Category: Biscuit recipe

Book Review: Konditor & Cook. Reservedly legendary baking

Konditor & Cook : Book review

Konditor & Cook. Reservedly legendary baking

This is not your average baking book. This one’s different! “Why?” I hear you ask. Well the recipes are just not what you’d expect…. but in a good way. The combinations are different and unusual and dare I say it – intriguing like ‘Melon and Ginger’ slinger – which sounds more like a smoothie than a tart and ‘101% Apple pie’! How do you do that?

 

Konditor & Cook: Book reviewThe shop

For those who don’t know Konditor & Cook is a little cake shop tucked out behind Waterloo East station on Cornwall road in London. I used to walk past it on my way to work in the mornings and always had to have a good look in the window as I passed by. There was always a line of people queueing outside waiting to pick up their morning coffee and cake. Whenever someone had a birthday or celebration on the magazine a cake would be ordered from K&C – until I started baking that is!

Konditor & Cook: Book review

The Author

Konditor and Cook is the brainchild of Gerhard Jenne. He opened his little baking shop in 1993 using his skills as a pastry chief from Germany; where he studied before moving to England and training under Justin De Blank. This book is full of his most popular recipes. There’s a lot of German influence in the bakes but none of the obvious recipes. I haven’t heard of a lot of the cakes here but they look and sound so good.

Konditor & Cook: Book review

One of the best things about this book is that everything has a real “depth of flavour” as Gerhard says that’s the most important thing -and I think we would all agree with him on that? You don’t need specialist equipment to make any of these cakes – even the more decorated ones at the back- and his ethos that the recipes are easy to make just works in this day and age of our busy lives

Most of these recipes don’t take a lot of time or energy, just enthusiasm and a keen appetite” Gerhard Jenne

Konditor & Cook: Book reviewSo what’s in the book?

The book includes the following chapters. Here’s a few but by all means not all bakes included.

Cakes

Figgy fruit loaf – a cake for cheese, Stem ginger, Almond St Clement cake and sunken pear and black gingerbread cake to name just a few

Tarts and puddings

Choose from Raspberry fudge tart (a favorite at the shop), Rhubarb and orange Meringue, twice baked raspberry ricotta cheesecake with a thyme crust, Strawboffie pie, summer pudding sand and there’s more

Mini bakes

Jammilicious Linzers, Raspberry rocks Meringues (which have raspberries baked in the centres- yum), lemon and currant puff – which are next on my list, Very berry tartlets (as seen above) Kipferl cookies; a traditional Christmas biscuit in Germany,

Brownies and slices

This is where I started when I first got the book. I made the Boston brownies and they are divine! There’s also Whisky and fig brownies, Bakewell slab, Hot cross Blondies and Tarta de Santiago which was inspired by Brindisa a local Borough Market Spanish food importer.

Muffins, cupcakes and buns

If there’s one recipe that is going to get you excited in this chapter it’s the ‘Black velvet cupcakes with Irish cream frosting’. All I really have to say about this is Bailey’s Irish cream liquer. The rest you can imagine! Other tasty sounding bites are Dorset apple cakes, Iced prune buns – these are a really cute domed shape and look super delish – I’m making them this weekend.

Fun and festivities

This is where your creative talents can get into action. There are K&C’s signature ‘Magic cakes’ (I’m sure they’re called this as they disappear!), Spaghetti Bolognese cupcakes, The chocolate cabbage cake (as seen below) don’t worry it’s all chocolate and just looks like a cabbage – there’s not a green leaf to be seen inside this creation. The mulled wine cupcakes also sound amazing.

Basics, tips and techniques

Not only is this chapter full of really good, solid advice but there are more recipes and tips throughout it. There are more pastry recipes as well as frostings, custard and lemon curd all of which can be used with the recipes throughout the book. There are tips on piping, lining a cake tin and how to temper chocolate.

Konditor & Cook: Book review

My thoughts on Konditor & Cook. Reservedly legendary baking.

