Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Let them eat brioche!

I love baking bread. I also love eating bread. To be honest I'm an all round bread lover!
Despite this I am definitely a beginner when it comes to bread baking mainly due to time constraints - I may have time to whack together a dough but leave it to prove, knock it back, prove again and THEN bake...?

When I do get the time however, I love to organise a day around baking (and then eating) some doughy treats. So with a lazy Monday ahead of me, out came my baking hat and Paul Hollywood's '100 Great Breads'. I decided to make Brioche Tetes mainly to see whether I could and the prospect of freshly baked brioche was very exciting!

The recipe was very easy to follow and I was pleased with the results (I have had mixed success with bread so I had my fingers crossed!). They didn't rise as much as I expected in the proving stage and turned out rather wonky but they smelt amazing when they came out of the oven and tasted delicious.

Although the dough does need to be left overnight, the first stage doesn't take long at all so I mixed the dough in the evening and finished it off the next day so it needn't take up too much time. Just try it. Go on...!


375g strong white bread flour
40g caster sugar
15g yeast
1 tsp salt
75ml milk
3 eggs
185g softened butter

Mix the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, milk and eggs by hand for about 8 minutes until it's a smooth dough (or 5 minutes in a food processor). Add the butter to the dough and mix for a further 10 minutes (or 5 minutes in a food processor). Put the dough in a bowl, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. 

In the morning the dough is easy to work with, break it into 75g pieces and shape each pieces into a larger and a smaller ball. Put the larger balls in the muffin case and push the smaller balls onto them. Leave to rise in a warm place or 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 200C, brush the dough with eggwash and bake for 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Monday, 6 May 2013

A beginners attempt at sugarpaste modelling

I've said it many times but cake decorating does not come naturally to me.
However and am trying and recently I have done a bit more modelling which I thought i'd share with you. I have never been taught any sugarpaste work so I am working it all out as I go - tips are always welcome!

'The Gruffalo' cakes seem to be popular at the moment - I must admit that I'm not familiar with the Gruffalo although it reminds me of Where the Wild this are which I loved as a child. The brown sugarpaste I used chocolate flavoured and it didn't seem to harden as well as regular sugar paste, even with the help of quite a lot of CMC. However, it definitely tastes better :)

This one I was really pleased with as when I saw the order I really wasn't sure I could do it! In the end I became rather attached to my little old organist :)

I've also just made my first tiered cake which I'll be blogging about very soon so watch this space :)

What are your top cake decorating tips?