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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Salted Caramel Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and butter pudding was never my favourite of desserts, I think it was mainly due to the currents and the fact it was made from slices of white buttered bread.  After baking it looked like slices of white buttered bread with black specks all over it.  Only recently has it become a pudding I really love and that is due to the number of different ways of making it - with currents, with chocolate and recently I saw a raspberry and whiskey Burns Night version.

I decided to bake this pudding after I was left with almost a whole loaf of Brioche.  I had brought it to make Eggs Benedict but only required two slices.  After a bit of searching around the net I was able to piece together my own version of 'salted caramel bread pudding'.   It is very easy to make the caramel with the added salt gives it that savoury yet sweet taste.  

When you assemble the pudding and bake it you will find molten caramel inside and the top turns crumbly/crunchy.  It will rise when you bake it so make sure you leave enough space in the oven but as soon as you take it out it will start to settle and sink back in to the dish.  Crunchy on top, soft and smooth inside.

Serve with ice cream.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Chocolate Brownie Pudding

Second post of the year and actually something I made way back in December but just didn't have the time to write about.  It is made using an electric stand mixer but a handheld would work just fine, I don't think I would try it without mechanical help due to the amount of whisking required.

This chocolate pudding is really easy to make and does not actually require you to buy any chocolate.  Instead it uses cocoa powder to make a rich molten pudding that is perfect with ice cream.  Baked in a water bath the end product has a cooked crust which hides a soft centre.  

This recipe is taken from an Ina Garten cookbook (Back to Basics) and it is something I have made a number of times due to the absence of ingredients that normally require a trip to the shops because they are not the sort of thing you have in all the time.  It may take an hour to bake but its pretty quick to throw together.  It is also very nice cold and turns in to more of a sticky brownie.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Lemon and Blueberry Madeleines

Long time no see, happy new year!  December seems to have come and gone so quickly and now we are in to 2015.  It was always my intention to post during Christmas, it is of course the best time of year to bake.  However, I simply did not have the time or will to do it.  I did bake a number of things and I also took photographs ready to write blog posts about but I just never got round to it.  Hopefully I will get some time to write them up and post this month.

For Christmas I received the brand new DROP kitchen scales.  These scales connect via bluetooth to my iPad and using the app allow me to create a number of dishes using their cool app.  Basically the app will give you a recipe and then allow you to adjust the number you want to cook - all the ingredients are scaled down or up depending on your quaintly.   It gets more geeky still - a feature not yet included, but coming soon, is the ability to click on any ingredient from the recipe and swap it for a substitute suggested by the app.  For example, you might not have sour cream, instead the app will offer other suggestions that you may have.  The app also allows you to scale ingredients based on how much of one you may have.  Lets say the recipe calls for 500g of flour, but when you tip in all you have left you find you only have 350g...well these clever scales will scale back all the other ingredients (and quantity) to allow you to continue baking without having the run out to the shops and buy more flour.  

As you bake with these scales they automatically update the method...for example, it will say 'place bowl on scales', you do and it will move on to the next step 'add flour' you do and once you have added enough it will then move on to the next, and so on... When its time to bake a timer automatically appears and starts counting down.  Its very clever and I can't wait for them to bring out more features.

This blog recipe was created on my DROP scales.  I decided to give the lemon madeleines ago and see how well it works.  I scaled back the recipe to make 12 and also added some blueberries since I had them in the fridge.  You will have to forgive the funny amount of egg, I think it was simply because I scaled back the amount to 12 instead of 24.  They turned out perfectly anyway and where great to eat, warm from the oven, with a cup of tea.