As we know many of you will be hosting friends, family and colleagues for Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on 25 September we decided to dedicate this month’s recipe post to baking.
Three of our all time favourite treats to delight your chums.
Chocolate and Sour Cherry Bread
First up is a recipe from Bake Off Beefcake, Paul Hollywood, one of the many celebs who’ve contributed to the recipe page on the Macmillan WB Coffee Morning website.
A sumptuous bread with warming the oven and brewing the tea for.
500g (1lb 2oz) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
30ml (1fl oz) olive oil
15g (½ oz) yeast
300ml (½ pint) warm water
160g (5¾ oz) can black cherries, drained
200g (7oz) chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Put the flour into a bowl with the salt, olive oil and yeast. Slowly add the warm water and mix by hand until the dough is pliable.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4–7 minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Line a baking tray. Pat the cherries dry on kitchen paper. Work the chocolate chips and then the cherries into the dough. If the dough becomes too elastic to work in the cherries, leave to stand for 10 minutes, then try again. (You may need to add a little more flour if the mix becomes too sloppy.) Cut the dough in half, then shape into two balls and flatten to about 5cm/2 inches high. Place on the baking tray, dust heavily with flour and score diagonal lines across the top to form diamond shapes. Leave the dough to rest for 1 hour.
Bake for 20–25 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
This recipe came to me via a friend of a friend who had found it in an old book she picked up in a charity shop. I’ve come across many recipes for Lemon Square but this one nails it for me.
It’s essentially a shortbread base with a sweet lemon top. A simple, demure little thing that packs a mighty punch.
55g golden caster sugar
170g plain flour
200g golden caster sugar
2 tblsp plain flour
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
Pre-heat overn to 170C.
Either by hand, or in a mixer, cream the butter and sugar, then add the flour to form a mixture of breadcrumb consistency. Tip the mix into a baking tray(approx. 24 x 18).* Press the shortbread mix into the tray to form a base of even depth. Ideally rest in the fridge for 10mins. Then bake for 15 – 20 mins.
Meanwhile mix the sugar, flour and baking powder. Add the salt and lemon zest. Then just before your shortbread is ready beat in the eggs and lemon juice. Remove the shortbread from the oven pour on the lemon mix and bake for approx. 20 mins.
Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack. Once completely cooled, cut into squares then dust with icing sugar.
*You can use silicon, or baking paper to line the tin. Or in a pinch you can grease a non-stick tray with butter and hope for the best – this has worked for me.
Date and Orange Scones
In my mind you absolutely can’t have a coffee morning without scones. It’s like fish without chips or Bake Off without Berry – it just won’t work. However this doesn’t mean you have to go plain and predictable, these slightly exotic scones from Aussie baking diva, Donna Hay are a nod to tradition and a taste of today.
450g self-raising flour, sifted
110g golden caster sugar
1 tblsp orange zest
75g cold butter, chopped
70g chopped pitted dates
350ml milk, plus extra, for brushing
sugar, for sprinkling
extra butter, to serve
Preheat oven to 180ºC
Place the flour, sugar and orange rind in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through the dates. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk. Use a butter knife to gradually mix the milk into the flour mixture until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently bring the dough together. Roll out to 2cm thick and use a 6cm-round cutter to cut 16 rounds. Place the scones together on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush with extra milk. Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake for 18–20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Serve with butter. Makes 16.