Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Cherry Bakewell Bites

It's our annual Macmillan coffee morning at work this week and I wanted to try the cherry Bakewell I made for Grant's birthday (photos at the end of Eliza's Princess and the Wizard party).  I would never have normally picked a Cherry Bakewell to eat but really enjoyed it.  I am not an almond flavour fan so I missed out the extract last time but my sister did say "I didn't think you would like that it's very almondy" so I must be getting better  (this year I have changed my tastes a lot - must be getting old!  I now like red peppers and coffee.  So weird.  Next I will be telling you I enjoyed a tin of tuna 😷)

Instead of a tray bake type of Bakewell this time I thought it would be easier to use my Pampered Chef individual square tin.   I didn't even realise pampered chef had ceased to exist I love all of my PC stuff I have tons!  I am sure Lakeland will do similar tins though they have some amazing things.

I made up the pastry using my beloved KitchenAid  in my A M A Z I N G new pantry.  I love it so so much the kids think I'm off my head I keep swooning when I go in (see pantry makeover here)

I took tons of photos of this recipe so it took forever to make!

 Ingredients are butter and plain flour, sugar and one egg
 Mix up cubed butter and flour until breadcrumbs
Add sugar and mix

Add egg

Mix lightly until combined

Remove from mixer and bring to a ball on lightly floured surface

Pat down to flatten a little

Cover in cling film
Place in fridge for half an hour

Move on to making the filling

 Ingredients are butter (I used Stork) and caster sugar, 3 eggs, self raising flour and ground almonds

 Mix butter and sugar
 When light and fluffy add three eggs one at a time with a spoonful of self raising flour
 Add the remaining flour and ground almonds
At this stage I remove from the mixer and use my big spoon to combine the flour/almonds with the other ingredients so they are not over mixed.

Moving back to the pastry I took it from the fridge after 30 minutes.  I tore off small pieces and rolled them into balls
 Then pressed them in gently to the squares
 Next a dollop of strawberry jam.. mine was from M&S but usually I would have Hartley's and sometimes Bonne Maman ❤
 Spread the jam around just using a spoon
 Back to the filling:  I used my pampered chef mini ice cream scoop but should have just used my normal sized one as mini was not enough filling and ended up needing two scoops
 Just scooped the filling on top of the jam
 Then spread it out as best as I could
 Into the oven at 180°C
 I watched them most of the time and set a timer at 8 mins
 Added another 3 mins but they needed 13 mins in total
 Let them cool slightly then used a silicone baby spoon to release the cake away from the sides.  Baby spoons with the flexible tip are my favourite for this part of baking they are just the right size and nice and bendy.
 Once released from the sides I was able to just turn the tin upside down and they slid out.  I didn't line or grease the tins beforehand they are just so well made they don't stick
 They look so beautiful and I was lucky enough that unfortunatelyI hadn't released one and it fell to bits so I had to eat it myself (oh shame!)
The back of it has fallen off but I wanted a photo of it iced and ready for my afternoon cuppy! It was still warm when I iced it and the icing still runny when I ate it 😁 I will wait until the others are fully cooled before I ice them and I really hope there are hopefully there are no more fatalities

While I was looking for my square baking tray I saw my mini muffin pan also from pampered chef but I know you get them in Lakeland as I have one from there too

 I wanted to try some of the recipe in here too.  I've made mini quiches before and they are so tasty when they are bitesized (see our Easter picnic)

 Same again I tore off small pieces and shaped them into balls
 The mini muffin pan comes with this handy little dabber to push the pastry into the bottom and up the sides
 So easy to use!
 Added a dab of strawberry jam
 Spread it out using the dabber

This time one scoop of the mini ice cream scoop was enough and I didn't flatten it out 

 These needed slightly less time and were out in11 mins  (180°C on bottom shelf below the square ones)
 Used the silicone tipped baby spoon again to release the pastry this time as it was quite far up the sides
 Then they popped out.  Totally different because they are sealed with pastry and really are an individual bite
 One's lid fell off so I iced it and ate it too (poor me 😝)
 I don't know which one I prefer they are so cute but I love miniature everything
If you were generous the square one could feed two...but there is no way I could have shared that today it was delightful.

Recipe if you want to indulge:

Pastry = 110g cold unsalted butter cubed
                225g plain flour
                  80g caster sugar
                      1 egg

Using mixer mix butter and flour until breadcrumbs, add sugar and mix well, add egg and mix gently until just combined.  Remove from mixer and roll on lightly floured surface into a ball, press to flatten and wrap in cling film in fridge for 30 mins.

Once ready remove from fridge and press into tin


Strawberry jam (I have no idea how much maybe less than a quarter of a jar? Not that much.     anyway I'm sorry!)
               175g butter (I used stork)
               175g caster sugar
                     3 eggs
               100g self raising flour
                 75g ground almonds (i dont like almonds so I used 75g but as long as the flour and almonds adds up to 175g you can choose which combination if you want it to be more almondy 😂)

Using mixer cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (not gritty at all).  Add eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour.  Once mixed remove from mixer and using a large metal spoon fold in the remaining flour and ground almonds.

Spread pastry with strawberry jam and add cake mixture on top.

Bake in oven at 180°C (time depends on which tray you are using.  If one large tray bake up to 40 mins but small individual tartlet tin took only 11 minutes or individual square tin 13 mins)

Allow to cool slightly and remove from tray using silicone baby spoon for individual tins.  Once completely cooled mix up water icing (I never weigh this out - lots of icing sugar and add a tiny amount of water at a time until the correct consistency.) Add a glace cherry and revel in their beauty.

