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Sweet Recipes

Sweet Recipes

  1. All-Butter Croissants

    All-Butter Croissants
    This is a three-day adventure to take you towards croissant perfection. Much easier and less effort than classic puff pastry, with much less rolling to do. This recipe only makes 6, but I’d like you to start here, getting your technique as sharp as you can, before you set up making dozens to supply your entire neighbourhood as the local viennoiserie star baker. You can do it, I believe in you, but just practice a little first.
  2. Instant Cranberry & Orange Mincemeat

    Instant Cranberry & Orange Mincemeat
    Makes 2 x 440g jars Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 15 minutes Ingredients 200g soft brown sugar 200ml dark rum 300g fresh cranberries 170g sour cherries 200g mixed currants and raisins 130g candied orange peel 30g peeled, very finely grated fresh ginger 1 tsp Fairtrade ground nutmeg 1 tsp Fairtrade ground cinnamon 1 tsp Ndali Fairtrade vanilla powder Christmas can be a really busy time, and I’m always grateful for any ideas that help me get everything done without too many late nights or tantrums. So while in a perfect world, we might all be stirring our mincemeat together during November, the truth is we sometimes put things off until the last minute. So here’s a recipe for a really delicious mincemeat that doesn’t have to be made weeks in advance… you can even keep the ingredients in the store cupboard as an insurance policy against the mince pies all running out on Christmas Eve. Mincemeat is a peculiarly English invention. In the Middle Ages, our ancestors didn’t have our inhibitions about mixing meat, dried fruit and spices together, and the use of expensive imported ingredients meant you could demonstrate your wealth (and not as is sometimes suggested, cover up the flavour of rotting meat!). Then, as merchants travelled farther afield, they discovered new and exotic ingredients such as sugar, aromatic spices and citrus fruit.  As sugar became cheaper, mincemeat became less a savoury dinner course, and more a sweet end to the meal, and by the 1840s, Eliza Acton is writing a mincemeat recipe where the only meat is beef suet. Continue reading →
  3. Malty Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake

    A mouthful of a name, worth it though. A chocolate fudge cake made with the addition of some dried malt extract in place of some of the sugar and baked in a Bundt cake pan. Bundt cakes are becoming increasingly popular as even with no or minimal decoration, the finished cake looks great taking on the ring pattern of the mould and helping to ensure even cooking. The Bundt® pan was invented in the US in 1950 by Nordic Ware and by 1960 became the most popular cake pan in the US. Read More
  4. Malted Caramel Slices

    Caramel slices have never - until now - been high on my list of sweets. Usually the biscuit base is too dry and the rest just sweet and rather tasteless. Not so with these! Muntons gave me a recipe to try using their Spraymalt (dried malt extract, DME) and malt extract in place of some of the sugars and golden syrup in the traditional recipe, in both the base and the caramel, from a staff member there called Patsy. What a transformation. The overtones of Ovaltine/Maltesers makes these really delicious with a much more complex flavour. It has been a job to keep them long enough to grab a photo. Read More
  5. Marzipan & Orange Mince Pies

    Marzipan & Orange Mince Pies
    Come, guard this night the Christmas-Pie, That the thief, though ne'er so sly, With his flesh-hooks, don't come nigh To catch it From him, who all alone sits there, Having his eyes still in his ear, And a deal of nightly fear To watch it.   Robert Herrick (1591-1674)   Makes: 12 Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Suitable for freezing?: Yes For the sweet pastry: 250g 00 flour, plus extra for rolling pinch of sea salt 50g Fairtrade icing sugar 125g unsalted butter (cold), plus extra for greasing the tin 2 free range medium egg yolks, beaten 1 tsp Arancio extra Calabria orange essence up to 30g ice-cold water For the Frangipane: 100g unsalted butter, chopped (room temperature) 100g Fairtrade caster sugar 100g ground almonds 3 – 4 drops Amaretto di Saronno Lazzaroni bitter almond essential oil 2 free range eggs 50g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder For the filling: 440g Instant Cranberry & Orange Mincemeat *See recipe 120g marzipan divided into 10g discs 30g flaked almonds Brandy Butter 250g unsalted butter, softened but not liquid 250g Fairtrade icing sugar 2 tsp Ndali Fairtrade vanilla powder about 100 – 150 ml brandy Though Herrick’s Christmas Pie was probably filled with meat and gravy, rather than mincemeat steeped in rum or brandy, I almost want to recommend that you similarly sit up to guard these marzipan and orange mince pies, made with sweet all-butter shortcrust pastry. They really are that good.  There is a natural synergy between almonds and oranges, but mixed with warm spices and a touch of vanilla there is magic to be found. Continue reading →
  6. Portuguese Custard Tarts

    Custard TartsA recipe courtesy of Vanessa Kimbell which taste fantastic, especially if, like me, you slightly over-bake them like I did as the custard takes on a caramel flavour. You may want to make a double portion of these. Continue reading →
  7. Coffee and a Madeleine

    Madeleines Madeleines are a quick and easy egg sponges baked in a special tray that gives each cake a shell shape, perfect to accompany a quiet 10 minutes with freshly ground coffee, perhaps while contemplating diving into town for the next round of Christmas shopping. The recipe here is based on the Madeleine recipe in the new book, Home Bake by Eric Lanlard, which makes just enough to fill the 16 shells of our Madeleine trays. I've used some Fiori di Sicilia instead of the orange blossom water suggested which gives the cakes plenty of citrus fragrance. Read More
  8. Have You Tried Whoopie Pies?

    Whoopie Pies Have you tried them? Whoopie Pies are easy to make and very versatile, simply a pair of small sponge cakes glued together with a filling and, if desired, topping. Read More
  9. Soft Amaretti Cookies - A Child to Make and an Adult to Appreciate

    This recipe is thanks to Joanna at ZebBakes, in turn from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and we used it to try out our new Amaretto di Saronno Lazzaroni essence. It is a really, really easy recipe to make - I got a four-year old to make them, although I confess to scoffing as many as I could get away with. This explains the rushed pic - these were not around long enough on Saturday night to get cold. Read More
  10. Sourdough Scotch pancakes

    Sourdough Scotch pancakes
    This recipe comes from Vanessa Kimbell, our resident baking expert. More often than not I am asked what to do with the leftover starter that is normally discarded after refreshing sourdough starter ready for some bread baking. It seems a shame when it’s still relatively fresh and has developed such a lovely sour flavour to just throw it away. Continue reading →