Category "Lakeland"

Experimenting with Lakeland's agar agar (part two) Making Marshmallows!

9th February 2014
by M-admin-bakehouse
agar agar, homemade, Lakeland, marshmallows, recipe, review, , , , , , , , , , ,
Well, after the success of the panna cotta recipe, I decided to give marshmallows a go! I’ve wanted to make these for ages, so this was the perfect excuse. Like the panna cotta, I thought it was going to be a difficult process and take a long time, but quite the opposite was true.
Homemade marshmallows are quite unlike ones that you buy in the shops. Soft, fluffy squidgy, melt-in-the-mouth clouds of sweet vanilla-y yumminess. I don’t think I’d describe shop bought ones in the same way!
So here’s the recipe:
Homemade marshmallows
3 egg whites (I used Two Chicks)
250g sugar
100ml water
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp agar agar powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
icing sugar
pink food colouring
Method
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the agar agar powder in the water.
2. Pour this into a saucepan, with the sugar and honey and warm to a medium to high heat until the syrup mixture has reached 121 degrees.
3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until they are firm.
4. Add the food colouring and the vanilla bean paste.
5. When the syrup is ready, pour it slowly into the egg whites and continue to whisk.
6. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking tin with parchment paper, and pour the marshmallow mixture in the prepared tin and use a spatula to spread it.
7. Allow it to dry for 10 hours. It’s usable after a couple of hours, but will firm up more if you leave it for longer.
8. Cut it into squares and roll in the icing sugar.
I found that it was better if I allowed the icing sugar to dry off a bit, and then rolled again in the icing sugar.
Looks yummy doesn’t it? I have to admit, it is quite sticky so if you were thinking of giving it as a gift, you might need to roll it in the sugar again, or even pack it in layers of sugared parchment paper. And if you think squares are a bit on the boring side, how about cutting shapes instead?
I know, almost too cute to eat right? Almost…. You can buy agar agar from Lakeland here. I was given the agar agar product to use by Lakeland, but all views are my own. www.mariesbakehouse.co.uk www.facebook.com/MariesBakehouse

Experimenting with Lakeland's Agar Agar Panna Cotta

9th February 2014
by M-admin-bakehouse
agar agar, dessert, homemade, Lakeland, panna cotta, recipe, review, vanilla, , , , , , , , ,
For those who haven’t used or heard about it before, Agar Agar is a vegetarian gelatin substitute produced from a variety of seaweed vegetation. It can be used in a variety of dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes as a stabilizing and thickening agent.
I have never used it before, heck I’ve barely used gelatin before, so it was time to have a play with new recipes. I decided on giving panna cotta a try. It was MUCH easier than I thought. This is the recipe I used: Panna Cotta 360ml full fat milk 120ml whipping cream 2 tsp agar agar powder 2-3 tsp vanilla bean paste Strawberry coulis (recipe further down) And the method: 1. Put the milk, cream, agar agar powder and vanilla bean paste into a pan. 2. Heat the mixture over a medium heat until the agar agar powder has fully dissolved, stirring occasionally. 3. Heat to boiling point and let it bubble for a minute or two, then remove from the heat. 4. Let it stand for about ten minutes, then pour into 4 ramekin dishes or bowls. 5. When cool, refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set. 6. To release the panna cotta, run around the edge of it with a silicone spatula or sharp knife, place a plate upside down on top of the dish, and turn the plate and dish upside down to transfer the panna cotta on to the plate.
7. Pour the coulis around the panna cotta and serve cold.
Strawberry coulis 125ml water 125g caster sugar 300g hulled and halves strawberries Method 1. Bring the water and caster sugar to the boil and stir, making sure the sugar is dissolved. 2. Add the strawberries and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the strawberries have softened. 3. Puree the mixture, and strain through a sieve. 4. Store the puree in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Looks yummy doesn’t it? I could just eat the bit on that spoon. You know…just to test it….
Mmmmmmmmm!!! A very easy recipe, but impressive- one that could be used to impress the in laws if the occasion required it! And here’s a sneak peek of experimenting with agar agar part 2!
Any guesses what I made this time?? You can buy agar agar from Lakeland here. I was given the agar agar product to use by Lakeland, but all views are my own. www.mariesbakehouse.co.uk www.facebook.com/MariesBakehouse  

