Category Archives: The Baking Club

What’s in the Box, the Cardboard Box?

My favourite time of the month is when I get my e-mail to say that my next baking box is on its way and what ingredients I need. This month’s e-mail came through on Friday 14 July. I needed to buy medium eggs, unsalted butter and double cream. I added the eggs and butter to my shopping order but decided against the cream. I could buy that when I decided to do the bake.

I didn’t have a clue what it would be. Most bakes need eggs and butter. Double cream didn’t help at all.

My box was delivered on the following Monday when I was in Cardiff for Kathryn’s graduation. After having a fantastic afternoon tea, I couldn’t even think about baking cakes. It really was a lovely tea, mini carrot cakes (I am going to find a recipe), apricot frangipani tarts (must make these too), milllionaire shortbread, macaroons, scones and welsh cakes (not to forget the sandwiches and lemon posset with raspberry coulis), I couldn’t think of eating anything for a couple of hours.

Graduation Afternoon Tea

I did open the box as soon as I got home, and maybe it was because I was still full by the lovely tea, but I didn’t get so excited by what I saw.

What’s in the Box?
Rocky Road Brownies Box

I think the reason I wasn’t so keen was because I have found the perfect brownie recipe. It is a Mary Berry recipe which I bake in my traybake tin; an all in one method with lots of cocoa powder and chocolate chips added. The cake has just the right amount of squidginess about it and is lovely served warm. When you find the right recipe, why change it? As for rocky road: never appealed to me at all. That said, I think the recipe is still brilliant and I think it comes at the right time. I belong to the Facebook group and a lot of the people there bake the boxes with their children. With summer holidays here, this is so ideal.

As I had both Jordan and Kathryn home at the weekend (my grown up children), I thought I would get this bake made. I decided to bake on Saturday and started early. The bake needed an 8 inch (20cm) tin. I had one of these. It is actually a freebie I got when buying lurpak butter a few years back. I got a great loaf tin on one of these offers too so they are really worth looking for. Oven on, tin prepared and I just had to measure out the butter. As well as the bagged ingredients, greaseproof paper and recipe, the boxes always include a butter measure and a skewer. Even though butter comes with a measure along the side, I still get out my trusty scales out to weigh and have never used the butter measure. I thought I would this time. I still had the scales and I don’t know why I should have been surprised to find that the measure was correct!

 

Now for what was in the bags. The first step was making the brownie mixture and there was three bags for this:

Bag 1 – caster sugar
Bag 2 – self raising flour and cocoa powder                                                        Bag 3 – dark chocolate chips


This process was very easy. I just needed to cream the soft butter together with the caster sugar. I opted for my wooden spoon and used a bit of muscle here. Next was to add bag 2 and 3 plus three eggs and mix until combined. As the recipe said pour the mixture into the tin I needed to get a good dropping consistency. My normal recipe is an all in one method so I normal use my food processor. I have got an electric hand whisk and think if I were to make this again, I would use this to get a quicker result. Recipe said that it would take 35 – 45 mins to bake and that the skewer should come out nearly clean as they should be gooey inside. I was satisfied with the cook after 50 minutes so I set about making the topping.

Cooked Brownie

I had the following bags for this:

Bag 4 – caster sugar
Bag 5 – marshmallows
Bag 6 – chocolate malt balls


First of all, I had to make a caramel sauce. This is something that I had done before when making eclairs and I had been quite successful. I had to heat the sugar on a low heat, stirring continuously until the sugar is smooth and light brown. Next step is to move from the heat and add double cream and unsalted butter. The sugar did not cook as smoothly as the last time as making them but I did carry on and managed to save enough caramel to pour over the cake. The pan did take a bit of scrubbing! Last steps were sprinkling with marshmallows and bashing up the malt balls before sprinkling on top too.

Very pleased with the result and 11.30 a.m. on a Saturday morning found myself and Jordan tucking into a slice. Well it was the weekend!

Can’t wait to find out what’s in the next box.

