The drawback of these delightful little cakes is you need a specialist tin eg. Madeleine Pan, Non-Stick 12 Hole. I put off getting one for ages as it seemed a bit indulgent getting a tin for just one type of little cake but I love the Bon Maman Madeleines so decided to give in and buy a tray. They are soft pillows of slightly lemony sponge with a slight crisp outer shell. I think I’ll try adding the lemon juice next time. Mary says this makes 30, it very much depends on the size of the hollow in your tray, I made 22. If I was making these for a tea party I’d buy a tray for little madeleines like this one Lakeland Silicone 24 Hole Mini Madeleine Cake & Chocolate Mould.
This recipe is from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. If you like to bake and don’t already have this book I’d urge you to buy it and work your way through it. Her instructions are always precise and easy to follow, the results are always delicious.
- 150g (5oz) butter
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 150g (5oz) caster sugar
- 150g (5oz) self-raisng flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Melt butter in a small pan and allow to cool slightly
- Brush the madeleine tray with melted butter then shake in a little flour to coat, tapping out the excess.
- Whisk together the eggs and the sugar in a bowl until frothy (you will need an electric whisk for this).
- Fold in the remaining ingredients, (your mixture should resemble batter).
- Spoon into Madeleine tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture has risen a little in the middle and is fully cooked through.
- Grease and flour tray and repeat until all the mixture is used up (this mixture is fine to stand for a while)
- Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave for a few minutes to cool slightly. These are best eaten on the same day.
I don’t recall ever eating celeriac before but the recipe for this caught my eye in an article about Mary Berry’s Christmas day recipes wen she said that this is a perfect dish to be made ahead and reheated. I just tried a little today to check and it is lovely. I have a problem with mashed potatoes and am not keen on many root vegetables but this is lovely. I hope my boys like it because it may well be the answer for me as alternative topping for dishes like shepherds pie.
Ingredients to serve 8
- 1.8kg (4lb) celeriac
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 200ml (7 fl oz) carton full-fat creme fraiche
- freshly grated nutmeg
- Peel the thick skin off the celeriac with a knife and cut the flesh into even-sized pieces of about 2.5cm (1in). Boil in salted water for 20-25 minutes until really soft. Drain well.
- Tip the celeriac into a food processor, add the creme fraiche, salt, pepper and grated nutmeg, and blend until really smooth (may need to blend in batches).
- Check for seasoning and serve hot.
Malt loaf is a favourite after school snack with my boys and it’s low sugar/fat content makes it popular with Jon. However I’ve never made it before, in fact it had never occurred to me to make it before I came across it in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. Mary says this is better after a couple of days. I’ve hidden one of the loaves so we can try as when Aidan came home from school 1/3 a loaf went. It is nicer than commercial malt loaf, not as squidgy and the sultana’s sank to the bottom which was a disappointment. I think this might be the first time I’ve used a Mary Berry recipe that didn’t work perfectly for me. I must find out why they sank, usually it’s because the fruit isn’t quite dry but mine was and I tossed it in the flour before adding the liquid ingredients.
It took me a while to get around to buying 1 lb loaf tins and although the quantities make 2 x 1lb loaves I wasn’t convinced a 2lb loaf would be squidgy enough by the time it had baked through. It also took me ages to find malt extract and because I didn’t make malt loaves straight after I found it I can no longer remember where I bought it. Malt extract used to be sold as a dietary supplement for children so you should definitely be able to buy it in health stores if you can’t find it in your local supermarket.
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 225g/8oz Sultanas
- 50g/2 oz demerara sugar
- 175g/6oz malt extract
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 2 large eggs
- 150 ml/5 floz cold black tea
- Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas Mark 2. Grease/line two 450g/1 lb loaf tins
- Gently hear the sugar, malt extract and black treacle together and put aside to cool.
- Measure flour, bicarb of soda and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sultanas.
- pour sugar/malt mix onto the dry ingredients along with cold tea and beaten eggs and beat together until smooth.
- Pour into the prepared tins (see below). It is a rather pale and very runny mixture and easy to get between the tin and the liner.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until well risen and firm to the touch.
- Leave in tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack
I know I did say I was going to try some different recipe books but Mary Berry’s Baking Bible is just so good when you want to bake some cake in a hurry. I wanted cake for packed lunches so I always intended to forgo the icing on this cake. Jon was very pleased that there was no icing this time as he has a very puritan attitude to icing. These very nice on the day of baking and got better as the days went by. My tray bake sank a little in the middle, I did take them out a little early as they were smelling like they were cooked and looked like they were cooked but maybe the last 5 mins would have been good. That said the middle was fine, just a bit lower than the rest. You can serve this is quite small cubes so it goes a long way and is perfect for packed lunches.
