Showing posts with label The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Show all posts
I've blogged time and time again about my adoration for all things cake related, so you can imagine my excitement when got home from Uni yesterday and saw that my copy of The Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days had been delivered. This new book is a follow up to 2009's The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, and, as well as revisiting some old favourites, features some fantastic new recipes, for sweet treats such as Whoopie Pies, cookies and muffins. There are also some very special recipes for seasonal events, such as Christmas and Easter, as well as Summer Afternoon Tea and Rainy Days- it really is a baking book for all seasons. I can't wait to try out some of the new recipes!

You can buy the book over at Amazon.

What do you think? Will you be buying this book and trying some of the recipes?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

18.03.2011- Happy Pie-day!

Last week I tried a new recipe from my lovely Hummingbird Bakery book, this time for double chocolate cookies. Whilst January usually ushers a period of resolution to get healthy/go to the gym more/eat less rubbish, my logic is that it's futile to even attempt this all the time the seemingly never-ending post-Christmas food mountain (largely consisting of Pringles, a box of mince pies which have to be eaten by the end of January and enough chocolate to give Willy Wonka a run for his money) is still to be demolished. So, for now at least, my resolution is to practice my baking!

Hummingbird Double Chocolate Cookies
Makes 12

50g unsalted butter
450g dark chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
170g light brown or muscavado sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
85g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

To make the cookies:
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, Gas Mark 3.
2) Melt the butter and half of the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until the mixture is smooth, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to let the base of the bowl touch the water, as this will cook the chocolate.
3) Mix the eggs, vanilla extract and sugar together using an electric mixer or handheld electric whisk until well combined. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and butter and beat on slow speed until both mixtures are fully combined.
4) Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into another bowl and then add to the chocolate mix in three stages, making sure to mix well after each addition. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate with a wooden spoon until it is well dispersed throughout the cookie dough.
5) Taking a baking tray which has been pre-lined with greaseproof paper, arrange the cookie dough on the tray in even amounts, leaving room between each for spreading during the baking process. (I found this part the most tricky, so it might me an idea to have two pairs of hands here as the dough is quite hard to shape. But then again, it might be a case of practice makes perfect!) If necessary, use more than one lined baking tray to accommodate all of your cookies.
6) Bake the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes, checking them regularly after 10 minutes. They are ready to be taken out of the oven when their tops begin to crack and they appear glossy.
7) Leave the cookies to cool slightly before placing on a wire rack to cool totally. (It might be an idea to put some greaseproof paper under your wire rack just in case any of the melted chocolate seeps out and makes a mess here.)
8) Serve and enjoy, preferably with a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Although my cookies resembled cow-pats more than the perfectly formed circles they were supposed to be, they still tasted amazing!

Have you ever tried baking cookies? And what are your favourite recipes?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

13.01.2011- C is for Cookie!

Last week, following my cupcake baking, I made some chocolate muffins from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. They turned out really well and tasted lovely!

Hummingbird Chocolate Muffins- makes 12.

2 eggs
200g caster sugar
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
160ml whole milk
160g unsalted butter, melted
120g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

You can also include dark, milk or white chocolate chips in the mixture as you prefer, and you will also need a 12-hole muffin tray, lined with large paper muffin cases.

To make the muffins:
1) Preheat the over to 170 degrees, Gas Mark 3.
2) Put the eggs and sugar into a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, or use an electric whisk. Beat the mixture until pale and well combined.
3) In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In another bowl (or measuring jug), combine the milk and vanilla extract. Gradually beat theses two mixtures alternately into the egg mixture little by little and beat until well incorporated.
4) Stir in the melted butter with a wooden spoon until well mixed, and add the chopped chocolate until evenly spread throughout the muffin mixture. If you're adding chocolate chips, then do this now.
5) Once all of the ingredients are fully incorporated, spoon the mixture into the muffin cases until they are two-thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for approximately half an hour, or until the sponge is springy.
6) When cooked, leave the muffins to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely before serving.

And there you have it! I found that my muffins tasted even better after a day or two as the chocolate flavour matures beautifully.

I also made some rocky road bars last week, so will share soon!

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

23.08.2010- More adventures in baking

Last week I made some more cupcakes from my cookbook, and again they were a success! Yay! So, as an excuse for me to post the photos I took, I though I'd share the recipe with you all. It's taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf, which, as I've mentioned before is a really brilliant, easy to follow book, great for novices and experienced cooks alike.

Hummingbird Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing- makes 12.

for the cakes:
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1½ teaspoons of baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
120ml whole milk
1 egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
edible sprinkles to decorate

for the icing:
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml whole milk
a couple of drops of vanilla extract
a couple of drops of food colouring of your choice

You will also need a 12 hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases.

To make the cakes:
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, Gas Mark 3.
2) Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or, like I do, use a handheld electric whisk) and mix on a slow speed until the mixture has a sandy texture and everything is combined. Slowly pour in half the milk and mix until it is just incorporated.
3) Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds and then add to the flour mixture. Keep mixing until just incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
4) Spoon the mixture into the paper cake cases until they are two thirds full, leaving room for the cakes to rise when they are cooking in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sponge is light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. When cooked, leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray when out of the oven before placing on a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

To make the icing:
1) Beat the icing sugar and butter together with your electric mixer on a medium to slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
2) Turn the mixture down to a slow speed and then combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add this to the butter mixture a couple of teaspoons at a time.
3) Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixture up to high speed, add a few drops of food colouring and continue beating until the icing is light and fluffy, for at least five minutes.
4) Once the cakes have cooled completely, pipe or spoon the icing on top and decorate with hundreds and thousands. I use an icing syringe which I picked up from my local supermarket, which is really easy to use and comes with different attachments so you can change how thickly or thinly the icing is piped onto the cakes.

Then, fingers crossed, you should end up with some cakes that look a little bit like this:

This week, I'm hoping to try making some chocolate muffins, so will let you know how I get on.

What are your favourite things to make in the kitchen?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

16.08.2010- The continuation of my culinary adventures....

*Basically my excuse to share my pride in making something that didn't turn into a complete cooking disaster.

A few weeks ago, after a horrible day of writing essays and thinking far too much, I bought The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook on a whim from Amazon;  the cover was just too enticing to resist:

I've always loved making cakes, but have never really had the time since I finished school to develop my baking prowess (if you can call it that!) Last weekend was my cousin's 18th birthday (complete with surprise family gathering), so I had the perfect excuse to test the recipes in the book, making some cupcakes and rocky road bars as a little birthday treat for her and everyone who came to the party. The recipes featured in the book are clear and easy to follow, and hints provided really help if you are a bit of a novice in the kitchen, or, like me, out of practice. I didn't manage to snap a photo of the rocky road bars before they were all devoured, but here are my homemade (!) vanilla cupcakes with pink vanilla icing:

Hand decorated as well! They really were so much fun to make and just as much fun to eat judging by the fact that the whole batch disappeared! I hope to try more recipes from my new favourite book soon, so will update with my progress. Today cupcakes, tomorrow the world!

(Image credit: Amazon and Sarah Farrell, do not reproduce without permission.)

01.05.2010- I bake, therefore I am*