Tag Archives: Paralympics

Strawberry and Cream Macarons

Strawberry and Cream Macarons

Something very sad happened recently. You may remember that on 18th September I posted about my Strawberry and Cream Macarons, well don’t cry…..but they got lost! Lost in the world of cyberspace forever! However I decided that it would be such a shame to lose them forever so here it is again! I hope you enjoy it!

Strawberry and Cream Macarons

Last time I wrote this I wrote about my experience in the Paralympic Closing Ceremony on 9th September. I was a flag escort and walked out with the San Marino flag bearer. We all formed a heart shape and then a heart of fire lit up around us. After we had done our bit we joined Team GB to watch the rest of the show. It was just amazing and Coldplay were just incredible. One of the best experiences of my life. I was on such a high from the Paralympic Ceremonies that it has taken me ages to come back down to earth! Now I am gathering things together for my London 2012 scrapbook. You can read about my Paralympic Opening Ceremony experience here. I even made Paralympic Cupcakes!

Now I am back at University and life has started to get back to normal…although I am looking forward to my next time on stage now in Half a Sixpence with Epsom Light Opera Company! Not long to go! Rehearsals also make the perfect opportunity to bake cakes for people (not that I need an excuse)! Every time I watch The Great British Bake Off I want to make what they have been baking, I am building up such a list I don’t know how I will fit it all in! Don’t forget to enter your Bake Off inspired bakes into my Bake Off Challenge….deadline for the next round up is 5th October!

Now back to resurrecting my Stawberry and Cream Macarons:

Delicious Macarons presented on a table

To make macarons I use this recipe and technique from the Delicious Magazine Website. I find it works really well. You can see how to make the basic macarons here on my Cappuccino Macarons post. The recipe and technique are exactly the same for these macarons, the only difference being adding the food colouring. It is really important that you don’t overmix when you add the ground almonds, or your macarons will be like pancakes. To avoid this you need to add the colouring to the beaten egg whites before you add the almonds. Fold the colouring into the egg whites gently, until the colour is even, then add the almonds. I did the same thing for my Chocolate Orange Macarons. The colour I used was the Sugarflair Pink Paste, a little goes a long way and pastes are good because they don’t water down your mixture.

Macarons at an early stage

Perfectly bakes macarons

Once you have baked the macarons you can do the filling. I filled these with strawberry jam and buttercream.

To make the buttercream:

100g softened unsalted butter
200g sifted icing sugar (I used golden icing sugar, hence the colour of my icing)
drop of vanilla extract

Beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until well combined. Add a drop of milk if you need to loosen the icing up to pipe it.

Pipe the buttercream onto half of the macarons and had a blob of jam. Sandwich the halves together. I decorated my macarons using a Sugarflair Sugar Art pen.

Piping the filling into the macarons

Beautiful macarons

And here is the heart that we formed with the flags in the Closing Ceremony:

Paralympic closing ceremony

Thank you for reading and happy baking!

Lottie xx

 

 

 

Sun-dried Tomato and Parmesan Bagels

I am writing this post having just been up the Orbit at the Olympic Park this evening, a great experience and an awesome view. This Sunday is the Paralympic Closing Ceremony so I am very excited, I will be walking out into the stadium again. To make it even more exciting my boyfriend and my family all have tickets and to make it yet even more exciting, Coldplay will be there!! I absolutely cannot wait. However, at the same time Sunday is really going to be quite sad, it will be the end of London 2012, I will really miss it! I will have to find something else to keep myself busy….baking?

This bake is another bake that is inspired by the Great British Bake Off. I had never made bagels before but I thought I would give it a go because the idea of boiling the dough was so fascinating! It worked though and I was rather pleased with the result, I think it is something I will try again. The basic recipe I used is from Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet, a really lovely book that seems to have a recipe for absolutely everything! Dan uses a different kneading technique in the book for these bagels which involves minimal kneading. You knead the dough for 10 seconds, leave it for 10 minutes and keep repeating. I was slightly nervous about this but I did some research on the Internet and people seemed pleased with the results, so I gave it a go and it worked! Try it! I opted for savoury flavoured bagels rather than sweet and used sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese to flavour them.

To make these bagels you will need:

300g strong white flour
1tsp fast action yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1tbsp caster sugar
275ml warm water
1tbsp white wine vinegar
oil
50g brown sugar
100g sundried tomatoes (chopped)
parmesan cheese (finely grated)

Start buy mixing together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the warm water and vinegar and stir to form a dough. Cover the bowl and leave it for 10 minutes. Knead the 10 for 10 seconds (do this on a lightly oiled surface and lightly oil your hands), put back in the bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat this 10 seconds of kneading and leaving for 10 minutes twice more. After this cover the dough and leave for an hour. Now you can add the tomatoes to the dough by gently kneading them in until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each one into a ball, cover and leave to rise for 20 minutes. To shape the bagel stick a finger through the centre and stretch the dough into a ring. Make the hole slightly bigger than you want it as it will close up a bit. Put the brown sugar into a pan of boiling water and drop the bagels into the water one or two at a time. Boil for about 30-60 seconds on each side. Put the boiled bagels on a lightly oiled tray, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 200C.


I am entering these into the Bake Off Challenge that I am running. You can find out how to enter your Bake Off inspired bakes here. Anything related to the Great British Bake Off is eligible!

Lottie xx

Paralympics Cupcakes

Paralympics fever has started and I love it. I went to the athletics this weekend and it was fantastic, such a buzz in the stadium! There are some really inspirational athletes, I am loving watching it all. To celebrate the Paralympics I decided to make some Paralympic themed cupcakes! I made vanilla cupcakes with a jam filling and swirls of cream cheese icing. You can find the recipe for the cupcakes here, they are the same ones I made for the Diamond Jubilee.

The recipe for the cream cheese icing is here. I decorated half of them with cocktail umbrellas (which were quite hard to find!) because the umbrella was a very prominent object in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and I also got to carry one around the stadium. The other half of the cupcakes I decorated with the agitos. The 3 agitos in red, green and blue are the Paralympic symbol. Agito is ‘I move’ in Latin and this symbol is representative of movement. The motto of the Paralympics is Spirit in Motion.

To fill the cupcakes with jam just cut away a little circle from the top of the cupcake, add a little spoonful of jam and replace the top of the cupcake.

To do the swirl on the cupcakes I used the Wilton 1M nozzle. I coloured the icing with red, blue and green to represent the colours of the agitos. To do this effect you paint stripes of colour inside the piping bag, then fill with icing and pipe.

I hope you like them!

Lottie xx

 

Paralympics Opening Ceremony – Angola Team

Paralympics Angola Team – Placard Bearer

Last night was one of the most amazing nights ever. I was lucky enough to be a part of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and honoured to have the job of leading some of the athletes around the stadium, a job given the title of ‘Placard Bearer’. The whole experience was fantastic and I will remember it forever, the atmosphere at the stadium was incredible and the show was stunning. My job was to walk out into the Stadium with the athletes from Angola (this meant I was one of the first out!) and to lead them around the stadium. While doing so I also got to wear a rather fabulous dress and to carry a big umbrella with the country’s name on it, it was great!

The floor was wet from the rain and we had to wear some rather tricky heels but fortunately my walking all went smoothly without any trips and I even got 10 seconds on telly! I’ll be honest, I had the biggest grin on the whole way round, I loved it! Here are a few photos from last night:


I cannot wait for the closing ceremony now!

Lottie xx