Monday, November 26, 2018

FAVOURITE BAKES

Hey everyone!

I thought seeing as my anxiety has been pretty much absent for the past few weeks, I would upload something quite different again, a post about baking; something I have been doing for a couple of years now. Baking cakes and treats in the kitchen has been so beneficial to my mental health. It’s a great distraction from my anxiety and is so rewarding as well! Even though I’ve made a few disastrous cakes and had a few mishaps in the kitchen, I have improved leaps and bounds since I started. I thought it would be a good idea to share three of my favourite recipes (including a festive bake) on here. All recipes I have used have been taken from “Tanya Bakes” by Tanya Burr. I have a few baking books, but I always gravitate towards this one because of how simple and varied the recipes are!


Reindeer cookies:
The cookies (as pictured above) are incredibly easy to make and even if you have little to no baking experience, they will still turn out great! The recipe says that the following ingredients should make about 10, but I made closer to 30. Here are the ingredients and the recipe:

Ingredients:
-      250g unsalted butter
-      150g golden caster sugar,
-      1 egg
-      2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
-      350g plain flour
-      ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
-      Red smarties
-      Chocolate chips
-      Chocolate covered pretzels
-      Icing sugar

Recipe:
-      Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
-      Mix together the sugar, butter and then mix in the egg and vanilla paste. After this mix in the flour and bicarb of soda.
-      Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out blunt triangles with a knife. Put in the oven for about 10 mins.
-      Take them out of the oven and decorate as you wish.


Cranberry, pistachio and chocolate biscotti:
To be honest, I had never really been a fan of biscotti, but after using the combination of ingredients listed in Tanya’s book, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed eating them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Ingredients:
-      200g plain flour
-      1 teaspoon baking powder
-      200g caster sugar
-      100g pistachios
-      100g cranberries
-      50g dark/milk chocolate
-      2 large eggs
-      Zest of 1 clementine
-      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe:
-      Preheat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
-      Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, pistachios, cranberries and chocolate into a bowl.
-      Add the beaten eggs, zest and vanilla extract. Mix to form a dough.
-      Split the dough in half and shape both halves into two thick cylinders. Put them in the oven.
-      Bake for 25-30 mins. After taking them out of the oven, slice diagonally into 2cm thick pieces.
-      Put the pieces back on the baking tray and bake for a further 5 mins.
-      Take out to cool.


Raspberry and lemon friands:
These are probably the most delicious mini cakes I have baked using this recipe book! They are so tasty and moorish, thoroughly enjoyed by myself and my boyfriend!

Ingredients:
-      4 egg whites
-      100g ground almonds
-      50g plain flour
-      175g icing sugar
-      Zest of 1 lemon
-      150g unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
-      150g raspberries

Recipe:
-      Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Grease holes of a cupcake tray.
-      Whisk egg whites until white and frothy, then fold in the almonds, flour, icing sugar, zest and butter to make a smooth batter. Try not to knock out too much air.
-      Divide the mixture into the cupcake tray holes and put a couple of raspberries on top of each one.
-      Bake for 20 mins. Dust with some icing sugar, lemon zest and some ground almonds.


I love baking for friends and family! It is such a thoughtful thing to do for someone and the cakes and cookies I bake are always greatly appreciated. Definitely worth getting stuck into, especially around the festive period! Hope you all enjoyed this post!

B x

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