I got an email this afternoon to say I’d won a copy of this book, yay! I never win anything (apart from this laptop) and I’d completely forgotten I’d entered the competition so it was a nice surprise.

Eric Lanlard’s cakes are amazing, I could only aspire to be as good as him one day.

He may be Baking Mad, But he definitely makes a good cake..

Eric Lanlard. A newly discovered favourite of mine.. he’s French and he makes cakes. What’s not too like? I’ve been watching his programme ‘Baking Mad’ recently and love the simplicity yet elegant look of his recipes. Something which an amateur jumps at the chance of trying out herself. And so, with my friend Sam’s birthday that evening and the Baking Mad website in front of me, I decided to make the impressive-looking Lemon Meringue Cupcakes for her present; Something which I’d seen him bake with ease on his Programme.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. Click Here for Recipe from the Baking Mad Website.

Okay, so they might look quite as Impressive as Mr Lanlard’s himself but for a first attempt I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. They tasted bloody good too…(What? I had to eat one to make it an even 4.. and too check that they weren’t poisonous of course). And yes, they were very easy to make! Wrapped in some tissue, and in a pretty pink cupcake box with gold ribbon, these made a lovely little present for my food-loving friend.

Off to meet a friend in a mo for a bit of a Baking/Cath and Kim Sesh so looking forward to seeing (and tasting) what we end up making…


Ok so we’ve ended up with a ballistic mega mix.

The one suggested by sutton has caused controversy so here are the three other suggestions.

The first: Balls vs Jackman suggested by juke boxx  (um ….yeah, maybe i guess)

(also check out the illustrious suggestors we’re getting these days)

The second: Balls vs. James by Oates 

the third was one that crash and i saw the other morning and we both at the same time said that if balls was a bit more effeminate and baked and was french he would totally be baker extraordinaire Eric Lanlard

No. 65: Courgette Ribbon and Roasted Pepper Tart – 28.09.12

I really need to stop buying ingredients before I even know what to do with them. The other day I bought myself a courgette. I have never cooked with one before but I tried it the other day when Ryan brought round a bunch of goodies for a quick dinner which we just needed to whack in the oven. One of with was a mix of Mediterranean vegetables and they were quite nice! I wanted to use Courgette in something but what? I was at the Cake and Bake show this weekend (ammmazzzinngg!!! will post about it soon!!!) and I bought myself “Eric Lanlard’s Tart it up”. I had a sift through it and found this recipe, it looked delicious but takes quite a while if you decide to make the pastry as I did!

You will need a 22cm / 8 ½ inch square 3cm/ 1 ¼ inch deep tin. I used a round tart tin because that’s all I had so scaled down the ingredients by half so it was a tart to serve 4 instead of 8.

Serves 8, preheat the oven to 180oC

1 large red pepper
1 large yellow pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
300g courgette, thinly sliced lengthways
2 eggs
300ml double cream
50g red Leicester cheese
a few sprigs of rosemary, tender leaves picked
pinches of salt and pepper
1 x Blind baked shortcrust pastry case with dried Herbes de Provence added in the tin.

First of all! If you are making your own pastry you will need the following:

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp fine salt
150g unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp milk

  • Sift the flour into a bowl along with the salt and using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour at a height until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  • Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk (and about a tablespoon of Herbes de Provence if using). Use your fingertips again to incorporate the wet and dry ingredients to make a soft dough.

  • Turn out the pastry onto a floured surface, kneed a couple of times and cover with cling film. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, any left over dough can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

  • Blind Baking: Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 2 inches bigger than your tart tin and using a rolling pin, roll the pastry onto it a carefully lay it over the tin. Then lift the edges upwards and gently ease into position. Press the pastry into position to ensure there are no gaps between the pastry and the tin. Turn any excess pastry over the rim and then run a rolling pin of the top of the pastry case so any excess is cut off, use a blunt knife to smooth any rough edges.

  • Prick the base of the pastry and then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to help it stop shrinking during baking.

  • Place a large sheet of non stick baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the case is just set. Remove the beans and baking paper and bake empty for a further 10 minutes until the base is dry, crisp and a golden brown. Leave in the tin as you prepare the filling.

For the courgette and roasted pepper filling:

  • Using a fork to hold the peppers, place them over a gas flame so the skin bubbles and blackens. If you don’t have gas, blanch them in boiling water for 3 minutes.

  • Put them in a bowl and cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool. Remove and discard the skins then quarter and deseed them.

  • Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the courgette ribbons gently for 5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and place them to one side. Add the peppers and cook them for 10 minutes or until soft and place again to one side.

  • In a bowl, mix together the eggs, cream, cheese and rosemary, finish with salt and pepper.

  • Arrange the courgettes and peppers ‘elegantly’ in the cooked pastry case and pour over the cream mixture, bake in the oven for 30-35minutes until set and golden.

  • Best eaten on the day and is good hot or cold.

PHEW! I hope you took all of that in! I spent a lazy afternoon doing this tart and made this my early dinner/late lunch. It was delicious! At first I felt as if I had added a bit too much rosemary but once it cooled down a little the other flavours in the tart came through more and was a lot tastier. I loved the crunchy, crisp pastry case and the flavours of the Herbes de Provence came through wonderfully! I loved this contrast of the base against with the soft juicy filling. As I said before I used half this amount so only used one pepper. For this I used a sweet pepper which I think worked really well with the richness of the creamy filling and the rosemary. I think it would be perfect for a picnic with your family or friends!

Oh and by the way…..

NO SOGGY BOTTOM! ^.^ (Probs a little over cooked but oh well!!)


Cadbury Creme Egg Campaign Case Study

I did the edit and a quick grade for this case study about Cadbury’s latest digital Creme Egg campaign. The film takes you through Cadbury’s use of Google+ and Hangouts to show how they engaged with their online community.




Will Brown & Ben Turze