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Baking

Everything you need to know to get started with baking

Includes recipes to make with your kids


Kids

100
recipes & ideas

Over

The equipment you need Essential baking techniques The secrets to homemade bread Make perfect cakes, cookies & pies

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Baking
TM

Welcome to

his book hasnt been written by a team of baking experts. It hasnt involved rooms of assistants furiously preparing ingredients (although after washing up the same bowl for the twentieth time, they would have been welcome!) and no food stylists have been anywhere near the nal products. Instead, you have a collection of recipes that have been written, baked, photographed and then devoured by home bakers. Everything has been cooked in a kitchen just like you have at home, using ingredients and accessories that can be picked up at your local supermarket. If we can make some sugar, butter, eggs and our turn into a light and u y sponge, it means you can as well. All of the recipes here are written in plain English, with in-progress shots of the whole process and handy pointers for avoiding mistakes. Because you will make mistakes everyone makes mistakes but what people dont tell you is that in the baking world, even mistakes taste delicious! You will nd a range of recipes covering di erent types of baking, from the ubiquitous cupcakes, through to cookies, bars, bread and pies. Some recipes are incredibly easy, some are great for kids and others o er a bit more for you to sink your teeth into (pardon the pun). We have also created a Getting Started chapter, which walks you through all the techniques you need to tackle the recipes in this book and more besides. So grab your apron, get that butter softened, preheat the oven and start lling your home with the delicious aroma of home baking. We promise you will never look back.

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Baking
TM

Imagine Publishing Ltd Richmond House 33 Richmond Hill Bournemouth Dorset BH2 6EZ +44 (0) 1202 586200 Website: www.imagine-publishing.co.uk Twitter: @Books_Imagine Facebook: www.facebook.com/ImagineBookazines

Editor in Chief Jo Cole Senior Art Editor Danielle Dixon Photographer Helen Harris Printed by William Gibbons, 26 Planetary Road, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3XT Distributed in the UK & Eire by Imagine Publishing Ltd, www.imagineshop.co.uk. Tel 01202 586200 Distributed in Australia by Gordon & Gotch, Equinox Centre, 18 Rodborough Road, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086. Tel + 61 2 9972 8800 Distributed in the Rest of the World by Marketforce, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU. Disclaimer The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this bookazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the bookazine has endeavoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This bookazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. Photo studio Studio equipment courtesy of Lastolite (www.lastolite.co.uk) Baking for Beginners 2012 Imagine Publishing Ltd ISBN 978-1908955043

IMAGINEER OF THE YEAR DANIELLE DIXON

TEAM OF THE YEAR BOOKAZINES

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Contents
Getting Started
10 Equipment: pans 12 Equipment: electric goods 14 Equipment: accessories 16 Techniques: measuring 18 Techniques: folding 19 Techniques: beating 20 Techniques: whisking 21 Techniques: testing its cooked 22 Techniques: making a glaze icing 23 Techniques: mixing buttercream 24 Techniques: ganache icing 25 Techniques: using an icing bag 26 Techniques: kneading bread 28 Techniques: successful pastry 30 Techniques: shortcrust pastry 32 Techniques: rough puff 34 Techniques: rolling pastry out 36 Techniques: the golden rules

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Chicken Pot Pie Page 146

Cheese Swirls Page 166

Page 136 Page 80

Page 156

Cupcakes
40 Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting 42 Bonus vanilla flavours 44 Spicy Ginger Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream 46 Coconut Cupcakes 48 Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes 50 Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes 52 Bonus fresh fruit flavours 54 Lemon Cupcakes 56 Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting 58 Red Velvet Cupcakes 60 Maple & Pecan Cupcakes 62 Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting & Honeycomb 63 Bonus sweet flavours
6 Baking for Beginners

Cakes
68 Blueberry Muffins 70 Bonus muffin flavours 72 Victoria Sponge 74 Fruit Cake with Dark Beer 76 Lemon Drizzle Loaf 78 Coffee Cake with Walnuts 80 Marble Cake 82 Bonus marble cake ideas 84 Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cake 86 Blueberry Cake 88 Spicy Apple Cake 90 Chocolate Birthday Cake 92 Bonus birthday cake ideas

Cookies, Biscuits & Bars


96 Choc Chip Cookies 98 Bonus cookie recipes 100 Shortbread 102 Chocolate Brownies 104 Apple Cake Bars 106 Vanilla Cookies 108 Bonus vanilla cookie flavours 110 Millionaires Shortbread 112 Bakewell Bars 114 Granola Bars 116 Jam Sandwich Cookies 118 Parmesan Biscuits 120 Bonus Savoury Biscuits

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Blueberry Muffins Page 68 Page 102

Baking

Page 162

oyo Coith kur w


Kids

Page 142
Some of the recipes in the book are perfect for getting children involved and letting them get the baking bug! When you see the logo its something the kids can enjoy

40 Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting 50 Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes 58 Red Velvet Cupcakes 62 Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting & Honeycomb

Pies & Tarts


124 Apple Pie 126 Bonus apple pie ideas 128 Pecan Pie 130 Lemon Tart 132 Treacle Tart 134 Cherry Pie 136 Lemon Meringue Pie 139 Bonus meringue recipes 140 Mississippi Mud Pie 142 Beef & Mushroom Pie 144 Cheese & Onion Tart 146 Chicken Pot Pie 148 Bonus Pot Pie Ideas

Bread
152 Basic White Loaf 154 Bonus white loaf ideas 156 Basic Wholemeal Loaf 158 Dinner Rolls 160 No-knead Bread 162 Pizza Dough 164 Bonus Pizza Bases 166 Cheese Swirls 168 Soda Bread 170 Garlic Bread 172 Cheese Twists 174 Breakfast Balls

68 Blueberry Muffins 72 Victoria Sponge 76 Lemon Drizzle Loaf 80 Marble Cake 86 Spicy Apple Cake 96 Choc Chip Cookies 102 Chocolate Brownies 106 Vanilla Cookies 114 Granola Bars 116 Jam Sandwich Cookies 160 No-knead Bread 162 Pizza Dough 172 Cheese Twists 174 Breakfast Balls
Baking for Beginners 7

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Getting started
We show you how to conquer the fundamental skills you need to be a master baker

n some ways, baking doesnt do itself any favours. On the one hand, it is possible for anyone to bake something and for that something to be delicious. But on the other hand, there is quite a bit of jargon and essential techniques that need to be considered. These muddy the water and make things seem far more complicated than they actually are. So if you have attempted a recipe before, only to be thwarted by a stream of commands that have made no sense, this chapter is for you. We begin by taking a look at the kind of equipment you might need, from the absolute essentials, through to ones that are impossible to resist. Everything is of a sensible price and if truth be told, you can survive with a bowl, a wooden spoon and some elbow grease. But if you are anything like us, once you have the baking bug, a shopping spree will inevitably follow!

We have covered everything a beginner needs to know in order to make a cake mixture
After a tour of the equipment we move into technique. We have covered everything that a beginner needs to know in order to make a cake mixture, create icing, knead bread and make pastry. Thats right make pastry! A couple of recipes in this book do refer to ready-made pastry but the majority get you making your own. We havent gone mad pastry (and bread, come to that) has a reputation for being tricky but the truth is they just take a bit of time. So forget any preconceptions you have and follow our steps. We cant promise that you wont have any hiccups, but its criminal not to have a go.

We have included metric/imperial and US measurements. Conversions have been rounded up/down for ease of following. All eggs are large and we encourage you to use free-range eggs. We have tried to include all the names an ingredient is known by.

A NOTE ABOUT INGREDIENTS

How to make your own puff pastry! Page 32

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Key chapter features

Essential accessories, page 14

How to use an icing bag, page 25

Test cakes are ready, page 21

Learn to roll pastry, page 34

The cake pans you need, page 10


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Getting Started

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Pick the essential pans to get your life of baking off to a good start

Pans

ake pans are the fundamental tools in your baking armoury and you can go as extravagant or as basic as you like. There are pans to suit all budgets and they can be picked up for very little. It is worth paying as much as you can afford, even if it means you just buy a couple for now. The more expensive pans will be thicker, meaning better heat distribution and also less risk of buckling in the heat. The best pans to go for are anodised aluminium. Not only do they have an even spread of heat, so your goods cook evenly, they are strong and will last for decades. Recipes generally involve buttering or flouring the tin, maybe using a parchment paper lining, so you dont have to worry about hunting down non-stick equipment. There is some discussion about whether its best to go for lightcoloured pans or dark ones. Some camps believe that the dark ones absorb too much heat and give a greater risk of burning. Unless you are an extreme perfectionist, we would say to not worry too much about this. We have used both types of pans and have had no problems with the dark ones.

Muffin or bun pans


These are for single goods and commonly have 12 holes. The standard muffin pan is essential not only for muffins, but also cupcakes. Bun pans are slightly shallower and are more suitable for fairy cakes or pastry goods such as jam tarts or mince pies.

Special tins can make your cakes stand out


More and more companies are offering loose-bottomed tins. As the name suggests, these have a removable bottom, which you push up to release the baked good. If you have solid bottom pans dont feel like you have to change. Both work just as well, it is really a matter of personal taste.

Deep tin
Have one of these in the cupboard for more traditional cakes such as fruit cake. The cakes made in here are thick and substantial. Because they are so deep, the cakes need to be cooked for longer so make sure the tin is thick so it can cope with the heat.

LOOSE BOTTOMED?

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Sandwich tins
You need at least two of these for layer cakes. They come in lots of different sizes but to start out, get either 8-inch or 9-inch. You can buy really shallow tins, but look for a depth of about 3 inches. Straight sides are better for recipes that call for the cake to be covered in icing.

Loaf tin
Not only necessary for making bread, but also needed for loaf cake recipes. A 2lb tin will suit most recipes but you can also buy miniature or other sizes for a change. It doesnt really matter if you have a straight side or angled size with these, they all look good!

Trays
A shallow-sided tray is useful for things like brownies, flapjacks or traybakes. They are rectangular and come in many different sizes. One that is 9-inches is a good bet. Some now come with lids that can be attached, which make them ideal for transporting.

Special tins
In addition to the standard tins, you can pick up a wide range of other tins as you test more recipes. These include things like Bundt tins or Angel Food cake tins, through to novelty shapes. You dont need one to be able to bake but some of them are a lot of fun!
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Getting Started

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The best electric utensils


Let these handy machines do the hard work for you
expensive. You can pick up most of these items from your supermarket for not much at all, or visit specialised food stores for professional-level equipment. Unless you are completely seduced by an item, we would suggest you buy a cheap version and if you find you use it, treat yourself to a more expensive model.

aking is brilliant because you can make an amazing cake with just a bowl, a spoon and some manual oomph. But if you want to save some time or energy there are a few electrical devices that can make your life much easier. As with pretty much anything, the price tag for these can go from very small to very

Out of all of these, the stand mixer is the one you will probably get most use out of. These mixers beat up cake mixtures or whisk up meringues without breaking a sweat. In addition to saving you some exertion, they also mean you can set them up to mix ingredients while you get on with preparing the next batch of cooking!

We suggest you buy a cheap version and then treat yourself to a more expensive model
This one should be first on your list
Stand mixers are great because they will mix ingredients together, leaving you free to go about your business. The most basic ones will just have one fitting, which can be used for beating and whipping. More expensive ones will have separate fittings for beating, whisking and kneading dough.

Stand mixer

A tool to make life easier


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Food processor
The swift route to preparation
Food processors are very useful for a wide range of baking tasks. You can use them to mix up sponges in one go and they are also excellent for mixing up pastry in seconds. Of course, they are very useful for preparing ingredients, whether its chopping, shredding or grating. We wouldnt say they are essential, but if you have space they are definitely worth having.

Mix and prepare all in one

Quick and easy mixing for little money


Hand mixers are generally very affordable so are a perfect first-buy. The basic models will just have whip fittings, which can be used for whisking and general mixing. More expensive models will have separate fittings for whisking, beating and mixing dough.

Hand mixer

Enjoy accurate measurements


It is important that you measure your ingredients out properly, otherwise you risk your recipe failing. The best way to measure the ingredients is with a set of digital scales. These have a clear readout so you always know how much you have.

Digital scales

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Getting Started

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Helpful accessories
If you want some baking retail therapy, start with these
Having said that, we will never get in the way of someones desire to go on a shopping spree, so if you do want to furnish yourself with all of the gadgets, there are plenty you can pick from.

hen deciding on the recipes to include in this book, we have been careful to pick ones that dont require a cupboards worth of extra equipment in order to complete them.

None of these are particularly expensive, but they are all incredibly useful. Some are even essential, such as scales, while others are more about saving time. Thanks to the growing popularity of baking, you will find that most of these can be picked up in your local supermarket and you will certainly be able to find a wide choice either from a dedicated online retailer or from a specialist cook shop.

Cake leveller
Some recipes call for a cake layer to be cut in half. No problem if your hands are steady, but if you have doubts, pick up a cake leveller. Just drag through your cake for a level cut.

Whisk
Even if you have a mixer, it is useful to have a manual whisk. These are good for quickly mixing sauces or icings without having to turn to the heavy machinery.
14 Baking for Beginners

Spatula
There is nothing like a spatula for scraping around bowls to get to all of the mixture. They are also excellent for levelling mixture in pans and even flopping icing onto cakes.

Measuring jug
You need this to get accurate liquid amounts, although if you have a set of digital scales, check and see if it covers liquid units. If it does, you wont need a measuring jug!

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Cake tester
If you are nervous about ensuring your cakes are cooked properly, pick up a special cake tester. These heatsensitive devices change colour to let you know the cake is done.

Baking parchment
Use this to line baking trays and cake tins to ensure nothing sticks. It essentially makes the pan non-stick, so you dont have to worry about buying non-stick apparatus.

Easy-release liquid
You can buy special mixtures that will ensure your baked goods dont stick to the pans. Some are in an aerosol for you to spray on, while others are in a bottle for you to brush on.

Cake cases
Were not talking about the plain cases here, we mean beautifully styled cases available in stores and online. You can get themed cases, as well as special surrounds for a nice finish.

Pastry dabber
If you like making miniature pies, then pick up one of these special wooden prodders that enable you to push pastry into small tins without damaging it.

Sieve
A lot of recipes ask for sieved flour, but if truth be told, you dont need to bother most of the time. However, get a sieve because youll need it for icing sugar and cocoa for smooth icings.

Scales
Weighing and measuring ingredients is essential. The best scales are digital scales. You can place your mixing bowl on top, saving washing up, and also measure in different units.

Measuring spoons & cups


If you are based in the UK, you can do without a set of measuring cups, but if you have them you can follow US recipes. Measuring spoons are ideal for ingredients such as vanilla essence.

Rolling pin
You can turn any cylindrical object into a rolling pin but its best to buy one. Go for a long one so you can roll things out in one go. They come in wood, plastic or silicon.
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Getting Started

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How to measure ingredients


Its time to tackle the most important part of baking
LET THE SCALES DO THE WORK

aking is often described as a science, where precision is required to achieve tasty results. Although you can be relaxed when baking, and it wont really matter if a few extra chocolate chips fall into a cookie dough (in fact a few extra chocolate chips should always be added), you do need to pay attention to measuring the core ingredients. So much of baking is based around scientific reactions. From getting the correct ratio of flour to raising agent to get the required reaction for a beautifully risen sponge, through to the perfect amount of cream to melted chocolate for spreadable ganache, each ingredient reacts with the next to make a tasty treat. You neednt worry about these reactions, in fact we wouldnt have mentioned them if it werent for accurate measuring being key to them going off without a hitch. So here are some techniques to ensure all goes smoothly.

Invest in some digital scales. We know we have said it before but you will be amazed at what a difference they make, especially if you get some that measure in different units.

If your recipe calls for cups, here is how you measure them

Scoop and scrape

01: Scoop up
Begin by digging into the ingredients. If you are measuring flour, do a couple of scoops to fluff some air and loosen the flour up. Then scoop so the cup is full.
16 Baking for Beginners

02: Scrape
Grab a knife and use the edge to scrape along the top of the cup, gradually knocking all of the excess from the top. You can do this with a finger if you like.

03: Finish
Once you have scraped all the way along, you should be left with a beautifully smooth, level top and a perfectly measured ingredient. Tip into your bowl.

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Its like making sugar sandcastles

Packed sugar

01: Scoop up
A lot of recipes will call for a certain amount of firmly packed sugar, usually fruit cakes. Begin as we have already shown, using your measuring cup to scoop up the sugar.

02: Press and flatten


Grab a knife again and start to scrape along the top, but this time press down as well. If its not going well, use your hands to press the sugar down and then use a knife to tidy up.

03: Tip out


Once all the excess sugar has gone, tip out into your bowl, ready to be used. If you have done it correctly, you should be left with a mould of your measuring cup. Just like a sandcastle!

Heaped spoon
Mounds of fun

Level spoon
Smoothing the heap

01: Dig around


Get your spoon and have a good dig in your ingredient. You want to go in deep and then lift up to make sure you get the best results.

01: Familiar start


It may be a different result, but the opening is the same. Get your spoon, dig and lift in your ingredient. Heaped is once again the aim here.

02: The heap


As you dig into your ingredient and then lift up the spoon, you should be left with a mound, literally a heaped spoon. Carefully transfer over to your bowl.

02: Smooth it out


With the heaped spoon, gently shake the spoon or use a knife to level it off. The ingredients need to come up to the top of the spoon.

Baking for Beginners 17

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Getting Started

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How to fold
Think light and airy thoughts

olding is a mixing technique that aims to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. If you need to add a flavour to a delicate mixture such as meringue or a very light sponge, you need to be able to add that flavour without knocking out all of the air. Folding allows you to do just this. It doesnt matter if you are adding liquid or dry ingredients, the technique is the same. Instead of rapidly mixing things together in a circular

motion, as you would when beating, you go for a delicate folding and cutting motion. The key is in going slow and also making sure that you reach down the bottom of the bowl so everything gets incorporated. Folding does take longer than beating, but however far away you think you are from it coming together, it will trick you and all of a sudden mix beautifully. Follow the steps below for how it is done.

Combine ingredients without losing air by folding

01: The start


Place the ingredient to be added to the side of your airy mixture. If you just dump it all on top you risk knocking all of the air out before youve even begun!

02: Scoop round


With a big spoon, scoop around the edge of the mixture, all the way to where you started. As you get to the start point, gradually lift the spoon up and to the centre.

03: Cut through


Use the spoon to cut through the middle of the mixture and repeat the scoop and lift move. By cutting through the middle, you ensure all areas get mixed.

Sometimes a recipe will call for a mixture to be loosened before the folding takes place. This is a simple process of a small amount of the airy mixture being stirred into the other mixture to loosen it up and make it easier to fold in.

LOOSENING

04: Keep repeating


It will seem as though the mixture will never come together, but be patient. Just repeat the scoop, lift and cutting motion. Do not be tempted to stir otherwise you will ruin it.
18 Baking for Beginners

05: Patience is rewarded


All of a sudden the mixture will come together and youll be rewarded with a light and airy concoction. You will lose some air, but if all has been done correctly it will be minimal.

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Learn to beat and cream


The cornerstone of most cake recipes

Beat a cake mixture


Follow the process through

01: Initial beat


Here we are adding flour to a cake mixture. To begin with it will look a right mess, with lumps and dusty bits.

eating a mixture involves rapidly mixing ingredients together so they are fully combined. It can be carried out using a spoon, a hand mixer or a stand mixer and the results are pretty quick. Although the point of beating is to thoroughly combine ingredients, if the mixture contains flour you need to stop the instant the mixture comes together. Flour is a temperamental ingredient and too much mixing will release gluten, which will make your mixture tough.

02: Mid-way point


After a bit, the flour is starting to be incorporated, but there are still pockets of flour. Were not finished yet.

03: Done and dusted


Just a little bit of beating later and all of the flour is incorporated and the mixture is nice and smooth. Time to stop.

Creaming method
The beginning point of many recipes

01: The main players


The term creaming refers to mixing butter and sugar together to make it look, well, creamy. Start with soft butter and add the sugar.

02: Look for the colour


As you begin to beat you will not only notice the mixture becoming smoother, but the colour will also start to lighten.

03: Pale and fluffy


Keep beating until the mixture is pale and has a fluffy appearance. It should be smooth and creamy and remind you of soft ice cream.
Baking for Beginners 19

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Getting Started

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Your guide to whisking


Be it by hand or machine, whisking is a vital technique
Whisking involves nothing more than moving a whisk very fast until a liquid changes mass. The change is measured in stages but the most popular in baking terms are soft peak/soft whipped and stiff peak/stiff whipped. Peak tends to refer to meringue, while whipped is for cream.

iles of fluffy meringue, or pillows of soft cream neither could be achieved without whisking. This miraculous technique enables you to turn liquid into voluptuous peaks of desire and the best thing? It is incredibly simple to do. It just requires a bit of swift movement.

Although the technique is simple, knowing what each stage looks like is vital so you know when to stop. Both meringue and cream can be overwhisked and return back to their liquid stage. Unfortunately each machine is different so it is impossible to give set whisking times for each stage.

Smooth mounds for relaxed mixing

Soft peak

Keep whisking for proud peaks


Once your are at the soft peak stage, all you need to do is keep whisking to get to the stiff peak stage. The more you whisk, you will notice the mixture thicken up, and the trails of your whisking motion will be more noticeable. Keep stopping and lifting the whisk up. Once the peaks stand upright, youre there! And in the case of meringues, you know they are ready when you can tip the bowl upside down and not lose any of it to gravity.

Stiff peak

01: Frothy
We are whipping egg whites here to make a meringue, so begin with getting the egg whites nice and frothy. This is showing that a nice amount of air is being introduced to the mix.

02: Soft rivulets


Once the frothy stage has been reached, the mixture starts to come together. As you move the whisk through the mixture, it will start to loosely keep the shape of how you are moving.

03: Soft peak


To test the soft peak stage, lift the whisk upright. You are looking for peaks where the tips fold over, quite literally soft peaks. If they seem too liquid, just keep on whisking.

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How to test cakes are ready


Make sure your cakes are cooked to perfection
cooked bottom. Bread is a sound test. Turn the bread or roll over, tap the bum and if it sounds hollow, it is cooked. Cakes are different. Sometimes a cake can look beautifully cooked on top, but when you cut into it, you discover a pool of uncooked mixture. Not great.

ven though all recipes come with the amount of time needed in the oven, these are only guidelines. Ovens vary in how well they hold their temperature, so it helps to have some visual guides to rely on. You can tell when pastry is cooked by its colour. Rich and golden sides usually mean a

If you are cooking a cake in a pan, if it starts coming away from the sides, its almost definitely done. But even this isn't foolproof, but there is no need to worry. There are a couple of other tests you can do to ensure cooked perfection and both are really easy (and cheap) to do.

Test with a skewer not cooked


This is the easiest test to perform. Just pick up a skewer, or you can use a knife if you havent got a skewer, and push it into the thickest part of the cake. If you pull it out and there is mixture stuck to it, the cake needs more cooking.

Test with a skewer cooked


After a few more minutes in the oven, we tested the cakes again. The skewer was put into the same place and this time when it came out, it was clean. This shows that the cake is cooked.

