6 Nov 2017

Iced Ginger Biscuits | Bake Off Bake Along

Iced Ginger Biscuits | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

Well that was quite the final. That was definitely the result I was hoping for as well, Sophie had been consistently good throughout most challenges and she did have a great showstopper. So I’m happy she picked up the win.

I successfully avoided that dreaded spoiler all day too, so bonus that it remained a complete surprise. 

I have to admit, when I was watching it, I felt a bit disappointed in the signature and technical challenge choices. Bread and iced cookies just didn't feel like big final worthy challenges.

How wrong I was.

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31 Oct 2017

Biscoff Craquelin Choux Buns | Bake Off Bake Along

Biscoff Craquelin Choux Buns | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

It feel like I’ve been waiting for patisserie week to come around for so long and it’s finally here, and I’m not mad at the challenges. In fact, I really liked them.

Choux buns, delicious. Mini opera style cake slices, impressive. Meringue desserts, yaaaaass.

So all in all, this week was enough to sort of, maybe, kind of heal the loss of Liam. Still not over it, but I’m sticking with Sophie for my pegged winner. She had a great week too and was a very worthy star baker. She’s had some pretty consistently good bakes too.
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23 Oct 2017

Rum Nicky Pie | Bake Off Bake Along

Rum Nicky Pie | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

This week was just all round disappointing. I really, really had pegged Liam for the winner this year. But then all that pretty much got washed away last Tuesday. And then a flip of events to see Stacey get Star Baker!

I can’t even predict a winner now. But I think Sophie is my next favourite. She has some genuinely brilliant bakes and seems like a lovely person to boot.

As for bakes this week, it kind of felt like a mish mash, but then I guess that’s the point of Forgotten Bakes?
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16 Oct 2017

Sfogliatella (the cheats way) | Bake Off Bake Along

Sfogliatella (the cheats way) | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

Another bake off first with Italian week! I enjoyed it, it was good, but I felt pretty awful for the bakers. Surely there's some A/C they can put on in the tent for them? Those temperatures just looked like torture. 

I was pretty sad to see Yan go, she was so much better and more creative than some others, and Steven getting star baker, when his showstopper was burnt was a bit of an eye roll moment for me. 

So many delicious cannoli flavours this week and I love a cannoli. Liam's s'mores one just looked dreamy and lemon cheesecake, yes please! Did anyone else think the technical pizza challenge looked a bit sad? Where was all the cheese?! As for the showstopper, I've never heard of sfogliatella and it looked like a nightmare with that much rolling out until it was paper thin. 
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9 Oct 2017

Pastéis de Nata | Portuguese Custard Tarts | Bake Off Bake Along

Pastéis de Nata | Portuguese Custard Tarts | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

I don't think I've ever craved a big hearty pie more in my life than when I sat watching Bake Off last week.

This weeks results were also just what I've been waiting for... Liam got Star Baker! So very well deserved and I think he's nearly everyone's favourite to win now.

The challenges were definitely an improvement from last week - I think my favourite pie was the Christmas hot water crust pie. Literal heart eyes and a great idea for those leftovers on boxing day really. However, it doesn't quite beat a traditional Scotch pie for me.

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2 Oct 2017

Cinnamon Swirl Steamed Pudding | Bake Off Bake Along

Cinnamon Swirl Steamed Pudding | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

Happy Dessert Week everyone, what did you all think of it? I personally wasn't very wowed by it, but maybe that's because it came after Caramel Week, which was pretty hard to top. 

It kind of felt like a lackluster week. All that gelatin in the trifle was just a big no for me, I'm not a peanut butter fan so the fondants weren't for me (however, I have tried Sally's chocolate lava cakes and they are brilliant!), which left me with the humble little steamed pudding.

But I'm definitely not complaining because this is essentially the ultimate comfort pudding for winter. 

