Saturday, 25 May 2013

Crunchy or chewy? What makes a great choc chip cookie?

Everyone has their own opinion on whether a chocolate chip cookie should be crunchy or chewy. There is of course no right answer and is purely a matter of choice. How your cookies turn out, if you bake them yourselves, is largely down to what goes into them and how long you bake them. Below is what I've found out through others posts and by experimentation.

Cookies made with butter will spread out more because butter has a lower melting point. As they will be thinner they will cook quicker and  be of a uniform texture most probably on the crispy side.
Cookies made with margarine, shortening or even oil will hold their shape better so will be thicker. If these are slightly undercooked and left on the baking sheet for a short while once removed from the oven, you should get that characteristic crunchy edge and chewy centre.
So the fatter the cookie the chewier it will be - not rocket science really!

Different sugars also give differing results. For example, all white sugar gives a crispier texture than if light or dark sugars are used. Many recipes combine the two for flavour and texture.

The type of chocolate used e.g milk, dark or white doesn't really affect  the texture but the size of chunks should reflect the size of the cookie.

Cooking temperature is around 180 degrees C 350 degrees F. The temperature of the dough when it goes in the oven does affect the amount a cookie spreads. Warm dough obviously spreads more and chilled less. I sometimes but the prepared cookies on the sheets into the freezer for a few minutes and this tends to slow the spread giving nice chunky chewy cookies.
The Martha Stewart Double Chocolate Chunk cookie recipe is very good but you'll have to convert to UK measures.
Happy baking!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and we have some lovely goodies to thrill your loved one on the special day. What better way so show you care than by sending a personalised gift of cakes, biscuits or chocolate. Below is a selection of what we have to offer which can be delivered locally within the Exeter area on the big day.

6 Large Cupcakes (one flavour) in a presentation box tied with ribbon and with a personal message to the recipient
£15 Delivered (£10 collected)

12 Large Cupcakes (two flavours) in a presentation box tied with ribbon and with a personal message to the recipient
£24 Delivered (£19 collected)

12 Mini Cupcakes (one flavour) in a presentation box tied with ribbon and with a personal message to the recipient
£12 Delivered (£8 collected)

Choose from rich chocolate, red velvet, vanilla, lemon, white chocolate and raspberry, coffee or chocolate orange flavour.

2 Large Iced Heart biscuits (can be personalised) in a presentation box with ribbon and a personal message to the recipient
£10 Delivered (£6 collected - can also be posted but we cannot guarantee delivery will be made on the 14th Feb, please ask for details)

Choose from lemon, chocolate or vanilla flavour.

Also available chocolate lolly and cake pop bouquets, details available shortly.

Orders can be placed by phone or request form on the website. 48 hours notice required and payment must be made via the website to secure the order.  Prices quoted are for delivery within 5 miles of Exeter City Centre, delivery to locations outside this area may be possible at additional cost, please ask us for a quote. We will try wherever possible to give an approximate delivery slot. Someone must be in to receive the order, any non deliveries will be returned to the bakery for collection, if redelivery is requested an additional charge may be made. We are happy to deliver to places of work provided they are within 5 miles of Exeter City Centre. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Events 2013

Spent the last couple of days finalising our list of events for the coming year and hopefully this year will be less wet! We will be doing several country shows as in previous years but will also have stands at some other events such as Race for Life. And of course we will be attending the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink in Rougemont Gardens Exeter at the end of April. Below is a list of all the events so far although these are subject to confirmation from organisers.

Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink - 26th - 28th April 2013
Race for Life - Torbay - 19th May (tbc)
Race for Life - Westpoint Exeter - 30th June (tbc)
South West Athletics Championships, The Arena, Exeter - July
Okehampton Show - 8th August 2013
Chagford Show - 15th August 2013
Lustleigh Show - 26th August 2013
Ashburton Food Festival - Sept 2013
Powderham Food Festival - October (tbc)
Totnes Christmas Markets - Tuesdays throughout December

We will be selling our range of cupcakes with some exciting new flavours along with a host of belgian chocolate lollies and chocolate novelties, decorated biscuits and gifts.
We will add more events as they are confirmed and look forward to seeing you at some of our events.

Our pink gazebo at Totnes Christmas Street Market

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Working with Chocolate

I've been working with chocolate for about a year now and I love it. But it hasn't been without its problems and sometimes I still get incredibly frustrated when things don't go to plan.
I had attended a 2 day course with Slatterly's Master Chocolatiers in Manchester to learn how to make chocolate wedding cakes and work with chocolate decoration and this really started my journey with chocolate.
Chocolate is an amazing material that can be moulded, sculpted, melted, drizzled and made into every conceivable shape but it takes some time to learn even the basic skills. In the forthcoming weeks I hope to share some of the knowledge I've gained, quite often through making mistakes. I'll look at the tempering process and different options with advantages and drawbacks of each. I'll look at ways to use chocolate, some traditional and some a bit out of the ordinary. I'll try to make it as simple as possible and make sure there are plenty of photos and descriptions.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Chocolate at The Cherry on the Top

Just spent 3 days attending an advanced wedding and celebration cake course at a fantastic cookery school in Manchester called Slatterly's. Our group of 10 students learned how to create fantastic cakes with moulded chocolate, fans, cigarillos, wraps, chocolate dominos and ruffles. It was well worth the 5 hour journey and I can't wait to practise. Keep an eye on the website for the new designs!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Chocolate Wedding Cakes

From the end of October we will be adding chocolate wedding and celebration cakes to our range, keep an eye on our website for details.
Don't forget to come and see us at the Buckerell Lodge Wedding Fayre on Sunday 23rd October where we will have examples of our wedding cakes, cake pops and wedding cookies as well as tasters of all our goods.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Chagford Show

Despite a wet start we had a great day at the Chagford show. We sold out of most cakes especially the chocolate ones! We will definitely be back next year. See the Chagford show website for pictures.

Chagford Show

Despite the wet start the Chagford show proved to be a fantastic well attended event. We pretty much sold out by the end of the day especially anything chocolate related!
Thanks to the ladies on the Curworthy Cheese stall next door who were so helpful and a mine of information about other events. We'll definitely be back next year. Visit the Chagford show website for all the photos.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Chagford Show

Only 5 baking days until the Chagford show on Thursday 18th August. The next few days are going to be hectic. We've added a few new items to our repetoire since our last show in Cardiff. As well as our delicious range of cupcakes we'll be taking along whoopie pies, cookies, iced biscuits, cake pops, large fondant iced cakes and novelty cup cakes like the ones in the picture below.
Hope to see you at the show!

Chicken, mashed potato, peas and carrots - or is it?!
(design inspired by 'Hello Cupcake' )

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bridal Fayres

We will be attending two wedding fayres in the coming months at the Buckerell Lodge Hotel, Topsham Road, Exeter. The events, which are being run by Weddings by Claire will take place on Sunday 23rd Oct 2011 and Sunday 4th March 2012 from 11:30am to 4:30pm. Entry is free for brides and includes a goody bag. For more details of the events and general wedding information and advice, visit Claire's site at
Hope to see you there!