Croissants

I will get round to posting some topical blogs but for now heres a baking post. Origionally posted at https://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/ my dedicated baking blog.

It took three days,

not a lot of effort

and it was totally worth it!

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I made some mini ones from scraps of dough

I gave this recipe two goes, the first part of this blog will mostly discuss the things I learnt and what went wrong. The second will discuss the changes I made to try and improve from the first.

I went in search of a detailed and well researched recipe & method with plenty of visuals to guide my way. This came in the form of The Weekend Bakery.

Recipe:

500g Plain Flour (10-11% protein)

140ml Water

140ml Whole Milk

55g Caster Sugar

40g Soft Unsalted Butter

11g Yeast

12g Salt

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280g Unsalted butter

1 egg & 1 tbsp. water for the egg wash.

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I spent a good month after discovering the recipe sourcing all the correct ingredients and equipment, reading, re-reading the method so I would be familiar with the processes. I read the questions and comments that people had left underneath the original post and the responses (this particularly helped in opening my eyes to the world of Protein % in flour!).

So I got myself a decent fine flour, the bakers over at Weekend Bakery recommend something called French Type 55 flour but even in the posh-est supermarket near me with the widest choice of all kinds of flour this wasn’t available. There was a comment on the website that I had read which said the best flour would be one with no less than 10% and no more than 11% protein. I looked at the nutritional information on all the different flours and settled for McDoughalls “00” Grade Premium Plain Flour at 11g of protein per 100g flour.

I chose a locally produced butter made up of 82% fat so nothing basic or too expensive.

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Some of the people who’s culinary excellence has rubbed off on me slightly. Their watchful eyes still didn’t help my first attempt.

An unwilling alteration I made was to use the dried active yeast. Because my dad makes his own bread we always have yeast in the fridge, usually fast action and dried active, on this particular day my dad had just made a fresh loaf of delicious bread and used the last of the fast action yeast. I could have just got in my car and gone to get some more but having already been to the shops that day I decided to use what I had. To activate the dried active yeast I warmed up the water and milk and stirred in the yeast (by warm I literally mean about 35 degrees).

A few tips from Weekend Bakery:

Before you embark on this kind of project ensure you’re working in an environment no hotter than 20 degrees. If your kitchen is too warm the butter will soften (or even melt) too quickly and its imperative to keep the butter as cold as possible.

Shaping the dough into a disc on day 1 will make it easier to roll out on day 2.

Keep your dough as cold as possible while laminating (folding the layers of butter) and try to keep the rolling out and folding process to less than 4/5 minutes.

When rolling always roll from the centre out not from one side to another.

Give yourself plenty of time to familiarise yourself with the method especially at the Weekend Bakery  I was very prepared and even still if you continue to read this post you’ll see the things I struggled with or may have done wrong.

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DAY 1

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Day one is about making the dough. Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead for a small about of time (3/4 minutes just until the ingredients all come together) shape into a ball and flatten the top down into a disc. Put on a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

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DAY 2

Take the butter out of the fridge and cut into strips about 1 1/2cm wide and arrange into a square on a sheet of grease proof paper, cover with another sheet of grease proof and begin to roll the butter out to about 19x19cm square, trim to a square about 15x15cm. Put the excess back on top and continue to roll to 17x17cm.

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* I found I had to spread the excess butter onto the square because when I tried to roll it back out to 17cm it didn’t keep it’s shape.

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Pop the butter back into the fridge and pull out the dough. Lightly dust the work surface and roll the dough out to 26x26cm square (as square as you can get). Keep the dough square to you and place your chilled butter on top with one corner towards you (like a diamond on top of the square).

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Fold the dough over the butter to encase it completely, lightly compress the creases and turn over.

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Roll out to 20x60cm fold the left third into the middle and then the right on top. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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After 30 minutes roll again to 20x60cm, be sure to roll out from the sides where you can see the folds (imagine it is where you left it after the first fold, then ‘turn’ 90degrees). Wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes then repeat the lamination once more before refrigerating overnight.

