Mini Paris Brest

The November Daring Baker’s challenge took us for a ride! Luisa from Rise of the Sourdough Preacher challenged us to make Paris-Brest, a beautiful pastry celebrating the Paris-Brest bicycle race.

paris brest with praline creme legere

So I decided to join the Daring Bakers, a monthly baking challenge, as I thought that it would encourage me to try baking things that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. I was right! My first challenge was Paris Brest, a choux pastry dessert filled with a praline cream. It was invented to commemorate the Paris-Brest bicycle race and the circular shape, made with pâte à choux, is meant to resemble a bicycle wheel. I would have thought to make other choux pastry desserts, but most likely eclairs or profiteroles, not Paris Brest, so this was a good challenge for me. (more…)

Chestnut Chocolate Bread Wreath

chocolate chestnut bread wreath

Sweet breads are my weakness, when I bake a cake I can eat a slice and not go back for seconds, but with sweet, filled breads I just can’t stop myself from going back and slicing off another piece, and another, until I’ve eaten the whole lot…. this chocolate chestnut bread wreath is no exception….I ate nearly half the loaf in a day…Maybe it’s because the idea of bread is wholesome, so even though it’s got butter, sugar and chocolate in it, it doesn’t feel that indulgent… (more…)

Barbadian Coconut Sweet Bread

barbadian coconut sweet bread

I was having a rifle through my (slightly overflowing) cupboard of baking supplies and came across a packet of desiccated coconut that had been in there for goodness knows how long and was about to go out of date; so today’s recipe is borne out of a need to use it up. I dread to think what other packets of expired ingredients are lurking at the back of the cupboard…I really should have a clear-out before it gets stocked up with Christmas baking supplies…although it feels far too early to be thinking about Christmas! (more…)

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls With White Chocolate Cream Cheese Glaze

white chocolate pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Following the success of my cranberry pumpkin bread the other day (it was sooo good!), I had some leftover pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge. For a while I was at a loss as what to make with it, there are just too many tempting options – pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins…are just some of the things that crossed my mind (while I salivated), but then I thought of something that I hadn’t baked in far too long – cinnamon rolls! (more…)

Quadruple Chocolate Cupcakes

quadruple chocolate cupcakes

I was told when going to visit a friend that I “must bring cake”, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to do some baking! He LOVES chocolate so I made one of the most chocolaty things I could think of – quadruple chocolate cupcakes… Soft, dark chocolate cake surrounds a centre of gooey dark chocolate ganache and the cupcake is topped with swirled milk and white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. They are insanely good! Seriously, among the best cupcakes I have ever eaten. Ever. (more…)

Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf Cake

cranberry pumpkin bread

I’ve been a bit late to the pumpkin party this year, although I cook with butternut squash a lot (it’s my favourite vegetable), I don’t often bake with it, but I decided to remedy that this week with a loaf of pumpkin bread (I say bread but I would call this a loaf cake…) and now I’m kicking myself for not getting in the game sooner because this cake is delicious…Seriously, seriously good! (more…)

Mint Choc Chip Chocolate Zebra Cake

mint choc chip chocolate zebra cake

Sometimes I get the urge to bake something utterly over the top, this time, I wanted to make something GREEN…The cake stash was getting low so I knew that it had to be some form of cake…What’s green…? Mint. What goes with mint…? CHOCOLATE! So….mint choc chip chocolate zebra cake was born. The cake itself is an impressive looking hidden design of alternating layers of chocolate and peppermint sponge, covered in mint choc chip buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache and peppermint chocolate bark. Minty chocolate heaven. (more…)

Honey Spelt Bread

honey spelt bread

I have been meaning for aaages to try baking with spelt flour, it is low in gluten, high in protein and supposedly very good for you, but I had trouble finding any where I live. I managed to get some whilst visiting my parents ( Waitrose sell all the interesting things…) and decided that my first foray into baking with spelt should be bread. I made a basic loaf of bread but added honey for a bit of sweetness and flavour, all of the ingredients in this loaf are ones that would have been used in ancient times, I quite like the thought of eating something that people would have been eating thousands of years ago. (more…)

Nutmeg Ice Cream

nutmeg ice cream

It’s never the wrong time of year for ice cream. I enjoy making it all year round but I vary the flavours depending on the season, spring and summer are all about fresh fruits and refreshing flavours whereas in autumn and winter I mostly make ice creams spiked with spices and booze.  This nutmeg ice cream is perfect for autumn and winter; nutmeg to me is the quintessential flavour of the season and this delicious ice cream makes a great replacement for vanilla to serve with fruit pies, crumbles, tarts and cobblers. (more…)

Gingerdead Men – Voodoo Doll Gingerbread Men

voodoo doll gingerbread men

Halloween is the perfect time to have some fun with baking and these gingerdead men are certainly fun. Made from a delicious spiced gingerbread dough and decorated to look like voodoo dolls complete with sweetie pins for stabbing them with, they are a great addition to a Halloween party spread and much enjoyment can be had torturing them with sweetie pins before eating them. (more…)

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