Monday 18 February 2013

Coconut Chocolate Meltdown Cookies - Gluten Free Recipe

You'll never believe this.... I've given up all the bad carbs for now - which includes bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc. That of course means I've also gone low fat and cut out butter and sugar too. 

To be honest, now the rubbish is out my system, I feel much better for it too. I just need to get used to drinking loads more water. At the moment I feel like I'm turning into a camel !

Anyway, it won't be the last of me. I'm still baking - but just not eating it. A lucky selected few may receive some random surprise packages by post....

I have been very curious though about baking with gluten free flour, which is something I've never done before.

I bought a bag, which is a mix of Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize & Buckwheat to have a play around with and "test" on colleagues amongst others.

I tried an "odd" cookie that had no partner and must say - these little guys are amazing ! They are little expolding cookie bombs. They look really plain and inconspicuous - but will blow you away and explode in your mouth when you bite into them. 

The texture is very short and they are very fragile - so do handle and store with care

 - makes approx 32 cookies (approx 2" dia baked)

180g salted butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup caster sugar
15g black treacle / molasses
2 cups (minus 2 tablespoons) of Doves Farm Gluten Free Flour
1 egg
1.5 tsp of baking powder
1/2 a cup of desiccated coconut

Cream butter and sugar together by hand with a wooden spoon. Beat in the whole egg and molasses. When smooth and lump free, mix in flour and baking powder, followed by coconut.

I divided the dough (it will be very soft) into 12gram pieces. Bake these on a plain silicone baking sheet / tray liner, or alternatively a macaron / macaroon mat in a 170degC fan oven for approx 12 minutes until they turn light golden in colour.

NOTE - when you put them on your mat / tray / sheet - flatten with a fork to approx 2" dia and then rough up the surface for a textured finish.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.

When cooled, sandwich with chocolate buttercream. 
(80g butter, 150g icing sugar and 25g cocoa powder)

Simple and very very easy !

Enjoy !

Sarah-Jane Nash - (silicone bakeware specialists) - February 19th, 2013

Macarons ! Double Chocolate and Cherry... (Recipe)

Hey - it's been a while since I last made macarons. Too long actually. When a fellow cakey person was having some trouble, I decided it was time to knock up a batch to try and troubleshoot the problems and give her a comparison to try.

I love making these pretty, dainty macarons using our double sided macaron mats. The beauty is that they all end up identical in size and pair beautifully. They look divine packed several together and stood up straight like soldiers in a line.

 makes 75 shells (so you'll need 3 mats or to do 3 bakes) = 37 macarons plus an extra shell

180g powdered (icing) sugar
180g of egg whites - split into two 90g batches
40g good quality cocoa powder
180g ground almonds
200g of caster sugar
80mls of water.

Preheat fan ovens to 160deg C

Put the ground almonds and icing sugar into a blender and blitz until powder fine consistency.

Add this to a large bowl with 90g of egg white, the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Mix together to form a thick, sticky paste.

Put the caster sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil until temperature reaches 110deg C. At this point, start whipping the remaining egg whites to firm peak.

Remove sugar syrup from the heat at 118deg C. Whipping the egg whites at full speed, slowly pour in hot sugar syrup. Whip until this is meringue like in volume and the bowl is warm but not really hot.

Take a good spoonful of the meringue mix and stir well into the almond / egg white / cocoa mix to loosen. Fold the remaining meringue mix in with a spatula until it's a lava like consistency and a trail merges into the rest within about 30 seconds.

Pipe onto the large side of your REVOLUTIONARY DOUBLE SIDED MACARON MATS available from (these baking sheets are available in several colours)- to within about 5mm of the outside of each cell. The mix will relax to fill the cells. 

Pop into the oven at 160deg C for 5 mins with the door a few inches ajar. Then, close the door and bake for a further 20 > 22mins.

I filled these with white chocolate ganache and a very nice cherry preserve. I also filled some others with the same ganache and ginger preserve.

Creating a wall of firm but pipeable ganache helps to stop the preserve oozing out. 1/2 a tsp of preserve is plenty in each centre. Sandwich together and chill overnight before serving

One is a treat, two would be a total indulgence ! I have to confess.... on THIS occasion  we didn't scoff all these macarons. These are macarons - though some still call them macaroons. No comparison to the coconut variety ! Some were gifted to some very lovely people we met last week at the NEC Spring Fair.

Our stand was directly opposite Alan Silverwood Ltd - they have produced the new range of bakeware for DELIA SMITH and very nice it is too ! All UK manufactured and available from independant retailers from this month.

Delia Smith was doing demonstrations in the cookery live theatre and Kathryn was brave enough to ask her to sign the hard back copy of my blog book (2012 recipes). A little confusing though as it's now 2013 ! Bless her.... exciting time for both Silverwoods and Delia at the moment and we wish them both lots of success.

We took lots and lots of stuff with us - but unfortunately there was not enough space to take everything !

Our range of large number silicone birthday cake moulds are proving very popular and we are looking forward to launching many new product lines in the next couple of weeks  - including our new registered design chocolate tractors mould

Sarah-Jane Nash - - silicone bakeware specialists

Angry Bird and Bad Piggie Cookies - For An Angry Bird Fan !

When only an Angry Bird cookie will do, Mummy has to get baking !

Oliver is currently a HUGE fan of Angry Birds and has all but taken over my Ipad. So much so, that we've had to enforce restrictions on how long he gets to play. The easiest thing is to only ever partially charge the thing and play dumb when the battery goes flat !

So, this challenge was to create Angry bird cookies. In the end, I made a load of red birds, black birds and bad piggies.

First of all, I found a picture of a red bird and blew it up on the photo copier, then drew round it with a black marker. This gave me a template to carefully cut out the cookies with a craft knife.

Note - take extreme care cutting on top of a silicone work / rolling mat. High chance of cutting through it ! However, if you are careful and used to doing it (as I do), you should do just fine.

The Everlasting Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Recipe.....

Wondering why I call it this ? 

Well - I roll these cookies thin. Once they have been baked long enough, they come out really rather hard.
I like a crunchy biscuit that would stand up to dunking in tea. Wrap them individually and make them air tight, and these cookies will still be good to eat in 6 months !

Actually, my aunt had some on her Christmas tree in December that I baked back in 2010. I'm very surprised some mice didnt find them stored in her loft and come for a nibble..... Although they looked ok - I don't think they'd still be good for eating.

4 cups plain flour (250ml measure)
225g butter (salted)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
vanilla essence - 2 tsp
ground cinnamon - 3 tsp
water - enough only to combine the dough

Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add and beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and spice with the beaten mixture. You will  need to add a tiny bit of water to make it combine into a pliable dough.

Roll out to about 4mm thick and then cut out your cookies.

After cutting out, put your cookies in the FREEZER for 15 minutes or more. Actually - you can leave them in there for a month if required before baking. If putting in a stack in the freezer, make sure you put some cellophane between them to make separating them easy later.

The purpose of freezing them is to make sure they hold their shape and do not spread during baking.

Heat oven to approx 170deg C fan, and bake for approx 18 mins until edges are starting to gain a little colour. Remove from oven when done and allow to cool on a rack.

I then flood iced these cookies to look like Angry Birds

For my royal icing, I make up one sachet of dried egg whites with the recommended amount of water as per packed instructions. Add powdered sugar and mix until a very firm and stiff consistency. Then, add a tiny bit of hot, boiled water or some JIF lemon juice to thin to required consistency.

How about some brush embroidered cookies. They look so sweet !

Sarah-Jane Nash -