I hope you are as fortunate as me and have one failure so you can eat it before anyone has to see it.  You really do need to taste test anything that you make though (just in case it is too good to share 😜)

Hope you enjoyed the recipe and let me know if you try it and which type of tins you used.

Follow along on Instagram

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Organising my Pantry

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One of the very first things I loved when I came to see my new house was the space I would change to a pantry.  I never thought we would move to this house it needed so much work and we didn't want to move in with my Mum and Dad for ages between selling and buying so it was just like a dream house in the background.  But when things fell through with the new style house we were going to buy it made us step back and look properly at all that was on offer and we kept coming back to this one.

It has the most beautiful view (Summer time view but the Autumn one is pretty amazing too!)

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The inside of the house needed quite a lot of work just to bring it back up to date.  We moved in after having the house for 6 weeks and in that time we have put in a kitchen, two new bathrooms, carpeted the upstairs and wooden floored the downstairs.  Windows upstairs are now going in and the woodburner stove is next.  That should be us for a while :D

The pantry I had planned out was just a bit off the kitchen when we first came to see the house and the couple had used it to keep their washing machines in.

Grant stripped everything out ready for it to be painted by my Dad

And a wee help from Sturrock 

        We got the beautiful floor laid throughout the whole of the bottom floor (engineered wood)

The joiners made me some shelving after lots of pinning to see what would be the best layout.  I got a laminate worktop in here because we didn't have enough of the oak worktop left from the kitchen (and I couldn't justify buying more of the expensive worktop for my pantry!) 

Lots more painting for my Dad - he has been very handy since we moved in - luckily he retired this year (as a Painter & Decorator!) so we had him full time 

And after lots of stress discussion we finally decided on a door  

Since completing the shelving we were still getting parts of the kitchen finished so the pantry ended up being the dumping ground for lots of things that had no business being there.  It has been winding me up for a few weeks now and I finally decided that this weekend I would get it sorted the way I first envisioned 


First of all I went to the garage where I still have a lot in storage.  I have a lot of stuff!!  Shhh don't tell Grant he was right.  I got all my Kilner and clip-top jars washed and ready then organised all my baking ingredients.

I bought these baskets from East 2 Eden and filled them up with other ingredients like baking powder, vanilla essence and things that didn't need a big Kilner jar to display them 

I'm a bit Kilner obsessed - just this week I bought more Kilner jars that I attempted to paint so when I found these Kilner crates in East 2 Eden too I had to buy them.  I have put some little jars I make mini trifles in like at our Easter picnic and my measuring scales

I am sure I will end up changing things around or adding more to it but it was quite difficult seeing what I had and what was the best way to store it or display it.  I spent the entire day today arranging what is the smallest room in my house :) 

Food colourings in their tiny little cupboard I had at my last house and decided to keep
I still love to make cakes and the kids have all had their birthdays this year (Sturrock's aeroplane party and Eliza's Princess and the Wizard party)  Finlay didn't have a party he went to a trampoline park with some friends and I made him this cake (Faze is some sort of YouTube clan he watches I am not entirely sure!) 

I had to make this at my Sister's again as it is Finlay's birthday a couple of days after Sturrock's and Mum's oven had broken - luckily not the saga that was Sturrock's cake making!

So delighted I now have my own kitchen and even better my mega organised pantry to so I can lay my hand on whatever cake making tool or ingredient I want.

My recipe books have found a new home and my cake tins all stack neatly too

Even my sewing machine got a look in 

Dodgy painted Kilner from earlier in the week - now houses my paint brushes for any other poor unsuspecting Kilners 

Here are the other two with Grant's tassimo - empty for now but think I will fill them with sugar for his coffees 

 Showing off a few of our wedding presents and favourite makes:  Pampered Chef, Le Creuset, Kilner, Mason Cash

My Cricut just fit and no more.  Not used it for a while since I made baby thank you cards after Sturrock was born but I got my money's worth at my wedding which I have yet to blog about because I did so many home made things I hope I can find all the photos to share one day.. (Here are a few projects I have used it for before 

Along the tops of my shelves I put my drinks dispensers (I don't know why I have so many and I still have one in storage I just love them so much!)  I stored my rolling pins in one as they didn't fit nicely into my wicker baskets.

My beautiful Kitchen Aid sitting in the window (next to my ugly microwave - sometimes I do wonder about my taste - I liked this bl**dy awful colour once upon a time and thought it made a good addition to my kitchen.  Check out the terrible wallpaper I liked in this post)  I will be updating my microwave at some point but until then it is hidden out of my lovely new kitchen and ruining my perfect pantry)

 The shelves underneath the worktop on one side are very narrow because of pipes behind them but they fit my ugly but easily most used item in my house - mini Dyson hoover.  We have two budgies I need to hoover under their cage daily! The floor has a hatch to get underneath the house so the pantry was the perfect place to put that out of sight.

 The other side stores my cake boxes and I found the underhanging shelf at East 2 Eden also - I am keeping all my steam cleaner attachments and cloths in here
 Actual pantry items!  Spare kitchen roll and bin bags.  I will probably change this it is ruining the feel :)

 My new slow cooker - yet to be trialled 

One of the very best most useful parts of the pantry is that I didn't get the shelves to go right to the door - I left a small area for dustpans and brushes.  I am so delighted with it - it's the small things!  The combination of  the wooden floors and the volume of traffic right now with joiners, electricians, tilers etc coming through the house means the dustpan and brush can never be too far from hand.  Now they have the perfect home.

Could I love my pantry any more????

And still space to fill...I thought I had too much stuff.  Grant was wrong afterall!!!