The photography is a lot darker and moodier in this book than in the average baking book which I’m not usually a massive fan of but with these recipes it just works. I really love the details about each bake before the recipe – either where it originates from or who inspired it. It makes the book really informative and personal, but it’s the extra details in the ‘Basics, tips and techniques’ chapter that make it a must. There are tons of really useful tips and advice that I haven’t seen before. I also really like the way it’s written. You feel like you’re having a chat with your baker friend Gerhard who’s sharing his best knowledge with you. It’s so relaxed and chatty.

Having made quite a few recipes from this book – the Boston Brownies are to die for! I really like this book. It’s good to have something a bit different on your  kitchen shelves. It has a few old favorites – coffee cake, lemon meringue pies and strawberry tarts, but the more unusual recipes are what I rate the most.

Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking by Ebury Press available on Amazon

Do you have this book? Would you buy it and if so why? I’d love to know.

EmmaMT x

Melt in your mouth Lemon butter biscuits recipe

Lemon butter biscuitsI don’t know about you guys but we try not to have too many treats in the house over the Christmas break. We’re all at home, chilling and watching TV (or playing Minecraft if you’re my girls) and the temptation to pick and graze is a bit too much. But, by 28th December I was dreaming about biscuits and after making so many for other people for gifts I thought it was time to bake some just for us.

Lemon butter biscuits

These Lemon butter biscuits are really light and melt in the mouth. I had come up with the recipe (adapting it from an old favourite), made the mix and had them in the oven by 7.25am. Not bad when you’re on holiday from work. The first dozen I baked were really brown underneath so I baked the next lot for a shorter time. The corners were only just a little more than golden when I took them out of the oven and the tops looked a touch anaemic but it definitely improved the texture. They don’t look baked but trust me they are. They continue to cook for a few minutes while they sit on the baking tray cooling which makes them just perfect when they’re completely cooled.

Another thing I should mention is that I froze a small batch of these (or we probably would have eaten the lot – I made 35 from this recipe) so I can pop them in the oven if we have friends pop round unexpectedly. I love doing that.

Print this recipe here 

Lemon butter biscuits recipe

(makes around 30-35)

  • 200g butter at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar – sieved
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 rind and juice of a lemon
  • 370g plain flour- sieved
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Extra golden caster sugar for rolling the biscuits in.
  1. Line a baking tray with silicon paper and pre-heat your oven to 170ºC (Fan oven150ºC)

  2. Place all the ingredients into the bowl and mix. You can mix by hand or with a stand mixer but however you do it be careful not to over mix or the biscuits will become tough and will lose their lightness.

  3. Place the golden caster sugar into a bowl.  Roll a spoonful of biscuit dough into a ball so it’s around the size of a large walnut then roll it around in the caster sugar till it’s completely coated.

  4. Place on the baking tray and use a fork to press the ball down a little. These biscuits only spread a little bit.

  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are turning a deep golden brown colour – not brown-brown. Remove and leave to cool on the baking tray for ten minutes before transferring onto a rack to go complete cold.

Enjoy!

 

EmmaMT

xLemon butter biscuits

Gluten free cookies from a box!

Gluten free cookiesThe first house that Tim and I ever lived in together was with some friends on a farm. There were four guys and me and each weekend all the girl friends would descend. I was at uni at the time and one weekend one of the girlfriends suggested that we make the men folk a cake. She proceeded to take out a box from the cupboard saying “I think we just need an egg and some butter?” I had never seen a cake in a box before!  Growing up in a traditional Jewish household we always baked and cooked from scratch. What on earth was a cake doing in a box?

I think I may have offended the girlfriend in question when I suggested we actually bake a cake (without the box) as it would taste better and really didn’t take much more effort. It did taste better! And I don’t think I’ve ever baked from a box before today!

Phil Vickery cookiesA while ago I went to the Squires Cake show and was given a few products to try out. In the bag was a Phil Vickery gluten free Chocolate chunk cookie mix. In a BOX! Not only is it gluten free but it’s dairy free too. I popped it in the cupboard for when I had a school cake sale to bake for. I always like to ensure the coeliacs don’t miss out. But yesterday we had Evie round to play and as she is a gluten free kid I decided to bake them right away.

Just add an egg

All you have to do is whisk up a little oil and one egg then add the dry mix from the box. Knead it with your hands to combine, roll it into a sausage and then cut slices to bake.