- 275g golden syrup
- 275g black treacle
- 225g light muscovado sugar
- 225g soft margarine
- 450g self-raising flour
- 2tsp mixed spice
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp milk
For the icing
- 225g icing sugar
- about 2 tablespoons water
- Pre-heat the oven to 160c. Grease and base line a 12 x 9 in (30 x 23 cm) roasting tin with greased greaseproof paper.
- Measure the syrup, treacle, sugar and margarine into a large pan and heat gently until the fat has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour and spices (if this goes lumpy you may need to push through a sieve, I found adding a little flour at a time it went horribly lumpy so I shoved the whole lot in reasoning if I had to sieve I may as well not spend time mixing in slowly and once I’d mixed all the flour it was pretty smooth).
- Add the lightly beaten eggs and milk and beat well until smooth. Pour into the prepared tin.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45-50mins or until well risen and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.
- For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water a little at a time and mix until smooth. Spoon over the cake and add decorations, leave to set. Cut into pieces and serve!
Not the most perfect iced fairy cakes in the world, but in my defence I very rarely iced a cake before starting this blog and I iced them in 10 minutes between collecting my boys from school and going riding last Friday (Aidan did the sprinkles for me). I’d made double the quantities of cakes and thought I’d need more icing so I measured out the quantities below for 12 then threw in some more icing sugar without measuring and I had way too much icing. I’m sure I only added about 100g sugar so next time I bake 24 I’ll try with icing for 12 as I think that will be about right.
I was very pleased with these, pretty cases, icing and sprinkles made them look rather more pretty than the picture suggests. I remember mum used to make fairy cakes a lot when I was little, she also used to make butterfly cakes which I don’t think I have ever made.
- 100 g (4 oz) softened butter
- 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 100 g (4 oz) self-raising flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder
for the icing
- 225 g (8 oz) sifted icing sugar
- 2–3tbsp warm water
- Sweets or sprinkles, to decorate
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C fan/180°C/gas mark 6. Place fairy cake cases into a 12-hole bun tin, to keep a good even shape as they bake.
- Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat for 2-3 mins until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Fill each paper case with the mixture.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15–20 minutes until the cakes are well risen and golden brown. Lift the paper cases out of the bun tin and cool the cakes on a wire rack.
- Put the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually blend in the warm water until you have a fairly stiff icing. Spoon over the top of the cakes and decorate.
It feels like I’ve baked lots of recipes from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible however when I looked at the list of contents I realised how many more I still have to do (list of recipes in the book below with the recipes I’ve tried highlighted in bold).
Everything I have tried from this book has tasted lovely, been easy to make and had good clear instructions. There has been the odd quirk with things like icing quantities and Mary makes smaller biscuits than I do – could be why she is tiny and I’m not ;). For one or two recipes I prefer someone else’s (Nigella’s banana bread) but if I didn’t have much time to mix up the cake I’d always make Mary’s. Other recipes like her walnut teabread and choc chip cookies I don’t believe can be bettered. Mary’s traybake section is superb and a great idea if you have a number of hungry teens to feed, want to take cakes into work or bake for a fete. It’s a shame there aren’t photos against each recipe. Given the book is about as large a cookbook as can easily be handled I think I’d have preferred less recipes and more pictures.
Although this book would be perfect for a novice baker it also has a number of more ambitious recipes for the experienced baker. Every serious baker should own a copy of this book and If you’ve not done much baking before and only want one book on baking buy this one.
Large all in one Victoria Sandwich
Coffee Victoria Sandwich
Chocolate Victoria Sandwich
Lemon Swiss Roll
Chocolate Swiss Roll
Maple Syrup Cake
American Apple and Apricot Cake
Coffee and Walnut Sponge Cake
Lemon Yoghurt Cake
Old fashioned Seed Cake
Cranberry and Apricot Fruit Cake
Rich Fruit Cake
Quick Boiled Fruit Cake
Jane’s Fruit Cake
Boozy Fruit Cake
Frosted Walnut Layer Cake
Crunchy Top Lemon Cake
Double Orange Cake
Strawberry Dessert Cake
English Cherry Cake
Classic Sticky Gingerbread
Iced Gingerbread with Stem Ginger
Almond Spice Cake
Sticky Ginger and Orange Cake
Wholemeal Ginger Cake
Apple and Cinnamon Cake
Cut and Come Again Cake
Ginger Cream Roll
Death by Chocolate Cake