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DAY 3

Today kids…you’ll need a tape measure and pizza wheel.

Roll the dough out as before but to 20x110cm. Trim the edges so the dough measures 20x100cm. Along one side make small notches in the dough at 12.5cm intervals, and on the other side do the same but starting from 6.25cm.

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Now using the pizza wheel join the notches together to form diagonal lines and again the other way to make the triangles for each croissant.

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So something like this / / / / / / / / then /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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Next make a 1.5cm cut in the centre of the shortest side of the croissant triangle (so the odd side of the isosceles- check me and my triangle knowledge out)  and from that roll the croissants up. This is the step I struggled with the most until I watched the video that Weekend Bakery had provided along side their post. I honestly wouldn’t know how to describe it so if you don’t know what you’re doing take a look here: http://youtu.be/Ot3jKnkTfPY

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Once all the croissants are rolled place them spaciously on baking trays brush lightly with egg, cover and prove for 2 hours. The temperature must not exceed 25 degrees (something I discovered is imperative through failure) otherwise the butter sweats or even melts. (On first try without a proving draw I set the main oven to warm up for the cooking and attempted to prove in the top oven from the heat below, this was far too hot and the yeast in the dough wasn’t given enough time to raise before the butter had melted so they flopped. see below what I did to have more success second time around)

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Once the croissants have at least tripled in size set the oven to 200C and wait for it to get up to temperature, brush once more with egg wash, reduce to 190 and put the croissants in for 6 minutes before reducing once more to 165. These directions are specific to the Weekend Bakery so may not be the best method oven-to-oven, this will need adjusting to specific ovens.

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The croissants came out looking like someone had stood on them half way through the baking but inside they had a great ‘honeycomb’ structure and the taste was exactly as you would expect from this classic breakfast pastry. I ate about 4 all in one sitting.

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Here are the things I did differently when I came to making the croissant dough the second time around.

Number 1: I used the fast action yeast!- there was no waiting for the yeast to activate, which wouldn’t be a problem to someone who is more experienced with bread making and working with yeast but for a novice like me I do think it was undesirable in this particular recipe. The fast action yeast went in the bowl along with the dry ingredients then incorporate the milk, water and butter.

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Number 2: I used a flour with only 10% protein- theres something to do with the protein in the flour creating a dough that’s too elasticated so when you’re laminating it shrinks back and becomes a pain to work with meaning you have to spend more time with the dough out of the fridge and the butter will soften. I didn’t feel like I was spending less time faffing about and if I had I would count having already laminated before being what sped up the process.

Number 3: When making the dough I used pure human strength!- Basically I didn’t use a mixer with a dough hook, I used a bowl and my hands.

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Number 4: I shaped the dough into a square- not sure it helped the edges rounded off anyway!

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Number 5: I used a different block of butter. Just a Sainsburys unsalted block. Other supermarkets are available.

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Number 6: Skipping ahead a bit Proving!- I set the main oven to 70 degrees while I rolled out my dough to form the croissants and kept a thermometer in the top oven to regulate the temperature. This made the little croissant rolls puff up beautifully. They still sank a bit in the main oven but that’s for me to work on as oven temperatures and ways in which different ovens work vary, ours is pretty old.

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Twists I made with the cut offs

So there you have it. If you’re read in detail this blog then I don’t think its too much to be presumptuous and wish you luck when attempting this tricky kitchen delight.

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Chocolate Orange Billionaire Brownie

I’m going crazy for the bakes at the moment!

Heres another I’ve just posted to my dedicated baking blog: http://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/a-chocolate-orange-brownie-recipe-blinged/

Its not Terry’s… Its mine.

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This week at work I over estimated the need for orange zest by about a quarter of a pound and rather than let it go to waste I decided to make some Chocolate Orange Brownies! Yumm!

I was feeling a bit lazy though and didn’t want to go to the supermarket to buy chocolate so I found a recipe that just uses cocoa powder! Its really easy and really yummy too!