Review of Lakeland's Say It With Biscuits Kit

4th February 2014
by M-admin-bakehouse
1 comment
biscuits, edible, gifts, Lakeland, presents, review, say it with biscuits kit, stampers, , , , , , , , , ,
Instalment number two of this weeks’ Lakeland product reviews! And this time I got to play with gingerbread dough and stamps!
This is the Say It With Biscuits Kit. Three silicone stamps, the wooden ‘handle’ that they fit on to for easy stamping, a cutter, recipe booklet and 6 very sweet gift boxes should you be able to bring yourself to give them away! It all comes packaged in a cute box so would make a great present for a baker.
I used my own gingerbread dough recipe, but the booklet does contain some lovely looking recipes. It includes a sable (basic) biscuit recipe, that you could easily flavour using a splash of vanilla or almond extract, or grated zest of lemon or orange for further biscuit flavours. There is also a ginger biscuit recipe, a chocolate one (that will definitely get tried in this house, chocoholics? Us?!), and recipes for oat and raisin, choc chip, and even a savoury cheese one. There are also ideas and recipes for filling the biscuits, should you wish to sandwich them together.  So definitely lots of ideas to get you started!
If you have your own favourite biscuit recipe you could also use that of course, but it needs to be a dough which can firm up when chilled, so the pattern doesn’t spread when baked. The instructions recommend chilling the dough before baking, but I’d also recommend chilling after cutting the biscuits for at least 20 minutes, especially if you are re-rolling the scraps of dough after the initial lot of cutting, as the warmth of your hands will warm the dough up too.
Using the stampers is easy. They fit snugly onto the wooden handle, and you can use this to push the stamper into the dough. I would say you need to push it quite firmly into the dough to make a good deep imprint. You need to bake them for the time according to the recipe, so check that for details.
You can see I have two sizes of biscuits on the picture above. The larger ones are made using the cookie cutter that comes with the kit, but I also had a go with a smaller round cutter I have to see what it would look like. I think they both look great. And if you were feeling generous and were going to give more than one away as a gift, I think the mixture of sizes would look lovely in a kilner jar with a ribbon tied around it.
And if you fancy a bit of extra indulgence, how about sandwiching two together with milk chocolate ganache? Mmmmmmm!!
I haven’t tried it yet, but I would also imagine that you could use these stampers with sugarpaste to make toppers for cupcakes, you would probably just need to add a smear of vegetable fat like Trex to the silicone stamper before using it to make sure it didn’t stick.
The stampers have three different patterns: hearts, flowers and a Made For You stamp. They could be used on their own or together, and would make a good gift for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and birthdays….and many other occasions in between. If you like to make homemade gifts and are handy in the kitchen, this could be a good investment for you. With so many variations of flavours, stampers, shapes, and how you could package them you could produce a different gift every time!
You can buy the kit here.
Although I was given the kit for free to review, all the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Review of Lakeland's Hearts Silicone Icing Mould

3rd February 2014
by M-admin-bakehouse
decorating, hearts, Lakeland, review, silicone, , , , , , , , , ,
Well, I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to review some more products by the lovely people at Lakeland, so here is the first one, stand by for another couple this week! I have been given the product to try for free, but all views are my own.
So here it is, the Hearts Silicone Icing Mould. I’m a sucker for these silicone moulds, I have quite a few different designs made by different manufacturers, and I use them when teaching some of my own classes, as well as on the cakes I make so I was interested to see how this one would compare. I’m pleased to say it worked really well. When you first start using silicone moulds like this, you might find that the first one or two you try will stick to the mould. A way to stop this happening, is to use a little smearing of vegetable fat (I use Trex) on the inside of the mould. You could use a dusting of cornflour, or icing sugar, but if you are using a dark coloured icing, you then need to clean it off afterwards. If you do want to paint the hearts you make afterwards though, you will have to go down this route as the vegetable fat will prevent the paste gel sticking, or whatever you are using to paint with. I tried all the different hearts and found them all easy to use. The one on the middle row at the far right had me flummoxed to begin with, but I had a play and realised you can use this as a feature on a small disc of sugarpaste. Have a look at the photograph below to see what I mean.
You see? The one in the bottom left corner? Cute isn’t it? And here are the cupcakes on a wedding fayre table from last weekend. I’m happy to report they went down very well 🙂
You can also use them on cookies….
And on cake pops….. (Here is where I would insert a picture of the ones I made, but unfortunately they were eaten before I got chance to photograph them! Take it from me- they work on cake pops too!) So, all in all, a great product, that I would definitely recommend and will be using myself and in my classes in future. If you’d like to buy one too, you can purchase from Lakeland here . www.mariesbakehouse.co.uk www.facebook.com/MariesBakehouse  

