Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bakewell Bundt Cake

Bakewell Bundt Cake
This is a cake I have been plotting for an absolute age. The Bakewell - king of desserts. A pudding masquerading as a cake. A tradition steeped so deep in history that its origin has been fought over for many years in its namesake home town. Pudding or tart, I am a fan of both. The wonderful frangipane filling, the sweetness of the ground almonds, the crisp base, and that wonderfully sticky jam. Perfect hot or cold, alone or with ice cream, the Bakewell has got to be one of my all time favourite desserts.
Bakewell Bundt Cake
So I was thinking... bundts have that wonderfully crisp crust underneath, which would act as my 'pastry', I had some amazing raspberry jam from my friends at 'I Heart Jam' and I had a bit of an idea around those ground almonds too... Replacing flour with ground almonds gives a slightly coarser, but very moist texture - boom, frangipane. I just needed to check whether it would all work!

This month's cake club theme was 'Sweet Dreams (are made of this), so it was the perfect arena to try out my cake chemistry experiment. It worked like an absolute dream. This has to be one of my favourite bundts I have ever made. Even my friend Dave, who describes Bakewell tarts as (and I quote) 'muck', loved it.

Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1.5 tsp almond extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250ml low fat plain yogurt
  • 5 tbsp raspberry jam 
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g toasted flaked almonds

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 C
  2. Grease and flour a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the extract.
  6. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  7. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yogurt. Repeat this until everything is combined. 
  8. Tip in any almond bits caught in the sieve.
  9. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  10. Pour 3/4 of the mix into the prepared tin. 
  11. Smear over a thick layer of jam, avoiding the edges.
  12. Cover with the remaining mix.
  13. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. It should be shrinking from the sides of the tin slightly.
  14. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin. 
  15. Allow it to cool fully. 
  16. Mix the icing sugar with enough water to make a fairly runny icing and dollop it over your cake. The quicker the better!
  17. Garnish with toasted almonds. 

Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page. 
Please see my Creative Commons Copyright information for more details. Thank you. 

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes
Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams (are made of this)...

Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Why did we never do this one before?! This month's theme was 'Sweet Dreams (are made of this)', so it was all about turning your favourite puddings and desserts into cakes. Best of both worlds if you ask me! We had some absolute stunners. Crisp meringue hiding gooey centres, oozing creme caramel released from the tin on arrival, and cakes inspired by puds from around the globe. Well done cake clubbers!

We held our meeting at Bolton's newest restaurant, the Farmer's Arms in Darcy Lever. I had been there for the first time a few weeks ago, and have lost count how many people I have recommended it to since. Chef and owner Jon Jones also made an amazing cake complete with sugar-work! Very impressive...   

We had twenty two cakes in total, including:
  • Sherry Trifle Cake
  • Sticky Toffee Cake
  • Golden Syrup Sponge Pudding Cake with custard
  • Apple Crumble Cake
  • Rocky Road Cake
  • Spiced Apple and Almond Cake
  • Bakewell Bundt Cake
  • Chocolate Pudding Cake
  • Summer Pudding Cake
  • After Eight Cake
  • Apple Crumble Layer Cake
  • Summer Pudding Loaf
  • Tiramisu Cake
  • Lemon Cake with Meringue Topping
  • Torta di Riso (Italian Rice Pudding Cake)
  • Butterscotch Delight Cake
  • Swiss Roll
  • Banoffee Bomb
  • Arctic Roll
  • Creme Caramel Cake
  • Black Forrest Roulade 
  • Lemon Meringue Cake

Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
Clandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet DreamsClandestine Cake Club Bolton - Sweet Dreams
A huge thank you to everyone at the Farmer's Arms, especially for brewing about ten gallons of tea and allowing a rabble of cake eating fiends to take over their dining room for an afternoon.

