Fridges and Cookies

Today’s Blogtober16 prompt is ‘What’s in Your Fridge.’

Some people have a two car household, well ours is a two fridge one! We used to have a fridge freezer and a deep freezer, but when the deep freezer needed replacing we decided that we needed more fridge space as well as more freezer space so we bought a second fridge freezer.

So what do we need two fridge freezers for? Quite simply, we are a house with four adults and three children and we eat and drink a lot.

My eldest daughter likes her drinks kept cold and she drinks a lot. She has bottles of water, smoothies, coconut water, ginger beer, Lucozade and Actimel. They take up quite a lot of room as you can imagine. Other drinks include my Other Half’s Hemp Milk which he loves and regular milk. The fridge also has a water dispenser which is great in the summer.

We also like cheese, cheddar, goats cheese, Emmental, Leerdammer, Roquefort, Philadelphia, Red Leicester and whatever takes our fancy. We don’t have it all at the same time, even us cheese addicts are not that quick at getting through cheese. At the moment we have Emmental, Cheddar, Philadelphia and my daughter ate the goats cheese last night. At Christmas we like to stock up for a fabulous cheese board. I love them when they add things like cranberries or chillies to cheese.

At the moment we have a selection of Indian accompaniments like bhaji’s and samosas for our curry night. Yesterday we had fresh scallops and prawns but we’ve eaten them now. We love sea food and fish, well all of us except the Other Half who is actually allergic to them.

We usually have  a salad drawer full of salad a veggies we want to keep fresh, I also like fresh herbs.
One fridge is colder than the other and we’ve frozen a few cucumbers in the past. My daughter likes to keep apples in the fridge, she likes to eat them really cold and crispy.

Yoghurt is another favourite and we currently have a selection of Fruit Corner Yoghurts as well as a few pots of Greek Yoghurt. If you look closely you may find a Gu pot or two.

I don’t keep eggs in the fridge, I like to keep them at room temperature and I always use them quickly. I also don’t keep coffee in the fridge and can’t understand why some people do.

My fridges are not next too each other, they are in different parts of the kitchen so it’s good to remember what’s in each fridge. The one with the milk is closet to the kettle! I try to remember what’s in each freezer by storing open packets in one and unopened packets in the other. It sometimes works!

Often you will find a roll of pastry or cookie dough in one of my fridges. So I’d like to share with you a recipe for fridge cookies.

Fridge Cookies

Ingredients:

350g plain flour
175g cold butter
175g caster sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
sprinkles for decorating

Method:

In a large bowl, crush the butter into the flour with your hands, until you have something resembling breadcrumbs.
Add in your sugar and mix
Then pour in your essence and eggs and bring together to form a dough with a wooden spoon.
Roll into a sausage 
sprinkle your sprinkles over a clear surface and roll your dough into it
wrap the dough in cling film
Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
Roll and cut and shape your cookies as you like, then bake on a lined baking tray at 175C for around 8-10 minutes depending on the size.
Here’s some we made earlier!
cooked cookies on a spotty plate


#Blogtober16

My Botanical Toffee Apple and Pecan Cake – GBBO week 6

So it’s week six in the Bake Off Tent and the contestants are faced with a Botanical week. When I was thinking of what I could bake that fitted in with the theme botanical I thought, well, it could be anything really, so long as it contains something that grows.

The three components of this weeks challenges were: Citrus Meringue Pie for the signature challenge, Fougasse for the technical challenge and Floral Cake for the Show Stopper.

I so wanted to make a meringue pie just to show off how well, and peaky, I can make meringue. Unfortunately on baking day I was faced with the nightmare of ‘not enough eggs!’ arrgh!

I didn’t want to make Fougasse because of all the eurrgh! comments from my family members. Shame really because I quite like it and I’ve never made it before so quite a challenge.

The Showstopper was a Floral Cake. I’ve made quite  a few of these and really didn’t feel like I was in a floral mood, whatever a floral mood feels like.

The contestants didn’t do too badly this week, we had some flat meringues, undercooked Fugasse and show stoppers that I wouldn’t drool over. Over all it was Tom who won Star Baker and we said goodbye to Rav.

So what do I do for this weeks challenge? I decided that a botanical Cake would suffice, or is that cheating?

Toffee Apple and Pecan Cake.

toffee apple pecan cake
Pin Me for Later please!

