Monday, 17 August 2015


Today the girls started their week of gym and rowing courses in the afternoons and because they need to take a snack they did some baking.

G made Mary Berry's millionaires' shortbread:
(For the shortbread: 
  • 250g plain flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 175g butter, softened
  • For the caramel:
  • 100g butter or margarine
  • 100g light muscavado sugar
  • 2 x 397g cans condensed milk
  • For the topping:
  • 200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180'C/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 13 x 9inch (33x23cm) Swiss roll tin.
    2. To make the shortbread, mix the flour and caster sugar in a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Knead the mixture together until it forms a dough, then press into the base of the prepared tin. Prick the shortbread lightly with a fork and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and very lightly browned. Cool in the tin.
    3. To make the caramel, measure the butter, sugar and condensed milk into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Pour over the shortbread and leave to cool.
    4. For the topping, melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Pour over the cold caramel and leave to set. Cut into squares or bars.) 
    E made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 10 minute cookies but with white chocolate and smarties instead of the suggested dark chocolate:
    • 125g unsalted butter
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 75g soft light brown sugar
    • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 150g plain flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • A pinch of sea salt
    • 100g dark chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks (or use milk chocolate, if you prefer)
    1. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan. Put both sugars into a mixing bowl, pour in the melted butter and beat well with a wooden spoon. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and stir them in, then add the chocolate. You should have a pretty sloppy sort of mixture. 
    2. Place heaped dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on to 2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment, leaving a good 4cm in between each one as they really spread out. Place in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the cookies are turning pale golden brown.
    3. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes to firm up. Then carefully lift the baking parchment on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

    And P, as not to be left out, decorated melted chocolate blobs with sprinkles, smarties and white chocolate.
    These will not get eaten as gym snack as the girls polished them off for tea :). 


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