Lemon Meringue Pie Baked Doughnuts

glazed lemon meringue pie doughnuts recipe greatbloggersbakeoff2014

This week’s Great British Bake Off was Advanced Dough week – groan – when is it time for cakes! However once the doughnuts came round (no pun intended), I was positively drooling. How amazing were Luis’ cocktail ones?

We don’t own a deep-fat fryer but I found a great recipe for baked doughnuts which was seemed both healthier and easier. The dough is fat-free (unlike regular doughnuts), but still enriched with milk, egg, and a little sugar.

Lemon Meringue Doughnuts – makes 18-20

500g white bread flour
Pinch of salt
10g dried yeast
50g sugar
1 egg
150ml milk
125ml hot water

To fill and decorate
400g lemon curd – one batch, or one jar if you are buying it in
100g icing sugar
Crushed meringue pieces

– In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, yeast and sugar
– Beat the egg and add to the dry ingredients, before mixing in the milk and hot water
– Mix to a dough consistency, and knead until smooth and silky (5-6 minutes with an electric mixer, slightly longer by hand)
– Divide into 18-20 even balls and spread evenly on greased baking sheets. The dough balls do need to be spread well apart as they’ll expand rather a lot!
– Cover and place in a warm place until risen and doubled in size, about 45 minutes
– Bake in a hot oven – 200 degrees – for 10-12 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden. Set aside and leave to cool

smooth baked doughnut dough recipe gbbo dough balls for baked doughnuts recipe and method easy low fat rising dough for baked doughnuts successful prove baked doughnuts dough balls gbbo recipe healthy fat free
– Once cool, fill each doughnut with around a teaspoon of lemon curd – a filling nozzle and piping bag worked perfectly for me
– Mix the icing sugar with a little water, and a teaspoon of lemon curd, to form a thin paste
– Lightly paint the glaze all over the doughnuts, placing on a wire rack to set. Sprinkle with the meringue pieces and leave to rest until dry.

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A quite sticky bake in the end – but well worthwhile! The doughnuts had a wonderful sugary crunch on the outer, soft and light inside, and oozing with tangy lemon curd. I’ll definitely be trying some more doughnuts – perhaps some mini ones next time – any suggestions?

baked lemon meringue pie doughnuts recipe fat free healthier dessert gooey filled lemon curd in meringue topped glazed doughnuts bake recipe

Find out more about #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 and take a look at this weeks other bakes here.

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Caramel & Chocolate Choux Pastry Eclairs

chocolate and caramel choux pastry eclairs piped icing finish

I have a confession to make. During last years bake-off, I failed at making choux pastry. 3 times. It was a Sunday afternoon and no matter what I did it wouldn’t go right!

This time, as part of the second pastry week of this year’s Great British Bake-Off and #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 , I was determined not to be beaten.

I used Paul Hollywood’s Chocolate Eclair recipe to the letter to avoid going wrong again – so won’t re-write it here. It’s definitely worth reading through a couple of times before you start so you know what’s ahead.

The lovely folks at Kerrygold sent me some butter to try, so this seemed a good place to start. Maybe the lower-fat butter blend I have as standard in the fridge was to blame for last year’s failure?

kerrygold butter blogger review choux pastry testing

Being ultra-prepared, I got everything out, pre-whisked the eggs, greased the tray just like Paul said…

ingredients and equipment ready for choux pastry making paul hollywood recipe

…and set about the choux pastry!

One of the main problems I find with making choux pastry is that it really doesn’t look like anything until it’s baked. The ‘cooking a ball of flour, butter and water dough’ is both unattractive and uninspiring in my book, but, what Paul says…!

choux pastry dough ball stage heating on hob gbbo

Dough satisfactorily ball-like and shiny, I put it in a bowl and set aside to cool. Suddenly it dawned on me where I’d gone wrong last year. Those five little words, ‘leave to cool until tepid’, (or the lack of them in my reading), were entirely responsible for my downfall. Cue flashbacks to last year and trying to beat eggs in the hot saucepan only for them cook and scramble… it’s like something from an outakes show!