Baking Gluten free cookies

Once sliced I made them rounder and baked them. Luckily I left quite a bit of space around each one as they spread out quite considerably. I sliced enough to ensure each kid had two after dinner. They were really good. Just the right amount of delicate crunch on the outside and soft gooeyness on the inside. Not the normal graininess you get with gluten free baking

The verdict from the four girls around my dinner table last night? Double thumbs up!

EmmaMT

Easter bunny cookies recipe

How are you all doing this morning? I’ve had a great start to the Easter Weekend so far. I spent 4 hours stripping paint from my bannisters yesterday whilst listening to the soundtrack from Frozen  belting out from the girls bedrooms! I secretly quite liked it and it kept them entertained over and over and over!!!

I thought while I wish you all a lovely Easter Weekend I’d share with you some bunny cookies I made to be featured on AchicaLiving this week. They’re really quick and easy to make and look so cute. Great to whip up as a gift if your off to your family for a slap up Easter lunch.

Bunny cookie 1

Lemon bunny cookies for Easter

Ingredients

(makes around 20) 

  • 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 egg – at room temperature
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Zest of one lemon

To decorate

  • Roll out Sugarpaste
  • ribbon

To make the cookies

  1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until everything is well incorporated. Avoid over mixing or your cookies will be tough. Use your hands for the best result. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Roll out the dough between two spacers to ensure your cookies are all perfectly flat and even and also that they are all the same size. Cut out the bunnies and place on a baking sheet and chill for a further 30 minutes. This will prevent the cookies from spreading whilst they are baking. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC) Bake in the centre of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the corners of the cookies start to turn brown. 

To decorate the cookies

  1. You can colour white sugarpaste with professional gel food colours or with a tiny amount of supermarket bought food colours- just dip a cocktail stick in the dye and then poke it into the sugarpaste before you knead it in. Avoid making the sugarpaste too wet or you will end up with a big sticky mess. If you can colour the sugarpaste the day before you’ll get even better results.
  2. To make the tail take a small amount of sugarpaste and roll it into a ball. Dampen the bottom of the ball to make it ‘stick’  in place on the cookie. Use the bristles of a pastry brush to add some detail to the tail.  Leave to set before you add the ribbon around their necks. 

Hope you all have a fantastic Easter

EmmaMT

Baby cookies

baby 2

I’ve been wanting to practice my cookie icing skills recently and there’s no better time than when there’s the arrival of a new baby to celebrate. In fact there were four babies within the space of a week at Easter!  I made these for two of my friends who obviously had boys. One was Benjamin and one Harry, so I added B’s and H’s to make them a touch more personal.
baby 3

The cookies were made from Vanilla Cookie dough (recipe below) and I used the technique as described by Ruth Clemens from The Pink Whisk to get the consistency of the Royal icing just right. She says that you make the Royal icing till it forms a ribbon trail. Lift your spoon up and let one of those ribbons drop across the middle of the bowl and count how long it takes to completely disappear. It should be 10 seconds. You can see the video here. This was really helpful to me as I never seemed to be able to get the consistency of the Royal icing quite right and I also always had different results. This way the end result is always the same.

baby 1

Vanilla Cookie recipe

(Makes around 20 biscuits)

  • 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 egg – at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

To make the cookies

  1. Place the butter in a bowl. Add the sugar, flour, egg and vanilla essence.
  2. Mix all the ingredients by hand. I always mix biscuits by hand as the warmth from your hands means that it’s all being blended really well and for some reason they taste much better than when mixed with a machine. You can always start the mixing with a wooden spoon if you don’t like gloopy hands.
  3. Be careful not to overmix biscuit dough. It will not only become tough, but the biscuits will spread more when baked and we want them to keep their shape perfectly.
  4. Once it is nearly all blended I turn the dough out onto the worktop and knead it till it all holds together nicely.
  5. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This allows the gluten in the flour to do it’s stuff. Without chilling the cookie shapes will definitely contort when baked.
  6. Remove from the fridge and knead a little on a lightly floured surface. Roll out using spacing sticks to ensure that your biscuits are all the same thickness.
  7. Cut out the cookies then remove the excess first. This way you can pick up the biscuit without denting it.
  8. Place on a baking tray lined with silicon paper and pop back in the fridge for another 30 minutes. This ensures the cookies bake slowly and don’t spread. It’s the easiest way to make sure each design is exactly the same.
  9. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C then bake for 12 minutes or until the biscuits start to brown on the edges
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Royal Icing recipe

