Monday, 18 March 2013

Jack and Ginger

Here are some pictures of more baking things from the last few months.
These were for a Sunderland vs Man City afternoon – the red came out pink and the blue came out lilac, but you get the idea. The food itself, rosewater jam tarts, raspberry and vanilla cake, and chocolate cupcakes, all went down a treat. We won’t talk about the score though.
Some orange and poppyseed cakes, and chocolate, burnt toffee and vanilla cakes that I made for friends.
I got two baking books last year, including the latest Great British Bake Off book. Here are two cakes from it. The first is salted caramel cake, which is sickly by the time you’ve finished making it, but delicious the next day, once the caramel has left your senses. The second is a Union Jack cake – it’s just a cut and paste job, but a fiddly one. I ran out of icing sugar, so the ready-roll icing on top has unsightly seams! It was a welcome home present for my old mentor who had been travelling for a year (you can read her and her husband’s blog here – there are lovely stories about the places they saw and beautiful photos).

Here are my gingerbread houses – not nearly as pretty as the one in the book. Guess what I ran out of again?! They transported well though, as long as you have someone to drive slowly and someone to hold onto the base very carefully. And they tasted nice. The big one was for my friend who I’ve known since we worked together way back when we were doing our A-levels, and the small one was for my sister (I helped her to eat it). The leftover gingerbread dough was used to make shapes.

I went on a little break to Yorkshire and Derbyshire a few years ago, going around different towns. I had parkin for the first time, and thought I must learn how to make it. It’s the most amazing ginger cake – treacly, chewy and dense. I finally made it, and although it wasn’t nearly as nice as the parkin I had in Yorkshire, it wasn’t bad for a Southern effort.

Finally, bagels, which I am not that fussed about, but wanted to make after I saw them make them on the Bake Off. They sound like more effort than they are – making dough, quickly poaching them, and then baking them – but if you like bagels, I think they’re worth the effort. The taste and texture is less plastic-like than the ones you can buy from a supermarket. In case you wondered, they do have holes in the middle, but they shrunk in the oven!