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25 Sep 2017

Caramel Banana Layer Cake | Bake Off Bake Along

Caramel Banana Cake | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

I think it's safe to say that Caramel Week has been my favourite so far. It had me craving some millionaires shortbread from the start, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing but not great when there's none of it in the house.

I loved the technical challenge, because who doesn’t like stroopwaffles? They are delicious, especially with a cup of tea. Liam and Kate were definitely my favourites this week – that toffee apple cake and Liam’s ginger drip cake, wowza. But Liam is shining through as my top favourite currently. I don’t know how he hasn’t been star baker yet? And how has Paul not heard of drip cakes? How is that even possible?


So with no special waffle maker to hand and not wanting to tamper with the classic (and best) millionaires shortbread, I chose to take on the showstopper and the dreaded spun sugar. 

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19 Sep 2017

Winter Spiced Tea Cakes | Bake Off Bake Along

Winter Spiced Tea Cakes | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

So Bread week was a tense one in the tent. I had no clue what the cottage loaf was and the final bread challenge was just a little bit out of my league, especially when Bread week is my most feared out of the whole Bake Off Bake Along.

Last years bread week was a flop, with a failed brioche that didn’t really rise as well as I hoped. Bread isn’t my favourite to make, mainly because I like instant results you get with cake or cookies. But it is my favourite to eat and I cannot resist warm bread. 

However... I think I’m final learning to love making bread.
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11 Sep 2017

Funfetti Sandwich Cookies | Bake Off Bake Along

Funfetti Sandwich Cookies | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

After biscuit week, I'm pretty sure I've entered into a sugar coma.

Although it has sparked plenty of ideas for more sandwich cookies. More of them including a cheesecake/cream cheese middle, because that's just the best of both worlds with cheesecake and cookies.

I've also now learnt how to make fortune cookies and how did so many of them not know how they were shaped? That was quite stressful to watch.

Funfetti Sandwich Cookies | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

Gradually, it feels like Bake Off is finding its groove again, although I think we all have to pretty much accept it will never fully be or feel the same again. At least that's what I'm coming to accept.

This week, I took on sandwich cookies and used all the sprinkles I could find in my house.

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4 Sep 2017

Chocolate Mini Rolls | Bake Off Bake Along

Chocolate Mini Rolls | Bake Off Bake Along | Hungry Little Bear

It’s back! Bake Off is back! And I think we’re all feeling a bit uneasy about it all, am I right?

I’m still not 100% sure on the presenters (I really miss Mel and Sue) and the mentions of calories in the show (can we not, please?). But I am slowly warming up to it all... just not the ads or Paul Hollywood. The ads will take some time getting used to, but at least it means enough time to run for another cup of tea.

Last year, I took part in the #BakeOffBakeAlong hosted by Amanda at Rhyme and Ribbons and I really really loved it, so much that I thought I’d at least give it another go this year. I’m hoping it will help me warm up again to the show that we love.
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23 Aug 2017

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

S'mores hold a special place in my heart. I didn't grow up eating them or have them on family camping trips. In fact, our family has never been camping. I don't think my mum would cope quite well...

But I did eat as many s'mores as I could while working at a Summer Camp in the States a couple of years ago. 

At the end of each week with your cabin, you would gather with your village and have a campfire together. It was my favourite part of the week, no question. Mainly because hellooo delicious mash ups of food cooked over the fire, cheese toasties, banana boats... and s'mores.

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

I had never tried one before camp but there's something about a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between chocolate and a graham cracker that is just so flippin' GOOD.

I was that weird international who snacked on graham crackers and I was also that stupid international who forgot to stockpile them before flying home. Biggest. Mistake.

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

Digestive biscuits aren't quite the same to s'more with, but crushed up and swirled in ice cream... you don't even notice the difference. The whole process for making this ice cream was simple, quick and done within about 30 minutes.

So if you've never made ice cream before, don't be scared, and give it a go...

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

Another bonus? This ice cream only needs 5 ingredients. That's it. And you probably already have them in your cupboards too. 

