Although I like winter, I can't wait now for the spring to arrive. The other day, I suddenly realised, that it is colder now, then it was around Christmas! And, that is really not fair! Christmas is the real winter for me, so once we move over to February I'm expecting spring to arrive. It's England after all, not a Czech Republic...
So, I thought that regardless to what the thermometer outside says, I can bring spring to my home.
To continue with the 'Spring theme' I decided to bake some Blueberry & Vanilla Macarons to take to friends house for dinner.
The best thing about making your own marmalade is that you can use it for other baking recipes and the flavour is going to be so much better than a basic supermarket marmalade.
This simple brownie recipe is delicious with very chunky bitter seville orange marmalade, but you can easily use any other type. And you know what? I'm not going to judge you if you use a shop bought one either!
Marmalade Brownie Recipe
200g dark chocolate
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 table spoons of seville orange marmalade
icing sugar to decorate
33x23x5cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
Makes about 12 portions
Here is what to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3.
2. Break your chocolate into small pieces and place it with butter in a heatproof bowl melt it slowly in microwave, 20 seconds at a time and stiring until completely melted.
3. Add the sugar stirring well until incorporated.
4. Add the flour and stir well.
5. Stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.
6. Add the marmalade and stir the mixture carefully.
7.Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre.
8. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack, before dusting with icing sugar to decorate.
This easy chocolate brownie recipe is perfect for when you have spare 20 minutes or so and want to make a desert really quickly.
The recipe is also great to make with children - you can't over mix it and you don't even need electric whisk to mix everything together. I often bake this recipe to serve at my bread baking workshops and since a lot of people asked me for the recipe, I've decided to share it here.
There are so many wonderful mince pies recipes, but this one with a marzipan topping is one of my favourite. It's probably because most of the shop bought variety is little too sweet for me and this one doesn't have that much pastry or sugar in. The best thing is that you can choose your own mincemeat and even mix it with some freshly chopped up apples to give if bit more lightness.
If you want to you can easily buy the brandy marzipan, but I prefer to make my own. So, here is what you do:
Recently I've been asked to come up with a traditional sweet bread recipe for Christmas. The challenge was to come up with a recipe for a special friend staying with my student's family over Christmas. Their friend is originally from Slovak Republic, which send me on search to find out the really traditional bakes from this particular country.
This recipe is perfect when you have some sourdough starter leftover and if you don't want to throw away your old starter when you feed it. The sourdough starter doesn't have to be very active, but if it is it helps to make these blueberry muffins extra light and fluffy. I use wholemeal (or whole wheat) flour with this recipe to make the muffins a little bit healthier, but you can easily use just white flour or even bread flours with low gluten, such as spelt flour.
I've always been slightly puzzled by the battenberg cake - the structure, the colour, marzipan - to me this cake always felt like something that was invented in 70s. So, I was quite surprised to find out that this cake was actually invented in the 80s, ehm...the 1880s!
Battenberg Cake was originally created to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, princes Victoria, to Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884.
The four squares in the cake represented the four Battenberg princes - Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph. I like it as an idea, but I'm not quite sure what princes Victoria felt like on her wedding day, surely she was marrying just one brother?
This cake can be a challenge to make, but hopefully my step by step guide will help you to achieve a perfect result, worth any royal wedding.