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes

Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin


Chocolate and Hazelnut Bundt Cake

Chocolate and Hazelnut Bundt Cake
This week we held our annual Macmillan Coffee morning. Always one to try something new when I should really play safe, I decided to make a chocolate and hazelnut bundt, inspired by a jar of unused Nutella sitting idly in my cupboard. This cake has a moist, nutty flavoured crumb, chunks of chocolate and a swirl of chocolate spread inside. As if that wasn't enough, I then topped it with chocolate icing and a few nuts. Bingo. Crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250ml hazelnut yogurt (Morrison's, Longley Farm and M&S do it)
  • 100g milk chocolate chips
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts
  • 4 tbsp Nutella
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • More chopped hazelnuts for scattering
Chocolate and Hazelnut Bundt Cake
Yes, that is my plate of shame. Yes, I had already eaten some of it. No, I didn't share it.
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 C
  2. Grease and flour a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yogurt. 
  8. Repeat this until everything is combined. Don't over mix.
  9. Tip in the dry ingredients trapped by the sieve, which are now nicely covered in flour. This helps prevent sinking...
  10. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  11. Pour 3/4 of the mix into the prepared tin. 
  12. Give your Nutella a good mix with a spatula - this makes it easier to spread over cake mix. 
  13. Now spread over the mix, avoiding the edges.
  14. Cover with the remaining mix.
  15. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. It should be shrinking from the sides of the tin slightly.
  16. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin. 
  17. Allow to cool fully.
  18. Mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder together with enough water to make a runny icing. Tip over your cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page. 
Please see my Creative Commons Copyright information for more details. Thank you. 

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes
Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, 27 September 2013

Mini Jammy Bundt Tarts

Mini Jammy Bundt Tarts
These little tarts are a wee bit cheeky. The tin is a Nordic Ware petit fours style bundt pan, but I had other plans... I really liked the idea of using it for something other than cake. The enamel surface would be perfect for crisping up pastry, avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom.

They are perfect for making with children, but I quite liked the thought of a retro petit four. Who needs a dense truffle when you could have one of these cheeky mothers? They are light, crisp and deliciously sweet. What's even better, is they are quick, easy, and can be made from pastry scraps and a bit of store cupboard jam. I couldn't choose, so did four different types; blackcurrent, raspberry, rhubarb and ginger and lemon curd.

This recipe includes enough pastry to make a standard sized pie or my individual apple pies, however I use pastry scraps for these tarts. They're only little! You could make either of the above mentioned bakes and still have enough left for tarts. Alternatively, you could freeze the rest for another day...

Ingredients: 
Sweet shortcrust pastry 
  • 400g plain flour
  • 40g golden caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g cold unsalted butter - cubed
  • 100g cold vegetable fat - cubed
  • 1 large egg - beaten
  • 1 tbsp cold water
Filling
  • A variety of jams or curds - whatever you have knocking about!
Mini Jammy Bundt Tarts
Method: 
  1. Sift the flour, sugar and mixed spice into a large bowl. 
  2. Stir in the lemon rind.
  3. Tip in the fats and rub in until the mix looks like golden breadcrumbs. Chilly hands make better pastry. If you are a warm pawed creature, stick the cubed fats in the freezer for five minutes, or use a food processor. 
  4. Stir in the beaten egg and water with a round bladed knife.
  5. Stir for a couple of minutes or until it starts to form a ball. If there are lots of dry bits, add another tablespoon of water. 
  6. Knead the ball about five times - it should look smoother. Do not over work it...
  7. Cover with cling film and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Roll the pastry out to about 3mm thick.
  9. Using a 2.5 inch ring cutter, stamp out little pastry discs, then ease them into the mini bundt moulds. You could always use mini muffin pans in the same way. 
  10. Dollop a heaped teaspoon of jam into each, and bake at gas 6/200C for 10 minutes. 
  11. They come out of the tin really easily after a few minutes, but be careful! Hot jam burns like Hades in the middle of summer.
Mini Jammy Bundt Tarts
Perfect for picnics, parties or pig of the week moments...

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes
Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin

Betty's Tea Room, York

Betty's... an institution in refined afternoon adventures; famous for their expertly blended tea, quaint old fashioned ways, and indeed, their fat rascals. Ever since my first visit several years ago, I have longed to go back, but never had the opportunity. When my husband suggested an impromptu trip to York, I only had one place in mind.

