The New Bake Off


I gave it a shot. I did. I love Bake Off so so much. Ask anyone who knows me. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched all of the episodes, I have two cookbooks from previous contestants: B.I.Y from Richard of Season 5 (or season 1 if you’re watching on Netflix in the US) and The Cardamom Trail from Chetna of the same cast. I have five other cookbooks from three other contestants on my Amazon wishlist. This was the show that got me seriously baking, and not just from a box.

I wasn’t even going to watch the new season. It felt like cheating on my partner. But, I figured that if I was going to denounce it, I needed to know what I was talking about.

First, Prue:


Ugh. Someone on tumblr called her a discount Mary Berry, and that is so accurate. God, get out of that tent. You’re nowhere near Mary’s caliber.

Second, Noel and Sandy:


Okay, they’re cute. Gentle humor, not too strong in the innuendo game, which could just be because they’re feeling out their new job. It could change as they go on. I love how attached Sandy got to the bakers, and Noel I think did well with comedy relief for them. But I can’t quite figure out what this little Goth boy is doing in the tent.

Richie: Goths like Bake Off and baking too!

Okay, fair point. But it just seems to me that Noel is a young man who went to work with his mom for National Take Your Kid to Work Day.

Finally, Paul.

He doesn’t get a picture. I do not have the words. Ugh. He should have left Bake Off, too. He didn’t need the money. He has cookbooks and TV shows. He could have left with the other three, Channel 4 would have realized they paid $75 million for nothing,  and they would have kicked it back to the BBC. Everyone could have come back. But nooooooooooo. Now I have this ass  who is “devaluing the handshake economy“. Ass.


There was one bright spot.


Stephen. I adored him. I mean, Yan was awesome. Stacey is me. But I super love Stephen.


But, no more Bake Off for me. And that makes me really sad. But I’ll always remember you!


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.

Week Seven- Pies and Tarts Week: Tart au Citron





This bake was not for us. Not at all.

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




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



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


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


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


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



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


Life changing, you guys

7. And finally- just photos of Winter







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

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


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



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



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



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!


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


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!



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


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


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.


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