Spring test not cooked


If you dont fancy stabbing your cake with a skewer, do the spring test. Bring the cake out of the oven and gently push down on the surface with a finger. If the indent remains when the finger is pulled away, the cake isnt cooked.

Spring test cooked


Lets have another go with the cake. After a few more minutes cooking time, we press down lightly on the surface once more. This time it springs back up, as if it was never pressed down. This means the cake is cooked.
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Getting Started

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Make perfect icing


Literally the icing on the cake

cing is a truly wondrous thing. It can turn a humble sponge into an object of beauty and with the huge choice of ready-made decorations widely available, you dont have to be an icing guru to create a professionallooking cake. There are many different types of icings, some are really simple such as the glaze shown below, while others involve digital thermometers, sugar syrup and precise timings. We wont worry about these here. Instead we will look at three types that will set you up for whatever cake you make. The simple glaze, below, is the easiest to start with and doesnt even require measurements. It will eventually set to a soft

consistency and is great for adorning cupcakes or being drizzled over loaf cakes. Buttercream, or butter icing (opposite) is the most versatile of icings. It can be spread, piped and coloured to within an inch of its life, plus you can add extra ingredients such as cocoa, coconut or chopped fruit for delicious results. It holds its shape extremely well and will keep for a good few days with no damage being done to the cake. Ganache is a rich icing made with chocolate, butter and cream. It sounds incredibly fancy but is so delicious (and ridiculously easy to make) that we had to include it. Use it to top cupcakes or spread over a sponge for a glossy, luxuriously decadent finish.

The finishing touch to any cake

You just need icing/confectioners sugar and liquid

Simple glaze

01: Add the ingredients


Put the icing/confectioners sugar into a bowl and add water. Using a small whisk, start to work the mixture around the bowl, stirring faster to get rid of any lumps.
22 Baking for Beginners

02: Check the consistency


If you are going to ice cupcakes, you need a thick consistency. Aim for something like a paste. If you want to drizzle the icing over something like a loaf cake, go thinner.

03: Extra flavour


Instead of using water, you can add fruit juice or mashed up fruit. Mix the liquid with the icing as before and then use as needed. You might also like to try adding jam to the icing.

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Buttercream icing
This should be your go-to icing solution

uttercream, or butter icing, is a smooth, sweet and decorative icing. It only has two ingredients, butter and icing/confectioners sugar but can be used to top cupcakes, fill sandwich cakes, or completely cover a cake. You can add flavourings and colourings and spread it or pipe it on. The process is incredibly simple. The butter gets mixed with the icing/confectioners sugar until it is nice and fluffy. It can be mixed by

hand or use an electric mixer for really soft (and fast) results. If it is a hot day, you might find that you need to put the icing in the fridge for a few minutes before using, especially if you are using an icing bag. This way it will be nice and firm. You can add other ingredients to the icing to flavour it, such as cocoa for chocolate icing, or pieces of chopped fruit. And don't forget to experiment with colours!

You want your butter icing to have a lovely fluffy texture, which means you dont want to add loads of liquid otherwise it will be too runny. If you want to colour the icing, choose a gel colouring. You will only need a very small amount, even for strong colours, and you wont compromise the texture of the icing.

ADDING COLOUR

01: Soften the butter


The key to this icing is using soft butter. If your butter is a little hard, give it a quick blast in the microwave for a few seconds. But be careful to not let it melt!

02: Quick beat


Place your butter in your bowl and with a hand or stand mixer, beat for 30 seconds. This makes it nice and smooth. If you havent got an electric mixer, use a spoon and do it by hand.

03: Sift the sugar


Measure out your icing/confectioners sugar and then sift it into your bowl. Very gently and at the lowest speed, start to mix the sugar in with the soft butter.

04: Blend
The icing/confectioners sugar will puff up for a while but eventually it will calm down and start to mix in. Things will look clumpy but this will soon sort itself out.

05: Pale and fluffy


Beat for a minute or so and the icing will transform from yellow clumps to smooth, fluffy pale clouds. You cant overbeat this, the longer you beat the fluffier it becomes.
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Chocolate ganache
A chocoholics dream come true

magine the scene. You bring out a chocolate cake covered in shiny and resplendent icing. Your guests quieten down in respect. What is that? someone asks. Oh, its just a chocolate cake with a ganache

topping, you reply nonchalantly. Ganache is one of those things that sounds incredibly fancy but is really very simple. It just involves heating some cream, melting some chocolate and mixing the two.

The glossy topping that is great for sponge cakes or topping a cupcake

The ganache we are showing here is the glossy topping that is great for sponge cakes or topping a cupcake. It is best made with dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa works best) but if you find it too bitter, add some sugar to the cream. If you want to turn this into a frosting, wait until the ganache is cool and thickened and then whip it up.

01: The chocolate


Break the chocolate up into small pieces and place into a bowl. If you find it difficult to break by hand, use a knife to chop it. You want the pieces to be small.

02: The cream


Place the double/heavy cream into a saucepan and heat until it just comes to the boil. As soon as it reaches boiling point, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.

03: Gently stir


Move the bowl until the cream gently swirls over the chocolate. Dont move it too much otherwise you will lose all of the heat and your chocolate wont melt at all.

04: Mix the chocolate


When the chocolate has melted, whisk it up. The ganache needs to be smooth and glossy. Dont worry if you go through a stringy stage, just keep whisking.
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05: Pour and bask in the ganache glory


Once the ganache is shiny and smooth, pour it over the cake. If you want it to be slightly thicker, let it cool for a little while before using.

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Using an icing bag


You cant make swirls without it

he thought of using an icing bag might bring you out in cold sweats, but if you set it up correctly, the bag will do all of the work for you. You can buy plastic contraptions with a plunger fitted on the top, which you then push down like a syringe. We would advise you to stay away from these. Unless your icing mixture is the perfect consistency, it can be very difficult pushing the icing down and making a pleasing icing pattern. The easiest way to ice is to use an icing bag, either a permanent or a disposable one. The process of filling and moving is the same for both, but with a disposable one you will have to snip the end off for the icing tip to push through. A permanent icing bag uses something called a coupler to attach the icing tip to the bag. You simply push one end of the coupler through the end of the bag, push the tip through and then screw the other part of the coupler over the tip to hold it firmly in place.

Create nice patterns using an icing bag

01: Prep the bag


We are using a disposable bag, so the first step is to snip the end off. Hold the tip up to the end to get an idea of where to cut. Simply cut and push the tip through. It should sit tight.

02: Fill the bag


Fold the top of the bag down a few times to make a cone shape. You can either hold the cone in one hand and spoon the icing in with the other, or rest the bag in a glass and fill.

03: Squash down


At the moment there is a lot of air in the bag, which needs to be removed. Use the spoon to push the icing as far down the bag as you can and then close it up and squeeze down.

04: Squeeze
With the icing compressed down to the bottom, twist the bag so there is no air at the top and the icing bag is nice and firm. This will make it much easier to use.

05: Icing time


Keep one hand around the top of the bag and use the other to guide the icing tip if needed. Gently squeeze the top of the bag to push the icing down and move it to make a pattern.
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Learn how to knead bread


One of the most satisfying things in the world
it irresistible. Even if you dont eat very much bread, it is difficult not to get deep pleasure from the smell of a loaf just out of the oven, or the sight of butter melting into a chunk of

here is a reason why some supermarkets will use the smell of freshly baked bread as a customer trap, and that is simply because we find

warm and delicious bread. Its like the crack of the baking world! Now, we wouldnt get you excited with the thought of making bread if the actual task itself was the preserve of skilled bakers. It really is easy; if you can make a fist and push your arm forward, you can make bread. In fact, if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you dont even need to do that. But you will need time. Youre looking at a minimum of 1.5 hours for proving, so factor this in and look forward to tasty home-made bread. Most recipes will use the mix, knead, rise, knead and bake technique, which we have outlined here. Occasionally you will be asked to let the bread rise for a second time. Dont worry if this is the case all the techniques you need are right here.

Make a fist and push your arm forward simple!

Letting bread rise


Find that warm place!
Once yeast has been mixed with flour, you need to let it come to life and do its thing. This is letting the bread rise, or sometimes its called the proving time. Just place your prepared dough into a bowl, cover with a damp cloth, plastic wrap or shower cap (trust us!) and put in a warm place. After an hour or so it should be double its size.

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Make the mixture


Most recipes start by mixing flour, yeast and warm liquid. You might not need all of the liquid keep adding it until the mixture has come together but is still a little bit sticky.

Flour your surface


Scatter plain/all-purpose flour across the work surface. Tip the bread mixture into the middle. The flour stops it sticking, so a slightly sticky mixture prevents any dryness.

The first knead


With one hand pushing on the back edge of the bread, use the ball of your other hand to push out from the middle. This is the first part of the kneading process.

The second knead


Bring the dough back together and push out from the middle in a different angle. Repeat the process, moving the dough around so every part gets this treatment.

Repeat until smooth


The process takes about 10 minutes. The dough transforms from stringy to smooth and elastic. If you used a mixer and dough hook, do it for around 5 minutes at a low setting.

Make a ball
Place both hands on the top in the middle, smooth out to the bottom, and tuck under to make a ball. Place in your bowl, pop a damp towel over it and leave to rise.
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The rules for pastry


You have nothing to fear but fear itself!
delicious golden pastry. We promise, it feels very good indeed. Before we move on to showing how to make two types of pastry that will see you through hundreds of recipes, we will start with some rules. Usually rules suck the fun out of everything, but we understand that pastry can seem like an unattainable goal, and so by explaining what to avoid, youll be armed with knowledge and confidence to tackle it once and for all a know-your-enemy kind of thing.

astry can be fiddly and timeconsuming, but we want to make one thing clear, it can be made by beginners! You might have to keep going back to the recipe; you might have to patch up the odd bit here and there, but you can do it. Being able to make pastry from scratch is a satisfying task. Just imagine a delicious apple pie, all hot, steaming and covered with cream. Now imagine that it was your hands that made the filling and your hands that made the

But we also understand that you need to choose your battles, so if you have a recipe with a tricky filling or you are running short of time, get to the shops and buy ready-made pastry. It is one of the best inventions of the modern world, and you should never feel ashamed of buying it. Just make sure that you select one with lots of butter. Baking isnt really the arena to start counting calories, and pastry certainly isnt somewhere to worry about fat content.

You should always have excess pastry when you line a pie, flan or tart tin, and you can trim the excess away before you put it in the oven. But if your pastry shrinks while cooking, you can end up with shallow sides. Remove this possibility by cooking it with the excess spilling over and then trim when the cooking is complete.

TRIM THE EXCESS

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Make your pastry perfect


Keep these pointers in mind for flawless pastry
Stick to unsalted butter. Not only does this mean you can control how much salt you add, but salted butter can occasionally make the pastry greasy. Adding lard, suet or white vegetable fat/ shortening to your butter will make your pastry a lot lighter. Start by using just butter, then as you get more confident, start reducing the amount of butter you use but make up the difference with your white fat. Pastry needs to be as cool as possible. Butter needs to be diced for pastry recipes so if your hands are hot or its a hot day, dice it and then return to the fridge for a while. Keeping with the cold theme, use cold fillings for best results. Pastry is combined with water, so pop a couple of ice cubes in the glass to keep things nice and cool. Flour is a temperamental beast, absorbing liquid at different rates, so never tip in the liquid in one go. Add it a bit at a time so you dont end up with a sticky mess. Flour contains gluten, which is fundamental in bread making but not so welcome in pastry making. If you spend ages mixing the flour in with the butter, you risk activating the gluten and ending up with tougher pastry. The majority of pastry recipes call for the butter and flour to be rubbed together in your fingertips until a breadcrumb texture is created. If you find this a bit difficult, or havent got the patience, use a food processor. It will do it in seconds. After mixing the pastry ingredients together, you need to chill before rolling out. When you do this, wrap the pastry tightly in plastic wrap. This will stop it drying out. Use the smallest amount of flour you can for rolling out. Too much and you will just make a dry dough. When rolling, make sure you keep the pastry moving and use light strokes. Flattening the pastry by brute force will just make it tough and increase the chance of it sticking to your surface. If the day or your kitchen is hot, roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment. This is also a good way to avoid adding any more flour to the mix. Always create a hole in a pie top. This lets the steam escape and means you dont end up with a soggy crust.

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How to make shortcrust pastry


A great all-rounder for pies and tarts

hortcrust pastry gets its name from having a short texture. This is one that is crumbly and melts in your mouth. The ingredients are very simple: plain/all-purpose flour and fat (butter or a half-and-half mixture of butter and white vegetable fat/shortening), plus cold water to bring everything together. Additions can be made to the pastry depending on how it is used. For a richer result, the amount of fat is increased or an egg yolk is used. For sweet recipes, sugar is added. Shortcrust pastry abides by the cold rule and you need to factor in a couple of trips to the fridge. This gives the pastry chance to rest and ensures the butter doesnt melt and give a greasy result. For a 23cm/9inch pie, use 200g/7oz/ cup flour to 100g/3oz/ cup fat. Double for a double-crust pie.

"You need to factor in a couple of trips to the fridge to give the pastry chance to rest"

01: Mix fat with flour


Get a nice large bowl and place your flour in there. Cut up the butter into small cubes and lightly toss them in flour. If it is a hot day, put in the fridge for a few minutes.
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02: Cut through


Use a rounded knife, cut through the mixture so the butter becomes nice and small and starts to become incorporated into the flour. It will take a minute or so to do.

03: Making breadcrumbs


This is the most important part of making the pastry. Use both hands to pick up a small amount of the mixture and hold between your thumb and fingertips.

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04: The first pass


Begin to rub the fat into the flour. It does take a while for it to work. It will start off looking a mess, with big clumps of fat but these gradually become smaller and smaller.

05: Getting there


This is after a few minutes of rubbing. Notice how the large lumps have been transformed into smaller ones and how the flour has become a golden colour.

06: All done


After about 8 minutes of rubbing the fat into the flour we can call it a day. All of the crumbs are nice and fine, with and even golden colour. Time to ruin all that!

07: Add water


Water will turn the crumbs into dough. Add it a spoonful at a time, using a round-blade knife to work it in. The breadcrumbs will start to adhere together and form clumps.

08: A little more


This is after 3 tbsp of water. You can see how the dough is starting to take shape and bind together. Keep stirring to take it to the final level. Its better to stir than add too much water.

09: Stop now


After continuing to stir the mixture with the knife, the dough eventually started to form a ball. If you are using a food processor to make pastry, stop when it looks like this.

10: Bring together


Use our hands to gather the pastry together and make a ball. You should be able to move it around the bowl and for it to collect all the bits of pastry without sticking.

11: Wrap and chill


Protect the pastry from drying out by wrapping it in some plastic wrap and then putting it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Plastic wrap helps keep it moist dont use parchment.

12: Ready to roll

Once the pastry has chilled, gently pat it into a flattened oval and then start to roll out into the shape you require. Use the least amount of flour you can. You dont want to make it dry.

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Making rough puff pastry


Have a go at this simple version of puff pastry

ts hard to resist puff pastry, with its layers of golden, crisp, delicate, tastiness. It is incredibly easy to resist the faff of making it, though. The process involves rolling and turning and chilling and more rolling and turning you get the picture. Rough puff, on the other hand, gives you very similar results only without quite so many steps. There are still a fair few to get through, but in all honesty the worst thing is waiting around for the dough to chill each time. And if you have more patience than us, then this wont bother you. You dont have to worry about making pastry breadcrumbs with this recipe. The idea is to keep little pockets of butter throughout the pastry. Once it hits the heat, these cause the pastry to puff up and deliver those desired flaky layers. This pastry is brilliant for savoury fillings but also try it with apple pie. Absolutely delicious.

"Pockets of butter cause the pastry to puff up in layers"

Cover the fat


Place your flour, salt and cubes of cold butter into a bowl. Use a rounded knife to gently move it all about to cover the fat with flour.
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Bind together
Add lemon juice to cold water and stir in a tablespoon at a time. Do this gradually as you dont want to add too much liquid.

Lumps are good


The aim is a mixture that is lumpy and soft but not sticky. All those lumps of butter are going to make the pastry nice and puffy.

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If a recipe asks you to roll something out to set dimensions, measure it out on some greaseproof paper or baking parchment and then turn it over. Now roll directly onto the paper with your trusty guides in place.

MEASURE AND THEN ROLL

Flour everything
Spread some flour on your surface and also on your hands. Gently tip the mixture out and into the middle of your floured surface.

Brick shape
Making sure your hands are nice and floured, gently pat the mixture to make a brick shape. Tap the top and bottom and then each side.

Roll out
Grab your rolling pin and flour it well. Roll the pastry out and away from you, ensuring the rolling pin has enough flour to stop it sticking.

Measure it
The aim is to roll out into a rectangle, roughly 45cm by 15cm (17in by 5in). You can either measure as you go, or create a template.

First fold
Imagine that the dough is split into thirds. Lift up the bottom third of the pastry and gently fold it to cover the centre third.

Second fold
Bring the top third down to cover the middle and bottom layers. Use the rolling pin to seal the edges. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes.

Do a turn
Unwrap the chilled dough and place the folded edge on the left-hand side and roll out as before. Fold up into the thirds and chill for 15 minutes.

Keep turning
Repeat this process again, rolling with the smooth side on the left. Repeat so the dough has been rolled out a total of four times. Chill before using.
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Rolling out techniques


Make sure your pastry fits nice and snug
flour to the rolling pin. If you are using very rich pastry and are worried about transferring it, use a loose-bottom tin. Remove said loose bottom and roll the pastry out directly on top of it, extending as far as is needed in order to cover the sides. Fold the sides over and put the bottom back in place. Now lift the folded edges up.

hile we wont try to pretend that there is some great secret to rolling out pastry, there are a couple of very handy tips that will ensure you get the pastry in your tin in one piece (or pretty close). Having a floured surface is vital for stopping the pastry sticking, as is adding a touch of

Another good tip for rich pastry, or for any pastry if you are worried about handling it too much, is to roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap. This helps keep it nice and cool, as well as avoiding any sticking. A good thickness to aim for is approximately 2mm, unless your particular recipe calls for something specific.

Fold the pastry over the rolling pin

Pick up and carry over to the tin

Rest over the top and gently lift the edges to work down

Make sure there is flour on your surface and rolling pin


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Rolling out in a circle


The shape you will use the most

01: A good starting shape


Before you chill your dough, pat it out into a flat circular shape. This makes it easier to get started. When ready, place in the middle of a floured board.

02: Roll from the middle


Place your rolling pin in the middle of the pastry and then roll it away from you. Turn the pastry and then repeat this process.

03: Continue until ready


Keep turning the pastry and rolling out until you get the thickness you want. Flour the rolling pin as needed, but don't add too much flour.

Rolling a rectangle
Great for flans and special occasions

01: Make the shape


With your chilled pastry on your prepared surface, use your rolling pin to gently press down and make a rough brick shape.

02: Get the width


The key here is to move your rolling pin away from you in order to get the desired width, turning the pastry as needed.

03: Now for length


Turn the pastry and roll out from the centre to start making the desired length. Turn again and roll out the other half.
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The golden rules of baking


If things go wonky, make these your mantras

f truth be told, we were dubious about whether to include these rules. There is the fear that including a whole list of things that can go wrong then instils the notion that its difficult to make things go right! But then we started to think about when weve experienced things go wrong, and often it was because the recipe we followed didnt mention that ABC had to

be done otherwise XYZ would happen. And if you dont understand why something has to be done, and you miss and something goes wrong, you might assume its because you cant bake. So weve decided to include some guidelines to help you understand a few things. Thankfully, a lot of rules apply to a lot of recipes, so you wont need to spend too long studying!

General
A great irony of baking is that it is often described as a science, yet there are so many factors that make it impossible for it to be a precise science. Ovens can vary mildly or wildly, different equipment will work at different speeds, ingredients such as flour will behave differently for each batch the list goes on. Instead of obsessing over these things, just know that they exist and if your cakes arent ready by the time listed in the recipe, dont panic. Just add a few minutes on! Even supposed advanced recipes arent actually difficult, they are just fiddly. Get into the habit of reading a recipe through before you start it. In the majority of cases of something not working, its usually because a step was missed. Unless otherwise stated, have all ingredients at room temperature, especially when making cakes. If you add a cold ingredient to a mixture, you run the risk of it separating. If the top of your bake is browning quicker than the middle is cooking, cover it lightly with aluminium foil.

Cookies, Biscuits & Bars


When making cookies, always use more trays than you think you need and leave more space between each cookie. They always spread, and if too close together, youll just end up with a cookie sheet (although, honestly, were not convinced this is necessarily a bad thing!). You dont have to worry about cookies or biscuits sinking, so you can open the oven door if you need to remove ones that are cooking quicker, or if you just need to turn the tray around. Dip your cookie cutter in a bit of flour to ensure it doesnt get stuck to the mixture.

Keep the oven door closed for the minimum suggested cooking time. If you open it too soon, the mixture will sink. In a similar vein, always ensure your cakes are cooked before removing them. As

Cupcakes & Cakes

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Pies & Tarts


Unless otherwise stated, roll pastry out to a thickness of 2mm. This will ensure a cooked pastry. If you are making a pie with a liquid filling, brush the pastry with egg wash. This will give protection and avoid soggy results. When making a pie with a pastry top and bottom, ensure you push the edges together. If you leave any gaps, the filling will make a bid for freedom.

Bread
they cook and rise, you need a stable sponge structure, otherwise they will sink when taken out of the oven. Some cakes should sink lightly once taken out it will flag this up in the recipe if its the case. Use softened butter when creaming butter and sugar together. If the butter is cold, you will have small flecks in the mixture, however hard you beat it. Take the time to beat the butter and sugar until it goes lighter in colour and is fluffy. Nothing bad will happen if you dont; you will just have a denser cake. Adding liquid to a cake mixture always runs the risk of it curdling. This usually happens when the eggs are added. It can be avoided by adding the egg slowly and beating well after each addition. If its really bad, just add a spoonful of what flour needs to be used. Mix it in and the curdle will disappear. Bake cakes in the centre of the oven for an even rise. Different batches of flour have different properties, so the rate of liquid absorption will change. Add liquid in small batches and stop once the mixture comes together. If your dough is too sticky, add some more flour. If it is too dry, add a bit more liquid. You, ahem, need to knead the bread until it feels smooth and elastic. If youre using your hands, youre looking at a 10-minute workout. By kneading the dough you are activating the gluten in the flour and this is what helps make bread rise and be tasty. You can tell if bread is done by tapping its bottom. If it sounds hollow, then its done. The most important rule with bread is to eat some with butter when its warm. You made it so you enjoy it!

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Cupcakes
The superstars of the baking world

omehow, cupcakes have been transformed from just another thing to buy for a kids party into the chicest of treats favoured by fashion darlings and the painfully cool. Despite various contenders to the crown (macarons and whoopie pies, were looking at you), cupcakes still reign supreme on bakings desirability scale. And its easy to see why. With their ice cream-like swirl of icing in all sorts of enticing colours, plus the sprinkles, glitter and other edible trinkets that adorn them, cupcakes can seduce even the most committed health fiend. But were not here to analyse why everyone and their dog seems to have dreams of opening a cupcake business, were here to explain how cupcakes are the perfect start for anyone new to baking. Their biggest draw is the fact that they are very easy to

make. A simple vanilla cupcake has very few ingredients and can be whipped up, from start to finish, in under half an hour. You can also let your imagination run wild with the toppings, trying crazy colours or having fun with special decorations. And if a couple of cakes are a bit well done, or dont rise as much as the others, just slap on some buttercream and no one will ever know! We have a good range of recipes for you here, starting with the simple vanilla cupcake before moving onto fruity ones, chocolatey ones and other delicious flavours. As you get used to the process of making the cakes, treat yourself and purchase a stash of decorations. Although cupcakes are delicious, the real fun is in making them look pretty so dont hold back. The only taste you need concern yourself with is in the eating not the decorating!

