First of all, I have an apology to make. With the excitement around River Cottage and Food Bloggers Connect, I completely forgot about Feature my Food Friday last week. Let me redeem myself and introduce Emma. If you have not come across her blog yet, you must have a look. ‘Cakes Bakes and Cookies’ is full to the brim with mouth-watering bakes, cakes decorated to perfection (with step-by-step instructions) and pretty cookies. Over to you, Emma!
Tell us about you.
Well, I’m an interior stylist and writer by day and a cake blogger – and eater by night. I have a long suffering taste tester aka my husband Tim and two gorgeous daughters Beau and Darcey.
I’m not a great cook but I can throw a cake together in a jiffy. Baking is my total therapy. There’s something very relaxing about creating something from scratch that you can enjoy with your family afterwards.
I started making celebration cakes when Beau was four as my Plan B and that was the inspiration for my cake decorating blog. It was a great way to share my learning experiences and help teach others. I share all my recipes and ‘How to’ tutorials with the cakes I decorate as well as reviewing baking books and testing products.
I work from home and I get quite upset if there isn’t anything I’ve baked in the house on a Monday morning once everyone’s gone back to work and school. I also don’t think that calories count if you baked it yourself. I mean – I know what went into it – right?
Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?
I’m very fortunate in that I get to meet a lot of bakers in my work. Talking to them about their latest work usually makes me want to try out a new recipe. Baking books are also a massive source of inspiration, especially when you find something new you’ve not seen before or with an ingredient you love.
Is there anything you wouldn’t touch even for £1000?
I’m Jewish and keep a kosher diet and that means I don’t eat any of the forbidden foods. That includes pork and shellfish. I just can’t go there.
Can you give us an anecdote about food?
Years ago before kids I wanted to make Tim a slap up meal. I found a recipe for boeuf bourguignon and grabbed the first bottle of red wine from the rack. I should mention here that I’m not much of a drinker and know absolutely nothing about wine. It turned out that the bottle of wine was a £40 bottle Tim had been saving! The bottle next to that one on the rack was a £3.99 bottle and would have been fine to use. Needless to say the meal was delicious and I’ve never touched the wine rack since!
Could you share a couple of tips that make your life easier in the kitchen?
- I get easily distracted when I’m measuring ingredients so I weigh everything into bowls before I start to bake. I also count out loud when measuring ingredients into a bowl. You don’t lose count that way.
- Use tasteless oil; like vegetable or sunflower to grease the sides of your baking tins before lining them. The cake will come out much softer. Butter tends to create a crust.
- Always have everything at room temperature. Butter will blend better and eggs will be able to incorporate more air making cakes much lighter.
- Get an oven thermometer. Even from new my oven reached a different temperature to the one I set it to on the dial!
1 thing no one should ever do in the kitchen:
Run out of cake or biscuits!
What recipe did you choose today and why?
Today I’m sharing my melt in the mouth Lemon butter biscuits because they are quick and easy to make and taste seriously good. They’re what I was thinking about making when I woke up this morning.
Thank you for sharing so much, Emma! Cringe, cringe about the wine, but I bet your Boeuf Bourguignon was delicious. I can also guess that your husband’s wine collection is now well hidden from you! I love your advice never to run out of cake or cookies: that is exactly what any keen baker would try to achieve, I guess!
Fancy seeing your recipe on Feature my Food Fridays? Whether you are a keen baker, a blogger or a reader who would like to see their creation online, I would love to feature you! Just email me and I will send you more details.
In the meantime, here is Emma’s recipe:
Melt in your Mouth Lemon Butter Biscuits
- • 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.
- Line a baking tray with silicon paper and preheat your oven to 170ºC (Fan oven150ºC)
- 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.
- 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.
- Place on the baking tray and use a fork to press the ball down a little. These biscuits only spread a little bit.
- 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.