3…2…1…GO

Set your oven to 150oc (Fan Assisted)

Line 10″ square tin (or thereabouts) with grease proof paper.

You will need:

200g Margarine

250g Caster Sugar

200g Demerara sugar (soft brown)

130g Cocoa Powder

140g Plain Flour

4 eggs

3tbsp orange zest

In a heat proof glass bowl weigh the margarine and cocoa powder and set above a pan filled with gently simmering water (do not let the bowl to tough the water). On a medium heat allow the margarine to melt and combine with the cocoa powder then add both the caster sugar and the Demerara sugar.

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Take the bowl off the pan and add the eggs one at a time, beating into the mixture, stir in the orange zest before finally sieving the flour. Fold the mixture till no lumps of flour remain.

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Pour this into your prepared pan and into the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you want the brownie a bit gooey bring it out just before. Keep checking by inserting a skewer or cocktail stick into the centre of the brownie, when it comes off clean its ready (for the gooey brownie it will leave a slight trail).

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(I love baking Jenga)

Now onto the Billionaire Brownie! I only decided half way through making the brownies that I wanted to turn one into a caramel slice hybrid so I divided my mixture (the above recipe) into two tins. This also worked out fantastically because I got two bakes out of one!

So to clarify the above brownie recipe will make either one chocolate orange brownie or two billionaire brownies. The caramel recipe below is for one so if you just want to make one billionaire brownie half the above brownie recipe and follow the instructions below, for the two just double the below recipe.

For the caramel you will need

70g Margarine

2 tbsp. golden syrup

400ml condensed milk

Melt the margarine and golden syrup together in a medium pan on a low heat. Once melted turn up to a medium heat add the condensed milk and stir continuously for approximately 10 minutes. The caramel mixture should bubble and boil whilst it changes colour to a soft gold and thicken. Pour this over your brownie.

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The chocolate topping is very simple, melt 1 whole Terry’s Chocolate Orange above a pan of simmering water and then spread over the caramel. If you want to decorate the chocolate as I have done before spreading the chocolate orange over the caramel melt a couple of squares of white chocolate in a piping bag (break the squares into the bag and microwave 10 seconds at a time till melted) and the same for dark chocolate. spread the chocolate orange over and then pipe alternative lines across the chocolate. Use the back of a knife to run down the chocolate (crossing over the lines you’ve made) keeping about an inch apart each time, then run the knife back up in between the lines.

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Leave the chocolate to set and the caramel to cool for a few hours before chopping into small indulgent rectangles and munching your way through them!

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Dig In!

Lemon Tart

Origional post: http://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/lemon-tart/

This here Lemon Tart isn’t just your average Lemon Tart. No. Its a simple, Neat, Zingy Lemon Tart. Easy to Make. Easy to Bake.

To Make You Will Need:

150g Plain Flour

85g Chilled Butter (cubed)

55g Icing Sugar

2 Egg Yolks

Pinch of Salt

1 tbsp. Cold Water

Filling:

250ml Single Cream

2 Whole eggs

3 Egg Yolks

130g Cater Sugar

150ml Lemon Juice

I used a 10″ round tart pan, one with a loose bottom is best but I don’t have one (must do something about that)

Weigh the flour, Icing sugar, Butter and Salt into a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the other ingredients with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Then add the egg yolks and gently ease the crumbs together, use the cold water to bring the pastry together. It should look and feel a bit like a batter or dough. Wrap in Clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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When the pastry is thoroughly chilled it will has the consistency of real pastry and me easy to handle. At this point preheat your oven to 160oc (fan assisted, adjust your oven accordingly). As a rule I will only really roll pastry out between sheets of greaseproof of Clingfilm. Its less mess, its easier and it means you’re handling the pastry less with your hands. Roll your pastry out to about 2 or 3 mm thick, line your tart tin and push the pastry well into the sides. Don’t trim down the pastry, if there’s a lot of excess cut it back but leave an overhang. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 10 minutes.

