I watched the Great British Bake off final last night and I have to say generally I was disappointed. I know it is timed and the pressure must be immense but seriously, would any of you been happy with those wedding cake offerings?
Don’t even get me started on Ruby’s show stopper but she did produce a gorgeous picnic basketwork on her picnic pie. The less said about Kimberley the better...
Frances bakes have consistently looked amazing and her concepts took her work beyond food and entering art. So the result pleased me but even her wedding cake looked like it was about to topple over and crush any woodland animals who we scurrying around the log base. A worthy winner but next year I hope we see some grand show shoppers worthy of the final three.
My previous attempt to make pancakes with my two year old Eloise was... Interesting... It was pancake day around her second birthday. It was a complete disaster, she had to go straight to the bath without eating any pancakes! And the kitchen looked like a milk tornado had hit Horley...
Six months on I thought it was time to tentatively try again... Savoury pancakes this time stuffed with cheese and ham - simple surely?
What a difference! The kitchen wasn't exactly clean afterwards but in relative terms it was spotless! Eloise mixed the batter all by herself and then supervised my frying and flipping. Yum!
My best friend Laura and her little boy Ben joined Eloise and I for lunch yesterday and i decided to have a bash at a Jamie Oliver recipe for griddle pan waffles. I planned a 2 course wafflefest starting with savoury waffles topped with an omelette style egg, cheese, bacon, tomato and spring onion mixture. Then to follow sweet waffles sprinkled with icing sugar topped with fresh berries, natural yogurt and a blob of raspberry preserve.
Instead of using a waffle pan/cooker these waffles are cooked on a standard griddle pan. After mixing up the batter you pour over a hot greased griddle pan and turn down to a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. You then flip (yes, you heard right, flip) the waffle over and cook the other side for a further 8-10 minutes. Despite Laura's skepticism the flipping went ok, but we did lose a little bit of the waffle during the landing!
The 1st course of savoury waffles topped with the omelette worked exceptionally well. The waffles were light and fluffy and the topping complemented it perfectly. Everyone enjoyed it but we were too full to attempt dessert so we put the babies to bed and left the rest of the mixture until later...
...this was a mistake. The mixture became very dense and heavy and when i used it to make the sweet waffles mid afternoon they had lost the light fluffy consistency of the earlier batch. They still tasted ok but in future i would definitely make the batter just before cooking.
Overall a great waffle shortcut!
Just when i thought i had seen it all i got a surprise at my cousin Simon's wedding last weekend - a cheese tower cake!
During the evening reception this wedding cake style tiered cheese tower was the centrepiece of the buffet table. It was a real show stopper.
The base was formed of 3 different cheeses whilst the top tier was a full blue cheese wheel stacked with smaller brie and camembert wheels.
It was left for guests to devour which proved precarious but fun! Most popular was the Red Leicester on the bottom tier and the soft cheeses on top
Here is a website i particularly like the look of for inspiration:
Not a lot of sweet baking has happened in the past few weeks but i have a lot coming up including some new muffin tulip cases to try out and you never know i may actually get the royal icing book out...
But in the meantime here is a picture of some more savoury baking i have been up to. These are puff pastry mini puffs with cream cheese and sundried tomatoes. Simpy take a pre-rolled puff pastry sheet and cut into lots of little squares. Grease a mini muffin pan and add a square to each indent and shape with your finger. Add some roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes and top with a blob of cream cheese cheese. Brush the lot with an egg wash and pop in the oven for 15-20 mins.
You can also use homemade or jarred pesto with fresh tomato or caramelised onions and cheddar.
I thouht i would share an easy savoury muffin recipe i made this evening for Eloise to snack on.
They are great because you can chuck in any leftover veg you have spare. These ones are flavoured with red onion, leek, red pepper, brocolli and philadelphia cream cheese.
The recipe is easy:
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk
2 cups mixed veggies.
1/2 cup of grated cheese OR 1 tub cream cheese cheese
Pre heat the oven to 180 c
Mix together the flour and veggies.
In a separate bowl mix the oil and milk. Add the eggs and whisk.
Make a well in the middle of the flour/veggie mix and pour in the liquid.
Gentle combine the ingredients and at the last minute add the cheese. Mix everything has just combined and you have a nice thick batter.
Grease a 24 mini muffin pan with butter/oil and divide the mixture.
Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, brushing the tops with oil half way through to get a golden finish.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
They can be kept in an airtiht container or frozen.
Mum. Wife. Artist. Baker.