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

Seven for Saturday

1.What I’m Reading: The Terror by Dan Simmons. It’s a fictional re-telling of the Franklin Expedition of 1846. It’s a spooky read- aside from cold and starvation, there is something lurking out there on the ice that wants the sailors. I freeze while reading this

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2. What I’m Knitting: Richie’s beard club is hosting a cold weather clothing drive for their December meeting. I have some yarn I don’t love, so I’m just whipping up some simple scarves. I started on Wednesday and have one scarf finished

3. What I’m Watching: The Great Australian Bake Off

4. I found a new recipe in one of my cookbooks. It has half the ingredients of my buttermilk bread recipe, and it’s so much easier. Equally tasty too

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5. I made some lemon lime cupcakes over the summer, from this site. Citrus bakes are best during the warmer months. I also finally, finally nailed the icing. After giving the kitchen time to cool off after baking, I turned the thermostat down a couple of degrees, which kept the icing from melting

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6. Yesterday I made a cookie in the mug for the second time, but it was the first time the recipe actually worked. There was a calming masterpost making it’s way around tumblr, for people to help care for themselves after the election. I decided to try this recipe because I didn’t think I had enough ingredients to make a full batch of cookies and was too lazy to go out for more

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Life changing, you guys

7. And finally- just photos of Winter

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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)

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