Wednesday, 6 February 2013

January Birthday Baking

January is the month of birthdays - so I spent most weekends baking.  There were some rather yummy results - but also one spectacular disaster!

So the first was Delia Smith's Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Roulade - this was a sort of cheating bake, as I have made it before - but it is so scrummy and a perfect roulade when it's not summer and there is a lack of tasty soft fruit in the supermarket!  Because there are chopped hazelnuts in the meringue and dark chocolate in the cream it is not an overly sweet dessert.



The next cake was the Chocolate Fudge Cake in Sarah Randell's book 'Weekend Baking', which I baked purely because of the home made honeycomb topping.  Having never made honeycomb before I followed the recipe to the letter (75g caster sugar, 2 tbsp golden syrup, 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda) - the honeycomb puffed up and set beautifully.  Even the initial tasting was okay, yet there was a very strong aftertaste of the bicarbonate of soda . . . I may have eaten quite a bit of it to make sure - not a good idea!  So I decided to find some other recipes and compare.  When I found Nigella's Hokey Pokey recipe (100g caster sugar, 4 tbsp golden syrup, 1.5 tsp of bicarbonate of soda) I decided that there must be a typing error in Randell's book (a pretty significant one I thought!).   Nigella's recipe tasted much better and has replaced the one given in the book :-)
First Attempt of Honeycomb
Nigella's Hokey Pokey

The final cake was made with an icing made with creme fraiche and melted chocolate - rather fudgey and didn't taste 'healthy' or too sweet as other chocolate icing can.  I jazzed up the cake with the addition of gold glitter and gold balls - it's surprising the way the addition of glitter makes a cake look rather special.  There was also LOADS of honeycomb left over - perfect with a mug of hot chocolate.




The following bakes were Sugar Crunch biscuits, so that I could try out my new Jamie's Kitchen Woodland Creature Cutters - rather tasty, full of sugar and again the recipe made a ridiculous number (I may have slightly signed the final batch!).


And then a tray of Nigella's Sticky Gingerbread - which I spruced up with a simple lemon icing she suggests.  The main reason I chose this cake to bake was so that I could sprinkle my teeny tiny ginerbreadmen sprinkles on top . . . not sure that is a legitimate reason to bake a cake, but hey it was good enough me!

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