Using the sheets of greaseproof (if you used Clingfilm then please grab a sheet) place over the tart shell and fill with baking beads (if you don’t have baking beads dried rice will work). Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes then remove the beads and lining and bake for a further 5 minutes till the pastry starts to go golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and trim the sides, be careful not to burn yourself on the hot pastry or the tin. Reduce the oven temperature to 130oc.

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Pop the case to one side and grab a mixing bowl. Weigh the cream, sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks and lemon juice into the bowl and whisk until well combined. Strain through a sieve and pour 1/3-1/2 into your pastry case. Pop the tart into the oven and slowly pull the shelf out towards you, careful to keep hold of the shelf pour the remaining tart mix into the case. If you have made smaller tarts fill them to about 2mm from the top of the case. carefully push the shelf back in and bake the tart for 30-35 minutes. When baked the tart should still jiggle in the middle. I’m not sure I’m the best person to educate you on the right jiggle if you don’t already know what to look out for but its like a jelly. Just as the mixture starts to set it goes from looking watery to more jelly like. When you get this the tart is ready to remove from the oven. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely! (About 2/3 hours)

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Decorate how ever you like, I left mine plain and simple but icing sugar is very traditional or you might like to grate lemon (or even lime) zest over the top, The choice is yours.

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What’s really great about this recipe is that each bite melts in your mouth, The pastry was beautiful (if I do say so myself) and the filling just warmed my entire body!

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Keep an eye out for a deep filled lemon tart in the future!!

P.S sorry for the lack of photos, especially in the pastry development, I made the decision to post the recipe to this blog just as the pastry set in to chill.

HNY

LJ

I love PIZZA!

Origional post on my Baking Blog: http://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/i-love-pizza/

I’ve already posted a pizza blog: http://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/pizza-cones/

But this pizza recipe was soooooo good I needed to write endlessy about it.

I decided to make a pizza with the twists on the outside like a tare’n’share since there seem to be a lot of people posting YouTube videos of tutorials (especially that sweet chocolate spread one) and it looked pretty easy.

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It was.

I took a recipe from Jamie Oliver for deep pan pizza dough but had a dabble and changed a few thing. the results were positive.

Jamie Oliver’s Recipe

1kg Strong White Bread Flour

650ml Lukewarm Water

1 Sachet of dried Yeast (7g)

1 tbsp. Golden Caster Sugar

1 level tbsp. Fine Sea Salt

My Recipe (doesn’t differ very much)

500g Strong Whiter Bread Flour

300ml Lukewarm Water

1 Sachet of dried Yeast (I actually used the Dried Active Yeast (DAY) that you buy in 125g tins you store in the fridge, the most common yeast used for home backing is the Easy Bake (EB) in the pale green Allinsons tin, I’ll explain the activation process in the method to this recipe)

1 tbsp. Golden Caster Sugar (Use caster if you don’t have golden, I don’t keep it in my pantry but my mum uses golden caster for tea and coffee’s)

1 tsp. Table Salt (I’m sorry Mr Oliver but plain ordinary table salt will do for me)

1 tbsp. Softened Butter

Please note if you follow Jamie’s recipe you will end up with twice as much dough, either half the recipe or make more pizza! The latter definitely sounds more appealing.

Jamie Oliver’s method is very user friendly- no assumption that you have a standalone electric mixer to do all the hard work for you, just get stuck in and get your hands dirty. I’m still getting excited about my new standalone electric mixer so I made my dough in the mixer- shoot me if you must! This is a dough so those using the mixer, use your dough hooks.

Combine the Yeast and Sugar with the lukewarm Water (Jamie’s recipe also includes the salt but I avoid putting salt near any kind of yeast especially the Dried Active stuff) and stir with a fork to well disperse the yeast. With DAY I always leave the yeast to activate, it doesn’t take long, 10-15 minutes, but it will ensure the yeast gets to work when the flour is added. It also means that if the water is too hot (or cold) then the yeast wont activate and this will be obvious so you can restart before you waste all the time kneading and proving. If you’re using the Easy Bake Yeast you don’t have to wait at all just get straight on with the recipe.

the yeast will be activated when you see foam on the surface of the water

Start adding the flour a spoon full at a time, if you’re getting stuck in and not using a mixer continue to use the fork until the dough becomes too stiff then its time to get those hands working!