Looks scrummy doesn’t it? It really was delicious but I had a little trouble with the filling.
I found the recipe in my BBC Good Food Magazine and just knew I had to make it. You can find the recipe online here. www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/toffee-apple-pecan-cake

The filling I found a bit too runny, it dribbled out of the cake. Which was a shame because it was nice. I didn’t put the filling on while the cake was warm, so I know that was not the problem. If I made it again, and I probably will, I would change the recipe for the filling to this:

25g Butter
100g icing sugar
1 tbs of carnation caramel.

That should make it a little thicker while still having the caramel flavour.
Here is a photo showing my dribbled filling.

toffee apple pecan cake with dribbled filling

Just to try and keep to the Great British Bake Off theme I did make a flower on the top of the cake with my apple slices and pecans.

toffee apple pecan cake without topping

You can just about see it I hope. Of course it looked completely different once I dribbled over the lovely caramel topping.

toffee apple pecan cake
I wanted to take a nice photo of a slice of the cake, maybe dressed up a bit with some flowers and my pretty flower tea cup. I had it all planned out. What I didn’t plan was that my family couldn’t wait to get stuck in and I was soon left with nothing but a few crumbs!
I guess it goes to show how tasty the cake was though, it even smelled delicious.
Mummy Mishaps

Pastry Week – No Soggy Bottom just Pleased Mouths

I didn’t make a post about last weeks Great British Bake Off, I had been ill most of the week which I believed was caused by my new medication. Then I was off to London the weekend which took a bit of recovery afterwards. Also, it was batter week and I’m making pancakes and yorkshire puddings all the time. I did promise Boo that we would make some artistic pancakes, but we haven’t got around to it just yet.

This week was pastry week, one of my favourites as I love pastry.

The Signature Bake was to bake Danish Pastries. I love making these although I do cheat a little and use ready made puff pastry..aint nobody got time for that!

The contestants in the tent did well, in particular Jane and Candice. Doing not so well was Benjamina and Tom.

Next up the technical challenge was a bakewell tart. I love Bakewell tart but I’ve never made one. I’m pretty good at shortcrust and I like frangipan, the problem is hardly anyone in my family actually likes jam! I do, but then I like most things.

Rav came last on the technical challenge with Val doing really poorly too, Jane got first place with Candice coming in second. It looks like it’s a good week for Candice.

The showstopper was filo Amuse Bouche, or aperitifs. The contestants had to make 12 savoury and 12 sweet. Here Rav and Benjamina redeemed themselves a fair bit but it was Candice who shone and won Star Baker. It was Val who was sent home this week as the one with the soggy bottom.

Now the focus is on what’s going to happen to the Great British Bake Off next year when it moves from the BBC without Mel and Sue and Mary Berry!

Back to baking though, this week I decided to have a go at making my own filo pastry.
It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Here are my Rhubarb and Custard Amuse Bouches.

a photo of rhubarb and custard filo tarts
Pin For Later 🙂

Filo Pastry

This recipe is for a small amount of pastry as Amuse Bouches are tiny mouthfuls and I didn’t really need much to make them. 

Ingredients:

200g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
15ml olive oil
About 160 ml of water
cornflour to dust 

Method:

  • mix the flour and salt in a bowl
  • add the olive oil and mix
  • add the water a little at a time while mixing
  • stop adding water when dough has formed a slightly sticky ball
  • knead together for a little while, the dough should be soft and pliable and not stick to your hands
  • separate dough into three small balls and put on a cornflour dusted tray
  • cover with cling film and leave for at least 2 hours before using
  • go watch a movie or something
  • roll out the dough on a cornflour dusted surface until it is so thin you can see through it.
  • cut into equal size squares
  • butter a cupcake tin
  • place one sheet of filo into each space and spread with melted butter
  • place another sheet on top at a slight angle and spread this sheet with melted butter
  • continue until you have at least four sheets of pasty in each space and each is spread with butter
  • bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C/ gas mark 5 for about 15 minutes, until crispy and slightly brown.
a collage of photos showing how to make filo pastry

Rhubarb and Custard Filling

As these where delicate pastries I used a pastry custard called Creme Patissiere.
The rhubarb I admit was from a tin. Again, this recipe is for a small amount.

Ingredients:

  • 125ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5g plain flour
  • 5g cornflour
  • tin rhubarb

Method:

Place milk and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil and take off the heat
Put the flour and eggs in a bowl and mix well into a smooth paste
Add about 1/3rd of the hot the milk to the paste and mix well until smooth with no lumps
Add the paste to the saucepan and bring back to the boil whisking constantly
Take off heat.
photo of a pan of creme patissiere

To Make Amuse Bouche

Put a little piece of rhubarb into each filo pasty case
Put the cooled creme patissiere into a piping back and pipe on top of the rhubarb.

a photo of finished amuse bouche.

