Eton Mess

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May I start this post by saying that it is incredibly difficult to make Eton Mess look pretty. Making those look presentable was almost impossible, the narrow neck of the glasses did not help.

I haven’t posted on my blog in a very long time, I am aware of that (nearly 7 months Fabienne…) but I thought I’d revive myself with this ultra summery, super delicious dessert that is easy to make and fun to put together – that is if you don’t intend to spend an hour placing each element in a wine glass…

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Let’s get real; Eton Mess probably happened because some chef living in Eton tried to make a pavlova and dropped it on the floor. Either way, it tastes gorgeous and it has become a traditional English dessert well loved by all. Especially in extraordinarily hot weather!

The meringue gives the dessert a light, uplifting element where the cream provides a heavy, indulgent factor. The fruit is the perfect balance between the two, giving extra flavour and freshness. What more could anyone possibly ask for??

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An extra twist to make this bonkers tasty lies in the cream. Half of the strawberries are blended to a syrup with some icing sugar, and the other half are chopped up and folded in. It really brings life to the otherwise dull flavour of the double cream, providing even more fruity flavour to convince you that this is healthy 🙂

The egg whites are blended with sugar for absolute ages until thick and voluptuous. Once baked, it provides a crispy, chewy base for the Eton Mess. A delightful find amongst the heaps of fruit and waves of cream.

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You’re gonna love this one!

My Recipe:

  • 4 eggs (whites only)
  • 200g white caster sugar
  • 500ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 300g strawberries
  • 200g raspberries
  • 200g blueberries

Begin by preheating your oven to Gas Mark 3/162°C/325°F and lining (you’ll probably need 2) baking trays with grease-proof paper. Set those aside for later and clear some room for all the arm work you’re about to do…

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add in the sugar, bit at a time making sure not to deflate any air bubbles. Beat these two together until you can no longer feel any grains of sugar when rubbing the mixture between your forefinger and your thumb. Transfer the meringue mixture onto your prepared baking trays.

Pop those in the oven for 30 minutes until they have turned a light golden colour. Turn off your oven and allow them to cook in the residual heat for a further hour.

In the mean time, lets get started on that strawberry cream! In a blender or food processor, blend 150g of the strawberries until they look all pulpy; chop up the remaining 150g into quatres. Stir in the icing sugar and set aside. Beat the double cream until soft peaks form (do your arms ache yet??) then fold in the strawberry/icing sugar mixture and the remaining 150g of strawberries.

Then we layer it up! Start with your meringue base, then the strawberry cream, then the array of other fruits. Create as many layers as you want, then just sit back with a glass of lemonade in the sun and enjoy 😉

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Blackberry and Lemon Curd Swiss Roll

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Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my lovely little blog. No, I haven’t just forgotten about it for the passed 2 months, and I feel awful for not committing to not posting. I think part of the reason why it’s been so long is to do with the shame of coming back after such a long time. I’m sorry…

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I also feel awful because I didn’t post any lovely little Christmas recipes over December, which I would have enjoyed because it’s my absolute favourite time of the year. But Christmas is over now, and even though it’s ridiculously depressing that it is, I believe that in life you always need something else to look forward to once something amazing has passed. And what is there to look forward to after winter??? SUMMER!

I’m already sick of he cold weather that bites at you and makes you wish you didn’t wear a skirt to school, and especially after winter, the cold seems rather pointless. So I thought I’d cheer myself up on this weekend by making something that would remind me of the sun to come. And what better way is there to do that than to throw berry’s and citrus fruit at a cake? ((There isn’t one))

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This swiss roll is sure to knock your fluffy socks off and demand you to put on your beach sandals. Truthfully, I’ve never made a swiss roll before and I was nervous about the outcome (there’s this whole letting it cool wound up thing that I didn’t get but now totally do), but they’re surprisingly easy to make and are absolute delicious (who’d of thunk that a cake with no butter would taste so good? No one).

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I found that the sweetness of the jam and the tangyly sour taste of the lemon curd complimented each other perfectly inside the gorgeously light sponge wrapped around it. You don’t even have to use blackberry jam, you can use any of your choice – raspberry would definitely be delish.

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The cake consists of 4 incredibly straight forward ingredients: eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla. That’s it. How easy is that?

Okay, sure, the method might make your arm want to drop off but if you have an electric mixer then you’ll be fiiiiiine (if not then I’m incredibly sorry for doing this to you).

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I’m having as much fun eating this cake as I did making it. I can’t wait for summer…

My recipe:

  • 4 free range eggs
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g self raising flour

For the filling:

  • heaping tbsps blackberry jam
  • heaping tbsps lemon curd

Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 5/190°C/375°F and grease and line a long, level rectangular baking tray with grease-proof paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat these together until the mixture becomes light, thick and fluffy (it should roughly double in size). Sift in your flour and fold with a metal spoon very gently. If you just stir it will knock out all of the air that you’ve worked so hard to put in there. Transfer this mixture to your prepared tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.

