The world of baking and food through the eyes of an American in London

Cookie Dough Breakfast Rolls

Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Bread, Chocolate, Cookies | 13 comments

Cookie Dough Breakfast Rolls
These are my new favorite breakfast item! It’s just like a cinnamon roll but stuffed with egg less cookie dough instead of cinnamon and sugar. It’s a sneaky way of making dessert for breakfast. 
Cookie Dough Breakfast Rolls
Normally yeast is my enemy but this time I put the bowl on top of the tumble dryer while I left it to rise and they came out so fluffy! I need to cut the slices smaller next time as they puffed up way too much and each one was big enough to serve four people!
I made the rolls the night before serving since it takes time to wait for the dough to rise. Making extra cookie dough to have extra stuffed rolls wouldn’t be a bad idea either! Make sure to spread the cookie dough nearly all the way to the sides. A few of my rolls were a little empty.
Cookie Dough Breakfast Rolls
adapted from Joy of Baking and All Recipes
4 1/2 – 5 cups plain flour
1 package dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold cut into cubes
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
Cookie Dough Filling
1 1/2 cup plain flour
6 tbs brown sugar
9 tbs sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbs milk
pinch of salt
pinch of baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs milk
1. Start by making the dough. In a large bowl mix 2 1/4 cups of the flour and the yeast.
2. In a small saucepan heat the milk, butter, milk, sugar and salt until just warm and the butter is almost melted. 
3. Pour the milk mixture slowly into the flour with the mixer on low speed. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition. 
3. Switch the paddle attachment to the dough hook and knead in the remaining 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups flour until the dough is smooth and elastic about 5 minutes. 
4. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. I did 45 minutes flipped the ball over and let it rise for another 45 minutes. 
6. Make the cookie dough filling while the dough is rising by mixing the butter, brown sugar and sugar together. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Mix in the flour, salt and baking soda until combined.
7. Take the dough out of the bowl and place on the counter. Punch it down and cover with a tea towel for 10 minutes.
8. Roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Spread the cookie dough evenly over the dough.
9. Roll the dough into a log and pinch the ends together.
10. Slice the log into 8-10 pieces (not too big as the pieces will rise significantly). 
11. Place the pieces into a rectangular baking pan. Cover and chill the dough overnight. 
12. Take the rolls out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before ready to bake. 
13. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Brush the tops of the dough with a little milk or cream and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top.
14. Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar and milk together and drizzling over top each bun.

Enjoy! The rolls are best eaten the same day they are baked. They could also be frozen before baking. 

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Cupcakes Take The Cake Visit London

Posted by on Jul 4, 2011 in Other, Yummy Places | 5 comments

 Rachel from Cupcakes Take The Cake was in London this weekend! How exciting is that? I promised to take her to taste some London cupcakes and we saw a few sights along the way!

We met up and hit Central London and Soho on Saturday. First stop was Cabbages & Frocks Market where we had a sampling of gluten free cupcakes and donuts from Sweet Cheeks.

The lemon and raspberry cupcake was amazing. I never would have guessed it was gluten free (I had my own foray into gluten free baking this weekend. More on that in a few days). I was also surprised with the donut. It was lovely! The sample of peanut butter blondie we had was also excellent. I would definitely recommend them if you have a wheat or gluten intolerance.

Next stop was Moolis. I needed something to counteract all the sweetness. I had the The Kerelan Coconut Beef (as recommended by Anne) and it was delicious! It’s not a burrito but for nearly the same price it is just as good or even better than the burrito places that have popped up all over London.

We hit up Hummingbird bakery next. We got a chocolate, vanilla Fourth of July and Mango special. The mango special was better than I expected but the frosting was way to sweet. The vanilla was my favorite of the day. Really soft and tasted of vanilla. The design was almost too cute to eat. I liked the chocolate one too. My favorite combo at Hummingbird is the vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.

Rachel also got a Rocky Road. It was really hard and almost impossible to eat. Hilarious trying to watch her break a piece off!

