Archive for November, 2015

City Bakes

Posted on: November 25th, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

Apologies for not writing sooner, but if any of you are following me on Facebook or Twitter you will know that I have hardly had a chance to stop over the last month as I have started filming my new show City Bakes. The show, which will air next Spring on The Food Network, sees me travelling to cities all over the world visiting local bakeries and meeting the bakers who work there. So far I have been baking in Copenhagen, Munich, London, Madrid and Paris. Further details of the show will be out soon, but till then keep an eye on my social media for glimpses into my travels.

When I have not been travelling for the show I have been up and down the country baking with my fabulous partner in crime Mary for the BBC Good Food Shows. We baked lots and met lots of wonderful people in Glasgow and then in London, and next weekend we will be travelling to Birmingham to do more of the same. What’s really exciting for me is this year I will be baking at the first ever BBC Good Food Show Dubai in December! A little bit of sunshine will be very welcome now the weather appears to be getting properly wintery.

I really enjoy the Autumn food shows as I get to start doing some festive baking.  Last weekend it was Stir Up Sunday, which I think officially kicks off the festive baking season. So if like me you love a homemade mince pie or love to feed your Christmas cake, then I officially encourage you to start now (and yes I know it’s not December yet)! Check out the RECIPE pages for two different Christmas cake recipes, including a festive brownie, a classic mince pie recipe and an alternative frangipane one, not to mention my Christmas Leftover Pie, which is the ONLY thing to eat on Boxing Day.

Happy Baking!

White Christmas Cake

Posted on: November 21st, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Heat your oven to 150°C. Line the base and sides of a 23cm round deep cake tin with a double thickness of baking parchment, cutting it so that it stands a good 5cm proud of the top of the tin.

2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and allspice together into a bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for several minutes until smooth and light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour mix with each to prevent the mixture curdling. Beat in the orange and lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract and brandy.

4. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the remaining flour mix, the nuts, glacé fruit, peel and angelica, until thoroughly combined. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface.

5. Bake for 2 ¼ – 2¾, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. When your cake is completely cold, warm the apricot jam with a splash of water, sieve and then brush it all over the cake.

7. Roll out 300g of the marzipan to a large circle, about 4mm thick. Using the cake tin as a guide, cut a round of marzipan to fit the top of the cake and position it. Roll out the other 200g marzipan with the trimmings and cut 2 long strips to fit around the side of the cake. Position these, then smooth the marzipan and mould the edges together.

8. To make the icing, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in half of the icing sugar and stir in the brandy. Beat in the rest of the icing sugar until smooth. Spread the icing evenly over the cake.

Christmas Leftover Pie

Posted on: November 20th, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Grease a 1kg/2lb loaf tin (around 10cm x 20cm base measurement) with lard, then strip-line it with baking parchment. To do this you need to cut one long strip of parchment, the width of the tin and place it in the tin so that there’s an overhang of parchment at each end, which will help you remove the pie later.

2. Combine the flours in a bowl, add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips.

3. Heat the water, salt and lard in a saucepan until just boiling. Pour the mixture onto the flour and mix together with a spoon. Once cool enough to handle, tip onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough.

4. Working as quickly as you can, (the pastry will become more crumbly as it cools), roll out 2/3 of the pastry and use it to line the prepared tin, leaving the excess hanging over the edges.

5. Press a third of the stuffing into the pastry lined tin. Cover this with a third of the turkey. Spread a third of the cranberry sauce over the turkey.

6. Repeat with another layer of stuffing. Lay the sausages end to end in three rows on top of the stuffing. Top with another layer of cranberry sauce then more turkey. Finish with one more layer of stuffing, turkey then cranberry.

7. Brush the overhang pastry edge with egg yolk. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and place over the pie. Pinch the edges of the pastry together to seal and trim the edges neatly. Make 3 steam holes in the top of the pie and brush with more egg yolk.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C/gas 4 and bake for a further 45 minutes. Leave to cool completely in the tin. To remove the pie, turn the tin on its side and use the parchment paper to slide out the pie. Serve in thick slices.

Gruyere Biscuits

Posted on: November 18th, 2015 by Karl Hudson No Comments

1. Sift the flour and a large pinch of salt into a bowl or food processor. Add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips, or blitz in the food processor, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Incorporate the cheese, then bring the mixture together with your hands, or briefly process to a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Heat your oven to 200°C and lightly butter 2 baking sheets or line with baking parchment.

3. Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 5mm thickness. Using a 5cm biscuit cutter, cut out rounds and put them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for spreading.

4. Bake for 10 minutes or so, until spread out and lightly browned at the edges. Watch carefully, because these biscuits colour quickly. Grind some salt and pepper over them and leave on the baking trays for a few minutes to firm up slightly, then slide onto a wire rack. Leave to cool. Store the biscuits between layers of baking parchment in an airtight container and they will keep for a couple of days.