Cranberry Cashew Cinnamon Loaf

Buns and Breads

Hey Joe

this is a bit of a long one, hahahah pretty much a dissertation, not the recipe, the post. Maybe whack on some Pokémon vids in the background?

Hehehehheeh I love him SO MUCH!

It’s the last of our Breaduary adventure! A pretty momentous moment and so I’m ending with a pretty momentous bread. Really, this is the only fruit loaf you’ll ever need. The sweet cinnamon, creamy cashews and sharp cranberries come together in a symphony of peng. Yep, this bread is peng. This recipe came about from my attempt to recreate mums bread love, the Tesco cashew cranberry bloomer.

Dunno why, but you keep calling this bread a Stollen. It’s not a Stollen joe. But I see where your coming from, it does have some Christmassy vibes. Seeing we’re at the end of February, I think of this bread as a hint towards the Hot Cross Buns that come in Easter time (find my Hot Cross Bun recipe here). This bread takes a bit of time, but there is only about 20 mins where you are hands on doing things to the bread, it actually does most of the work itself. Great! I’m selling this well. Just make this bread, it won’t last a day, it’s that good.

What is a Half-Sponge Method? (Caitlin’s dissertation)

My recipe is adapted from Dan Leopards Farmhouse tin loaf, which uses the ‘half-sponge method’ to give the loaf it’s flavour. All the water is mixed with the yeast and half the flour the night before baking the bread. This allows the bread to develop it’s flavour and texture over night.

This method was used before we started to put lots of additives in breads, before bread making became a fast industrialised practice. Using the sponge method gives the dough time to develop naturally occurring enzymes (proteins) in your bread flour, that give the dough strength to rise. In modern day bread making these enzymes don’t occur naturally, and so have to be added in (in very small amounts). Wow, isn’t wikipedia a wealth of information!

Maybe I’ve lots you a bit… tbh I’m also a lost lol, I don’t know all the science behind it. But, you can taste the difference when using the sponge method. And even if you can’t taste the difference, there is something important, I think, in letting the chemicals in the bread do what they need to do, in the time that they need to do it. Sort of like a philosophy for life (hahaha), or very little, personal protest against our fast modern life.

Cool. So now I’ve written my dissertation on the half-sponge method, I’ll give you the recipe.

Note On Shape, There Are Endless Possibilities. You do not need to use a loaf tin for this bread. I’ve written this recipe to bake in a loaf tin because it’s the easiest way to shape bread. My preferred way to bake this bread, is a free form round shape that you stick on a baking tray. You can do this too by forming the dough into a ball shape after it’s first rest and continuing as the recipe instructs. Alternatively, you can make an elongated free form loaf without a tin by rolling the bread into a sausage, tucking in the ends and placing seam-side down on a lightly floured baking tray.

A round boy. No, it is not burnt, it is deep golden brown.
A loaf boy

Ingredients

For the Sponge, the night before

  • 230ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon (a little less than a 7g sachet) dried instant yeast
  • 175g strong white bread flour
  • 130g dried cranberries
  • 70g roughly chopped cashew nuts

For the Dough, the next morning

  • 175g strong white bread flour
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 15g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Method

Just before bed, the night before you want bread, add the water and yeast to a mixing bowl, mix together. Add in the flour, cranberries and cashews and mix thoroughly. Scrape the sides of the bowl clean with a spatula. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or clingfilm and leave overnight.

The next morning, add the flour, and cubed butter to a bowl. Rub the butter through the flour with your fingertips until it vanishes into the flour. Add in the salt, sugar and cinnamon. Mix together. Add the flour to the yeast sponge you made the night before and mix everything together into a shaggy dough with a spoon. Scrape any bits off the spoon and cover the bowl with a tea towel, leave for 10 mins.

Give the dough three quick kneads over the next 30 mins (ish). By a quick knead I mean about 15 seconds of kneading (Roll. Squash. Fold. Repeat) on a very lightly oiled work surface before putting it back in your bowl and covering with a cloth. After the third and final knead, leave the dough on your worksurface while you wash the bowl. Dry it, lightly oil it, then place the dough back in the bowl to rise in a warm place (next to a radiator, maybe) for a further 30mins.

While the dough rises, butter and lightly dust with flour a 2lb loaf tin (about 21cm long and 11cm wide). When the dough is ready, tip it onto a lightly floured work surface. Flatten into a rectangle that measures, from left to right, slightly less than the length of your loaf tin. Roll the dough up tightly and put it, seam-side down, into the tin. Cover the tin with a tea towel and leave in your warm place until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half. Don’t worry about the time this takes, when you think it has doubled it will be ready.