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Once all the flour has been incorporated turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (or crank up the speed on your mixer) add the softened butter (if you’re following my recipe) and start to knead the dough. Jamie is very unspecific about the amount of time taken to knead the dough ‘When You’re happy with the consistence…’  I’d say 5 if not 10 minutes of sturdy kneading by hand (at least 5 minutes on high speed for those of you using a mixer)

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Pop your dough into a large mixing bowl, I lightly oiled my bowl, I always do with dough, but Jamie floured his. I don’t think there’s a right option but of course Jamie gets paid to produce recipes, I don’t. Leave to raise for 60-90 minutes or until at least doubled in size.

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Once the dough has risen remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, Pre heat your oven to 200oc (fan assist, adjust according to your oven specifications), cut into quarters and start stretching out each base. I literally stretched the dough out by hand, use a rolling pin if you like, it will try to shrink back as you stretch so be persistent.

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I made my bases about 8″ wide (and more impressively… round!). When the first was ready I put it onto a tray, added the sauce (my recipe is below) then stretched the next one out and put it directly on top, continue this way until all the layers are stretched out but don’t spread your sauce on the top layer.

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Take a small glass or round tub and place it in the centre of the layered pizza, cut down the layers starting at 6 o’clock then 3, 12 and 9 (I mean you don’t have to start at 6 but I figured it was easier to start facing you) then add all the other digits on the clock (cut each quarter into 3 by making two more cuts) remove the glass.

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Take each piece and twist it twice around itself then put back down on the tray, once you’ve completed all 12 you can then pinch 2 together to make the pizza look a bit like a flower, if you’d rather just have the 12 twists for people to tear skip this step. Cover with Clingfilm or in a plastic bag and leave for 20-30 minutes to prove. The dough will just about double in size. Pop a bit more sauce on the centre of the pizza and add cheese. I used Mozzarella (the one that comes in a ball bathing in some sort of salt water) but literally any cheese you like.

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Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on size.

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And oh my gosh please try to wait for it to cool down before you dig in. I burnt my fingers, mouth and tongue in haste.

Its also good cold so if you’re having a dinner party, or just a party, you can make it ahead of time and leave it out for people to nibble on.

Sauce Recipe:

1 red onion

1 white onion

2 cloves of garlic (because I love garlic!)

400g carton of chopped tomatoes
chop your onion and garlic up. cook off the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil, add garlic then add chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer and reduce down. season as you wish

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Next on my pizza check list. Pizza Cake!

HNY

x

Chocolate Box Roulade

Original post on my Baking Blog 29/12/14: http://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/new-year-roulade/

Post-Christmas Apocalypse has set in and we’ve all turned into zombies from days of endless leftover Christmas dinner and chocolates. I’ve been lucky to escape being gifted too many chocolate boxes or sweets this year but in our house we’re still chomping our way through Celebrations, Roses and Quality Streets. I’ve since decided I cannot bare to sit endlessly eating chocolate but I could definitely eat more if it was in the form of an actual dessert…

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Here is how to use up all that left over Christmas chocolate in a way that you will judge yourself for less than just sitting unwrapping chocolates and stuffing them into your gob. It’s a really easy recipe, you mostly have to have patience and calm.

Pre heat your oven to 160oc

Line a Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper

Ingredients

3 eggs

100g Caster sugar

50g Plain Flour

1 tbsp. Cocoa Powder

1/4 tsp Baking Powder

1 tbsp. Sunflower Oil

To finish you will need 450ml cream 100g chocolate and the left over chocolates you’ve chosen to use.

Begin by whisking the eggs and caster sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, I bought myself a stand alone mixer back in October and now that the extension has been finished (kind of) I can finally get it out to play with! Using a free standing mixer, especially for this recipe means you can be doing other things while you leave that to work, hand held mixers are just as good but you have to stand there with it the whole time.

