Sooooo…after a night of revelry and much fine food, champagnes and cocktails (then span around on the Manchester Wheel) at Harvey Nichols we were for lack of a better word, fooked…
What do most people do on returning home from a night out? Probably not raid the Christmas sweets (well maybe you do, I’m not judging) then bake sour-dough bread.
I think we decided fresh bread would be AMAZING to wake up to New Year’s Day (in theory this is true).
So in the battle of “drunken stupor” vs “autonomic baking abilities” it was probably just in favour of the baking…I’m sooooooooo surprised there was anything edible in the morning.
What we did find on stumbling downstairs armed with a cracking headache, one slipper and one sock at 6am (for a much needed glass of water!) was a loaf proving in a tin!!!!
Still not sure how this happened but there was the scent of sesame oil in the air so we sprinkled it with some black and white sesame seeds and baked it!
A bit dense and doughy as I’m really not sure what was involved in the making of it or what sort of rising/proving time was involved but it tasted acceptable…actually it was rather nice!
So it appears we can actually bake with our eyes closed (or brain closed)!
It’s be like forever since we’ve posted because The Wondercat Bakery went to China!
We have so many new baking ideas and inspirations for major baking experiments…China is totally stingy with their internets so I’ve not been able to do anything! We are currently on the plane home so I thought I’d write up a tart we baked the week before we left.
The was massive oriental anticipatory excitement going on in the bakery and we had Mr Adam and Mr Jon over for a luncheon so we created a black sesame and coconut tart with bitter chocolate peanut pastry!
So, this was an absolute made up recipe from different whosits and whatsits galore (you want thingymabobs? I’ve got 20). The annoying thing about it was everything turned out so great (there will be more in-depth self back-patting to follow) until the last minute when we decided to pipe some rando flourishes with black royal icing that was hanging around; the black bled into the beautiful translucent white top…it soooo brought back University memories of gel electrophoresis…but frustratingly devastating…curse my lilly gilding! Curse it!!!
Apart from the rivers of grey ombre grossness it was a pretty looking thing!
The pastry was crisp, nutty and buttery and as bitter as Arlene Phillips when Alesha Dixon stole her seat next to Len (are you watching Strictly BTW?! Love the Grant! Love him!).
The sesame filling was smooth and set to a lovely consistency. Smooth and creamy, held into slices without resembling cut up rubber (I had mild panic about over-setting the fillings and creating something fit for the A La Carte Kitchen (if there were any doubts about my 30 years, that reference should put a stop to them)). The sesame gives a divine, nutty, slightly smoky flavour that is defined yet subtle. The one down side of using black sesame?…It makes things grey! Who really wants grey food? It is probably the least desireable colour for munchables…I have grey food here people, anyone for grey food?!?!
Luckily, this was accounted for. To add some lighter, sweeter notes to the tart and hide the strange alien greyness we made the coconut layer to give a beautiful glassy surface resembling the purest white marble (I know you are thinking WTF with the douchey descriptions, me too, but we’re 9 hours into a 14 hour flight so the springs in my brain have unwound themselves).
Again really happy with the set on the coconut, smooth, firm, but not like chewing on bathtub sealant!
The flowers turned out quite well. We will admit to smooshing a few in the making process and we did try smaller ones but they broke like a hymen during step aerobics (that’s a thing right? I blame the plane for the vulgarity).
We were so very pleased with the results as sometimes a DIY recipe can got totally breasts skywards…we had given this one a lot of thought so it was great not to throw it in the “never make again” pile along with the Orange Bolognese (that one was truly the worst thing EVER!). Creamy, nutty, mellow sesame giving way to the dark, bitter crunch of pastry then wrapped up in the light, sweet, richness of coconut and rounded by the richness of peanut!?!…PARP that will be the sound of my own horn.
Anyways, we are going now as the iPad is on 12% and we have numb arses!
I think the plan for the next few weeks is a write up of China, mainly so we down forget any of it but also to document the inspirations for future baking (it’ll be long and probably dull but this is our blog so you’ll just have to deal…or not read it, I’m not holding a gun to your head or anything); then, when we have recovered from 2 weeks of indulgence (and trousers once again can be buttoned up) we will start up the baking again!
Oh, forgot to say we have made up and baked a Christmas cake recipe so that’ll get a mention sometime…it is currently having a nice spa session in a bath of apricot brandy!
Laters people…we are going for a leg stretch!
ps. Yes this didn’t get posted on the plane…as there are plane rules that I’m sure need to be obeyed. That small flick of the index finger sliding flight-mode from off to on could have been the death of us all.