Heat the oven to 220 / 200 fan oven. lightly Dust the top of the loaf with flour and, if you want to, use a sharp knife to slash the loaf diagonally a couple of times. Bake for 25 mins. With out opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 200 / 180 fan oven and bake for a further 20 mins, until dark golden brown. Take the bread out the tin and allow to cool for 30 mins before slicing.

Happy Breaduary Boiiiii. Love Caitlin x

Any Nut Any Cheese Loaf

Buns and Breads

You alright Joe?

I’ve been feeling a bit rough the last couple weeks. Breaduary, though, has been a bit of a saviour. So here comes the 3rd addition of this bready adventure. Pictured in this post is a Walnut, Cheddar and Stilton loaf, but really, this recipe comes alive when you add in whatever combination of nuts and cheese you have at home.

You know Breaduary is actually takin off a bit on Instagram, there are some really cool bakers that have been doing it along with me, and there’s a handful of other bakers that saw our invitation to get involved…and they did! Been posting their contributions with #breaduary.

look very closely and you’ll see I’ve cropped out the end half of this loaf because it had been eaten by the time I got my camera out

I feel like we should introduce ourselves again for newcomers to Cake On My Face. My name’s Caitlin, I’m a student in Glasgow. Joe, the one I’m chatting to in this post, is my brother. He’s a published poet currently working in London. Have a lil look at my About page for a bit more info on Joe’s poetry.

Ok. Bread! Really, this loaf is for Dad. He kept asking me for a walnut loaf and he always seems to have 4 Tesco three cheese bloomers on the go at once so I thought I combine the two. This recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood’s cheese loaf and Dan Leopards Walnut Loaf. I’ve designed it to be able to incorporate any combination of nuts and cheese, so go wild. Red Leicester, Jarlsberg, Cheddar, Stilton all work really well. Maybe leave out the cottage cheese? Really, any nuts work in this. For those that are allergic to nuts whack in some (very very expensive) pine nuts. Pine nuts are Kernels NOT nuts. Give it a google.

ello there swirly mate

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 7g salt
  • 25g unsalted butter, softened
  • 320ml warm water (you may not need all of this)
  • 100g walnuts, chopped roughly into decent sized chunks (you can use any nuts here. Hazelnuts, cashews and pine nuts work well)
  • 80g, cheddar cheese, crumbled
  • 50g blue cheese, like stilton, crumbled (substitute the cheddar and/or stilton with any cheese you like. For this bread you want 130g cheese in total)
  • Oil, any kind, to knead

Method

Combine the flour and yeast in a bowl. Add in the salt, butter and mix again. Pour in 300ml of the water. Give everything a mix with a spoon, forming a shaggy ball of dough. If there is still some dry flour in the bowl, gradually add more water from the remaining 20ml until all flour is hydrated. This dough drinks up water with a passion, so don’t don’t be afraid to add water until it’s a little on the sticky side. The water will incorporate as you knead and you’ll end with a lovely soft bread.

Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface. Knead for about 10 mins until the dough is smooth, elastic and tacky (so, not very sticky). Knead any way you like: roll, fold, pummel, squash. Just really get it moving. When the dough is kneaded whack it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and set it in a warm place to prove (rise) until it’s doubled in size. This will take about an hour.

When the dough has risen, tip out into a worksurface, flatten out and tip over half of the nuts and cheese. Fold the dough around the nuts and cheese, so you have a little parcel. Flatten this again and tip the other half of the nuts and cheese over the flattened parcel. Press the inclusions into the dough with your palms and then give the dough a short knead for as long as it takes for the nuts and cheese to be incorporated into the dough. It will feel like there is too much nuts and cheese, but it will eventually incorporate together. Some little bits may just not want to stay in the dough, let them stay out.

Flatten out the nutty cheesy dough into a wide rectangle, and roll it up tightly into a sausage. With the seam of the dough sausage on the work surface, tuck in the ends gently to seal them together. Roll the dough a couple of times with your hands on the ends of the susage to tapper the ends slightly, light an elongated lemon. This is only to make the dough into a pleasing shape, you don’t have to do it if your happy with the sausage shape.