  • 3 heaped tsp of  Meri White  (dried egg white substitute available from cake decorating shops and Amazon)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 300g icing sugar

How to make Royal icing

  1. Start by dissolving the Meriwhite in the water in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the icing sugar and mix till combined. You will need to scrape down any sugar that has stuck to the sides of the bowl. Continue to mix for around 10 minutes until the icing sugar is smooth and glossy.
  3. Royal icing dries out really quickly so pop it in an air tight container as soon as it’s ready.
  4. Add colour with a toothpick then fill your piping bag. Make sure you make enough to line and fill your cookies. It’s hard to match a colour if you run out.

How to decorate your cookies

  1. Pipe and outline on each cookie. This should be the same colour as the one you will fill it with so for the baby bottle the bottom should be white and the teat part yellow.
  2. Leave the outline to dry for around  ½ an hour. This will give it a chance to set and you’ll be able to handle the cookie much easier. I damaged loads of the outlines as I handled them too soon.
  3. Add a drop or two of water to the royal icing mix to make it a bit more runny and fill in the cookie. If there are any bubbles pop them now with a toothpick. Leave to dry completely. This may take an hour. It may take longer.
  4. Once completely dry pipe an outline on each cookie and any extra details like measurements on the bottles and details on the baby grow. Again, leave to dry.
  5. These cookies will last a week in an air tight container so bake and decorate on one day so you can give them as a gift and they will last a bit longer.

EmmaMT

Easy Almond Biscuits – a.k.a my mum’s fabulous Kirchals.

Almond cookie recipeMy mum has a famous Kichal recipe- well, it’s famous in our family anyway. Whenever she needs to make some biscuits to take to someones house these are what she takes. She cuts them in a crinkly circle and adds either a slither of chopped almond or a tiny piece of cherry on the top and she keeps them nice and thin. That’s the secret. To bake them long enough to be cooked right through but not so long as they go too brown. If truth be told I am the first to eat the ‘burnt’ ones as they are just as tasty- they’re just the wrong colour! Then she piles them high. They never last very long!

When my mum gave me this recipe I wrote it on the inside cover of the red book. The back cover has a pancake recipe on it. (I have had this book for a very long time!) I was talking to my sister about it and it turns out she has mum’s recipe written inside her red book too. I think I feel a family tradition coming on!

Almond biscuit recipe

 

Almond biscuit recipe

Makes around 50 biscuits

  • 226g (1 cup or 2 sticks)  butter at room temperature
  • 460g (3 ½ cups)  Self raising Flour
  • 226g (1 ¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tea spoon almond essence/ extract

How to make Almond biscuits

  1. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature- especially the butter and eggs.
  2. Pre- heat your oven to 160ºC (140ºC Fan) and line your baking sheet with silicon paper
  3. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it forms a ball of dough. You can use a food processor or stand mixer but the best way to mix is with your hands as their warmth will combine the ingredients in a way that makes them taste the best. I’ve tried it all ways and by hand always wins- hands down!
  4. This makes quite a lot of dough so I will often knead two balls and freeze one. It will defrost in about 30 mins and it’s always great to have some ready to go. Whether you want to chill or freeze, wrap the dough in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
  5. Once you are ready to roll out, lightly dust your surface and knead the dough. If it’s really sticky add just a little flour. The dough will soften quickly as you handle it so handle it as little as possible.
  6. For really thin biscuits roll out the dough to a depth of around the size of a coin then cut out your shapes and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes then turn the baking sheet around inside the oven so the biscuits bake evenly. Bake for a further 5 minutes. You know they are done when the edges start to brown ever so slightly. Watch them like a hawk if you don’t want them to burn.
  7. Place the cookies on a cooling rack and try to resist eating them hot!

Almond biscuit

 enjoy!

 

 

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