Cool and tepid, whisking the eggs in was happily much easier this time!

choux pastry whisking in eggs method

And a smooth shiny, paste-like dough, well seemed pretty good to me 🙂

smooth and shiny choux pastry gbbo paul hollywood recipe

All that was left was to pipe…

piping choux pastry eclair lines gbbo

…and bake:

choux pastry eclairs greatbloggersbakeoff2014

What a result! I was as pleased as punch, my first choux pastries and they were really rather marvellous 🙂

freshly baked choux pastry eclairs long thin shape crunchy texture

Next came the cream piping – rather simple but made much trickier in a warm kitchen, with the cream threatening to melt all the time. I don’t envy the bakers in that tent one bit!

filling choux pastry eclair with piped whipped cream whipped cream filled choux pastry eclairs

And to top – I used Paul’s suggested chocolate topping for half the batch:

chocolate and caramel eclairs piped swirl shiny icing gbbo

And feeling more confident, whipped up a quick caramel icing for the remaining batch:

Caramel icing
55g light brown sugar
25g butter
20ml cream or milk

– Melt together the butter and sugar
– Add the liquid and boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally
– Leave to cool and use once the icing reaches a spreadable consistency. If it over-sets you can easily re-heat to liquify it again

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I finished both sets with a decorative drizzle of the other icing – chocolate on caramel, and caramel on chocolate.

homemade caramel choux pastry eclairs filled with whipped cream decorated with piped chocolate

My first batch of eclairs – and I am so delighted with the results 🙂

chocolate and caramel cream filled choux pastry eclairs piped icing finish chocolate and caramel choux pastry eclairs gbbo paul hollywood recipe cream filled

Read more about #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 here.

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And for all the cat lovers out there – what better use of leftover cream? Chilli and Pepper have just turned 3 and are as mischievous (and ravenous) as ever!

cats eating cream chilli and pepper gbbo baking leftovers uses

 

Disclaimer: I was sent some Kerrygold butter to use in my gbbo recipes. Opinions and bakes are all my own.

 

Traditional Black Forest Cake

black forest cake easy dessert recipe chocolate cherry and cream gbbo

I am not normally one for big cream cakes, they can be a bit rich for my tastebuds. But with some cherries in the fridge that needed using up, a hankering for something chocolatey, and guests coming to dinner – well who was I to argue!
I made this cake a few weeks ago when Rob’s parents were over for dinner, using a lighter version of a well-known brand of double cream. It came from the supermarket but I can’t find a link anywhere. It worked just as well as the normal stuff, and being lighter, meant we could tuck into big fat slices without feeling (as) guilty.

For some reason a lot of people think of Black Forest cake/gateau as something best consigned to the recipe books of the 70’s and 80’s. Having made it on this occasion I’m in complete disagreement, it’s tasty, looks good and is easy to make – who wouldn’t want that on their dinner table! The cake is very rich and chocolatey, and complemented perfectly by the sweet, tangy cherries, and smooth fresh cream.
Originally I think you’re supposed to make one big cake and slice it in half, I much prefer just to bake in two separate tins.

Black Forest Cake
175g caster sugar
175g butter
3 eggs
125g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
50g cocoa powder
150g fresh cherries, plus extra to decorate
50g sugar
150 ml cream, whipped
100g chocolate, ideally dark

– To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar, before beating the eggs, and finally folding in the sieved dry ingredients.
– Divide into two greased, lined 7 inch (or similar) sponge tins, and bake at 180 degrees for 20 – 30 mins, until springy to the touch
– While the cake is cooling make the cherry filling by chopping the cherries, adding to the sugar and simmering on a low heat for 5 minutes.
– Use a teaspoon to take a couple of spoonfuls of the liquid from the cherries and spoon over the cakes, allowing it to soak in. Set the rest of the cherries aside and leave to cool.

dark chocolate rich cake for black forest gbbo european Black and red cherry syrup black forest gateau recipe cake

All that’s needed now is to assemble the layers – cake, cream, cherries, cake, and finished with a chocolate topping.

