Archives for the month of: March, 2013

I’ve loved this week. It’s been full of Easter baking which I’ve enjoyed sharing with friends and family. Easter isn’t complete without mini eggs and they are even better on cupcakes. My sister helped me decorate them, her overwhelming need to colour co-ordinate is evident but she did an excellent job. Happy Easter everyone!

So for the past few weeks everywhere I look online I’ve seen posts and pictures of creme egg brownies. It’s Easter. They are having a moment. Today I decided I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I used this recipe which is the main one that has been circulating. Ok yes, that picture looks delicious, yes it’s a great idea and yes I totally want to hear more about that cake tin divider, but the recipe is what I was most interested in. Seeing as the world and their mother (/boyfriend /girlfriend /5 year old /dog) has made them I figured it had to be a good one. I have to say I was somewhat let down. Sure, the batter was smooth and looked great, but it didn’t really bake properly. I’m a big fan of the dense gooey brownie but this was a little too much. I even put it back in the oven a few times. If I was going to do it again, using this recipe I would leave it to initially bake longer than the suggested 15 minutes before putting the creme eggs on. I would also extend the baking time in general for at least another 15 minutes if not 20. Definitely let them cool completely before cutting in to them. Another thing I would recommend doing when making these, is to put the creme eggs in the freezer for a couple of hours before using them as this makes them easier to cut in half. It also helps the eggs to keep their shape when baking. I might try them again before Easter, but maybe use a different brownie recipe. Although slightly disappointing it doesn’t mean I still won’t be eating these with a glass of milk later.

It hasn’t felt even remotely close to Easter yet. Probably due to how quickly it has come around but also this hideous weather. Wanting to bring a bit of sunshine and Easter spirit to our house I decided to make a classic. I’ve never made bread or anything close. I’m not sure I’d even tasted a hot cross bun before. I opted for the current King of bread-making Paul Hollywood’s recipe for my first attempt. The recipe was simple and easy to follow. The only changes I made were to lessen the amount of cinnamon, as my family prefer it that way and I also left out the apple. I found making bread kind of like magic; this giant thing appears from basically nothing. As fascinating as it was to watch it grow and grow, this recipe needs lots of different resting times so takes a while. I’m still surprised when things turn out how they are meant to, especially on first attempts. These buns were light, filled with a good amount of fruit and flavour and delicious toasted for breakfast.

I was really pleased when Ginetta from Graphic Express asked me to make some cupcakes for BNI Elmbridge. BNI is a business networking organisation that meet once a week to exchange business leads, share their business experience and have breakfast. Sounds good right. I made these yummy cupcakes topped with the BNI logo in vanilla and chocolate with Nutella frosting. I hope they liked them and all have a successful day of business today, fuelled by cupcakes.

Yesterday was ‘Macaron Day’. I was informed of this by my Sister who loved my last attempt at macarons. She recently bought me a macaron book which includes a section with savoury options. I decided to surprise her by making some with her favourite ingredient, sweet corn (I once even made her a sweet corn cake). Sweet corn and bacon is one of our family’s favourite combinations; we have it in things like chowder and even our Christmas stuffing. To make these I fried some bacon and then blended it so I could sprinkle it on top of the piped macarons before they baked. For the macarons I used this recipe and added a tiny bit of yellow colouring. For the filling I made some fresh sweet corn, chopped it up and blended it with some marscarpone. Then I added a tiny bit of icing sugar to make it extra sweet. I assembled them by putting a bit of filling and some more bacon bits inside. They are kind of delicious and have that sweet and savoury thing going on that people seem to be mad for. They need to be eaten soon after assembling as this filling makes the shells soften quicker.