ALL THINGS MARMALADE WITH PADDINGTON BEAR

Hey guys! I feel like I’ve not shown much love to the blog lately. Anyone else find that life is always extra hectic in the run up to Christmas?! I do however post much more regularly over on my Instagram so head over there to keep up to date!

This month, I had the pleasure of working on some bakes inspired by the brand new film, Paddington 2. I have to admit, I'm much more of a thriller and crime lover when it comes to movies but after seeing an advanced screening of Paddington, I was pleasantly surprised! It was such a warming film with plenty of laughs and sweet treats thrown in. 

I'm guessing that the first thing that springs to mind when you think of this lovable bear is his penchant for marmalade sandwiches. Wonderfully tangy, sticky and perfect on hot toast, marmalade is somewhat of an acquired taste. As with most things, homemade tastes far superior to the shop bought kind. Seville Oranges which are needed for a traditional marmalade are only in season for a few weeks in winter so if you can;t get a hold them , simply use some standard oranges for a lighter, sweeter marmalade.

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Not content with just having marmalade with my breakfast, I've also thrown some into a cozy winter Bread and Butter Pudding. Paddington Bear would definitely be proud of this one. Crisp on top, soft and custardy underneath with chunks of tangy marmalade running through it, this is real comfort food. Be sure to use stale bread for this - or else you'll be left with an unpleasantly soggy mess!

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Paddington Bear is also known for his all round sweet tooth, so I also came up with a quick and easy traybake for you to have a go at. Traybakes really take out all the fuss and faff of layering, filling and decorating. They're definitely my go to when I need something for lots of people but in record time. I went for a white chocolate mud cake traybake, which is a bit of a mouthful but oh so delicious. It's a bit more dense and creamy than a standard vicky sponge but still incredibly moist and is one of those cakes that improves after the first day. So it's great for making in advance *yay!*

As this cake is quite sweet, I've just topped it with some vanilla whipped cream. Don't decorate until you're ready to serve and remember to store any leftovers in fridge due to the fresh cream. But do also feel free to go all out and decorate with any buttercream of your choice.  

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Last but not least, I put together a bit of a showstopper cake to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Paddington Bears very special Aunt Lucy. This mammoth cake was topped with all of Paddington's favourite things including marmalade sandwiches, lots of sweet treats and his beloved suitcase.

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You can find the recipes for the marmalade and bread & butter pudding here in the Padddington 2 Cookbook. 


W H I T E  C H O C O L A T E   M U D  C A K E   T R A Y   B A K E

R E C I P E

Ingredients

250g White Chocolate
200g Butter
240ml Milk
170g Caster Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
250g Plain Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt

To decorate

400ml Double Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract

M E T H O D

Preheat oven to 160C/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line an 8inch or 9inch square pan.

Add the chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Whisk in the vanilla and eggs to the chocolate mixture.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour in 3 stages to avoid lumps. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (If you are using a more shallow rectangular tin, baking time will be shorter. Check regularly after 35 minutes.)

Once fully baked allow to cool completely before decorating with whipped double cream and sprinkles.

 

 

CHILLI + RED PEPPER BREAD

If you follow me over on Instagram or Twitter, then you’ve probably seen some pictures floating around recently of me in Ghana! I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to travel there back in June with Compassion UK, an international child development charity who work with over 100,000 children across the world connected with British sponsors.

My time there was spent visiting many of Compassions' projects with a particular focus on food and nutrition, exploring the important role that this plays in the lives of sponsored children. From sourcing ingredients at markets to learning some new Ghanaian recipes with local mums, I had a beautiful week filled with great food and great community. 

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A massive highlight of the trip was meeting a talented group of teenage bakers. Every Friday afternoon, they’d come in and begin the mammoth task of baking bread for over 200 children who attend the project. I was blown away by their work ethic; they took so much pride in their responsibilities and it was such a joy seeing young people so passionate about baking. 

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It was all this bread as well as the big, bold Ghanaian flavours that inspired some of the recipes I created for Come To The Table, a free eBook put together by Compassion filled with stunning recipes from across the world. 

I've given you a sneak peak by sharing one of the recipes below and you can download the rest here! This Chilli and Red Pepper is a favourite of mine, especially as winter draws near. Perfect with a big bowl of soup, it has such a warming flavour and welcome heat from the chillies and ginger.

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R E C I P E

Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Paste
1 Large Red Pepper
2-3 Red Chillies
3 Cloves Garlic
Small chunk fresh Ginger

Bread
500g Bread Flour
7g Instant Yeast
1 ½ tsp Salt
280ml Water, tepid

M E T H O D

To make the paste, cut the pepper in half scooping out the seeds. Place it cut side down in a roasting tin and cook for 20-25 minutes until the skins are wrinkled and slightly charred.

Transfer the pepper to a bowl and cover with cling film for 20 minutes to let it steam. This will make it easier to peel off the skins.

Peel the skins off and transfer them to a food processor with the garlic, chillies and ginger. Pulse until you have a thick and chunky paste.

Make the dough by adding the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add in the water and red pepper paste.

Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to mix and form a shaggy dough. If the dough looks dry, add a splash more water.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for 8-10 minutes until soft and smooth.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Tip the dough onto the worktop, knock the air out and shape into a tight ball. Place onto a lined baking tray and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 8/230C. Once the dough has risen, bake for 25 minutes before reducing the temperature to Gas Mark 6/200C and baking for 15 minutes. Once baked, the bottom of the bread should sound hollow when you tap it.