Posts by Jenny:
- Weight the flour and salt into a bowl.
- Mix the water and oil in a jug, stirring in the dried yeast to activate it, leave it for a couple of minutes until it starts to froth a little.
- Drain and chop the olives and set aside.
- Create a well in the flour and add the liquid.
- Bring together with a wooden spoon, then knead for 15 minutes by hand or for 10 minutes using a dough hook on an electric mixer.
- Add the olives to the dough and knead until they are well distributed throughout the dough.
- Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen (this is the tricky bit to explain!) stretch the dough out until you have formed a thin sheet about 1cm thick.
- Fold into thirds – imagine you’re folding an A4 letter to go into a standard envelope.
- Starting at one of the thinner ends, roll the dough towards you, using your thumbs to tightly tuck the roll so it stays taut, you don’t want any gaps in the roll.
- Place the loaf in to a floured tin (I like this stone one), sprinkle with flour, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise a second time, for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size again.
- About 30-40 minutes in, turn your oven on as high as it will go (mine was about 250C) you want it screaming hot. If you have a baking stone – I used my pizza stone – put this in the oven now too.
- 10 minutes before your dough is ready put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
- Remove the clingfilm and put the tin in the oven for and set a timer for 10 minutes.
- When your alarm goes off, remove the water tray from the oven and let some of the steam out, and turn the oven down to 210C.
- Cook for a further 15 minutes, you know when it is cooked because it will sound hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
- Leave to cool, if you can wait that long, and then enjoy!
- Preheat the oven to 180C, line a 8x8 inch tin with baking paper.
- Put all your ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth. This only works if the butter and eggs are at room temperature, I have never found any difference in results doing this compared with creaming the sugar and butter first.
- Pour into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Depending on your oven you may need to rotate the tray halfway through baking to make sure it cooks evenly. I thought this was an unnecessary step at my old flat, but the oven at my new place is hotter towards the front right, you learn something new every day!
- Leave the sponge to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and allow to cool to room temperature on a rack.
- To make the curd, whisk together the sugar and yolk in a heavy bottomed pan until slightly paler and creamy.
- Put the pan on a medium heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Keep stirring until the curd begins to thicken. Remove from the heat when you notice the first few bubbles. You want the curd to be slightly thicker than normal as you want it to be able to support the top layer of sponge.
- Leave to cool to room temperature.
- To assemble, cut out two circles of cake. I used a 3 ½ inch cookie cutter this time, but I have used an appropriately sized glass in the past.
- Spread half of the yoghurt on to the base sponge, and arrange 2/3rds of the raspberries in a circle on top.
- Carefully spoon the curd over the layer of raspberries, and top with final layer of sponge.
- Dollop the rest of yoghurt onto the middle of the cake and tumble the rest of the raspberries into it.
- Serve immediately. Without a full crust to the cake it will begin to dry out within a couple of hours.
- Throw everything into a blender until smooth.
- Taste, and add honey if needed.
- Best drunk straight away.
I mentioned last week that I would be starting a second new series sharing what I have been loving around the web this week, and here it is! Dan’s sister is getting married in six days and I am so excited, I’ve been trying to stick to healthy food in preparation so lots or smoothies and salads. This meant that I finally got round to trying Deliciously Ella’s massaged kale salad. The dressing was incredible, so creamy and savoury which was a great contrast against the slightly bitter leaves.
I love the vegetarian recipes on A Beautiful Mess, and tried my first one this week, Southwest Baked Eggs. I deviated slightly from their instructions as it is great vehicle for any produce you have in the bottom of your fridge. I included purple kale and tomatillos in mine and they were amazing. On the topic of ABM has anyone tried their Party Party app yet? We were playing around with it outside the Royal Albert Hall last night and it was so much fun, I can’t wait to break it out at gatherings later this summer. The gif function is hilarious to watch back.
One of the best things about working for a chef is the fantastic food I get to eat, yesterday I was lucky enough to be included in this huge feast. If you’re ever in east London I cannot recommend Uyen Luu’s supper club highly enough. Her recipe for Vietnamese chicken salad is my absolute favourite and I can’t believe I haven’t made it myself yet.
I want to do: a version of this IKEA hack by Treasure and Travels, as the built in desk at our new apartment is so high I have to balance on a pile of cushion to reach my keyboard. I also need to do something with this huge coffee table we just about managed to get home via public transport.
I want to eat: Rachel’s fantastic Provincial style dinner party menu, doesn’t it just look absolutely stunning! And all the dishes were made before the guest arrived which makes entertaining so much easier.
This was really interesting: Design Sponge’s take on jealousy, I loved the line ‘There is no faster or clearer tool for showing you exactly what you want’. It’s well worth a read no matter what your profession.
