Category Archives: Baking cakes

Delicious Austrian Cheesecake – Another Mary Berry winner

 

Published by Dorland Kindersley 2012

I’ve yet to try a Mary Berry recipe that doesn’t turn out well and the publishers, Dorland Kindersley, use an excellent photographer to illustrate her books.

I hate cookbooks without illustrations – I like to have some idea of what I am aiming for. Shame not all the recipes in her latest book Everyday are illustrated.

Josh fancied the recipe for a baked cheesecake in his newspaper. It looked a bit weird to me so I consulted my favourite Mary Berry book and found this recipe for Austrian Cheesecake.

Tastes as good as it looks

 

Delicious and nice not having a biscuit base. Not so clingy or filling. Freezes well – if you don’t scoff it all!!

 

 

Recipe Continue reading Delicious Austrian Cheesecake – Another Mary Berry winner

MADE Bloomsbury Part 1

Another great craft show

We always enjoy Tutton and Young’s annual MADE craft fairs.

The show held in the Mary Ward House in Bloomsbury is the most convenient for us though we traipsed out to Canada Water for their excellent show in March. Perhaps one year we’ll go to Brighton for their show there and we look forward to their fair in Marylebone this October.

Set of generous sized mugs by Iris de la Torre

 

Now that Josh and I are 87 and 85 respectively, over the years we’ve accumulated so many ‘things’ that it’s hard to find something to buy. Our four children are near to their fifties too so they’re in a similar position.

Delicious Raspberry and Hazelnut cake

Our son Simon and his wife were coming for  tea before visiting the Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain. Amy likes a generous cup ,so we were delighted to find these delightful mugs by Mexican-born Iris de la Torre.

I got up at dawn and made this delicious Raspberry and Hazelnut cake with a recipe from a John Lewis publication. This cake is  a family favourite. In there’s any left over it freezes well!!

Recipe

Continue reading MADE Bloomsbury Part 1

Another LAKELAND gadget – Nutri Snack Cake Baker

The green button lights when ready to cook

I’ve always been a sucker for kitchen gadgets and when we went to LAKELAND in the Centre Court mall, Wimbledon, to get some of their very good oven cleaner stuff, I couldn’t resist their Nutri Snack Cake Maker.

It has a very good non-stick surface

A small electrical gadget it bakes either eight small cakes or one approximately 13 x 19cm.

It comes with a few recipes.  I first tried the Lemon and Blueberry cakes. The recipe tells you to remove the partitioning tray and bake it as one cake but I found it difficult to lift out and transfer to a cutting board. Also I decided to reduce the amount of sugar so the cakes weren’t sweet enough and I used too many blueberries, left over from my fruit salad.

Delicious Pistachio cakes – and they only take 4-5 minutes to bake

The Pistachio cakes were the most successful. The change I made was not to grind the pistachio nuts too finely so that the cakes ended up with some texture. Josh though they could do with more cardamom – I’ll use ½ teasp next time instead of ¼ teasp.

We had the cornbread with my homemade chicken soup so I left out the chilli. I’ll try again with chilli and more sweetcorn.

For the calorie conscious each recipe comes with a calorie count and indication of fat, carbohydrates and protein and some recipes are gluten-free. Having lost so much weight when I was on a ventilator after my heart attack I am in the fortunate position of not having to watch my weight in case I put back some of the fat I lost. I do have to watch I don’t accumulate fluid though.

Altogether a success but it would be good to find some more recipes for the baker

Gothenburg – a cook’s paradise

Our favourite cookshop
A cookshop a few metres from our hotel

Most of our favourite cookshops in London have vanished. John Lewis and Peter Jones still have respectable cooking departments, while those in most of the  other big stores have shrunk.

In contrast, not only were there large cookshops in the big stores within walking distance of our hotel in the centre of Gothenburg , but there were at least five independent cookshops full of ‘don’t need but must haves’!!

And even with the unfavourable rate of exchange the prices were quite reasonable . Perhaps in Sweden they don’t only sit glued to cookery programs on the TV but they actually cook!! Judging by the amount of space given to cake baking and decorating, the Swedes are into cakes and pastries in a big way.

Apple and Walnut Strudel

Tastes as good as it looks
Tastes as good as it looks

I was taught to make proper strudel pastry, laying it out on a clean cloth and stretching it ever so gently until it was thin enough to read a love letter through. This recipe from the  Tesco Magazine takes a shortcut and uses ready rolled puff pastry.

The original Tesco recipe contained 4 dried dates.  But,  as they didn’t seem to add anything to the taste, and neither Josh nor I particularly like dates, and I had to buy a whole box, I will substitue raisins or sultanas in future. I have reduced the amount of sugar and lemon juice in my version of the recipe. Their recipe specified Russets, which are not always available, and I prefer the mixture of tart and sweet apples.

Recipe

Continue reading Apple and Walnut Strudel

LAKELAND IN CENTRE COURT MALL WIMBLEDON

Delighted to find a Lakeland where it's convenient and easy to park
Delighted to find a Lakeland where it’s convenient and easy to park

Our son, Simon, says that we have too many kitchen gadgets but I don’t think that’s possible. For me it’s like not being able to be Too Rich or Too Thin!!

When I was cooking today, I realised just how many of the kitchen tools I use everyday came from Lakeland – including some they no longer stock like the little pyramidal plastic pots I use to freeze aliquots of lemon or lime juice or herbs. We were delighted when Lakeland opened a branch in Centre Court Mall in Wimbledon. Whatever we go there to buy we end up buying more.

Tempting Bowls and Plates
Tempting Bowls and Plates

Joshua didn’t really approve of the fact that though these bowls and plates look like Spanish pottery they’re made of Melamine – but who cares? We’ve had our recent share of breakages and I found the small bowls on the left irresistible!!

Seeded Muffins – another delicious treat

Tea- or coffee-time treat
Lovely for coffee or tea time

There are so many healthy things in these little muffins that surely they must be good for you  – pecan nuts, carrots, mixed seeds. porage oats, dried apricots – especially if you forget the calories and don’t eat too many.

The recipe sounds complicated but once you’ve assembled the ingredients it’s a doddle and they always work out well

Recipe Continue reading Seeded Muffins – another delicious treat

More cake – scrumptious poppy seed cake

Moist and delicious
Moist and delicious

Another friend to coffee so another excuse for making a cake. we’ll only eat some of it. the rest I’ll frieze and take it with the frozen half coconut cake when we go to See Louise.

It’s a bit disappointing that it rises so well but always flattens as it cools. I suppose it’s the beaten egg whites that do that. it’s still delicious and a great favourite with our grandchildren.

Recipe  (enter recipe  in search panel on the left to find my other recipes) Continue reading More cake – scrumptious poppy seed cake

Crispy coconut cake for tea

Delicious coconut cake and my must-have cake tester
Delicious coconut cake and my must-have cake tester

I love having friends to tea or coffee, not least because it gives me an excuse to bake a cake or some muffins, trying out a new recipe or modifying an old one.
This recipe seems a bit strange because you add water not milk or plain yogurt.

The photo also shows my must-have kitchen tool – Lakeland’s cake tester. The little tool has a 1cm black area at the point that goes bright red when you plunge it into your cake or muffin. I find muffins particularly difficult to judge and without my cake-tester I would have taken them out too soon. In coffee shops muffins often seem to have uncooked centres. Those bakers need to use a cake tester!!

Recipe

Continue reading Crispy coconut cake for tea