Homemade raspberry jam

Week (18) of cakes, jam and the three-great-cookbooks discovery!

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Cake news and fun

This last week witnessed my epic battle with a Swedish Princess cake, totally worthwhile for a little trip to cake heaven floating on soft spongy creamy layers with homemade jam and marzipan.  The recipe will be with you shortly but you can already find my easy raspberry jam page here.  Then an enthusiastic baking reader, Kate from Cornwall, sent me the most wonderful recipe which led to a delicious black and blue berry nice summer tart with a hint of mint.Week 18 PhototasticCollage-2015-06-05-12-43-26

Of course old recipes are often revisited.  But though I’d made lovely spelt croissants in Barcelona, the first batch created in the UK for mum just didn’t stay puffed enough.  Was it the butter?  Was it the coarser white spelt flour?  In my quest to solve the mystery I produced a second batch this week using standard unsalted President butter and half spelt flour, half 00 flour.  Not perfect but much better with puffing, flaking and honeycomb structure.

CroissantsAdapting

Why were the second batch better? Maybe the inclusion of 00 flour, the change in butter or paying more attention and adapting the recipe for the less humid environment of London.  These were my discoveries:  a ‘drier atmosphere’ means you should cover your croissants loosely with clingfilm when they’re proving so they don’t ‘crust up’.  Since it’s also colder the proving (rising) time is longer – I waited 3 hours instead of two for the croissants to double in size and eventually placed them near a warm oven, which helped. So flexibility is the name of the game with breads and viennoiserie, adapting to your own particular variations in flour, butter, humidity and temperature.  Eek.CroissantsBliss and energy

Finally, I felt the need for extra oomph so threw together some super healthy spirulina bliss balls which turned out to contain no spirulina!  Oops, that green powder I’d been handed wasn’t spirulina but a new superfood called Moringa Tree.  Which explains why our bliss balls tasted blissfully delicious.  Moringa Tree – yum!   Plus dates, goldenberries, dried cherries, pecans and cocoa nibs.  Again, yum!  Looking forward to being healthy and more alert (I live in hope) with these tasty bites!  🙂

‘Stuff you guys made from the blog’ gallery

There were a couple of awesome new additions to the gallery.  Kate from Cornwall (yes, she’s a busy baker!) posted a photo of her lovely coffee Gateau Moka on the facebook fan page.  It’s beautiful, with such impressively pretty piping and Kate later wrote the cake was ‘delish’.

Le Gâteau Moka

A stunning Gâteau Moka made by Kate in Cornwall.

Then Annette from New Zealand sent in a shot of her Lamingtons and confirmed they were delicious and moist.  They look very yummy and tempting!

Lamingtons

Some extremely tasty-looking Lamingtons made by Annette in New Zealand.

It’s always lovely to see the cakes you make from the blog so please feel free to send them to liliscakes@liliscakes.com or post them on the facebook fanpage.

Exciting cookbook discoveries!

Also can’t wait to explore new recipes in three books I’ve recently discovered browsing in bookshops and on mum’s shelf.  I’m sharing them here as you might love them too!  🙂

CookbooksDo you have any of these books?  What’s your favourite baking or cookbook and do you have a collection of them?  And what have you been baking?

Always nice to see and hear from you sweet reader.  Wishing you a wonderful fun weekend exploring, adapting and innovating in the kitchen and in life! 🙂 x

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Making cakes with my French mother on Sundays was an important part of my childhood. As an adult I then experimented with baking books and internet recipes and did a great patisserie course in Le Cordon Bleu Paris. I'm still trying out new recipes and creating some of my own cakes with influences from all around the world, adding some healthy ones to the repertoire. Yes, I love cakes!!! :)

13 thoughts on “Week (18) of cakes, jam and the three-great-cookbooks discovery!”

    • Thanks Julie, the book looks great and am considering getting it too! I wouldn’t mind a reference for cooking basics. Nice to know that you have loads of cookbooks! 🙂

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      • I have a lot of Mark Bittman cookbooks. They are so worth the money. I love that I can open any of them to any page and find a recipe I already have the ingredients to make.

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      • That is very handy … I’m getting more and more persuaded to buy one! 🙂

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      • I have a mad passion for Mark Bittman and his recipes. He is the first cookbook author I have ever found that shares the same food philosophy as I have.

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      • It’s nice to find that! I feel that way about the Hairy Bikers. I have 5 or more of their books too. They’re such friendly guys who love their food and their recipes are great! 🙂

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    • Thanks for introducing me to the Barefoot Contessa Linda … am looking through her books and very tempted to get some too! 🙂 Both her and her recipes looks very approachable.

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      • I’ll be sharing a recipe inspired by one of hers today! Check it out and let me know what you think 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I still go back to The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer … when I am in need of technical advice or a good recipe. I don’t use cookbook enough anymore. … Darn Internet! 😦 Have a great weekend :)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thanks Quinn! It looks like a real classic and useful American cookbook… all you guys have introduced me to such interesting books. I’m having a ‘how many books should I order from Amazon’ dilemna! 🙂 Internet is great too though and I think it’s brilliant for recipes and extra information. Have a lovely weekend too! 🙂

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  2. Hello, Ms. Lili, those croissants look delicious. The Lady’s favorite cookbook of late is Jerusalem by Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. She also likes a little book called Dakshin, which is all South Indian recipes.

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    • Hello Albert! Glad you like the croissants! My mother has Jerusalem and is an Ottolenghi fan too – the recipes and book look very interesting! Another cookbook to browse and consider. 🙂 And Dakshin looks great for Indian food! Thank you! 🙂

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