Put the shaped loaf, seam side down, on a lightly flour baking tray. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave in the warm spot until doubled in size again (about 45 mins). Pre heat the oven to 220 / 200 (fan oven).

Dust the dough with flour and scour it with a very sharp knife, making criss-cross cuts across the top of the loaf. Bake for 35 – 40 mins until it is the colour you like. Allow the bread to cool down a bit before cutting into it.

Have a good bread! The last bread of Breaduary is out next week, and she is a fruity one, yummmm. Speak then xx

Soft Crust White Bread

Buns and Breads

Yo Joe

Breaduary number 2 boiiiiiiiii. If you’re not joe an haven’t a clue what Breaduary is, click here. This is my everyday white loaf. I’ve messed around with this recipe quite a bit and what I’ve ended with is just right. It’s a really soft bread with a crust that holds its own but isn’t too chewy. There’s no fat in this bread, I wanted it to be the most simple ingredients list I could make without compromising the texture and taste of the bread (lol it’s food critic Caitlin). Because there’s no butter, the crust needs some help to keep from becoming chewy and tough. The help is a tea towel. Wrapped around the bread as soon as it comes out the oven, it keeps in the steam given off by the bread as it cools and softens the crust. The only addition to flour, water, yeast and salt is 10g of sugar, you can leave it out but it gives it a beautiful slightly sweet taste and helps the bread last longer.

I make this bread in a 2lb / 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf tin because I like the shape. You don’t need to use a loaf tin for this recipe, put the shaped dough onto a flour dusted baking tray and bake as stated in the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 450g white bread flour
  • 7g salt
  • 7g (1 sachet) instant dried yeast
  • 10g brown sugar, any kind
  • 310ml warm water
  • A little oil, any kind
hahah ‘ello little bum

Method

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and mix again. Pour in the water and mix together with a metal spoon to form a shaggy ball of dough with no dry flour at the bottom of the bowl.

Smear about half a teaspoon of oil onto your worksurface. Clearing the sides of the bowl, tip/scrape the dough out onto the lightly oiled surface. The dough will be lumpy and sticky, but hold off from adding any more flour.

Knead the dough for at least 10 mins until it is smooth, elastic and tacky (not sticky). Because the dough is quite a wet one you want to keep any contact you have with it firm and quick to avoid getting dough spread all over the counter and your hands. The best way to knead this dough is by picking it up and flipping it over so it lands with hard slap on the counter, folding it over itself (in half roughly) then turning it 90 degrees. Repeat this motion quickly. No need to be too precious about the exact movement, all you want to do is get the dough moving. Alternate this with whatever kind of kneading you like, but when the dough gets too sticky, go back to the slapping/folding motion and you’ll find the dough will become much easier to work with.

Very lightly oil the bowl used earlier. Put the kneaded dough in it. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film. Place in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.

Grease your loaf tin or flour your baking tray and set aside. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten into a rectangle about the length of your loaf tin, (if your not using a loaf tin, make it any size you like). Roll up the dough tightly, tuck the ends slightly and place on the tray or in the tin. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and place back in the warm place until doubled in size again, about 45 mins. Pre heat the oven to 180 (fan oven) / 200 (non fan oven).

When the bread is doubled in size dust it with a little flour and bake for 35 – 40 mins, until the crust is a light golden brown.

When the bread comes out the oven take it out the tin/off the baking tray straight away and wrap it up in a tea towel (maybe use a clean one…?). Let it cool a little for 30 mins before cutting your slice. As I said this bread (and any bread) keeps much better wrapped in its tea towel.

the dough whale for u joe x slow, steady and underground(loaf tin)

Thanks Sue, Jess and Tiger for eating all of my experiment breads xoxoxo Caitlin x

Daily Wholemeal Bread

Buns and Breads

Hey Joe,

Its pretty funny that you’ve given up bread this month. Thought I’d use it as an opportunity to launch Breaduary! I’m posting one new bread for each week of Feb. These breads, with a bit of adapting deepening on what’s in your cupboard or fridge, are the only breads you’ll ever need. Baking with yeast is addictive – really – it’s magic and has been made to sound a lot harder than it is. All bread follows the same basic steps; mix, kneed, prove (rest), shape, prove, bake. Even if it burns, bulges, or deflates, it’ll still taste like bread. You don’t need a bread machine, stand mixer or 00 triple artisan Italian flour.

hello there mate

Bread number one, The Every Day One. It’s a light wholemeal loaf, sweet and nutty. It’s so soft and got the crustiest crust on it. If I had to pick one bread to have everyday it would be this. Because this doesn’t have much water in it, it’s a really easy one to knead and shape.

