Video: Make Bread by Hand

Come make bread with us!


Here’s something fun to try this weekend- maybe as a test run for some fresh bread for thanksgiving? Let us know what you make- #florriemarie on instagram.

preheat oven to 450F

makes two boules (round loaves) or four batards (small torpedo loaves)

You can also halve the recipe.

1/2 – ounce salt
1/4 – ounce dry active yeast
1 pound 8ounces – bread flour
1 pint – tepid water

Mix well and knead on clean surface until dough is soft and pliable.
Let rise in a lightly oiled bowl until doubled in size.
Shape loaves and let rise again.
Score loaves and bake for 30-40 minutes.
10 minutes into baking- quickly toss a 1/4 cup of cold water into the bottom of the oven to create steam.
Wait 15-20 minutes after baking before cutting.


Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Despite the long title these are simple, and quick to make and most of all sumptuous!


Makes 12

4oz Unsalted butter – room temperature

4oz Sugar

1oz 80% cocoa chocolate

2 Large cold eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

3 1/2 oz All purpose flour

1/2 Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

100ml (1/3 cup) Heavy cream

Pre heat the over to 330 degrees F. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake liners. I like the use the fluted brioche papers. I think  they provide some extra support to the batter in the oven.

Cut the butter into cubes and put in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add in the sugar and cream together on medium until fluffy.

Melt the chocolate, and mix into the butter and sugar.

Crack the 2 eggs into a cup and beat a little, measure the vanilla extract and mix in with the eggs. Add this to the main bowl and beat on high until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Sift these into the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low beat until the dry ingredients are only just combined.

Pour in the cream and mix until the batter has an even consistency.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the liners. Do not over fill the liners, a slightly heaped scoop is all you need. Ensure all the batter is out of the scoop and in the liner before moving on to the next cupcake.

Place on the bottom shelf of the oven and set the timer for 22 minutes, they may need a little longer, but keep a close eye on them

Leave to cool and then ice and decorate.


Someone’s Happy. Nom nom nom.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 Eggs

8oz sugar

Pinch of salt

12oz unsalted butter room temperature

3oz White chocolate

Bring a small pan with a little water to a boil over medium heat.

In the meantime, separate the eggs very carefully. You need to measure 1/4 pint of egg whites. There may be some left over, don’t be tempted to just chuck this in with the rest. Save them or discard them.

Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a bowl of an electric mixer.

Place the bowl on top of the pan of boiling water and stir with a whip until the egg whites are ot and the sugar has dissolved. Scrape down any sugar around the side of the bowl. Keep stirring if you don’t  the egg whites will settle and start to cook like an omlette.

Remove and attach to the mixer. Beat on slow until cold.

When the meringue is cold add the butter a little at a time.  Beating until it’s incorporated.

Increase the speed a little and beat until smooth.

Melt the chocolate and steadily pour in, beating until incorporated.

You’ll have enough to cover about 24 cupcakes. The remainder of the icing will keep in the fridge for a while.

Enjoy, f.

Blueberry Galette


I found another reason to turn on my oven the other day.  I love a quick and easy dessert recipe, and this is one that I turn to regularly, especially in the fall and winter. Its easy to assemble before you begin dinner, then you pop it into the fridge to chill while you cook. Just before you sit down to eat you put it in a hot oven and it bakes while you enjoy your supper, it cools as you relax and digest and just when you’re ready to eat a little something sweet for dessert, its ready too.  This also is a great recipe for figs, apples, cherries… you get the idea. I use a boxed pie crust that comes with two crusts individually wrapped. Pie crust is my kryptonite (’cause I have hot hands). This recipe uses one, so I have a second crust waiting for me for another time.  But by all means, if you aren’t as lazy and inept as me, of course you can make your favorite pie crust from scratch.

Blueberry Galette

1 boxed pie crust, chilled

1 pint fresh blueberries

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

zest of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a cookie or baking sheet lay pie crust flat. Sprinkle graham crackers, brown sugar, lemon zest and blueberries in the middle. Cut up cold butter into little pieces and sprinkle evenly over fruit.

Fold edges of pie crust over and pinch together to create a pie. Sometimes I’ll do an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, but its not necessary. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden and fruit is bubbly.  For easy cleanup bake on a piece of foil or parchment paper.  Cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Its extra yummy with vanilla ice cream on the side.



Christmas Cookie Tree

This was a little pre-Christmas treat from myself  for myself. I’d had my eye on this for a while and got it just in time to make a stack of cookies to send to Cobra Commanders colleagues.

I’m excited all ready

OOOOooo, the excitement is growing,included are the  cutters, a couple of piping bags, 2 icing tips and a recipe book

Look at ALL those star cutters, they look so pretty grouped together

Make  a batch of cookie dough. As this was the first time I was using the cutters and didn’t really know how much dough I would need I followed the recipe in the instruction book, but omitted some flour and replaced it with cocoa powder

The instructions called for 2 batches of the cookie dough, But I got all the stars cut out from 1. I did re- roll the the excess dough

I was a trial and error placing the cutters on the dough and I did have to re cut some. I also rolled them out on the silicon mats as the dough is very soft and moving them distorted the shape

OK cookies in the oven. Similar sizes cookies are grouped together so they will cook at the same time, so none end up burnt or underdone

Out of the oven, while they cool, I’ll get the icing ready

I’m going to ice them with peppermint flavoured royal icing and sprinkle on red edible glitter and crushed up candy canes. The finishing touch will be a little gold dust

I spread the icing on the cookies, But in retrospect think I would have looked better if I’d piped it on and then flooded the centre..

…oh well, While the icing is still wet sprinkle half with red glitter and..

..the other half with the crushed up candy canes

The pieces were a little big and I tried to get them just on the edges

After leaving to icing to dry for a couple of hours, I was time to build the tree

I alternated between glitter and crushed candy cane

I dusted to top cookie in gold and stood it up

The finished tree. Not bad for a first attempt.

I’m looking forward to experimenting more next year, when I have a bit more time

Less Stress Christmas

I think there must be something in the air that makes this time of year so hectic, The short days make people go in to a tail spin. Santa is lucky that he only has to check his list TWICE, I consult my MANY lists several  times a day! I call my compilation of lists, notes, photocopies and tear outs my Christmas Brain.

I start by printing out a calendar of the month and jotting things onto it. Events that are fixed and unlikely to change I write directly onto the calendar and those which may move about are written on post it notes. I do this because I find crossing things out rewriting new things in the same space makes me confused. The whole point of this is to make organising myself and my time easier.

I also keep my Christmas gift list here and can tick off items when they have been purchased.

If  there is a day that will be extra busy I print a d day planner of that and behind each day I put photocopies and tear outs of recipes and other sheets of inspiration the pertain to that day. I keep it all together with a clip.

Another time saver I’ve found useful is to measure out and bag dry ingredients for baked goods. I them put them in the cupboard with a copy of the recipe and know I only have to add butter, eggs, vanilla and other wet ingredients. I usually keep a good stock of those things.

Remember to label them too.

I also bake several batches of cookies, form them into balls and freeze them, that way there is always a treat minutes away if anyone should drop by unexpected. This works really well with sausage rolls too.

Cookin’ Verses Bakin’

Would you consider yourself more of a cook or a baker? Or Perhaps you can’t pick a side of the fence  and prefer to straddle it! That’s our topic for our 8th podcast, so take a listen and share your view either with a comment or with the poll.

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