GBBOTC #6 – Couronne ‘av a go if you think yer ‘ard enough…

4 images of Apricot Couronne - clockwise from top left: ingredients, pre-2nd-prove, close up, aerial viewA good workman never blames his tools.  Let’s get that out of the way first.  Fine, now we’re all agreed, let’s also agree that I’m not a good workman, because I honestly believe that this week’s Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge was sent awry by my being away from home, and away from my own oven.  I’ve never been one to believe that you can only bake in your own oven – I always thought that was a pretty lame excuse, to be fair, and that people who said that were just trying to cover up their own failings.  Well, that’s probably still the case, but I still say that having to bake this week’s GBBOTC in my mother’s weird double electric oven (probably considered a normal oven to those of you who don’t live day in, day out with gas) is the reason it turned out as underwhelmingly as it did. Continue reading

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GBBOTC #5 – All’s Well That Bakewells

Figgy Bakewell Slices - in tray on the left and close up after slicing on the rightNow, by anyone’s standards, there was a fair bit of moaning and griping about the tuiles Technical Challenge from this week’s Great British Bake Off.  Some people I came across couldn’t be doing with something so fiddly and  faffy for apparently little reward.  Some people thought it was just boring.  Me?  I was excited about it.  I LOVE fiddle and faff!  I’m crap at it – I’m much better at lumpy and inelegant – but nonetheless I like to get flour up to my elbows and get stuck in. Continue reading

GBBOTC #4 – Total eclipse of the tarts

Egg Custard Tarts - clockwise from top left - in the tray, close up, cross section, and no soggy bottoms!

Remember, a couple of blogs back, how I was remarking on the incredible fact that I’d actually followed a recipe – no mods, no additions and nearly no substitutions? Yeah? Well, that was short-lived. This week’s Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge taught me more than how to make a custard tart. This week I learned that sometimes, you should just follow the recipe. Because, sometimes, just sometimes, the person who wrote the recipe knows more about baking than you. Particularly if you are a part-time, amateur, home baker with hot hands, and the person writing the recipe is Paul ‘Silver Fox’ Hollywood. Continue reading

GBBOTC #3 – Iles Flottantes you want me baby?

My kitchen in an absolute state - pots, pans and bits everywhere! In which I use every tool, instrument and pan in the kitchen (except the ones in my prep photo), burn a lot of sugar, burn my finger, ruin our kitchen floor and discover that I really can’t spin sugar.

Honestly, folks, this week’s GBBOTC was more like an episode of the wonderful My Drunk Kitchen, except less drunken (as I’m off booze at the mo), less funny, and with less edible results. And not on video. OK, not a lot like MDK, to be fair. Continue reading

GBBOTC #2 – Muffin’s gonna change my love for you

My muffins in all their glory - pre-baking, after baking, and with butter.

you want some muffin with that butter?

Well, that’s how I felt this evening anyway. Mr Oh and I are pretty solid, but when he was late home from work and Moo needed feeding, I didn’t get a chance to cook my muffins (fnar) before I had to leave for the gym. [Aside: I never thought I’d see the day that I prioritised the gym over baked goods.] Those muffins were nearly the start of quite the ‘discussion’. And then I remembered that he was working, and he was only 20 minutes late, so I built a ladder and got over myself.

Continue reading