Next week I will be making: Reading My Tea Leaves’ tomato free panzanella, because my intolerance to one of the main ingredients means that until now I have been missing out.
Foodie fact of the week: Artichoke stems are incredibly bitter, so you need to remove them before making tea – learnt that the hard way!
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Summer in the city means picnics, picnics, picnics. Okay so I may have changed the Regina Spektor lyrics slightly. Between massive storms (that are slightly more terrifying from high up in a tower block) and nipping back to Canterbury for the annual CAMRA beer festival I have been whipping out my picnic blanket as much as humanly possible. It may be a sign of my London naivety but I will take as many meals overlooking sparkling skyscrapers as I can.
Last night we hopped on a tube to Vauxhall to catch an outside cinema showing of the Big Lebowski. Sunday we rode our bikes to the Columbia Road Flower Market and stopped off for milkshakes at the Back To The Future pop up on Hackney Road. Summer in the city means text message made plans, wish lists as long as my arm and packing a blanket and sandwiches bundled in foil.
On Monday I shared a recipe for white bread speckled with black olives. I ate more than my fair share of that bread thickly covered in butter by the slice, but for the rest I had bigger plans. Here are three simple sandwiches all of three ingredients. They work easily well as open sandwiches, the ingredients layered on doorstop wedges of bread, or more traditionally between two slices, packed to be enjoyed out in the fresh air.
The Pescatarian Option
tuna mayo – I like mine with half mayonnaise and half salad cream for a slight tangy finish
finely sliced sugar snap peas
The Vegetarian Option
roasted peppers – toss in a little oil and roast at 180C for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred
The Vegan Option
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As promised here is the first in a new monthly series all about the wonder of homemade bread. Bread has such a special place in my heart, and I love it so much more than cake. There are days when I eat it with every meal but never have the same type twice. There are an infinite amount of variations from types of shape, oven climate, flour used, this list goes on and on and on. The art of bread making is a lost one in most homes, which is slightly ridiculous when you see everyday people whipping up the most stunning dessert creations on instagram. A basic dough consists of only 5 ingredients and needs more of a heavy hand than finesse. All you need is a decent tin, and a little upper arm strength. I have already shared how to make a simple white loaf, and the softest, fluffiest burger rolls, so I thought I would start this series with something a bit special.
I first tried olive bread I was out running errands with my Mother. A local supermarket was handing out samples, and I must have gone back at least three times to try it. The salty fruitiness of olives works so well with the yeasty wheaty flavours of the bread, and brings out the subtle flavours of the olive oil in the loaf (similar to this olive focaccia). Adding an extra ingredient to a plain loaf is such a simple idea, but it immediately elevated it. As soon as I tried it I knew I would be replicating it within days. The process couldn’t have been easier, a chopped pouch of olives to my bread recipe, and within a few hours I had my own loaf wafting mediterranean daydreams fresh from the oven.
It would be far too easy to demolish this whole loaf of bread accompanied only with a few bits from the nearest deli counter. Instead I put together a few ideas for moreish open sandwiches that I will be sharing later this week.
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makes 1 loaf recipe by Jennifer Brown
560g strong white flour
5g sea salt
300ml tepid water
20ml olive oil
5g dried yeast
70g black olives
I can’t quite believe it but today is the three year anniversary of my first blog post. I have grown a lot in the past three years, and with me this space has evolved. I have been thinking a lot about what I have to offer those who read this blog, and have come to the conclusion that it’s more than early onset diabetes.
The accessibility of baking to every home cook is important to me, so with this in mind I am going to start a bread of the month series, kicking off next week with a Black Olive Loaf. Once a week on a Friday, I will also be sharing a few things that have been inspiring me from around the web. I love seeing what other bloggers have enjoyed reading and it’s a great way to show how much I appreciate the blogging community as a whole. There are so many talented people in the food blogging world and I have loved being able to contribute to the huge pool of food love over the past three years.
This time last year I took a moment to remember some of the great things that happened both here on this site and in my life. In keeping with this tradition here are my top 10s from July 18th 2013 to today.
1. Spiced Pear Tarte Tatin – my favourite photo of the last year, and it was so tasty as well!
2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
4. S’more Cupcakes
5. Warm Spiced Cider
6. Chocolate Bundt Cake With Boozy Berry Compote
7. Buttery Leak and Gorgonzola Pancakes
8. Sweet Potato Fries With Two Dipping Sauces
10. Sweet Potato Burgers
So many wonderful things have happened in the last year that it was so hard to reduce them down to just ten things. When I started this blog I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I had a job but not a career, and I lived in a lovely city, but it didn’t feel quite enough. In the last year I have accomplished some of the biggest goals I set myself after I graduated six years ago. I can’t wait to see what happens between now and 18th July 2015, but it has a lot to beat!
