Saturday, December 24, 2011

Just Not My Year

I managed to delay cooking until today. I did try doing truffles last weekend though that was disastrous. They're still sitting in the fridge waiting for me to hide them in chocolates.

Anyway, so this year... all my prep work. I made my bread today. I actually started it yesterday afternoon, proofed it for 24 hours, did something else, proofed for a further 2 hours, shaped it, proofed for another 2 hours. Unfortunately all of that proofing wasn't as successful as I'd have hoped. In places where it was supposed to double in size, it didn't. So while the texture and taste are all pretty much on par (a slight yeast taste to it but nothing significant), the size of the loafs are just kind of sad. Pretty much a textbook case of the yeast wasn't activated properly.

The pavlovas... well... There's a huge gap between the crust and the gooey inside.

Oh - the brandy snaps. I started making them from a recipe off the Internet. It turns out you need ground ginger. I had taken it for granted that I would have some around after my ginger beer efforts earlier in the year. I'm not sure if I just ran out or left it when I moved but sure enough. No ginger. Unfortunately I didn't do this until the evening so no chance of saving them.

Even the pizza dough, which I've made loads of times before isn't feeling quite right. This isn't a huge disaster. I could make it tomorrow. it only needs around 3-4 hours proofing.

So yeah... it's just not my year.

Actually... Baillie was telling me off (again) the other day. We've got quite different cooking styles. Normally (I haven't this year) I would read through a recipe 3 or 4 times and then go away and make the dish only really remembering quantities in relationship to each other eg. equal amounts butter and flour, liquids to texture etc. When I'm on, I'm really on.

Baillie however is what I would describe as a baker. She likes to know quantities. She tells me off when I use measurements like "A touch too much salt".

She was telling me off about the truffles. I was saying that I just couldn't get the tempering right. Then came the questions such as "Do you have a confectionery thermometer?". I wouldn't know what to do with one if I did have one.

So while Baillie's consistent... my solstice feast is a little sad. Whoops. Still - I've a chance to turn it all around tomorrow... Time to get some sleep.

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