Monthly Archives: December, 2011

News from The Bread Making Club

The Bread Making Club are meeting this afternoon (with all their children), for an end of year, Christmas special, GingerBREAD Man decorating frenzy! Pictures to follow….watch this space!


Veggie Pasties

This recipe is taken from Hugh’s latest cook book, ‘Veg Everyday’.  I had never made ‘rough puff’ pastry before so this seemed like a good place to start.  The first batch I made were very tasty but it wasn’t until Heather made a batch that I realised mine just weren’t ‘puffy’ enough!  We got together one Tuesday afternoon to bake together to see exactly where I was going wrong….it was simple, I had overworked the pastry!  So, for anyone who would like to try this or any other ‘rough puff’ recipes, I have taken photo’s of each stage to help you along the way.

For the rough puff pastry

  • 300g plain flour
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 150g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • For the filling
  • 225g potato
  • 125g swede
  • 75g carrot
  • 1 small onion
  • A handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 50g strong cheddar, grated
  • 30g butter, melted

To finish

  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of milk, to glaze

Mix the flour and salt then add the cubed butter and toss until the pieces are coated in the flour (see pic 1).  Add just enough ice cold water (about 150ml) to bring the mixture together into a firly firm ball (see pic 2).  Be careful NOT to over mix like I have done before!

On a well-floured surface, shape the dough into a rectangle with your hands and then roll it out in one direction, away from you to form a rectangle about 1cm thick.  Fold the far end towards you to the middle (see pic 3),  then the nearest end up and over to the top.  Think of folding a business letter.  The pasty should now have three layers.  Give the pastry a quater turn and repeat the rolling and folding process 5 more times.  Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes, up to an hour.

Now prepare the potato, swede and carrot (see pic 4).  They should be cut into 3-4mm dice.  Mix with all the other ingredients into a bowl, adding the melted butter last of all to bind.

Preheat the oven to 190/Gas 5.  Roll out the pastry to roughly a 3mm thickness.  Using a 19cm plate as a template, cut out 4 circles.  You may have to cut out 3 circle and re-roll the pastry for the 4th circle. (see pic 5)

Spoon the mixture on to one half of each circle.  Brush the pastry edges with a little water and fold the other half of the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shape.  Crimp or pinch the edges to seal. (see pic 6)

Place the pastries on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and brush with the egg glaze.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.  Eat hot or cold.  They are delicious, simply serve with a moutain of green leaves and tomato’s!!  Great for a picnic or a filling snack after saturday morning football.

Hattie’s Princess Cake

Well, I did say we would be making Hattie another cake and here it is in all it’s pink and princessy glory!  I am absolutely chuffed with it as it is the first ‘proper’ cake I’ve had a hand in.  I have to take my hat off to Kate she knows her way around a cake and I have learned a lot from her today.

There is a lot of stuff I needed to buy before I even started – luckily there is a specialist cake decorating shop not far from where I live (especially lucky as I had to make two trips!) where I could pick it all up. Ready to roll icing, the princess decoration, ribbon and a cake board were on the shopping list.  First off, of course, I had to make the sponge.  We went with a basic Madeira Cake, quantities are for a 7 inch cake tin.  I used two sandwich tins and shortened the cooking time which turned out fine but I have since learned that it is easier to shape one large cake and cut it in half where you want it so next time I will be doing that –

Madeira Cake

  • 225g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Lightly beat the eggs with the milk in a separate bowl.  Gradually beat the eggs and milk into the creamed mixture, alternating with the flour.

Turn the mixture into a greased and lined tin.  Level the surface and bake for 50-60 mins at 160C/Gas 3.  Leave the cake in the tin for 10 mins then transfer it to a wire rack to cool.

Cakes - done in two 7 inch sandwich tins. Of course do it like this if you want, it took about 35 mins for them to cook (test them with a skewer).

Once the cakes were done it was time to move onto the filling.  We made a (mmm unbelievably scrummy!) buttercream.  This is to go inbetween the sponge and also around the outside as a fixer for the icing –


  • 150g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 250g Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp hot water

Beat the butter with a little of the icing sugar until smooth.  Gradually beat in the remaining sugar and the hot water until pale and creamy.


Now it was time to put it all together.  First we evened out the shape and size of the cakes, which was tricky.

Then we spread one with buttercream and the other with seedless raspberry jam and – hey presto – sandwiched them together!

Kate slicing the top off one of the sponges - with Dylan in the background. He was, as ever, very helpful!








The two halves.

Two become one.

Next we covered the whole cake in a thin layer of buttercream, ready for the icing. We used three packs of ready to roll icing, Kate kneaded them all together before rolling using a technique like you would for pastry, rotating the icing a quarter of a turn.

Kate rolling the icing next to the buttercream slathered cake.

On goes the icing!

Phew!  Once the icing was on the hard bit was over.  We smoothed it down with a smoother.  I had to buy the smoother today as well as apparently Kate ruined her last one smoothing down a snowman last winter, but that’s another story…

I had loads of bits and bobs in the cupboard (marshmallows, white chocolate stars, silver balls and purple sprinkle topping were all overlooked) and eventually we decided on this pattern of jelly diamonds, which we stuck on with buttercream, to offset the princess.  Isn’t she beautiful?  I really enjoyed doing this and am going to do it all over again soon for Nelly’s birthday next week.  Icing Owls perhaps?

Princess Hattie

I wonder if I'll get a taste...?