Great Egg-spectations from The Weekly Bake

Sorry I’m late…

….now, I’ve found the big furry feet, but where did I put those floppy ears…

Well, never mind, while I’m looking, here’s another Weekly Bake…

Oh yes, yet another eggs-cuse to indulge yourself and your loved ones – after all those weeks of self-denial (or self-delusion for the weak-willed), Lent is finally over.  So here’s a guilt-free special Easter Weekly Bake, just for you.  What’s more, you’ve got a few extra days to decide.

As the English Baker will be away for Easter, this week’s Weekly Bake has been extended.  So, you can place your orders any time from now until Saturday 23rd March ready for collection by appointment from The English Baker in Merode on Tuesday, 26th or Wednesday, 27th March.  All the items in this Weekly Bake will last until Easter Day.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns (click to enlarge)

First off, is an absolute classic of the Easter Menu, the Hot Cross Bun. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday (the last Friday before Easter), this spiced little sweet raisin-filled bun is decorated with a cross (signifying the Cross of Jesus).  Eat split in two and toasted for breakfast with as much butter as you can legally get away with.

Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake (click to enlarge)

Second is a celebration cake, called a Simnel Cake. Although now eaten at Easter, it was originally given by daughters to their mothers on Mothering Sunday – which is usually halfway through Lent, so maybe the poor old Mums just had to look at it till Easter. Anyhow, it’s essentially a lighter version of the traditional Christmas fruit cake, with a hidden layer of marzipan baked inside and a layer marzipan on top, then decorated with 11 balls of slightly singed marzipan to represent the Apostles – yes, I know there were twelve, but that rat Judas doesn’t count.

Easter Cake Pops

Easter Cake Pops (click to enlarge)

Third, are those delightful balls of chocolate or vanilla cake squidged together with icing and dipped in chocolate – a.k.a. Cake Pops.  Here’s a selection of Eastery ones, but if you have a particular liking for say pigs or dogs or chickens or eyeballs, or just a nice pattern, let me know when you place your order – most things are possible!

Anyway, that’s it for a little while as The English Baker is taking a little Easter break.

So, like that pesky wabbit always says,

“That’s all folks!”

…Now, where did I put those ears….

Hot Cross Buns: €12 for 6
Simnel Cake: €35 (serves 8):
Cake Pops (Vanilla or Chocolate): €3.50 each (minimum order per flavour 6)

How to order:
As always, just email theenglishbaker@gmail.com any time from now until Saturday 23rd March ready for collection by appointment from The English Baker in Merode on Tuesday, 26th or Wednesday, 27th March.  All the items in this Weekly Bake will last until Easter Day.

The Weekly Bake will be back Tuesday, 16th March.

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Magic Muffins…and friend…

So, what’s the difference between English Muffins, and American Muffins?

English Muffins in a basket

English Muffins in a basket

Well, quite a lot actually.  The English Muffin is a bread made with yeast and then cooked on a griddle (think rectangular frying pan without the handle) which is why it looks a bit toasted each side.  This is the basis of the famous brunch dish, Eggs Benedict.  Otherwise, just split in half, fling it in the toaster and eat with lashings of butter and jam.  By the way, NEVER cut a good home-made English Muffin in half with a knife – it’ll just collapse and wrinkle like a prune.  Take your fork and stick it in all around the side of the muffin, then pull apart.

Plain American Muffins with Butter and Jam

Plain American Muffins with Butter and Jam

Now for the ubiquitous American Muffin. Well, this (of course) is a cake, a little like a big, fat, knobbly cupcake, but without the frosting.  These can be sweet (like the mass produced ones you find in every coffee shop chain from here to Shanghai), or savoury, or actually, somewhere in between….as in the Plain American Muffin. Great for breakfast, warmed slightly in the oven and served with butter and jam, or cheese, or bacon, or…..etc…etc…

Scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam

Scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam

Which brings me (in a round-a-bout sort of way) to the great British Scone. Possibly our greatest contribution to the culinary arts and (most importantly) the rest of the world has NO IDEA how to make them – so I’m not going to tell you, you’ll just have to taste mine….

Best eaten slightly warmed in the oven, then split (by hand) in half, with a large blob of clotted cream and strawberry jam.

