In an earlier post I spoke about my project to learn how to bake. In this entry I'll get us up to date to where I am in what we will now officially call... 'The Baking Project'.
So what have I baked so far? I have mostly been using recipes from the The Great British Bake Off book 'How To Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers', and as I mentioned before, my success rate is average at best.
The project to date:
- Creme caramel - success! Couldn't really believe they worked on the first attempt. The caramel could have been darker, but I have never cooked it before and was scared it would burn.
- Meringue swirls - awful. My second baking attempt was not the best. My egg white was stiff, until I started mixing in food colouring which changed the consistency. My piped swirls were not anywhere near large enough, and unfortunately this completely messed up the baking time. The recipe stated 1 - 2 hours. One hour later, I had a dozen or so burnt little meringue blobs. I have made chocolate swirl meringues in the past which worked out great, so I will be trying meringues again later on in The Baking Project.
- Gingerbread snowflakes. These were so much fun to make, I'd encourage anyone to do it. I love piping, so decorating was a highlight.
|His smile is deceiving.|
- Brandy snaps - Failure. Brandy snaps take two - less so, but still a failure.
I'll start by saying that both batches tasted good. Gingery and as J. noticed, reminiscent of Werther's Original toffees. The first problem was, however hard I tried, I could not get them off the tray for the life of me! They were stuck hard, and after much caressing, poking and finally ripping, I had to say goodbye to the brandy snap dream. I took to the internet after this first batch and read that a silicon baking sheet would solve any potential sticky dilemmas. I stomped (drove) off to Homebase, and bought myself a new baking sheet and flat tray for batch two.
I repeated the recipe, and watched them spread in the oven. With trepidation I removed the b'snaps after the stated baking time and waited for them to cool a little. My shaky hands started to lift the edges from the silicon...and voila! They came off and rolled happily around my wooden spoons. I left them to set with optimism blossoming in my heart....but in some hideous twist of fate, they then stuck to the spoons instead. Carefully I pried the brandy snaps off the spoons, and although lovely and snappy on the edges, they were more brandy mush in the centre. I imagine the reason for this is that they were a little undercooked in the centre and therefore became this:
|Just like Mary Berry's|
|Like something out of a baking Alien movie|
So, have you had any baking disasters? Or have you found yourself a natural baker?
Stay tuned for the next