As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have been experimenting with a new cookie recipe. As you can (hopefully) tell these spiced treacle cookies were a success! For some reason I had a real craving for baked goods containing treacle. No idea what inspired such a thing but I am a big fan of the stuff. It has such a deep and subtle sweetness but with a very distinctive flavour of its own, and it goes great with spices. They are pretty much a classic combination – think Christmas cake.
Using the base recipe from a cookie I’ve baked before I changed up a few elements to see how things would turn out. Firstly I created a buerre noisette – I’ve started referring to brown butter by it’s French name…one, to make it sound like I know what I’m on about, and two, because I’ve been told that brown butter doesn’t sound appetising…I don’t know what’s wrong with people, it sounds like all kinds of awesomeness to me.
Second change was to reduce the sugar slightly and replace it with the treacle. This allows the treacle flavour to really shine and make the cookies slightly less crunchy and liable to burning when baked.
Thirdly I added some spices, in two different ways. In to the cookie dough went cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice and freshly grated nutmeg, along with a good pinch of salt. Then, once the cookies were formed I rolled them in a mixture of sugar, those same spices and some sea salt. The sea salt brings the treacle to life, I love it when you take a bite with a big salt flake – flavour heaven! The sugary coating also makes the cookies look pretty and sparkly once they leave the oven.
Originally I hadn’t planned to post about these. I found myself in a house without any biscuits, and I can only go so long drinking tea without a something sweet to crunch so baking was the answer to my problem. The thing is, they turned out so well that I really had to share the recipe, it would be cruel not too.
So, chocolate and almond cookies…firstly, they are baked up just the way cookies should be. Crispy at the edges, soft and chewy in the centre. Then to the tasty additions, rich dark chocolate and crunchy almonds. By roasting the almonds in the oven before adding them to the cookie dough they are super crunchy in the final biscuit. As I love the flavour of almond I thought I would kick it up a notch and add a few drops of almond extract (only a little as that stuff is hella powerful!). It was a great idea, the subtle almond flavour really adds an extra dimension to the flavour of these cookies. The obligatory sprinkle of sea salt atop these cookies just rounds the whole thing off perfectly.
I know, I know, they are just cookies but they really are delicious. (more…)
I’m in a bit of a baking quandary at the moment. Working on the blog and trying to start a baking business has meant there’s just baking everywhere! Everyone plastic box in the house is being used to store biscuits or cakes or frosting at one point or another. The problem is that I love to try out new recipes, which are what I feature here on Bake Good. At the same time, however, I’m trying to build up a photographic portfolio of the cakes I will offer through my business.
When it comes to a choice between baking something I’ve done a hundred times or trying something out for the first time….I always lean towards the latter. Which creates interesting content here, but leaves my folio looking a little bare.
I suppose the solution is to just bake it all! Any volunteers to take some samples off my hands?
This week I caved and baked something completely new to me. Biscotti.
Biscotti are most commonly seen in celophane by the till in large coffee chains. They are super rock hard and you feel like you might break a tooth even after a lengthy soak in your coffee. These are not that. They still require a little dunk-age to soften them but worry not, there should be no risk to your teeth! The glace cherries break up the crispness with their sweet chewiness and the pistachios add flavour and a different texture. (more…)
Is everyone excited to have a long weekend? It’s a lovely sunny day here in Inverness so fingers crossed that it lasts right through until Monday. As I am currently unemployed/building my empire a Monday holiday doesn’t quite have the significance it used to but still, when there are other people off it means I’ve got people to hang out with, go me!
So when I’m all alone and everyone else is being normal at work, I bake…and design my bakery website and advertising, photograph things, blog…I’m quite busy, honestly! It’s true that I have to remind myself to be busy at all times though. As a person who lives for a routine, living without one is tough. So I try and set myself some rules about when to get up, what to achieve per day, always remember to leave the house at least once! Lists. They are the way forward when you’re trying to keep a routine going.
But back to the baking. I was recently asked by Baking Mad to try out one of their recipes, and if I liked it, share it with my readers. I wasn’t aware of the Baking Mad website prior to the email but it’s really a great new resource for recipes. It’s especially good for the beginner as everything is explained clearly and simply. My favourite feature is the ‘Bake Mode’ option, which takes the recipe full screen with one step per page, with a note of the ingredients required for that step. Very handy. (more…)
Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone enjoys their day and has an Easter weekend filled with loveliness. As long as you have plenty of chocolate I would say you’re good to go for a fun time.
My weekend has been lots of fun so far, very much helped by the gorgeous weather we’ve been having. I was down in my old ‘hood (Glasgow) to see McBusted at the Hydro. Let me tell you, it was SO MUCH FUN! McFly shows are always a good time and leave you grinning from ear to ear, the Busted factor just added to the craziness and increased the jumping factor. On Saturday I had a barbeque with friends in a beautiful spot in Killin, the Falls of Dochart. I’m weirdly obsessed with any natural water feature, weirs and water falls in particular so these falls were like heaven for me. That combined with a barbie..what more could you ask for!
As for Easter baking, after my speckled egg macarons I was desperate to speckle something else. So, when I was invited a few weeks ago by Maison Blanc to enter their Easter ‘Blogger Biscuit Challenge, I thought speckled shortbread would be perfect. The competition is to design an Easter themed biscuit to become part of their 2015 range. The entrants will be whittled down to 3-5 designs which will then be voted by their customers, and the winner will have their biscuit sold, get a tour of the patisserie and meet their head Patissier Sebastian Boulanger.
The biscuit will be judged on its appearance and flavour profile, and although they didn’t ask for a recipe I’ve included one below as always, I hope you guys like the sound of them enough that you’ll want to try them! I wanted to keep my design simple but striking. I chose sweet spring pastels, speckled like eggs, with a white swirl along the centre to give them a lift and to ensure they were as eye-catching as possible. (more…)