Let your imagination run wild with the toppings, trying crazy colours or having fun with special decorations

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Key chapter features

Red Velvet, page 58

Carrot Cake, page 56

Coconut, page 46

Chocolate & honeycomb, page 62

Maple & Pecan Cupcakes, page 60 Ginger, page 44


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Cupcakes

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Cook with you


Kids

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Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting


The basic mixture for all cupcake endeavours Cake:
125g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter 125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 125g/4oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour Pinch of salt 2 eggs 2 tsp of vanilla extract 3 tbsp milk

Frosting:
75g/3oz/ stick unsalted butter 250g/9oz/1 cup icing/confectioners sugar 2-3 tbsp water 2 tsp of vanilla extract

Plus:
12 cupcake cases and tray

Mix up the butter mixture with the flour

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Dice the butter into small cubes and beat together with the caster/superfine sugar for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. The caster sugar will make the mixture slightly grainy, but it should be light yellow with no traces of butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the mixture and blend together for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will look quite runny, lumpy and bright yellow. Sift the flour and salt into a separate bowl and gently fold into the runny mixture. Add the flour one spoonful at a time whilst incorporating a spoonful of milk in-between these additions. Try to keep as much air in the mixture as possible as you delicately fold the flour onto the mixture. Ensure this is thoroughly combined, it will take 6-7 minutes. The mixture should take on a much thicker and paler consistency. Spoon the mixture evenly into the paper cases until they are about two-thirds full. Gently shake the tin from side to side to help level the mixture out. Tap the tin on the work surface to remove any unwanted air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen, golden brown and firm to touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then gently transfer to a wire rack.

Fill the cake cases equally for even cooking

Frosting

Beat the butter for 1-2 minutes until soft and creamy. Add the icing/confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and blend together for 3-4 minutes until smooth. This can be dry to start with, but resist adding water as the frosting will soften as it mixes.

Look for golden brown tops and springy textures

Place the mixture into a piping bag or use a round-bladed knife to spread over the waiting cakes.
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Cupcakes

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Extra Vanilla Cupcake Flavours


Once you have your basic mixture and technique, try these alternatives
some orange extract, or swapping that vanilla icing for some yummy marshmallow frosting. And it doesn't stop with the flavours. Pay a visit to the home baking aisle of your local supermarket and indulge in the wealth of decorations. You can easily pick up special

veryone loves vanilla cupcakes, but by simply adding a new ingredient to your mixture, you can transform what is essentially a very simple cupcake into something completely different. It can be as easy as swapping out your vanilla extract for

additions like sprinkles, silver balls and edible flowers, without having to spend a fortune. And don't forget the cases. You can buy them in all sorts of colours and patterns, or even get themed ones for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays.

The humble vanilla cupcake can be turned into anything you like
Its the hat that makes the cupcake
White chocolate fudge frosting Hundred & thousands Meringue icing Popcorn Marshmallow frosting Honey Dried nuts Fresh nuts Sherbet Dried fruit Fresh fruit Edible flowers Food colouring Caramel Coffee Sprinkles Silver balls Coconut Chocolate chips

ADDITIONAL TOPPINGS

Option 1: Fruit & Nut


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 18

150g/5oz/1.3 sticks lightly salted butter 150g/5oz/ / cup light muscovado sugar 200g/7oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour

3 eggs 1tsp almond extract 50g/1.75oz/3.5tbsp chopped mixed nuts 75g/2.6oz/ / cup mixed dried fruit

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Dice the butter and add the sugar, flour, eggs and almond extract. Beat the ingredients together for 3-4 minutes until light and creamy. Add the nuts and fruit to the creamy mixture and stir for 2-3 minutes until evenly combined. Divide the mixture evenly into the cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes have risen and spring back when you touch them.

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Option 2: Apricot
Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

50g/1.7oz/3.5tbsp dried apricots 125g/4oz/1 stick butter, diced 125g/4oz/ cup caster/ superfine sugar 2 eggs 150g/5oz/ / cup self-raising/ cake flour

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Chop the apricots into small pieces and add to the diced butter, caster/superfine sugar, eggs and self-raising/cake flour. Beat the ingredients together for 3-4 minutes, until they go light and creamy.

Divide the mixture evenly into cases, gently tapping the tray to knock out unwanted air. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cakes have risen and are firm to touch.

Option 3: Chocolate & Orange


Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

125g/4oz/1 stick butter, diced 125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine caster sugar 2 eggs

125g/4oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour 25g/0.9oz/1.5tbsp cocoa powder 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 grated orange rind

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Beat the diced butter, caster/superfine sugar, eggs, self-raising/cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and orange rind together for 3-4 minutes. Divide the mixture evenly into cases, gently tapping the tray to knock out unwanted air. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cakes have risen and are firm to touch.

Option 4: Cherry
Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 12

100g/3.5oz/ cup ground almonds 100g/3.5oz/0.8 stick unsalted butter 100g/3.5oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar

2 eggs 125g/4oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour 1tsp baking powder 100g/3.5oz/ cup glac cherries

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Beat the almonds, diced butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder together for 3-4 minutes, until creamy. Cut the cherries into quarters and stir them into the mixture. Divide the mixture evenly into cases. Bake for 25 minutes until risen.

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Cupcakes

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These cupcakes can be given a Holiday twang by replacing the stem ginger with 1 tsp each of ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Also, if your tooth is more savoury than sweet, just half the amount of buttercream and spread on top of the cakes, rather than pipe.

VERSATILE BASE

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Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

Crunchy ginger, spicy sponge and sweet buttercream a perfect partner to a cup of coffee! Cake:
150g/5oz/1 sticks butter 150g/5 oz/ cup brown sugar 150g/5 oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour 3 eggs 2 tsp ground ginger 60g/2oz/ cup stem ginger 1 tbsp milk

Spicy Ginger Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Buttercream icing:
150g/5oz/1 sticks butter 250g/9oz/1 cup icing/confectioners sugar 2 tbsp milk 2 drops vanilla extract (3 if using flavouring instead) Pinch of ground cinnamon

Let the cakes cool before you attempt icing

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Cream the butter and the brown sugar together, using a wooden spoon until they form a smooth, paste-like mixture.

Mix together

Mix the flour and the ground ginger together then sift a third into your mixture. Break one of the eggs and combine it all with a wooden spoon. Repeat this for the other two thirds of the flour and the other two eggs. Take the stem ginger out of its syrup, cutting it into small cubes and mixing with the rest of the ingredients. Put cases in a 12-cup muffin tin. Divide the mixture evenly between them and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check the cupcakes are ready by putting a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean they are cooked. Let them cool for 5 minutes in the tray before taking them out and placing on a wire rack.

Begin piping the swirl, holding the bag firmly

Icing time

Wait until the cakes are cool to ice, otherwise it will melt. Cream the butter on its own with a wooden spoon. Add half of the icing/confectioners sugar, 1 tbsp of the milk and stir in. This mixture might look like scrambled egg for a little bit, but carry on until it is smooth then add the rest of the icing/confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and final tbsp of milk. Put your buttercream into an icing bag with a large nozzle. Draw a spiral from the outside of the cake in, using your left hand to guide.

Follow it around and then keep working in the spiral

When all of your cakes are iced, sprinkle the tops with cinnamon for a little extra spice and colour.
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To see if the cupcakes (or any cakes) are done insert a toothpick or skewer into the middle, if it comes out of the cake clean then they are ready, if not put them in for another 3 mins (cupcakes) or 5 mins (normal cakes) and test again.

TEST THEY ARE READY

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Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 21

Really light & fluffy cupcakes which taste fantastic with the cream cheese frosting Cake:
170g/6oz/1 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature 280g/10oz/1 cup light brown soft sugar 2 eggs at room temperature 240ml/8 fl oz/1 cup canned coconut milk 1 tsp vanilla extract (not vanilla flavouring) 340g/11 oz/1 cup plain/all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 55g/2oz/ cup desiccated coconut

Coconut Cupcakes

Cream cheese frosting:


110g/4oz/1 stick butter at room temperature 225g/8oz/1 cup cream cheese at room temperature 60-120g/2-5 oz/ - icing/confectioner's sugar 20g/ oz/1 tsp desiccated coconut

Mix well for a beautifullysmooth batter

Preheat the oven to 175C, 350F, gas mark 4. Beat the butter together for approx two minutes until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat again.

Mix in liquid

Fill cases to a maximum of two-thirds full

Add the eggs, one at a time and beat after each until well mixed. After each egg is added the mixture looks like its separating but give it time and it will go smooth. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder and in another bowl, the coconut milk and vanilla extract. Sieve in about a third of the flour mixture to the butter/ sugar/egg mixture and beat well for about a minute. Add about half of the coconut milk/vanilla mixture and beat again for another minute. Repeat the dry/wet mixing procedure until it has all gone. The mixture will be thick, kind of like porridge. Fold in the coconut with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Bake until they are golden and springy to the touch

Fill the cases about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tin round after about 15 minutes to help them bake evenly. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes then take them out of the tin and cool on a rack.

To make the frosting


Beat together the butter and cream cheese for about 3 minutes. Sieve the icing/ confectioner's sugar into this mix a bit at a time tasting regularly until you get to the desired level of sweetness.

The coconut milk keeps the cakes beautifully moist

Fold in the coconut and either spread it onto the cooled cupcake with a knife or pipe it on using a piping back and wide nozzle.

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Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 12

Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes


A decadent combination for super-moist cupcakes Cake:
250g/9oz/1 cup soft brown sugar 100g/3oz/ stick very soft butter 2 eggs (beaten together) 150g/5oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour sifted tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarbonate/baking soda 205ml/7fl oz/ cup stout 50g/1.7oz/ cup cocoa

Icing:
500g/18oz/2 cup mascarpone cheese 100g/3oz/ cup icing/confectioners sugar, sifted

Divide the cake mixture up evenly between the cases

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Place 12 brown muffin wraps (or muffin cases) in a muffin tin. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Little by little, beat in the eggs beating between each addition. (If the mixture shows signs of curdling, add a tablespoon of the flour.

Adding the stout

Pour the stout into a bowl, and stir in the cocoa powder. In another bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Pour a little of the stout mix into the creamed butter mixture and stir. Next add a couple of tablespoons of flour and stir. Continue adding flour and stout alternatively until both have been used up.

Wait until the cakes are cool to ice them

Using a spoon, divide the mixture evenly between the muffin wraps. Place on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out cleanly. Place on a wire rack to cool.

The topping

Put the mascarpone into a bowl and gradually stir in the sifted icing/confectioners sugar. When the cakes are cold, spread a spoonful of the mixture on the top either in swirls or level with the back of a spoon and dust with a little sieved cocoa powder.

To give these an extra Irish twist, we drew an outline of a shamrock on a thin bit of card and cut it out to make a stencil. Place on top of your cupcakes and give a dusting of coca powder to transfer the image. Carefully remove the stencil.

THEME YOUR DECORATION

The cakes will rise high, so don't overfill!


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Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 12

Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes


Fill your kitchen with the smells of summer Cake:
125g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter, softened 125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 2 eggs 125g/4oz/ cup self- raising flour tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp milk 100g/3 oz/ cup strawberries, cut into small pieces

Topping:
100g/3 oz/ cup strawberries pieces 1 tbsp caster sugar Double cream

Mix the strawberries with sugar to extract the juices

Preheat oven to 180C, 300F, gas mark 6 Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. The mixture will turn curdly but dont worry. The more you beat, the smoother it will get. Any stubborn curdle will be fixed by the next step.

Smooth batter

Mix the cake batter until it is nice and smooth

Tip in the flour and beat until just incorporated. The mixture should look smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and milk, beating for a few seconds to incorporate. The mixture should be a soft dropping consistency (and will smell of heavenly vanilla). Add the strawberries and use a spoon to gently swirl through the mixture. It is nice to leave them in chunks, as they will soften during cooking. Spoon the mixture into the cake containers and bake for 10-15 minutes. The strawberries make the cakes incredibly juicy. When cooked, place the cakes on a wire rack and leave to cool. Place the remaining strawberries into a bowl and sprinkle the sugar in. Stir and leave to one side. The sugar will make a lovely syrupy mixture.

Gently fold in some of the diced strawberries

Cream topping

Once the cupcakes are cool, tip your cream into a bowl and use a whisk (manual or electric) to whip it. You want it to be nice and thick, around 2 minutes of whipping. Use a small spoon to place the cream around the edge of each cupcake. If you have an icing bag and large icing tip, you can use that. With the cream wall built, spoon in some of the strawberry and sugar mixture in the middle. Eat that day.

Use the rest of the strawberries to decorate

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Bonus fruit flavours


Inject your cakes with the smell of delicious fruit

dding fresh fruit to a cupcake recipe can be a delicious way of mixing things up. And its surprising how many fruits can be used in this way. By burying the fruity nugget within the cake batter, you can use softer fruits that might otherwise be too delicate to cook with. Take our Strawberries & Cream example. Strawberries are usually too ethereal to cook with but once combined with vanilla cake batter, they work.

We have gathered a selection of our favourite fruit-based combinations here for you to try. All begin with a plain cupcake base, just to prove how much a bit of fruit can transform a humble cake. So give these ideas a try and then start experimenting with your favourite fruits. Its a change from chocolate.

"Mix your favourite fresh fruit in with a vanilla cupcake batter for delicious combinations"
Slice these up for gorgeous toppings
Mixture of red and white grapes Kiwi fruit, diced into tiny squares Whole cherries dipped in edible glitter Chocolate-dipped strawberries, whole or sliced Thin slices of orange, cut in half Tiny redcurrants, covered with a spinkling of icing sugar Whole raspberries placed on top of the cupcake Small, diced pineapple

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

Option 1: Banana & Toffee


Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 12

125g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter, softened 125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 2 eggs 125g/4oz/ cup self-raising/ cake flour

tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp milk 2 mashed bananas 12 toffees 12 banana chips

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Make up the cupcakes as usual and pop a spoonful in each cake case. Aim to use about half the mixture. Top this with a bit of banana and a toffee, and then cover with the rest of the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cakes have risen and are firm to touch. Top each with a banana chip.

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Option 2: Apple & Blackcurrant
Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

125g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter 125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 2 eggs 125g/4oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour

tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp milk 100g/3.5oz/1/4 cup apples 50g/1.7oz/3.5tbsp blackcurrants

Preheat oven 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and extract together for 3-4 minutes, until light and creamy. Cover the base of each cake case with some of the mixture use about half. Dice the apples and divide between the cases evenly. Top with the rest of the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with the blackcurrants and a dusting of icing/confectioners sugar.

Option 3: Lemon & Raspberry


Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 12

125g/4oz/1 stick soft unsalted butter 125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 2 eggs Zest of 1 lemon 125g/4oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour

tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp milk 100g raspberries 100g icing/confectioners sugar

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, zest, flour, extract and milk together for 3-4 minutes, until light and creamy. Divide the mixture evenly into cases, popping a raspberry on top of each one. Bake for 25 minutes. Once cool, mash the rest of the raspberries with the icing/confectioners sugar and use it to adorn the top of the cupcakes.

Option 4: Key Lime Cupcakes


Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 12

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, zest, flour, extract and lime juice together for 3-4 minutes, until light and creamy. Divide the mixture evenly into cases and bake for 25 minutes. Bash the biscuits/crackers into crumbs and then mix with the melted butter. When the cupcakes come out of the oven, use to top them.

125g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter, softened 125g/4oz/ cup caster/ superfine sugar 2 eggs 125g/4oz/ cup self-raising/

cake flour tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp lime juice 30g/1oz/2tbsp melted butter 150g digestives/Graham Crackers

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Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 12

Fresh, sweet and zingy, these are a sure-fire summer winner Cake:
150g/5oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour 170g/6oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 1 tsp baking powder 70g/2oz/ stick unsalted butter (warm) 150ml/5fl oz/ cup whole milk 1 egg The zest of 3 lemons 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon zest adds an intense lemon flavour

Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, gas mark 3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter into a bowl together and rub the mixture with your hands, working the fat into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice and mix in.

Add liquid
Pour in the milk gradually, folding the mixture together with a wooden spoon until it is just combined. Be careful not to over-mix to keep the cakes nice and light. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 25 minutes. Take them out of the oven, check if they are cooked using a skewer and cool on a wire rack.

Divide the mixture equally between 12 cases

Zesty glaze
Make a standard glaze icing incorporating a tablespoon of lemon juice with icing/ confectioners sugar. Keep adding the sugar to taste. Spread the icing onto your cakes with the back of a spoon and decorate with a few spare pieces of lemon zest.

Bake for 25 minutes until lovely and golden

Use a glaze icing and top with more lemon zest

If you dont like the chunks of peel in your cake, use a fine grater instead of a zester. This makes the zest finer but youll still get the zingy lemon flavour in the sponge. However, even if you plump for the grater over the zester, we still encourage you to use a zester for the parts you intend to decorate with. A zester gives a really pretty curled effect that is the perfect finishing touch.

KEEP THE CAKE SMOOTH

Control how large the zest is

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Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 12

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Tangy sponge and creamy topping that never fails to impress Cake:
150g/5oz/1 stick lightly salted butter 150g/5oz/ cup light muscovado sugar 3 eggs 150g/5oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour tsp baking powder 85g/3oz/ cup ground walnuts 1 grated orange rind 150g/5oz/ cup grated carrots

Frosting:
125g/4oz/ cup full fat cream cheese 275g/9oz/1 cup icing/confectioners sugar 1 tbsp cold water Chopped walnuts

All the ingredients waiting to be mixed

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Place the butter, muscovado sugar, eggs, self raising flour, baking powder, ground walnuts and orange rind into a large bowl. Thoroughly combine the mixture for 2-3 minutes, until the ingredients have blended together to form a thick, yellow mixture. Due to the ground walnuts and the orange rind, the mixture will be slightly lumpy and textured. Add the grated carrots and blend for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will now take on a thicker consistency.

The carrot will make the mixture thicken up

Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases. Gently shake the tin from side to side to help level the mixture out. Tap the tin on the work surface to remove any unwanted air bubbles. Bake for 25 minutes or until risen and firm to touch. Leave to cool for five minutes and then gently transfer to the wire rack.

Frosting
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add the icing/confectioners sugar and water and blend for 3-4 minutes. This can be quite tough to start but try to resist adding more water at this point. The mixture will get softer as the cream cheese blends with the icing/confectioners sugar.

All cooked, ready to be iced and given a walnut hat

Spread over the top of the cakes with a spoon or palette knife and place half a walnut on top.

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Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

Red Velvet Cupcakes


Impress your guests with these dramatic cupcakes Cake:
60g/2oz/1/3 stick unsalted butter, softened 150g/5oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 1 egg 10g/0.3oz/ tbsp cocoa powder 30ml/1fl oz/6 tsp red food colouring tsp vanilla extract 120ml/5fl oz/ cup buttermilk 150g/5oz/ cup plain/all purpose flour tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda 1 tsp white vinegar or white wine vinegar

Icing:
300g/10oz/1 cup icing/confectioners sugar 50g/1oz/ stick unsalted butter, softened 125g/4oz/ cup cream cheese, cold

Mix the food colouring with the cocoa

Preheat the oven to 170c, 325F, gas mark 3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take about 30 seconds on medium speed with an electric mixer. Add the egg and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Get a measuring jug and place the cocoa, food colouring and vanilla extract in it. Mix until smooth. Scrape this into your butter and sugar mix, getting every last bit of colour out. Mix the two together until you have a lovely red cake batter. Dont worry if it looks on the pink side this will darken. Grab the measuring jug again and measure out your buttermilk. Pour half into your cake mixture and beat until mixed. Add half the flour and mix again, repeat the process for the rest of the buttermilk and flour. Keep mixing until everything is smooth, glossy and velvety. Add the bicarbonate/baking soda and the vinegar and beat for another 30 seconds. By this time the mixture will be super smooth.

Add to the mixture - not that impressive so far

That's better. Nice and red and topped with lovely icing
These cupcakes need to be comedy, Hammer-horror gore red, which means fake food colouring. You may be tempted to buy the natural red colouring dont. All you will get is a slightly redder chocolate colour and theres a reason no-one has heard of mahogany velvet cupcakes. If children are going to be eating these and you are worried about the artificial colours, make mini cupcakes using small cases.

Dollop the mixture into your cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool in the tray for a bit and then transfer them to a wire rack for complete cooling.

PICK YOUR COLOUR

Make the icing


Put the icing sugar/confectioners sugar and butter into a bowl and mix well. You want it to clump together. Add the cream cheese and beat on a medium-high speed until it is lovely and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes. Once done, smooth over the cooled cupcakes, or use a piping bag for a professional finish. If you want, sacrifice one of the cupcakes by crumbling it and then scattering on top of the icing.

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Easy to make, delicious pecan sponge base topped with a maple buttercream icing

Maple & Pecan Cupcakes


Cake:
115g/4oz/1 stick butter 50g/1oz/ cup soft brown sugar 5 tbsp maple syrup 2 eggs 115g/4oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour 60g/2oz/ cup chopped pecan nuts

si e, oftyiunmd S

Frosting:
150g/5oz/1 stick butter 3 tbsp maple syrup 2 tbsp milk 350g/12oz/1 cup icing/confectioner's sugar

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Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 12

Making the sponges


Preheat oven to 160C, 300F, gas mark 4, line the muffin tin with paper cases. Add the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until the mixture is creamy. Sieve the flour to remove any lumps. Add the flour to the mixing bowl, mix and fold in. Crack two eggs into the bowl and using a whisk, beat the eggs until they are fully mixed in.

The mixture will look creamy from the butter and sugar

Add five tablespoons of maple syrup. Slowing stir in the syrup. The colour of the mixture will now appear slightly darker. Roughly chop up the pecan nuts and fold them into the mixture

Cook the cakes


Carefully spoon the mixture evenly into each cupcake paper case and place the baking tray into the centre of the oven. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes. After 10 minutes check your cupcakes to see whether they are rising and starting to turn brown. Once golden brown take them out of the oven. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 10 minutes.

How the sponge mixture will look with the pecans

Icing the cakes


While the cupcakes are cooling you can start making the icing for the top of the cupcakes. Add the butter, maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of milk in a bowl and slowly fold in the icing/confectioner' sugar. The final mixture should be pale in colour and fluffy in texture. Add the icing into a icing bag and use a star shaped nozzle. Pipe the icing slowing in a circular motion around each cupcake.

Gently spoon the mixture in each individual paper case

Add the finishing touch by added a whole pecan on the top.