Want another bonus? It's no churn. Meaning there's no need for an ice cream machine and no need to stir it a couple hours into freezing. Just layer it all up and throw it in the freezer to set.

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

The result is a creamy, crunchy, chewy s'mores mash up and I'm hooked. Every now and again you'll get a crispy toasted marshmallow or a crunch of a digestive and then a hit of sweet chocolate. It's a perfect sweet treat for the end of the Summer. 

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream | Hungry Little Bear

No Churn S'mores Ice Cream

Ingredients:
100g mini marshmallows
405g (1 tin) condensed milk (I used light condensed milk and it turned out the same)
480ml (2 cups) double cream (do not use single cream as it won't set properly)
Chocolate dessert sauce for ice cream
7 digestive biscuits or graham crackers, roughly crushed

Directions:
  1. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and spread the mini marshmallows onto it. Place under the grill on a medium heat, until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes). Rotate the pan during to ensure all the marshmallows toast evenly. Then scrape into a bowl to cool.
  2. Pour the condensed milk into the bowl with the marshmallows and stir to combine. 
  3. Whip the double cream in a large bowl until soft peaks. Be careful not to over whip! You want a nice fluffy, whipped cream that is still firm-ish. 
  4. Add the marshmallow mixture to the whipped cream and fold in and combine well. 
  5. Take a loaf tin (one pictured is a 2lb tin) or you can use a tupperware, and spread one third of the ice cream mixture into the container. On top, sprinkle on some digestives, then squeeze on some chocolate sauce. Ice cream chocolate sauce works best as it stays soft, whereas melted chocolate would freeze solid if used. Using a skewer, swirl them together roughly.
  6. Repeat the process, adding another third of ice cream mixture, adding digestives and chocolate, swirling them together. Then top with remaining ice cream and sprinkle on digestives, chocolate sauce and some additional marshmallows. 
  7. Wrap securely with cling wrap before placing in the freezer overnight. To serve, remove from the freezer and leave for a few minutes to soften before scooping and devouring. 
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26 Jul 2017

Mini Chocolate Tarts with Raw Date and Nut Crust (GF)

Mini Chocolate Tarts with Raw Date and Nut Crust | Hungry Little Bear

A friend told me recently told me about a dessert she had at a restaurant, it was a raw date crust and chocolate tart. Without even trying it, it just sounded like a dreamy, sweet and sticky combination that I knew I wanted to recreate. 


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19 Jun 2017

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter & Chia Seed Cookies (GF & DF)

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Chia Seed Cookies (GF & DF) | Hungry Little Bear

My sister gave me some chia seeds recently (because she didn’t like them *eye roll*) and not wanting to waste them, I’ve gradually been trying to add them to random dishes.

They're meant to be good for you and lets be honest, they just look like poppy seeds to me and don't taste much different either!

If you didn’t know, they’re a super food full of omega 3, calcium, iron, fibre and protein, and a lot other good things. I have a lack of super foods in my diet so sprinkling a few in homemade energy balls, smoothies and any baking I do, seems to work pretty well.
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16 May 2017

Soft Cinnamon Pretzels

Soft Cinnamon Pretzels | Hungry Little Bear

One of my goals for this year was to work on my bread and dough making skills, or just anything baked with yeast really. I just don't have the patience for it normally, I want instant results like the type you get with a cake or a brownie.

So I'm challenging myself every now and again to whip out the bread flour and get baking with yeast. This time it was soft pretzels and they came out absolutely perfect - which is a surprise for someone who fails at bread like me. 

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14 Apr 2017

Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Bun Loaf | Hungry Little Bear

Happy Good Friday! Hope you're all enjoying a bank holiday in the sun and making the most of lazy mornings. I know I am!

Let’s start this by saying that I’ve never had a successful bread/dough bake. Ever. They’ve all been fails and it’s been something I’ve wanted to work on this year.