Review of Lakeland's Fairytale Village Mould

19th December 2013
by M-admin-bakehouse
cheshire, chocolate, Christmas, fairy tale cottage mould, house, Lakeland, Manchester, maries's bakehouse, review, Urmston, , , , , , , ,
I already own the Lakeland Fairy Tale Cottage Mould, which I had great fun using and putting together this Christmas themed chocolate house…
…but this house is big- I used 1.6kg of chocolate and chocolate paste to make and decorate. So when I was sent the Fairy Tale Village Mould I was interested to see whether it would be as easy working with the chocolate house mould in miniature.
The mould has enough parts to make four teeny houses, either in chocolate or gingerbread (of course I chose chocolate, yes you know me well!) with mini people and also some trees.
Top tips for using this smaller mould would be to use a cocktail stick or similar to ease the chocolate into the tiny gaps for the people’s arms and legs. And also, when you are pushing the chocolate out of the moulds, made sure you do it straight away when you take it out of the fridge. If you have hot hands, or the kitchen is warm, the chocolate can start to melt straight away on these smaller parts as you handle them. I made the mistake of leaving mine out for a while before I tried to remove it, and left some of the people’s legs behind- hence them being stood in a mould of ‘snow’ in the picture.
I’ve decorated my house using sugarpaste in red and white because I love those Christmassy colours together, but the possibilities are endless. My two girls are looking forward to decorating the other houses with sweets at some point before Christmas.
So here’s the house…
To give you some idea of size, it’s sitting on a 7″ square board.
I would recommend this mould. They would make a lovely centrepiece for a dessert table displayed altogether on one board, or would make great gifts individually like this one. You could even fill it with sweets before you seal the roof. I also think this would be great for other times of year. They’d look great in white chocolate, decorated with pastels and made into an Easter Egg hunt theme, or even lined up like beach huts for a summer dessert table. This is definitely a product I’ll be using again. You can buy it from Lakeland here: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/18207/Fairy-Tale-Village-Mould I was not paid to write this review, but was sent the mould free of charge. All views are my own. www.facebok.com/MariesBakehouse www.mariesbakehouse.co.uk

Review of Lakeland's Silicone Chocolate Box Shapes

16th December 2013
by M-admin-bakehouse
cake maker, celebration, cheshire, chocolate mould, Lakeland, Manchester, maries's bakehouse, review, silicone, Urmston, , , , , , , , , , ,
Another Lakeland toy to play with? And it involves chocolate? Definitely count me in!
I’ve had experience with making chocolates with a hard plastic chocolate mould before, but not with silicone, so it required a bit of thinking about how to go about it, as the methods I used for a rigid mould wouldn’t work so well with a flexible one. I decided to apply the melted chocolate with a paintbrush which helped get the chocolate in all the places required, especially with the more intricate designs. In hindsight, it may have been better to let this harden, and then apply a second coat, as a couple of the chocolates didn’t come out without breaking, but that’s something to try next time. I made a caramel sauce, and poured it into the chocolate mould once they had been in the fridge for about an hour (I was busy doing other things at the time, I don’t think it necessarily needs this long). I left a space at the top of each mould- I didn’t fill it completely to the top.  And then popped the mould back into the fridge. After about half an hour, I melted more chocolate and added this on top of the caramel, then it went back in the fridge again to set. I tried to pop them out after half an hour, but this perhaps wasn’t quite long enough as a couple of them cracked on coming out, so I chilled them for a bit longer (this could have been down to having too thin a coat and not the chilling time- I will need to experiment with this). Second time lucky, the rest popped out without a problem, by pushing the mould from underneath. I’m really pleased with how they look!
Not perfect, but pretty fab for the first attempt I think!
I’d definitely use this mould again. The chocolates would be great for presents, not just at Christmas time, but for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and I’d also think about using them on my dessert tables.
I’m looking forward to trying out different flavour combinations- I think salted caramel and a chocolate orange ganache will be two I’ll be trying out soon! If you fancy giving them a go, you can buy them from Lakeland here: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/16442/Silicone-Chocolate-Box-Shapes I was not paid to write this review, but was sent the mould free of charge. All views are my own. www.facebook.com/MariesBakehouse www.mariesbakehouse.co.uk

Review of Peppermint Bark Mould from Lakeland

13th December 2013
by M-admin-bakehouse
chocolate, Christmas, gift, homemade, Lakeland, peppermint bark mould, presents, review, , , , , , , , , ,
I love making new things in the kitchen. I get terribly bored doing the same thing over and over again. So an opportunity to play with a new toy is a definite winner. Team that with chocolate, and the fact it’s from Lakeland, a shop that regularly does serious damage to my bank balance, well it’s got to be a win-win situation!!
The Peppermint Bark Mould is incredibly easy to use. It comes with two sections, so you can make two lots at the same time, but do be aware that the instructions on the packet are for one side, not both, so double up if you are making two. Melt 200g of milk chocolate, and pour half in each side of the mould, making sure it spreads out to all corners. Pop it in the fridge and go and do something else for a bit. Then melt 200g white chocolate and pour on top of the milk chocolate, half on each side. Bash up 4 or 5 candy canes in a plastic bag, and sprinkle the broken pieces on top of the white chocolate. Push it gently into the chocolate and pop it back in the fridge. After an hour it’ll be hard enough to pop out of the mould.
And there you have it! And they fit perfectly in a clear Lakeland presentation/gift bag.
Brilliant for gifts this holiday season!
If you’d like to give it a go yourself, you can buy it here: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/18503/Peppermint-Bark-Mould
I was not paid to write this review, but was sent the mould free of charge. All views are my own.
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