There’s a blue, rectangle button in the top right hand corner of my screen on the dashboard for this site. It has the word ‘Write’ on it. I’ve just pressed it and now I’m filling up this empty screen with words and, hopefully, a recipe. I haven’t pressed that button for a long time. But I’m back!
Let’s give our readers a lil update (I reckon we have a solid 18 now). I’ve moved back to Glasgow for uni and you’ve moved into a new house in London, released a new poetry pamphlet (find it here) and got your contract extended at work for another year. Big. And… Cake On My Face is now on Instagram (find it here), come and say hello!
WOW too much writing. I want soda bread. Joe, this is the bread I was telling you to make the other day. The reason this recipe is magic is because, from start to finish, you get fresh bread in under an hour. Soda bread uses bicarbonate of soda to rise, instead of yeast. So, once all the ingredients are mixed it can go straight in the oven, rather than having to wait for the yeast in the dough to ferment.
This bread is quick, easy, makes your house smell like a bakery and is MMMM so good. Once I make a loaf of soda bread, I eat the whole thing in about an hour. I hope you do the same too.
170g Wholemeal flour
170g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Traditionally this bread is made with buttermilk. I always have milk and yoghurt in the fridge and this does the same thing as buttermilk but if you want to use the real deal you can find it in most supermarkets. Replace the yoghurt and milk with 290ml buttermilk.
I normally use brown sugar in this recipe, it gives a really nice colour to the loaf and a note of caramel (lol). You can just use standard granulated sugar though, and you wouldn’t be missing out on any ‘notes’.
Pre heat the oven to 200 and flour a baking tray, ready for your lil loaf.
Mix together your milk and yoghurt, set this aside.
In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in your yoghurt and milk mixture.
Stir it all together, you might need to get your hands involved to form it into a shaggy lump of dough.
Form the dough into the shape you want to bake it in and whack it on the baking tray.
Sprinkle flour over the top of your loaf and using a large knife, cut the loaf into quarters. This will help the loaf rise in the oven and make it ready to be ripped apart into perfect bread rolls once its baked.
Put it in the oven and bake for about 30 mins, if you want a darker colour leave it in for a bit longer.
Once you’ve taken it out of the oven wrap the loaf in a clean tea towel and allow to cool before eating. Wrapping the loaf in a tea towel will give you a moist, soft bread.
Last week I wanted to be a French Pastry Chef – I still would like to be a French Pastry Chef – so I made Profiteroles! I’ve never been profiteroles’ number one fan, but I am now. I think I have seen profiterole light and I’m not looking back. I told Celestine that this post would be up a week ago (sorry Cel, hope you can make these as a post exam celebration pastry).
Joe I’ve decided that you need to get a set of weighing scales. French Pastry Chefs don’t measure things in mugs. If you wanna make these get some scales plz because we are making PASTRY and you have to be precise with PASTRY. I found you some on Argos. They are £6. Bargain.
There are three components to a profiterole and to be honest they are all pretty easy. It just needs patience. First thing is making choux pastry. It’s the only pastry that is cooked off on the hob before it goes in the oven, pretty cool. The way it puffs up when it bakes is magic. It’s the result of steam from the water that you’ve cooked into the pastry dough when it was on the hob – very cool. The second component is chantilly cream. Lol. That is French Pastry Chef words for whipped cream and vanilla. Last bit is the chocolate ganache on the top, which you can make in under 5 mins.
(Can’t take credit for this, it’s Paul Hollywood’s recipe, just in my words)
You will need a piping bag and a 2cm round plain round tip nozzle for this. A bit annoying, but worth it.
65g plain flour
pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter
Chantilly Cream Filling
You can mess with the measurements with this. It depends how sweet you want the cream and how much cream you want in each choux bun.
200ml double cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or the paste from one vanilla pod, that’s what I used to get the specs of vanilla in the cream. Pods are really expensive though)
100g dark chocolate
150 ml double cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Pre heat the oven to 200, line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. Rub a bit of butter in the corners of the trays to stick the paper down.
Sift the flour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and set aside.
Add the cubed butter and 120ml water to a heavy based saucepan. Melt the butter gently over a medium heat – don’t let the mixture come to a boil and start evaporating. Once the butter is completely melted, increase the heat to full and bring quickly to the boil. Once boiling, tip all the flour into the saucepan in one go. Remove from the heat and beat rapidly (RAPID, like, go for it) with a wooden spoon. The mixture will begin to ball together and come away from the sides of the saucepan.
Put the pan back on the hob, with a low heat. You want to keep beating the dough (not as rapidly, you can calm down now) for about 2-3 minutes. You are trying to cook the dough off a bit. You will see a sort of brownish skin start to form over the bottom of the pan – that’s good, you’re cooking off some of the moisture. After 2-3 mins of beating, tip the dough out into a clean bowl and leave to cool until tepid (not boiling hot).
Once the dough is cooled a bit, beat the eggs in a separate bowl until combined. Gradually add the beaten egg to the dough, bit by bit, beating well after each addition (use a wooden spoon or electric whizers). You might not need all the egg, because too much egg will spoil the dough and they wont puff…v sad. The dough has had enough egg when it is shiny, paste-like and falls from a spoon when shaken gently. You can use this test to see if you have added enough egg:
Spoon the pastry dough into a piping bag, fitted with a plain round tip that is about 2cm wide. Pipe disks about 4 cm apart on your baking trays. You can do this by keeping your piping bag in a fixed place for each choux bun, and just squeezing until you have the width you want. I made mine quite big, about 5cm wide. Keep in mind the smaller they are the less time they need in the oven.
Using a damp finger, gently flatten the little spike of dough from the piping bag on each disk of dough. Sprinkle a bit of water with your fingers on the tray – not the dough – and put in the oven for 15 mins. After 15 mins, without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 170 and bake for a further 10 mins, or until golden-brown and crisp.
Take out the oven and carefully make a steam hole in the side of each choux bun with a skewer. This will allow them to dry out inside. Return to the oven for another 5 mins or until the pastry is completely crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Once the pastry is cool make the filling and topping. For the Chantilly cream, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla (paste or essence) until just stiff.
For the ganache, break up the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl, set aside. Heat the cream and sugar in a heavy based saucepan until it begins to simmer, you can swirl it every now and then so it doesn’t catch on the sides too much. As soon as it reaches a simmer, remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk the cream and chocolate together, you will see the chocolate melt into the cream and a smooth ganache magically appear!
Cut the top of each choux bun. If there are bits of soft dough inside the bun when you cut the top off just remove them. Use a piping bag or a spoon to fill the hollow choux buns with cream. Put the lil choux tops on and spoon a generous amount of chocolate ganache on top.