Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween from BakingBar

Halloween is a time of the year steeped in tradition and history, conjuring up thoughts of ghosts and ghouls. But there is a lot lot more to Halloween than that!

There are literally thousands of traditions and superstitions which span almost all countries and cultures around the world, none more so than Ireland. Being from Northern Ireland we are going to tell you some of the Irish traditions that have been passed down through generations of many Irish families.

It is thought that Halloween in Ireland was first celebrated by the Celts who referred to it as Samhain, which in modern Irish language has actually come to mean November. It was believed that during this time the dead revisit this world. To celebrate this they had feasts, the ‘Feast of the Dead’.

During the 8th Century Samhain became known as All Hallows which was the 1st of November. The evening before therefore became known as All Hallows Eve, or as we know it now Halloween.

This Halloween we have stocked up with sweets and goodies from Marks and Spencer's Halloween 2014 range and boy do they have some scary treats to spook you!

We were first spooked by the Coffin Box filled with jellies. What first seems like a cardboard sweet box opens to reveal a spooky creaky door sound! Great for the kids.

If you want something a little ghoulish why not try the Scary Skulls, Pumpkin Jellys or the plump fluffy Skull Mallows!

If you want to recall your childhood memories why not try these sheets of spooky jellies or the Ghost Biscuit!

Happy Halloween from BakingBar. Mwhahahaha!! 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Madeira Cake

Madeira Cake is a staple in traditional English baking. Madeira Cake has a firm but a wonderful light texture. Madeira Cake does not get its name from the Madeira Islands but instead from Madeira wine which was popular in England during the time of its creation. This cake is great for serving at tea parties or gatherings as its firm texture allows it to be sliced neatly and topped with butter, jam or cream.

The Ingredients:
125g Butter
125g Silver Spoon® Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
3tbsp Good Quality Dark Rum
170g NEILL'S® Self Raising Flour
60g Cornflour
1tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract
1tsp Baking Powder
2tbsp Milk

Recommended Equipment:
Food Mixer (Recommended Bosch MUM46A1)
Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale
Loaf Tin

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 180c.
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth in consistency.

Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.

Beat in the vanilla extract and rum one tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the creamed mixture to a separate bowl.
Sieve in the flour, cornflour, baking powder into the creamed mixture and fold together.

Fold in the milk until the ingredients are evenly combined.

Pour the cake batter into a standard loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice and serve however you wish with a nice cup of tea.

You're Done!


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Banana Caramel Cake

We love the flavour combination of banana and caramel in banoffee pie so we decided to put those flavours into a cake in the form of a loaf. Enjoy warm and with custard for ultimate 'yum' effect.

The Ingredients:
The Cake:
100g Butter
100g Silver Spoon® Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
1tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract
80ml Milk
200g NEILL'S® Self Raising Flour
0.5tsp Salt

The Caramel and Banana:
2 Bananas
50g Butter
100g Billingtons Light Brown Sugar

Recommended Equipment:
Food Mixer (Recommended Bosch MUM46A1)
Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale
Loaf Tin

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 180c.
Because this is an upside down cake we need to make the topping first so we need to start with the caramel. This is very simple so dont let this step put you off.
In a small non stick saucepan add the light brown sugar and 50g butter.

Turn on low heat and allow the butter to melt. Stir the sugar in to ensure everything is combined. 

Once the mixture starts bubbling remove from the heat immediately. Do not let the sugar burn.
Set this aside for a few moments.
Prepare the bananas by peeling, slicing lenghways and then in half as in the picture.

Pour 1/3 of the caramel into a prepared loaf tin (lined with a little baking paper at the bottom).
Spread this caramel out a little. Dont worry it doesnt need to be perfectly neat.

Add in the banana pieces to cover as much of the bottom of the tin as possible.
Pour the remaining caramel on top. Set this aside again.

Now we need to make the cake batter. This is again very simple.
In a mixer beat the butter and caster sugar together (creaming them).

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Beat in the vanilla extract.
Sieve in the flour and salt and fold together alternating with the milk.

When the mixture is combined pour on top of the caramel/banana mixture and spread out.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5-10 mins before loosening the edges with a knife and placing a plate on top before flipping out. Careful of very hot caramel.

You're Done!