Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Sous Chef Haul

I've been lusting over sous chef for some time now, I have a wish list as long as my arm. 
Up beside me it's pretty hard to get ahold of unusual or hard to find ingredients and sous chef has solved all problems.. Thank goodness. 
They have every cuisine from Mexican to Korean, you can find most of the ingredients you need to create an authentic dish. 

They also do these amazing create your own hampers, cookbook sets, ingredients and tools everything you need to create the perfect dish!!

I accidentally forgot to add in a few things on my first order so I had to order again with a  few sneaky items. Turn around pretty quick I had my order 2 days after placing the order. 

Little Pod: Bourbon Vanilla Extract 
Sous Chef: Sugar Pearls 
Sous Chef: White Chocolate 
Little Pod: Coffee Extract 
Sous Chef: Freeze Dried Strawberries 
Sous Chef: Rose Petals 
Sous Chef: Tonka Beans 

These beauty's will be making an appearance in posts over the coming weeks so keep an eye out. 


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Orange Semolina Cake

For World Baking Day  I decided I would bake something I've never made before inspired by there Bake Brave hashtag.

I first tasted this delicious cake in Valvona and Crolla a few years back during a trip to the other (Edin-) burgh. We stopped for lunch at there restaurant beside Harvey Nichols then we spotted their concession in Jenners department store  and has to stop for a quick fly cup. Along with my usual double shot Americano I had to have a slice of their Orange Semolina Cake. 

I've made a few minor adjustments since I first baked the cake  and its best made the day before to give the flavours time to settle and intensify. 

Makes - 10inch Cake 


2 oranges, flesh and zest peeled into strips only 
185ml Olive Oil, fruity notes
5 Eggs
250grams Semolina 
4teaspoons Baking Powder 
80grams Almonds, chopped or flaked 

125grams Caster Sugar 
Juice of 1/4 lemon 
1 teaspoon Zest, Orange or Lemon 
185ml Water 


Boil the orange peel in water for 40minutes or until the peel has softened, this may take longer or shorter depending. 
Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4. Prepare the cake tin by greasing and lining with baking paper. 
In a pan over medium heat pour in the syrup ingredients and stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the syrup to the boil for 7 minutes and set aside. 
Remove the softened peel from the pan and remove any pips from the orange flesh, put everything into a food processor and blitz until a smooth pulp has formed. 
Pour the pulp into a large mixing bowl and stir in the oil, sugar and eggs using a wooden spoon. Now whisk the mixture until it has lightened in colour. 
Fold in the semolina, baking powder and almonds until everything is completely incorporated. Pour the orange batter into the prepared cake tin and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes. 
Once the cake is newly out the oven(still in the pan) you can either just pour the syrup evenly over the top and leave to absorb or do it the traditional way by cutting the cake into diamonds and then pouring over syrup leaving it to absorb before serving. 


Saturday, 18 May 2013

American Berry Pie

I've defiantly went a bit pie crazy this weekend!! Thing about pies is they can be a bit time consuming especially when your making everything from scratch. 

For a classic desert pie sweet short crust pastry is the way to go. I've chosen to combined all 3 berry pies into 1 post as the basics are all the same. 

Wether you chose to do a lattice, covered or open top pie it's totally up to you. I've done all three, to show you! 

Getting down to business... 

For my berry pies I chose blueberries, blackberries and cherries but you could chose any berry you like. 

Makes: 9inch pie or 6 individual 


Berry Compote: 

1 package of Berries 
3-4 tablespoons Icing Sugar (depends on the sweetness) 
1-2 teaspoons Corn Flour (thicken)  
Zest and Juice of 1/2 Lemon 


1 1/2 tablespoons Water 
1 Egg Yolk (save the whites of meringue)
9oz Plain Flour, sifted 
5oz Cold Unsalted Butter, cubed 
35grams Icing Sugar 


Combined the butter, flour and icing sugar in a food processor until a bread crumb like consistency. While the processor is running pour in the water and egg yolk until the pastry starts to form a ball, once the pastry gets to this stage turn out onto your work surface. 
Form the pastry into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap (cling film) and place in the fridge to rest for 1-2 hours. 

Berry compote: 

In a heavy based sauce pan combined the berries, lemon juice & zest, icing sugar and cornflour. Mixing gently to combined all the ingredients. Place the saucepan over a medium low heat keeping an eye and stirring every so often until the berry juice has thicken. 
Once the the mixture is thickened remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Leave the filling to cool completely. 