Slowly pipe the icing onto each cupcake


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Prep time: 45 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 12

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting & Honeycomb


These will satisfy your sweet cravings without being sickly Cake:
175ml/6fl oz/ cup milk 100g/3oz/ cup dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) 125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 60g/2oz/ stick unsalted butter 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg 150g/5oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour 125g/4oz/ cup icing/confectioner's sugar 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Honeycomb:
200g/7oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 4 tbsp golden syrup 1 tbsp bicarbonate/baking soda

The chocolate mixture once it has been melted

Frosting:
100g/3oz/ cup dark chocolate 100g/3oz/ stick unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. To make the cakes, chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and add to the milk and one-third of the sugar. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water. Ensure the base of the bowl doesnt come in contact with the water. Stir gently for 5-10 minutes as the chocolate pieces melt. Set aside to cool, ready to use later.

Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan for the honeycomb

Mix it all together

Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add the rest of the sugar and vanilla extract, mix thoroughly for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is pale yellow with a fluffy texture. Beat the egg into the bowl for 1-2 minutes. The mixture will turn runny, slightly lumpy and yellow in colouring. Sift the flour into a separate bowl and fold into the mixture one spoonful at a time. The mixture will take on a thicker consistency and become paler in colour.

The icing will be tough at first, but end up fluffy

Gradually mix in the cooled chocolate a little at a time and ensure the mixture is thoroughly combined before adding more. The mixture will become slightly runnier but extremely smooth. Mix together for a further 2-3 minutes to
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remove any lumps. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases. Gently shake the tin from side to side to help level the mixture out. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until risen and springs back when gently touched. Leave to cool before transferring to a cooling rack.

Honeycomb

Pour the honeycomb evenly so it can set more easily

To make the honeycomb, ensure you have measured out all the ingredients and have a sheet of baking paper and a whisk at hand. Things happen quite quickly! Place the sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and mix together as best you can for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will become hard, dry and lumpy. Place the pan over the lowest heat to melt. It is very important not to stir the mixture. Watch over the mixture continuously as it will only take 2-3 minutes for the mixture to completely melt and mix together, and remember, no stirring. Allow the mixture to simmer on the lowest heat for 3-4 minutes, again no stirring allowed. Wait for the mixture to turn a darker shade of brown but be careful not to leave on the heat for too long as it will start to burn.

Don't forget to pop the bit of honeycomb in the centre


Never stir the honeycomb mixture once the pan has been placed over the heat. And dont be fooled into thinking the fridge or freezer will help speed up the setting time. Try not to use a ceramic dish the dish can shatter when breaking the honeycomb up.

BE PATIENT!

Take the pan off the heat and quickly add the bicarbonate/baking soda. Carefully whisk the mixture as fast as you can for 1-2 minutes. The chemical reaction will instantly transform the liquid mixture into a thick, orange, lava looking goo. Pour the mixture over the baking sheet and leave to set. The mixture will instantly harden as it cools but it can take up to two hours to completely set if poured too thickly. Once the honeycomb is fully set, place a towel over the top and gently hit with the end of the rolling pin. The honeycomb should easily break into pieces. Take the cooled cupcakes and carefully make a small slit in the middle of each one. Take a small piece of honeycomb and slot it inside.

Frosting

To make the frosting, chop the plain chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, again ensuring the base of the bowl doesnt come in contact with the water. Stir gently for 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Beat the butter, icing/confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder together for 3-4 minutes until smooth and creamy. At this stage the mixture will be very thick and look small in quantity. Slowly add the melted chocolate to the thick mixture and blend for 3-4 minutes until thoroughly combined and fluffy looking.

Our honeycomb disasters!


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Either pipe the frosting onto the top of the cupcakes or spread with a palette knife. Decorate the top with the rest of the honeycomb.

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Bonus candy combinations


Push your sweet tooth just that little but further
Chocolate is a natural partner for all manner of sweets and candy, so if you have a favourite one please fell free to experiment. In the meantime, we have two extra ideas for you

hocolate is an essential ingredient for any cake maker but why stop there? Transform your chocolate cupcakes by adding a carefully-chosen sweet addition.

here, starting with a humble choc chip recipe and then moving onto a popping candy idea that will have your mouth crackling and eager for more!

Option 1: Chocolate Chip


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

Option 2: Popping Candy


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

125g/4oz/1 stick butter 150g/5oz/2/3 cup light muscovado sugar 2 eggs 100g/3oz/ cup self-

raising/cake flour 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp cocoa powder 100g/3oz/cup chocolate chips

125g/4oz/1 stick butter 150g/5oz/2/3 cup light muscovado sugar 2 eggs 100g/3oz/ cup self-raising/

cake flour 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp cocoa powder 100g/3oz/ cup dark chocolate, melted 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp popping candy

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Beat together the butter, muscovado sugar, eggs, flour, and cocoa powder for 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy. Add the chocolate chips to the mixture and stir thoroughly for 1-2 minutes. Divide the mixture evenly into cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen.

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Beat together the butter, muscovado sugar, eggs, flour, and cocoa powder for 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy. Melt the chocolate and stir in the popping candy. Stir into the cake mixture. Divide the mixture evenly into cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen.

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Grab a hot drink and relax with a big old slice of cake

Cakes

akes hold a special place in the psyche, so linked are they with celebrations. Be it a birthday, holiday, wedding or just because, its difficult to imagine a significant event without a cake in the middle of the table. Of course, not all cakes have to be linked to celebrations and, thankfully, they dont all have to be complicated. Most cakes begin with very simple ingredients and very simple mixing. Its the combinations that make things interesting. Well admit that we found it difficult to decide on the recipes for this chapter. There are so many cakes that picking a few seems impossible. But it had to be done, and we decided to focus on which recipes will cover the techniques you might need in the future. The classic Victoria Sponge follows the ubiquitous beating technique, while the dark beer fruit cake starts life by boiling ingredients together before adding flour and eggs. Our Lemon Drizzle Loaf gets you used to working with fruit juice to make super-moist results, and the Blueberry Cake reveals how sour cream can give a tang and incredibly soft crumb. You will also learn how to add fresh fruit to cake batter, how to make muffins, how to sandwich cakes together, and for when you are feeling slightly more confident, how to ice an entire cake for a celebration.

Cakes are absolutely delicious, and the best part of all is that once you have mixed the ingredients, the oven does the rest for you. So forget the diet just for today and enjoy treating yourself to a homemade cake. You will be able to taste the difference, and you wont regret it!

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Key chapter features

Victoria Sponge, page 72

Coffee Cake with Walnuts, page 78

Spicy Apple Cake, page 88

Use fresh lemon juice to make a lovely Lemon Drizzle Loaf page 76

Blueberry Cake, page 86

Not all cakes have to be linked to celebrations, and making them doesnt have to be complicated
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Marble Cake, page 80


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Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

These work perfectly served warm for a tasty pudding, or cold for breakfast Muffins:
150g/5oz/ cup plain flour 150g/1 stick unsalted butter, softened 100g caster sugar 3 eggs 2tsp baking powder 125g/4.5oz/ cup fresh blueberries tsp cinnamon

Blueberry Muffins

Adding eggs gives a 'scrambled appearance - this is right!

Preheat your oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Cut your softened butter into small cubes and then add it to the sugar. You want to combine these using either an electric hand mixer or a blender. It should take about 45 seconds to a minute to mix together, depending on the strength of your mixer, but you are looking for a fluffy, pale yellow result that resembles vanilla ice cream.

Mix in the milk

Gently stir in the flour until just combined

Next, add the eggs one at a time. For each egg, combine for about 30 seconds with your mixer until completely absorbed. Once all three eggs are in the mix, you need to blend for around three to four minutes. Unlike cake mix, you are not going to get a smooth paste. Instead, the result is supposed to look like scrambled eggs. Dont worry; this will change in the next stage. If you have been using a blender, spoon the mixture out into a large bowl. If youre using a hand mixer, the bowl you are already using will be fine. Tip in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, then combine them using a wooden spoon. This is better to do by hand as youll get a lighter result. Youre looking to combine the ingredients and not overwork them. The result will be a smoother paste.

Add blueberries and bake

Add fresh blueberries and stir in for an even distribution

Now add your blueberries. You want to just stir them in, but not overwork the paste. Grab a muffin tray and fill with muffin cases. Spoon the mixture into each case so that it goes just over the halfway mark. You should be able to make 12 muffins with this mixture. Pop the muffins in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You are looking for the muffins to have risen and be golden on top. Poke a thin skewer into the middle and check that it comes out clean to ensure that the middle is cooked. These muffins are great eaten warm with cream as a dessert, or left to cool completely for a snack.
We have chosen to use fresh blueberries in this recipe, as we find that they give the best results. However, you can use frozen blueberries. You dont need to defrost them first, but it is worth coating them in a little flour, as this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the muffin cases where they are heavier. Mix straight into the muffin mix from the freezer, so that they dont start to defrost, which can lead to a soggy paste. Get them in the oven as soon as possible too.

FROZEN IS FINE

Spoon into muffin cases, ready to bake

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Muffin options are endless but here are four of our favourites
he blueberry muffin recipe that we have presented in this book is a basic, but flavoursome way to get started with muffin creation. It also gives you a decent standpoint on which to base other recipes on, as it includes all of the techniques

Make more muffins!


you need. Simply use it as a template and then start experimenting by swapping out some of the ingredients and quantities to get hundreds of new muffin combinations. The best thing about muffins is that they work well with sweet or savoury, so are perfect

for anyone who is lacking a sweet tooth. In fact, even the sweet muffins aren't sweet in the same way a cupcake is sweet, so are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. We have presented our four favourite muffin recipes here to get you started.

"Muffins are very easy to create and the flavour options are endless"
MUFFIN COMBINATIONS
Use a plain base and add these combos
Mixed spice and dried fruit White choc chips and freshly chopped strawberries Mashed banana and shredded coconut Choc chips and chocolate hazelnut spread Orange and lemon zest Cheese and onion Sausage and bacon Turkey and cranberry

Option 1: Double Choc Chip


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

Use the same ingredients as listed on the previous page, but leave out the blueberries and cinnamon 25g/0.8oz/2 tbsp less flour,

replaced with cocoa 125g/4oz/ cup chocolate chips tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Follow the recipe as on the previous page but add the cocoa in with the flour and mix until combined. Instead of blueberries, add the chocolate chips. Also replace the cinnamon with the vanilla extract. Once the chips are added, get baking straight away so they dont sink through to the middle. Once baked, cool for a bit on a wire rack but don't leave for too long!

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Option 2: Filled Muffins


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

Use the ingredients as set out in the previous page, but once again, leave out the cinnamon and blueberries 1 tsp vanilla extract (to replace cinnamon) Jar of good quality jam

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Make up the muffins as stated on the previous page, obviously ignoring the blueberry and cinnamon instructions. Spoon in two thirds of the muffin mixture into the prepared cases and then add a tablespoon of

jam to the centre. Cover with the rest of the muffin mix. Cook as usual but leave these to cool down for longer than you might do normally. The jam will be nuclear hot, and so you dont want to cause tongue damage!

Option 3: Ham & Cheese


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

150g/5oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour 1 tsp mustard powder 150g/5oz/1 stick butter 2 slices chopped ham

100g/3oz/ cup grated strong cheddar 1 egg 125ml/4 fl oz/ cup milk

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Mix together the flour with a teaspoon of mustard powder. Mix in the butter with your fingers and rub together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in some chopped ham and the grated cheese. Add an egg and the milk, mixing to create a smoother mixture. Add more milk if needed.

Option 4: Orange & Ginger


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 12

Use the same ingredients as in the previous page, leaving out the blueberries and cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger Zest from 2 large oranges 1 tbsp stem ginger

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Follow the instructions as on the previous page, but instead of the cinnamon, put in the ground ginger. Mix in the orange zest and if you are a ginger fiend, chop up some stem ginger into very small pieces and add instead of the blueberries. Leave the stem ginger out if you prefer a more subtle finish.

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Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 8

Victoria Sponge
A worthy centrepiece to any tea party Sponge:
175g/6oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour 175g/6oz butter 175g/6oz caster/superfine sugar 3 medium free-range eggs 1 teaspoon baking powder (heaped) 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 tablespoon of milk

Filling:
85g/3oz/ stick butter 175g/6oz icing sugar Squeeze of lemon juice 2tbsp of good-quality strawberry jam

Place the raw ingredients into your mixing bowl

Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Grease two 8 inch by 8 inch round cake tins by placing some butter on a piece of kitchen towel and wiping all around the tins. Now dust them with a light sprinkling of flour and shake off to remove the excess. Measure the flour and baking powder and sieve into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Using an electric whisk on full power, mix all the ingredients together for two minutes. Then stop to scoop all of the mixture from around the bowl back into the centre and mix on full power for a further two minutes, until pale and smooth. Place half the mixture in each of the tins and smooth out. Place on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until golden.

They will combine to a pale and smooth mixture

Test its done

To test if your cake is ready, place a clean skewer in the middle of the cake and wipe on a piece of kitchen towel. If it comes out clean its ready; if it comes out with mixture on, place it back in the oven for two minutes and repeat the testing process.

This is how the butter icing should look

Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for five minutes. To remove the cakes from the tins, slide a clean knife around the edge of the tins and place the cakes upside down on a wire rack to cool. Make the butter icing by placing the butter, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, and mix for one minute until pale and smooth. Once the cakes have cooled, place the butter icing on the upturned bottom of the cake and the jam on the underside of the top of the cake. Place the two together and dust with icing sugar through a sieve on top of the cake.

Sprinkle the top with sugar for a classic finish

If either of your cakes look like they are starting to brown too much on the top but havent been in for long enough, place a piece of foil over the top of the tray. This allows the middle to cook without the edges burning.

SPONGE TOP TIP

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Prep time: 35 mins Baking time: 1 hour 15 mins Servings: 6

Fruit Cake with Dark Beer


A rich and flavourful cake that is perfect with a cup of tea
175g/6oz/1 sticks unsalted butter 450g/15oz/2 cups mixed dried fruit Zest and juice of one orange 175g/6oz/3 cups light muscovado sugar 200ml/7fl oz/just under 1 cup dark beer or

Cake:

stout (or use strong tea) 1 tsp bicarbonate/baking soda 3 eggs, beaten 300g/10oz/1 cups plain/all-purpose flour 2 tsp mixed spice 2 tsp demerara sugar for the topping

Boiling the fruit makes them plump and delicious

Preheat the oven to 150C, 300F, gas mark 2. Butter and line a 20cm/8inch deep tin. In a large saucepan, put the butter, fruit, orange zest and juice, sugar and beer over a medium heat. Slowly bring to the boil, and stir to make sure the butter is all melted. Once it comes to a boil, let it simmer for 15 minutes. This makes the fruit nice and plump and also makes the mixture thicker and richer. Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Once the time is up, stir in the bicarb. The mixture will froth and bubble.

The mixture will thicken as it heats up

Add the rest

Stir in the eggs and then add the flour and spice. Keep stirring until completely combined. It will be a juicy, moist mixture. Tip out into the prepared tin and smooth the top down. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the top and then bake in the centre of the oven for between 1 and 1 hours, or until a knife comes out clean. Once done, let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then tip out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Who can resits a dribbly mess to clean up?!

If you can, zest over the pan your ingredients are in. As you zest the fruits essential oils are released so make sure you capture them. In a rustic cake such as this, wed suggest you squeeze the fruit directly over the pot as well. That way you might get some pulp and even more flavour.

ZESTING AND JUICING

Sprinkle with sugar for a crispy top


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Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 45 mins Servings: 10

Lemon Drizzle Loaf


A sweet, moist sponge with a tang Cake:
100g/3oz/ stick butter (softened) 150g/5oz/ cup soft brown sugar Finely grated rind from 2 lemons 2 eggs medium (beaten together) 175g/6oz/ cup self-raising flour /cake flour

Topping:
Juice of 2 lemons 50g/1oz/ cup granulated sugar

Collect and prepare your ingredients before starting

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Using baking parchment or greaseproof paper, baseline a 1lb loaf tin, leaving an 8cm overhang at each end. Cream the softened butter and sugar together until pale and smooth. Beat in the lemon rind and eggs (add a tablespoon of flour, if the mixture begins to curdle). Fold in the sifted flour with a metal spoon. Slowly spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level

Bake and leave

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes until well risen and golden. Leave in the tin. Using a cocktail stick, prick the top of the cake about 20 times. For the lemon drizzle, mix the strained juice from the two lemons with the granulated sugar and pour over the top of your sponge. The juice will soak into the cake and leave a crusty, sugary topping. Remove the cake from the tin using the greaseproof paper ends and place on a wire cooling rack.

Leave in the tin after the first bake

Remove from the tin and cool on a rack


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Grease the tin first then draw round the bottom of the tin with a pencil. Cut just inside this line and place in the bottom of the tin. Then cut strips (if using a square tin) or a single strip (if using a round tin) and insert around the sides.

LINING YOUR TINS

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Prep time: 30 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 12

Coffee Cake with Walnuts


An all-in-one cake that can be made with or without the walnuts Cake:
175g/6oz/1 stick unsalted butter 175g/6oz golden caster/superfine sugar 3 medium eggs 175g/6oz self-raising/cake flour 1 tsp baking powder 3 tbsp espresso (this can be made with 1 tsp instant coffee and 3 tbsp boiling water or with 2 tbsp ground coffee plus boiling water) 75g/2oz/ cup chopped walnuts 1 tsp vanilla extract

Coffee buttercream:
250g/9oz/2.25 stick unsalted butter 500g/18oz/2 cup icing/confectioners sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 2-3 tbsp espresso

Ensure that the mixture is well combined

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Grease and line two round or square 15cm sandwich cake tins with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric whisk until it looks light and fluffy. Make up the coffee either in a plunger if using ground or in a small jug if using instant and leave for a couple of minutes to cool. In the bowl with the butter add all the rest of the ingredients (apart from the walnuts) and beat with the electric whisk until the whole mixture is light and fluffy. Now add the chopped walnuts and mix in lightly with a spatula or wooden spoon. The final mixture should be quite loose and a lovely light coffee colour. Put half the mixture in one tin and half in the other and place in the middle level of the oven dont be tempted to put them on different levels as it makes it too hard to regulate how they each cook. Bake for 30 minutes until they are well risen. If you insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake it should come out clean. If it doesnt then bake for another 3-5 minutes. Turn the cakes onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

Bake until the cake takes on a deep golden colour

To make the buttercream filling and topping

Whisk the butter in a large bowl for at least two minutes with an electric mixer. Then sieve the icing/confectioners sugar in a little at a time mixing well after each addition. You may want to mix first using a wooden spoon or spatula to stop the icing sugar going everywhere! Whisk slowly, then once all the icing sugar is in add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk on a higher speed until the whole mixture is light and fluffy. Finally add the cooled coffee and mix in with the electric mixer. Spread about a third of the mixture into the middle of the cooled cake and sandwich the two halves together. Then start to spread the rest of the buttercream over the top and the sides and smooth down. Finally, decorate with the walnuts.

Ice the top of the cake and then work down the sides

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Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 45 mins Servings: 8

Get the best of both worlds with this vanilla and chocolate coupling Cake:
225g/8oz/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 225g/8oz/1 cup caster sugar/superfine sugar 4 eggs 225g/8oz/1 cup self-raising/cake flour 2 tbsp milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Marble Cake

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Butter and line a 20cm/8inch cake tin.

Mix the butter and sugar, then add the rest of the ingredients

Start mixing

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until it is light in colour and looks fluffy. This will take about 30 seconds with an electric mixer. Add one egg and beat thoroughly to mix. Add another and beat once more. Repeat until all four are added. Tip in the flour, milk and vanilla extract and beat for a few seconds to mix through. As ever, the aim is a smooth, creamy-looking cake mixture.

After separating your mix and adding cocoa to one, blob it in

If you have a dishwasher or dont mind washing up, divide the mixture between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one bowl and stir in well. If you want avoid dirtying another bowl, spoon half of the mixture into the cake tin. Just blob it around the tin. Mix the cocoa into the remaining half and spoon to fill in the gaps. Your cake tin should be filled with blobs of chocolate and vanilla cake mixture. Grab a skewer or back of a spoon and start to swirl through the mixture. This gives the marble effect.

Swirling through the mix with a spoon adds the marble effect

Get cooking

Place in the oven for at least 45 minutes, or until it is springy and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate and vanilla is a classic combination but dont feel limited. Use different flavours in your marble cake, or just play with adding food colour to each half and swirling away.

USE COLOUR AND FLAVOURS

There you have it; a delicious multicoloured cake!


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Bonus marble cake ideas


Experiment with the two-tone theme for maximum impact
We encourage you to embrace the spirit of mixing things up and have fun with flavours and colours. All too often we concentrate on icing to hold any wild colour schemes but incorporating some into a sponge mixture can give amazing results. Unfortunately, each brand of colouring has a different intensity, so

arble cakes are great fun to make, especially with kids, as their twotone nature feels like you are getting double the cake fun. The chocolate and vanilla option we've included on the previous page is the classic, but there is no reason why you have to stop there.

its difficult to give precise measurements. Its best to add colour a very small amount at a time and give the mixture a good stir. Liquid food colouring is available in all supermarkets, but if you add too much to a cake batter, it can go curdly. Gel or paste colourings give intense colour without this problem.

Marble cakes work by having two contrasting colours, so experiment!


ADORN THE CAKE
Try these topping ideas for dramatic results
Melted white and dark chocolate, spread on top and then swirled together White glaze icing mixed with tiny drops of food colouring Two colours of buttercream, piped on each half of the cake Two different colours of fruit scattered on the top A sprinkle of mixed glitter

Option 1: Plum Pudding


Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 45 mins Servings: 8

Make the cake using the same ingredients listed on the previous page, without the cocoa

100g/3oz/ cup diced plums Deep red food colouring 3 tbsp demerara sugar

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Mix up the ingredients as explained in the previous page. Still divide the mixture into two bowls, but instead of mixing cocoa in one half, stir in the plums. Once the plums are incorporated, add the food colouring. You want a deep red, rather than bright scarlet Dollop the mixture into the tin as normal and then swirl to marble the two. If any plums are popping out the top, gently push them under the batter to prevent burning. Place in the oven until risen and firm.

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Option 2: Cherries & Almond


Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 40 mins Servings: 8

Make the cake using the same ingredients listed on the previous page, without the cocoa 50g /1.7oz/3 tbsp sliced almonds 50g /1.7oz/3 tbsp cherries

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4 Mix up the ingredients as explained in the previous page. Still divide the mixture into two bowls, but instead of mixing cocoa in one half, youll use the cherries. Stone and halve them and then stir through the mixture.

Put the mixture in the tin in the usual way, swirling to ensure they marble. Before you place it in the oven, arrange the sliced almonds on the top of the cake. Place in the oven until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool.

Option 3: Dried Fruit & Apple


Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 45 mins Servings: 8

Same ingredients as the previous page, except for the cocoa 100g/3oz/ cup dried fruit Apple tea bag

2tsp mixed spice 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced into small squares Green food colouring

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Make up the apple tea and soak the dried fruit in it for 1 hour. Drain and then make the cake, swapping the cocoa for the fruit, spice and apple. Also stir in a tiny amount of green colouring. It needs to be quite light. Place the two mixtures in the tin as before, swirl and then cook until risen and firm to the touch.

