I love to bake and I love all things British so what could possible go wrong with my watching The Great British Bake off when they added new episodes to Netflix? Well, maybe that I was on a crazy diet where I could nothing! Okay, not really, but almost.
It was torture. And that show is always a little bit like that because half the time I have idea what they are making or how I could possible buy or make that but it looks good. Even if they give me the recipe, I'm just never going to attempt to make a Rosace a l'Orange. Or Suet pudding - but I don't want to eat that either so that's okay. I have to consol myself with the fact that I will never be able to taste what they are showing me, but at least I can make a really good chocolate chip cookie (Ignore nestle; melt the butter! Then mix wet ingredients, let sit, mix some more until its ribbon-y and sugar dissolves. You're welcome).
I did crack up when the final's technical challenge of the season I was watching was - pretzels. And all three ladies were going on about how they only kinda knew what a pretzel should look like and why would anyone actually want to make a pretzel....and I had literally made pretzels the day before. (Pretzels were my gluten/wheat reintroduction food because the ingredient list is so simple I knew if I had a bad reaction, it would have to be from pretzels. Either that or I was reaction to water or salt in which case I have major issues. Plus they are yummy and liturgically appropriate! We make them all the time). The differences between America and Britain are fascinating.
I love how it only takes a few episodes before each baker on the show has a pretty definied role. Their's the guy who always cuts himself, the girl who has to have a theme and the interesting flavor combination person who always has Mary looking at them sideways. Or the short-cut guy who has Paul saying "well, that's not how I would do it." It got me thinking about what type of baker I am.
Messy for sure although I am getting better about that. Possible because I can often convince Craig to take kids outside to play while I tidy up and then I get to listen to whatever music I want instead of the Moana soundtrack on repeat. Just possible.
Pretty rustic and simple. I can do pretty and I used to love doing fun cakes when I was a teenager. But I'm always baking on borrowed time now. Nothing fussy.
Repetitive. I like to find a good recipe and repeat it until I've got it down. And I don't mess around much with flavors. Which is funny because I love flavors in my cooking and I cook a lot of ethnic foods - indian, thai, german/hungarian, korean - all the foods from all the countries with all the flavors. And I'm always trying new dinner recipes. I made samosas this week and they were good but both Craig and I said they needed more flavor. But if I make a cake, its probably be chocolate. Just chocolate. Maybe because I have to cook dinner every night so if it flops, no biggie. But I don't get to bake nearly as often so I want it to taste good.
But it rekindled in me a desire to start stretching myself. I've really done well with my breads and rolls lately but I want to try something fancier this time - the macaron. I mean, they are everywhere right now! At least, visually. I haven't EATEN one because I don't see them actually around here and I probably wouldn't want to spend the money on one if I did. But still, pretty, fun, not very rustic - something different!
I'm actually going to start with meringue cookies to work out those skills without having to worry about wasting lots of expensive almond flour. I think I've made exactly one meringue baked good in the last decade - a pavlova. It was good but even that was at probably two years ago. Time for practice! I'm guessing I'll have plenty of taste testing help.