AgeUk Baking Session


Long time no blog, been rather busy.

I have a million write ups in my head, but never seen to get them down in print.  As I travel on the train, in the car or walking around, I make a mental note of a paragraph or two of what I’m doing with every intention of adding a blog post. In my head there is no spell checker, no rewriting, it just goes straight in there. But when I get home, exhausted after a long journey, I don’t feel like typing.

Take the Cake and Bake show event the other weekend, where I had a stand for CCC. Most of the write up about the event is on the CCC website, take a look here if you are interested, lots of lovely pictures. I tasted all the cakes in the CCC Cake Competition with the lovely Peter Sidwell. I’ve even visited a few Clandestine Cake Club events recently, Bridlington and Nantwich, with every intention of writing about them, but time just seems to move on rather quickly.

EggsYesterday I was invited by AgeUk to hold a baking session at the Richmond Hill Community Centre in Leeds. What a lovely bunch of people. We all made a tea loaf using my recipe, a really easy recipe and one of my favourite cakes to make. The Gent loves it and it’s the one I used to make for the The Secret Tea Room. Each person made their own cake, mixing and sieving. 12 x  900g cakes were made in total between us. However, with not being familiar with someone else’s oven, the whole baking process took 2 hours. A good job I took my oven thermometer as there was a huge difference in temperatures between the top and the bottom of the oven.

In the end, the cakes were cooked, although a little golden on top but nice and moist inside. The cakes were left covered to cool overnight and the bakers would collect them in the morning, some had risen and some not, all down to the temperature of the oven. Anyone reading this, wishing to donate a new oven to this community centre, I’m sure they would appreciate it. It’s a lovely centre where people meet on a regular basis for friendships and fun.

Until the next write up.

Lynn x

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Shortbread with Cream and Summer berries


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The hot weather continues, which means it can be very difficult to bake. If your kitchen is anything like mine it gets the westerly sun in the afternoon. So any baking that needs doing has to be done before the sun goes over the yardarm.

With this in mind, and trying to cater for the men in my life. I made some shortbread.

  • 250g (8oz) Butter softened ( in this heat that’s no problem)
  • 125g (4&1/2oz) sugar
  • 1/4 tea spoon of salt ( try using ground sea salt)
  • 1&1/2tsp Vanilla paste or seeds from a Vanilla pod.
  • 365g (13oz) Plain Flour

Decoration Optional

  • Whipped cream and a few berries

Ingredients

  1. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go along.
  2. Add the salt and Vanilla paste and gradually add the flour half at a time. Mix until well combined.
  3. Round up the dough onto a sheet of greaseproof paper placing another sheet on top.
  4. Roll the dough between the 2 sheets until you create a rectangular shape. Not too thick and not too thin. The former will not cook and the latter will break.
  5. Place everything on a baking tray and leave in the fridge to cool for a few hours.
  6. Heat your oven to 180c/170deg fan assisted
  7. Take the tray of dough from the fridge and cut the shortbread into any shape you like. For me I went the easy route and cut them into rectangles. Arrange them on the tray with plenty of space around them. Use an additional tray if needed.
  8. Dust with sugar and bake in the oven for approx 15 – 20 mins or until baked. Depending on how thick you rolled out your dough.
  9. Leave on the tray to cool before eating.
  10. Keep in an airtight tin.
  11. Decorate with whipped cream and summer berries for a self indulgent treat. Or in my case, for the men in my life.

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