Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Coffee and Walnut Buns - yes good old Buns !!

Cupcakes seem to have taken over the world - but what happened to the good old British Bun ?
A lovely sponge small sponge cake with just a small layer of icing on top, not piles of buttercream !!
Ok, rant over .......
Sorry it's been a while since my last post but, as many of you will know if you follow me on Twitter ( @WendiPeters), I've been very busy painting my hall and landing....Hurrah it's now finished !!!
I'd had a craving for coffee and walnut cake for a few weeks - seemed to be everywhere - but the Celebrity Bake off made me get into the kitchen after a long day painting.
I decided not to make a cake but to make individual buns, easier to eat and give away ( although didn't last long enough for that !!! ).
Buns take me back to my childhood - the joy of peeling of the bun case, ( giving that to the dog - our Springer spaniel Meg loved them, although I'm sure they aren't great for a dog's digestive system ) licking or biting the icing off and sinking my teeth into the light sponge - Yum !!
Checked the cupboard and had most of the ingredients in - but was a little short on the walnut front so added choc chips aswell.

Makes approx 16 buns

Pre heat oven to 190 o C

250g soft butter
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
250g self raising flour
4 tsp strong coffee made up with 2tsp hot water then cooled
2 tblsps milk
100g chopped walnuts
50g choc chips

icing sugar
2 tsps coffee made up wth warm water

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs.
Add coffee.
Fold in flour and milk.
Mix in walnuts and choc chips.
Put into bun cases and bake for aprox 15 mins till bounce back.
Cool and make up icing - cover and sprinkle with choc chips......yum !!

Bet they don't last long - Let's hear it for the British Bun !!!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A day at The Dessert Deli !!

Laura Amos who runs The Dessert Deli Company ( @TheDessertDeli ) kindly invited me into her kitchen for a day to help out and see how it all works making puds and cakes in large quantities.
I was amazed by Laura's memory, she didn't look at any recipes or hardly weigh anything. It all ran so smoothly, with the help of Orlando !!
We start off making a sponge cake mix which made Apple and Plum cakes and Pear and Blackberry tarts.

   Next - Apple Turnover Pastries .....

Then - one of my favourites .... Chocolate mousse in the biggest container ever.......

Can you tell it tasted great from the smile on my face .....

And then the honeycomb shards to go ontop of the mousse - loved this bit ....

1st the bicarb being added to sugar in pan....

Then being tipped out ....

And then spread out to harden - delicious !!

The base for the Millionaire's Shortbread had been made the day before so we just need to add the caramel and chocolate layers......

 First the caramel ..... and then the chocolate.....

Lots of pudding shots ..... here's the Banoffee's getting their finishing touches....

And here's some of the baking cooling ......

A very busy but fantasic Day !!! Thanks Laura - I'll be back !! x


Thursday, 5 January 2012

And Chocolate Peppermint Mousses - Thanks Nigella !!!

I wasn't sure that the kids would like the Salted Caramel Profiteroles - so I went for one of my favourite, quick and easy stand bys  - Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Peppermint Mousses and adapted my own version too.

I wanted both white and dark versions - here's Nigella's white one ......

250g white chocolate
250ml double cream
1 egg white
1 tsp peppermint extract - or to your taste
mint leaves and mint thins to decorate - optional
100ml double cream, whipped - optional

My Version

150g milk chocolate - good quality
100g dark chocolate - 70% cocoa solids at least
1 egg white
1tsp peppermint extract - or to your taste
mint leaves and mint thins to decorate - optional
100ml double cream, whipped - optional

The making up of both is exactly the same .......

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring gently. When melted , allow to cool a little.
In another bowl - whisk the cream, egg white and peppermint together till forming soft peaks.
Put a dollop of cream onto the chocolate and mix in - then gently fold this into the rest of the cream.
Divide between small glasses or dishes ( glasses look prettier though ) - it may be better to pipe to prevent them looking messy.
Chill in the fridge.
About an hour before serving - whip 100ml double cream and pipe to decorate and top with a mint leaf and a shard of mint thin.
So Easy !!!

The kids loved them - and I did too !!

Salted Caramel Profiteroles - No New Year diet here !!

It maybe January but I still had my last bit of Christmas entertaining to do - 6 adults and 4 kids for lunch !! Decided, however, that main course needed to go back to basics and made a large Cottage Pie....

Delicious for a cold, windy day and so refreshingly normal after all the rich food of Christmas and New Year !!!
However you know me - I couldn't skimp on the pudding or should I say Puddings !!!
The first was Salted Caramel Profiteroles......
I love the old classic chocolate profiteroles but wanted something a little different and spotted some Dime bars at the supermarket and the result were these......

Added the salt as it's seems to be the trend but it also takes away some of the sweetness and really worked - people could manage 4 !!!!

200g Plain flour
350ml water
150g  unsalted butter - diced
pinch of salt
4 lge eggs - beaten
2 baking sheets - oiled or use silicon sheets


125ml milk
125ml double cream
3 lge egg yolks
50g caster sugar
30g plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200ml double cream - whipped to soft peaks
2 Dime bars - crushed very small


150ml double cream
50g unsalted butter
3 tsps salt - or to your taste
80g light muscovado sugar


Preheat oven to 190oC
Sieve flour into a bowl.
Put water, butter and salt in a large saucepan and heat until the butter has melted and the water's just begun to boil - take off the heat and beat in the flour with a wooden spoon.
Now beat in the eggs a bit at a time until you have a smooth dough - soft enough to pipe but stiff enough to hold it's shape ( you may not need all the eggs ).
Using a plain nozzle - or just a spoon - pipe rounds onto the oiled baking sheets and bake for about 20 mins until golden and crisp.
Remove to a cooling rack and pierce each one with a pin to let the steam out and prevent them going soggy.


Warm the milk and the 125ml double cream in a saucepan.
While you're waiting, beat the egg yolks and sugar till creamy and then whisk in the flour.
Stir the heated milk into the egg mixture and whisk smooth.
Pour back into the saucepan and whisk gently over a low heat until the custard thickens - leave to cool in a jug with a piece of clingfilm directly on the custard to stop a skin forming.
When completely chilled add the whipped cream and fold in the crushed Dime bars.


In a saucepan melt the butter, cream, sugar and salt - then bring to the boil.
Cool completely !!

To assemble

Cut a small slit in a profiterole and pipe in the cream mixture - place on a serving plate.
Repeat to form a pile and then pour over the COLD sauce keeping some back for serving. ENJOY !!!!