Fraisier Cake – a three day affair

I knew this bake would be intense, I mean it’s 34 steps and multiple recipes within recipes. But this was something else.  From cellulite-y crème pâtissière to making my own marzipan the challenges just kept on coming. And don’t even get me started on the genoise. But there was a bright spot in this whole ordeal!   For once in, what feels like the entirety of this process, I had the right size cake tin!

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Chocolate marshmallow teacakes

Chocolate marshmallow teacakes, you mean Viva Puffs?  or Whippets?  Once again we venture into the world of translations between countries.   The UK named chocolate marshmallow tea cakes, a perfectly respectable all be it confusing name has turned into something strange and nonsensical over here.  Chocolate marshmallow – well that’s just accurate, tea cake – ok a bit confusing because it’s not really a cake but it sounds nice.  Now across the ocean, we took virtually the same thing and thought Viva Puff (when we get fancy and put a filling inside) or Whippet.  ‘Cause that makes sense.  Oh branding, and language, why must you be so bizarre.

While trying to figure out what I was about to bake I looked into the chocolate marshmallow treats and found a whole Wikipedia page devoted to the many variations.  It was actually really interesting (at least for a baking nerd like myself).  These little puffs caused some drama in the UK when a debate about their status as a cookie or a cake led to legal action.  I also learned that some areas of Quebec refer to these cookies as “Nun’s Farts”.  And with that piece of information, I reached the bottom of a chocolate marshmallow internet rabbit hole. I quickly closed the browser and got to work.

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Jam Doughnuts – Take note Tim Horton’s

I don’t have a particular passion for doughnuts.  I know this is slightly appalling coming from the Land of Tim Horton’s but it’s true.  I don’t generally crave them more than I crave any other dessert. But, there is one doughnut I long for, a doughnut I have searched high and low for, even attempted to recreate it at home (to no avail).  It’s the cherry stick from Tim Horton’s!

When I was little we would go to Tim Horton’s and each get a doughnut. My sister would usually get a sugar twist (another doughnut that has since gone the way of the dinosaur) and I would get the cherry stick. It was a perfect bar of bright pink dough that probably never met a real cherry in it’s life.  As far as I can tell it was some kind of buttermilk bar doughnut with pink food colouring and mashed up maraschino cherries mixed in.  It was a dark day when Tim Horton’s stopped producing those pink gems but every now and then they will sell cherry Tim-bits and I can relive my childhood, one Tim-bit at a time.

Long story short.  Bring on the doughnuts.  Continue reading “Jam Doughnuts – Take note Tim Horton’s”

Queen of Puddings – or desserts?

This is an appeal to any British people that are reading this.  Jenny, Vicky are you out there?  I’m confused, what’s with the name?  This dish does not seem to contain an ounce of pudding.  At least pudding as I understand it.  Are we referring to the course in the meal or the type of dish? As far as I can tell there is some kind of secret code in the UK for when and where you say dessert or pudding.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a direct line to Mel and Sue right now.

And while I am on the topic of the etymology of this dish the BBC has some explaining to do.  The little blurb describing this recipe says “Mary Berry’s step-by-step recipe for this retro British pudding of custard, cake and jam topped with soft, chewy meringue.” Now I know this isn’t a lost in translation moment, there is simply no cake in this dish.  Oh well, cake or no cake, pudding or dessert, I’m just here to bake it.

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Hand Raised Pie

It’s that time again.   That time where I rub together flour and butter, where I pray for no soggy bottoms and where I go against all my instincts and surround raw meat with pastry. It’s meat pie time.  And not just any meat pie but hand raised meat pie.  Meaning not only do I have to produce something without a soggy bottom but also something structurally sound. Oh and hopefully it tastes good too because we’re going to have to eat these things.

So meat pies, we meat again.

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Creme Caramel – aka Milk Jello

Did we break the internet?  I know I might not have the power of Kim Kardashian but my source for Bake Off episodes on DailyMotion is gone!  Did all of us baking enthusiasts flood the site and tip off the powers that be?  I am neurotic and slightly self-absorbed so to me, this seems the only explanation.  Either way, they are gone and with them my beloved Masterclasses.  How will I survive the rest of these challenges without the coaching of Paul and Mary?  Not very well is my guess.  Especially when this week I was faced with a recipe that included, one – caramel, two – whole egg custard and three – a bain marie!  I felt like a real bake off contestant because I had no idea what I was doing!

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Treacle Tart – Why Harry?

When I think of Treacle Tart I immediately think of Harry Potter.  I can’t say I remember him gushing about his love for this British classic in the books but there are just some things Harry Potter fans come to know. And a quick google revealed that Treacle Tart is mentioned several times in the series and I missed it.  I guess it’s time for a re-read.  So with Harry’s endorsement, I was eager to see what this tart was all about.

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