Saturday, 30 March 2013

Good Friday baking fever!

Not quite sure what happened yesterday but it would seem that Easter chocolate baking madness descended upon me.... Not content with making one thing I decided to make three....and this from a woman who hardly has any previous history with baking.  The funny thing is that every time I do, bake, I come way from the experience vowing to do it more often as I'd enjoyed myself.  Much like when I make bread there is something incredibly enjoyable about turning doughy mush into something utterly delicious.

Now to be totally transparent two out of the three things have turned out to be exactly that, delicious. Delish Brownies and Candy wood bark.

The third however, utter disaster.  

There's a little Portuguese place near to where I live that turns out the most delicious custard tarts, Pasteis de nata, and a few days ago I had the idea of trying to recreate them without using a recipie.  I mean how hard can it be. Right? Custard, tick, pastry, tick... Wrong wrong wrong....they say pride comes before a fall...and I crashed and burned baby... I bought a sainsbury's ready made  custard, what's good for Delia....and that was my first mistake, whilst busy patting myself on the back for coming up with a speedy solution I didn't bother to read the back of the carton.  If I had I would have seen that it contained sweetners.  Now I understand for some of you that might not be a problem, but I can taste artificial sweetner no matter how much its disguised, and I don't like it.  The second fail, was grabbing filo pastry and not puff.  You might think this is not such a problem, but the construction of filo is totally different to buttery puff pastry. Which has meant the offending article is still inhabiting my fridge waiting for the bird of inspiration to land and turn it into a filo delight as well as a return journey to the supermarket to buy the right pastry.  The idea being to return home and create these little bundles of cinnamon custard heaven.  

Oh if only.  I won't bore you with a step by step guide of my failing, suffice it to say the pastry cases ended up way too thick with the bottoms slightly undercooked and, well I've already raised my issues with the custard.  

Which now also leaves me with what do I do with 10 custard tarts when one of my children is dairy intolerant?  The bin may well be the final option but I'm off to see my folks today for Easter and am taking them with me to see what they think.  I will report back later.  Sorry no photo, didn't feel inspired enough.

Now onto the little bits of heavenly deliciousness.... Chocolate brownies and candy wood bark.  

The  brownies were inspired from  a blog I've been following recently The Londoner A mix of fashion lifestyle and foodie stuff.  The foodie stuff is the draw, and her fashion and lifestyle my occasional guilty pleasure.  They can't be easier.

Delish Brownies

Pre heat the oven to 160 fan, 180 no fan, gas mark 4
Take two boxes of ready made cookie dough and brownie mix.  
Make each one up in separate bowls, following packet instructions, (adding extra 1stp of water and oil to the cookie mix).  
Spread cookie mix into a baking paper lined baking tray. Make sure you spread it all out into the corners, I used my hands for this.  Messy but true.
Then lay two packets of Oreo biscuits on top of the mixture. 
Finally top off with the Brownie mix.
Into oven for 30 mins.
Out and leave to cool a bit but still whilst still warm lift out on to a chopping board. Use the baking paper to help lift it out.   
Slice into what ever size suits your need, serve and eat.  

...and finally candy wood bark inspired from A beautiful Mess blog.  Two gorgeous ladies who are free with their reuse and thrifting ideas which I love as well as posting inventive foodie ideas.

This really can't be simpler.

Candy tree bark
Two bars of dark chocolate
One bar of white chocolate
Bag of gummy bears or midget gems
100's and 1000's if you have or I used Raspberry fruit flakes
1 small bag of salt and cracked black pepper crisps
Crushed up nuts, I used pistachios as I had some in the cupboard.

Melt dark chocolate and spread onto a sheet of baking paper layed on a plate or tray.
Crush up crips and nuts and scatter on top.
Melt white chocolate, I did this directly in the pan but really if you don't want a grainy texture and prefer super smooth, should be done in a bowl over boiling water in a pan.
Spread onto another sheet of paper.
Scatter gummy bears or midget gems, 100's and 1000's or fruit flakes.  I also added a little edible shiny glitter to glam it up a bit.
Put both sheets into the fridge or freezer to cool.
Remove and break into pieces.
Eat and Enjoy...

Happy Easter...x

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