Cooking for showing: recipes

Below you will find the recipes for the items demonstrated at Darren Lomas's recent baking demonstration. If you are thinking of entering your baking in the Annual Show, consult Kath Suckling's tips for showing.

Sweet pastry

8 oz Plain Flour
4oz Butter
2oz Caster Sugar
1-2 eggs beaten

Rub the flour, butter and sugar together until it resembles a breadcrumb texture, then add a good half of the beaten egg and work in until you have a nice dough – using a little more of the egg if necessary, but be careful not to make it too wet as it will become difficult to roll out.
Roll out carefully and use as required, if making a large tart then it would be best to ‘blind bake’ it before adding the filling.
For best results, chill it before placing in a hot oven – 190’c, adjusting the cooking time depending on what you are making with it. Mince pies for example would take only 8-9 minutes, a large tart 18-20 minutes.

Savoury Scones
Basic recipe

10 oz S.R Flour
Pinch of salt
4oz Butter cut into small dice
pint Chilled Milk
Beaten egg to glaze

Rub the flour, salt and butter together until it resembles a breadcrumb texture, then add enough of the milk until it binds together into a nice dough.
Add your chosen flavours to the mix, being careful not to over work the mix. Pat out or roll flat to a depth of 1 inch and using a 2” plain pastry cutter cut out your scones and place on a greased baking tray, glaze them with the egg wash and cook in a  medium to hot oven 180-190’c for 8 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack when done.

Examples of different flavours
Basically, just experiment ! As long as the mix doesn’t get too wet then it will work.

Chocolate cake

6oz Margarine
6oz Caster Sugar
5oz S.R Flour
1oz Cocoa
3 eggs

Line 2 x 7-8 inch sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.
Beat the margarine and sugar well until it goes very pale in colour, then begin adding the eggs one by one until well beaten, then fold in the sieved flour and cocoa powder. Carefully divide the mix in to the cake tins and cook for 20 minutes at 180’c when cooked, rest on a cooling rack for a few minutes before turning out. When thoroughly cooled spread strawberry jam on one half and the butter icing (recipe below) on top of other half. Decorate to your liking.

Butter icing

4oz Softened butter
5oz Sieved icing sugar
1oz Sieved cocoa powder

Beat the butter until pale in colour and begin adding the sugar and cocoa until you have a nice cream consistence- add a little cream to make it richer  and adjust the consistency if needed. Use as required.

Many thanks to Darren Lomas from Templeton College for providing the above.
The following is a recipe for American-style muffins which has won a first prize at the Annual Show in the past. It's adapted from a recipe in the BBC Good Food magazine.

Berry and nut muffins
For 12 muffins:
175g/6oz plain white flour
100g/4oz plain wholemeal flour
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g/4 oz light muscovado sugar
1 large egg, beaten
250ml/8fl oz milk
100g butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g/8oz berries. Raspberries, blackberries, black currants, cranberries, blueberries, fresh or frozen, all work well.
100g/4oz nuts. Walnuts or pecan nuts work best. Lightly toasted pine nuts are also very good.

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan oven 180C /Gas mark 6.
Lightly grease 12 deep muffin pans, or lay out 12 deep muffin cases on a baking tray, or, to get the very best shape, place the paper muffin cases in the ungreased muffin pans.
Sift together the two flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Melt the butter or margarine and mix with the milk, beaten egg, vanilla essence and sugar.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together gently. The batter doesn't have to be completely smooth.
Reserve enough of the nuts to decorate the muffins. If using walnuts or pecans, chop the rest. Leave pine nuts whole. Mix them into the batter with the fruit.
Divide the mixture between the muffin moulds and decorate with the reserved nuts.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until brown and just firm to the touch.

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