It's time to blind bake the pastry... 
Have your pastry cases, rolling pin and baking beans at the ready. 

On a well floured surface roll out your pastry in a roundish circle (makes things a lot easier) making sure to turn as your go. If your making individual pies divide the pastry into 6 equal bits. 
Gently lift the circle of pastry into the pin and making sure to press the pastry into the sides and base of tin. Once your happy prick  the bottom on the pastry with a fork and place in the fridge to rest for 20-30 minutes. 
Preheat the oven to 170c. 
Take the pastry case out of the fridge and line with baking paper or foil and full with baking bean or rice. 
Place the pastry case into the oven and blind bake the case for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown in colour. 
Once cooked leave the pie to cool, if any crack appear brush the case with egg white a pop back in for 5 minutes. 

Building the pie... 

Fill the cooled pastry case with the filling of your choice, making sure to pack in as much as you can before it spills out the sides. 

Preheat the oven to 170c 

Now it's time to chose the pastry topping.. To do so you will need a half the quantity of pastry. 

For the egg wash you will need: 
Egg wash makes a great glue and give your pie the perfect golden finish

1 egg yolk and a splash of milk whisked together. 

Place your finished pie onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Once your pie in golden and bubbling remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before serving. 

Works of advice: 

If you can use a loose bottom tart tin it makes life a lot easier!! 

Your pie may take shorter or longer it all depends on your oven. 

Feel feel to add any flavour combination you please. I'd love to see what you create. #thebakingfashionista. 


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Banana Bread

Being national baking day an all on Saturday, I thought I would kick things off with an old favourite of mines. 
I have been baking Banana Bread for as long as I can remember. My bad I tend to eat a whole Loafie too myself.. Thank goodness for my high metoblism or I would be screwed. 

Banana bread has to be one of the easiest things to make, you can't go far wrong with it as it is pretty full proof. Great for using up the brownish over ripe bananas and all pretty quick to whip up too. 

All you need is 5 ingredients.. It's that simple and prefect for the kids too help. 

I prefer to do this by hand.. Good for the arms. 

Makes: 2 loafs


6oz Butter, unsalted 
6oz Self Raising Flour, sifted 
6oz Caster Sugar 
3 eggs 
3-4 bananas, mushed up 
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg 

1 prepared Loaf Tin, either lined or well buttered and floured. 


1) preheat the oven to 180c. 
2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. 
3) In another bowl whisk the eggs together before combining with the butter mixture. To stop the mixture from separating add in 2-3tablespoons of the flour into the bowl   
4) Once the eggs have been incorporated fold in the flour, just before the flours fully incorporated add in the bananas. 
5) Divide the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for 30-35minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning the loafs out to cool on a wire rack. 
6) Once the banana breads have cooled, they are ready to eat or gift. 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Cocktail: Pornstar Martini

I was first introduced to this delicious martini by one of my best friend Holly, it's one of the many cocktails on offer at the prestigious celebrity spot Soho House in London.

We made this on a whim so I never had the chance to make up the passion fruit purée or pick up some passion fruit liquor but not to worry I have substitutes.

It's actually very quick and easy to mix up, especially if you don't have a shaker on hand.

What girl doesn't love cocktails.. Especially when they remind you of SATC.

All you need is... Oh I should say this make up one but you can double, triple well how ever much you need really. You may need to tweak it here & there but that's pretty simple.

1 Martini Glasses
25ml of Vodka
30ml of Passoa
Splash of Passion Fruit Liquor (you don't need it)
30ml of passion fruit purée (orange&mango juice)
2 teaspoon of Vanilla Sugar.
Splash or two of apple juice

Now for the pista resistance serve with a Champagne Chaser!!

Stir or shake until the sugars dissolved and rim your glass with vanilla sugar before pouring into the glass.

Vanilla sugar holds a special place in my heart as my grandmas (great) also kept a Kilner of her homemade vanilla sugar in her pantry and its one of my favourites. It's also pretty simple to make and keep for months & months.

All you need to do is fill a airtight container or jar with caster sugar and depending on the size depends on how many vanilla pods you need.

I would personally use 2 for a smallish jar.
Split the vanilla pods and scrap out the seeds, and mix the seeds into the sugar before adding in the vanilla pods. Seal the container and leave for a few weeks to develop in flavour. Instead of throwing out your used vanilla pods dry them and pop them into the jar the more the better.

Love Lx