Great Bloggers Bake Off Patisserie Week

Well its come to patisserie week and I haven’t managed to join in as much as I would have liked. I love choux pastry so I knew I was all in this week. I would have liked to have made the tower of éclairs but there was no way I’d manage it.

I have been lucky enough to be contacted by Tesco again, with an offer to support my bake with a voucher towards the items I need for patisserie week.

I was going to make two different fillings for my éclairs, this has allowed me to go a bit further with the flavour choices I could make.

I would like to present my éclairs with chocolate and caramel plus vanilla mascapone cream.

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Basic Choux Pastry (makes 12)

65g plain flour, sifted onto a piece of greaseproof paper
50g unsalted butter
Pinch salt
120ml water
2 eggs, beaten

• Grease baking trays with butter and preheat the oven to 190C fan/Gas 6
• In a pan put the water salt and butter and melt over a low heat until melted
• Bring to the boil, then add the flour in one go and mix off the heat
• Put back on the heat and beat with a spoon until the mixture forms a smooth ball
• Put in a bowl and leave to cool
• When cooled, beat in the egg a little at a time until the mixture drops off the spoon when shaken slightly
• Put mix into a piping bag with a round nozzle. Pipe a 10cm/4in line onto the baking sheet
• Bake for 15 minutes then turn the oven down (don’t open the door!) to 150C/Gas 3 and bake for a further 10 minutes
• Make a hole in the side of pastry and place bake in the oven for about 3 minutes to crisp up
• When cooked leave to cool and fill with your choice of filling

I’ve used these two

Chocolate Creme Patissiere

300ml milk
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
10g plain flour
10g cornflour
50g chocolate
Vanilla

• Heat the milk, add the chocolate and melt
• Mix the egg yolks and the other ingredients except the vanilla into a paste
• Pour the milk/chocolate onto the egg mix and stir quickly (or you will have chocolate scrambled eggs!)
• Return this mix back to the pan and bring to the boil
• Cook for 2 minutes over a low heat and add the vanilla
• Cover the creme patissiere with cling film on the surface so it doesn’t develop a skin and leave to cool

To these ones when I filled the choux pastry I added a spoonful of Carnation caramel (it made it a bit sickly so I won’t be doing that again!)

Vanilla Mascapone Cream

150ml double cream
3tbsp icing sugar
125g mascapone
Vanilla extract

• Whisk the cream with the icing sugar to soft peaks
• Beat in the mascapone and vanilla

Fill the éclairs well – no one wants a mouth full of empty choux pastry.

Melt some chocolate and dip the tops of the éclairs in and leave to set.

They don’t keep for long so eat them quickly!

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The Bloggers Bake Off can be found here

And I would like to say thank you to Tesco for their help but all views here and the recipe is my own. For more ideas please look here at Tesco’s recipes.

Mummy Mishaps
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GBBO Week 5 Orange and Almond Cake

I almost didn’t take part this week but then I had an email from Tesco offering to pay for the ingredients if I was to bake for this weeks Great Bloggers Bake Off. I couldn’t say no to that and I thought it would push me well out of my comfort zone.

Alternative ingredient week always instills a small amount of fear in me. I’m the type of person that has a recipe and once I’ve tweaked it a little I stick to that recipe I don’t swap ingredients like flour or any of the other main ones. I’ve never made a gluten free cake so that was the first thing I looked for in my recipe books. Then I watched the show and thought I should be making a refined sugar free cake and I suddenly realised if I was going to push myself I’d make it as difficult as possible and make my bake gluten, (refined) sugar and dairy free.

After I’d decided to do this I had a tiny panic (huge huge panic!) That this cake would turn out like a pancake and taste horrendous. It didn’t turn out that way and I’m even thinking of making it again, this time with the sugar!

(I’ve put the amount of sugar you need instead of honey just in case)

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Orange and Almond Cake

2 oranges (approx 280g in total), scrubbed and roughly chopped (with skin)
5 eggs, separated
100g honey (Alternatively use 200g caster sugar)
225g ground almonds
2 tbsp flaked almonds

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•Put the chopped oranges in a small saucepan, discarding any pips. Add 1 tbsp water, then cover and cook gently until the oranges are soft and excess liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool.
•Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160°C, gas mark 4). Line the bottom and sides of a 23 cm (9 in) springform cake tin with baking parchment .
•Finely chop the oranges with a large knife or if your posher than me a food processor.
•Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks.
(If using sugar gradually whisk in half the caster sugar, then whisk for 1 minute.)
•Whisk the egg yolks with the honey (if using sugar whisk in the remaining sugar now) in another bowl for 2–3 minutes or until pale and thick, you can use the same whisks. Whisk in the finely chopped oranges, then carefully fold in the ground almonds, it will be thick and slightly dry looking.

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•Stir in 3 spoonfuls of the whisked egg white to loosen the mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a large metal spoon.
•Transfer the mix to the prepared tin and level the top. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, I used a lot more than 2 tbsp of flaked almonds because I like them.
•Bake for 50–55 minutes or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Check the cake after 20 minutes and again at 30 minutes, and cover lightly with foil if it is browning too quickly.
•Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out, remove the lining paper and t pop it on a serving plate.
•The cake can be kept in an airtight tin for up to 2 days.

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You can join in with the great bloggers bake off here and you can find more inspiration from Tesco here.

Mummy Mishaps