Archive for August, 2013

Welcome to my new website!

Posted on: August 26th, 2013 by Harriet Low No Comments

Welcome to my new website!

I am really excited to show off the new website, and I hope you all enjoy it. The picture here is from a photoshoot we did for the website, the Victoria sponge went down really well with all the crew! The website contains lots of my favourite baking recipes, as well as tips to make sure you avoid any soggy bottoms and other baking disasters. If you have any baking questions then please do post them on my new Facebook page and each week I will be answering one on my Ask Paul page on the website.

I have just been on holiday, which was very relaxing, but I am now back and raring to go. I have just started filming a new show, Pies and Puds, which will be coming soon to the BBC, accompanied by a fantastic new book.  I will let you know more about it all soon. For the show, I have been travelling around the UK meeting new and specialist producers and learning what they do. I have been everywhere, from filming in a truckers’ cafe to checking out a chilli farm!

In between filming, I will be travelling all over the world, baking at various events. This month alone, I will be cooking at the Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival on 15th September and then flying down to Johannesburg, South Africa on  21st for the Cape Gourmet Festival. Please check out Paul’s Calendar to find out when and where I will be, and do come and say hello.

And, finally the wait is over – The Great British Bake Off is back. I hope you have been enjoying the new series so far and agree that all the bakers this year are fantastic. I have loved watching all their signature bakes and showstoppers coming out of the oven, as well as seeing if they are up to the technical challenges this year, which Mary and I reckon are trickier than ever!

I really hope you enjoy the website and my blog (which I will be updating every couple of weeks). Now get baking, and please do tweet or Facebook me pictures of your showstoppers!

Bye Paul x


Puff Pastry

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by Harriet Low 1 Comment

1. Put the flours, salt, eggs and water into a large bowl and gently mix to an even dough with your fingers. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for 5-10 minutes until smooth. The dough should feel a little tight at this stage. Shape the dough into a ball and put it into a plastic bag in the fridge to chill overnight, or for at least 7 hours.

2. Flatten the butter into a rectangle, about 40 x 19cm, by battering it down with your rolling pin. (You may find this easier to do this if you sandwich the butter between 2 sheets of cling film). Return to the fridge for an hour to harden the butter again.

3. Roll out your dough to a rectangle, about 60 x 20cm wide. Put the butter on the dough so it covers the bottom two-thirds. Make sure that it is positioned neatly and covers almost to the edges.

4. Lift the exposed dough at the top and fold it down over half of the butter, then fold the butter-covered bottom half of the dough up over the top. You will now have a sandwich of two layers of butter and three of dough . Pinch the edges together to seal. Put it back in a plastic bag and chill for 1 hour.

5. Take the dough out of the bag and put it on a lightly floured surface with a short end towards you. Roll out to a rectangle as before, keeping the edges as even as possible. Fold the top quarter down and the bottom quarter up so they meet neatly in the centre. Then fold the dough in half along the centre line. This is called a book turn. Chill in the bag for 1 hour.

6. Take the dough out of the bag, put it on a lightly floured surface with the short end towards you and roll into a rectangle as before. This time, fold down one-third of the dough and then fold up the bottom third to make a neat square. This is called a single turn. Chill in the bag for another hour.

7. Bring your dough out again and do a single turn as previously. Chill in the bag overnight. Your dough is now ready to use.


Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.

2. For the filling, beat the butter and caster sugar together in a large bowl until creamy. Mix in the eggs, rum and orange zest, then fold in the ground almonds and flour.

3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large round, about 3mm thick. Using a large plate as a guide, cut out a 28cm round and put it on the prepared baking tray.

4. Spread the filling over the pastry, leaving a 2cm clear margin around the edge. Brush the pastry edge with some of the beaten egg. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut another 28cm circle. Lay this on top of the filing and press the edges of the pastry firmly together to seal. Chill for at least 1 hour.

5. Heat your oven to 220°C. Brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg and bakefor 25-30 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool, then dust the pie with icing sugar to serve.



Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by Karl Hudson No Comments

1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Brush a 20cm square baking dish with a little of the melted butter. Chop the pistachios finely by hand or blitz them in a food processor.

2. Place a sheet of pastry in the bottom of the baking dish and brush with melted butter, folding the pastry to fit the dish if necessary. Place another sheet of pastry on top and brush the surface with melted butter. Repeat this until you have used half the pastry. Add the chopped pistachios, in a single layer. Layer the remaining filo pastry on top, brushing each layer with melted butter.

3. Once you’ve brushed the top with melted butter, cut through the layers into diamond shapes using a sharp knife.

4. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the baklava is golden and crisp. Set aside to cool completely.

5. To make the syrup, put the sugar, water and lemon juice into a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the hot syrup over the cooked baklava. Leave to cool before cutting and serving.

Pain Aux Raisins

Posted on: August 7th, 2013 by Karl Hudson No Comments

1. Line 3 or 4 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper.

2. Cut the rested dough in half. Roll one half out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, about 7mm thick. Turn it 90°, if necessary, so a long edge is facing you. Smear half the crème pâtissière over the dough, leaving a clear 5cm margin along the near edge. Sprinkle half the raisins and cinnamon over the crème. Roll the dough towards you into a sausage, keeping it as tight as possible – give a gentle tug each time you roll to tighten the dough and give it a little tension. When you reach the end, roll the sausage back and forth a few times to seal the join. Repeat with the second piece of dough and remaining ingredients.

3. Cut the rolls into 3cm slices. Lay cut side up and apart on the baking trays and put each inside a clean plastic bag. Leave to rise at cool room temperature (18 – 24°C) until at least doubled in size, about 2 hours.

4. Heat your oven to 200°C. Brush the risen pastries with beaten egg and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, warm the apricot jam with a little water in a pan, then sieve. As you take the pastries out of the oven, brush with the jam and transfer to a wire rack to cool. For the icing, stir the ingredients together until smooth. When the pastries are cooled, drizzle the lemon icing over them.