Gravey and Rice

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Well, I have been baking, just not doing much blogging. Three kids, a job, a husband and a...erm...messy house will do that to you. So, what have I made latley? Well, a couple of recipes from my new baking illustrated book! Which I'm finding to be SO much fun. I love reading about the different techniques they've tried and what worked and what maybe was not so good.

First, I made Blueberry muffins. Which I've never made from scratch before. First problem- my muffin pan is not a proper muffin pan. If I'm correct it is some sort of fairy cake pan, which are just small, muffin shaped cakes here in Britain. Of, course I've never really used the thing so it didn't occur to me that there would be a problem. Using paper muffin cups, it wasn't to bad, though since the pan is very shallow, the muffins were really pretty flat, though they held their shape better. But, I decided to try the second batch without the muffin cups. Well, these werent terrible, but they spread quite a bit so overall looked like funky squat little pancakes...

As the muffins cooled I melted some butter over the stove and combine some cinnamon and sugar. Then I dipped the muffin tops into the butter and rolled them in the cinnamon sugar- a tip suggested by the cookbook.

The muffins weren't that great right out of the oven, they were still to hot and wet to really be enjoyable, and tasted awfully rich. Especially with the cinnamon sugar topping. With a whole heaping tablespoon of baking soda, I had worried about a possible aftertaste, but couldnt detect anything. I added some chopped strawberries as well, just because we love strawberries. They were good, but I think contributed a bit to the wetness of the muffin. I was all set to mark the muffins as a failure, but ended up taking some to work with me. Toward the end of the night I wandered into the staff room and picked up the last muffin. The room temperature muffins tasted great. Absolutley delicious. I was really shocked by this turn of events and as soon as I got home, tried another one to be sure- fantastic. As my husband hates all things cinnamon or blueberry he missed out on these, but the kids were eager guinea pigs and declared them a hit. I can't wait to make them again! Pictures and recipe coming soon...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Strawberry Buckle!

Well, I really liked the idea of the Raspberry Buckle, but the real thing didn't live up to the expectation. So, I thought I'd try again with strawberries. Yum. Love strawberries. This time I also went out and bought a new ceramic rectangular baking dish. Hooray! A new baking dish and strawberries! This was going to be great.

The batter is really simple to make; it only took a few minutes. Then I halved a half pint of strawberries and layered them on top. This is where I went wrong. Strawberries are of course a heavier berry. So, instead of the batter rising up and nicely encasing the berries; they simply sank to the bottom. Damn. But, I imagine that can be easily remedied in the future by quartering the strawberries instead and scattering them over the top.

The dish only takes about 20 minutes to bake. So, I did some washing up and played with the baby while I waited. About halfway through I did notice the top becomning overly brown, so I covered it with some tin foil. Great stuff, tin foil. (Aluminum, HA!) I was really really pleased with how it came out, lovely and puffy and nicely brown- I couldn't wait to dig in! Now, the one thing I loved about the rasberry buckle, was the cream I had whipped up to go with it. With a bit of powdered sugar, it was the perefect accompaniment. I couldnt have the strawberry buckle without the cream! I've started using double cream for whipping, as opposed to "whipping" cream. And I find it much easier to work with. It doesnt take as long to whip, and it's much fuller and creamier. I think it tastes much better. So, we had to have some of that...

Right well, I think this dessert is just about done. Time to serve it up and eat! My new giant plastic spatula came in handy here. I was able to lift out each piece easily, without worrying about scratching the pan, or breaking the pieces. Lovely.

Time to eat! And a truly delicious dessert! Thanks, Martha.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Does My Blog Look Good In This

Well, I gathered all my courage and entered my carrot cake into the most recent DMBLGIT competition. I never really entertained the notion that I might win, but I was happy with the picture itself and I was really excited to be apart of it. I think all the pictures were really good, and all the dishes looked absolutley scrumptious!

Congratulations to all the winners!

I will enter again this month, but I have no idea what though- one thing- it's going to have to be pretty good to beat them this time around! Good thing I have those new cookbooks!