All posts filed under: baking

Marmalade cake

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baking / British baking / cake

In honour of our summer trip to Scotland this year, I baked a simple marmalade cake this past weekend. Marmalade has of course graced the breakfast tables of Scotland since the 1700s, when local grocer James Keiller started making marmalade. Legend has it that the oranges he purchased were too bitter to eat, and were made into marmalade by his wife (or mother… depending on the legend). Keiller is believed to have produced the first […]

Haselnüsse kranz (or hazelnut crescent)

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baking / cake / recipe / Swiss food

The haselnüsse kranz, or hazelnut crescent/ring is one of my favourite cakes. It’s something my mother use to bake, often for my birthday, and honestly I have never baked on myself. It is a classic Swiss cake, although not the sort of sponge like cake. The dough is almost biscuit like. Growing up, it was usually made using almonds instead of hazelnuts due to availability. INGREDIENTS 300g unbleached white flour 2 tsp baking powder 100g superfine […]

Herefordshire cider cake

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baking / British baking / cake / recipe

It was likely the Romans that first introduced apples to Britain with sweeter, and better taste. After the Romans left, many of the orchards were abandoned with the invasion of the Jutes, Saxons, and Danes. It was not until the Norman Conquest in 1066, that new varieties such as Pearmain and Costard were introduced from France, and orchards were established in the grounds of monasteries. Southern England has ideal conditions for growing fruit such as […]

Melton Hunt cake

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baking / British baking / cake / recipe

I like Christmas cake, but sometimes prefer a “lighter” alternative. This year I made a small Melton Hunt cake. Melton Hunt is a moist fruit cake originating from the town of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England. It was first made in 1854, supposedly for members of the local hunt to eat while out fox hunting. It comes from the same area as Melton Mowbray pies, which makes sense when considering the hunt. I adapted the recipe in […]

Tips for baking biscuits (cookies)

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baking / biscuits / cookies / Swiss food

Here are some tips for baking biscuits (the British vernacular for cookies, because when I think cookies I think choc-chip type drop cookies). ♦  Use fresh ingredients – Good butter, and nice fresh free-run eggs. ♦  With fine dough, or dough rolled out thin, use caster (superfine, fruit, instant dissolving) sugar, not to be mistaken with powered sugar. It melts faster and incorporates more smoothly than regular sugar. Normal sugar can result in a grainy texture. ♦  Always […]

Clementine biscuits

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baking / biscuits / Nordic / recipe

These are shortbread like biscuits made with clementines, and patterned using a wooden roller. INGREDIENTS 350g all purpose flour ¾ tsp salt 250g cold unsalted butter 125g icing sugar zest 2 clementines 1 egg yolk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp milk 1. Mix the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and combine with the flour by hand until the mixture has the consistency of crumbs. Alternatively, […]

Baking Christmas cookies

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baking / biscuits / cookies

I began helping to bake Christmas cookies when I was probably three or so years old. It was a tradition, that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the cookies were baked, and then stored in vast containers in preparation for Christmas to begin. Of course, the containers were so vast, and stored in the hallway closet, that it was always easy to pilfer one or two without anyone being the wiser. Christmas was the […]

A patterned roller for biscuits

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baking / biscuits / kitchen tool

Sometimes its time to try something new with baking. I have a whole bunch of shape cutters, but how to make biscuits more interesting. The answer is a patterned wooden (beech) roller like this one (made in Russia). I bought this roller from Etsy. Simply roll out the dough, then run the roller over the surface, imprinting the pattern. It works best with doughs that don’t rise substantially, as otherwise the pattern tends to disappear.

Nordic gingerbread with orange zest

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baking / biscuits / cooking / Nordic / recipe

Gingerbread biscuits seem to be a staple in Nordic countries, especially around Christmas time. They differ from Germanic gingerbreads in that they are much thinner, and often quite crisp. These biscuits are gingerbread with a hint of orange zest. It produces anywhere from 60-100 biscuits depending on the size of the cutters used. This is a super easy biscuit to make, and I have added it to the collection of Christmas biscuits that I bake. […]

A fancy cake: Sacher Torte

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baking / cake

For my daughters 16th birthday I made a cake, not for her per se (she wanted a box cake). But I thought why not try something fancy?  I don’t usually make fancy cakes, but I decided to make a Sacher Torte. I had always thought tortes were hard to make, but in reality this is not that tricky a cake. The original Sacher torte was invented in Austria, in 1832 as a dessert for a […]