Posts Tagged "maker"

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.

French Cake Breaks

4th February 2014
by M-admin-bakehouse
1 comment
break, classes, decorating, French, holiday, review, , , , , , , , , , , ,
It’s February. It’s cold, wet, pretty dull most of the time, and we’re desperately thinking about some summer sun to brighten our days, and booking a holiday to keep us going til then aren’t we? Well, if you are into cake baking and decorating I have the perfect holiday for you!
Last May I was lucky enough to go away on a French Cake Break with two friends, one who has a cake business not far from me in Manchester, and another who is a keen baker and just starting out on the road of learning how to decorate her masterpieces. A fairly mixed bag of experience between us, but what we produced pleased all of us in equal measures.
French Cake Breaks are run by my wonderful friend Rhu of Pimp my Cake and Claire of Gite La Nougayrede.
Now don’t be fooled into thinking that I’m giving a glowing report because Rhu is my friend, what you are about to read is a true reflection of how much I enjoyed the week. Because I did enjoy it. Immensely. Of the week we spent away, two days accounted for travelling there and back, and relaxation time, and on one day we had a visit to Sarlat Market, a wonderfully typical French market town where you can buy souvenirs to take home, including all the local delicacies.
The remaining time is spent at the gite in classes with Rhu, who is very generous with her knowledge and I picked up lots of extra hints and tips along the way, as well as the teaching for all three projects. Rhu runs a beginner’s week, an intermediate week, and now also a fabulous week learning how to make Marissa the mermaid. Oh how I would love to go back and take this week of classes!!
During our stay we made a bride and groom, a high heeled shoe and a car, all of which came back in the hand luggage!
(I know my groom has a bit of a lean- but I know why it happened and I learnt from it- all part of the class experience!)
 
The accommodation is extremely comfortable and the meals provided are amazing, Claire is a fabulous cook, also making some amazing puddings. Add some lovely local wine to the mix- I’d make sure you pack the elasticated trousers!
If you are thinking about taking a French Cake Break, I can honestly, whole heartedly recommend it. I had the most wonderfully relaxing week, enjoyed fabulous hospitality and learnt an amazing amount in the short time we were there. I’d definitely go back if I had the opportunity to. Don’t hesitate any longer- go and book that holiday!!!
 
You can find out more about French Cake Breaks here, hear the latest news on fb here and find more about what Rhu is up to here .
Let me know if you go- I’d love to see the holiday snaps!
 
 

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  

Recipe for how to make sticky toffee pudding

31st July 2013
by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, cake, dessert, homemade, Manchester, maries's bakehouse, recipe, Urmston, , , , , , , , , ,
Ingredients you will need for the recipe
For the toffee pudding:
200g dried dates, stoned and chopped.
250ml black tea (not too strong)
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g unsalted butter, softened
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
175g golden caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
For the toffee sauce:
100g light muscovado sugar
100g unsalted butter
142ml carton double cream
What to do:
1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C Put the dates and tea in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 3–4 minutes to soften the dates. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and creamy, then beat in the egg, flour and mixed spice. Fold in the date mixture and pour into a buttered ovenproof dish or brownie tin. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the top is just firm to touch.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by putting the sugar, butter and cream in a pan over a low heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Cook until the sauce is a toffee colour. Cut the pudding into squares and serve with the warm sauce.
If you try the recipe, let me know how you got on!