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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Raspberry Ripple Cake

This is a cake adapted from a recipe from Edd Kimber, winner of the first series of the 'Great British Bake Off'.  I say adapted...its actually not his sponge cake mix, just the frosting and decoration that I have copied.  I have attempted to make the cake in this book 'The boy who bakes' twice and each time the sponge has failed me.  Each time it is dense and underbaked.  The first time I made it I followed the directions and it didn't work, I tried again a few weeks later, this time leaving the cake to bake longer.  Both times it looked great but on cutting each layer was dense and almost raw!  Yuck!  I even tweeted Edd and asked for advice, showing him the picture, he mentioned oven temperature may be the problem and to invest in an oven thermometer - I did - however the second attempt still failed.  Oh well, can't win them all!

The frosting however is perfect and I have used his recipe a number of times for topping of other cakes, cupcakes etc.  The recipe for the vanilla sponge is from Anna Olson and is the same recipe I used a few weeks back for my salted caramel vanilla cake.  I have only included the assembly instructions and ingredients for the frosting below.  Find the vanilla cake recipe here.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Belgian Liege Waffles

Recently I have moved jobs...well schools...and as my leaving present from my old school I requested a waffle iron.  I fondly remember being in Spain during my early teens and on my walk down to the Yacht Club I always used to pass a lady on the road side cooking fresh waffles.  Often I would treat myself to one and have is smothered in chocolate sauce and 'present' whipped cream.  They were amazing!  Soft on the inside, slightly chewy and they always have a crisp outside.  Amazing!  The only waffles I had ever really known were those potato ones you got from the freezer.  Later on I discovered that you could make what I call 'American Style' waffles that consisted basically of a pancake mix baked in a waffle iron.  I have tired these and they are much easier to make than the Belgian version above however, in my opinion, they go soggy quickly and just don't really have much to them.

Researching around the net I came across a number of recipes for 'Belgian Liege' waffles.  The pictures I looked at reminded me of the waffles from Spain.  Basically the dough you create is the same as brioche - that being eggs and butter.  The only issue I had was sourcing pearl sugar.   This type of sugar is basically little nibs that you mix in to the dough before cooking and as they cook they melt, caramelise and give the waffles their perfect crunch.  A number of websites suggested using sugar cubes that you whack with a rolling pin to create bits.  I tried this, and although not perfect, it seems to work.  The recipe below uses sugar cubes but if you can get them  feel free to use pearl sugar.

Of course you need a waffle iron to bake these.  I have a fancy electric one (thank you old school) but you could get a cheaper cast iron one that you hold over a heat sauce to bake.  They only take about 2 minutes to cook and I have found that you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days to bake as needed OR you can part bake in the waffle iron and then freeze, later to reheat and finish off in a toaster.  The recipe makes about 12 waffles.