1. Dan left his job working with some of his best friends and started a new one in London.
2. I answered a tweeted job advertisement to work on a marshmallow cookbook, and met the food stylist who would offer me a job as her assistant a few months later.
3. Started saying ‘yes’ more, beginning with an impromptu acceptance to visit Winter Wonderland with friends.
4. Drank wine half way up the Shard and started imagining what our life in London would be like (we were so wrong!)
5. I got emailed a job offer and after a lot of soul searching (and financial calculations) decided to make the jump!
6. We packed up our home of three years into a storage locker and went to live with Dan’s parents whilst we found a new home in London.
7. I went on my first hen do! It was hilarious!
8. I left the same job I had been in since I left University. I thought it would be scary, but not a single day has passed that I have regretted that decision.
9. We found our dream home in north Hackney, and moved in 7 days later.
10. I worked on my first commercial, which was the most rewarding and tiring experience of my career so far. I could have slept all the next day!
I have eaten a lot of cake in the last three (ok twenty eight) years, and the ones I have enjoyed the most have been a balance between not overly sweet and with a tart kick from fresh fruit or citrus. I have been obsessed with raspberries since eating a bar of white chocolate with peach and raspberry that Betty & Walter with Creightons Chocolaterie sent me. They are just coming into season, which makes them sweet and bursting with flavour. Using wholemeal flour instead of plain give the sponge a subtle nuttiness which pairs well with the honey and vanilla. I have found in the past that wholemeal flour creates a slightly drier result which makes it important to add more liquid to the mixture to create a moist cake that can hold up without being smothered in frosting.
The quantities for the sponge will make two of these cakes, I upped the size of the recipe to get the desired thickness of sponge. It freezes well, which I had to do promptly after cutting it as I was snacking on broken off wedges dipped into the hot lemon curd I was making. Lemon curd is my go to cake filling, I love the sharpness it adds to a sweet dessert. It is so easy to make at home, since making it for the first time I have never resorted to buying jar.
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serves 2 by Jennifer Brown
For the Sponge:
125g wholemeal plain flour
80g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
3 tbsp greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Curd:
1 egg yolk at room temperature
30g caster sugar
1 tbsp flavourless oil, I like rapeseed
zest of ¼ lemon
25ml lemon juice
75g raspberries, washed and dried
4 tbsp greek yoghurt
On Sunday we celebrated the one month anniversary of moving into our London flat. And by celebrated, what I really mean is we struggled to find enough signal to use an internet banking app to pay our rent whilst trying to work out which bus to catch to the Columbia Road Flower Market. I love living in London, they call New York the city that never sleeps, but even if London does take the odd nap there is still more than enough to keep me occupied, even at 7.30 on a Sunday morning.
As promised way to many weeks ago, here are a few sneak peeks at my new place. The theme throughout, if you can call it that is ‘very bright’. There is so much light, and with our white furniture the rooms almost glow, and I’ve tried to showcase all my favourite brightly coloured possessions. I’ve also thrown in a couple of pictures of the views for good luck, as it makes an amazing change from our last place where the windows looked out into other peoples flats.
I feel completely lost without a morning routine. Now I am not working the traditional 9-5 I find it especially important because it is far to easy to sit down on a day at home alone and suddenly it be gone lunch. Smoothies are my go to breakfast of choice, I throw a handful of ingredients into a blender, leave it whirring whilst I dig out my running gear, and then wash the blender up whilst I drink it. That’s the most important part, never just leave it until later, you will regret it! It takes two minutes whilst it’s still fresh, if I wait until I get back I end up spending 10 minutes scrubbing the thing.
My go to smoothie is frozen berries, banana, kale, oats and almond milk, which fills me up until lunch every day, and makes my skin look far better than normal. As great as it is, I was still feeling in a bit of a smoothie rut, so I have been trying out a few new ideas. Now I can buy all the ingredients for this smoothie in my local Turkish corner shop which I completely love. When I made this, I was still living in a small town but could still find pretty much everything in the nearest large supermarket.
Make sure the apricots are very ripe as they can be a unpleasantly tart if not, if you aren’t sure substitute in peaches instead which are a little kinder on your morning palette. Medjool dates are a relatively new ingredient to me, they are softer and squidgy than their average cousins with undertones of caramel, which makes them very popular in low sugar baking. They are incredibly rich in potassium which helps maintain heart, kidney and muscle health. I love to throw a handful of raw oats into my smoothies, as it helps keep me fuller for longer, rather than grabbing a snack at 9.30, which I generally do when I eat toast for breakfast. This is a sweeter smoothie than I would normally have, which makes it a great choice for people who are trying to get into drinking smoothies
Previously on BAKE
serves 2 recipe by Jennifer Brown
4 very ripe apricots, or 2 ripe peaches
4 medjool dates
200ml almond milk
45g raw porridge oats
honey to taste (you might not need any)