We rocked up at Betty's around 12:45pm to see an impressive queue snaking out of the door and round the corner. We were lucky enough to have been invited to Betty's to partake in afternoon tea in the Balmoral room. New top - check. Hungry like the wolf - check. I was good to go! The Balmoral room is upstairs, and you don't have to queue, so the hustle and bustle of the high street is left behind.
Betty's Tea Room, York
We were greeted by a friendly lady who showed us to our table, and explained proceedings. A pianist was playing in the background, and I was busily eyeing up the pretty displays on each table as we walked to the back of the room. Prime people watching real estate...
Betty's Tea Room, York
A young lady in a pretty broderie anglaise blouse explained the ordering system; basically which teas we may like and whether we had any special dietary requirements. For folk who eat out as often as we do, we were a nightmare! I don't like mustard, egg mayonnaise or salmon, and my husband is dead against anything 'sauce' like. They were fantastic. We ordered a bespoke platter of finger sandwiches to suit our tastes. I had chicken with tarragon mayonnaise, ham, cheese and apple, and tomato and avocado. Paddy's platter was slightly less adventurous, with three cheese and one ham and mustard! Hey, it's what he likes...

We picked two very different teas, and I managed to finally break the habit of a lifetime by ordering something different! We had pot of morning Darjeeling, and the comically titled Lapsang Souchong. The Darjeeling was a fragrant black tea and the Lapsang Souchong a smoky, quite sweet variety.
Betty's Tea Room, York - Afternoon Tea
Next up was the 'scone course'. We each got two freshly baked fruit scones with little pots of clotted cream and jam. Best scones I have ever eaten, bar none.
Betty's Tea Room, York - Scones
The top layers were filled with pretty little cakes. Each was so rich that neither of us had a problem with trying half each. My favourite was the blackcurrent meringue, which consisted of a thin meringue base, pillars of piped cream and blackcurrent sauce dribbling over the top. It was just perfect.

Picture 1 (clockwise)

  • Gateau L'Opera
  • Blackcurrant Meringue
  • Hazelnut & Chestnut Financier

Picture 2 (clockwise)

  • Chocolate & Orange Fancy
  • Raspberry Sable
  • Salted Caramel & Chocolate Macaroon
Betty's Tea Room, York - Cakes
We had such a wonderful time at Betty's. We were surrounded by people celebrating birthdays or having a special treat; add this to the opulence of the room, the soft piano music and the friendly service, this is a perfect place to spend a couple of hours.

Declaimer: Betty's invited me for afternoon tea with their compliments after learning that I was making a trip to York. I was not under any obligation to give a positive review, shriek like a little girl, or get excited bellyache. All adrenaline was my own.

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes
Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin
Bettys York on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Individual Apple and Cinnamon Pies

Individual Apple and Cinnamon Pies
Pastry. It's a right bugger isn't it? The quest for the illustrious golden brown crust with no soggy bottom... Half the battle is the method, but the other is definitely the tools. I once made an apple pie in my beautiful pink ceramic pie dish... disaster! The ceramic didn't conduct the heat adequately, and boom... the soggiest bottom since a wet weekend in Wales.

Last week my new Nordic Ware enamel tins arrived... and yes, I had pies in mind! There would be no messing about. I planned to right the wrong of that pretty pink pie dish (which now sits gathering dust at the back of the cupboard). These pies would scratch a seven year itch. I made individual apple and cinnamon pies with a few fancy lids. 

I make my pastry by hand, and had actual fear in my belly as it started to come together. The last time I had made it, I followed a new recipe which I lived to regret. You could have built a small outhouse with it. Solid as a rock. Boo...

No fear with this one! It was a recipe created from about five or so I had found on the internet, with my own little twist. The result is a lovely short and crisp pastry, which is still strong enough to hold its shape when removed form the tin.

Makes 8 good sized individual pies, with pastry left over for jam tarts...

