ESB Top 5 : Bakes To Cheer Yourself Up

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and enjoyed my latest post with the favourite Christmas recipes I can’t live without. If you haven’t had a chance, you can catch up with it here!

In today’s post, I want to share with you my top 5 list of bakes to cheer yourself up in the darkest time of the year.

Monday 20th January has been named as the saddest day of the year, so I thought I would share with you the bakes I turn to when I feel like I need a bit of cheering up. I know that the new year should be a time to refresh after the indulgence of Christmas, but there are some times when only a homemade bake will do to give you a lift – whether it’s the process of taking time to yourself to bake in the kitchen and filling your home with comforting smells or the finished product you make and eat.

I hope some of my suggestions will help you to feel better by giving you a boost! Each recipe has a potted method but I have linked to my original posts or website pages for you to read the details of how to make each bake in full.

To accompany this post, here is my cover of ‘I’ve got rhythm’ by George Gershwin, which is a song that always makes me feel good whenever I listen to it!

Without further ado, here is my list of top 5 bakes to cheer yourself up, in no particular order…

TOP 5 BAKES TO CHEER YOURSELF UP

No. 1 : Brownies

Read the full recipe by clicking here!

POTTED RECIPE

Preheat the oven to 170’C and line an inch deep 20cm square tin with greaseproof paper. To make the brownies, melt together 100g of good quality 70% dark chocolate and 75g butter in a saucepan until smooth, then leave to one side to cool. Add 165g caster sugar and mix before adding 2 beaten eggs and sieving in 65g plain flour. Give it a final mix before baking in the prepared tin for 12 – 15 minutes until cracks appear on the surface but it is still squidgy underneath the surface. Before serving cut into large squares.

Enjoy : Serve warm from the oven with a scoop of melting vanilla ice-cream.

No. 2 : Chocolate Chip Cookies

Read the full recipe by clicking here!

POTTED RECIPE

To make the cookie dough, beat together 125g softened butter, 100g soft brown sugar and 125g caster sugar with a wooden spoon. When it is light and fluffy, beat the egg into the mix a little at a time until it is incorporated. Then sieve in 225g self raising flour and a pinch of salt and mix with a wooden spoon till it comes together as dough. Finally add  200g milk chocolate, cut in small squares, and evenly distribute throughout the mix. Shape the mixture into around 20 cherry tomato sized balls and place them, about 5 at a time well spread out, onto baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 7 -8 minutes until spread and golden brown. Leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before diving in so they have time to set.

Enjoy : Immediately from the oven, oozing with melted chocolate!

No. 3 : Sticky Ginger Pudding

Read the full recipe by clicking here!

POTTED RECIPE

Grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with butter and line the bottom with a disc of greaseproof paper to ensure the finished pudding comes out smoothly. Into the prepared pudding basin, place 4 balls of stem ginger, chopped into small chunks, 2 tbsps. stem ginger syrup and 2 tbsps. golden syrup and  put to one side. To make the pudding, beat 175g softened butter until it is light and fluffy. Then add in 175g each of caster sugar and  self raising flour, 3 large eggs, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsps. milk and 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger. Beat together hard until you have a smooth sponge mix. Spoon into the prepared basin, place a pleated foil lined with greaseproof paper on top (see full recipe for details) and secure with string. Steam for up to 2 hours, making sure the water is topped up regularly. To take the pudding of the basin, run a blunt knife around the edge, place on a serving plate and remove the disc of paper.

Enjoy : Serve with a generous drizzle of pouring cream

No. 4 : Iced Buns

Read the full recipe by clicking here!

POTTED RECIPE

Put 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tin and preheat the oven to 180’C. To make the bun batter, cream together 175g each of soft butter and granulated sugar until it is soft and fluffy. Sieve 175g plain flour and 1 tsp. baking powder into the butter mixture and beat until crumbly. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating constantly until you have a smooth batter. Spoon the sponge mix into each case, to about 3/4 of the way up, and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until they are springy to the touch and golden brown. When the buns are cool, ice with a combination of icing sugar and a drop or two of water mixed together until smooth and drizzle on top.

Enjoy : With an afternoon cup or with stewed fruit as a pudding

No. 5 : One Crust Apple Pie

Read the full recipe by clicking here!

POTTED RECIPE

First make the pastry by rubbing together 175g plain flour and 75g cold butter cut in cubes, until they resemble rough breadcrumbs. Add a tablespoon of cold water at a time as you bring it together with a fork until it comes together as a dough and then leave to chill for 30 minutes. While the pastry is chilling, peel 2 to 3 large Bramley apples and cut into thin slices. Add 1 tbsp. of caster sugar per apple and stir until the fruit is coated. Roll out the dough into a rough circle and spoon the apple filling into the centre. Bring up the edges of the pastry around the filling so it looks a little like a volcano before brushing the pastry with egg wash and sprinkling with 2 tbsps. of demerara sugar. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes at 180’C until the apples are soft, when you stick a sharp knife through them, and the pastry is beautifully golden and crunchy.

Enjoy : As part of a special Sunday lunch with a dollop of clotted cream

Thank you for popping by my blog today. I hope you enjoyed reading my top 5 Bakes to cheer yourself up. If you decide to make any of the bakes above and post a picture on Instagram, don’t forget to tag me, @englishsingingbaker #esbbakes!

See you next time for another tuneful post, but in the meantime,

Happy Baking!

English Singing Baker x

 

 

 

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