Cut a piece of grease-proof paper roughly the size of the baking tray but bigger and dust it with cast sugar. When the cake is done, remove it from the tray and transfer it (face down) onto the sugar covered parchment then peel off the grease-proof the cake was baked in. Starting from one end, start to roll the cake with the grease-proof paper until you achieve a cylinder shape. Let this cool completely. Rolling the cake with the parchment will help it remember it’s “roll” shape when you come to fill and finish it.

Soften up your jam and your curd then roll out the cake that’s wrapped with the baking parchment. Spread out the jam to cover the cake then lay on the curd and spread out evenly on top of the jam (do this carefully so you don’t end up blending the two together). Starting from the end that you started rolling the parchment in, roll the cake over the filling, making sure not to push down too hard or wrap it too tightly or the filling will just ooze out.

Et voila! A beautiful rolly polly cake that just whispers summer is coming. Enjoy!!

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Chocolate and Almond Rolled Scones

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It’s been a month. An actual entire month. And I haven’t written one single blog post.

To be fair, I spent three weeks in America (which was unbelievably incredible btw, just so you know) and I literally had no time to bake, shoot and write a post (I don’t care, that is a valid excuse and I am sticking to it)

As for the other week and a half in which I’ve been at home? I have very little to say for myself… is two week long jet lag believable? No.

Sorry blog.

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Does chocolate and almonds all rounded up in scone dough get me off the hook. Yeah, I think so.

The best thing about these scones is everything. Not only is the scone dough beautifully light, fluffy and moist, but the centre is made with melted dark chocolate and ground toasted almonds. Yuuuummmmm, right?! Toasting the almonds before you grind them gives them so much more depth in flavour. It compliments the dark chocolate beautifully and contributes to the moist-ness of the scone. Umphf.

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These amazing scones were inspired by the beautiful Joy and her Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls. The woman is an inspiration herself, I had to mention her somewhere on this blog, amirite?!

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Seeing as no one in this house likes cinnamon (yep, I live with a bunch of neanderthals) I had to adapt the recipe to fit specific family requirements.  The melted chocolate soon hardens and becomes like a chocolate bar in the centre of the scone and it is divine.

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I know what you’re thinking: “but Fabienne, scones aren’t usually rolled up with a filling, are you suffering from a serious head injury?” no, my little muffins, I am not. To say “hello Britain!” after neglecting it for 3 weeks I found a recipe that takes the ‘swirl’ aspect of a bun and combines it with a typical English brekkie food. I’m so smart, no?! Scone dough is way better than a sweet bread dough yo…

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In other news, thetubbybaker is getting all sophisticated. Srsly, the day I got back from America, I went out to PC World and bought me-self a camera (the Canon 1100D, to be exact) and I am so happy with my purchase; not only do my pictures look 100% better in quality, but I now have the opportunity to properly practice food photography.

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You want these in your life. Don’t even lie, I know you do.

Here’s my recipe (adapted from Joy The Baker):

  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp golden cast sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chilled and diced unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 milk

For the filling:

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate
  • 2/3 flaked almonds

First thing you’re gonna wanna do is eat the chocolate, but don’t, just set the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F and grease and line and rectangular baking tray. Stay strong. Place the almonds on a baking tray and pop them in the oven. These should only take 10-15 minutes to turn a golden brown colour at the edges, but keep an eye on them. When they have achieved said colour, allow them to cool.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Throw (not literally) in the butter and – using your fingertips – rub it into the dry ingredients (you can use a pastry cutter or a fork if you so desire). In a separate, slightly smaller bowl, beat together the egg and the milk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together using a round edged knife. When the dough begins to pull together slightly, turn it out onto your work-surface and kneed gently until everything has just combined. Do not over work this dough, you’ll lose the light fluffy texture immediately.

Transfer your cooled, toasted almonds into a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped – but not powdery (a bit of texture is niceeee). Melt your dark chocolate either in the microwave or on a double boiler and then combine with the almonds.

Roll out the dough to a 1cm thickness and into a rectangular shape (just try your bestest). Then spread over the chocolate and almond paste all over the dough – try to refrain from spreading right to the edges, it’ll only leak out when you cut the dough. Starting at one end, fold the edge of the dough over into itself and continue to roll down your rectangular(?) shape.

Wrap a long piece of string around the rolled dough (leaving 3 cm between each cut) and pull both ends to cut each roll evenly. You can just use a knife if this is too complicated. Place each roll into the prepared pan (with a little bit of space between them) then brush the tops with a little bit of milk. Bake in your oven for 15 minutes or until the tops of each roll have turned golden brown.

Ohhhh yeesssss…

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