Week Eight- Pastry: Eclairs

You guys, eclairs are hard.

Never done eclairs before. Never even attempted pastry.

Yeah, didn’t work.

The pastry cream was fine.

The choux was okay

Maybe my piping tip was too small? They sure make it look easy on Bake Off

I’m going to save the pastry cream to use as a pie filling (other ideas welcome), and I’ll keep the heavy whipping cream for homemade ice cream.

 

I’m very proud that I kept my calm and didn’t cry or curse.

Why yes, I would cry over cake on Bake Off. Why do you ask?

 

Now I’ve brewed myself some tea and made myself a cookie in a mug.

 

The eclair recipe came from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, and the pastry cream recipe came from Kitchn.

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Week Seven- Pies and Tarts Week: Tart au Citron

No.

Nope.

Negative.

 

This bake was not for us. Not at all.

I don’t know if it was the homemade pie crust

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Or all the lemons or what. Maybe we needed to top it with powdered sugar or something, I dunno.

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This is what melting butter looks like in a pan of sugar and lemon juice

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It was just a sour tart, with a strange after taste.

 

Whatever, I made pie crust by hand.

Maybe eclair week will be easier!

Yeah, I doubt it too

 

Also, I’m not quite sure when this became a food/baking blog

Week Six- Sweet Dough Week: Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake

For my tea loaf I went with blueberry lemon. The combination is sweet and tart and all around delicious.

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This recipe came from Life Made Sweeter, and is pretty straight forward. It actually tastes good as leftovers, and of course is divine with tea. I prefer Earl Grey, but I’m sure it will go with many others.

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I’ve actually seen this combination in a cake. I might have to give that a try, too

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I would definitely bake this again. I actually can’t believe I haven’t. Huh.

Week Five- Alternative Ingredients Week: Sugar Free Ice Cream

Today at the coffee shop, Andy said he finally saw my cat.

Me: Where?

Andy: Your blog

Me: Oh yeah. I forgot I had one.

 

Whoops. Sorry gang. Here we go.

 

I got this idea from the fifth episode of the sixth season of Bake Off. I had bookmarked a sugar free site before, and I went back to troll through those recipes. Because the bakers had to make dairy free ice cream with coconut milk, decided to make sugar free coconut vanilla ice cream.

 

Would you like to guess how well it turned out?

 

 

It didn’t.

 

 

I don’t know what the issue was. If it was because I had to use a blender instead of a food processor; or because I only used one can of coconut milk; or because I used vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean.

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It smelled weird, too.

 

 

Zombie and I cut our losses and went to Jack-in-the-Box for shakes

 

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

This was a fun one, that came from one of my tea books

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It was relatively easy. Of course, because this one done three weeks ago I don’t really remember much about it

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The center filling was homemade whipped cream. I think I need to keep the apartment cool when whipping up creams and icings

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The caramel icing was pretty easy, although I had to keep an eye on it to make sure I didn’t burn it. I’ve learned that from Bake Off- it is very easy to burn caramel

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It’s a good cake- subtle and light- but the icing was too runny. But what do you expect from a St. Louis summer?

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)