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When you begin whisking the mixture will still be yellow from the yolk, as you continue to whisk air into the mixture it will become very pale and almost white in colour, you’ll also notice how much it expands, I’d say about 5 times the size it began. (You’ll see by the pictures above).

When the mixture has risen and become very pale either remove it from the mixer or simply put your hand held mixer to one side, you wont need it again.

Stir in the sunflower oil and then sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder in two parts, folding into the mixture with a large metal spoon each time. Make sure to pay close attention to lifting the mixture from the bottom of the bowl over to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

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Pour this mixture into your already lined tin and bake in the centre of your already heated oven for 15-20 minutes. It will spring back to touch when the cake has baked completely.

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Just before taking out of the oven lay a sheet of greaseproof paper down on your work surface (the sheet must be bigger than the cake) and sprinkle with caster sugar. Remove the cake from the oven and turn out onto the sugared greaseproof sheet, immediately (being cautious because the cake will be hot) roll the sponge over on itself and put to one side to cool.

To fill I made a simple dark chocolate spread; heat 150ml in a sauce pan but do not allow to boil and pour over 100g of dark chocolate, whisk until all the chocolate has melted leave to cool with a piece of Clingfilm touching the top of the sauce so it doesn’t form a skin. When using the spread keep a small amount to one side to drizzle over the finished roulade.

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Once the sponge has cooled you can start assembling the roulade, unravel the roll and spread the chocolate over the sponge, next chop up or crush which ever chocolates you have decided to use, I had a box of Malteasers so crushed them and chopped up some Mars bars and Milky ways from a box of celebrations. sprinkle these over the chocolate spread and push down gently into the sponge.

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Whip up the remaining cream and spread a thin layer over the chocolates. I chose not to sweeten the cream because of the sheer amount of chocolate going into the dessert but this is up to you, a table spoon of caster sugar per 100ml should make it sweet enough.

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Roll the sponge back up, don’t be worried if it cracks to begin with there’s a lot in there! Place on a plate or serving dish with the opening down first, if you have piping bags and nozzles pipe the rest of the cream onto top of the roulade otherwise just cover the entire thing in cream and spread with a knife. Chop some more chocolates up, I added the Galaxy Caramel and Malteasers from the Celebrations to the other chocolates I’d already chopped. Finally add the chocolates and drizzle with the little bit of spread you put to one side. Yummy!!

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Variations

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-Any chocolate will work so long as you can crush it, chop it or melt it! I made one with just Malteasers and I plan on doing one with just Crunchie for NYE!

-Use your left over Apple or cranberry sauce and spread over a plain roulade (same recipe and method only substitute the cocoa powder for more flour) decorate with cream and drizzle the sauce over the top.

-If you have fruit in your fridge you have been neglecting, so long as it hasn’t started to grow penicillin chop it up and use it with a plain or chocolate roulade- chocolate pretty much goes with any fruit!