Mississippi Mud Pie
Dark Indulgent Chocolate and Walnut Brownies
Chocolate Chip Brownies
Chocolate Rum Cake
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake
Almond and Chocolate Chip Cake
Date and Chocolate Loaf
Marbled Chocolate Ring Cake
Iced Fairy Cakes
Apricot Swiss Cakes
Chocolate Chip American Muffins
St Clements Muffins
Divine Chocolate Birthday Cake
Classic Rich Christmas Cake
Victorian Christmas Cake
Fast Mincemeat Christmas Cake
Buche de Noel
New Year Tipsy Cake
American Chocolate Wedding Cake
Tiny Fruit Cakes
Easter Simnel Cake
Sponge Christening Cake
Gateau Saint Honore
Gateau Moka aux Amandes
Swiss Wild Strawberry and Walnut Cake
Basic all in one Sponge Traybake
Ice Lemon Traybake
Iced Chocolate Traybake
Coffee and Walnut Traybake
Devonshire Apple Cake
American Spiced Carrot Traybake
Sultana and Orange Traybake
Lemon Drizzle Traybake
Cherry and Almond Traybake
Treacle Spice Traybake
Ginger and Treacle Spiced Traybake
Date and Walnut Traybake
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lime Lattice Cookies
Double Chocolate Cookies
Rich Cheesy Biscuits
Petits Fours aux Amandes
Chocolate Ganache Petit Fours
The Very Best Shortbread
Special Shortbread Biscuits
Apricot and Walnut Sandwich Bars
Date and Cherry Butter Bars
Mini Jammy Cakes
Chocolate and Vanilla Pinwheel Biscuits
Banana and Chocolate Chip Bars
Oat and Sunflower Squares
Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Marble Cake
Bunny Rabbit Birthday Cake
Iced Animal Biscuits
Glazed Lemon Tart
Glazed Fruit Tartlets
Filo Apple Strudels
Lemon Cream Tartlets
French Apple Tart
Deep Treacle Tart
Austrian Apricot and Almond Tart
Quick Granary Rolls
White Cottage Loaf
Cheese and Celery Crown Loaf
Honey-Glazed Walnut Bread
Farmhouse Brown Seeded Loaf
Walnut and Raisin Loaf
Irish Soda Bread
Focaccia Bread with Onion and Balsamic Topping
Mushroom and Garlic Stuffed Picnic Loaf
Sultana Malt Loaves
Iced Apricot Fruit Loaf
Banana and Honey Teabread
Crunchy Orange Syrup Loaves
Carrot and Orange Loaf
Pineapple and Cherry Loaf
Cherry Loaf Cake
Orange Wholemeal Victoria Loaf
Very Best Scones
Special Fruit Scones
Cheese Scone Round
Cheese and Olive Scone Bake
Orange Drop Scones
Wholemeal Sultana and Apricot Rock Cakes
Hot Cross Buns
Sultana Streusel Buns
Classic Apple Pie
My Mothers Bread and Butter Pudding
Baked Apple Lemon Sponge
Sticky Apricot Pudding
Basic White Meringues
Strawberry Meringue Nests
Raspberry Meringue Roulade
Lemon Meringue Pie
Hazelnut Meringue Cake
Apricot and Almond Meringue Gateau
Coffee and Banana Vacherin
Hot Chocolate Souffles
Hot Lemon Souffle Pudding
American Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake
Chocolate, Brandy and Ginger Cheesecake
Angel Sponge Cheesecake
Austrian Curd Cheesecake
Buttermilk and Honey Cheesecake
Easy Lemon Cheesecake
Apricot and Orange Cheesecake
Key Lime Pie
I usually bake cakes or biscuits to send with Jon for the friend he stays with in Cambridge but was too busy and tired yesterday after long drive to and from customer site followed by cubs so I thought I’d give it a miss this week. Then this morning I realised from facebook it was his birthday. So quick panic then I did the only thing any sensible person who needed a quick bake would do and reached for Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. Biscuits and cookies are always quick to bake and cool enough to transport quickly as well. Biscuits were mixed, baked, cooled and in box ready to go in about 40mins.
These cookies are beautifully light, soft, sweet and I love them. I much prefer these to Mary’s more impressive looking double chocolate cookies. I doubled the quantities below so there would be some cookies for my boys after school as well and got 35 cookies out of the mix. I’m hoping I can show some restraint and eat no more than 2…
Edited to add Comment from elder teen son where that in his opinion these were the best cookies I’ve made!
- 100g/4oz/1 stick softened butter
- 75g/3oz/ 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 50g/2oz/ 1/3 cup light muscovado sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 150g/5oz/1 cup self raising flour
- 100g/4 oz/ 1/2 cup plain chocolate chips
I’ve done the conversion to American cup measurements so any errors are mine, if anyone tries using the cup measurements please post a comment to let me know how they worked.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C/Fan 170/ Gas 5
- Lightly grease 3 baking trays
- Put butter and sugars into a mixing bowl and beat until evenly blended. Add vanilla extract to beaten egg then slowly add to butter and sugar mix beating well between each addition.
- Mix in the flour then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon large teaspoons of mixture onto the prepared baking trays leaving room for the cookies to spread.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Watch carefully as these can go from golden to brown very quickly.
- Leave cookies to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes (but not too long or they stick) then carefully lift onto a cooling rack with a palette knife.