Annie Bell‘s Baking Bible is the most recent addition to my cookbook collection, courtesy of a birthday present from someone wonderful. I leafed through the book, marking each recipe I fancied trying soon, only to be left with a book that resembled a multicoloured hedgehog. Annie has too many tempting treats for me to try.
A lunch date with friends provided a good opportunity for trying out one of the recipes. I asked the lucky recipients to specify two ingredients that I should include; they chose chocolate (weirdly), and raspberries. What do you know?! Good old Annie had just the thing.
- Annie’s recipes are laid out really helpfully in the book, with details of the equipment needed as well as the ingredients. She seemed very keen on using a food processor, so I obeyed. This made things easier physically, but I don’t think that my actual kit is all that great. The crumble topping went way past breadcrumbs to something more like dough (over-mixing or butter not cold enough?). I am sure I could have done a better job by hand, and will do so next time.
- The batter was really easy to make. I followed another recipe idea I’d seen and filled the cases halfway, then popped two whole raspberries in each before covering with the remaining batter.
- Thanks to icing sugar, my favourite fancy-looking muffin cases and some edible hearts (candy, not offal), I think my muffins looked highly professional.
- The raspberry placement worked well, so every cake had a guaranteed fruity core. I think they could have done with one more each though.
- I was proud to take these to lunch with me, and took extras for my friends’ other halves to try. The verdict was a unanimous thumbs up. Success!
- Baking lessons learnt:
- Things like crumble are often easier to do by hand. I think that what probably happened was that the heat generated by my amateurish food processor warmed the butter too much, leading to everything turning doughy. That sounds plausible.
- Physical progress:
- These were really easy, especially as I didn’t need to do much hand mixing.
- As I had bought the ingredients in advance in a fit of organisation, I was able to just whip these up in the morning before going to lunch, like some sort of domestic goddess (who leaves a trail of icing sugar, washing up and edible decorations in her wake).
If you want to have a go:
This bake, I have been mostly listening to:
I’m a huge fan of UK Garage, and tracks like this sound so very very good now that the sun’s come out – when the wind isn’t blowing you can almost imagine it’s summer!
Caroline Crimson x