Week Three- Bread Week: Garlic Dough Balls

This recipe comes from Season Four Bake Off contestant, Ruby!

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I’m not sure where I went wrong with this recipe. The dough was too dry. Maybe I didn’t incorporate the flour all the way. But the dough was falling apart and I had to add more olive oil and more water to make it stick together. I got 30 balls out of the dough

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They were okay, but not my cup of tea. Wound up giving them all to Zombie. She loved ’em

 

(Speaking of tea, I just ate a lot of ice cream and need to settle my stomach. I’m off)

Week Two- Biscuit Week: Chocolate and Peanut Butter Biscotti

I know this was supposed to be fenugreek papdi chaat. I know. But the store was out of fenugreek leaves and I wanted to get the bake done that weekend so I went with biscotti.

I mean, peanut butter and chocolate!

Gathering the dry ingredients turned into cleaning out the refrigerator and hosing down the trash cans. As you do. But now I have a clean (practically bare) fridge. Woo!

 

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I wish more cookbooks would describe what dough should look and/or feel like. Having never made biscotti before, and only seen an episode on Bake Off, I had no idea what to expect

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It’s very nerve-wracking trying to cover up peanut butter so it doesn’t burn. And you can see that my dough is oddly misshapen. Awesome

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The taste was a bit more bitter than I was expecting. Maybe all the dark chocolate, or the peanut butter. Or maybe I’m just so used to sweet foods. It was still good and I’m glad I made it. The recipe called for way more biscotti than what you see (which is all that was made). BUT if I cut them any more narrower they fell apart. Maybe they weren’t cool enough or dry enough. Eh, it worked.

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(Pretentious aesthetic. The book is The Hours by Michael Cunningham)

Week One- Cake Week: Pistachio White Chocolate Cardamom Cake

I know I’m behind in these blogs. I know. But I’m determined to get all caught up in the next few days. EAT IT.

 

So, remember when I got my hands on Chetna’s cookbook? Of course you do. I decided to use one of Chetna’s recipes (the one on the cover, actually) for my bake off.

 

The cake was pretty easy. I had a hard time crushing the cardamom, and shelling pistachios is a pain in the ass. Next time, I’ll buy ground cardamom and shelled pistachios- not a thing.

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I know a cake is going to be good based on the batter. And this batter was damn tasty.

 

I did have problems with the icing, which was my fault, not the author’s. I let the butter melt too much, so my icing was waaaaay to runny. Did you know powdered sugar (aka icing sugar) can thicken up icing? I didn’t. Now I do! Added in some powdered sugar and more butter. The result as a super rich icing. And because the two cakes were stacked on top of each other with icing on each layer, this was a thick, rich cake

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A thick rich delicious cake. I bet if the icing hadn’t been so runny the cake would look prettier. Eh, you live and learn

 

Bake Off and Baking

As you all know (or you would if you paid attention), I LOVE the Great British Bake Off. I find it so soothing- I think because everyone isn’t yelling or cussing. I get enough of that everywhere else. Mostly from myself

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Now, PBS is getting ready to start showing GBBO season six (which is PBS’s season three)(PBS also calls it the Great British Baking Show, because apparently Pillsbury owns the phrase ‘bake off’. Which is bullshit). I’m hoping that PBS.org will be airing it as well (I’m pretty sure they will). It will air Fridays at 8:00, starting this Friday!

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How am I celebrating? By baking along, of course! I’m going to try to match up week for week (cake for cake, bread for bread). There are going to be some I don’t do (Victorian, obvs), and some I have to move around (I’m pushing back pastry for when I am on vacation because I’ll be making puff pastry by hand).

 

Here’s what I have planned:

 

Week One- Cake Week: White Chocolate, Pistachio, and Cardamom Cake

Week Two- Biscuit Week: Fenugreek papdi chaat

Week Three- Bread Week: Garlic Dough Balls

Week Four- Dessert Week: Whipped Cream Cake with Caramel Icing

Week Five- Alternative Ingredients Week: Sugar Free Vanilla Ice Cream

Week Six- Sweet Dough Week: Tea Loaf

Week Seven- Pies and Tarts Week: Tart au Citron

Week Eight- Pastry Week: Eclairs

Week Nine- Chocolate Week: Chocolate Chip Dream Cheesecake

Week Ten- Showstopper Week: Round Florida Orange Cake w/ Madeleines and Candied Oranges

 

 

Last year, the show was aired online on Sunday nights. I hope that this doesn’t mean the show airs on TV on Fridays and online on Sundays. I already have people coming over on Friday! (fingers crossed, you guys) And you’re all invited! Provided I know you, of course.