Option 4: Rhubarb & Custard


Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 45 mins Servings: 8

Same ingredients as the previous page, except for the cocoa 200g/7oz/ cup stewed rhubarb, sweetened to personal taste

100g/3oz/ cup ready-made custard, the thicker the better Pink food colouring

Preheat oven 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Mix up the cake mixture, swapping the cocoa for the rhubarb. Make sure it is well combined. Put in a small amount of pink colouring just to give the mixture a faint blush. Place the mixture in the pan but also dollop in the custard. Swirl gently and then bake until firm to the touch.

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k Coitoyour Chocolate & Salted w h


Kids
An easy cake thats perfect for ending a relaxed dinner
1/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 100g/3oz/ cup chocolate chips (milk or dark, depending on your taste) 80ml/3fl oz/1/3 cup double cream 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 tsp vanilla extract

Caramel Cake
Caramel:
125g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar

Cake:
170g/6oz/3/4 cup caster/superfine sugar 190g/7oz/3/4 cup self-raising/cake flour 35g/1oz/2tbsp cocoa 170g/6oz/1 stick unsalted butter, softened 2 eggs 4 tbsp milk

Icing:
160g/5oz/1 stick unsalted butter, softened 200g/7oz/3/4 cup icing/confectioner's sugar

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Prep time: 30 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 12

Cook the cake

Preheat oven to 180C, 300F, gas mark 4. Line a rectangular tray. Add all of the ingredients, except choc chips, to a bowl and mix until smooth. It will take about 30 seconds with an electric mixer. Aim for a milk chocolate colour. Tip in the chocolate chips and give a quick beat to mix through.

Whip the ingredients up together for the cake

Place the mixture into the prepared tray and use a spatula to smooth out evenly. Pop in the oven and cook until it springs back or a knife comes out clean. It will take about 30 minutes.

Make caramel

Leave the cooked cake in its tray but place on a cooling rack until cold. To make the caramel, add the sugar to 60ml water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Put over a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved. Youll know when it happens, because you will be able to see the bottom of the pan. Do not stir!

Watch that sugar doesn't burn, a warm brown is great

Once dissolved, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Keep your eye trained on the pan until the colour becomes light amber. Remove from the heat and add the cream. It will sputter but will calm down. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract and leave until cold. Put the icing sugar and butter in a bowl and mix together. It will look like it will never click, but keep going. The mixture will go from pale yellow and lumpy to white and smooth. It will take about 5 minutes in an electric mixer. Add 3/4 of the caramel and mix until combined.

Add the cream to make the sugar turn into caramel

Spread over the cake and the use a spoon to drizzle the rest of the caramel over the top. Cut into slices.

Making caramel isn't difficult but it does require you to keep your eye on it. It can go from not being ready to being a burnt, sticky mess within seconds so don't wander off. Obviously you wouldn't want your kids playing with the hot sugar and caramel, but once it is cooled they can have fun pouring it over the cake in different patterns.

THE ART OF CARAMEL

Allow to cool slightly and then pour over the cake


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Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 45 mins Servings: 12

Blueberry Cake
The perfect end to a summer barbecue Cake:
175g/6oz/1 sticks butter, softened 300g/10oz/1 cup caster/superfine sugar 4 eggs Zest and juice of 1 lemon 140ml/5fl oz/ cup sour cream 250g/9oz/1 cup plain/all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 150g/5oz/ cup blueberries

The mixture will be curdly for most of the recipe

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4.

Mix the ingredients

We are using a Bundt tin here, which is basically a patterned tin with a hole in it. If you dont want to use one, pick a deep 20cm tin. Whatever tin you decide to go for, butter the insides of it. Beat the butter and sugar together until they are pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. By the third one you might be experiencing some curdle, but dont worry about it.

Incorporate the blueberries carefully to avoid popping

Once the eggs are added, tip in the lemon juice and zest. Now add the soured cream and beat for about 20 seconds. If the mixture wasnt curdly before, it will be now! Time to add the flour and baking powder. Beat gently until its all combined. Notice how the curdle has gone? You should have a smooth mixture. If not, just beat for a little while longer. Tip in the blueberries and use a spoon or spatula to gently fold them in. Try not to burst any.

If youre using a Bundt tin, wipe the mess from the tube

Slow cooking

Spoon the mixture into your tin and then smooth the top. Put it into the oven for at least 45 minutes. The cake should be springy to the touch and a skewer should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool for a bit in the tin and then turn out to cool completely.

The blueberries explode when cooking, releasing their flavour

The addition of the sour cream makes this cake very soft and moist, so you dont need any icing. If you do want to pep things up, though, mash up about 100g of blueberries to a pulp and stir in some icing sugar. Add just a small amount for a slightly sweet mixture or more for an intense icing hit. Its up to you. Once mixed, spoon over the cake and let it dribble down the sides.

TOPPING CHOICE

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Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 1 hours Servings: 8

Spicy Apple Cake


The taste of apple pie, but in a cake! Cake:
140g/5oz/1 sticks butter, softened 200g/7oz/1 cups golden caster sugar 2 eggs, beaten 200g/7oz/1 cups self-raising flour/cake flour tsp cinnamon 4-5 cooking apples

Make sure the mixture is creamy for a light cake

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Grease and line a deep 20cm/8inch cake tin.

Off and running

Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and stir until the mixture is pale in colour and very fluffy. This will take about a minute if you are using an electric mixer. Add a small amount of egg and beat to incorporate. Gradually add the rest, beating well after each addition. By adding tiny amounts you reduce the risk of curdle. Tip the cinnamon into the bowl along with the flour and mix until smooth. Spread half of the mixture over the bottom of the tin. Peel and core the apples and then cut into thick slices. Lay these over the cake mixture you put in the tin. Dont worry if you cant make them fit on a single layer, just make sure all of the cake mixture is covered. Tip the rest of the cake mixture over the apple slices, spreading out until smooth. Try to cover all of the apple.

Arrange the apples into the bottom layer of cake

Cooking time

The addition of cinnamon gives a subtle warmth

Bake for about 1 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. Once out of the oven, let it cool in the tin. Dont panic if the middle sinks a bit or the top is browner than youd like, simply cover it up with a bit of icing sugar!

This cake is great with any hot drink, so serve and enjoy!
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Chocolate Birthday Cake


A really indulgent chocolate cake, perfect for a special birthday occasion Ganache buttercream filling and frosting:
250g/9oz/2 sticks unsalted butter 500g/1lb 2oz/2 cups icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 175g/6oz/ cup dark chocolate 125ml/4fl oz/ cup fresh double cream

Cake:
200g/7oz/ cup plain chocolate 250g/9oz/2 sticks unsalted butter 350g/12oz/1 cups light brown sugar 5 medium eggs (at room temp, well beaten) 1 tsp vanilla extract 140g/5oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour

Chocolate ganache icing:


500g/1lb 2oz/2 cups dark chocolate 250g/9oz/2 unsalted butter (at room temp) 125ml/4fl oz/ cup double cream

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Prep time: 35 mins Baking time: 45 mins Servings: 16

Melt the chocolate

Preheat your oven to 160C, 325F, gas mark 3 and grease and line two square or round 6inch sandwich tins. Break your chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Allow to cool until you are ready to add it to the mixture, give it a stir now and again.

Beat the buttercream until light and fluffy

The cake mixture

Beat together the butter and sugar with a hand-held electric mixer for about 3 minutes until it is light in colour and fluffy in texture. Add a bit of the beaten egg and then whisk again with the mixer, adding a little of the egg each time and whisking each time until it is well mixed. Pour in the melted chocolate to this mixture and continue to whisk. Stir in the vanilla extract and then mix in the flour. Halve the mixture between the two tins and bake in the centre of your oven for 45 minutes. Once cooled take the cakes out of the tins and place on a wire rack to cool completely and the crust will sink back down onto the cake. This is perfectly normal.

Spread the buttercream on one cake and make a sandwich

To make the buttercream, firstly whisk the butter in a large bowl for at least two minutes with an electric mixer. Youll then need to sieve the icing sugar in a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Whisk slowly then once all the icing sugar is in add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk on a higher speed until the whole mixture is light and fluffy. Break the chocolate into pieces and put them in a clean bowl. To make the chocolate ganache part of the buttercream, bring the cream to the boil in a pan. As soon as it boils take it off the heat and pour it over the broken chocolate pieces in the bowl and stir it until the chocolate is melted. This should look very glossy. Leave it to cool for 15 minutes then mix it in well to the buttercream with the electric whisk.

Ladle the ganache onto the cake and spread


When icing this cake, before pouring the chocolate ganache icing over, pop the cake into the freezer for ten minutes. It stops the buttercream from melting when you pour the hot chocolate over the top, however you will need to be quick with the pouring as the cold cake underneath will cool the ganache icing very quickly.

And assemble

SOLID BASE

If you are using a cake base then spread a little of the buttercream on the cake base and stick the cake on top. Spread about a third of the mixture into the middle of the cooled cake (its easier to use the side that was on the bottom of the tin) and sandwich the two halves together. Then start to spread the rest of the buttercream over the top and the sides and smooth down. Break the chocolate into pieces and cut the butter into small chunks and put them together into a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan, as soon as it boils take it off the heat and pour it over the chocolate and butter in the bowl and stir it until the chocolate and the butter is melted. It should look dark, shiny and be of a pourable consistency. Make sure the cake is on a wire rack with lots of greaseproof paper spread liberally underneath to catch any excess. Pour the ganache over the cake with a ladle. Spread it gently over the whole of the top and the sides with either a palette knife or the back of the ladle and spoon any excess back onto the cake.
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Cakes

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More ideas for birthday cakes


Celebrate the big day with these special cakes
any special occassion. Cake shouldn't just be limited to birthdays! On the pages here, we have a handful of ideas to help you pick the perfect cake for that special day. All of these will ice very well and stand up to being left on a table while the

irthdays are the perfect excuse for a nice, big, heaving cake (as if you needed an excuse!) and people love receiving a home-made cake. Weve shown you how to make an indulgent chocolate cake but there are limitless other combinations for

party carries on. They all also keep very well, so if you do have some slices left over, your birthday recipient will get to enjoy them after the event. We havent covered icing here but you can use anything that takes your fancy.

"All of these cakes keep very well, so if you have some left you can still enjoy it"
Option 1: Mocha
Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 8

175g/6oz/1 sticks softened unsalted butter 175g/6oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 25g/0.8oz/2tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp water mixed with 1tsp coffee powder 2 eggs 150g/5oz/2/3 cup self-raising/ cake flour

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Grease and line an 18cm/7inch deep pan. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat after each one. Mix in the cocoa and coffee mixture and then fold in the flour. The mixture should be smooth. Place in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Option 2: Vanilla
Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 1 hour 20 mins Servings: 12

250g/9oz/2 sticks unsalted butter 250g/9/oz/1 cup caster/superfine sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 eggs 85g/3oz/1/3 cup plain/all-

purpose flour 100g/3oz/ cup buttermilk 250g/9oz/1 cup self-raising/cake flour

Preheat oven to 160C, 300F, gas mark 2. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch deep pan. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat after each one. Mix in the buttermilk and then add the flours, mixing well after each addition. Bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes until risen and firm.

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SPECIAL TOPPINGS

Luxurious ideas for that perfect topping

Option 3: Lemon Cake


Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 8

White chocolate fudge frosting Photo print search online for edible prints and then decorate your cake with embarrassing photos Buy some ready-made fondant and mix in different colours. Cut these out using cookie cutters and stick on the cake Plain white icing with loads of glitter

175g/6oz/ cup self-raising/cake flour 175g/6oz/1 stick butter 175g/6oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 2 eggs 1 heaped tsp baking powder

1 tsp of vanilla extract 1 tbsp of milk Zest of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8inch sandwich tins. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat after each one. Add the vanilla, beat and then add the baking powder and flour. Mix until incorporated. Place in the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool and then add a filling of your choice.

Option 4: Coconut Cake


Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 40 mins Servings: 8

200g/7oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 75g/2oz/ stick unsalted butter 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp desiccated/ shredded coconut

1 egg 125ml/4fl oz/ cup milk 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 15cm/6 inch deep pan. Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and coconut and mix. Mix the egg, milk and vanilla in a jug and slowly add to the flour to make a firm mixture. You may not need all of it. Tip into your tin and cook until risen and firm to the touch. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat after each one. Add the vanilla, beat and then add the baking powder and flour. Mix until incorporated. Place in the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool and then add a filling of your choice.

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Cookies, Biscuits & Bars


The ultimate snack food that you can now create yourself
bars! These are great for picnics, lunchboxes, school fairs, parties pretty much anything. We feature classic brownies which, with their chocolatey fudgy centre, are difficult to resist. We also have fruity apple bars, almondy Bakewell bars and granola bars that make a great breakfast treat.

his chapter is perfect for anyone who wants quick results and easy recipes, or who is cooking with kids. Cookies and biscuits are really easy to make, and the fact you get to use different cutters makes them a lot of fun as well. Cookie and biscuit dough can often be stashed in the fridge or freezer ready for when you need an instant baked hit. We say cookies and biscuits, if truth be told the two things are the same. In the UK, we tend to say biscuits while in the US and elsewhere, the item would be referred to as a cookie. So we are going for both in the spirit of global oneness! We have covered the classic cookie/ biscuit recipes here. Youll learn the secret to chocolate chip cookies, in addition to vanilla cookies that can be simple circles or cut into different shapes. For a traditional taste, we have buttery shortbread as well as savoury Parmesan crackers. A bar refers to a cake that has been cooked in a shallow pan and then is cut into, well,

Cookies, biscuits and bars are perfect for quick results and easy recipes, or if you are cooking with children
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Vanilla Biscuits Page 106

Key chapter features

Shortbread biscuits, page 100

Make snacks that are good for you, like these Granola Bars, page 114

Chocolate brownies, page 102

Dorset Apple Cake, page 104

Bakewell Bar, page 112

Parmesan Biscuits, page 118


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Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 12

Chocolate Chip Cookies


The perfect snack for any occasion
Cookies:
225g/8oz/2 sticks unsalted butter 150g/5oz/ cup golden caster sugar 2 eggs 300g/10oz/1 cup plain/all-purpose flour tsp baking powder tsp vanilla extract 200g/7/1 cup chocolate chips, you decide on the colour

Sprinkle in the chocolate chips of your choice

Preheat your oven to 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Line baking trays with parchment. Use as many as you can!

The fun part

Add the eggs and beat until incorporated. The mixture will not look super-smooth, so dont panic. Add flour and baking powder, mixing until just blended. This will probably take 20 seconds or so. The texture should be much smoother now and also lighter.

The mixture wont look perfectly smooth

Add chips and mix quickly to evenly distribute. Use spoons or an ice cream scoop to place equal(ish)-sized balls on the tray. Pop in the oven for ten minutes or so. Make sure you leave a good gap between them.

A nice result

Take out of the oven when still soft and leave on the tray for a minute until they harden up a bit. Transfer to a wire cooling tray and eat warm, preferably with a nice glass of cold milk.

Its tempting enough to eat like this

Cookies spread at an alarming rate when cooking, so if you don't leave a decent gap, you will end up with one big cookie, rather than several small ones. You have been warned!

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEAVING A GAP

Form into balls and place them on a tray


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Get one step closer to cookie nirvana with these options

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More cookie ideas

ookies are a really versatile sweet treat that never fail to please. Even a technically bad cookie is still an incredibly tasty cookie, so these are fantastic for the greenest of bakers. The chuck it all in a bowl and give it a wiggle ethos behind most

cookies also mean they are great for making with kids. And you can stash uncooked dough in the fridge or freezer for emergencies! The options listed below all use the basic ingredients and method listed on the previous page, unless otherwise stated.

Option 1: Spiced Fruit & Chocolate


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 12

Basic cookie recipe, outlined on the previous page 1 tsp mixed spice

100g/3oz/ cup dried mixed fruit (you can stick to raisins or sultanas if you prefer)

Combine the ingredients as explained on the previous page. You then need to add the mixed spice in with the flour and the dried fruit in with the chocolate chips. Divide into equal portions and place on the baking trays, with a nice bit of space for them to spread. Serve warm, with a nice cup of tea.

Option 2: Choc & Cherry


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 12

Follow the ingredients as outlined on the previous page. We are going to use dark chocolate chips but this also works well with white chocolate chips.

50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp dried cherries 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp plain chocolate

Mix all the ingredients together as explained in the previous pages. Tip in most of the cherries, but leave a small pile behind. Arrange the cookies on the baking trays and bake. Bring them out when ready and allow to cool. While they cool, melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top. Scatter the leftover cherries in this chocolate goo and allow to set.

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The gift of cookies just keeps on giving
Orange & Cranberry, perfect for the holidays Chocolate & Orange Butterscotch Chips, available in most supermarkets Marshmallow & Raisins Honey & Oats Cashew Nuts & Maple Syrup Coffee & Chocolate Spiced Plums White Choc Chip & Raspberry

ADDITIONAL COMBINATIONS

Option 3: Peanut Butter & Choc Chips


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 12

Ingredients as listed on the previous page

2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter Handful of salted peanuts

Mix up as in the instructions on the previous page. Add the peanut butter before the chocolate chips and mix well. It might take a few goes. Once the dough is ready, arrange on the baking trays. Scatter the salted peanuts on the top, or if you are feeling tidy, press whole ones onto the top of each cookie. Bake and allow to cool a fair bit before eating.

Option 4: Apple & Oats


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 12

110g/4oz/1 stick soft butter 175g/6oz/ cup honey 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 90g/3oz/ cup wholemeal flour

tbsp bicarbonate/baking soda tsp ground cinnamon 125g/4oz/ cup porridge oats 1 apple, cored, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Cream butter, honey, egg and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, bicarbonate/baking soda and cinnamon. Stir thoroughly. Add the oats and apple and stir with a spoon to incorporate. Arrange equal portions on a baking tray and bake for ten minutes. Leave to cool on a wire tray.

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Prep time: 40 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 8

Shortbread Biscuits
A classic recipe for a buttery-sweet satisfying biscuit
Shortbread:
175g/6oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour 120g/4oz/1 stick butter 60g/2oz/ cup caster sugar/superfine sugar A pinch of salt

Plus:
8inch/21cm round or square loose-bottom cake tin

Rub the flour and fat together to get the breadcrumbs

Use your hands to rub in the butter, flour and salt in a bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the caster/superfine sugar and then knead it all together in the bowl until it combines to form a soft ball. Chill for 30 minutes.

Get rolling

Roll out onto a floured surface to the size of the tin, about 5mm thick and press it all into the tin until completely flat. Using a knife, score cuts into the mixture but not right through to divide into appropriate biscuit sizes required, then use a fork to prick the surface.

Mix together until it resembles breadcrumbs

Bake for 30-35 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 190C, 375F, gas mark 5 until light golden brown.

The finishing touches

Sprinkle caster sugar on top and allow the shortbread to cool in the tin. Remove when it has cooled down, and divide into pre-prepared slices.

You can use the basic mixture to make whatever shapes you wish. Children like to cut out shapes with cookie cutters. If you do this, the cooking time will be reduced to 20-25 minutes.

MORE FROM SHORTBREAD

Press the shortbread mixture down into the tray

You ll have a tasty treat ready in no time at all


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Cookies, Biscuits & Bars


We have chosen to use milk chocolate here to create the brownies. Youll find that many recipes use dark chocolate, which you can if you prefer. Also, dont be afraid to play with fillings. While we have just white chocolate chunks here, you could add in other kinds of chocolate, biscuit or even fudge pieces for a personal touch to your brownies.

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PICK THE CHOCOLATE

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Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 10

Chocolate Brownies
Create the perfect brownie with this simple recipe
Brownies:
200g/7oz/1 stick unsalted butter, softened and cubed 200g/7oz/ cup milk chocolate, in chunks 100g/3oz/5 cups plain/all-purpose flour 50g/1.5oz/ cup cocoa powder 100g/3oz/white chocolate, bitesize chunks 3 eggs 300g/10oz/1 cups golden caster/superfine sugar

Melt the chocolate and the butter together over a saucepan

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Pop a pan on the hob, filled about halfway up with water and get it to the boil. In a heatproof bowl, place the chunks of butter and milk chocolate, then place this into the pan of boiling water. Ideally, the bowl should hover over the water and not be submerged. You need to keep stirring until all of the chocolate and butter is melted and combined. Leave to cool.

Wet to dry

Add chocolate to create the main liquid mix

Sieve the flour and coca powder together into a separate bowl. Give the mixture a quick stir to combine the two powders. Next, using a new bowl and an electric hand mixer, or an electric blender, mix the eggs and sugar. It will take a while to combine these even a powerful electric blender will take about two minutes, but it could be up to five. You are looking for a pale yellow milky consistency that is smooth. If youve been using a blender, tip the liquid into a bowl. Add your chocolate mixture to the egg and sugar liquid and gently mix together with a wooden spoon. You dont need to overwork it. As soon as you have a thick, even chocolate mixture, stop. Next, add in your sieved flour and coca powder. At first, the whole thing will look like chocolate flour, but keep stirring it in and you will end up with a thick, gooey shiny mixture. Ensure you keep putting your spoon right to the bottom of the mixture and lifting up, as the flour can cling to the bottom and you want to get it all mixed nicely.

The flour and cocoa powder thickens up the mixture

More chocolate

Now add in your white chocolate chunks and gently stir them in until they are evenly spread throughout the mixture. Prepare a baking tin so that the bottom is lined with greaseproof paper. Pour in your chocolaty mixture and smooth the top over with a knife or spatula. Make sure that it is level all the way across. Pop the mixture into the oven for 20-25 minutes. You will know when the brownie is done when it has formed a crust along the top and the edges are starting to come away from the tin. If you give the tin a wobble, the middle shouldnt move. However, you dont want to overcook it, as the middle needs to remain moist. Check it at 20 minutes and then add another couple of minutes between each check. Leave to cool slightly and serve warm with ice cream, slicing it up into chunks.
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Use a lined tin and smooth the mixture so its level

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Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 12

Apple Cake Bars


A fruity, moist bar for mid-morning snacks Cake:
225g/8oz/1 cup self-raising/cake flour 115g/4oz/1 stick butter 115g/4oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar 225g/8oz peeled & cored cooking apples 1 squeeze lemon 1 pinch salt 1 tbsp milk

Apple and sugar mixture with a dash of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Line a bread loaf tin (28cm/11in x 15cm/6in) with baking paper.

Mix it up

Core the apples and chop them into small pieces. Mix the apples and sugar together in a bowl. Squeeze in lemon juice and stir to coat the apples. This stops them from going brown. In another bowl, rub the butter into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir the apple and sugar mixture into the butter and flour. Add the milk and mix until it creates a firm dough.

Mix the flour and butter until small breadcrumbs

Press into the cake tin quite firmly, so there are no loose bits of mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden on top but not burnt.

Test your cake

To test if your cake is ready, place a clean skewer in the middle of the cake and wipe on a piece of kitchen towel. If it comes out clean it is ready; if it comes out with mixture on, place it back in the oven for 2 minutes and repeat the testing process. Remove the cake from the tin using the baking paper to manoeuvre it out and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting, or it will crumble. Serve with a big, unashamed dollop of cream.

This is how the cake should look before cooking

Its well worth experimenting with other fruits in this recipe to mix things up even more. Plums work very well, as do blackberries, peaches or bananas.