You can easily turn this into a white bloomer loaf by replacing the wholemeal flour with the same weight of strong white bread flour, leaving out the Vitamin C and halving the weight of sugar.

Ingredients.

  • 250g Strong white bread flour
  • 250g Wholemeal bread flour
  • 20g brown sugar, any kind
  • ½ 500mg Vitamin C tablet, crushed into a powder (Yes, really! Google ‘why put vitamin c in bread’. Mine are orange flavour because that’s all they had in the shop. You can’t taste the orange so get whatever they have.)
  • 7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 30g butter, very softened
  • 320ml warm water, you might need a drop more

Method.

Put the flours, sugar, and vitamin c in a bowl, add the yeast on one side and salt on the other side (salt can kill yeast if in direct contact. Lol how dramatic). Mix together. Add the very soft butter, rub this into the flour until it disappears. Pour in the water and mix with a spoon until a shaggy mass of dough forms cleaning the side of the bowl. If there is still some dry flour in the bowl, add a drop (just a drop!) more water.  

Pour about half a teaspoon olive oil onto your work surface and smear it out. Tip the dough onto it and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (10mins ish). Kneading is easy to do but hard to write. Use your hands to stretch, fold and roll the dough back on itself, if you do it quickly, you are kneading.

Put the dough into a very lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Set it in a warm place – on a chair next to the radiator is great – until doubled in size (1 hour ish).

Lightly flour a baking tray. Tip the dough onto your work surface and flatten it out into a wide rectangle, then roll it up tightly. Rotate it 90 degrees and repeat the first step, flattening to a rectangle, narrower this time, and rolling up, ending with the seam of the roll on the work surface. Tuck each end of the bread under itself slightly and place on the baking tray. Cover with cling film and put back in the warm spot until doubled in size (30mins ish). Pre heat the oven to 220 ready for the bread.

Dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash with diagonal lines using a very sharp knife. You don’t have to do this; it just helps the loaf keep its shape. Bake for 15 mins, then turn down the oven to 200 and bake for a further 25 mins.

Let the bread cool for 15 mins until you cut into it, or you’ll squash your bread! I like mine with lots of butter and jam. Try it. You’ll never look back.

Caitlin X

Blood Orange Madeira Cake

Cakes

Yo Joe

A Maderia is the best kind of cake. It’s sweet and dense but so moist, it keeps for ages and you can slice and eat it like bread. It’s the thick sugar icing that makes me want to eat this cake all of everyday. Coloured pink from the blood oranges, its sweet but sour enough to be able to eat it on it’s own with a spoon. Paired with the mellow and buttery orange cake its peng. A traditional Madeira cake has equal parts butter and sugar, I’ve put more butter in which makes the cake hold together better when sliced and makes it stay moist for longer.

This is a really easy cake, it’ll make your kitchen smell of sweet orange and it’s pink. Great!

Ingredients

  • 200g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 2 small blood oranges
  • 225g self raising flour

For the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • Juice of blood orange and a splash of milk, added to the consistency you like.

Method

Pre heat the oven to 170, 150 for a fan oven. Butter and line a loaf tin, I use a 1lb loaf tin, 20 cm x 10cm x 6cm.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale in colour. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Cream until fluffy and pale in colour again.

Sift and then fold in the flour, pour into the loaf tin and bake for 55 mins to an hour, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add a small splash of milk and a squeeze of the blood orange juice and give it a mix. Keep adding very small amounts at a time of the orange juice until you get the thickness you like.

Once the cake has cooled, pour over the icing and eat cake!

hahah lil bit lopsided there

Caitlin X

The Only Cinnamon Rolls You Will Ever Need

Buns and Breads

Hi Joe

This recipe makes Cinnamon Rolls how I think they should be. Soft and pillowy, swirled with a slightly-salty, sugary cinnamon filling, covered in a not-too-thick vanilla cream cheese icing that gets all over your face when you eat it. Out the oven, these buns are sticky and soft from all angles, with the icing on the top and a buttery caramel that bakes itself into the bottom of the buns as they bake.

Joe, I know sweet buns ain’t really your ting but Sue wanted Cinnamon Rolls a couple months back, so I made her a cakeonmyface version. Since then, I’ve noticed lots of friends and family seem to be LOVING living the Cinnamon Roll life (Shannon, Emma, Shabri, Jess and Jerry, I’m looking at you).

