The Bakes

Danish Strawberry Shortbread

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A simple summer dessert.

Rich, crisp shortbread, incorporating icing sugar, two egg yolks and a little vanilla extract, is topped with glazed strawberries.

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The recipe is from ‘The Complete Bread and Baking Book’ by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake.

I particularly like the hand fluting, just pinching round the edge with my finger and thumb.

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A brief chilling of the fork-pricked base is followed by a 20 minute bake at 150 degrees (fan), then removed from the oven when just firm, before allowing to firm further while cooling.

The fruit is brushed with hot strawberry jelly.

Slices are served cool with cream.

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Hummingbird Cake

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Here I’ve made a favourite from the Southern States of America, following a recipe from Roger Pizey’s ‘World’s Best Cakes’.

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Ground cinnamon, three large eggs, vanilla extract, fresh pineapple, chopped pecans and two bananas have gone into this rich, moist and crumbly triple layered cake.

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The Cream Cheese Frosting has the addition of the grated zest of an orange. I think the fresh edible viola and pansy flowers make this one of my prettiest cakes yet.

I chose to omit Roger Pizey’s chopped pecans as a final sprinkling. I felt it would have been just a little nuttiness too far. I went for some extra orange zestiness instead.

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Cherry Clafoutis

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Here’s an example where looks aren’t everything, but taste certainly is.

There are numerous recipe variations to be found on the classic french dessert.

Here I’ve gone by the word of the classic french chef, Raymond Blanc.

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About a pound of ripe cherries is left to macerate for a couple of hours with a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar.

A couple of eggs are whisked with sugar and almond extract, then flour, milk and cream are added, together with a beurre noisette before adding the cherries.

The mixture is baked for around 35 minutes, then served warm with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a little cream.

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