OTHER IDEAS

and this is how it should look once removed from the oven
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Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 25

Vanilla Cookies
Simple, sweet and deeply satisfying
Cookie mixture:
100g/4oz/ stick salted butter (plus a little extra for greasing) 120g/4 oz/ cup golden syrup 80g/2 oz/1/3 cup granulated sugar 250g/9oz/1 cup plain/all-purpose flour 1tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda 1tsp baking powder 2tsp vanilla extract

Melt the ingredients on the hob or a microwave

Preheat your oven to 160C, 320F, gas mark 3 and grease two baking trays with butter or margarine. Put the butter, syrup and sugar in a heat-proof bowl and microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring after each, until the mixture has all melted. You could also melt these ingredients in a pan on the hob over a low heat. Sift the flour, soda and baking powder into a bowl and add the vanilla extract. Stir in the melted mixture with a wooden spoon and it will quickly form a smooth, goldencoloured dough.

The cookies will be greasy but easy to handle

Prepare to bake

Shape into 25 equal-sized balls with your hands. The mixture will be greasy. Arrange the balls onto your baking trays, leaving plenty of room between them to spread. Press the top of each ball down with the back of a teaspoon as this will make them spread and cook evenly. This is best done while the dough is still slightly warm. Bake for 15 minutes and leave for 5 minutes before putting them on a wire rack to cool completely.

You want them to be just golden and crisp

If you want to make these a bit more interesting you can ice them when baked or add 20 grams of ground almonds and a teaspoon of nutmeg into the mix just after sifting the flour.

BISCUIT TOP TIP

Serve on their own with a hot drink to dunk them into


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Extra options for Vanilla Cookies


Take the basic recipe and transform it into something sublime
leaving it out of a recipe that asks for it and we guarantee you will notice the difference. When buying vanilla, get the best extract you can afford. Were not going to tell you that you have to use a certain type, but you really can tell the difference when it comes to vanilla.

anilla is one of the seven wonders of the baking worlds, in that it instantly improves anything it is added to. It is sweet without being cloying and subtle without being weak and makes a huge difference to anything it is added to. Try

Youll also find a bottle of natural vanilla extract will last far longer than the cheap vanilla flavouring you can buy. All of the options here use the basic vanilla cookie recipe on the previous page, so use that as that starting point.

Option 1: Lemon & Poppy Seed


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 25

Ingredients as listed on the previous page

Zest of 1 large lemon 2tbsp poppy seeds

Follow the instructions as for the vanilla cookies listed on the previous page. When you get to the step for sieving the flour, also add the lemon zest and the poppy seeds. Ensure that everything is mixed well before pouring in the melted butter. Bring the dough together and then shape into equal-sized balls. Arrange these on a baking tray, leaving room for them to spread. Bake until golden, which will take around 15 minutes.

Option 2: Chocolate & Orange


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 25

The same ingredients as listed on the previous page Zest of 1 orange 50g/1oz/3 tbsp dark chocolate

Follow the instructions as per the previous page. Add the orange zest to the flour and mix together before adding the melted butter and bringing together. Arrange the cookies on the baking tray and bake until golden.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Break to chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl. Microwave for a few seconds to melt. Dip one half of the biscuits in the chocolate.

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Option 3: Spiced Pistachio


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 25

Ingredients as listed on the previous page 1tsp mixed spice 50g/1oz/3 tbsp unsalted pistachios, whole

Mix the spice in with the flour mixture and then combine with the butter. Form 25 small balls from the dough and arrange on the baking trays. As you flatten each one, pop a whole pistachio on the top and push in slightly.

Bake until golden and then allow to cool on a wire tray. Sprinkle the cookies with golden glitter for a decadent touch.

Option 4: Almond
Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 25

Ingredients as listed on the previous page tsp of almond essence

Dried cherries, or if you cant manage to get hold of these, glac cherries will work as a suitable replacement

Mix the ingredients as listed on the previous page, adding the almond essence along with the vanilla essence. Make into a dough, arrange on the trays and push a dried cherry (or glac one) into the top of each cookie. If the cherry looks too large, simple cut it to size. Cook, cool and then enjoy!

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Prep time: 15 mins plus chilling time Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 10

Millionaires Shortbread
Biscuit, caramel and chocolate we dare you to resist!
Shortbread:
175g/6oz/ cup plain/all purpose flour 25g/ oz/2 tbsp cornflour 50g/2oz/3 tbsp golden caster sugar 140g/5oz/1 sticks unsalted butter, cold 142ml/4 fl oz cup single cream 50g/1 oz stick butter, cubed tsp salt

Topping:
200g/7oz/ cup plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) 85g/3oz/ stick butter

Caramel:

Add butter cubes to sugar and the two types of flour

225g/8oz/1 cup golden caster/superfine sugar

Preheat your oven to 160C, 320F, gas mark 3. Butter a 20cm/8in x 20cm/8in tin, or anything that is roughly those dimensions. Put the flours and sugar into a bowl. Add the butter cubes and rub together to make breadcrumbs. If you have a food processor, do a couple of pulses to get the desired crumb effect. Tip the crumbly creation into your tin and use the back of a spoon to press down firmly. Cover all of the tin and then pop in the freezer for a few minutes. Now bake for about 35 minutes, or until ever so slightly golden.

Rub the mixture until you have breadcrumbs

Make the caramel

Get a nice heavy-bottomed saucepan and put the sugar and 100ml water into it. Over a gentle heat, slowly dissolve the sugar. Once it has gone, turn the heat up and let the mixture boil away until it becomes a dark amber colour. This will take roughly 4 minutes. Do not move anywhere and do not stir! Once it reaches its amber state, take off the heat and slowly add the cream. Carefully stir. It will splutter and protest but will soon calm down. Finally add the butter and salt and pour over the shortbread. Chill until cool.

Melt the chocolate so it is silky smooth

Chocolate topping

Melt the chocolate and butter together, either in a bowl over some boiling water or in the microwave. Stir until they are glossy and pour over the caramel. Chill until firm, cut into squares and then tuck in before anyone else takes them!

Pour over the chilled caramel and wait for it to set


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Prep time: 20 mins plus chilling time Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 14

A traditional English treat to enjoy with your cup of tea


Sweet shortcrust pastry:
115g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter 175g/6oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour 1 pinch salt 2 tbsp caster/superfine sugar 1 medium free-range egg yolk, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water 4 tbsp raspberry jam 60g/2oz/ cup caster sugar 1 medium free-range egg 30g/1oz/2 tbsp self-raising/cake flour tsp baking power 50g/2oz/3 tbsp ground almonds 2 tsp almond essence

Bakewell Bar

Rub together the butter, flour and sugar until breadcrumbs

Icing:
100g/3 oz/ icing/confectioners sugar 1-2 tbsp cold water

Topping:
60g/2oz/ stick unsalted butter

Dice the butter into small cubes. Sift the flour, salt and sugar and rub into the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. This will probably take about 10 minutes. Mix the egg yolk with the water and add to the floured crumbs. Use a round-bladed knife to mix the ingredients together. If the mixture seems dry, stir in a little more water. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Work the dough into your dish and prick the base with a fork

Build the bar

Flour a surface and roll the dough out to approximately 28cm/11in x 19cm/7.5in. Flip half of the dough over the rolling pin and lift into your dish. Cover the base and the edges of your dish to approximately 3cm/1in high. Finally, prick the base all over with a fork. Mix 4 large tablespoons of raspberry jam together and spread evenly over the base of the dough. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes and heat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Place the butter, caster sugar, egg, sieved flour, baking powder, almond essence and ground almonds into a mixing bowl. Beat the ingredients together until thick. Carefully spoon the topping over the jam to a smooth and even level. This can be tricky, so use the under side of a tablespoon and try not to lift any of the jam into the topping mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the top is firm to touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Mix the icing/confectioner's sugar with water and drizzle on the top, along with a scattering of almonds.

Spread raspberry jam evenly over the dough base

Make the icing and almond topping to complete your bake

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Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 12 mins Servings: 8

A quick and easy recipe on how to make a healthy snack


Bars:
225g/8oz/1 cup rolled oats 125g/4oz/1 stick butter 1 tsp ground cinnamon (level) 2 tbsp runny honey (heaped) 1 tbsp set honey (heaped) 2 tbsp sesame seeds 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds 2 tbsp dried apricots 2 tbsp whole hazelnuts 1 large eating apple (any variety)

Granola Bars

Add all the raw ingredients into a bowl

Start by heating the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Place the oats and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the sesame and pumpkin seeds to the mix. Chop the apricots into quarters with a sharp knife and add to the bowl. Cut the hazelnuts in half and add to the other dry ingredients. Core the apple and chop into small chunks, whatever size you think works best. For the purpose of this guide, make them into 1cm chunks. Add these to the bowl.

Melt the mixture

Mix together once youve added the melted butter

Place the butter, and both honeys into a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat while stirring constantly. Once the butter has completely melted and it starts to bubble, its ready. This should take a couple of minutes. Add the melted butter and honey to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until all the oat mixture is coated with the honey mixture.

Push and bake

Once its golden brown its ready to come out the oven

Line an 8inch by 8inch tray with baking paper so it covers up the edges of the tray. Put the mixture into the lined tray and press into the corners. Using the back of a wooden spoon lightly press the flapjack mixture flat into the tray so it is smooth. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden on the top but not burnt. Leave to cool on a wire rack before removing from the tray, otherwise it can crumble and fall apart. Once cool, cut into nine equal squares and enjoy!

You can use the basic recipe of oats, butter and honey and add any variations you like dates, raisins, blackberries, pecans, mixed chopped nuts and sunflower seeds. Others like to experiment with adding a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter to the honey and butter when melting or mashing up a banana and adding that to the dry ingredients.

MIX UP THE INGREDIENTS

Serve up as a snack alternative to chocolate!


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Kids

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Prep time: 45 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: Depends on cutter

Jam Sandwich Cookies


A simple mix thats perfect for kids parties
Biscuit:
250g/9oz/2 sticks butter, softened 140g/5oz/ cup caster sugar/superfine sugar 1 egg yolk 2 tsp vanilla extract 300g/10oz/1 plain/all-purpose flour

Filling:
6 tbsp jam 6 tbsp icing/confectioners sugar

Use a shaped cutter to create the biscuits

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat for a couple of seconds to combine. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla and beat again to mix it all together. Tip in the flour and mix once more. It should come together in a sticky dough. If you are cooking with kids, let them mix this together with their hands. When done, split in half and wrap each bit in some plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge to rest for approximately half an hour. Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4.

Mix the jam with the icing sugar to make the filling

Roll the dough

Get out one half of biscuit dough and roll out onto a floured surface. You want to roll until the dough is roughly 3mm thick. Get your cutter of choice and get stamping! Place the biscuits on a baking sheet (ideally lined with parchment paper). Keep gathering your dough together and re-rolling until it is all finished. Make sure you have an even number. Using a smaller cutter, cut out the middle of half the biscuits. If there is room on the tray, pop these on. Consider them an extra treat!

Once the filling is mixed, spoon it onto the biscuit

Assemble the biscuits

Bake the biscuits for at least ten minutes, or until golden brown. If you have more dough than biscuit trays or oven space, just keep it in the fridge until ready. Cool the biscuits on a wire rack and mix the jam with the icing/confectioners sugar. Spoon a bit onto each whole biscuit and then place the cutout half on top.

There are so many cookie cutters available these days that you can turn these biscuits into something special just by getting a suitable cutter. Most shapes are available in different sizes so you can still enjoy the cutaway effect. Also use different jams for alternative colour effects.

THEME YOUR BISCUITS

Sit back and enjoy the sweet-centred biscuits


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Prep time: 5 mins plus chilling Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 30

These have a crumbly texture and intense cheese flavour


Crackers:
180g/6oz/1 stick unsalted butter 180g/6oz/ cup grated Parmesan 250g/9oz/1 cup plain/all-purpose flour

Parmesan Biscuits

Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave on full power for 10-15 seconds.

Melt the butter and then add the flour, stirring to combine

Add the flour and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. When it comes together, add the cheese and mix well.

Tip the mixture onto a board and divide into two. Shape each into a sausage shape, about 4cm/1 in x 19cm/7 in. Wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Create a sausage shape

Add the Parmesan cheese and be sure to mix well

While it is chilling, heat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Unwrap the dough and cut into slices, about -inch thick. Place onto a baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes until golden.

These biscuits are full of flavour, but add herbs for even more. A couple of pinches and finely chopped rosemary work very well, as does dill or basil.

TASTY TOP TIP

Cut the dough into slices and bake until golden

Enjoy your Parmesan crackers, full of flavour


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Extra savoury biscuits


Add some serious tang to your baking arsenal
good the results can be. Whether you want a bite-sized nibble to have with drinks or more substantial boats to ferry a wedge of cheese, you have loads of options available to you. If you want to have a go at creating your own savoury biscuit recipe, use our Parmesan

o self-respecting cheese board should be seen without the addition of some quality, biscuits and no self-respecting cook should shy away from making these from scratch. It really is incredibly simple and you wont believe how

one on the previous page, omitting the Parmesan for whatever you want. Or you can use any of the ones listed here, again swapping the ingredients out for what works for you. If the bug takes hold of you, invest in some good biscuit cutters.

Savoury biscuits work well with cheese or on their own as nibbles


Option 1: Cheddar & Paprika
Prep time: 10 mins plus chilling Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 20

180g/6oz/1 sticks unsalted butter 180g/6oz/ cup grated cheddar 250g/9oz/1 cup plain/allpurpose flour 1 tsp smoked paprika

Follow the instructions as for the Parmesan biscuits listed on the previous page. Instead of the Parmesan, add the cheddar and also sprinkle in the paprika. Roll into log shape and chill.

When nice and cold, slice into discs and bake for about 20 minutes. When out of the oven, you can sprinkle with a small amount of paprika for extra heat.

Option 2: Cheese & Onion


Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 20

175g/6oz/cup plain/all-purpose flour 1 tsp English mustard powder 100g/3oz/ stick cold butter Grated shallot

100g/3oz/ cup grated cheddar 25g/0.8oz/1 tbsp chopped pecans

Mix the flour and mustard with the butter to make breadcrumbs. Pat the shallots dry and mix into the butter mixture, along with the rest of the ingredients. Form a dough, shape into a log about 6cm/2inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill. Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Slice the dough and bake.

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Option 3: Ham
Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 20

150g/5oz/ cup plain/all-purpose flour 50g/1.7oz/ stick butter, softened 1 egg 2 slices of chopped ham

Pinch of salt

Rub the flour, salt and butter together to make breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg and ham slices. Mix thoroughly to combine. Roll into a thick log and then cover in plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. When the mixture is cold and firm, slice into discs and bake.

Option 4: Oat
Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 12

120g/4oz/ cup porridge oats 120g/4oz/ cup wholemeal flour tsp salt 1 tbsp sugar

120ml/4fl oz/ cup water 5 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Bash or process the oats to make a flour consistency. Mix with the wholemeal flour, salt and sugar. Pour in the water and oil to make a soft dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 3mm thick. Cut into rectangles. Bake for ten minutes until golden brown.

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Pies & Tarts


Because you can never have too many pies

f you have steered away from making pies because youve assumed they are too difficult, now is the time to push the fear back and embrace the pastry! It really isnt difficult to do and if you make a few mistakes we wont tell anyone. Besides, if you really cant face making pastry you can always use ready-made it would be a crying shame to miss out on the tasty treats we have in store. We kick off with a classic apple pie. Served warm with ice cream, this simple combination becomes a thing dreams are made of. For a more intense hit, the pecan pie provides a sophisticated end to a dinner party, while a lemon meringue gives a retro zing. Pastry works really well with savoury dishes, and we have a great beef and mushroom pie for a warming dinner, in addition to a delicious cheese and onion tart that works hot or cold. For a no-hassle midweek supper, try the chicken pot pies. They can be made in advance and then just warmed through. We know that pastry is a daunting task for a lot of home bakers, so, if you havent already, make sure you check out our guides starting on page 28. These will walk you through creating the most common types of pastry in addition to running through the allimportant breadcrumb stage.

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Pastry works really well with savoury dishes, and we have a great beef and mushroom pie, in addition to a delicious cheese and onion tart that works hot or cold

Key chapter features

Apple Pie, page 124

Pecan Pie, page 128

Treacle Tart, page 132

Beef & Mushroom Pie, page 142

Lemon Meringue Pie, page 136 Chicken Pot Pie, page 146
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Serve withiccustard, yoghurt or e cream


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Prep time: 25 mins Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 8

A much-loved favourite with global appeal


Pastry:
500g packet of shortcrust pastry (chilled) Flour for rolling pastry 1 egg white (whisked with a fork)

Apple Pie

Filling:
2 medium-sized bramley cooking apples (about 600g) 2 tbsp of sugar

This is how the pastry should look for the base

Make up the dough. If you're using ready-made pastry, cut a square 8cm by 8cm (about 175g/7oz). Using a floured rolling pin and a floured work surface or board, start to roll out the pastry, continuing to sprinkle flour under the pastry and on the rolling pin to avoid them becoming sticky. Roll until the pastry is 27cm by 27cm. Place this over the pie dish making sure you press right into the base. Trim the excess with a knife and discard. Roll out the remaining pastry to about 24cm to make the pie lid.

The filling

The pastry for the lid rolled out on flour

Peel, quarter and remove core from apples and slice thinly and fill the pastry case making sure it is higher in the centre as the apples will shrink with cooking. Sprinkle the sugar over the apples. Brush the edges of the pastry case with the egg white using a pastry brush. Place the lid over this and press firmly along the edges to seal it. Trim off the excess pastry using a knife. Make a slit in the middle about 2cms long to allow steam to escape. You can make a pattern using a fork along the edges. Bake at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 for about 30-40 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if the apples are soft and cooked through and the pastry is golden brown.

Fill the pastry with apples and sugar

Remove and sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the pie. Serve hot or cold with custard, greek yogurt or ice cream.

To make a pie with a difference, sprinkle teaspoon of cinnamon powder over the apples and add a handful of sultanas before cooking. Alternatively, add a handful of fresh or frozen blackberries could be added to the apples as another option.

ADDED SPICE

Crimp the edges with the back of a fork


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Ideas for Apple Pies


A few extra options so you get to devour even more pies

e should start by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with an apple pie. Served warm with ice cream or custard, there are few things that can top it. But there is no harm in spicing things up every once in a while and we have

four delicious options for you to add to the standard recipe listed on the previous page. Its amazing what a difference just a couple of extra ingredients can make, so try these ideas out and then have a go at concocting your own combinations.

Apples work well with loads of other foods, so try them out in a pie!
Option 1: Apple & Blackberry
Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 8

The same ingredients as in the recipe on the previous page

100g/3oz/ cup blackberries Zest of 1 orange

Peel and core the apples and place in a large bowl. Tip in the blackberries and stir gently to combine. Zest the orange over the bowl and give a final stir to combine. Spoon into the prepared pie dish and top with the pastry lid. Make a steam hole and cook until golden brown.

Option 2: Apple, Custard & Toffee


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 8

Same ingredients as listed in the recipe on the previous page 100g/3oz/ cup readymade custard Handful of toffees

Peel, core and slice the apples. Sprinkle with the sugar and spoon half into the prepared pie dish. Use a spoon to add the custard on top of the apples. Try to spread it evenly.

Top with the rest of the apples. Use your fingers or a skewer to poke the toffees in gaps between the apples. Make sure they are even.

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Option 3: Cheese Crust


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 8

560g/20oz/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour tsp salt 100g/4oz/ white fat/shortening

85g/3oz/ stick cold butter 60g/1oz/ cup grated cheddar 140ml/5fl oz/ cup ice water

Combine the flour, salt and fats together in a bowl until they resemble breadcrumbs. Make sure the ingredients are nice and cold. Stir the cheddar through the mixture until it is incorporated. Start to add the water to the mixture and use a rounded knife to bring together. You may not need all of the water, so dont tip it all in! Mold into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

Option 4: Apple, Peanut Butter & Chocolate


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 8

Ingredients for the filling, as listed on the previous page 170g/6oz/ cup crunchy peanut butter 170g/6oz/ cup dark chocolate chips

Peel, core and dice the apples. Put in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Add the peanut butter and combine. You might find it easier to add a spoonful at a time so you can distribute it evenly.

Scatter the chocolate chips into the mix and toss lightly to move around. Tip into the pie case, add the hat and then bake until golden.

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Pecan Pie isicgreatea-m! even without e cr

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Prep time: 50 mins Baking time: 40 mins Servings: 8-10

A delicious treat that demands to be smothered in vanilla ice cream


Pastry:
275g/10oz/1 cup plain flour 75g/3oz/ / cup icing sugar 150g/5oz/1/ stick butter 3 egg yolks

Pecan Pie

Filling:
3 eggs 225g/8oz/1 cup caster/superfine sugar 110g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter, melted 4 tbsp golden syrup 285g/10oz/1 cup pecan nut halves 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whizz up the ingredients for smooth dough

For the pastry, mix the flour and icing sugar by sifting them into a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and then blend both in a food processor. Add the yolks to form a dough. If youre using hands, crumble the ingredients to make breadcrumbs. Place the pastry on a well-floured surface and roll it out. Turn it frequently so you get a roughly round shape. It should be very thin, but be careful as it is quite sticky. Place your rolling pin underneath the pastry about a third of the way down and lift it up. Drape it gently over a flan dish and then, holding the edge up, press it in with your knuckle. Dont worry if you break the pastry; just push another bit in and smooth over with your fingers. Cut the excess pastry from around the edges, leaving about 2cm to allow for the crust to shrink when cooking. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make sure the surface is well floured to stop dough sticking

Pecan filling

Preheat the oven to 200C, 392F, gas mark 6. To make the filling, beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork or whisk, then beat in the sugar. Pour in the melted butter and then mix in the remaining ingredients.

Lift the pastry up with the rolling pin

Carefully spoon your mixture into your cooled pastry case and put it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180C, 356F, gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the crust, as you may need to cover it with tin foil for the last 10 minutes if it looks like it might burn. You should be able to tell if its ready by using the classic trick of putting a skewer in the middle to see if it comes out clean. Leave to cool in the dish, or if you have a tin with a removable bottom you can cool it on a wire rack. Serve with crme frache or ice cream.

Place the filling in the case, ready for baking

You can use your hands to gently push the dough into your pie dish, but if you find the dough breaks, or your hands are very hot, there is another trick. Break off a bit of excess dough from around the sides and form a ball. Now use this to push your pie case to the edges of the dish.

GETTING PASTRY INTO DISHES

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Prep time: 60 mins Baking time: 35 mins Servings: 8

Full of zesty citrus flavour, this is a delicious dessert


Filling:
Juice and zest of 3 lemons Juice and zest of 1 lime 2 medium eggs 150g/5oz/ / cup caster/superfine sugar

Lemon Tart

Tart:
Shortcrust pastry (enough to cover a 22cm tart tin), See page 30 for how to make it, or buy ready-made

Line the tin with pastry, making sure there are no holes

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4. Line the baking tin with the pastry, leaving about an inch or so to overhang. Make sure you patch up any holes with extra pasty. Cover the base with baking parchment or tin foil and fill with ceramic beans. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then take the beans out and leave the pastry to cool.

Zesty filling

Whisk the eggs, lemon and lime zest, and sugar in a large bowl.