You make this dough the night before you want Cinnamon Rolls. It makes the whole baking process much quicker.

You don’t need a stand mixer to make this dough. I just use hands.

My dough recipe is borrowed from Paul Hollywood’s iced finger buns. Cheers Paul, it works perfect for Cinnamon Rolls.

Ingredients

For 6 Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 20g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 7g sachet instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 80ml warm milk
  • 60ml water

Filling

  • 90g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40g unsalted butter, very softened

Icing

  • 70g icing sugar
  • 30g cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Method

The night before you want the Cinnamon Rolls. In a bowl add all the ingredients for the dough apart from the 60ml of water. Mix everything together with one hand, squeezing the dough through your fingers to incorporate the milk. Add the 60ml of water and give it another mix and squeeze.

Tip out the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface, you can be generous with the amount of flour you use. Don’t worry if the dough looks shaggy at this stage. Knead the dough for about 10 mins until it feels smooth, elastic and not too sticky. There is no right way to knead just repeatably squash, fold and roll the dough however you like. The quicker you knead the less time you will have to knead for.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film. Leave for about 20 mins before putting it in the fridge over night.

The morning. Grease and line a small rectangle baking dish (I use a 25 cm x 18cm one). In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the filling apart from the butter. Set the sugar filling aside.

Take the dough out the fridge, tip it onto a lightly floured work surface and squash it into a fat rectangle. Roll out the dough to a 9 x 13 inch rectangle. As you roll, gently pull the corners of the dough to keep as best a rectangle shape as you can, it will make the rolling and cutting easier.

To fill and roll the dough position the 13inch edge towards you. Leaving a centimetre around the edge of the dough free from filling, spread the butter evenly over the dough rectangle. Sprinkle over the sugar mixture and pat down.

Roll up the dough tightly so you end with a sausage of dough 13 inches long, seam side down on your work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 2 inch pieces. You should get 6. If you like maths you’ll notice I’ve given you an extra inch to play with in case something goes wrong. Put these buns evenly spaced apart in the baking dish. If you want the central swirl of each bun to rise up a little, like mine in the pictures, hold a bun in one hand like you would a glass, gently push your thumb of the other hand up, into the centre swirl of what will be the underside of the bun.

Cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm (on a chair next to the radiator) until doubled in size. The temperature of your home will depend on how long this takes, but it will be roughly and hour and a half. You can tell they are ready for the oven by lightly pressing a finger into the dough, if it springs back to its original position, the yeast is happy and it’s ready for the oven.

Pre heat the oven to 180 (170 for a fan oven). Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25-30 mins, until golden brown on top.

Mix together the icing sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and salt. stir in a teaspoon of milk, if you want a looser icing add the other teaspoon. Let the buns sit out of the oven for 10 mins before pouring and spreading over the icing.

Have a good cinnamon roll, love Caitlin xxxx

White Chocolate, Lime and Coconut Cookies

Cookies and Biscuits

Hey Joe

It’s 11 pm. The kitchen of my Glasgow flat smells sweet and warm. The oven was turned off 10 minuets ago but it’s still whirring, one long sigh out following the energy it expended to heat the sweet things I gave it to bake. Jess is sat on the sofa which suits perfectly the nook in our kitchen we stuffed it into a couple months back, like it was never meant to be anywhere else. Jess is dazed, but comfortably. Both feet planted on the ground, she’s sat upright in that perfect ‘how to sit at your desk’ kind of position, only she doesn’t look board. Her eyes are glazed over and she’s staring into the middle distance, at nothing in particular. Her left arm is limp at her side, but purposely placed where it has fallen and her palm is facing up. Maybe she’s doing some late night meditative sofa yoga? She knows I’m in the room, but when she speaks, she doesn’t talk to me exactly. The room pulls, gently, a sentence out of her mouth that she has been thinking while sat on our sofa that arrives like a spread of soft butter on warm toast in one easy and beautifully measured note. Here comes the words… ”…this is the best cookie I have ever eaten”. In her right hand she is holding a half eaten white chocolate, lime and coconut cookie. She’s not practicing sofa yoga. She’s just eaten something really good.

I’m pretty proud of this recipe. This is me copy writing it. I’m not normally very protective of my recipes, but this ain’t one to mess with.