Ingredients: 
Sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 400g plain flour
  • 40g golden caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g cold unsalted butter - cubed
  • 100g cold vegetable fat - cubed
  • 1 large egg - beaten
  • 1 tbsp cold water
Filling
  • 400g Bramley apples - peeled and sliced thinly
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Method: 
  1. Sift the flour, sugar and mixed spice into a large bowl. 
  2. Stir in the lemon rind.
  3. Tip in the fats and rub in until the mix looks like golden breadcrumbs. Make sure your hands are as cold as ice! (Your heart shall remain warm...)
  4. Stir in the beaten egg and water with a round bladed knife.
  5. Stir for a couple of minutes or until it starts to form a ball. If there are lots of dry bits, add another tablespoon of water. 
  6. Knead the ball about five times - it should look smoother. Do not over work it...
  7. Cover with cling film and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile... sift the sugar, cornflour and cinnamon over the apples and toss. 
  9. Once rested, roll out your pastry to about 5mm thick and line your pie dishes. Push the dough into the nooks and crannies! I used a 6 inch cutter for the base, and a 5 inch cutter for the round tops. I also made a lattice with strips, and used a heart cutter for the other. Seal the lids in place with a bit of egg wash, and then wash the top and sprinkle with caster sugar. Make little blow holes on pies with lids...
  10. Bake at gas 6/200 C for about 30 minutes.
Individual Apple and Cinnamon Pies
Individual Apple and Cinnamon Pies
Serve with ice cream or custard, sit back, and marvel at your victory over that pesky pastry...

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I made these pies because pastry is my nemesis, and I fancied kicking it in the pants. 

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes
Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin



Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Brewhouse, Bolton

The Brewhouse, Bolton
We went to the wrong chuffing place. After seemingly duff info, we ended up in Bank Top's 'Tap Room'. Every head in the building turned... clearly they didn't do food, yet for some unknown reason, I asked anyway. Awkward. Luckily, the barmaid was a cheery type, who chose not to scald us for our ignorance, and pointed us in the direction of the Brewhouse.

Crisis averted and red faces soothed, we arrived at our intended destination. Also attributed to a local brewery, the Brewhouse is a pretty stone building at the Egerton end of Blackburn Road in Bolton. Although it was sunny outside, there was a definite nip in the air, and my cardigan wasn't really up to the task. Cue roaring fires... First impressions were good.
The Brewhouse, Bolton
I had made the trip with my mum and dad whilst my husband was off gallivanting on some sort of beer mission in Huddersfield, yet there I was, in a restaurant with its own on site brewery! This can be seen though a large window in the main dining room, and is the theme for the menus.
The Brewhouse, Bolton
Their own brand of beer is Dunscar Bridge, but there were other local brews on tap too. To my utter horror my dad ordered a Carling! That was quickly rectified, and but seconds later he found himself supping a Dunscar Bridge IPA.

The menu is exactly what you would expect from somewhere with a brewery in the back; pies, grills and a decent burger to boot.

Cheese and onion pie, crushed peas and chips: This is a pot pie with a top crust, so is ideal for anyone who isn't a huge fan of pastry. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I saw it wasn't of the 'plate pie' variety, but was soon won over by the wonderful cheese and onion filling. Perfect with a crispy chip dipped in it... I'm looking at you my veggie friends... This is a belter of a pie.
The Brewhouse, Bolton - cheese and onion pie
Steak and Dunscar Bridge ale pie, seasonal vegetables and chips: Also served in a tidy white pot, this pie is all about the flavour. There's a rich meatiness from the steak, but also a lovely warmth from the ale.
The Brewhouse, Bolton - steak and ale pie
Chargrilled steak burger, hand cut chips, Lancashire cheese, onion rings and homemade ketchup: I was a little bit jealous, but I always go for burgers and fancied a change. This was a tall meaty patty served with melted Lancashire cheese. The homemade ketchup was a nice touch too.
The Brewhouse, Bolton - burger
Lemon posset, fresh raspberries, shortbread: A thick, creamy, lemon posset served with home made shortbreads. Taste and texture absolutely nailed.
The Brewhouse, Bolton - lemon posset
Peach and cinnamon crumble with custard: Crumble of the day... my heart always sinks when I ask what it is, only to be told apple. Boring. I could have jumped for joy when I was told it was peach and cinnamon! What a combination. This is one of my favourite desserts so far this year. Absolutely stunning. Large chunks of soft peach bubbling in thick syrupy juices, topped with sweet crumble and served with home made vanilla custard. Heaven.
The Brewhouse, Bolton - peach and cinnamon crumble
The Brewhouse, Bolton - Head Chef Lee Brown
Lee Brown
Picture: Lancashire Life
I'm keeping an eye on Lee Brown. Not only has he secured the position of Head Chef at the Brewhouse, but he's also won Lancashire Young Chef of the Year 2013. 