Fill the casing with your ceramic beans

Add the cream and juice. Continue to mix, but do it with a wooden spoon to avoid creating too much foam. Fill the pastry case with the filling and then bake until the filling is set for about 25 minutes.

In order to ensure you have enough pasty, place the pastry dish on top of the rolled out pastry and cut around the tin, allowing an inch between the edge of where you are cutting.

MEASURE YOUR PASTRY

Whisk the eggs, sugar and allimportant lemon zest

Use a wooden spoon to mix when adding cream and juice


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Grab a slice of syrupy goodness

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Prep time: 40 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 6

Its sweet, sticky, cloying and absolutely heavenly


Pastry:
100g/3oz/ cup plain/all purpose flour 50g/1oz/ cup unsalted butter Zest of a small orange A glass of iced water

Treacle tart

Filling:
50g/1oz/ cup fresh, white breadcrumbs 4 tbsp golden syrup

Use bits of dough to push your crust into the corners

Get a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the orange zest. Add water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together (but isnt sticky). Shape into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for about half an hour. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Put a baking tray in to heat up.

Line the tart tin

Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl and then stir in the golden syrup until you have a nice and smooth mixture.

Roll out your chilled dough and line the pastry tin

After the pastry has done its time in the fridge, flour a surface and roll it out. You are looking for roughly 2mm thickness and a big enough circle for a 23cm tin. Place the pastry into the tin and then pour in your syrup mixture. Cut away any excess pastry around the edge.

Bake the tart

Place on the baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 and then turn the oven down to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4, for another 10 minutes.

Stir breadcrumbs into the golden syrup

Take out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Eat when it has cooled down a bit, or wait until it is cold.

Anytime a filling is placed on pastry, you risk that pastry going soggy. While this is by no means the end of the world, placing the tin on a preheated baking tray will crisp up the bottom of the tart and help avoid a soggy mess.

NO SOGGY BOTTOMS

As it cools, the mixture will thicken to a glue texture


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Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 25 mins Servings: 6

Use ready-made ingredients for a swift pudding


Pastry:
500g/17oz packet of shortcrust pastry (chilled) Flour for rolling pastry 1 egg white (whisked with a fork)

Cherry Pie

Filling:
Two 410g/14oz tins of cherry pie filling

This is how the pastry should look for the base

Cut the block of pastry in half. Using one half, roll out using a floured rolling pin and a floured work surface or board, continuing to sprinkle flour under the pastry and on the rolling pin to avoid them becoming sticky. Roll until the pastry is 30cms by 30cms (11x11 inches) to fit a 23cm/9inch pie dish. Place this over the pie dish making sure you press right into the base. Trim the excess with a knife and discard.

Assemble the pie

Roll out the remaining pastry to about 27cms by 27cms (10x10 inches) to make the pie lid. Place the pie filling into the pastry case. Brush the edges with the beaten egg white using a pastry brush. Place the pastry lid over this and press down along the edges to seal it. Trim off the excess pastry using a knife. Make a slit in the middle to allow the steam to escape. Bake at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

The cherry pie filling. Don't be afraid to pile it up!

To finish off

Remove and sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the pie. Serve hot or cold with custard or cream.

Make the edges pretty by crimping with a spoon

The final result, all thanks to shop-bought ingredients


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Prep time: 30 mins plus cooling Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 8

This is a delicious pastry tart, with a tangy lemon filling topped with soft sweet meringue
Pastry case:
225g/8oz ready made shortcrust pastry (chilled), or see page 30 225g/8oz/1 cup granulated sugar 60g/2oz/ cup cornflour

Lemon Meringue Pie


Filling: Meringue:
2 medium sized egg yolks 2 washed unwaxed lemons 275ml/9fl oz/1 cup cold water

Roll out the pastry so it's bigger than the dish

2 egg whites (medium size at room temperature) teaspoon cream of tartar 60g/2oz/ cup caster/superfine sugar

Heat the oven to 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Roll out the pastry onto a floured work surface using a floured rolling pin. Keep turning it and putting a little more flour under it as needed. Roll it out to about 3mm thick and about 1 wider than the base of the flan dish.

Cook the base

Fit it to the dish and cut the excess from around the edge

Line the base and sides of the flan dish with the pastry, making sure you reach into the corners. Cut off excess along the edges with a knife. Ease a piece of foil over the dish and fill it with baking beans or any dried beans. The beans stop the pastry from bubbling, cooking too fast and losing its shape. Place it on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until light golden and cooked.

Add the filling

Bake the pastry blind so that it keeps its shape

Grate the outside of 2 lemons into a medium saucepan, being careful not to remove any of the white lemon underneath as this is very bitter and will ruin the flavour. Cut both lemons in half and, using a juicer, extract all the juice, minus any pips! Add the juice to the saucepan and then add cornflour and water. On a high heat and stirring all the time, bring to the boil, reduce the heat slightly and then keep stirring for a further 30 seconds, until it looks like and has the consistency of glue! Remove from the heat and add all of the granulated sugar and 2 egg yolks. Stirring all the time, bring back to the boil on a medium heat until it looks like lemon curd. Pour into the pastry case and leave to cool.

The filling starts off a zesty lemon colour

If you are using a liquid filling with a pastry crust and you are worried about a soggy bottom, put a thin glaze of egg wash on the pastry before filling. It will help protect it from liquid.

EGG WASH ON PASTRY

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Set oven at 150C/300F/gas mark 2.

Make the meringue

Beat together two egg whites and the cream of tartar until glossy and fluffy, which should be after about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the caster/superfine sugar to form the meringue. Spoon the meringue on top of the pastry case, making sure it touches the edges of the pastry, sealing it. Hit the surface with the back of a spoon to form peaks. Cook for about 20 minutes, until just beige in colour, but not brown.

Once it's been heated the filling turns translucent

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Pour out the filing into the pastry case

Whisk the egg whites into a stiff meringue


It is important to fluff the meringue top up, as this will help brown the top when it is placed in the oven.

Try our lemon meringue options on the opposite page

STIFF PEAKS

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Other meringue fillings


If you tire of just lemon, give these two options a whirl

emon meringue is a complex dessert. You have the crisp pastry case, the zesty filling and then a glorious cloud of sweet meringue on top. It works well in any situation and although it has reached legendary status, you can mix things up a bit if you have a hankering to try something new. Because you have the sweet meringue topping, you can use fillings that can sometimes be too sharp for other recipes. Here we have a lime option and also a lemon and raspberry possibility. Both use the basic ingredients of the filling used in our lemon meringue pie recipe, and also a similar technique unless it states otherwise.

Option 1: Lime
Prep time: 10 mins Heating time: 5 mins Servings: 8

Same filling ingredients as the recipe on the previous page, with the exception of

the lemon, which is omitted. 4 limes

Zest the limes into a saucepan and then juice them. Add this to the saucepan. If the limes dont yield their juice, blast them in the microwave for a couple of seconds and try again. Add the cornflour/corn starch and water. Bring to the boil, reduce and stir until it looks like glue. Remove from the heat and add the sugar and egg yolks. Take back to the heat (stirring all the time), bring back to the boil on a medium heat until thick.

Option 2: Lemon & Raspberry


Prep time: 10 mins Heating time: 5 mins Servings: 8

Same filling ingredients as the recipe on the previous page, including the lemon

100g/3.5oz/ cup fresh raspberries

Zest the lemons into a saucepan and then juice them. Add this to the saucepan. Add the cornflour/corn starch and water. Bring to the boil, reduce and stir until it looks like glue. Remove from the heat and add the sugar and egg yolks. Take back to the heat (stirring all the time), bring back to the boil on a medium heat until thick. Gently stir in the raspberries.

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Prep time: 30 mins Baking time: 60 mins Servings: 10

Mississippi Mud Pie


A pastry-free version of an American classic
Base:
300g/10oz/1/ cup digestive/Graham crackers, bashed to crumbs 75g/2oz/ stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

3 eggs 250g/9oz/1 cup caster sugar 2 tbsp sour creamy 3 tbsp golden syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract

Take your aggression out on the bag of biscuits!

100g/3oz/ cup dark chocolate 200g/7oz/1 stick of butter 2 tsp instant espresso powder

Topping:
A sprinkling of cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4.

Bash the base

Mix the biscuits and butter together and then tip into a deep, 23cm/9 inch pie dish. If you havent got one, a cake tin will be just fine.

Mix the crumbs in with the butter to form the base

Chill the base in the fridge while you make your filling. Melt the butter and then stir in the chocolate, and coffee. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale, thick and creamy. It will take about 4 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the sour cream, golden syrup and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Stir into the chocolate and coffee mixture.

Bake to complete

Get your base from the fridge and pour in the filling. Bake for at least 60 minutes. You need the filling to puff up and form a crust on top, kind of like a brownie.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until they thicken

Take out of the oven, pop on a wire rack and leave to cool. Watch the filling crack and sink a bit but do not worry! When the pie is cold, sift some cocoa on top to hide any ugly bits and increase the chocolate hit even more.

If you want something a little more in line with a traditional Mississippi Mud Pie, swap out the biscuit base for a shortcrust base. Keep the filling the same, but whip up some double/heavy cream for the topping and place some chocolate gratings as the final flourish.

THE AUTHENTIC VERSION

Carefully fill the biscuit base with the chocolate filling


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You have to let the steam escape as the pie cooks. If you dont, the pastry risks combusting! Just a couple of slits in the top will do the job, although you can also buy special pie funnels for a decorative touch.

STEAM HOLE

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Prep time: 3 hours Baking time: 40 mins Servings: 4

Beef & Mushroom Pie


A hearty, traditional meat pie
Filling:
800g/28oz/3 cups braising steak cut into 1" cubes 225g/8oz/1 cup mushrooms (button or chestnut) wiped clean and cut into quarters 1 large onion peeled and cut into thick slices 2 tbsp vegetable oil 3 tbsp plain flour 1 tbsp Worcester sauce (or brown sauce) 1 level tsp of dried thyme 570ml/19fl oz/2 cups hot beef stock (made from a stock cube) glass of red wine (optional) Salt and milled black pepper

Topping:
Short crust pastry ready made is fine Beaten egg or milk to glaze

Add a little flour and then brown your beef

Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, gas mark 6. Heat the oil in the saucepan (or casserole if using). Pat the meat cubes with kitchen towel to absorb any moisture. Sprinkle 1 tbsp flour and cover the cubes of meat in this. Now add the meat to the pan and turn in the oil until browned on the sides. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp of flour and stir. Now add the sliced onions and chopped mushrooms and cook for five minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp of flour together with the thyme. Pour over half of the hot stock, stirring well to pick up the crispy bits from the bottom. Next stir in the rest of the stock, together with the Worcester sauce (and wine if using). Season with salt and pepper.

Mix in onions and mushrooms and cover with stock

Assemble the pie

Fit the lid once your filling is nicely cooked

Cover the pan, or casserole, with a tight fitting lid and simmer over a low heat for 2-2 hours, or in the preheated oven for 2-2 hours, until the meat is tender. During cooking, stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Place the cooked meat into a pie dish and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. When the meat filling is cool, prepare the short crust pastry, as in the pastry-making section, or if using ready made, roll out a piece large enough to cover the pie dish. Trim the edges using a sharp knife. Make a slit in the middle of the pie to allow the steam to escape during baking. Crimp the edges using a fork or pinching a pattern with your fingers. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg or a little milk to glaze.

Wait until the lid is golden brown and then enjoy

Place in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

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Delicious!

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Prep time: 2.5 hours Baking time: 40 mins Servings: 8

A perfect weekend light lunch when served with a green salad


Filling:
3 red onions 2 white onions 250g/8oz/1 cup grated cheddar cheese 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp crumbled goats cheese 1tsp rosemary Salt and pepper for seasoning 3 medium eggs 100ml/3fl oz/ cup of double cream

Cheese & Onion Tart


Tart:
2tbsp vegetable oil Shortcrust pastry

Roughly chop the onions - it will seem like a lot of work!

Peel and chop the onions in half, then cut them roughly into strips. Add the cooking oil to a deep pan and then add the onions, turn the heat up until you hear them sizzle and then lower the heat. Cover and let them caramelise for about an hour, stirring them occasionally.

Prepare the pastry

Add ceramic beans to the pastry case

Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to about 5mm thick on a lightly floured surface. Were using a 22cm loose-bottomed tin for this one. Fill the tin with the pastry using that extra amount to hang off the sides. Fill up any holes that are created with extra little bits of pastry you have. Cover the base of the pastry case with foil or baking paper and then use ceramic beans to fill the surface. Then pop in the oven for 10 minutes to blind bake. Once done, remove the beans and leave the pastry to rest on the side.

Final mix

Set the cooked pastry aside when its done

When the onions are done, take them off the heat and drain any excess water. In a large bowl mix the onions, cream, cheddar cheese, eggs and rosemary until well combined. Add some salt and pepper for seasoning and fill the pasty casing with the mixture. Add a sprinkling of goats cheese over the top and bake for 25/30 mins.

You can buy ceramic baking beans from any good cooking shop but if you cant get hold of any for the blind baking of the pastry, you can also use dried rice or uncooked white beans as they will have the same effect and can be just as effective.

SUBSTITUTING BAKING BEANS

Evenly fill the pastry with the filling and then bake
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Dig out the filling

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Prep time: 50 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 1-2

A small pie that packs a lot of flavour (and pleasure)


Pastry:
One batch of rough puff pastry (see page 32) or ready-made puff pastry 2 sticks of celery 1 whole onion 150ml/5fl oz/ cup double/heavy cream 200ml/7fl oz/ cup chicken stock Black pepper to season

Chicken Pot Pie


Filling:
1 tbs olive oil 2 large chicken breasts 1 tbs plain/all-purpose flour 3 large carrots

Plus:
25cm/9 inch pie dish

When the chicken is cooked, evenly dice and leave aside

Place the chicken breasts whole into a pot of boiling water, turn the heat down and simmer for about 12 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pot, cut into even sized chunks and set aside for later. Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Add the oil to a frying pan and add the finely chopped onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add the flour, mix together and cook for a further minute.

Soften all the vegetables in some oil

Add the cream and stock. Stir well over a medium heat and then add the chicken. Season with a sprinkle of black pepper.

Make the lid

Divide the mixture up and add to each pie dish and cover with a puff pastry pie top. Using a fork press the edges of the lids down onto the pie dishes to ensure they stick. Leave a little bit of overhang. Pop a hole in the middle of the lid to allow the steam to escape. Place into the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Add the chicken with the vegetables, stock and cream

This recipe is perfect for using leftover chicken from the night before and even saves you a bit of time as your chicken will already be cooked! Just add the precooked chicken in with the cooked vegetables before putting into the pie dish.

DON'T WASTE A THING

Use a fork to make sure its sealed properly


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Pot pie options


Warming, filling and always a welcome sight
the irresistible smell of what delicious filling is waiting for you inside. Pot pies can be tailored for whatever occasion you have planned. Include luxury items such as lobster or steak for a special meal, or experiment with vegetarian

ot pies are absolutely brilliant. It is impossible not to feel happy at the sight of a small pot topped with a flaky and golden pastry lid. And this is even before you grab a fork and puncture the top, sending up a cloud of pastry crumbs and

alternatives. Sweet pot pies also work extremely well, especially fruit ones. We have used the basic recipe listed on the previous page for our fillings here, omitting the chicken breasts. Obviously the fruity pot pie starts from scratch!

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Option 1: Chicken & Chorizo


Prep time: 30 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 2

Option 2: Vegetable
Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 2

Filling as listed on the previous page 4 cooked chicken thighs, thickly diced

100g/3oz/ cup chorizo, also diced

Filling as listed on the previous page, without the chicken or chicken stock 2 parboiled potatoes, diced into

sizable chunks Handful of button mushrooms 150ml/5fl oz/ cup vegetable stock

Preheat oven 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Cook up the vegetables as listed on the previous page and add the cream and stock once finished. Stir on the cooked chicken and chorizo. Let the chorizo warm through and release its golden juices. The rest of the ingredients will start to absorb the flavour, especially the chicken. Spoon into the pots, top with your pastry hat and then bake until the pastry is a lovely golden brown.

Preheat oven 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Cook the onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add the flour and cook for a further minute. Add the half-cooked potatoes and the mushrooms and cook for a minute. Pour in the cream and stock and cook over a medium heat until thickened. Spoon the mixture into a pot and place the pastry lid on the top. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the potatoes are cooked through.

Option 3: Fruit & Nut


Prep time: 20 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 2

Option 4: Apple & Raspberry


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 15 mins Servings: 4

Filling as listed on the previous page, without the chicken and onion 2 shallots, finely diced

2 skinless salmon fillets, already cooked

500g/17oz/2 cups of apples 300g/10oz/1 cup raspberries 150g/5oz/ cup porridge oats 50g/1.7oz/0.4 sticks unsalted

butter, softened 100g/3oz/ cup demerara sugar plus extra for sprinkling 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Cook the carrots, celery and shallots until soft. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock and cream and cook for a further minute. Break up the salmon into decent-sized pieces. You want about a mouthful. Gently work this into the vegetable mixture and then spoon into your pots. Top with the pastry hat and cook until it is golden and brown. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Preheat oven 190C, 375F, gas mark 5. Dice the apples into bite-sized pieces and tip into a bowl. Tip in the raspberries and gently combine. Mix the oats, butter and sugar up together very roughly. You want a buttery, lumpy oat mixture. Stir the oat mixture in with the fruit and gently combine. Spoon into the pots and top with the pie hat. Brush the beaten egg on top and use the extra demerara sugar to sprinkle on top of the pastry. Bake until golden brown and the sugar is crunchy. Bake for 25 minutes, until the cakes have risen and are firm to touch.

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Bread
Get those arm muscles working because youre going to knead them

ou dont have to make your own bread even if youre not near a bakers you can pick up a decent loaf from a supermarket. However, if you decide to buy your bread, you really do miss out on so much. There is something very satisfying about making your own bread that you simply have to try it at least once. True, there is a bit of waiting around and yes, you do have to expend some physical exertion but once that loaf is in the oven and the smell hits you, everything is all worthwhile. The good news with bread is that once you have mastered the basic technique, you are able to let your imagination go wild with toppings and extra ingredients. We begin with a basic white and wholemeal recipe, which you can use as the base for anything you can dream up. Youll also find an easy recipe for dinner rolls and if you want fresh bread without the kneading, we have a loaf that just needs a long rising time. No kneading is required! Of course, bread isnt just about slicing a loaf. You can use a flour and yeast mixture to make delicious pizza dough, as well as garlic bread to go with it. For picnics try the cheese twists or the cheese rolls.

Both are delicious hot or cold. Finally we feature a fantastic recipe for a slightly different breakfast idea. The breakfast balls consist of sausage and bacon enrobed in a warm and crunchy bread casing. These tasty meals are a really great start to the day, and work just as well cold as they do hot.

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Key chapter features

There is something very satisfying about making your own bread that you simply have to try it at least once
Basic White Loaf, page 152 Take it easy with No-knead Bread, page 160

Basic Wholemeal Loaf, page 156

Dinner Rolls, page 158

Pizza Dough, page 162

Cheese Twists, page 172


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When you preheat the oven, place a baking tray on the bottom. Just after youve placed your bread in the oven pour a small amount of water onto the empty tray, then quickly close the oven door to trap the steam. This will help to create a good crust and a well risen loaf.

STEAM TRICK

lo Savour the ingaf before slic


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Prep time: 1 hour 40 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 10

Making basic white bread is not hard; follow this method to bake the perfect sandwich loaf
Bread:
500g/19oz/2 cup strong white bread flour 7g/ tsp of dried yeast 10g/ tsp table salt 1 tbsp (15ml) of olive oil 300ml/10fl oz/1 cup warm water

Basic White Loaf

Place the flour, dried yeast and salt in a large bowl. Try not to let the yeast and salt touch at this stage as the salt may kill the yeast.

Add water and oil to your dry ingredients

Measure out the water and add the olive oil. Pour this into the bowl along with your other ingredients. Slowly bring the mix together with your hands until a rough dough is formed. Scrape out the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface.

Knead the mixture

Get your hands in there and mix the ingredients together

Knead the bread by pushing away part of the dough with the base of your hand then pulling it back in order to stretch it. Do this until the dough is smooth and satiny this will take around 10 minutes. Roll into a ball and place into a large clean, lightly oiled, bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Scrape the dough onto your work surface and push the air out of the dough by pushing your fingers into it and creating a circle with the dough. Shape the loaf by rolling the dough in on itself from the top to the bottom creating a tight cylinder shape and tuck the ends slightly under.

Knead the dough until it becomes smooth.

Bake and eat

Place on a baking tray with the seam of the dough on the bottom. Dust with flour and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. While the dough is rising preheat the oven to 250C, 475F, gas mark 10 or its highest setting. When your dough has risen, use a serrated knife to score a inch deep line length ways across the top of your loaf. Place on the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 10 minutes then turn your oven down to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4 and bake for a further 20 minutes. Your loaf is fully baked when it has a well-browned crust and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of it. Cool on a wire rack.
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Score a half-inch deep line across the top with your knife.

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Extra fillings for bread


Elevate the humble load into something divine
Bread is a natural partner to all sorts of things, and can handle both sweet and savoury options. The suggestions we have here are all based on the basic bread recipe, on the previous page. Just follow the recipe until after the second knead and then add here can be no denying the power of a freshly-baked loaf. The smell is enough to send adults into a frenzy. However great white bread is, with a few wellchosen additions you can propel a simple loaf into something dreams are made of.

the ingredients we have here. If you add them earlier, you risk affecting the rising process and could end up with a tough loaf. The amount of ingredients here are pretty flexible. If there is something you like more, swap it out. We won't sulk!

Option 1: Chicken & Chorizo


Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 10

Option 2: Cheese & Onion


Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 10

1 batch of white bread dough 100g/3oz/ cup chorizo 100g/3oz/ cup cooked chicken. Chicken breast works

well but you can also opt for thigh for more flavour

1 batch of white bread dough 100g/3oz/ cup grated Parmesan 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp diced red

onions 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp crumbled goats cheese

Preheat your oven as high as it will go. After the second rise is complete, dice up the chorizo and chicken pieces. You don't have to go teeny tiny, but you want a bit of texture. Knead the chicken and chorizo into the dough until it is all incorporated. Shape and then place in the oven. The chorizo will leak all of its gorgeous juices as it cooks, so this isnt a neat recipe. But as it releases its juices, it spikes the bread with intense orange pockets of spice. Eat while still warm.

Preheat your oven as high as it will go. While the bread is on its second rise, gently fry the onions in a small amount of oil. After the bread has risen, knead the onions in with the bread. Then work in the cheeses, making sure that everything is well combined. Shape the load as required and place in the oven. Prepare for the onslaught of amazing smells!

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Option 3: Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl


Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 10

Option 4: Herb
Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 10

1 batch of white bread dough 200g/7oz/ cup of chocolate hazelnut spread 50g/1.7oz/3 tbsp chopped

hazelnuts Handful of whole hazelnuts

1 batch of white bread dough Bunch of parsley Bunch of basil Bunch of chives

1 tbsp of salted butter, melted Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven as high as it will go. Once the bread has had its second rise, roll out to very thin, roughly the thickness of two pennies. Slather this with the chocolate hazelnut spread, leaving a thin gap around all of the edges. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the spread, getting them nice and even. Sprinkle the whole hazelnuts over. Roll the dough up and cut into however many pieces you want. Pop in the oven until golden brown and filled with warm, melted hazelnut chocolate.

