Sorry I haven’t been around for a while but I’ve been busy revising for the first of my GCSE’s. I’m only doing three this year chemistry, biology and physics and so far I’ve taken two and I have physics on Wednesday then yay it’s half term.
Although I have been revising I did manage to enter two cakes into the 5th Abergavenny Great Bake Off competition. The first was a traditional cake and I went for a layered sponge filled with homemade lemon curd and fresh cream. This cakes were auctioned after the judging and I think this made over £20. (all towards Cancer Research & Sarcoma UK). My entry didn’t win but I did come second with my carrot cake cup cakes in the cupcakes section although I don’t know how much they made for charity
This is a great local event and I love it especially when the sunshines. Lots to do and a family day out.
Hopefully after my last exam on Wednesday all will be back to normal and I’ll be posting more regularly. Have a good week………..
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.
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.
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.
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
This week I’m learning to make a sweet pastry and also some homemade lemon curd to put into the tart.
I did think that making my own lemon curd would take a while but it was actually very easy and quick to make as well as tasting amazing.
The pastry uses icing sugar, the seeds from a vanilla pod and ground almonds. At the beginning the pastry resembles a butter cream until you add the flour and then it starts to look like a pastry. Once the pastry has been made it is left to rest for two hours.
While the pastry is resting I made up the lemon curd by placing lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, sugar and eggs in a saucepan over a gentle heat. I gently stirred the mixture until it started to thicken. If the heat is too high the mixture will become like scrambled eggs. When the curd has thickened place through a sieve and leave to cool.
I also candied lemon slices by boiling sugar and water and placing sliced lemons into the the boiling water and letting the lemons simmer until the outside rind of the lemon is nearly clear.
When the pastry had rested I rolled out and placed into a tart tin and baked for twenty minutes. I left the tart to cool and then spread the curd over the pastry and placed the candied lemons on top for decoration. I then placed the tart in the fridge to set.
This week not only did I learn a new pastry, how to make lemon curd and candy fruit but I also managed not to get a soggy bottom on my pastry.
This week I made a victoria sandwich with homemade lemon curd filling like they used to in the Victorian times.
The lemon curd was easier to make than I thought it would be. To make it you mix eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest and you stir for about 5 -10 minutes then you reduce the heat and simmer until it thickens. I learnt how to sterilise jam jars but I managed to burn the seal in some of the lids but leaving them in the oven to long.
The sponge went well but I need to improve on getting an even bake.
Did you know:- The Victoria sponge is an English bake and was called a Victoria sponge because it was made for Queen Victoria.It was invented as a sweet treat for her to have at tea time with her royal friends.
Victoria sandwich cakes became her favorite sweet treat. Lemon curd would be used for the middle of Victoria sponge but today we use jam.
Queen Victoria would invite her friends to have tea with her and they would dress finely. It was traditional to have a pot of tea with the victoria sponge.
Lemon curd is an English recipe and was known as Lemon Cheese” It was made as an alternative to jams and jellys, but it isn’t known as a jam because it only lasts a few weeks.