Michelle Darmody: The cakes you can batch cook and freeze for later

Michelle Darmody: The cakes you can batch cook and freeze for later

Ginger cookies

Batch baking can be handy if you have a busy few days ahead and want to be prepared. These baked goods can be frozen and eaten later. 

In the case of the cookies, you can freeze the dough before baking and then pop them in the oven to bake as needed. I generally make a batch of the dough and after the 'log' has firmed up in the fridge, I slice it and place the slices into a freezer bag with some parchment between them. This will allow you to defrost and bake as little or as many as you like. 

If black sesame and ginger are not your favourite flavours you can substitute them for other seeds, nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips.

Scones freeze very well. After they have cooled, I generally slice them in two, as you would before serving, and place the separate pieces into a freezer bag. You can then toast the halves straight from the freezer for a quick fix. 

The orange blossom flavour is quite slight in the scones themselves. If you would prefer it a bit stronger you can serve them with a little butter beaten with a drop of orange blossom water, orange zest and a drizzle of honey. This can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

The granola bars have a rich cherry filling and can be frozen for a later date. They will also store for a few days in an airtight container.

Ginger and black sesame cookies

  • 250g soft butter
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 90g light muscovado sugar
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 225g porridge oats
  • 35g black sesame seeds
  • 75g crystalised ginger, chopped

Beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy

Stir in flour and oats and mix well. Add the black sesame seeds and ginger and mix again.

Roll into a log wrap it in baking parchment, allow it to firm up in the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius and line two large flat baking trays with parchment (if you are baking the whole batch in one go).

The log can be sliced with a warm knife to the size you want your cookies, you should easily get ten large cookies.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until they are turning golden.

Orange blossom scones

  • 450g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bread soda, sieved
  • 80g cold butter, cubed
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water
  • enough buttermilk to make 300mls with the eggs and blossom water
  • the zest of 3 oranges
  • 100g golden sultanas

Preheat your oven to 200° Celsius and line two large flat baking trays with parchment.

Mix the flour and bread soda and rub in the butter until it looks like rough breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Lightly mix the egg, orange blossom water and the buttermilk and add to mixture.

As with pastry the less you handle the scone dough the lighter and crisper the scones will be. The mixture should be soft but not sticky.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat to about an inch and a half in thickness. Cut about ten scones with a cutter and place apart on a baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden.

Granola bars with a fruit filled centre

for the fruit filling:

  • 150g raspberry jam
  • 40g  muscovado sugar
  • 100mls orange juice
  • 1 tsp cake spice
  • 75g dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 50g mixed peel, roughly chopped
  • 100g sultanas

for the granola bar:

  • 375g butter
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 240g muscovado sugar
  • 450g porridge oats
  • 220g plain flour
  • 75g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 25g dried cherries, roughly chopped

Place all of the ingredients for the filing into a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Allow it slowly to come to a boil and once it has, turn down the heat to very low and leave to simmer for about five minutes. Set aside to cool completely. It should be sticky when set.

Preheat your oven to 200° Celsius and line an 8 by 12 inch rectangle tin with parchment.

Place the butter, syrup and sugar into a large saucepan and simmer until the butter has melted. Stir in the oats, flour, nuts and cherries until everything is well combined. You can use a bowl if your saucepan will not accommodate them all.

Scoop half of the granola bar mixture into the prepared tin. Flatten the mixture out. Scoop the fruity filling on top ensuring it does not go too near the edges. Gently smooth the rest of the granola mixture on top and flatten it out.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden on top. Allow to cool in the tin and slice it up into the size bars that you would like.

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