I recently went to visit my sister Lucy in Cheltenham for a weekend of watching films, eating, drinking tea, staying in your PJ’s and of course BAKING! Apart from all the cutsie bits and bobs in Lucy’s kitchen, such as a million baking tins, adorable measuring cups and cookbook after cookbook there is one thing that stands out… a bright red Kitchen Aid! Now, if you’re not sure what a Kitchen Aid is then you need to Google this bad boy piece of equipment because they are amazing and one day I will own one… hopefully! If you have a Kitchen Aid what better thing to make than meringue? Or what we attempted… Macaroons. I say attempted because they didn’t turn out as we thought they would, we pictured those perfectically round equal in size macaroons that sit in Selfridges, stare at you and whisper ‘eat me pleaseeeeeeeeee’. Although they look absolutely ghastly they didn’t taste too bad at all! We might of over done it on the rosewater essence and may of forgot to colour the ganache centre but we definitely gave it our best shot. I thought I would share the photographs with you but not the recipe as it is clear I definitely need to work on my macaroon skills!
Apart from macaroon’s we also baked Honesty Healthy Coconut Bread, Christmas Tree Decorations and Fig & Cranberry Chutney. Click on the clicks to take you to the recipes.
Okay so last week I had this beaut little idea to make some brownie loaf’s with a surprise Terry’s Chocolate Orange segment inside. YUM! Chocolate Orange is amazing! I finally get round to making them and all is going well until my oven timer goes off and I open the door thinking woooo brownies, look down and BOOM! There are these sad blocks of sunken chocolateyness. What on earth has happened here!?
Now if I was going to pretend like I did this on purpose I would call this bake.. Spooky Halloween Graves and maybe make sugar paste skeletons and pop them inside. But as I have learnt over the years things do go wrong and even though it can be very annoying it definitely does teach you a few things.
So what caused this catastrophe? I did a bit of research and found out that brownies can sink for a few reasons:
The oven temperature is too high
The tray is too high in the oven
The mixture has been over mixed
However, I think the main culprit here is my little addition of the segments. I should have filled the tin up a tiny bit, put them segment in then added in the rest of the mixture. This would have allowed the brownies to rise around the segment, leaving it gooey in the middle. What I did was fill it all the way up then push a segment in at the top, this meant that when the brownies baked the mixture wasn’t thick enough to be able to stick together and rise; and so it sank! Another way to resolve this problem would have been to chop the segments up into smaller pieces and mix them into the brownie mix before transferring it to the tin.
My terrible effort to recover the sunken brownies! Needless to say they tasted bloomin’ good and were all eaten with no complaints… never judge a book by its cover and all that 🙂