A Winter’s Bake

Challenge No 41

I do love baking and it is great when I bake with Kathryn or Jordan. Kathryn has such a busy lifestyle that it so hard fitting the time in plus it can be even more exhausting than Zumba! An example of this was making a cake for her boyfriend’s birthday. Kathryn was very busy studying at Cardiff so there was a very limited time when she was home; plus she wanted to do something with salted caramel icing. We found a recipe and planned to make a chocolate Victoria sandwich. The cake itself wasn’t hard but as we hadn’t read the recipe fully for the icing, we didn’t realise we needed some standing time. Kathryn didn’t really have standing time, time! She had to wrap presents and get ready to go out. We had to hurry and luckily Jordan came home to help us with the scientific function of dissolving sugar. I can say that thanks to him, Kathryn had a perfect salted caramel butter icing. It was very tight but we finished the cake before I had to taxi her to her next social event!

Lovely icing – quick decorating job by me!

Fitting time in to do our Christmas baking session was tough but 7 p.m. on Friday 23rd December, we started the challenge. Armed with Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection and an icing sugar packet, we began with mince pies. Now Kathryn is traditional and does like to make cakes with a wooden spoon; me, I prefer any electrical method available. Good old Mary had instructions for us to make pastry using the food processor. Memories came flooding back of my first food processor over 30 years ago and the joy of the pastry rolling together all by itself. Kathryn was impressed with this too. Surprisingly making and rolling the pastry out didn’t take long. We had decided to put star tops on the pies. Our cutter was a bit too big so most of the time was spent with Kathryn modifying the stars to fit. We were overjoyed with the finish product though.

Kathryn is very proud of our mince pies!

Next we prepared the cake for the chocolate log. We had found a simple recipe on the icing sugar box and quickly used that using my electric hand mixer. Swiss rolls don’t take too long to bake so I quickly read the instructions on how to roll it up.We were so pleased when that went well.

We did think we might make the biscuit mixture (manual method with these) but not bake them until the next day. Surprisingly,we had a lot more time than we thought. We actually decided to roll half the mixture out, make pretty Christmas shapes and bake the other half after Christmas.

3 and a half hours later, we had mince pies, a yummy looking chocolate log and un-iced (need some practice with that) but lovely biscuits. We made a great team.

A good evening’s work

Another challenge ticked and one which we will be repeating.

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