Hands up who got excited about the Royal Wedding last year and all the baking that happened as a result? My hand goes straight up because I certainly did. We hosted a party at our house and I was in my element planning for it and baking lots of gorgeous treats to serve my guests. Luckily, for us keen bakers there is the Queen’s Jubilee to celebrate this year which means more street parties and family gatherings to bake for. Hip, hip hooray!
In preparation for the Jubilee I started to scan the internet to see what recipes I could find to inspire me and I have to say, I have been disappointed. All I could really find was red, white and blue cupcakes or crown shaped biscuits. That’s all fine, but I was looking for something a bit more original. So I was thrilled when Appliances Online agreed to sponsor a Jubilee Baking Competition on my blog.
I am looking for any bloggers out there to make their best Jubilee themed cakes and bakes and enter them into my competition so I can create a real treasure trove of inspirational ideas. I want you to be as creative and unique as you possibly can. Anything goes! I shall do a round up post of all the entries when I announce the winner.
The judge for this competition is fellow blogger Vanessa Kimbell. Vanessa is quite an inspiration to me. Her first cookbook ‘Prepped‘ was published 6 months ago, she has her own Sunday morning radio show on BBC Northamptonshire, she runs a ‘pop up’ bakery in her front garden each Saturday with her children and she writes popular blog, ‘ Goddess on a Budget‘. I know that Vanessa has the perfect eye for judging this kind of competition and I’ve no doubt that she will pick a worthy winner.
The deadline for entries is 3rd June 2012 and one lucky winner will get £100 of Amazon vouchers, provided by Appliances Online. Think of all the lovely baking accessories or cook books you could buy for that!
Competition Rules of Entry
Main Entry – Blog post
- Your Jubilee cake or bake needs to be featured on one of your posts. Tell your readers that it is for the Homemade by Fleur, Blogging Jubilee Baking Competition with a link to this post (http://wp.me/p1UMex-o3) which tells them all about it
- You also need to mention that Appliances Online are sponsoring the competition and include this link (http://www.appliancesonline.co.uk/cookers/cookers.aspx) within the post
- Copy and paste the competition badge below and include in your blog post
- Add Homemade by Fleur as a tag on your post / page that you are submitting
- I would love you to sign up to follow my blog to find out the results and of course to see the entrants and winner, but this is not compulsory
- Feel free to like the Homemade By Fleur page and share it with others to get into the Jubilee spirit
- Follow me on twitter for competition updates @homemadebyfleur
- Post your entry on twitter mentioning me @homemadebyfleur and adding #jubileebakingcompetition
- I will retweet you and your post when I see it
- Make anything bake or cake that you wish as long as you feel it links to the Jubilee theme and have explained this in your post
- Please email your photographs (no more than 2) and a link to your post to email@example.com
- In that email please also include your name, although I will be listing entries by blog name on the round up
- The deadline is 3rd June 2012
- The winner will be announced a few days after the deadline, so keep you eye out!
- The judges decision is final
Vintage Jubilee Flag Biscuits
To get you all in the mood, I have come up with a Jubilee themed bake of my own. I had a lot of fun making these but the best bit was taking the photos of them on Hove beach in Sussex. I was down there last weekend and along with all the paraphernalia needed for 3 children when planning a day trip to the beach, I packed my biscuits, the mini bucket and spade (pre-filled with sand from our sandpit as I knew Hove beach had pebbles) and my camera. My husband rolled his eyes more than once as I took ages to find the right box to transport the biscuits as we were trying to get out of the door. I’m sure you can picture the scene. But it was all worth it as I love the pictures and the weather was amazing. It has turned out to be the only sunny day in the last 2 weeks, so I was very lucky. It’s a reminder in amongst all the rain that we do have some beautiful days here in England.
I used the Irresistible Chocolate Biscuit recipe from pg 183 of my new aptly named ‘Biscuit’ cookbook written by GBBO finalist from series 1 Miranda Gore Browne. It’s a great book by the way, and if you are partial to the odd biscuit or two this is definitely one to put on your birthday list. But there are plenty of other cookbooks and online recipes for a basic chocolate biscuit. You will probably find one in a book you already have. What you are looking for is one that creates a biscuit dough that you can roll out and use cutter on.
