Peanut Praline - Recipe 23 of the Women's Weekly Challenge

My cakes have had Disco Fever of late...

Peanut Praline... how have I not made this amazing treat before. The biscuits themselves were pretty good, however the left over praline was my favourite part of this recipe and was so incredible on the top of some vanilla ice cream. Also now that lent is over I can trial doing peanut praline, Ice Magic and ice-cream... amazing!

In the lead up to making these biscuits there have been a few things working against me. Firstly; the roasted "unsalted" peanuts. NOWHERE sells them, well not the usual haunts, Morrisons, Tescos, Sainburys, Waitroses, my local bRights stores.. nowhere!! These would be a common thing in Australia and I had actually decided that I would just attempt doing the praline with salted peanuts. However as I walked to the big Sainburys in Harringey, we passed a store that has had me intrigued ever since I moved to the area 4.5 years ago. The store is just literally called "Hot Nuts", but on closer inspection they actually only serve hot nuts on Saturdays. Pete decided this was his chance to actually visit the store and returned with some roasted UNSALTED peanuts... that were cold because it was Sunday. I'm sure after this post someone will tell me that I can actually get them from somewhere other than the Hot Nuts store, but for now... they are my only saviour.

My second dilemma was the sugar syrup. Most times I have tried to do this in the past its had burnt. I have tried stirring, not stirring, low heat for a long time, using a fry pan instead of a saucepan, but it just kept becoming a burnt and bitter sugary mess. There were a few things working against me though; mainly my stove and its angled plates which makes everything pool in one corner; and the general inconsistent heat that is my stove. Since watching the Great British Bake I have a few tips that have stuck with me, but mainly DO NOT STIR THE SUGAR! I have had a few people to tell me to use a sugar thermometer, but I figure if they could do this in the 1950's just by sight then I should be able to as well. I finally worked out that if I put my stove to the heat setting 3 and slowly turned the saucepan I would have a perfect bubbling sugar syrup that browned without burning!! Laura 1 : Burnt Sugar 0!!!

These will make an appearance again.. or maybe just the praline and ice-cream.

Happy Baking x

Hot Cross Buns

I know it's a bit late but I've had a very busy Easter. I've got a backlog of blogs to write and I have more things to bake in the next 3 weeks before heading home to Aus for my big brothers wedding!! Excite!!

I love Hot Cross Buns and since my new years resolution was to bake more bread I thought this would be a great opportunity to give it a go. The recipe I used is by Ruth Clements who was runner up in the first season of the Great British Bake Off and you can find it here.

The recipe was great and my only criticism was the cross piping. I had made it to runny and it ended up melting across the top of the bun, however they still tasted delish toasted with butter and cinnamon on Easter Sunday.

Happy Baking x