Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Let's Get Technical Great British Bake Off 2016 - Batter week

Week 4 in the (not) tent saw a Great British Bake Off first with Batter week.

Social media was a buzz with home bakers boycotting this week's challenge due to the simplicity of batter. I actually found this the most challenging of all the technical challenges in the history of bake off. 

There is a try skill in achieving the perfect pancake especially mastering the right cooking temperature. 

You can see from my 12 lacy pancakes it is not a skill I have mastered and if I were in the real tent I would have been served a Mel and Sue sandwich. (eliminated for those not as familiar with bake off)

I had seen lacy pancakes previously in the excellent book Great British Bakes by Mary-Anne Boermans (GBBO 2011) and will have to study up to improve my skills. If you have the chance to check out Mary-Anne's book I highly recommend it as all the recipes I have tried have worked perfectly. (not sponsored)

If you'd like to give lacy pancakes a try here is the recipe

Let's Get Technical Great British Bake Off 2016 - Bread week

For week three our lone baker had to tackle bread week without an oven! What is this madness??

The technical challenge looked to Germany and the "feed an army" steamy bun, the Dampfnudeln.
Served with plum sauce and custard  the dampfnudel is a soft bun steamed in milk.

While I am almost certain I will never make a dampfnudel again I'm sure the plum sauce will be a repeat guest star. Delicious! 

If you are keen to give them a go yourself here is the recipe

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Let's Get Technical Great British Bake Off 2016 - Biscuit week

Week two in the tent saw our lone baker being called to the dance floor for a Viennese whirl.

While there was the risk of some dodgy piping this bake appeared to go off without a hitch and is something I'd happily make again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Let's Get Technical Great British Bake Off 2016 - Cake week

It's that magical time of the year between Eurovision and Christmas when the world stops to watch some people bake a cake in a tent. I wonder if that is how they first pitched the show to the network?

Yes the Great British Bake Off is back which means one thing.....my Sundays are filled with #Lets_get_technical. 

Like the previous 2 years of Bake Off I will again attempt all the technical challenges in real time on social media in the allotted time limit.

This could be described as a display of madness but I like the discipline of a prescribed bake and mostly being able to achieve a fairly decent result. 

The first technical challenge for this series was to make 12 individual jaffa cakes in 2 hours.....simples?

I think Mel and Sue have nothing to fear..... 

I remember the first time I saw UK jelly it was Reading 2008, it comes in a solid block a bit like a gummy bear. 

The judges were right about this bake being deceptively simple and to be honest you could complete this challenge in about 60 minutes. The devil is in the detail and the real skill is to complete the 3 simple elements perfectly. I'm going to practice more with the chocolate. 

I enjoyed this first challenge and have made it again since sunday. Chocolate and orange are not my favourite flavour combo but I can see myself using the base recipe again and mixing up the flavours.

New series new photo! 

Looking forward to biscuit week now!
The hashtag to follow is #lets_get_technical on instagram, facebook and twitter Sunday afternoons from 3pm AEST

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Let's Get Technical - Great British Bake Off 2015 Pastry Week

With the start of a new season of Great British Bake Off I realised I hadn't finished posted the results of last season's Let's Get Technical.

I will post these without further commentary apart from how delicious they were and I think i managed them ok! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Nettle, potato and garlic soup aka glove up soup!

When Life gives you nettles....you buy gloves!

As you can see Life has given me an abundance of free food in the form of stinging nettles. They fill the backyard near the chicken coop and thanks to the prickles the chickens don't eat them. 

Nettles spread like no ones business so if you aren't the best gardener (like me) you can just say you dedicated your garden to your love of nettles.

The only down side to nettles is they grow in the winter when it's dark by the time I get home so it's not a convenient mid week ingredient without some forward planning.

While a soup is the easiest use I think they slip into any recipe that calls for some greens so my next plans are to try them in a pesto and a ravioli.

To prepare them I pick the leaves off the stem and rinse thoroughly in cold water. I also don't touch them without gloves even after they are cleaned.

When it comes to nettles slogans from my youth come in very handy 
"if it's not on it's not on!" 

The chickens can disappear into the depths of the nettle maze, I assume their feathers protect them from the prickles. (Wish my pants did!) 

The giant "tomato sauce day" colander so that's a lot of nettles. 

Nettle, potato and garlic soup

  • 2 brown onions chopped
  • 6 large potatoes quartered skin on
  • 1 head of garlic peeled (less if you don't like garlic as much as I do)
  • 3-4 cups of nettles (it's not a precise measurement its rather just however many nettles you have)
  • Olive oil
  • 2L Stock approx (chicken, veg or just water)
  • Add a splash of olive oil to a pot.
  • Sauté onions till just soft.
  • Add potato, garlic and cover with stock.
  • Simmer until potatoes are falling apart approx. 30 mins.
  • Add nettles, cook for 1 minute
  • Blend till smooth.
  • Season and serve with a crusty roll and far too much butter!
  • Cream (150ml) can also be added to the soup if you like a creamier soup