Mummy Mishaps



My Easy Lemon Drizzle Cake

I love Lemon Drizzle Cake, it’s definitely one of my favourite treats. This recipe is really easy because it’s an all-in-one cake, which means you just put everything in a bowl and mix it up then bake. The drizzle is really simple too and so is the icing, although you may leave this off if you wish.

I would give just one tip though, don’t do as I did an fall asleep while your cake is baking! I didn’t burn it but I would have put a piece of grease proof paper on the top for the last ten minutes to prevent it from browning as much.

Ingredients:

200g soft butter
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
100ml milk at room temperature.
For the drizzle:
lemon juice from 2 lemons, leaving about 1 tsp for icing
2 tbs golden syrup
For the icing:
1 tsp lemon juice 
icing sugar


Method:

pre-heat oven to  180C/gas mark 4
grease and line a 1lb loaf tin or 20cm cake tin
Put all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric food mixer or a wooden spoon until the batter is completely smooth.
Pour batter into cake/loaf tin and bake in middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. You may wish to  cover the cake with greaseproof paper for last 10 minutes.
Just before cake has finished cooking put the lemon juice (reserving a tsp for icing) into a pan with the golden syrup and warm gently.
When you take the  cake out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer then pour over the syrup mixture before taking it out of the tin.
When the cake has cooled remove it from tin and cover it with a drizzle of icing made with the lemon juice and as much icing sugar as it takes to make a runny icing.
Enjoy!

Marilyn's Treats Thursday Favorite Things Feature

Great British Bake Off Week Three – Give us This Day our Daily Bread

Week Three already and it’s time for Bread Week, and as promised Candice wore her red for bread lipstick. Did it bring her luck? Or did she suffer the curse of the Star Baker?

The signature challenge was chocolate bread. Andrew did well with his Barmbrack while Selasi cooked his chocolate orange bread a little too much and Val didn’t cook hers enough.

The technical challenge was Damfnudel which is a steamed dough. I’ve not heard of them but they looked to me like dumplings. I’m also a little confused as to whether this is classed as a baking challenge?

Rav’s were more like raw dough while Selasi did a little overcooking again. Val came in first in this challenge.

The showstopper challenge was to make a savoury plaited centre piece. Jane was praised highly for her chorizo and bacon plaits. Val’s Noah’s Ark, did not look like an ark at all, it was difficult to make out what it was. Tom’s hammer came under close scrutiny as it looked rather like male genitals, but it was well received by Mary and Paul.

In fact it was Tom’s (fallic) hammer that won him the Star Baker prize this week.
The loser on the breadline was the youngest contestant Michael.

I always think bread week is difficult for the contestants. Not because making bread is difficult but it is extremely time consuming and I’d hate to have to make it with a time restraint.

I really wanted to join in this week so I chose to combine the showstopper with the signature challenge and I’ve made a Chocolate Chip Plait.


Chocolate Chip Plait

Ingredients:

500g strong white bread flour
1tsp salt
7g fast-action yeast
30ml olive oil
2tbs milk
310ml water
100g chocolate chips
beaten egg for basting

Method:

  • In a large bowl place the flour, salt, yeast and stir to combine
  • Add the olive oil and milk and mix together
  • Add the water a little at a time until the dough comes together in a sticky lump
  • Tip: The dough should be soft and pliable with no dry bits of flour but not so wet it won’t come off your fingers
  • knead the dough for about 7 minutes
  • Tip: I believe you can feel when the dough is ready, it will change before you and when it become really squidgy and soft you know it’s done.
  • Add the chocolate chips and knead in for another 3 mintues.
  • leave the dough in a slightly oiled bowl covered with cling film or a tea towel for about two hours or until it has doubled in size.
  • split the dough into three equal balls
  • roll each ball into a long strip, try to keep them all of equal size
  • plait the strips  pinching the ends together
  • place on a lightly greased baking tray and cover with cling film or tea towel for another hour in a warm place
  • baste the top of the loaf with a beaten egg
  • bake the loaf in a pre-warmed oven at 190F gas mark 5 for 40 mins until it looks cooked and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

It was lovely…but next time I might add a few more chocolate chips (or maybe not eat half the packet, ooops!)

Pop over to Mummy Mishaps to see her gorgeous offering for bread week!

Mummy Mishaps

Lakeland also of a 40% off sale of all their Great British Bake Off Goodies 🙂

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.