Preheat your oven as high as it will go. Cut all of the herbs into small sizes. After the bread dough has risen, knock it back and then knead all of the herbs into the dough. Keep kneading until they are evenly dispersed. Shape the dough and then brush it with the melted butter. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on top of the crust and then bake until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

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For extra flavour and texture try adding a handful of mixed seeds into your dough before adding the water. You can also top your loaf with some seeds to give it a beautifully rustic appearance.

FULL OF FLAVOUR

in You are lookxtgurfor an even te e


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Prep time: 1 hour 20 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 8

With these simple steps you can easily create a fantastic rustic wholemeal loaf
Bread:
500g/19oz/2 cup strong wholemeal bread flour 7g/ tsp of dried yeast 10g/ tsp table salt 1 tbsp (15ml) of olive oil 350ml/12fl oz/1 cups warm water

Basic Wholemeal Loaf

Time to get your hands dirty mix with your fingers

Place the flour, dried yeast and salt in a large bowl. Try not to let the yeast and salt touch at this stage as the salt may kill the yeast. Measure out the water and add the olive oil. Pour this into the bowl along with your other ingredients. Slowly bring the mix together with your hands until a rough dough is formed. Scrape out the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface.

Knead the mixture

Wrap in cling film and leave until its twice the size.

Knead the bread by pushing away part of the dough with the base of your hand then pulling it back in order to stretch it. Do this until the dough is smooth and satiny this will take around 10 minutes. Roll into a ball and place into a large clean, lightly oiled, bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Scrape the dough onto your work surface and push the air out of the dough by pushing your fingers into it and creating a circle with the dough. Shape the loaf by rolling the dough into a tight round ball and sprinkle the top with flour or oats.

Push your fingers into the dough to get rid of air.

Bake and eat

Place on a baking tray with the seam of the dough on the bottom. Leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. While the dough is rising preheat the oven to 250C, 475F, gas mark 10 or its highest setting if it cant reach this temperature. Place on the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 10 minutes then turn your oven down to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4 and bake for a further 20 minutes. Your loaf is fully baked when it has a well-browned crust and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of it. Leave on a wire rack until it has completely cooled.
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Place on a wire rack to avoid a soggy base

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The process of kneading means stretching and working dough to combine all of the ingredients, which creates a smoother, more elastic dough. You need to knead for a long time to get good results, but your bread will be worth it! Check out our guide to kneading on page 26.

HARD WORK PAYS OFF

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Prep time: 30 mins plus rising Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 12

Serve these simple white rolls on a side plate, warm from the oven
Bread rolls:
750g/26oz/3 1/3 cup strong white bread flour 7g/ tsp sachet of dried yeast 50g/1oz/ stick soft butter, cut into chunks 110ml/4 fl oz/ cup warmed milk 350ml/12fl oz/1 cup warm water 2 tsp salt

Dinner Rolls

Combine all the dry ingredients together

Grab a large mixing bowl and add the yeast, salt and flour. With your hands, gently combine the ingredients together. Add the chunks of butter and use your fingers to mix it into the flour mix. You want to rub the mixture between your fingers, until the whole thing resembles breadcrumbs. This will take quite a while. If there is too much flour, then add an extra chunk of butter to help mix it all together. In a jug, combine the warmed milk and water. Add this to your breadcrumbs mix and give it a stir with a wooden spoon until it is roughly combined. Continue to mix with your hands until it forms a smooth dough. If you find that the dough is too wet and is sticking to your hands, add more flour. If you have too much flour and the dough is flaky, then add a tad more warm water. Once you have a dough ball, turn it out onto a floured surface. It's time to start kneading. You will want to knead for around 25 minutes to ensure that it is adequately worked. The dough should feel elastic and smooth when it is done. Add drops of water if it gets too dry as you work.

At the start the dough looks lumpy and bumpy

Rise and bake

Pop the dough into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size.

As the kneading process takes place, the dough smooths out

Transfer the dough back to a floured surface. During the rising process, the dough will get lots of air pockets, so you need to knead the dough again to knock this air out of it. This is commonly called knocking back. Separate the dough into individual balls. This recipe will make about 12 large rolls. Roll the balls in your hands to smooth them out and then flatten them slightly. Place them on a greased baking tray close together. Cover with plastic wrap once again and return to your warm spot until the dough has doubled in size again. Preheat your oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6.

You can shape and size your rolls however you like

Transfer the baking tray to your oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown on top and cooked through. Check they are cooked by tapping on the base. It should sound hollow. Let the rolls cool slightly and then pull them apart.
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Cook with yo
Kids

ur

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Prep time: 10 mins plus rising Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 8

This is a very easy recipe that doesnt require kneading, but it does take a night to rise
Bread:
450g/16oz/2 cups strong white bread flour 7g/ tsp fast-action bread yeast 1tsp salt 1 tsp soft brown sugar (or regular granulated) 1 tbsp olive oil (best is extra-virgin) 350ml/12fl oz/1 cups lukewarm water

No-knead Bread

The dough once it has been mixed and is ready to rise

Using a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Then pour in the water and the olive oil and stir with your hands (if you dont mind getting sticky) or a spatula until its all mixed together, which doesnt take long at all. The dough will be very sticky and looks a bit like thick porridge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest somewhere warm (airing cupboard or warm room) for at least 12 hours. The dough mix will have doubled in size.

Second rise

Turned out from the bowl to be turned

Scrape the dough mixture out of the bowl onto a floured (using the same strong bread flour that made with) work surface and sprinkle a little more flour on top. Fold it over on itself two or three times only then roll it over so the folds are on the bottom and shape it into a ball, trying not to handle it too much. Oil a large round heat-proof dish or pot or tin. Place the ball of dough into the tin and cover in with a tea towel then let it rise again for 1-2 hours in that same warm place. It will rise by about half again. Put the pot/tin/dish into a preheated oven at 200C, 390F, gas mark 6 and cover with a lid. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on then take it off and bake for a further 20-30 minutes. When it comes out it will be golden in colour and will sound hollow if you tap it on the bottom. Pop it on a wire rack and leave it to cool for a bit.

After the bread has been shaped for the first rise

Once the dough has had that first 12 hours of rising it looks very bubbly like beer froth and smells very yeasty though doesnt yet resemble normal bread. This is fine and is perfectly normal. The finished version will look like a round farmhouse loaf and is quite smooth with a good crust on it.

IT LOOKS WRONG, BUT IT'S RIGHT

Ready for the final rise. Notice how it is smoother


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Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 2

You can give the take-away a miss with this delicious recipe
Dough:
500g/18oz/2 cup strong white bread flour (plus a little extra for kneading and rolling) 300ml/10fl oz/1 cup tepid (warm) water 20g/oz/1 tsp salt 20g/oz/1 tsp sugar 10g/ tsp fast-action dried yeast

Pizza Dough

Mix the ingredients into a soft, but not sticky, dough

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in half of the warm water. It will foam and try to form clumps so keep stirring until it has made a solution. Put the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and then make a well in the centre with your hand. Pour the sugar-yeast solution into the well all in one go. Keeping your hand flat and your fingers together, work the solution into the flour by moving your hand in a figure of eight around the bowl. At this point the mixture will still be floury and wont all stick together just yet. Pour in the other half of warm water gradually, about a quarter at a time, continuing to mix it with your hand until all the flour comes away from the sides and is combined into a non-sticky dough. Put a small amount of flour on a clean surface and some on your hands, then tip the dough out of the mixing bowl onto it.

Lightly flour the surface before you start to knead

Work the dough

Roll the dough out into the shape you want


This recipe is for one large thin and crispy pizza, plenty for two. If you wanted to make individual ones you could divide the dough before rolling out. Why not make lots of little bases for great lunch-time snacks? You can freeze them too, just put the rolled dough on a baking tray and wrap in cling film before putting in the freezer, then top and bake straight from frozen.

Knead the dough for about five minutes. The kneading motion doesnt have to be precise, you just want to make sure that all of the mixture is getting some of the action. With the heel of one hand, push into a corner of the dough stretching it away from you, then roll it back in before repeating the motion. Turn the dough frequently and use both hands as you get into the rhythm. It will take a while but gradually you will notice the dough become smooth and stretchy. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a rough square about 1cm thick. This will take a while as the dough should be so springy that it pings back, but persevere, always rolling away from you and turning the dough to get an even shape.

OTHER BASES

Baking

Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Put the base on a floured sheet of tin foil and top it however you like, leaving a gap of around 2cm at the edges for the crust. Cooking your pizza on tin foil instead of a baking tray means the base crisps up much better. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, but this might need to be a little longer depending on your toppings.

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Bonus ideas for tasty pizza bases


Preparing the dough is just the start

ubbling mozzarella, crispy pepperoni, sticky onions and fresh peppers all add up to a very tasty pizza. As tasty as that all is, if you place the ingredients on a homemade pizza base you are looking at something very special indeed. There is nothing wrong with a straightforward base, as explained on the previous pages. But when you want maximum flavour, its not the ideal platform to use. Weve put together a little selection of our favourite base options here. Most use familiar pizza ingredients, so they will work in harmony with whatever toppings you have. The base needs to transport the flavours, so make sure the top and bottom arent fighting for attention. We have used the ingredients and method as described on the previous pages, so read through that and complete. Go all the way up to kneading it and then turn here for some flavour inspiration. We havent given measurements as it all depends on taste.

Option 1: Stuffed Crust


Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 2

1 batch of pizza dough Tube of processed smoked cheese 30g/1oz/1/8 stick melted butter 1 clove of garlic finely minced Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1cm/1/3 inch. Cut the smoked cheese into long, thin strips. Try to make them about 2cm/-inch thick.

Mix the garlic with the lemon zest and melted butter. Use a pastry brush to brush around all the edges of the dough. Place the cheese strips all around the edges and roll over. Use some more garlic butter mix if you need it to stick down.

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Option 2: Herbs
Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 2

1 batch of pizza dough Bunch of parsley Bunch of dill

Bunch of chives Zest of 1 lemon Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Finely chop the parsley, dill and chives. Mix with the lemon zest and salt. Once your dough has been kneaded as required, sprinkle some of the herb mixture onto the dough and knead some more to combine. Keep going until all of the mixture is incorporated. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1cm/ inch, in the desired shape. Get your toppings in place and cook for about 10 minutes.

Option 3: Pesto
Prep time: 10 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 2

Option 4: Feta & Olives


Prep time: 5 mins Baking time: 10 mins Servings: 2

1 batch of pizza dough Handful of basil Handful of pine nuts 1 clove of garlic, crushed

Lemon infused olive oil (or just mix some lemon juice in some olive oil)

1 batch of pizza dough Handful of olives (pick your favourite but Kalamata olives work particularly well)

50g/1.7oz/3.5 tbsp feta Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Roughly chop up the basil and mix with the pine nuts, garlic and a glug of lemon oil. Start kneading this mixture into your dough until it is fully incorporated. You may find you dont need all of it (or you may want to add more!). Roll the dough out, place on the baking tray and then bake for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it in case the basil starts to burn. If it looks too brown, you can gently rest some foil on top.

Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Slice the olives into generous pieces and put in a bowl. Crumble the feta in the bowl and briefly stir to mix. Add pepper to taste. Roll out your dough, slightly thinner than you would normally. Spread the feta and olive mixture onto the dough and fold it in half. Gently roll out again to the required size and thickness. Bake in the oven until lovely and brown.

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Prep time: 15 mins plus rising Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 25

These rolls are best eaten fresh out of the oven and shared with friends
Cheese rolls:
375g/13oz/1 2/3 cups strong white bread flour plus a little for dusting the table surface A pinch of salt 7g/ tsp dried yeast 4 tbs olive oil 200ml/7fl oz/2/3 cup room temp water 150g/5oz/2/3 cup grated strong cheddar 50g/1.75oz/ cup grated mozzarella 1 tsp dried thyme 100g/3oz/ cup melted unsalted butter black pepper

Cheese Rolls

Knocking back gets rid of any excess air

Combine the flour, salt, yeast, oil and water in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes until the ingredients are well combined and the dough forms a smooth surface. The dough shouldnt be sticky or crumbly. Lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface and press lightly with your fingers to form little dimples. Then fold the dough over and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Leave the dough to rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Spread the filling on the dough and then roll up

The assemble

Preheat the fan to 190C, 375F, gas mark 5 and melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat. Once the dough is ready, place it on a lightly floured surface once again and this time roll it out to about 5mm thick. Try to aim for a rectangle shape to make it easier to roll up. Evenly spread the butter over the top of the dough covering as much as possible. Scatter the cheese and thyme onto the buttered dough until it is covered and grate a bit of pepper over the top.

Slice the roll into slices and get ready to bake

Start from the top of the dough to start rolling. Gently tuck in the sides as you roll it towards you forming a long tube. Chop about an inch along until you reach the end and youre left with a number of little swirly rolls. Place in a non-stick oven dish facing up and dont worry if theyre touching. Bake for about 20 minutes or until theyre golden brown.

You can shape and size your rolls however you like

These rolls are perfect for adapting, why not add finely chopped jalapeo peppers to spice things up a bit or some diced up pepperoni in at the same time as you add the cheese? You can even spread the ingredients half and half to make a selection of different rolls.

OTHER VARIATIONS

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Prep time: 30 mins Baking time: 30 mins Servings: 8

This fills the home with a warm 'just baked' bread smell, making it great for a weekend treat
Bread:
500g/17oz/2 cup wholemeal flour (plus some for dusting) 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp bicarb of soda/baking soda 400ml/13fl oz/1 2/3 cups buttermilk

Soda bread
Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6.

Make a well and pour in the buttermilk

Sift the flour, bicarb/baking soda and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, mix everything together. It should come together nicely without being too sticky but it should still be a bit tacky. This should take about 4-5 minutes of gentle exercise.

Quick knead

Flour the surface of a table and knead the dough lightly with your hands. It shouldnt stick in clumps but should become smooth after about 2 minutes of kneading.

Mix together with a wooden spoon until combined

Once the dough is smooth, make a ball and place it on a lightly floured baking tray. Using a knife, score a deep cross in the centre of the dough and cover with flour. Place into the oven and bake for around 30 minutes until the crust is a lovely deep golden colour.

When kneading the dough after mixing all the ingredients together, don't be tempted to do it for longer. In the case of soda bread, you will just make it chewy.

LIGHT AND DELICATE

Roll the dough into a ball and place on floured baking tray

Score a cross in the middle of the dough


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Prep time: 45 mins Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 6

Try this and you will never buy shop-bought again


Bread:
220g/7oz/2 cups of strong, white bread flour 1 tsp salt 236ml/8fl oz/1 cup warm water tbsp instant yeast tbsp sugar

Garlic Bread

Garlic butter:
57g/2oz/ cup melted butter 59ml/2fl oz/ cup olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced (or however much you like) tsp salt Zest 1 lemon Chopped flat leaf parsley Pepper to taste

Knead the bread dough until it is smooth and elastic

Get a measuring cup and mix the sugar and yeast with a fork. Add the warm water and stir. Leave for 5 minutes, the yeast will start to activate and go bubbly. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and stir in the yeast mixture. It will be a soft dough but if it looks sticky, add a bit of flour. Knead on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. If you are using a dough hook, aim for 5. Cover the bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size, which is about an hour and a half in a warm place.

Place the ovals of dough onto a baking sheet

Shape your bread

Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and punch down. Split into equal sizes and use your hands to make these into rough oval shapes, about a quarter of an inch thick. Pop them onto a baking tray, leaving a bit of room between each for spreading and puffing. Mix up the garlic butter ingredients in a bowl (but leave the parsley for now) and spread over the bread shapes. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Sprinkle with parsley and eat up.

The bread will puff up slightly when cooking

Enjoy your garlic bread fresh out of the oven


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Ultimate Cheese Twists


These are perfect snacks but are also great with soup
125g/4oz/ cup grated Grana Padano cheese 2 eggs 1 tsp of Dijon mustard 20g/oz/1 tbsp poppy seeds

Twists:
200g/7oz/1 cup self-raising/cake flour Pinch of cayenne pepper Pinch of paprika 125g/4oz/1 stick chilled butter

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Prep time: 30 mins plus chilling Baking time: 18 mins Servings: 12

Mix the ingredients

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Sieve the flour into a large bowl, dice the butter and add to the flour along with the cayenne pepper and paprika.

Make breadcrumbs

The twists begin their life as cigar shapes

Work the mixture with your fingers by pinching the butter cubes and rubbing them between your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. It should take about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until everything is well combined. Separate the yolk and the white of one of the eggs, by breaking an egg but only leaving a small gap between the two parts of the shell, and letting the white escape into a bowl before emptying the yolk into another. Put the bowl with the egg white aside and add the yolk, plus the entire second egg, to the flour and cheese mixture.

Two twists are combined to make the first shape

Add the mustard to this and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture sticks together. Push the mixture together with your hands, so it resembles a dough.

Cut the shapes

Sprinkle a clean, dry surface with flour. Tip the dough onto this and then knead lightly for 30 seconds. Cover (not wrap) the dough in plastic wrap and leave in a cool place for 30 minutes. Cut the dough into 24 equal portions. The best way to do this is to make it into a small rectangle shape (doesnt matter how tall or wide), cut the rectangle in half, and then each half in half, then halving each piece again and finally cutting the eight pieces each into three equal portions. Using your flat hand and the floured surface (top up if necessary), roll each of the 24 pieces into 8cm/3" long strips. Get two of the strips, pinch the top of each together, and then twist them. When they are twisted, pinch the two remaining ends together and place on a baking tray lined with foil. Repeat until you have 12 twists, making sure that the twists are evenly spaced out. Whisk the egg white that was put aside earlier and then brush a small amount all over each twist.

This is repeated to get the final effect

Tear and share your fresh cheesy twists

Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the twists (they should stick). Place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
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Prep time: 10 mins plus rising time Baking time: 20 mins Servings: 15

If it works as a sandwich, it will work as a ball


Bread:
500g/17oz/2 cups strong white bread flour 1 tsp salt 7g/ tsp fast action yeast 300ml/10fl oz/1 1/3 cups warm water (you wont need all of it)

Breakfast Balls
Filling:
3 sausages 2 rashers of bacon Ketchup to taste

Plus:
Egg wash

Put the filling in the centre of the dough circle

Mix all of the dry bread ingredients in a bowl, then slowly pour in the water until it all comes together. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or whack in an electric mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes.

Rising time

Put the dough in a bowl and cover to double in size. This will take about an hour in a warm place, or you can mix it up the night before, leave in the fridge overnight, and use the next morning.

Start to gather up the edges to make the ball

While the dough is rising, chop the sausages and bacon into small pieces and fry to cook. Put in a bowl and mix in some tomato ketchup to your taste. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6.

Make the balls

Once the dough has doubled its size, tip out onto a floured surface and knock back. Break off pieces, about 2 inches in diameter, and use your hands to flatten out into a circle. Pick up some of the sausage/bacon mixture and place in the middle of the bread circle. Gather the edges together and pinch to close. Your ball is made!

Work around to seal all edges and form the ball

Repeat the process, placing each finished ball on a baking sheet. Leave a gap between each one as they do get a bit bigger. Once all the balls are made, beat the egg and then brush over the balls. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp on the outside. Serve warm, with coffee, juice and a paper.

Leave some space as these do puff up when baking

If you dont feel comfortable shaping these with your hands, roll the dough out to about 3cm thick and then use a round cookie cutter to make your circle. Place the filling in the middle, gather the edges and away you go!

GO FOR PERFECTION

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Index
A B
Bakewell Bars Bars, Apple Cake Bars, Bakewell Bars, Granola Beef & Mushroom Pie Biscuits, Parmesan Blueberry Cake Blueberry Muffins Breakfast Balls Bread, Breakfast Bread, Dinner rolls Bread, Garlic Bread, No-knead Bread, Soda Bread, White Bread, Wholemeal 112 104 112 114 142 118 86 68 174 174 158 170 160 168 152 154 Apple Cake Bars Apple Pie 104 124

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C
Cakes, Blueberry Cakes, Chocolate Birthday Cake Cakes, Chocolate & Salted Caramel Slab Cakes, Coffee Cake with Walnuts Cakes, Fruit Cake with Dark Beer Cakes, Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cakes, Marble Cakes, Spicy Apple Cake Cakes, Victoria Sponge Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Cheese & Onion Tart Cheese Swirls Cheese Twists Cherry Pie Chicken Pot Pie Chocolate, Brownies Chocolate, Birthday Cake Chocolate, Choc Chip Cookies 86 90 84 78 74 76 80 88 72 56 144 166 172 134 146 102 90 96

Chocolate, Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes Coconut Cupcakes Coffee Cake with Walnuts Cookies, Choc Chip Cookies, Jam Sandwich Cookies, Vanilla Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes, Chocolate & Stout Cupcakes, Coconut Cupcakes, Lemon Cupcakes, Maple & Pecan Cupcakes, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Spicy Ginger Cupcakes, Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes, Vanilla

48 46 78 96 116 106 56 48 46 54 60 58 44 50 40

Cupcakes, Chocolate & Honeycomb 62

D
Dinner Rolls 158

Chocolate, Cupcakes with Chocolate 62 Frosting & Honeycomb Chocolate, Chocolate & Salted Caramel Slab
176 Baking for Beginners

F
Fruit Cake with Dark Beer 74

84

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Pies, Pecan Pizza Dough

128 162

R
Red Velvet Cupcakes 58

S
Shortbread Spicy Apple Cake 100 88 Spicy Ginger Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream 44 Soda Bread 168 50

G
Garlic Bread Granola Bars 170 114

Marble Cake Millionaires Shortbread Mississippi Mud Pie

80 110 140

Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

T
Tarts, Cheese & Onion Tarts, Lemon 144 130 132 Tarts, Treacle

J
Jam Sandwich Cookies 116

N
No-knead Bread 160

L
Lemon Cupcakes Lemon Drizzle Loaf Lemon Tart Lemon Meringue Pie 54 76 130 136

P
Parmesan Biscuits Pecan Pie Pies, Apple Pies, Beef & Mushroom Pies, Cherry Pies, Chicken Pot Pies, Lemon Meringue 118 128 124 142 134 146 136 140 Vanilla Cookies White Loaf Wholemeal Loaf

W
152 156

V
106 40 72
Baking for Beginners 177

M
Maple & Pecan Cupcakes 60

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting Victoria Sponge

Pies, Mississippi Mud

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A clear, comprehensive series for people who want to start learning about iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android and Photoshop

Get your copy today


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Baking

Everything you need to know to get started with baking


Learn the basics to getting started and then dive in and create something delicious!

Getting Started
Discover what equipment you need and how to do the basic techniques

Cupcakes
Learn the art of the perfect cupcake, from vanilla through to coconut

Cakes
Victoria Sponge, fruit cake, birthday cake its all here and much more

Cookies, Biscuits & Bars


From choc chip cookies through to granola bars and gooey brownies

Pies & Tarts


Sweet and savoury pastry treats that anyone can make at home

Bread
From basic loaves to filled rolls, this chapter has all you need to get started

9.99
ISBN-13: 978-1908955043

9 781908 955043 >

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