Once I’ve managed to drag my sorry self to the kitchen to prepare supper I can count on my girls following me to ask what’s on the menu. It gets a laugh from me every time because the tone of their little voices changes to sound like that of masterchef judges. How will you be preparing that chef? What will you be serving that with chef? Finally, they wish me good luck.
I can’t blame them for developing this quizzing attitude when it comes to meal time. After all they’ve been subjected to watching the British, South African, New Zealand, Australian and even the Indian versions of masterchef. Though I must admit the Indian version was a bridge too far for my girls perhaps it was the subtitles that left them uninspired for me it was the lack of cooking and over dramatisation of every aspect.
The girls leave me to do my own thing occasionally popping in to ask “How’s it going chef? Think you going to manage to finish in time?” Of course Charis my 7year old is the ring leader. I must admit I find it very endearing. They love that I just play along. Wish I could say that their enthusiasm inspires me unfortunately unlike the baking bug cooking is just a task that never ends. Total drudgery!
After all the preparation I’m ready to be judged by little people. I suspect this is the part they enjoy the most. “Good effort chef!” I can’t help but feel that I have some potential food critics on my hands.
As a baking novice I’m usually quite dogmatic about preparing ingredients and meticulously measuring to within an inch of perfection. So tonight when I decided to treat my girls to some crunchies I took my eye off the ball just because it wasn’t a complicated recipe.
Oh no! Everything is now safely in my mixing bowl, ready for baking and I realise I’ve used baking powder instead of bicarbonate of soda. Why are the tins so similar? I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Fortunately it wasn’t a complete disaster.
My verdict and after consultation with my junior bakers we decided that there was something missing, not surprisingly. I had a baking brainwave and decided to convert them to chocolate crunchies. Oh no! That would mean melting chocolate and I’ve not had much luck in that department. I’m happy to report that the chocolate business worked out perfectly and I’ve smothered it over the crunchies and can’t wait to munch on them.
Here’s my recipe. It’s quick and fuss free but not free from mistakes!
2 cups oats
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup coconut
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1Tsp boiling water
Melt margarine and syrup
Add bicarbonate of soda to boiling water then add to melted ingredients
Combine all dry ingredients
Mix syrup to dry ingredients
Bake at 180 until golden brown
Just in case you’ve been wondering what’s happened in the baking department since I first blogged about my desire to conquer the world of baking. Well I’ve been quite busy trying my hand at new things. Some with major success and others were just destined for the trash can. Needless to say I felt let down when things didn’t turn out right. There was far too much post flop analysis and the failures were duly placed on the never to repeat list.
Since I embarked on my baking challenge my idea was to bake at least one new thing each week. My challenge was briefly interrupted during my 3 week holiday in South Africa but I’m not complaining. It was a wonderful chance to eat well loved favourites though on my return I realised I hadn’t had any of my mothers delicious scones. No point asking for a recipe because my mother is one of those people who just has the special gift of not using measuring equipment. I can’t wait to reach that point with my baking.
While out for for dinner last night my girls wanted chocolate brownies for dessert and my husband suggested that I should make them from scratch and I did just that. My greatest reward at the moment is having my family applaud my effort. The girls were so impressed with the outcome and requested a repeat today. So to date I’ve attempted a carrot cake, Italian hazelnut cake, bread pudding, scones and of course my safe bake cupcakes. All in all I think it’s been going well. I did take a detour from the baking by making my first ever plum jam.
There are some big challenges on the horizon like bread making but that is going to require the very best of my limited baking skills. I’m gearing up for the challenge!
Since watching the Great British bake off I’ve been so inspired to fill my home with the aroma of freshly baked treats. My journey has started and it’s quite hard to explain how happy my heart feels after I’ve measured, sifted and beat my creation into shape. Then of course the cherry on the top is taking it out of my little oven and finding out it’s a success. My response is always unbridled joy!
I now have a plan in place to bake as much as I can and hopefully never tire of the happiness it brings. I’ve always loved baking and making all things dessert and I’m not sure why I suddenly stopped this rewarding activity. I suppose it’s a good idea to blame it on having babies along with my weight gain and circles under my eyes!
I am now looking forward to a long and tasty relationship with my baked treats!