Sunday, 25 September 2016

Bake Off 2016 - Pastry Week

For Pastry week, I had the choice between Danish breakfast pastries, a bakewell tart and filo pastry amuse bouche (fancy, tiny, pre-starters). I was tempted by the Danish pastries because I'd never made any before, but I also had noone to eat them at home in such quantities so I decided to go with the filo pastries instead. The bakers on the show had to make a sweet and savoury batch so I did too, just not very many of them. Here are my attempts:

This was my sweet amuse bouche - Banana, Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Parcels (aka Everything I Had In The Cupboard). 

Just as a size reference, yes they were very little and very yummy. My dad approved of the favour combo, weird as it is.

Here is one of my Mushroom and Bacon Cups. I'm particularly proud of the shape of these. A blob of foil inside a fairy cake tin made me that shape!

They looked like flowers in the end which I really enjoyed. Flowers filled with creamy mushroom and topped with bacon? Absolutely delicious.

The pastry turned out crispy and nice. Had the parcels not sat around for a couple of hours (we weren't ready to eat them yet) I bet they would have been awesome too. A note for later in regards to pre-filled filo products is that you want them to be eaten basically immediately after baking to retain their crispiness.

Halfway through making the filo, I realised I had done the right thing by trying out this brand new pastry in a very small quantity. It was quite fiddly, but if any of you folks out there are wrapped a wonton before, it's basically as thin as that pastry (maybe thinner) but for some reason it wasn't as hard as I thought to handle. I really enjoyed making this pastry so I will try it again in the future. Hoorah for more baking adventures! :)

Friday, 23 September 2016

Bake Off 2016 - Batter Week

A little later than I'd like, I tried my hand at one of the shorter challenges of Batter Week, the first of its kind on Bake Off. Ideally I would have wanted to do the Yorkshire Puddings, or even try my hand at the churros, but since the doodliness of the technical really got my creative juices going, I went with that. Ladies and gentlemen - 12 laced heart shaped pancakes:

I went with one of my doodle designs. It meant that I spent a lot longer than I'd like directly over the stove. It took about 5 minutes to doodle and cook each one of these.

And here are all 12. I wanted to display them individually but there was no surface big enough!

These look good and actually taste nice too. The challenge wasn't hard but was like an endurance test. I got there in the end, am pleased with how uniform they look.

Ever since finding out that you could pipe patterns and shapes with pancake batter, I've been wanting to give it a go. I have my lovely friend Nancy to thank for this batch of pancakes because she bought be a squeezy bottle set for my birthday and at the time she thought it was the cheapest and most boring gift ever, but look at how well these all turned out! Yay! :) There will be lots of exciting pancakes in my future! :)

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Bake Off 2016 - Bread Week

As usual, I was really excited about Bake Off's bread week. There's something quite wonderful about making a loaf of bread from scratch. This time I opted to make a chocolate loaf (as opposed to the pan steamed buns or the massive plaited centerpiece) and just kept it simple:

Here is my milk chocolate and white chocolate loaf.

I got a nice rise on it and not quite the swirl I was looking for inside but it will do!

This didn't taste anywhere chocolately as I would have wanted, but I am pleased at how well it turned out. Especially because it was a really wet mix and got very very messy. I think I might try this one again at one point and refine my flavours. I didn't follow a recipe but I think it went well anyway :)

In light of recent news about the Bake Off I have no idea if this is the last time I will be doing a Bake Off Bake Along. But I will still bake, and that's for sure! :) Onward to a new week and a new challenge! :)

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Bake Off 2016 - Biscuit Week

After attempting and failing to mirror glaze my week one cake, I was pretty determined to do a good job for Bake Off's biscuit week. I chose the iced biscuit challenge because I've been meaning to try my hand at icing for a long time now so I found a reliable biscuit recipe (plus a hint of ginger) with matching icing instructions and I was away.

Half way through the challenge I realised that this is the perfect amalgamation of my love of baking and doodling and was enormously pleased that it was turning out well too! Here are my finished biscuits:

I was inspired by the rainy day we had today, and I think it turned out really nicely! I particularly love the blue raindrops!

I am so pleased with how these look. I might have to take a better photo of these tomorrow :)

Oh, I guess I should report on the biscuit itself too. Nice and crispy with a hint of ginger which sits nicely on the palette after the biscuit is gone. I think my oven is biased to one side which is annoying so there's always one biscuit which is browner than the rest, but hey, I can't do much about that!

This is my first ever attempt at icing actual detail. Previously I have just used shop bought roll out icing to stick on top of a patch of white frosting, which does the trick until you want waaay more detail. This method of decoration gives way more flexibility. I think there are going to be many doodle inspired iced biscuits in my future! Hoorah! :)