It’s the beginning of July and I’ve been so behind with my SmartCookieSam blog. It seems I only have time to update it in the school holidays at the moment and that really upsets me as I love doing it. I’ve had a busy time recently and as normal, the blogging gets pushed to the wayside as I try to juggle everything else.
So what has been happening chez SmartCookieSam? I have been baking, believe it or not. As well as that, I have been concentrating on my day job as well as crocheting blankets. More of that later. So I’ve decided to put everything all into one long blog post this month and try to continue as “normal” in July. Then again, July is also going to be a very busy month.
As you know, the very first weekend of June 2022 was taken up with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. I was extremely busy baking for this, with lots made. You can see more of that in a previous post Baking Update! which was published on June 6th!
As part of the #100bakeschallenge I made a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are a huge favourite and I often make these. They have to be slightly underbaked and gooey for my taste.
Mr SmartCookieSam and my daughter both love a quiche and this was our dinner one night with some salad and extra new potatoes for the hubby. I had enough pastry and mixture left to create another mini Quiche. I had this one night with some salad and it was absolutely delicious.
I’d never heard of Tottenham Cake before and had to research online about its origins. It was created by a local Quaker baker about 100 years ago. It is a sponge base and topped with pink icing. Originally flavoured and coloured with mulberries found growing at the Tottenham Quaker Burial Ground in North London, it wa sold for one penny a square. I chose to bake a BBC Good Food Recipe version of this to complete this challenge. The sponge was baked in a Traybake tin and flavoured with lemon zest. The icing was with raspberries, rather than mulberries. Occasionally the topping would be sprinkled with dessicated coconut but I have also seen it left plain or decorated with sprinkles. I chose to use sprinkles as not everyone likes coconut.
Eccles Cakes, which was a much requested bake from Mr SmartCookieSam who absolutely adores Eccles Cakes. I used Paul Hollywood’s recipe from his British Baking book published several years ago. It uses ready made puff pastry and the currants are flavoured with a little rum and lemon zest. They were utterly delicious!
I had a few bananas going ripe and I wanted to make some Banana Bread to stop them going to waste. One of my favourite Banana Bread/ Loaf recipes is this Banana Bread one.
During the 3rd week in June, we had a stressful situation at home. I had been extremely busy making lots of Rocky Road for an order and then made extra cakes for serving at my step mum’s house for my family after scattering my Dad’s ashes. We had a massive power cut which left our village and several surrounding villages without electricity for eight hours. The power went off as I was in the middle of trying to melt chocolate for some of my special Chocolate Orange Tiffin (aka Terry’s Tiffin). I was up very early the following morning to bake a lemon and lime drizzle bundt and some Sticky Toffee cupcakes.
I had some Baci chocolates and chocolate spread which I had kept from my haul when I went to Eataly London back in February and turned these into some rather special brownies.
Finally, after a gap of more than two years (down to the pandemic/ lockdown) we had our first Cake Club Gathering over in Meanwood, Leeds. I didn’t have time to make a big fancy cake as it was 2pm by the time I got home from work, cleaned up and had lunch. So I baked three different recipes to add to my #100bakeschallenge: Butterfly Buns, Chocolate Chip Muffins and some Millionaire’s Shortbread.
My Millionaire’s Shortbread was made using a ready made jar of Banoffee Caramel Sauce which I bought in Aldi a couple of months ago and forgot I had it. I’m surprised one of my Baking Cupboard Fairies hadn’t nicked it!
The other bake was some Chocolate Chip Muffins. I love baking Muffins and this is the third and final Muffin recipe from the #100bakeschallenge. If you like muffins, do check out my #100bakeschallenge: Raspberry and white chocolate muffins (Muffin Monday!) recipe or my Blueberry Muffins- #100bakeschallenge (24) recipe.
Looking at the Butterfly Buns you’d be thinking well they’re not Butterfly Buns! They’re cupcakes decorated with sugarpaste butterflies. Only the past two times I’ve made Butterfly buns, they have come out with flat tops. There isn’t any cake to slice off the top and make into butterfly wings. So instead, I had to do something else as it’s typical. When you want a flat top they come out domed or the other way! So annoying!
Hoping I can get back on track next month!
Love Sam xx