Patisserie

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My blog is a little bit late this week as I’ve been getting busy for the Abergavenny Food Festival today where I am going to do two demonstrations.  The first is with Frances Quinn (who won the 2013 Great British Bake Off) and the second is on my own in the Castle where I am making Pizzas with forty children.

The only reason I am writing my blog now is because I am very nervous and wanted to think of something else!!

Because I’ve been practising for the Food festival I only managed to do two of the three bakes this week.

The first was a Blueberry Frangipane and I managed not to get a soggy bottom on my shortcrust pastry.  This is a lovely pudding with creme fraiche or a thick jersey cream.

My second bake was vol au vents and I loved making these as I find the laminating in the puff pastry fun.

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Puddings

Seven minutes to go before this weeks Great British Bake Off and I have just finished putting the last bits of my windtorte together.

A windtorte is made up of two types of meringue French and Swiss.  The base, sides and top of the wind torte is made from a tradition French meringue which is egg whites and sugar whisked together and then baked.  Then the torte is sealed by using a Swiss meringue.  A Swiss meringue is made on the hob by continually whisking together egg whites and sugar.

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Creme Brûlée was my first bake this week which I have made before for my blog.  As the Bake Off contestants came up with some different flavours I thought I to should also come up with something so I went for a mint infused Creme Brûlée.

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My second bake was the showstopper a baked lemon cheesecake wrapped in chocolate.  To wrap the chocolate I used bubble wrap after having seen a video that a friend of my mam’s posted (Moyra Sammut).  I need to practice doing it a bit more but this technique could make some stunning cakes and puddings in the future.

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I’ve really enjoyed this weeks bakes as they were a little bit easier than last week but there were some new techniques to learn at the same time.

I’m now off to to watch episode four of the Great British Bake Off

Bread of Heaven

Bread of Heaven or in my case Bread of Great British Bake Off.  This week The Great British Bake Off made three different types of bread:-

Quick breads

Baguettes

3d Bread Sculpture

My first bake was the 3d sculpture and after looking into a theme I came up with the idea of  a Yin & Yang shape.  My design was made from a batch of white bread and  brown bread.  I wasn’t convinced it was going to turn out as well as it did as the white bread rose a lot more than the brown bread when proving however the final result was an even bake.  I also had some dough left so I made some bread rolls to have with my lunch (yum yum).

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For my second bake I made baguettes.  A baguette is made from a normal bread dough recipe but the proving time is double and when the baguette is baked a roasting tin of hot water is placed in the bottom of the oven to create steam which gives the baguette a crust.  This bake went a bit wonky as my final shape was a lot larger than a normal baguette but it did taste like a baguette and was delicious straight out of the oven with lashings of butter

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My final bake for this week a quick bread.  A quick bread is a Soda bread and the reason it is called a quick bread is because it has no proving time and the kneading is very minimal.  I used a normal soda bread recipe and I added my own twist by adding some mexican flavours (cumin, chilli, paprika, oregano and coriander).  I always find soda bread doughy so I liked the idea of adding some spices to the bread to take away from the doughy taste.IMG_3598

Frosted Walnut Cake

Yaay! The Great British Bake Off is back.

This is one of my favourite programmes on telly.  I love watching all the different bakers and how they deal with the pressure and I love how they get better and better in each episode. It does make me smile when they mess up as it means they are the same as me.

There are eleven episodes in this series and I thought it would be fun to try and follow all the bakes.  (Hopefully I’ll still be able to do it when I go back to school)

So for my first bake I have gone straight in with the technical challenge and made

Mary’s Frosted Walnut Layer Cake 

First of all I had to cover walnuts with caramel and the amazing thing is I managed to do this without burning myself (which is very unusual for me).

Then came the cake itself which is a classic vanilla sponge with roughly chopped walnuts mixed into the sponge mixture. This was then dived into three cake tins and baked  While the cakes were baking I made up a traditional butter icing that was then spread in-between each of the three layers of cake when they had cooked and cooled down.

The cake is then covered in a frosted icing.  This is like a meringue and is made from egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar all of which are placed in a bowl over a saucepan and is consistently whisked until it has thickened.  Mary Berry said it would take 8 – 10 minutes but I thought it took forever and my arm ached after all the whisking.  The frosted icing then has to be put onto the cake quickly before it crystallises.  I perhaps made the icing a bit too thick as it cooled a little bit too quickly when I spread it on the cake.

I wasn’t keen on baking this cake as I don’t really like walnuts but I loved making the frosting which was a new technique for me.

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never tried out before, so baking them has been fun, as I got to try some different techniques, but also got to eat different things. Yummy.