Note to self 2: you know perfectly well the kitchen timer is knackered. Don't set it and then wander off, or that quinoa will end up cooked for far too long.
You know, lunch today was actually surprisingly all right, all things considered :)
|You're viewing venta's journal|
Create a Dreamwidth Account Learn More
Thanks to all those of you who offered advice on my pudding and egg white dilemma last week. Apologies to those whose advice I subsequently ignored :)
I actually went ahead with the crazy winter pavlova idea, and it actually turned out reasonably nice. (At least, I thought it did. And other people said they liked it, though they may have just been polite.) I had some leftovers the day after, and they were definitely at the "leftover" stage, a little soft/soggy for meringue, but not to the point of inedibility. But the pavlova coped fine with being assembled around 6ish and eaten around 9ish.
deborahw37 requested a picture, but I'll put it behind a cut in case the rest of you have had quite enough of my culinary excess this month.( Show me the cakey! )
It may surprise people who know me to hear that I watch The Great British Bake Off. Yes, I know everyone and their biscuit-loving dog watches it, but I am famous for my non-TV-watching. I do, I admit, watch it in a slightly half-hearted way (I'm at least a week behind) but for me that's a pretty major commitment.
I am perhaps less famous for my massive love of Viennese whirls. So when (several weeks ago now) they featured as a Technical Challenge[*], I watched it and figured that it didn't look all that difficult at all, really. This was just before my knee went all icky and peculiar, so I felt I probably had enough walking in me to make Viennese whirls.
So I set a timer for 90 minutes and headed to the kitchen. The GBBO contestants had only just squeaked in under the hour-and-a-half time limit, and I had been surprised. Surely it couldn't take that long? The challenge was to make 12 "sandwiches" (two biscuits, glommed together with butter cream and jam) having made everything (including the jam) from first principles.
On the plus side, I'd watched the programme so had heard the experts' advice, and I had a rather fuller version of the recipe from the BBC website. I didn't have a pair of highly critical judges waiting to get on my case, and I didn't have camera crews, tension or drama to contend with. And I was in my own, familiar kitchen.
On the minus side, I didn't have everything nicely laid out for me and would have to locate ingredients and equipment as I went. And I'm not actually any great shakes as a baker. So I figured it would all even out, and 90 minutes was a fair challenge.
ChrisC did try to make it fairer by sporadically getting in the way, pushing a camera in my face, asking daft questions and providing corny jokes. Mercifully, it turned out he wasn't actually filming so the footage is not available ;)
I started making my raspberries into jam, and hit the first snag: GBBO contestants never suddenly realise that some terrible shopping list omission means they have run out of granulated sugar. Well, it's only jam. Soft brown will surely work just as well. Actually, the recipe called for "jam sugar". Sod that - (a) I don't have any, and (b) jam in my house gets made with granulated. Or, of course, soft brown if that's what there is.
Maybe if I'd used jam sugar (which I believe has added pectin) the "boil for 4 minutes" would have even been accurate. As it was, it took more like 20 before the jam showed the least inclination to set. Dammit. Behind schedule already.
(As a side note, in this case I would have been much better off with the sketch-recipe given to actual contestants, which just said "make jam". Instead, I followed the detailed directions without registering that it asked for 25% more sugar than I would have put in. It also made considerably more than was needed, so now I have a large quantity of outrageously sweet jam.)
Next up: make, pipe and bake biscuits. That icing sugar box looks rather empty. Oh dear. I'm pretty certain that Viennese whirls' sugar requirements are quite specific. I looked rather dejectedly in the Spare Things Cupboard and found that for once the commissariat was functioning correctly, and there was a new box waiting.
Then we hit snag 2. Ordinarily, my approach is that if I've made some biscuits then you can have one if you'd like, but you don't get to complain if they're a bit mis-shapen or different sizes. But I was playing by the rules here, so that meant 24 "identical" biscuits, and that they had to be piped rather than dolloped.
I dug out a piping bag, and a star nozzle, and realised very quickly that my star nozzle (size unspecified) is not "medium". It's designed for piping little fiddly icing bits, not biscuits. No amount of violence was going to get the biscuit dough out of that nozzle in a coherent manner. Ah well, I'll just use the piping bag as is, without a nozzle. So my biscuits were not as beautifully swirled as your average GBBO judge demands.
I made the butter cream while they were in the oven. I took them out, and fanned them and glared at them, and at around the 80 minute mark made a decision. I couldslap the butter cream and jam in them and be done in 90 minutes. But they were too warm, still, and the butter cream would melt. So I decided just to accept I'd very slightly failed, went and had tea, and then assembled them later (again, without the requisite star nozzle for the butter cream).
Then Cathy came round with a bottle of vinho verde, which turned out to go beautifully with Viennese whirls :)
1. I am not the stuff of which GBBO contestants are made.
2. I really do not care that much about presentation so long as something tastes nice.
2a. Apparently neither do my guests (or perhaps they are just polite).
3. I actually prefer Viennese whirls as plain biscuits, without the jam and butter cream.
[*] Note for anyone who actually isn't familiar with GBBO: it's a competitive cookery show. Each week there is a section where the contestants have to make a particular item, for which they haven't been able to prepare, from very minimalist instructions.
Last week, while dining in a perfectly respectable local restaurant, ChrisC and I had a great idea for a meal. Yesterday, he went to the fishmonger to buy pollock so we could try it out. They had none, so he did a little local tour of shops until he eventually tracked down some pollock fillets in our local organic macramé muesli shop.
So for tea today we had Pollock pollock.
Yes, it's entirely possible it would have been better as a throwaway comment. Tasty, though.