Wednesday, 29 July 2009

BBB: Bakers Blogoversary Battenberg!

It all started with a little conversation like this, exactly one year ago...
ME: I’d like a blog…when I’m older I’ll start my own blog.
SISTER:Why not just start one now?
ME: *long pause* Because I can’t!
SISTER: Why? You bake enough!
ME: *long pause*
A couple of hours and some pootling on Blogger later, Teen Baker was born!
20I can’t believe that it has been a whole year since I started, with my first bake of Welsh Cakes! Although I don’t want this to become a soppy speech, I do feel like I’ve come a long way in this one year! And I do want to thank all you readers who comment here because thats what keeps me going! Marie, Steph, Jessy, Ash, George – and everyone! Thank you – I hope Teen Baker has many more years to come :)
To celebrate my first blogoversary, I made a Blogoversary Battenberg :)
I’ve always liked battenberg cakes, even if purely for their pink and yellow checked prettiness. The thought of someone thinking, “hmm, if I dyed half my cake pink…and then stacked it checkerboard style..wouldn’t that be good?” just makes me smile :) In reality, the battenberg cake origin is not 100% certain but is thought to have been created in honour of the royal 1884 marriage between Queen Victoria’s granddaughter and the Prince Louis of Battenberg. The four cake squares in the cake are thought to represent all four Battenberg princes: Louis, Alexander, Henry, and Francis-Joseph.
14 Lots of desserts which look extra pretty often include extra hassle, extra work. Other than the final assembly, and perhaps one extra bowl – battenberg dispels this myth! Once you start investigating recipes and actually baking it: you realise how simple it is: just a sponge dyed different colours, layered and wrapped in marzipan! Proper layered sponge cakes are way more complicated because of the balancing act that goes on: with a battenberg loaf as long as the little rectangles of cake are even, the assembly is a pretty simple job.
28 I am proud of this cake and its checked glory – it tasted mighty good too :) I found the recipe here, except I used shop bought marzipan. This battenberg cake proves that again you can easily bake things which you normally buy! Hopefully its success is a good omen for the coming Teen Baker years!
PS. Im off on my summer holiday for two weeks now, but I have scheduled posts which should hopefully come up - including the most delicious ice cream, and part 2 of the chocolate museum!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

German Chocolate Museum! (1)

In the middle of this month, I was lucky enough to visit Germany with my school for a week, hence the quiet Teen Baker July ;). We were staying in a village (Bad Munstereifel)about 90mins from Cologne (or Koln in German) and a similar distance from the German theme park Fantasialand! But, the aim of this post is to share the rather splendid joys of the Schokoladenmuseum we visited in Colgone.

Images © Raimond Spekking / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)
As well as having sections of the museum devoted to showing visitors the history of chocolate, cocoa bean farming, the lives of cocoa farmers, cocoa distribution and chocolate advertising – the most interesting section was the chocolate production area which was held in the big glass rooms at the end of the huge museum (top picture). This part of the museum is partnered with Lindt chocolates, so the working machines and five foot chocolate fountain were all pouring out molten Lindt chocolate. The most famous Lindt is probably the melt-in-your-mouth truffles. Although the machines making the inner melty truffle weren’t on display for the public, the finishing stages were and were utterly mouth watering to watch and is what I want to share with you today…
Firstly, cold truffles are lined up ready to be covered in their final coating of milk chocolate…
Then they go under the mini chocolate waterfall and are covered in a whole new layer of deliciousness AKA Lindt chocolate…
Next, the truffles are rolled along this vibrating conveyor belt to “rough up” the layer…
The next conveyor belt dries and cools the truffles so that they are ready…
GERMANYYYYY 132 be rolled into boxes….
GERMANYYYYY 133 and lovingly wrapped, ready for the shops!
Hope you enjoyed the photos! Next up, the cafe photos and top chocolate facts !!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Crunchy Lemon Pie?

There are so many different places to get great ideas and recipes from today. Previous generations may have had family recipes and a few cookbooks. Then came the rise of the celebrity chef – and Nigella, Jamie, Gordon et al gave us hundreds of new recipes promising to make us look like culinary gods/goddesses. Then they were TV programmes – who could resist some sumptuous fish recipe after it was shown to them by Rick Stein as he sailed through various parts of Europe/the Mediterranean cooking and eating all sots of delicacies.

Now we also have a huge variety of magazines and “Food Sections” in the papers ever month or week – providing us with more inspiration. And so the Saturday Times Weekend Section recently combined two recipe sources: by showing a readers family recipe in the food-section each week – therefore family secrets available for the nation (like blogs..?). And hence where this weeks recipe was from!

idas,zoo,cupcakes,lemon 179 It was described, in the paper, as Crunchy Lemon Pie. Really, its more a refrigerated lemon cheesecake: but HEY the most important aspect is it was delicious! Absolutely delicious! Thick and creamy lemon filling, combined with the sweet crunch of the gingernut crust – aah. Its perfect for the hot weather we have been having recently, and the summer season altogether, as you don’t need an oven and its lovely and refreshing. And all so easy! This should definitely be a new family favourite.

idas,zoo,cupcakes,lemon 185You can see just how thick and luscious it was from this photo! Some notes: although the recipe suggests 7tbsps of lemon juice and 3 lemon zests, I think I ended up using around 5 lemons? Alright they were rather small – but this dessert is best when the filling has a strong flavour and kick to it – rather than being just bland. As long as we (my Mummy and I) tasted as we went along it was good – and trust me, it will be hard NOT to taste as you go!

idas,zoo,cupcakes,lemon 184Simple, classy, flavourful, wow-factor: why are you still reading? Go make this brilliant summer dessert! Find the recipe here.