We made a stop at Johnny Cupcakes next. I try not to go in there too often because I always walk out with a new shirt…This time it was the new watermelon one! Way too cute to resist!

Last stop of the day was Cox, Cookies & Cake. I had absolutely no more room for cupcakes at this point! Rachel had a chocolate cupcake and they gave her a free hot chocolate shot. I didn’t try the cupcake but the hot chocolate shot was very nice. Her cupcake was only £2.50, the more decorated ones are a hefty £4.00.

It was super fun to meet Rachel and I had a great time doing a cupcake tour! She took a lot more pictures than me so make sure to check out Cupcakes Take The Cake over the next few days.

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Fourth of July Cake Pops

Posted by on Jul 3, 2011 in Cake Truffles & Pops, Holidays | 3 comments

4th of Juy Cake Pops

I really wanted to make something for Fourth of July but I was running out of time so I made some really quick cake pops using a cake mix.

4th of Juy Cake Pops

My kitchen was really hot and the pops were starting to melt a little bit so I don’t have a nice picture of them all together.

4th of Juy Cake Pops

They looked great before they started to fall apart! I used red, white and blue candy melts and sprinkled some of them with the sprinkles that came with the cake mix.

4th of Juy Cake Pops 
I like to keep my cake pops simple…that and I’m not very good at decorating. Glad I went with a cake mix this time since they melted!
4th of Juy Cake Pops 

The inside was a red, white and blue funetti. To see some step by step instructions on how to make cake pops see my Oreo Cake Pops. I made a layer cake last year for Fourth of July.
Have a nice holiday everyone! I had a little mini celebration today since I have to go to work tomorrow.
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Posted by on Jul 2, 2011 in Other, Yummy Places | 1 comment

Regent Tweet

I don’t typically post non food items but I’m making an exception for this one item because it was a fun event for women to network. That and I like to shop.

Regent Tweet
Regent Tweet is a digital experiential event created for Regent Street, focusing on interactive engagement between key social networking individuals and the Regent Street fashion and lifestyle retailers, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Regent Tweet
Anyone can sign up for the event and places are allocated randomly. The day kicked off at the Swarowski Crystallized Lounge on Great Marlborough Street.
Regent Tweet
The event lasted all day so the lounge was “camp” for the day where you could go and recharge your phone, have a coffee, rest your feet and drop off your shopping bags.

After check in I was given a stack of cards. Each card was for a store on Regent Street and a special discount or gift attached to it. In short, I walked around Regent Street all day and collected little gifts (nail polish, skin cream, cuff links, a few snacks) from various stores and a had a laugh with the other women!

Regent Tweet
Chocolate covered strawberry from Godiva
Regent Tweet
The future of fashion presented by Olivia Solon editor of at the Apple store. Not future fashion trends but how technology will influence fashion such as thunderstorm dresses, self painting dresses and neuroears. Really interesting stuff! Later Apple discussed augmented reality apps.
Regent Tweet

There was a prize draw at the end form the randomly selected wall of tweets using the #regenttweet hash tag on twitter. I didn’t win anything. I’ll have to make sure to tweet more next time!

Regent Tweet
Many of the women at and organizing the event work in IT and belong to the group London Girl Geek Dinners. I’m an accountant so I don’t technically belong but if you work in IT check it out. Not many women work in IT so it’s a great group.
Remember to sign up for the event next year! Thanks to everyone that organized this year. It was great fun!
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Homemade Pink Lemonade

Posted by on Jul 1, 2011 in Beverages, Fruit, Party | 7 comments

Pink Lemonade
I’ve never made my own fresh pink lemonade before. I don’t know why I’ve been buying the powdered stuff all this time! You can adjust the sugar to make it as sweet to your liking. I like mine to be just a little bit tart.
Pink Lemonade
This really hits the spot on a nice day or rather in our case pretending it’s a nice summer day outside! I made this to serve at my cake party and I think it went over pretty well!
Pink Lemonade
adapted from Simply Recipes (this filled my big pouring pitcher and then a small measuring jug)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
6 cups sparkling water
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cups lemon juice
1. Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and regular water in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine sparkling water, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup together and stir until combined. You can add more sugar if desired.
3. Chill until ready to serve.
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Grilled Banana Bread

Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 in Book Review, Bread, Cake, Fruit | 12 comments

Grilled Banana Bread
I made Grilled Banana Bread Sandwiches as finger food for my cupcake party. I really enjoyed this. The maple cream cheese spread is fantastic. I made a big batch and used the leftovers on bagels in the morning. 
Grilled Banana Bread
They tasted great warm right off the pan with some cold cream cheese slathered on. Make sure the bread is firm otherwise it will fall apart when it heats up in the pan.
Grilled Banana Bread
The idea is from the newly released The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches sent to me by Quirk I love the idea of a dessert sandwich! I really enjoyed this book. It makes the boring sandwich fun again!

 In England sandwiches get a bad rep because they tend to be quite boring and mainstream like Pret. I’ve already made the famous Pittsburgh sandwich The Primanti.

There are plenty of other dessert sandwiches and the other ideas range from a simple PB&J to the funny Spaghetti Sandwich and to more worldly sandwiches like a Vietnamese Banh Mi. I am absolutely making one of the breakfast sandwiches from this book next!

Banana Bread Sandwiches
one loaf of banana bread makes enough to serve a party

Banana Bread
adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

270g light brown sugar
2 eggs
200g mashed banana
280g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
140g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chocolate chips or nuts (optional)

Vanilla Maple Cream Cheese spread
adapted from Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

200g full fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 bananas sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C and grease a loaf pan (or line with parchment paper). In a large bowl beat together the sugar and eggs until combined. Add in the mashed bananas.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger to the sugar mixture. When all combined pour in the melted butter and beat until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips or nuts if desired.

3. Transfer batter to the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour until skew inserted in middle comes out clean.Once cooled cut into slices.

4. Make the cream cheese spread by stirring together the cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup until combined.

Grilled Banana Bread

5. When ready to serve butter both sides of the bread and place in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove and spread cream cheese on one side and top with a few banana slices.

6. Store any leftover cream cheese in a sealed container.

It might be useful to make the banana bread the night before planning to serve so it has time to cool down before slicing.

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Carrot & Stick Online Bakery Review

Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 in Yummy Places | 6 comments

Carrot & Stick is a newly launched online bakery serving Southeast London and Kent. They offer cake pops, cupcakes and cookies in over 20 flavors. Carrot & Stick sent me 3 cake pops to review.

The bakery is American owned and the cake is made from old family recipes. The pops are available to order online for £1.75 for orders of 3 dozen (minimum) and available for £2 at Montpelier Cafe in Blackheath and Biscuit Cafe & Ceramics Studio in Greenwich.

Chocolate fudge chick cake pop. I really liked the little candies that made up the eyes and limbs of the chick. It gave a nice texture contrast to the soft cake. It’s also very cute!

The cake was nice and soft inside and not too wet. I’m not a fan of cake pops that are mushy inside. This one had a nice balance. It was chocolate fudge flavor but it lacked a good chocolate punch. The only negative of all the pops I tasted.

Pink spotted lemon cake pop. This pop had the best flavor of the three. The lemon was nicely present but not too over or under whelming. The white chocolate coating was just right too.

Carrot & Stick sent me a photo of the peanut butter cup pop as I managed to squish the one they dropped off at my office. This was my favorite decorated pop. I love the simple little slice of Reese’s peanut butter cup on top as it looks like a little slice of pie!

I would definitely pick up a lemon pop from one of the cafes if I was nearby over a cake pop from Starbucks. I had no problem eating all 3 cake pops in one sitting!

I’ve not yet purchased anything from an online bakery and Carrot & Stick are also my first online bakery review.

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