Monthly Archives: April 2015

Test your baking knowledge!

28 April, 2015

Know your cakes more than Mary Berry? Your pies better than Paul Hollywood? The team at BAKO North Western have created this fun yet challenging quiz so that you can really test your baking knowledge and prove what you know.

We’re continually blown away by the North West’s bakers’ innovative ideas, but now’s the time to impress us beyond your skills and show us your true baking ability for the chance to be crowned our ‘Baker of the Month!’

Simply enter our quiz below and put your baking know-how to the test to reveal your baking expertise!

Why not share this quiz with your customers on Twitter too?

Alternative options for picnic season

23 April, 2015

As the weather gets warmer and the days longer, customers start opting to enjoy their meals outside in the sunshine as picnic season gets into full swing. The Summer period is a key time for bakers to produce delicious take away goods for those hungry customers hoping to enjoy a fuss free picnic.

Picnics have been a British Summer time staple for decades, but for many of your customers, they may be looking for something a little more unusual than traditional sandwiches and sausage rolls. With 23rd April marking National Picnic day, the team at BAKO_NW thought we would help you take advantage of a key opportunity to tap into this seasonal trend and try out some alternative picnic options that you can add to your menu.

Falafel Scotch egg

Scotch eggs are a classic picnic-friendly treat, usually consisting of a hardboiled egg, encased in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. But why not offer an option with a Middle Eastern twist for vegetarian customers? Falafel Scotch eggs are full of flavour – replacing the sausage casing with finely grinded chickpeas and herbs offers an irresistible texture rivalling the classic Scotch egg.

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Chorizo Sausage Rolls

Is a picnic really a picnic without sausage rolls? Buttery puff pastry and savoury sausage meat make a winning combination in this ready-to-go snack. But if your customers are looking to feel like they’re in sunny Spain whilst enjoying their picnic, replacing plain sausage with a spicy chorizo alternative could make this the perfect Mediterranean addition to your menu.

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Alternative Pasties

Another delicious way of revamping a classic treat is to create a ‘mash up’ of two cuisines. The humble Northern pasty can become the star of the show when filled with smoky Texas BBQ pulled pork. Tender, slow cooked pork in a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce encased in a buttery pastry case is sure to prove the perfect picnic indulgence.

Traditional Cornish Pasties

Picnic loaf

Sandwiches are perhaps the most classic picnic dish of them all. With plenty of fillings and breads to choose from, there really is a sandwich for everyone. But why not upgrade your customer’s sandwiches by creating a tasty picnic loaf? A loaf of bread can be hollowed and packed with a variety of fillings from roasted vegetables to a generous stuffing of ham and cheese.

Frittata

If your customers are looking for a touch of spice in their picnics, why not combine spicy onion bhajis with another picnic staple, the frittata. Ideal for picnics, this dish even benefits from being served cold as the spices infuse into the potato and onion. Simply combine caramelised onion, grated potato and curry powder to beaten eggs and bake for a delicious picnic treat.

The team at BAKO North Western think picnic season is the perfect opportunity for your business to get experimental with your baked goods. But for those of you with less time on your hands, BAKO stock a delicious range of pies, pasties and sausage rolls, perfect for picnics.

Don’t hesitate to let us know how you’ll be celebrating National Picnic day by sharing your picnic creations with us on Twitter.

BAKO’s top tips for perfect marshmallows

20 April, 2015

Marshmallows have recently undergone a sophisticated makeover as they are no longer seen as a simple childhood sweet or a treat to drop into hot chocolate, they’ve gone gourmet. This light fluffy confection is now being flavoured with grown-up and luxurious ingredients, which your customers will struggle to resist.  From delicate lemon to bold salted caramel, a growing desire for the moreish marshmallow has resulted in confectionary experts describing it as “the new cupcake”.

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Whether opting for a soft fluffy recipe or a denser chewy one, it may seem for some bakers that marshmallows are a daunting treat to master, so as a helping hand BAKO North Western have put together some top tips to create marshmallow perfection.

Things to remember

Before you start you’ll need to soak the gelatine from your recipe. You can use any liquid you like for this, dependant on the desired flavour, but plain water produces a white marshmallow which can be flavoured at a later stage in the recipe.

A mixture of icing sugar and cornflour is the classic coating for marshmallows but if you’re thinking of going gourmet the possibilities are endless; however having some of this traditional mixture to hand will come in useful for dusting work surfaces as the process can become very sticky!

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Top tip: When creating the ideal marshmallow with a lighter texture the temperature can go up to 140°C but mustn’t drop below 130°C.

If you don’t have time to create them from scratch, BAKO stock Renshaw Blendesi Marshmallow: simply add liquid albumen to whip up quick and delicious marshmallows with a light open texture, that’s easily flavoured at later stages.

Marshmallow also makes a delicious addition to existing bakes such as brownies, cheesecakes or cupcakes. When piped in between layers of sponge, marshmallow can add a delicious fluffy sweetness to your bakes, Snowmallow is ideal for this as it holds a good shape with plenty of stability when piping.

A touch of flair

Once you’ve mastered the basic mixture, marshmallows are ideal for experimenting with different flavours and textures and are perfect for enticing customers, young and old.

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Complimentary flavours such as raspberry and champagne, strawberry and basil, passion fruit and ginger, salted caramel and coconut are sure to add that gourmet touch to your menu.

Don’t hesitate to get creative with your flavours. Flavouring your marshmallow with peppermint extract and stirring in cocoa nibs before setting could create the perfect mint choc chip marshmallow. Or how about creating a strawberry cheesecake flavoured one by coating a strawberry flavoured marshmallow in buttery biscuit crumbs?

Coating marshmallows is another delicious way to add a touch of flair and extra texture to these treats. Why not try serving your marshmallows with a selection of dipping sauces, flavoured sugars, ground nuts or cocoa nibs for your customers to dip and create their own? After all the marshmallow has always been a firm favourite on a fondue menu.

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Seasonal suggestions

Lemon meringue is a flavour often associated with the sweet summer dessert but it also makes for the perfect light fluffy marshmallow. Soaking the gelatine in a lemon juice mixture will give a tasty citrus tang to your marshmallows. With the addition of some lemon zest and crushed meringue pieces stirred in before setting, this is sure to give the final crunch of sweetness customers will find hard to resist.

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Cutters are a simple and effective way to make your goods seasonal; hearts for Valentine’s Day, fluffy white ghosts for Halloween and eggs for Easter will always prove popular. Using cutters to create hearts, stars and other shapes can make them appealing to young and old customers alike, but you can’t go wrong with the classic square shape all year round.

Simply wrapped in cellophane these shaped treats could be ideal to give as gifts at children’s parties or even make the perfect wedding favour?

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For those of you who are thinking about whipping up some fluffy marshmallows this Spring, we’d love to hear what flavours you’ll be creating on Twitter? Or if you have a top tip to create the perfect marshmallow do let us know!