Baking workshop with the homeless

2 years ago my nana passed away, she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2011 and was told it was too severe to operate or treat. This turned my world upside down. I signed up for the Race for Life, having never run before and to help raise money for sponsorship I began baking and selling cupcakes. I was so successful I doubled my target and was given overwhelming amounts of praise and positive feedback. That’s when the National Cupcake Competition came along.
I entered the competition and decided I quite liked baking so got myself a job in a bakery. I now work for Lathams of Broughton! When I discovered I was a finalist I had almost completely forgotten about the whole thing! Sick with nerves on the day I ended up winning the best cupcake made with alcohol in the home bakers’ category.
I ran the race for life again this year, set up a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FightCancerWithCakes) selling cupcakes and I entered as a professional into the National Cupcake competition once again, so this year I am competing against other bakers with no doubt years of experience. I was surprised I made it to finals this year but I’m hoping to seduce the judges with my Gluten and Dairy free Brandy Chocolate Truffle (with dairy free cream and passion fruit curd) cupcakes.
I still see myself as a home baker because it is at home I do all my experiments and developments, I’m just happy to have made it to the finals again this year and to be competing amongst professionals with their own businesses is amazing!
The idea of setting up a baking workshop with the homeless came about when we started getting ready for the charismas stock at work, for a few years I’ve thought about volunteering over Christmas in a soup kitchen but I struggled to find any information and I decided it wasn’t enough. That’s when I approached Mustard Tree about setting up a baking workshop.
The mustard tree foundation is different to other homeless charities because they’re not just helping those living on the street they appeal to sofa surfers, those in social housing or struggling financially to feed their families and keep their homes. The people they are reaching out to join the foundation and work, their ethos is simple; helping to help themselves. This is why I chose mustard tree.
I want to teach the people of Mustard Tree skills that will help them. Skills for life. I hope many of them fall in love with baking and I hope to see the joy and passion that comes when they realise what they can turn a little bit of flour, butter and sugar into.
I’m appealing for donations of any piece of unwanted kitchen equipment, cake tins, baking trays, biscuit cutters, bowls, spoons, whisks, electric mixers, storage containers, aprons, spatulas, muffin trays, cooling racks and even ingredients with at least 1 months shelf life! You can send them direct to the attention of Jessica Stewart at the Mustard Tree foundation, 110 Oldham Rd, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6AG. Or if you’re around Preston you can contact myself Lauren Jenkinson on LaurenMustardTree@Hotmail.com, (please leave me messages and I will get back to you to arrange drop off or collection)

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Blogging 101 class of 2014

I accidentally missed day one, therefore skipped straight to day two and here I am at day three, so to recap I’m making this a hybrid, days one & three!
Random picture of a kitten I rented for a day 😘

Day one; introduction.
I began blogging a few months ago to raise my professional profile (so to speak) and have an outlet for my baking expression. As an opinionated individual I decided it was a waste to limit myself to just baking so I created a blog designed to be an expression of all aspects of my life, from baking to politics!
I implore you to subscribe and read my blog because I’d like to guarantee there’s something for everyone, especially where baking is involved. Ask me to try a recipe, or ask me for a recipe, read about my views on things like university (tuition fees), diets and exercise, saving money!
I decided to keep a blog, like a public journal. It’s as personal as a diary and as open as a book!
In a years time I hope to still be getting hits for old blogs like my chewy cookie recipe and tips to writing your CV, have a good community of subscribers who I regularly interact with and most importantly still blog!
Here are three facts about me; I still have 2 baby teeth, I can’t tie my shoe laces ‘properly’ (I’m a bunny ears tied together girl) and I can’t whistle!

To coincide with day three here are five new blogs I have followed, and five post I love!

1. Easy Pizza Dough
By The Perky Pancake
Easy pizza, 5 day dough, Sourdough pizza, Sourdough flatbread, Pizza dough, Pizza, Sourdough
http://perkypancake.com/2014/09/23/easy-pizza-dough/

2. Would choux like an eclair?
By Sticky Pinny
choux, Choux pastry, baking, Great British Bake Off, crème pâtissière, GBBO, eclairs, pastry, chocolate, choux buns
http://stickypinny.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/would-choux-like-an-eclair/

3. Gadget of the month: Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale
By She Wolf In The Kitchen
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale, scale, Heston Blumenthal, baking, kitchenware, cooking, Salter, kitchen gadget, kitchen scale
http://shewolfinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/gadget-of-the-month-heston-blumenthal-dual-platform-precision-scale/

4. Cookie Dough Cereal Bowl…filled with Cookie Crisp obv.
By The Vulgar Chef
food, recipe, baking, chef, cookies, cooking, cereal
http://thevulgarchef.com/2014/09/12/cookie-dough-cereal-bowl-filled-with-cookie-crisp-obv/

5. Chocolate Twists – My self challenge at 2AM
By dreamernxtdoor
creme patissiere, food, recipes, baking, tea time, pastry, chocolate, desserts, sweet
http://dreamernxtdoor.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/chocolate-twists-my-self-challenge-at-2am/