Monday, April 30, 2018

Mary Berry's Jaffa Cakes

It is so annoying when you can't find out for certain how some of the recipes are actually done.  Yes, you can always find out some of it...but, the fine details....not always.

Like, ..... how on earth do you get the chocolate on the top to look like Mary's?  It doesn't tell you other than to say you can spoon it on if you don't want to go to the trouble of getting it perfect.  Huh? Why the heck doesn't she say how she does it and let me make up my mind later as to whether I will do it her way or not?

Here is a pic of hers.... from the Great British Bake Off show... see how lovely the chocolate line is all around the little cake.  Note the great criss cross pattern they say should be there ... I've never seen a store bought version so don't really know what one should look like.  

To me, they almost look like they have been dipped in the chocolate...but, it hardly seems possible as the cake is quite flat and how would you grab the bottom and keep your fingers out of the chocolate? ..maybe a couple of skewers through the bottom of the cake? .. some other method? .. who knows?......  ...... anybody got any suggestions?                                                                

Then, there are dozens of folks who have made them and put them out there ... and, most of them look like this.  I would probably be too embarrassed to show mine if they looked like this...  although, I might...  just to let you know if they were that difficult to do.  There has to be a better way to get the chocolate on there and make it look tidy at the very least. 

I want to try Jaffa cakes some day soon... and want them to look nice.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Alexandra's Mom's No Knead Peasant Bread (revisited)

A little over a year ago I posted about this amazing bread... nobody ever commented...but, I had hundreds of people who came to view the post.

Do you ever wonder why nobody comments?  Do you wonder, like me, if they ever try the recipe?   I wonder how they like the bread?  So many questions....

I make it all the time.  I love this bread.  I do it a bit differently now and thought I would show you a series of pics of my efforts.

The first few times I made it I used only white it is more like half and half whole wheat and white...with a good sprinkling of wheat bran tossed over it as well.  About 1/4 of a cup or so.

It is a very forgiving dough.. I have forgotten it in the microwave for a couple of problemo.

Anyway... check out Alexandra's blog to find out more about her Mom's bread.. and, please give it a try.  Also... she now has a book out.... in which the bread figures big time.  There is even a gluten free version that is pretty darn good.

Click on any pic to see it larger and get a better idea what I am talking about.

When first you pour over the foamed yeast and water you think....too much liquid.

Then, you mix a bit and think... oh, no... too little liquid!

Finally it all comes off the sides of the bowl and comes together beautifully and you sigh with relief.

I like to put mine in the microwave.  A warm and cozy spot.. almost like a proofing drawer.

An hour or so ...or even 3 hours later if you forget looks like this... at least twice the size.

Fold it in on itself with a fork... scraping it all from the sides of the bowl towards the centre.

I roll mine into an elongated blob that is close to the size of my tin.

Turn it out into a 9 x 5 x 3 tin.

Let rise in a cool spot this time.  Looks like this after about 20 or so minutes.

Bake in 425F oven for 18 minutes, turn down to 375F and bake another 18 or so....

Looks like this... and, yes I slice it hot from the oven..slather it with butter and some honey.  YUM!