It’s the hottest weekend of the year so far and you’re in London town with your trustee sidekick, Lex Leafy (not her real name, by the way – but it should be). So. What do you do with your two free days? Bake, of course! What else?
Shunning the sun in favour of the oven, the two of us were bound to a long-term agreement, for which we would do nothing but find recipes, lick bowls, and prod freshly-made cakes. So what if it was sunny outside? There was important work to do in the kitchen. Delicious work.
It took us a while to decide what to make – turns out there are quite a lot of recipes out there – but we eventually settled on a few different bits and bobs for variety’s sake: one batch of confectionary, one cake, one lot of biscuits, and something more puddingy.
Before the magic could start, we had to obtain our ingredients – creating perhaps the most ridiculously extravagant shopping list I have EVER MADE. It read thusly:
– 800g butter
– 9 eggs
– 700g spelt flour
– 510g plain flour
– 850g – yes, 850g – icing sugar
– 225g golden syrup
– 225g black treacle
– 500g brown sugar
– 225g black treacle
– 200g white chocolate
– 500g light muscovado sugar
– 465g cream cheese
– 420ml milk
– 300ml double cream
– 150g raspberries
– 1 x jar of peanut butter
– 1 x jar of stem ginger
And yes, in case you were wondering, that equates to 2.525kg of sugar/syrup, all for two greedy Pud-Hogs, who wanted some bowls to lick out. I know, I know: we should have been ashamed.
But we weren’t.
Once the shopping was bought (and our gasps of astonishment at the overall size of the haul had subsided) it was time to get down to business.
To break ourselves in gently, Item One on the Agenda was Peanut Butter Fudge, a simple recipe scrounged from the BBC website, and made originally by Sophie Dahl (click here if you would like it for yourself).
I’ve never made fudge before as most recipes require the use of a sugar thermometer (which I have yet to buy), but this was surprisingly easy to follow – and essentially consisted of chucking all the ingredients in a pan, boiling them up, mixing in the peanut butter, and leaving to set.
In less than ten minutes we had ourselves a batch of fudge – quite a sizeable batch, as you can see.
Now, you won’t necessarily be able to tell from the photo, but believe you me, Ogglers, it was dang good – so good that we had to stop ourselves gobbling it up before it set (we didn’t want to peak too early, you see). Not that we could have got that far in one sitting: the mixture is incredibly rich (and, with the accidental use of dark muscovado instead of brown sugar, rather deep and treacly with it).
The peanuts were an excellent addition too. As everybody knows, goo + crunch = super fudgtastic. And if that wasn’t enticing enough for you already, have a Bonus Bake Hint: should you ever need a hot fudge sauce for ice cream, you’d be hard pressed to find something more luxurious.
As our fingers swept over the dishes (and our chins turned sticky and sweet), it was clear that the Great Bakeroo was well and truly underway. One recipe down, three to go. What’s more, the best is yet to come…