off heat and pour around a third of the mix into a metal bowl ( metal is best as it retains the heat)
        Add the dark grated chocolate to the mix in the pan and the white chocolate to the meta bowl. Stir each with separate spoons until they begin to thicken.
        Pour the dark chocolate into the tin, sprinkle over the quartered cherries. Spoon the white chocolate mix over the top and then drag a skewer through the mix to create swirls.
        Dot the halved cherries over the top, allow to cool, then chill overnight until set if you can wait that long. Remove from tin and cut into squares
        The best fudge I have ever made and all my tasters agreed with me

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fig & Ginger Jam & Quail all in a weekend

Well it doesn't matter how much we trim the Fig tree it just grows and grows and this year is no exception. Usually the birds eat most of them and friends are always invited around to take what they like and this year I decided to try and find some recipes for the figs. Yesterday whilst googling I found Fresh Fig & Ginger Jam over at Lavender & Lovage from Karen who is a writer and food developer and who also has a home here in SW France , this is a fabulous blog for recipes and there are so many others that I am going to try. I made the recipe just like it said, cutting the figs up and adding the sugar and leaving for 6 hours and then finished it off yesterday afternoon, we have just tasted it even though your supposed to leave it for three weeks to mature, so in three weeks it should taste even better and hubby said it's the best jam I have made yet, the ginger really comes through and the little chunks taste lovely, I managed to get 5 jars and plan on making this again before the birds get all the figs. Recipe is here

We have also decided to keep Quail, they are so cute and they sing so beautifully
We bought three at the market last week and another three from Jenny & Peter who have
a fabulous place and keep pigs,chickens,sheep,ducks,quail,rabbits,goats and more
and this morning we have our very own Quail eggs yay

Annie Sloan painted pictures for Jackie

The Table and chairs and the garden chair are Paris Grey and clear waxed.     The second table base and the seat is Louise Blue and old white topon table  again waxed in clear. The little table is old white and waxed with dark wax the same for the fire surround.   And last of all is the kitchen done in Duck Egg Blue and waxed with clear  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jammy Dodgers and Lemon Curd

Made these Jammy Dodgers and Lemon Curd this morning recipe from Marie at the
English Kitchen the Lemon curd is divine, my biscuits are from a recipe at Morrisons

Then we had a fabulous meal out with our wonderful friends from UK, a perfect day, oh and the weather is beautiful, clear blue sky and so warm, my favourite month here