Ingredients

Makes about 14 cookies, if rolled into 2inch ish sized cookie dough balls for baking

  • 170g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g demerara sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g white chocolate, chopped into rough chunks

Method

Using electric beaters (or a wooden spoon and an arm work out), cream the butter and sugars together until light in colour.

Add the egg, vanilla, salt and lime zest and cream, until lighter in colour again and fluffy.

Mix in the desiccated coconut, it will form quite a stiff paste dough.

Sift in the flour and bicarb and mix this into the dough. It will seem like it doesn’t want to come together. Until it does.

Tumble in the white chocolate chunks and mix them in until evenly distributed in the dough.

Using an ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon and your hands form 2inch ish (a bit bigger than a golf ball) sized balls of dough, putting them on a plate lined with greaseproof paper. Put the plate of cookie dough balls into the fridge and leave for 30 mins. Your going to ignore this step, I can tell, but please don’t. Chilling the cookie dough will help your cookies keep their shape in the oven. The butter will be firm when it hits the heat of the oven so it won’t melt and splurge out thin as it bakes. This means you will have a soft, chewy textured cookie.

While the dough is chilling, pre heat the oven to 190 and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inch apart from each other on the baking trays, these cookies spread quite a bit. Bake them in batches if your trays are small, keeping one lot of dough balls in the fridge while the others are in the oven.

Bake for 8-10 mins until lightly golden around the edges but soft in the centre. Let them cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a plate.

Missing you already!! Realised I left Celebi on my bed at home so hope your getting some good forest vibes. Caitlin x

Lebkuchen

Uncategorized

Hey Joe,

Happy New Year’s Eve! Here is a Christmas recipe for you! This Lebkuchen recipe is from Mum’s German Christmas Baking book, it’s what I used to make the gingerbread house. If you are not Joe, maybe you don’t know what Lebkuchen is? It’s a German Christmas biscuit. There are lots of different kinds, but the one in this recipe is the best. It’s a cross between a cake and a biscuit that is spiced and sweetened with honey. A bit like soft set gingerbread… but with no ginger. Mmm! You’ll never want to eat anything else at Christmas ever again.

This bit has nothing to do with Lebkuchen. We met Becky and Roly for a walk yesterday about a 30min drive away from home. In the car on the way back we were talking about how good it was to see them, and to see people around this time of year. I said ‘I like hearing about other people’s Christmases’, you ‘what, listen to other people’s Christmas and then say nothing about ours?’, me ‘yeah.’, you ‘classic’. Then we laughed. Me ‘it normalises it a bit’, you ‘mm, yeah it does’. That wasn’t us saying no one ever asks about our Christmas (lol, this would be pretty sad), or that Becky and Roly didn’t ask or want to know (they did!), but it was us acknowledging our quietness about the day, that normally we wouldn’t because we wouldn’t be together with the same friends. It was comforting to hear that our friends’ days had their own drama and comforting that this time I wasn’t the only one being quiet about the day because most of the time our Christmas is a little bit too painful, too predictably strange to talk about. The conversation we had in the car on the way back made me very calm and happy. The music was good and your lemon jelly bean car freshener smelt nice.

This dough needs time to rest over night in the fridge, it needs this time to develop its flavour. This will also help the biscuits keep their shape when baked in the oven because your dough will be a bit cold before hitting the oven. Sorry, I hate it when recipes say that, I know you want your Lebkuchen now, I do too.

This makes A LOT of Lebkuchen. haha. But it’s a really forgiving dough that keeps well once baked. You can also keep the dough in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking. So, if you don’t have the oven space to bake all 40 at once, spread out your baking over a couple days.

Ingredients

For about 40 pieces of Lebkuchen

  • 250g honey
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 400 to 450g plain flour – start with 400g, if you think your dough is too soft to roll out add in the extra 50g
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice – if you don’t have this (I didn’t) replace with ground ginger or any other spice listed above
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons rum or water

Method

Melt the honey, sugar and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved into the melted honey and butter. At this point there should be no grainy bits of sugar on the spoon used to stir the mixture.

Pour the melted mixture into a bowl and allow to cool slightly while you measure out the flour and ground almonds.

Add the ground almonds, sifted flour, spices and egg into the melted honey mix and work together with a spoon (or hands) to form a dough. The Dough will not form into a ball, but it will be stiff and quite hard to stir together.

