Category Archives: Baking

The Delia Project (#93): Old-fashioned Bread Pudding

The Delia Smith Project: Old-Fashioned Bread (Panettone) Pudding

This recipe for bread pudding is in the leftovers category of Delia’s book, and since I had lots of leftover mini panettone that I baked last month, I decided to reinvent them into a pudding.

So this recipe is with panettone and coconut milk, instead of cow’s milk. The panettone is broken up into bite-sized pieces and soaked in the milk to soften it. You then add melted butter, brown sugar, mixed spice, an egg, mixed fruit and some orange rind. Bake in the oven and serve with cream, or in my case, more coconut milk!

The following recipe is almost the same as what I’ve made here, but includes brandy and lemon zest: Delia Smith’s Spiced Bread Pudding with Brandy Cream.

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The Delia Project (#90): Mince Pies

The Delia Smith Project: Mince Pies

Mmmm…. mince pies. As I write this, I have just finished making our second batch of mince pies (each batch is 36 pies). They are basically a staple in our house for the whole of December.

I made the mincemeat a few weeks back, following Delia’s vegetarian mincemeat recipe. I consider it to be the BEST mincemeat recipe as it’s not rich and gooey, just nicely light and sweet.

However, I don’t follow Delia’s recipe for the pastry, not since one of our neighbours in England gave me the following recipe. I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s my go-to mince pie pastry recipe:

Orange Pastry for Mince Pies

  • 500 grams plain flour
  • 175 grams icing or caster sugar
  • 375 grams butter
  • 1 orange, juiced and rind grated
  1. Sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces, stir these into the flour and then rub gently with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated orange rind.
  2. Then, using a knife, stir in the orange juice until the dough just begins to stick together. Gather up the dough and pat it into a ball, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before using.

If you want to substitute some of the butter for margarine, go ahead. Just don’t tell me about it.

The Delia Project (#89): Rich Fruit Cake

The Delia Smith Project: Rich Fruit Cake

It’s a tradition in our house that we make the Christmas Cake towards the end of November and feed it spoonfuls of brandy at regular intervals during December, thereby ensuring that come Christmas Day the cake is nice and boozy moist.

My husband usually makes the Christmas Cake but this year he was too busy, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s not a difficult cake, but it is time consuming. At least 12 hours before you make the cake, you  need to soak the dried fruit in brandy. Then it’s the normal flour, mixed spice, nutmeg, butter, brown sugar, eggs, treacle… all the good stuff. The cake then bakes for a little over 4 hours, so obviously you need to hang around for that time.

The photo above was taken just before the cake went into the oven and I need to remember to take another one on Christmas Day! We don’t do royal icing anymore; we used to, but found it too sweet. So we just serve it as it is and believe me, it’s good enough like that.

The Delia Project (#86): Baked Apple and Almond Pudding

The Delia Smith Project: Baked Apple and Almond Pudding

I made this with my daughter/Mini Chef and couldn’t quite imagine what it would turn out like. Apple slices are cooked with brown sugar and then a frangipane (butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds) is spread on top. It takes a hour to bake, but the result is worth it – got a thumbs up all round 🙂

Bill’s Brownies

Bill's Brownies

This recipe is from a book I bought about 3 years ago Cook Eat Smile by Bill Collison. Bill’s started as a small restaurant in Lewes, East Sussex, England and we were lucky enough to have one in Brighton, where we used to live.

I was trying to put in words just what this café is about, but this image on Bill’s website says it the best. The main thing that kept us going back to Bill’s were the brownies. Cut into thick, rectangular slabs, one slice was substantial enough for two people. They are the reason I bought Bill’s book!

And they are very, very good just like Bill says in his book “Very chocolately, very nutty, delicious and essential”.

Amen.

Introducing… The Mini Chef!

Vanilla cupcakes with orange flavoured buttercream

And now I have a pair of little hands in the kitchen!

Maya (AKA Munchkin #1) has been inspired by watching Junior MasterChef and Junior Bake Off.

Here is her first recipe, Vanilla Cupcakes with Orange-Flavoured Buttercream, made entirely by herself, with me standing nearby and only stepping in to check measurements of ingredients or to show how to crack an egg.

She did a super job and piped the icing also, carefully copying what she had seen on Junior Bake Off. She is very enthusiastic and has lots of plans for future bakes, so watch this space!