What you will need:
- 8-10 rectangle chocolate biscuits
- Some royal icing (I used 250g (half a pack) of the royal icing sugar mixed with water and it was enough)
- Approx 100g white fondant icing
- Red and blue food colour (I used my new India Tree natural food colouring for these and thought they were great)
- Pencil (not too sharp) ruler and greaseproof paper
- 4 icing containers/bottles or bags
- 4 icing tips, I used 2 x PME 2 tips for the piping icing and 2 x PME 4 tips for the flood icing
- 8-10 Lollipop sticks
How to make:
- The first thing I did was draw around the rectangle cookie cutter I used to make the biscuits onto greaseproof paper and cut it out. I then drew on the central cross from the Union Jack followed by the rest of the flag, but but I found that I only really needed the central cross as a guide and the rest of the flag I did freehand
- Next I made my royal icing. Follow the back of the pack with regards to the amount of water needed. Aim to have it fairly stiff, but soft enough to pass through a PME 2 icing tip and holds its shape with out any problems
- Divide icing into 4 small bowls. Put two bowls aside then add a little bit more water to the remaining two bowls. You are aiming for the consistency of custard. This is your flood icing and is what you will use to ‘colour in’ your flag. The other two bowls contain your piping icing which is what you will use to pipe the flag pattern onto your biscuit
- Colour 1 piping and 1 flood icing red/pink and 1 piping and 1 flood icing blue then fill the piping icing into the icing bottles or bags that have the PME 2 tip and the flood icing into the icing bottles or bags with the PME 4 tip
- Roll out your fondant icing (not too thick) and use your rectangle cookie cutter again to cut out rectangles of fondant and stick these onto your biscuits with a little bit of royal icing (I just scraped out the last bits from the bowl I mixed my royal icing in to do this)
Icing your biscuit step by step
- Take your greaseproof paper flag and place on top of the fondant. Use your not too sharp pencil to imprint the central Union Jack cross onto the fondant
- Pipe the pink/red central cross onto the fondant and then add the 4 diagonal lines that come out from the centre of the flag using the PME 2 tip and piping icing
- Now add the blue triangles onto the flag using the PME 2 tip and piping icing
- Fill in the cross and diagonal strips with pink/red flood icing and the blue triangles with blue flood icing using the PME 4 tip
- Leave your biscuits to dry for a couple of hours then stick your lollipop stick on the back with any remaining royal icing and leave to dry over night
- Cover your royal icing with a clean damp j cloth to stop it from drying out at any point
- Don’t cut your biscuits too thick. I think I did mine too thick, and consequently they were a bit on the heavy side as it was tricky getting the lollipop sticks to hold
- Sticking these in a bucket is a great idea for a centrepiece at your Jubilee party but these flags can decorate cakes, desserts, or if making mini ones, you could use as cupcake toppers
- To make mini flags all you need to do is make smaller flags. You could use the thinner wooden coffee stirrer as the flag pole instead of a lollipop stick giving you the perfect excuse to go for a coffee. See how Maision Cupcake has used them here
HAPPY BAKING EVERYONE!
Exciting news folks! I have my first ever blog giveaway to tell you about. The people from Natural Selection who sell a gorgeous range of dried fruit, nuts and seeds have given me a marvelous hamper of baking goodies to give to one lucky person, (RRP £49). Here’s a list of what you will get inside the hamper:
3 x packs of Dried Cranberries
3 x packs of 5 Fruit Mix
3 x packs of Crystallised Ginger
3 x packs of Cinnamon Cranberries
3 x packs Chopped Dates
2 x packs of Crimson Raisins
1 x Natural Selection branded apron
1 x rolling pin
1 x Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets
Perfect for any bakers out there who like to experiment by adding dried fruit to their cakes and bakes, or if you are like me and think that yogurt sprinkled with dried fruit and seeds is the best thing since sliced bread.
Holly Bell, finalist from the Great British Bake Off who writes a blog called, ‘Recipes from a Normal Mum’ has created mini simnel cupcakes using Natural Selection products. They look super cute and it is definitely worth popping over to her blog to have a look. There is also a helpful video where Holly shows demonstrates how to make them.
Coupon Alert! – The other great news is if you ‘like’ Natural Selection Foods on Facebook, you can print off a coupon to save £1 on bags of Natural Selection products at ASDA and Sainsbury’s
How to enter:
You need to write a comment on this blog post which answers the following question:
If you were to win the Natural Selection baking goodies hamper, what would you bake using any of the ingredients from it?
And that is it. Easy peasy!
- To keep up to date with my baking adventures and hear the winner announced
- I’d love you to tweet about this giveaway. Just cut and paste the following tweet: *I’ve entered @homemadebyfleur ‘s Natural Selection Baking Goodies Hamper giveaway, http://wp.me/p1UMex-kh / *
- Finally, feel free to like my facebook page and share this giveaway with your pals
*not compulsory, just if you are feeling extra nice 🙂
- To enter you must leave a comment on this blog post before the deadline
- The deadline for this competition is 5pm on the 24th April 2012
- It is not possible to give extra points if you tweet, share or follow with regards to this giveaway
- The winner will be picked after the deadline by a random number generator
- Your number will be the order in which the comments appear below
- The winner will be announced on this blog, facebook and twitter on the 25th April 2012
- The winner will be required to provide a postal address in order for Natural Selection to send the prize
- Open to residents of the UK only
Thank you to Natural Selection for sponsoring this post and providing the prize.