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Archive for the tag “Dan Lepard”

Easter baking – Stone fruit simnel cake

I have often made simnel cakes at Easter, and just as often they turn out quite dry and slightly disappointing, despite all the marzipan. This year Dan came up with a new recipe that includes pretty much everything you would put in a simnel cake, with some extras that give it a lift. There’s apricots on top below little balls of marzipan, there’s ground almonds in the mix, which is moistened with a decent amount of sherry. The fruit is a mix of currants and ginger. In my effort I reduced the amount of ginger and used some mixed peel and raisins. You can pick up the recipe here at Australian Good Food. And this is what it looks like when I make it.

Cinnamon cake with blackberries

A Dan Lepard recipe from Short and Sweet, but also available on the Guardian website. It’s a whisked fat-free sponge made of eggs, sugar and golden syrup, with a little milk in it, only half a teaspoon of baking powder, wholemeal flour and cinnamon. The cinnamon mixes with the wholemeal flour to give an agreeable pinky-brown colour. For the flour I used some standard supermarket wholemeal plus some from our local windmill. The mill doesn’t sieve the flour before sending it out, so it has some ‘nuggets’ of barely ground wheat in it for extra texture. I also drizzled some Chambord raspberry over the fruit to make it a bit more adult. My mother-in-law has a glut of blackberries so in they went, and some double cream was easily whipped to fill the cake. Over the top goes the icing sugar to hide the cracks that appear as the cake cools. Result!

Cinnamon cake with balackberries

Cinnamon cake with balackberries

 

Poppy-seed walnut strudel

Last week I asked Dan if he had a recipe for mohnplunder, something I ate more than half a life time ago when I took a trip round some museums in Europe looking for Celtic objects. The ones I ate in Germany were pastries stuffed with poppy seeds. Dan didn’t have a recipe for pastries, but pointed out this recipe which is in Short and Sweet and also published here.

You need about 5 hours to make this sweet yeasted dough epic. So it’s not something to rush into, but can be done in stages with a bit of preparation in between. There’s no picture in Short and Sweet, but there is one on the Guardian website, so at least we know what it should look like.

The dough is made in two stages. First a sponge stage with yeast and flour mixed into milk that has been boiled and cooled, and left to rest for about an hour. Then butter is rubbed into more flour and mixed with the sponge and rested. Meanwhile you make the filling. I’m a bit scared of the filling because it is quite runny, but it tastes quite nice. I don’t think my food mixer can grind the walnuts small enough. The only change I made was to use brandy instead of rum.

Here’s some pictures so you can see what happened. A fair amount of filling spilled from the top down the side. The result wasn’t particularly elegant-looking, but it tastes OK!

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Butterscotch banana cake

My baking mojo seems to have put in appearance recently and I’m trying out a few things I’ve not done before. So from Short and Sweet and appearing here in a slightly different version, this morning I’ve made butterscotch banana cake. The new thing for me was the caramel, which I feel is a bit daunting. But it’s not, really, it’s not, just keep an eye on it. I wasn’t too sure how large to leave the banana pieces so didn’t let it cook too long. It looked a bit bare when I took it out of the oven so I’ve topped it with some lemon icing, just lemon juice and icing sugar. Very moist, not soggy or stodgy.

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Sticky lemon and poppy seed cake

I have made this before, but haven’t blogged it, so I am typing away while it is in the oven.

I’m following the recipe in Short and Sweet, but you can also find it here. The differences are minor – Short and Sweet uses slightly less sugar, more flour and an extra egg in the cake mix. Which suggests it’s all good and you can tweak if you haven’t got quite what the recipe suggests. The main differences compared to a standard lemon drizzle cake, for example by Mary Berry, is the use of some sunflower oil in the mixture, the substitution of some of the flour with fine oatmeal plus some extra liquid, and the addition of poppy seeds. So the results are slightly chewier – a good thing, cake you don’t have to chew is not a good thing in my book. And I like the poppy seeds. Cranks also has a great recipe for lemon, lime and poppy seed drizzle cake which I must do sometime.

I do wish Dan was back with the Guardian, I have to say I haven’t cooked anything by Ruby, sorry.

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Top Tea Cakes – Dan Lepard recipe

Hello again! I’ve been away as I had an accident in June that kept me off my feet for two months and I’ve only just got my baking mojo back. You’ve missed the tomato, parmesan and basil bread, some fruit cake and a huge home-made Jaffa cake I’m afraid, but today I’ve made Dan Lepard’s Top Tea Cakes from Short and Sweet. There’s a recipe from the Guardian over here, the main differences are in the kneading and resting times and the number of tea cakes you make.

This is an enriched recipe with lots of fruit, sugar, syrup, eggs and, instead of butter, white chocolate. So what’s not to like? I’ve not used white chocolate for the fat before, but the recipe says it will stay softer than using butter.

I used fresh yeast instead of packet dried yeast. The recipe calls for ingredients to be added to hot milk one after the other which cools the mix down to a usable temperature within the 15 minutes that you leave the yeast to bubble in some water with some flour. Pictures below show the various stages of working the dough. And I went for a tray of 12 tea cakes, not the 9 or 14 suggested by the two recipes. Going for 9 would make them humungous!

