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Archive for October, 2010

Let’s face it, it’s not Autumn without English Mum’s Bakeoff. Woop!

(Rule: Always say ‘Woop!’ after ‘English Mum’s Bakeoff’. Woop!)

Sure, it may be the first Autumn Bakeoff (Woop!), but I can’t imagine another Halloween coming around without the chance to show off my disasterous decorating skills to the public. So, English Mum, keep ’em coming! 😉

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The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

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Another bank holiday weekend over!  Can you believe the next proper ‘break’ from work is Christmas? Is it too early to even type the word ‘Christmas’? And it was so dark when the alarm went off this morning!  I think I need to move to California! 🙂  I do love baking this time of year though: tasty fruit pies and crumbles, spiced cakes and shortbreads, the smell of Christmas wafting about the kitchen (recipe for Christmas puddings coming soon!) and freshly baked scones, still warm from the oven with real butter melting over them. Yum!

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This is the second recipe I’ve tried out from Dorie Greenspan’s book ‘Baking: From My Home To Yours’. The first recipe I settled on (it is seriously difficult to decide what to bake from this book!) was Swedish Visiting Cake and it went down so well. I put these muffins together in super-quick time (I knew a lemon-and-poppyseed-loving friend was on her way over!) – melting the butter is really the only fiddly part.

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Simple, store-cupboard ingredients. A cinch to make. It’s a light, sweet chocolate cake that’s moist and sticky. Made with cocoa, and not dark chocolate so the result is quite sweet. Not so sweet that we could stop at one piece, mind, but it doesn’t have the dark, deep chocolatey taste of a brownie. I made half the recommended quantity of icing – I used a smaller tin and thus had a smaller surface area to ice and, anyway, I don’t like a thick layer of icing. I used the full amount of pecans though 🙂

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Tasty Dutch Apple Pie

I’m so behind with my blogging lately!  There’s such a backlog of recipes and photos to add to the blog – college (and eating all the things I’ve been baking!) is taking all my time. Plus we got a new little kitten. She is seriously cute, and now definitely a ‘she’ – the vet confirmed it this morning. And yes, there was some confusion about that for the last week. Heh. To celebrate the arrival of kitty, I made this Dutch Apple Pie.  Any excuse for a celebratory dessert!  We have a huge amount of apples in the back garden – the trees are just laden down with them! We’ve picked all that we can reach without a ladder, so the next job is to get up to the high branches for the rest of the apples. And then we will have far too many apples for two people (and a kitty). Any ideas for preserves involving apples?

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I spent a summer in San Francisco during my undergrad course.  It was the best of times. Great friends, cool bars, such fun! To fund my partying and carefree lifestyle, I worked in a cookie shop. Inevitably I ate far too many cookies. Chocolate Chip Macadamia were my favourite. The bittersweet chocolate chips paired with salty macadamias were just perfection. A regular Chocolate Chip would do, at a push. One I never really ‘got’ was Oatmeal Raisin; I liked the oaty part but I really didn’t like raisins. The summer ended (sob) and I came back to college, every so often trying to recreate the chewy chocolate chip cookies of that summer (and mostly failing).  Slowly, over the years, I have started to warm to raisins, sultanas and the like. Mince pies, once horror-enducing, are now wolfed down.  A fruit scone at 11 o’clock break is welcome when the porridge of the morning starts to wear off. So, it’s high time oatmeal raisin cookies got a whirl. I turned to Smitten Kitchen in my time of recipe-need. Deb knows her cookies!  These oatmeal raisin cookies really are thick and chewy. I may have slightly undercooked the first batch (I was so eager to ensure than they were chewy. Result: they were very chewy) but the second batch (baked from frozen) were perfection.

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