October 2022 Baking Round Up

Once again I’ve not kept up to date with my blog, even though there has been several attempts to write posts over the last few weeks. It’s the same with my Facebook page. There’s always something which gets forgotten about and neglected.

So this post is rounding up what has been made in the SmartCookieSam kitchen over the past few weeks. Brace yourself for the long post and lots of photos!

We had Pineapple Upside Down Cake one Sunday lunch. This was another bake to scratch off the #100bakeschallengeposter and was delicious heated up with custard. I used my Nordicware Pineapple Upside Down Pan and the recipe featured on the Nordicware website. This recipe is American so therefore uses cup measurements. I was able to convert the recipe with a little bit of help from Google, though.

Another #100bakeschallenge was to make Viennese Whirls. I am not very good at these as it’s always a problem getting the biscuit dough to the right consistency to pipe. I either get it too stiff so it won’t pipe or it comes out in a big blog. My latest effort was too stiff so the mixture ended up being moulded into some sort of circle. Then I had a disaster in the kitchen when I dropped them on the floor. Half the biscuits ended up in the bin. I had seven whirls left so they went to work and literally vanished as soon as I put them down on the table in the staff room.

On the week that Red Velvet Cakes were featured on this year’s Bake Off, I decided to make a Red Velvet Bundt cake using my Nordicware Elegant Party Bundt Pan. I used the recipe from Beautiful Bundts, a book which I bought on my last trip to Canada back in 2018.

Shortbread Baking was the order of the day in late September. One batch with added chocolate chips, the other plain and simply dusted with caster sugar.

This cake was meant to be a Bundt version of a Battenburg Cake. But although it tasted like one, the appearance was very offputting. I didn’t melt the marzipan enough and it was too stiff for the top of the cake. It was meant to be like a runny glaze. You live and learn, I suppose. The recipe was from www.goodhousekeeping.com

Another #100bakeschallenge was to make Gingerbread People. It’s been ages since I’ve baked them and they were my favourite thing to bake growing up as a child. The buttons were some Forest Fruit flavour M&Ms I bought when on holiday in New York earlier this year. They were an odd flavour but the colours were pretty.

With the remaining M&Ms from the Times Square store Pick n Mix, I added them to digestive biscuits, melted white chocolate, butter and marshmallows to make a white chocolate Rocky Road.

I had a bag of Cadbury’s Mini Fudge pieces so I put these into some cookie bars. I use Jane’s Patisserie’s website for the basic recipe and then add in whatever sweets or chocolates I have in my stash at home.

Triple Chocolate Brownies. Always a huge hit from Jane’s Patisserie’s website and also featured in her first recipe book.

Another bake inspired by the Bake Off! This time it was Lemon Meringue Pie and I used a combination of the recipe from the first GBBO recipe book (for the filling) and Prue Leith’s recipe from the latest book. It was a dessert to eat at home for Sunday lunch and both Mr S and I enjoyed it with a pouring of double cream on the side.

It was my daughter’s birthday in October. Over the last few years she has asked me for a birthday cheesecake rather than a cake. This year she chose a Kinder Bueno Cheesecake and I added some cute Kinder Hippos to the top of the cheesecake. The cheesecake went down really well and once again I used Jane’s Patisserie to help me. I prefer her cheesecake recipe as it doesn’t require gelatine to set it.

I had plenty of Kinder chocolate and Kinder Buenos left from the cheesecake so I made them into Rocky Road.

The Gingerbread Traybake with gingerbread icing (flavoured with Sugar and Crumbs Icing Sugar) and mini Gingerbread People was a Mary Berry inspired traybake packed full of both ground ginger and small chunks of stem ginger.

I attempted to make Paul Hollywood’s Naan Bread recipe from the Great British Bake Off website to go with our Chicken Korma. For this I used a recipe from BBC Food.

It was Hallowe’en and pre- pandemic I used to make little treats for the Trick or Treaters knocking on my door. I planned to do this again this year and leave a box of treats outside my gate to avoid upsetting the dog with all the comings and goings!

I found some Hallowe’en Percy Pigs in M&S a few weeks back and bought two packets to decorate some Empire Biscuits with. I saved the traditional pink Percys for another time. My Empires were a bit smaller than usual as I used the same cutter I used for my Party Rings. (see below)

Party Rings were another challenge from the #100bakeschallenge poster but instead of the traditional pastel colours, I chose to use orange icing to make it more Hallowe’en. I was already using the orange icing for the pumpkin gingerbread cookies so I kept the same colour to avoid waste. My feathering icing isn’t that neat (lots more practice needed) but they tasted great and that’s what counts.

I baked some Vanilla Hallowe’en themed cupcakes. I got a bit heavy handed with the orange food colouring and it came out a bit dark. So excuse me if everyone who eats them goes around buzzing from all the additives! I added Hallowe’en Colin Caterpillar sweets to the orange cupcakes which were a huge hit! I love Colin Caterpillars, especially the fizzy ones!

For the other batch of cupcakes I used a special Hallowe’en cupcake case and pick set. It had been in my stash from last year and I can’t even remember where I bought it from. I did buy the Hallowe’en sprinkles from one of my favourite go-to shops in my area for baking supplies- Lewis and Cooper in Northallerton.

My final bake of October: some cheeky Gingerbread pumpkins. I absolutely adore making and decorating shaped biscuits and these pumpkins were no exception. The googly eyes are from Cake Decor, available from most big supermarkets but I think these came from Waitrose.

So there you have it! Another month over with two more months to go until the end of the year. Watch out to see what I plan to bake in November and on into December!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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