Monday, 27 August 2012

Tea Cakes & Octo Bread

So that telly show that I tried out for last year - the one that called for an interview, then didn't call back - ya'll know the one. Well, it's started back on telly a few weeks ago. Needless to say, I've been inspired more than ever to bakebakebake and apply again this year.

Last weekend I bit the bullet & finally baked for team knitwear. Flipping through the pages of Peyton & Byrne's British Baking - a little birthday pressie from the team - I landed on a recipe for teacakes. A cousin to the American s'more, teacakes are a concoction of crumbly biscuits topped with whipped marshmallow and drowned in chocolate. All that's missing is an open campfire and a rogue flame-engolfed marshmallow. 

whip it!


On a tea cake high, I attempted to bake a loaf of three-plait friendship bread on the following Tuesday. Note to self: baking bread on a work day is disastrous! It's near impossible to allow dough to both rise & proof (let alone bake the darn thing) in the one hour you have between arriving home and going to bed. The result of my mother's beloved recipe* could have been used as a chopping block in one of mr. bluebirdcage's kiddy taekwondo classes.

*I will be baking this recipe again…don't wanna let mama down. Watch this space.

After learning it was bread week on GBBO, I decided to try out another loaf - and why not up the ante by trying out the same loaf the contestants had to bake for a technical challenge? Enter Paul Hollywood's monstrous octo-bread: an eight plait loaf of deliciously fluffy, golden bread. The resulting loaf (which I baked using whole wheat bread flour) more than kicked my flat, rock solid friendship loaf's ass:

on the rise

after the bake

Until next time...

Sunday, 5 August 2012


To celebrate the big two-eight (and coincidentally my fifth year anniversary of moving to the UK), the hubs and I took a trip down to Thorpe Park, where we road coasters and screamed ourselves into laughing. 

Today I invited some of my closest friends to gather round at casa de bluebirdcage for some good ole southern cookin.

The menu:
Macaroni & Cheese
Devilled Eggs
Stuffed Mushrooms (made by my southern counterpart Leza)

The playlist- mostly overseen by mix master Nino:
Thee Oh Sees
Grass Widow
Tennis (to which Raf & I played a mean game of table tennis to)
Howlin Wolf
Beach House

1. Mix Master Nino and the goodie bags
2. When life hands you lemons
3. The spread
4. Food with friends
5. How to set off your fire alarm
6. Goin for gold...Olympics birthday!
7. Snoopy Dance
8. Let them eat cake!
9. And then there were none.

It's been a lovely weekend. Time to relax...x