First bake: crumpets

Crumpets
I’m an unabashed crumpet addict, but have always been wary of making my own – it’s just always seemed too difficult. However, the Paul Hollywood How To Bake book I recently acquired has what seems like a relatively straightforward recipe, so I thought I’d give it a go over the weekend.

The recipe involves making a batter that you leave to rise for a couple of hours. Because of this and the amount of cooking time required, I would recommend starting veeeerry early in the morning if you want fresh crumpets for breakfast! The rise of the batter is aided by 14g of yeast and some bicarbonate of soda that’s added at the end of the two-hour rise before being left to rise further for another 10 minutes.

The recipe calls for skimmed milk, but I only had semi-skimmed – I’ll try it with skimmed next time to see if it makes any difference to the crumpets.

Crumpet batter

Crumpet batter

As you can see, the risen batter ends up with bubbles that turn into holes in the finished product. Cooking the crumpets involves using crumpet rings and an oiled pan. Once I got going, it took about 8 minutes to cook them until the surface had set, and then a couple of minutes on the other side to slightly brown the crumpets. I only had 2 crumpet rings, though, and the recipe makes around 20, so I spent a good few hours simply cooking all the batter! I’m going to get a couple more rings to make things easier next time.

Cooking crumpets

Cooking crumpets

I also found that the first batch of crumpets stuck to the rings no end, but the rest of the crumpets came away with ease, so it’s worth bearing in mind if you find you also have some hassle with the first couple you do.

The finished crumpets were definitely worth the effort, though. We had some fresh from the pan, soaked through with butter (of course) and topped with scrambled eggs, followed by some more with Nutella (my choice) or golden syrup (my boyfriend’s choice). They were absolutely delicious!

Crumpets
I would definitely recommend making your own if you’re also something of a crumpet fiend. It really is worth the time and effort! They do seem different to shop-bought, but in a very good way.

Scrambled eggs on crumpets

Scrambled eggs on crumpets

The recipe

From How to Bake by Paul Hollywood. There’s a Paul Hollywood recipe online but it seems different to the one in the book!

Advertisements

Re-bake: Devonshire honey cake

Devonshire honey cake

Honey is a wonderful ingredient – you can spread on toast or crumpets, or mix it with some Greek yogurt, or stir it into lemon and ginger tea for the perfect pick-me-up when you’re ill… the list goes on. I’d never really come across it in cakes until a few years ago, when I saw this recipe for Devonshire honey cake in my trusty little BBC Good Food book. I’ve baked this and other honey cakes since, and nothing else comes close to this recipe in terms of the sheer loveliness of the honey flavour.

The first time I made this cake, it initially seemed to be a bit of a disaster – it took far longer to bake than the recipe said, and when I cut into it the middle wasn’t completely cooked. It was still well and truly edible and delicious for all the honey in it, but I didn’t even think about attempting it again until my boyfriend suggested it while looking at me pleadingly.

So, I tried it again last week, determined to make the recipe work. I followed it to the letter and thought I’d cracked it when the mix looked perfect (and tasted amazing too – baker’s prerogative!).

Devonshire honey cake mix

Devonshire honey cake mix

However, alarm bells rang once again when I checked on the cake at the end of the cooking time and it was still very wobbly. I left it in for another good half hour or so and it seemed fine. I brushed the honey glaze on top as required (although you can barely see it in the pics) and left it in a tin until my boyfriend was next round to sample it.

Devonshire honey cake

Once I finally got round to slicing it up, I found the cake seemed very dense in texture. Luckily, it didn’t taste at all dry, presumably because of all the honey in it. In fact, it tasted delicious, but I’m still rather perplexed by the texture as, the last time I made it, it had a much softer and larger crumb!

Devonshire honey cake

I can only assume this is down to the type of honey I’m using – I may invest in something beyond Asda’s own squeezy honey if I try to bake this cake again. I’m sure I’ll nail it one day!

The recipe

Can be found on the BBC Good Food website here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1840/devonshire-honey-cake