 

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Brain vs Body

For those of you who don’t know, Richie and I joined a climbing gym. As in indoor rock climbing. They are holding a challenge for the month of June called Sender Bender- if you can attend the gym every single day, all 30 days in June, you get your July membership free. Also, you are entered into a drawing to win a free year membership.

 

Richie and I have both reached Day 22. There are only nine people left in the running. I think the reason that I have made it so far is because I don’t have to climb every day. They offer group yoga twice a week, and they have a little workout room with weights and yoga mats. And there isn’t a time limit. All they care about is that you are active. I can only climb two days in a row before I need a break. I once climbed three days in a row and my arms were burning. The days in between I go down to the workout room and do yoga for twenty minutes. It’s amazing.

 

My cousin Peter is getting married this weekend, and yesterday I tried on my little black dress. It was a bit tight in the bust because my birth control has made my boobs grow a lot. So I took the dress off and just sat in my bra and underwear and just hated my body. I have been working out for a few weeks and I haven’t lost weight and my arms are still flabby. I of course did not take into consideration that the dress is 17 years old and I had just scarfed down a brownie with ice cream.

 

Richie and I went climbing and a gloomy little cloud followed me around. Then, at one point, I was climbing, and my feet slipped. My arms, however, did not. They held me good and steady until my feet situated themselves. That’s new. That wouldn’t have been possible a month ago. And I’m climbing the walls faster now.

 

This happens every once in a while, though. My brain will hate my body for a while, and I’ll hate food for a while, and then my brain will re-set itself. So I’ll allow my brain this particular temper tantrum. But next week, PBS is showing new episodes of the Great British Bake Off and I’ll be baking something new each week, so.

Florida Orange Cake

Before I get to this recipe, I want to show you this

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As most of you know, I am a huge Great British Bake Off fan. This book come from Season Five contestant Chetna Makan. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but that’s because some ingredients are hard to track down. Trader Joe’s had ghee, but not semolina. That will have to be a different trip. But, I still need to get Richard’s book, Luis’, Martha’s, and Nadiya from Season Six just released one. I’m waiting for hers to come out in book format, though. I also need to get the GBBO collection books. I have an Amazon wishlist started ;o)

 

Anyways, got a new boss at work (finally), and she is a skinny fucking bean pole. Luckily, she is a skinny fucking bean pole who wants to put on weight. That’s where I come in.

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I picked up this book at… Goodwill, I think. This is the first recipe I’ve made from it

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There is a cup of orange juice in the batter, and orange marmalade in the cream cheese icing

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It’s basically a breakfast cake- it has eggs and orange juice. And cream cheese. It’s a perfect summer cake- light and refreshing. It was a huge hit at work and a huge hit at home. 10/10 would make again

Six for Saturday

  1. What I’m reading: A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth. It’s huge. 1349 pages. I’m only on page 175. It’s cool, though. I feel like I’m learning a bit about Indian history. It’s the first Indian novel I’ve read, and Seth is the first Indian author I’ve read. I don’t count Rudyard Kipling (he’s white and British- colonialists don’t count) or the Jungle Books (they’re about animals).
  2. What I’m knitting: Another Multnomah. This time for a wedding present. I don’t know if she has stumbled across this blog, so I’m going to keep the details to myself. I’m almost finished. I’ll post photos after the shower.
  3. Work is going good. Finally. We have finally hired extra people and are now fully staffed. Of course, they can’t do much until they have completed training, but still. We had a bit of a setback last month when my boss lost his battle with cancer. But my overtime is over (thank god) and I’m back to normal hours. I’m no longer stressed. I miss the extra money, but I feel like it’s working out.
  4. My fan fiction is also going well. I have 74 stories. My most subscribed is 255. 255 individual people read that story. It kinda blows me away a little. Okay, a lot.
  5. I’ve decided to get back into baking. I’ve seen the Great British Bake Off way too many times- which we all know is a lie, because there is no such thing as watching the Great British Bake Off too many times. Let’s be real here. It’s a bit shaky at first because it’s been so long. But, my new manager (who is a twig) is looking to gain weight, so I’m revving up to hone my skills. Her birthday is at the end of the month, so I will be baking cupcakes for her. Maybe I should do a weekly treat. Hmm. I wish there was a baking book that divided recipes up by skill level.
  6. Richie has joined a climbing gym. He took Lauren and me with him today as guests. It was fun. I only kinda sucked! I got to the top of one wall twice, and a second once. The others I attempted I only got halfway. I have to use my legs and feet more. I didn’t join today (we need groceries), but I do have a guest pass for $1o. So I’ll go one more time before making a final decision. They also offer yoga, which I’ve been wanting to try