English Muffins: 6 for €12
Plain American Muffins: 6 for €12
Scones: 12 for €12
Clotted Cream: €5 per pot (enough for 12 scones)

How to order:
As always, just email theenglishbaker@gmail.com any time today (Wed 6th March) for collection by appointment from The English Baker in Merode on Friday, 9th March.

Who ate all the pies?

Well, you actually…

Yes, you my lovely customers.  The Bramley Apple Pie went down such a storm, I thought I’d do some more for this week’s Weekly Bake.  However, this time I’ve added a few blackberries and a hint of cinnamon and cloves for a lovely wine-coloured Autumn Fruit Pie.  As you can see from the picture – The English Baker doesn’t believe in being stingy on the fruit, so one slice should definitely count for at least one portion of your Recommended Daily Allowance.  Not only that, with pastry this crisp you’ll have to have another piece, so there’s your second portion of fruit already!

For the non-dessert-minded, here’s an old favourite.  The quintessential English Muffin.  Soft and doughy – forget those terrible old chewy things you buy in a packet.  Brown or white, whichever you prefer, these are perfect for sandwiches or how about toasted with eggs, bacon or smoked salmon.

Autumn Fruit Pie

Autumn Fruit Pie (click image to enlarge)

English Muffins in a basket

English Muffins in a basket (click image to enlarge)

Autumn Fruit Pie: €15 (serves 8)

English Muffins Brown or White:
€8 for 6

How to order:
Email theenglishbaker@gmail.com any time today (Tuesday, 2nd Oct) or tomorrow (Thursday, 3rd Oct) for collection by appointment from The English Baker in Merode on Friday, 4th Oct.

Who needs a jumper when you’ve got a Chelsea Bun…

Well, by popular demand, those soft, gooey buns are back on the Weekly Bake menu.  Not only the preserve of the inhabitants of Chelsea, Chelsea Buns
(aka Cinnamon Rolls) are pretty much at the top of The English Baker’s most asked for list. For newcomers to The English Baker blog, these coiled sweet bread rolls are stuffed with raisins, brown sugar and butter so when baked become golden brown, and super sticky.  Delicious for a big week-end breakfast or just with a nice cup of tea.  The English LOVE a good sticky bun and this one is about as sticky as they come.

So eat, drink and forget about that waistline – trust me, I’m saving you money, it’ll be autumn soon and you’ll need an extra layer to see you through those long winter months…

Chelsea Buns fresh from the Oven

Chelsea Buns fresh from the Oven

Chelsea Buns: 12€ for 6 large buns

How to order:
By email theenglishbaker@gmail.com today (Tuesday, 18th Sept) or tomorrow (Wednesday, 19th Sept) for collection by appointment from The English Baker in Merode on Friday, 21st September.

Weekly Bake: FOOOOOD FIIIIIIIGGGHHHT!

For this week’s Weekly Bake, we’re going a little bit silly, a little bit traditional and a little bit healthy…

Custard Tart with a hint of nutmeg

Custard Tart with a hint of nutmeg

First on the list, one of my favourites from my days at St Trinian’s, The Custard Tart (or Pie, in the US) – made with a real vanilla egg custard, flavoured with a hint of nutmeg. Dating as far back as the coronation of Henry IV in 1399, this is a much underrated stalwart of any British bakery counter, not to mention slapstick comedy.  Normally eaten either as a dessert or with afternoon tea, and sometimes used as a missile – just ask Rupert Murdoch.

The totally delicious and very versatile, Custard Tart: €12 for 6 mini tarts

Scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam

Scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam

For the more sensible, second on the list, scones and clotted cream.

Scones (plain, wholemeal or fruit): 12€ for 12

Clotted Cream: €5 per pot

And, for the health conscious: Red Berry Yoghurt Ice-cream with a little hint of vanilla to give it a lovely creamy undertone (No eggs, no gluten).

Red Berry Yoghurt Ice-cream

Red Berry Yoghurt Ice-cream

Red Berry Yoghurt Ice-cream€10 for 500ml.

The only way you can really get away with eating ice-cream for breakfast!

How to Order:
Please place your order by email theenglishbaker@gmail.com any time today or tomorrow morning (Wednesday 13th/Thursday 14th June) ready to collect from me in Merode on Friday, 15th June.