I found it easier to do the chocolate topping and decoration before assembly (melt the chocolate bar one piece, spread evenly all over the cake and quickly press in the cherries):

black forest cake chocolate topping with fresh cherries and stalks and grated chocolate

Once this was set, filling and stacking was quick and easy!

oozing cherries and cream on black forest rich chocolate cake assembled recipe black forest cake fresh cherries and rich chocolate cream filled

I love the way some of the cherry juice tinges the cream purple – so you know it’s delicious and sticky inside!

black forest cake oozing middle with cream and fresh cherries recipe #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 european

As only seems fitting I am entering this into #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 European Cakes week. And a fun fact while I’m at it – did you know that the cake is not named after the Black Forest area of Germany itself, but instead after the cherry liqueur, produced in the region, that was originally used in the recipe.

I’d love to have tried one of the Princess Torte’s – how amazing did that look? But time was not on my side this week. Maybe next time… I am a princess after all 😉

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Chocolate Milkshake Shortbread Biscuits

chocolate milkshake biscuits shortbread recipe using sugar and crumbs flavoured icing

Following on from my Chocolate Orange Fudge a couple of weeks ago, this is my second review of the new chocolate icing sugar range from Sugar and Crumbs.

And this week – Chocolate Milkshake icing sugar! With a smooth, creamy taste, it’s great for all in one recipes to add a perfect milky chocolate flavour.

sugar and crumbs chocolate milkshake natural icing sugar recipe and review

For this I used a simple shortbread recipe – that would work just as well with one of the other flavoured icing sugars.

Chocolate Milkshake Shortbread (makes 12)

120g plain flour
50g cornflour
50g chocolate milkshake icing sugar
120g butter

– mix together the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
– cube the butter and very gently rub into form a breadcrumb-like mixture, you can do this in a food processor if preferred
– add water a few drops at a time, and press together into a smooth dough

chocolate milkshake shortbread dough flavoured sugar and crumbs icing sugar
– refrigerate for at least half an hour, before rolling out and cutting into shapes (I used a cardboard template to cut mine into glass-shaped pieces)

chocolate milkshake flavour glass shaped biscuits shortbread recipe method
– bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes

Once cool, I used a thin glaze made from the chocolate milkshake icing sugar, to brush all over the biscuits and give them a sticky, chocolatey shine:

painting chocolate milkshake shortbread biscuits with flavoured icing sugar glaze

They were simply finished with a piped milkshake ‘froth’ of vanilla buttercream, and of course a piped chocolate straw!

piped vanilla icing small stars with chocolate straw milkshake biscuit cookie

chocolate milkshake taste and look shortbread biscuit

Simple and very tasty – another lovely product from Sugar and Crumbs 🙂

chocolate milkshake shortbread biscuits cookies recipe and method decoration

And they certainly went down well with Rob – he couldn’t eat them fast enough!

enjoying chocolate milkshake biscuits

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie

salted caramel pecan pie easy homemade recipe gbbo

#greatbloggersbakeoff2014 and it’s pies and pastry week! I remember my mum lusting over pecan pie when I was little, and when she made it, it was absolutely divine. What better way to improve than with some sweet-yet-savoury salted caramel. It’s actually quite a simple recipe (once you’ve made the pastry!), but looks and tastes wonderfully impressive to serve as a dessert.

Recipe

– Shortcrust pastry case – I like Be-ro’s pastry recipe
– 395g (one tin) condensed milk
– 75g butter
– 2 tablespoons golden syrup
– 75g light brown sugar
– 1 1/2 teaspoons rock salt
– 2 eggs
– 100g pecan nuts

Blind-bake your pastry case, and set aside to cool
– Add the condensed milk, butter, syrup and sugar to a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat on high until the mixture bubbles and boils
– Turn off the heat, stir in the salt, and set aside to cool
– Once at room temperature, beat in the eggs, and pour into the pastry case
– Carefully place the pecans on the top, in whatever pattern you wish. I used a combination of whole and crushed nuts, finished with a sprinkle of light brown sugar
– Transfer to the oven at bake at 180 degrees until just set. Keep an eye on the pie during baking, if the pastry is starting to darken, cover with foil for the remaining baking time to prevent burning

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The top should be crunchy, golden and caramelised…

salted caramel pecan pie crispy sugar top pastry case

… with the inside sticky, sweet, and salty:

slice of salted caramel pecan pie served warm

If you can, serve whilst slightly warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Quite frankly divine, so many amazing flavours on one little plate!

salted caramel pecan pie served warm with vanilla ice cream home recipe

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