This Girl Just Wants To Bake Cakes

Going back to work after a holiday is always a bit of a comedown. When Chris asked me if I was looking forward to it, it was a big fat NO and a comment that I just wanted to cook!  First day back and it was so hot.  I was greeted back home with a welcome delivery on the doormat; this month’s baking box.
The Baking Club delivery
Aaron had bought me a subscription to the Baking Club from BakedIn for my birthday last year.  Each month you receive a box with a recipe and all the dry ingredients you need for the recipe all weighed, numbered and bagged up for you to start baking.  You have to add a few ingredients depending on the recipe eg. milk, eggs, butter plus the baking tins.  I have baked delicious chocolate cakes, eclairs, whoopie pies, biscotti, hot cross buns and many more.  Once tried, you can bake again and again.  The great thing is if you don’t like something, you don’t have to buy the ingredients that you might never use again.  I thought that my subscription might finish after 3 months but it continued.  Aaron hadn’t even noticed the money coming out of his bank account!  I had enjoyed receiving the boxes and wanted to continue so took over the subscription in February. Now they have my e-mail address, I receive an e-mail telling me that it is dispatch day and letting me know what ingredients I need to buy.
Chocolate Honeycomb Cake
Almond and Apricot Biscotti

BakedIn was formed from an idea by two work colleagues, Joe and Anna on a car share to work in 2013. After getting a prototype kit together with another friend, and testing on friends and colleagues, they got a start up loan and whilst working, expanded the business.  Further investment in 2015 meant that Joe could quit his job and work in the business full time.  An introduction from one of the shareholders to Michael Roux gave them the opportunity to have their recipes exclusively developed by him.

So on to June’s bake. I had already added the additional ingredients for this month’s box to my shopping order so they were in the fridge waiting to be used; sour cream, unsalted butter and 2 large eggs. I was all prepared on Monday but it was actually too hot to bake. In the end I found some time on Wednesday to try the new bake, cinnamon and pecan loaf.

My box contained the bagged ingredients :

Bag 1 – Pecan nuts

Bag 2 – Caster sugar

Bag 3 – Self raising flour and salt

Bag 4 – Demerara sugar and cinnamon

Bag 5 – Icing sugar

First job was to prepare a 2lb loaf tin with the baking paper provided.  The loaf tin is one of my essential tins; I make a lot of cakes in this tin.  Step 2 was using bag 1;  you are told clearly which bag is needed. I had to chop the pecans and toast them in a small frying pan for 4-5 minutes.  It did state quite clearly that I should be careful not to let them burn.  Let me tell you that you really need to be careful at this stage.  Not too much of a disaster though!

Toasting pecan nuts – be careful
The next three steps, using bag 2 and 3 and ingredients I had to provide, were quite straightforward although it needed gentle mixing.  A separate bowl was needed to mix bag 4 with the toasted pecans.  Step 7 was transferring the mixture to the tin which was a bit different to a normal cake.  Half the cake mixture was put into the tin followed by half the cinnamon and pecan mixture.  This was repeated then I had to swirl round with a knife.  Each recipe has a top tip from Michael Roux; his tip was to swirl the mixture a little more than you think it needs.  This would ensure a good marbling of cinnamon mixture throughout the loaf.  Well I swirled and swirled and had this pretty effect before putting in the oven.
Preparation mixture
Swirled mixture
The actual smell of the cake whilst it was baking was amazing.  It took all my willpower to allow it to cool down and add the icing before cutting in to it.  I have to say that I have enjoyed lots of the bakes and it is so hard to come up with a favourite, but the taste of this with a cup of tea put this in the top three of my favourites.  It might go to the top even.  I belong to the BakedIn Facebook group where we share our pictures and thoughts of the bakes. Every time I saw a new picture of this one come up, I could just taste the flavours again and was so jealous I had already baked mine.  I will bake again!
Cinnamon and pecan loaf out of the oven – very tempted to eat
Cinnamon and pecan loaf

I love my subscription and to some, it may seem pricey:

Yes, you can buy recipe books for £10 and cheaper but you get the dry ingredients so you don’t end up buying banana chips to find you don’t like the recipe and will never use  them again.  I actually bought them again to make the very delicious banoffee cookies again.

Banoffee Cookies

Yes, you can buy cake mixes and again so much cheaper.  Believe me these are different. You don’t just add eggs and water to a mix and it’s ready.  There is a bit more involved which is what any baker would like.

My £7.99 a month gives me so much pleasure that I find it is a worthwhile spend.  I love the excitement of not knowing what is coming through the door.  My anticipation starts when I receive the e-mail that tells me the ingredients I need and I am trying to guess what I will be baking; not got it right yet! I then have to wait for the postman to deliver.  I then am excited before opening, again when I open the box and then I can’t wait until I bake it.  I haven’t had total successes; normally the bakes that require a little more skill are my downfall but I will try them again.

As well as the baking club subscription, Bakedin do sell cake mixes and mug mixes too.  I had not been tempted before but did put an iced cinnamon bun kit in my shopping basket so will review soon! I think if I worked for BakedIn I would have been happy to go back to work!