The Bakes

Cornish Saffron Bread

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My antique bundt tin says hello to an unusually flavoured traditional loaf.

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A buttery, milky dough, made with white spelt flour, is laced with saffron threads, raisins and sultanas.

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All crowned with a ring of dried apricots. (That’s additional to the traditional.)

Maybe slightly dry and could be sweeter? So perhaps a generous honey glaze next time? Yes, I think honey and saffron could work a treat.

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Bara Bundt

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Traditional highly decorated earthenware moulds like this used to be part of a bride’s trousseau in parts of Europe, and would be given along with the family kugelhopf recipe.

The moulds would be hung as kitchen ornaments when not in use. And here is a fine example that is about to add adornment to a little kitchen here in mid Wales.

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Just like the traditional kugelhopf, the Welsh speckled bread that is Bara Brith was originally made for special occasions such as Harvest, Easter and Christmas.

And just like many a kugelhopf, this yeasted bake incorporates beaten egg, mixed spice, dried fruit and mixed peel.

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So why not, for a change, bake this celtic classic in a kugelhopf kind of way?

Chocolate and Cherry Kugelhopf

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A couple of days ago I acquired this lovely old piece of kitchenware.

A beautiful baking tool had arrived, as had the time to make my first Kugelhopf.

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Originating from Alsace in France, the Kugelfopf has since made it’s way throughout Austria and Germany (and now to my home in mid Wales!).

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I have taken my instruction from Roger Pizey’s book, World’s Best Cakes.

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And to be a little different, where there are usually almonds or walnuts, I have placed glace cherries.

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The dough is quite like that of Brioche, and for this bake I have used white spelt flour.

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A dark chocolate ganache runs through the middle and an apricot glaze glistens on top.

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A Medieval Tart of Brie

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Tarty like it’s 1399!

From ‘To the King’s Taste: Richard II’s Book of Feasts and Recipes Adapted for Modern Cooking’.

Probably the best way I can describe this bake is that it’s somewhere between sweet and savoury, and it’s a kind of cheesecake-tart-quiche-pudding.

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Beautifully light, delicately flavoured, and nestling in a shortcrust pastry case, I love this magical mix of Brie, double cream, saffron, brown sugar, nutmeg, salt, pepper and eggs.

And I’m always up for a mix of history and cookery.

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Galette des Rois

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King Cake.

In France this is traditionally baked at the beginning of January to celebrate twelfth night, when it is said the three wise men, or three kings, went to Bethlehem to see the newborn baby Jesus.

The baker usually places a small trinket inside, and whoever is served with the slice containing the trinket gets to be king (or queen) for the day. (Yes, each slice comes with a dental safety warning!)

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My all-butter puff pastry encases a sweet frangipane filling. Although rum is traditionally added, I have instead chosen to add an appropriately middle-eastern flavour with orange blossom water. This has also been added, along with vanilla extract, to the stock syrup coating.