Today is the last day of the school holidays so I have had my little helpers in the kitchen and credit where credit is due these two worked up a storm, well yes a storm of dust and mess shall I say, but not without some rather terrific results, but before I start going into the messy details, I just quickly wanted to give you a glimpse of this wonderful book, which to be honest I thought would act as the perfect antidote for knowing that we are all feeling a little blue that yet another wonderful series of the Great British Bake Off has come to an end, boohoo! Well done Frances, I was super chuffed that she won, she is super talented.
This book is a wonderful compilation of recipes from the ten home bakers that took part in the GBBO of the Summer of 2010. The book is divided into seven sections, 'Biscuits and Teatime treats, Bread, Tarts and Flans, Pies, Cakes, Puddings and Fancy Pastries', so there is something here for everyone from bread to Coffee and Walnut Cake and oh my Lemon Meringue just to name but a few. I also really like the styling in this book as it has a lovely vintage vibe to it and I think there is something lovely about recreating some of those wonderful GBBO bakes.
Today with small hands around, we opted for something really simple that we could throw in a bowl, mix and pop in the oven. Firstly we made 'Mark's Sticky Marmalade Tea Loaf', which is made with flour (in my case gluten free), butter (or pure olive spread), ground ginger, sugar, mixed nuts, eggs and marmalade. Little J mixed it all in for us, then some fingers attacked it before it got put in a loaf tin and popped in the oven. I love finding recipes like this, they are hassle free and so easy to pull together and I think we all need a little book for last minute cakes, this will most certainly be in mine.
It bakes in the oven for one and a quarter hour, which gave the kids time to make some chocolate chip cookies. Now back in the day my little guilty pleasure most certainly was to indulge in those delicious and giant white chocolate cookies that only Sainsbury's can get right in my opinion, well whether they inspired these or vice versa, these 'Jumbles' are the bizz. I am not sure whether it was the promise of white chocolate, but there was control, precision and complete concentration in a tremendous team effort to get it all made on their own from scratch. J read the recipe and assisted Es with the numbers when they got a bit 'big', there were no quarrels about who was stirring or adding what, it was a smooth and slick operation and at the end there were two very proud kids ready to pop their dollops in the oven.
Some marmalade was added on after the bake as instructed, just to make it 'bittersweet' and having sampled it I can confess that the flavours work really well together. I love the flavour and texture of the mixed nuts, I used hazels, wallnuts and peacans, but you can use whatever you like. What makes this a rather special tea loaf is the contrast between the ginger and bitter orange. I am most certainly NOT a marmalade fan per se, I wouldn't choose to put it on toast or anything like that, but I have discovered over the years, that I do really like it in cake. Now if you are not a fan, I also think this cake would be delicious without adding the marmalade to the top and only adding some to the cake mix, but to be honest it is all a matter of taste. All in all a very enjoyable tea loaf.
As for the 'Jumbles', the feedback was complete silence for all of two minutes before the begging started for the next, but unfortunately they will have to wait till tomorrow for that. Full bellies = happy kids= fifteen minutes for Ma to enjoy a cup of Rooibos and a slice of delicious tea loaf.
This week has signalled the start of the 'Christmas' countdown so to speak. I've ordered our turkey, yeah I know!! and then today I received my monthly Country Living magazine, and with it was a rather marvellous treat, A five week festive guide to help you to stay organised in time for Christmas. I am most certainly a list gal, I like a plan, as much as like things to be rather impulsive at times, but for Christmas I like to feel organised. For me there is just too much going on with school nativities and social gatherings to feel flustered and really by the time schools close I want us all to get into the Christmas zone, therefore relax and unwind. So this little booklet will undoubtedly be put to good use and I love the fact that it comes with some rather lovely recipes as well.
This weekend will be a fairly quiet one for us, I will try and get to the Treacle market on Sunday and I still have bulbs to get in the ground thanks to all this rain we've been having, but I haven't been feeling to clever this week, so we will just to have to see how the wind blows, speaking of which, apparently we are in for a big storm this Sunday in England and Wales with forecasted winds of around 80mph. I truly hope that it is nothing devastating. What do you all have planned for this weekend??
Thank you for all your sweet comments about the arm warmers, you are all very lovely and hopefully at some point I will try and put the pattern on my blog for you to use, but it wont be till December. Just a quick note on the Friday bake before I go and prepare our tea, if any of you would like to link in your bake(s) at any point in the week, please feel free to do so. I have named it Friday Bake largely because that is the day I bake, but I know that some of you would like to link, but the day just doesn't work, so please just link it in at any point during the week there are no rules here. The idea really is just for people to get some inspiration and recipes and there is really nothing more to it. Maybe I should call it Weekly Bake, what do you think? I will give this some thought. For now it preparing our tea for tonight, which will be Chilli. I have recently started to add some chorizo in the pot and oh my what a lovely flavour it adds.