He wowed the judges with his free range duck egg custard tart served with textures of rhubarb, poached, puree and jelly. I would have destroyed this dessert! 

He's just 21 years of age, and if you follow his Twitter account (@HeadChefLee), you'll see that he's incredibly passionate about his work. Recent tweets include talk of growing his own vegetables and even constructing a smoker... He's a man with a plan and I am absolutely certain we haven't seen the best from this chap yet.

The Brewhouse is the ideal way to spend a lazy afternoon; sat by the fires, supping a pint or two and enjoying some hearty food. Although Lee has kept the necessary homely feel to his cooking, there is a refined edge which will be appreciated by those who deem themselves 'foodies', yet cleverly won't put off folk like my dad.

We'll definitely be making a return trip to the Brewhouse.

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes
Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin

The Brewhouse on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Pi Chorlton

Pi Chorlton
Sometimes only a pie will do. There are days where faffy food just doesn't cut it; days where you sense that your pastry and mashed potato levels are dangerously low. I had made a trip to trendy Chorlton to visit Tiny's Tipple beer shop, and had been given the brief 'somewhere nice to sit' by my parents. We rocked up at Laundrette, took one look at the menu, and did one. It was not dad material. 

I did what I always do in a gastro-emergency - I sought help from Twitter. A few months ago, our friends Kev and Lucie had been to Pi, and raved about their crusted creations. After a quick reminder, our decision was made. Pies and beer... this had been a winning combo once before at Pie and Ale, so we gave it a whirl.
Pi Chorlton
The concept is simple. Four pies, three sides and more beer than you can safely shake a flagon at. It was glorious weather outside, so we sat on the terrace. Pies are provided by London legends, Pie Minister and sides are kept simple (and are happily lacking in eels). I'm proud to say that between the three of us, we sampled most of the menu!
Pi Chorlton - Menu
Although my husband @AllBeerNoBelly was stuck in work, I took plenty of pictures of the guest ales and had a good nosey through their beer directory. Yep, that's right, a full book. The nice pie man also gave us spicy nuts. What a guy. They were like crack...
Pi Chorlton - Menu
Heidi Pie - goat's cheese, sweet potato, spinach, red onion and roasted garlic with minty mushy peas: A veggie pie, yet the preferred option of my carnivorous mother. The filling was flavourful and the crust crisp.
Pi Chorlton - Heidi Pie
Peahock Pie - pulled ham and broad beans in a mustard and b├ęchamel sauce, with creamy mash and gravy: This was my pie of choice. I detest mustard, but took a chance. It paid off. The mustard was only subtle and added a bit of kick to the ham.
Pi Chorlton - Peahock Pie
Moo Pie - beef, real ale, onions, carrot, thyme and green peppercorns, with creamy mash and gravy: My dad has a tricky relationship with pepper. It's 'too spicy'. I'm convinced this is only a problem if he knows about it, so I didn't tell him. Bingo. He loved it. A rich hotpot style filling with lots of juice.
Pi Chorlton - Moo Pie
A nice little stop off if you've popped into Chorlton, with an impressive range of craft beers and a pleasant outdoor seating area for warmer days. It was an absolute bargain too; for three pies with sides and drinks it was less than £30. We'll be back at some point.

Join me on Facebook
Tweet me @dollybakes
Have a nosy at my pics on Pinterest 

Follow on Bloglovin

Pi (Chorlton) on Urbanspoon
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...