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6 Apr 2017

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars with Raw Date Caramel

Soft chocolate chip, gluten free oat base, with a thick layer of raw date caramel spread on top and drizzled with melted chocolate to finish.

Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear

Gluten free baking is always a challenge. But I think I’ve cracked it. The magic ingredient? Oats. For me, gluten free flour always has a gritty texture to it and oats seem to be that something special that disguises that grittiness.

The result is a soft vanilla oat base with chocolate chips mixed through. The oats make these bars more filling and the raw date caramel is the little sweet touch on top they need.

Oh and the smell of these little bars baking away in the oven is just delicious.

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31 Mar 2017

Hot Cross Bun Shortbread Cookies

Packed with dried fruit, these buttery, spicy shortbread cookies are a twist on the classic hot cross bun. 

Hot Cross Bun Shortbread Cookies | Hungry Little Bear

It's finally starting to feel a bit more like Spring. I mean, there are still days when I wake up and see grey, foggy mornings, but the light evenings are just bloomin' marvellous, there are mini eggs everywhere and hot cross buns in every flavour you could want. 

Marks and Spencer's Chocolate and Orange, I'm looking at you. 

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12 Mar 2017

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

At the end of last year, I was busy making a few Christmas presents, one a supersize scrapbook of my nephew and the other, a baby mobile for my other sister who has just had her first child. He was born in January and after seeing my DIY Dinosaur baby mobile, they had requested one of their own for their little man.

After making one baby mobile, it’s fair to say I’m still a novice with sewing and I’m still learning. On this DIY project, I learnt that you should always, always buy more thread than you think you might need. I seriously underestimated the amount of embroidery thread needed for this hot air balloon design, and that 12 meters wasn’t nearly enough. Whereas for the dinosaur one, I completed it in less than that.

I kept the design as simple as possible, scouring Pinterest for ideas and tips, and I reckon anyone could tackle this. It’s simple, cute and will be a feature in any nursery.

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25 Feb 2017

Gooey Chocolate Lava Cakes

Decadent and gooey, these Chocolate Lava Cakes are oozing with a soft chocolate centre and are the perfect sweet dessert for that special occasion. 

Chocolate Lava Cakes | Hungry Little Bear

I don't think I've ever made chocolate lava cakes before. Sure, I've eaten a fair few (plenty at Christmas!) and know what they're all about but never once have I taken on the challenge of making them before. 

When Sally began her Monthly Baking Challenge, these chocolate lave cakes for first on the list and I'm surprised just how easy they were to make! Just a few simple ingredient that you probably already have in your cupboards and you can whip up this sweet dessert.

Boom. You sold yet? 

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12 Feb 2017

Easy Pizza Waffles (the cheats way)

With just a few simple ingredients you can make the easiest pizza in minutes. Doughy and oozing with cheese, these pizza waffles are the perfect treat!

Easy Pizza Waffles (the cheats way) | Hungry Little Bear

Well January went by pretty quickly. I was struck down with food poisoning and the flu for nearly all of it and am only just starting to bake again. Mega. Sad. Face.

Not being able to whip up a batch of cookies or chocolate banana loaf has pretty much crushed me. But I don't think anyone really wants a side of my cold mixed in. Nah, didn't think so.

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20 Jan 2017

Chocolate Chunk Chickpea Blondies (GF)

Soft and squidgy, these chickpea blondies are sure to cure any sweet tooth cravings. Sprinkled with chocolate chunks, it's time you tried out this simple one bowl treat. 

Chocolate Chunk Chickpea Blondies - Gluten Free & Vegan - Hungry Little Bear

Happy New Year everyone! It feels like 2016 went by in a blink of an eye. Now the back to work blues have set in and I'm kind of missing shorter working weeks.

The struggle is real. 

This year, I made no resolutions. Instead, I'm just making goals as I go. The difference is that I want my goals to be more realistic, not resolutions that feel a million light years away and that I’ll probably forget by February.

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