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Chocolate and almond fudge cake

Recipe from Dan’ Lepard’s Short and Sweet, also available here, but use 3 eggs not 4. A flour free recipe,

A cake that is mostly made in a saucepan goes slightly against the grain, but makes it all pretty easy. You don’t need an electric mixer for the egg white whipping bit, a firm arm with a hand whisk will do the job quite nicely.

I found it took a lot longer to bake than the 40 minutes suggested, and I gave it 55 in the end, but it might have needed a bit more. My eggs were from a mixed box, not the medium ones stated, so maybe that affected the cooking time.

It does shrink down quite a bit after baking and I didn’t use the cream topping suggested. Here’s some pics, and it was rather tasty.

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Saffron loaf

A work colleague brought in a fruited saffron loaf she’d been given as a present and no-one at home wanted to eat (wouldn’t happen in my house but there you are). I think it was one of these from Warren’s Bakery. Very nice it was too, but a bit on the yellow side, so I thought I search out a recipe and see what I could do.

In Dan Lepard’s Hand Made Loaf I found one that didn’t look too taxing. It starts with a sponge of plain flour, milk and yeast, and then in go some saffron threads soaked in hot water, strong white flour, caster sugar, sea salt, butter, more milk and currants. Only a couple of quick kneads and two proving stages. Baking was started at 210 deg C and then turned down, I had to turn it down earlier than the recipe said as it looked like it was going to burn, and I turned it even lower for the last 10 minutes. Result – very nice – fruit loaf without spice but with a definite flavour of saffron. I’ll be doing this again!

Sponge just mixed

Sponge just mixed

Sponge after an hour

Sponge after an hour

Ingredients all mixed

Ingredients all mixed

After kneading

After kneading

After forming and resting

After forming and resting

Shaped

Shaped

Brushed with egg

Brushed with egg

Baked

Baked

Cooled and cut

Cooled and cut

 

Doughnuts – River Cottage recipe

New Year, and finally, new baking. Having had my fill of lovely Christmas things I didn’t fancy anything with dried fruit in today, which is most unlike me because I love my dried fruit. So, taking some inspiration from the celebrity Sport Relief Bake-off programme which featured doughnuts as a recipe, I’m trying them for the first time. The easiest-looking recipe I had to hand was from the River Cottage handbook 3, and which also handily appears on the Telegraph website (sssshhh, don’t tell the Guardian I’ve gone off-piste, but it isn’t the same without Dan Lepard). You can try Paul Hollywood’s recipe over here too.

As I often do with recipes when trying them for the first time, I’ve only done a half measure of all the ingredients, and I’ve used fresh yeast, not dried. I don’t have a mixer so I’ve adapted the River Cottage recipe to the Dan Lepard method.

I mixed all the ingredients, left it for 10 minutes, kneaded lightly and then repeated two more times. In between I left the bowl cuddled up to the big pan I have boiling oranges for marmalade (I use Delia’s recipe for that, and there’s a blog over here about it from last year, nothing new to say on that subject this year) as the kitchen is heading for Baltic conditions again – currently 18.7 C.

Then I left the bowl to allow the dough to prove for about 45 minutes before making it into balls and rings. My son doesn’t much like jam doughnuts, but he does like the ring ones. I just poked my finger through like I would for bagels. I’m also making pizza so need to fit it all in together. They got to rest for about an hour before being fried.

Some time later…. Results are in. Not bad for a first attempt, but a bit stodgy. Next time I might let it prove a bit more the first time, fry them with a bit more oil, or make them smaller or make them all ring doughnuts. The ball ones expanded a bit, then split, but the outer surface was cooked before the inside had finished expanding. Here are some pictures of what went on! I’ll definitely be needing a good long run tomorrow.

All mixed up

All mixed up

After kneading

After kneading

All shaped

All shaped

After rising

After rising

First two

First two

Three balls

Three balls

Dan Lepard’s stollen

Finally getting somewhere near the Christmas spirit, so to keep us going until the big day (well probably until next weekend at any rate), here’s Dan Lepard’s stollen as printed in the Guardian some time ago. The slightly tricky bit about this recipe is the first stage of boiling some milk and rye flour together. The pictures below show how this goes in my house, blend milk and flour together cold and introduce some gentle heat and keep stirring until it makes a thick goo, but don’t let it boil. You then thrash in some melted butter, eggs and yolks, lemon zest and in my case brandy. If you are using fresh yeast you can keep back a little milk and blend it with that. The rest is easy peasy and while I’m not a fan of shop marzipan, this is an ideal use for it. The recipe didn’t call for cherries, but I didn’t have enough peel, so I made up the weight. Makes a terrific breakfast too, natch to muesli today!

milk and rye flour cold

milk and rye flour cold

milk and rye flour after heating

milk and rye flour after heating

after adding egg, yolks, brandy and lemon zest

after adding egg, yolks, brandy and lemon zest

mixed with dry goods

mixed with dry goods

after kneading after resting for 10 mins

after kneading after resting for 10 mins

after leaving for 90 mins

after leaving for 90 mins

oval shape with marzipan

oval shape with marzipan

rolled up ready for second rise

rolled up ready for second rise

after second rise before baking

after second rise before baking

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

With coating of butter and icing sugar

With coating of butter and icing sugar

Inside view

Inside view

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