Thursday, 6 November 2014

Firstly, I would like to deeply apologise for my long term absence.
However they do say absence makes the heart grow fonder?
I have never been one to see the point in writing something just for the sake of writing. 
Not that I am making excuses; but that is obviously what I am doing! 
If I am being completely honest I have just been lazy, started a new job, with new hours & new pressure. Then when my beautiful days off came around, all I wanted to do was catch up on my favourite programs, eat & nap! 
It wasn't until late this summer when one of my favourite programs returned to our screens, the great british bake off. I finally started doing something constructive with my spare time & it turns out I rather quite enjoy making scrumptious items of joy.
Whilst watching the first episode, I made a silly agreement with my parents to bake something from each week. They would decide which item & I would decide on the flavours.
Now this seemed a rather silly deal to be making as I cannot really call myself a baker. Prior to this I had only really baked cupcakes & I could not tell the difference between a buttercream & a ganache. 
However I was totally ready for a new challenge in my life. Now I am around 10 weeks or so into my journey & even though the bake off finished some weeks ago, I am still going strong. 
It also turns out that I seem to be pretty good at this whole baking thing, (well at least that is what my friends & family have told me). 
I now have no idea what I would do on my days off if I wasn't baking. I started off following recipes, however as my confidence started to build I tweaked recipes that I had found & even created my own! I started writing & photographing everything I had baked & wanted to create some sort of scrapbook with my recipes. Then on a chilly morning in November, I wondered if perhaps anyone else would be interested in recreating anything I had baked. 
It was there & then that I decided to publish my kitchen adventures to the world.
So here I am, with my first baking post & I hope you enjoy.

I have started off fairly simply with a Raspberry Swiss Roll. This took two tries as the first time, my sponge cracked when rolling was attempted. 
The recipe is as below & comes from the delightful, The Hummingbird Bakery, Home Sweet Home cookbook.


For the Sponge:
4 Eggs, separated
180g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
120g Plain Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt

For the Filling:
160g Raspberry Jam (or flavour of choice)
Icing Sugar for dusting

1. Preheat your oven to 180°c & line your swiss roll tin with baking parchment.

2. With an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff & set aside. 

3. Using your whisk again, in another bowl mix the egg yolks until they turn pale. 
Gradually add the caster sugar & vanilla extract while still mixing, mix until pale & fluffy.

4. Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt. 
Add these ingredients to the beaten egg yolks & fold in until combined. 
Next, gently fold in the egg whites to the batter.

5. Pour the batter into your prepared tin & make sure it is an even thickness all over. 
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sponge is a light golden-brown colour.

6. Next, prepare a sheet of baking parchment & dust with icing sugar. 
Loosen the edges of the cake & invert the sponge onto the paper.

7. With the cake in-between both layers of the baking parchment, begin to roll the sponge from the narrow end. Roll all the way up & then cool on a rack with the seam side down.

8. Once cooled, carefully unroll & then peel away the paper. 
Next, spread the raspberry jam over the inside of the sponge & re-roll without the paper.

9. Lastly you are free to decorate as you wish! 
I sprinkled with icing sugar & used fresh raspberries on my first attempt. 
On my second one I used some popping candy & gold edible glitter. 
The options are endless.

 Bon App├ętit!

J. x


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