In a cup mix the bicarbonate of soda and rum or water until dissolved. Add this to the dough, and beat mix together until the dough is shiny and and tacky (not really sticky). Don’t worry about the dough being stiff, it’s a mini workout for the ol’ biceps.

Cover the bowl of dough with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge.

The next day heat the oven to 180 and line a couple of baking trays with grease proof paper, or butter. Take the dough out of the fridge for about 15 mins. This will just make it easier to roll out.

Lightly flour your worksurface and rolling pin (or wine bottle) and roll out the dough to about 4mm thick. Cut out your lebkuchen shapes, re rolling the dough until it’s all gone. If your biscuit cutters stick then dip them in flour before cutting.

Bake for 10 mins or until the biscuits are puffed up and the edges look set. They should come out of the oven very soft, this is good! Don’t be tempted to bake them until they are firm, or your lebkuchen will be sad and dry.

Once cool, you can leave them as they are, cover them in lemon icing (mix icing sugar and lemon juice to a runny consistency) or dip them in melted chocolate. The Lebkuchen is your oyster!

Becky and Roly, this post is for you. Happy New Year’s Eve, Love Caitlin xxx

A Gingerbread House for Christmas 2020

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Yo Joe

It’s Christmas boiiiii! Happy Christmas to you. You’re in the shower right now upstairs and I’ll say happy Christmas to you when you come down, so, this happy Christmas is to anyone reading. Happy Christmas, I hope where ever you are you’re feelin good vibes today. We actually have quite a few people reading now, for once I’m not counting mum and dad as quite a few.

I’ve told quite a lotta people about this gingerbread house and everyone asked for pics so thought I’d put it on here. I’ve decided Im gunna do this every year. Thats the plan.

Seeing as your new fav thing is Lebkuchen (haha) I used a Lebkuchen recipe from mums German Christmas baking book.

I gotta wrap your present now and think mum is trying to get me to dance to Christmas carols on the radio (a great Christmas past time, if anyone wants a Christmas activity. You are welcome) so I’m not gonna write the recipe today in full. I’ll put it up tomorrow because Lebkuchen smells and tastes pretty pretty bloody great. I have it all over my face right now actually! I’ll give you a brief run down of the Gingerbread process.

Step 1: make a derelict looking gingerbread house.

Step 2: get a lot of sweets of different varieties, shapes, sizes, smells, personalities. Don’t leave em out because Joe will come into your house and eat them.

Step 3: make a derelict looking gingerbread house look like it is not derelict anymore! Make it look beautiful with all of the sweets that Joe didn’t eat!

Welcome to my crib MTV

Happy Christmas to you. I hope, at some point today, you have some cake on your face. Love Caitlin xxx

Jammy Dodger Cake

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Hey Joe,

I’m writing this at 2am because I can’t sleep. Yay. Look right into that lovely lovely late night void.

The first insult I ever remember saying was ‘jammy bugger’. I was 8. Quite a profound thing for an 8 year old to say I think. I don’t know why I was saying it or if I was actually calling someone specific a ‘jammy bugger’, but I remember Dads face when I said it. He looked shocked but also…sort of impressed. Dads face was the give away that I had just said an insult. I reckon if he hadn’t pulled that specific face I might never have realise it was an insult. I’d start calling my friends ‘jammy bugger’ as an affectionate nickname. Getting off the bus, instead of ‘Thank you’ to the bus driver, I would add ‘jammy bugger!’ on the end, as a way to demonstrate that I am thankful for the bus ride.

This cake is the easiest cake in the world and it is peng. It makes your kitchen smell like jam roly-poly and it tastes MMMMMM very good. This is my tribute to the 8 year old, jammy bugger, Caitlin.

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For The Jammy Bit

  • 3 tablespoons raspberry jam (with or without seeds)
  • some Jammie Dodger biscuits

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 (or 170 fan – think I’m the last to realise fan ovens run hotter than…the other kind of oven). Grease a round tin with butter and lightly dust with flour.

Beat together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix just until combined.

Give the jam a mix to loosen it up. Blob spoonfuls of the jam onto the cake batter and move the batter about a bit to incorporate the jam without mixing it through. You are after pockets of jam marbled through the batter.

Pour the batter into the cake tin, and top with some broken jammie dodger biscuits. I wanted my cake to be a ring shape so I used a round biscuit cutter to make a hole in my cake while it baked. You don’t have to bake a hole into your cake if you don’t want to. Bake for 25 mins, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Hope you like the cake and I fall asleep, Caitlin xxx