Tuesday 23 September 2014

Baking Along With GBBO: Week Six and Seven: Prinsesstårta and Kouign Amann

I've been doing a bit more catching up this weekend - two quite fun technical challenges in the most recent episodes, I thought...

Week six brought us the Prinsesstårta (Swedish Princess Cake, as seen in Ikea and also, presumably, Sweden), a rather bizarre looking green monstrosity - sponge, jam and creamy stuff covered with green marzipan and a pink rose, said to have been invented in the 1930s for some actual Scandinavian princesses.

The GBBO recipe for this is (and clearly was on the actual programme too) completely bonkers, requiring that you not only make the cake and the cream and creme patissiere fillings, but also the jam and the marzipan. I'm pretty sure that in Real Life, I wouldn't bother with many of these things, but, for the sake of authenticity, I did as I was told this time.

I definitely wouldn't have wanted to do this one in the time - I did mine over two days - I made most of the bits and pieces on day one and then the final cream whippage, marzipan and assembly on day two.

Next time, I would definitely make my creme patissiere a bit thicker - it would be easier to deal with and would give thicker layers.

I *might* also consider making the green a bit less green for authenticity, but I quite like my leafy colour - those gel colours are just too awesome to waste on pastel shades!

Again, not great for taking to work, but I shall see what I can do, as I don't think it's really reasonable to expect poor husband to eat the whole thing.

The Breton Kouign Amann from episode seven, on the other hand are an entirely different prospect.
Nice and straightforward to make, the main problem they seemed to create on TV was just the fact that nobody had any idea what they were making!

I, obviously, having seen their efforts, didn't have the same problem, so breezed through the recipe (admittedly at a far more leisurely pace).

They seem a bit like making croissants - bread dough with layers of butter - rolled and folded in the manner of puff pastry, with a bit of caramelly added sugar.

These are MUCH more transportable, and I'll have to hide them from husband, as they are utterly delicious.

I will definitely make them again - sweet and flakey, they would be ideal for breakfast or elevenses.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Baking Along With GBBO: Weeks Four and Five: Tiramisu Cake and Wee Pies

Husband makes a fuss about having to watch the Bake Off with me - he would prefer to mainline Game of Thrones (it's as well that we have to ease off that sometimes, in fact. We're coming ominously near to running out of episodes).

However, he is more excited about the Tiramisu Cake from the Puddings episode than he has been about any foodstuff for a long time...

What with that and Ice Cream-gate, it was a pretty exciting episode all round.

Now, I can take or leave tiramisu, generally - I don't really like coffee and chocolatey puddings don't do that much for me, but any recipe which has the nerve to include THREE entire tubs of mascarpone has to be tried at least once in a lifetime, I reckon.

Turns out I don't have a square tin (hard to believe, I know), so mine is round.

Also, who can be faffed with making silly chocolate decorations? Honestly... *sigh*

Because of being on Champagne Holiday last week, I have a bit of catching up to do, so I have also shoehorned Pie Week into this post.

I love pie. I love making pie and I quite like eating it too.

I was hoping that the custard tarts would be the technical challenge of the week, as I am partial to a bit of tartage (as many people that have been here for force feeding dinner here can testify). However, it was clearly not to be, and pear mini pies were the order of the day.

When I saw these on TV, I thought that they were a bit lame, but now that I have made them myself, I am COMPLETELY in love with them - they are gorgeous. Simple and gorgeous.

Definitely one to make again and again (possibly with apples, which are a good deal yummier than pears in my humble opinion).

I'm going to make my family eat all these things at a barbecue this weekend, as the technical challenges are becoming increasingly impractical for transporting into work (BBC, please take note ;) ).

Tune in again for (equally, if not more, impractical) princess cake.