Author Topic: Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop  (Read 13136 times)

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Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« on: May 06, 2019, 03:53:36 PM »
Join us in our (and yours) baking journey to create the finest (or at least edible) in baking and pastry.

With all the scattered postings about the oven arts I thought we should create a thread dedicated to all things baking.

Lately I've been trying to recreate every challenge from The Great British Bake Off show. First I will make the judges version from what they call The Masterclass series then I'll make the winner's version, than I'll make a version that seems like it would be good to me.

The Great British Bake Off is one of the few challenge shows I'll watch because it's not annoying. The contestants aren't jerks to each other and they don't focus on drama between contestants.

I'll post some pics here of some of what I've made from that show and other baking endeavors.


Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2019, 04:00:59 PM »
Two of the things I've made from the Masterclass series have been way too sweet. One of them was Paul Hollywoods black currant* and licorice (liquorice) Swiss roll. The flavors were O.K. but the sweetness killed it for me. Same thing happened with Mary Berry's Orange Cake. Do Brits just like overly sweet things? They seem to think our pies are too sweet.

*It's hard to find black currant in the states because apparently it was banned here for 50 years because they were thought (mistakenly) to help spread a fungus that threatened the timber industry.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2019, 04:04:21 PM »
Join us in our baking journey to create the finest (or at least edible) in baking and pastry.

With all the scattered postings about the oven arts I thought we should create a thread dedicated to all things baking.

Lately I've been trying to recreate every challenge from The Great British Bake Off show. First I will make the judges version from what they call The Masterclass series then I'll make the winner's version, than I'll make a version that seems like it would be good to me.

The Great British Bake Off is one of the few challenge shows I'll watch because it's not annoying. The contestants aren't jerks to each other and they don't focus on drama between contestants.

I'll post some pics here of some of what I've made from that show and other baking endeavors.

I shall follow your endeavors with the keenest interest.  Never watched that show, though my gluten-free cousin brought it up at Easter, strangely.  She also took home the longest arm of one of the braided crosses with colored eggs in them "to give to a friend" hahha


Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 04:19:51 PM »
There is a shop near me that just sells Portuguese custard tarts. I've never actually had one, are they so much better than the ordinary ones?


Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 04:32:15 PM »
There is a shop near me that just sells Portuguese custard tarts. I've never actually had one, are they so much better than the ordinary ones?

If you can get them warm, yes.  After they sit, the weeping filling makes a mockery of the flimsy pretense of a crust.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2019, 04:49:54 PM »
This takes me back. I think this goes back to Victorian England.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5562/pineapple-upsidedown-cake

I'm not a baker but I take a healthy interest as a spectator. Has anyone ever had junket? That was a fruit dessert very popular way back. I think they made it with cream and you cut it into slabs.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2019, 04:52:45 PM »
I shall follow your endeavors with the keenest interest.  Never watched that show, though my gluten-free cousin brought it up at Easter, strangely.  She also took home the longest arm of one of the braided crosses with colored eggs in them "to give to a friend" hahha

Haha. I've seen those though I haven't made any yet. I think this gluten-free craze may fade away for those without celiac disease because bread is not your yummy enemy unless you have the aforementioned celiacs. I've noticed the facade cracking in one of my gluten-free relatives who, after a few beers, divulged he wanted to make doughnuts (which, I think meant he wanted me to make doughnuts).


Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2019, 05:02:38 PM »
Two of the things I've made from the Masterclass series have been way too sweet. One of them was Paul Hollywoods black currant* and licorice (liquorice) Swiss roll. The flavors were O.K. but the sweetness killed it for me. Same thing happened with Mary Berry's Orange Cake. Do Brits just like overly sweet things? They seem to think our pies are too sweet.

*It's hard to find black currant in the states because apparently it was banned here for 50 years because they were thought (mistakenly) to help spread a fungus that threatened the timber industry.

Blackcurrants (although I haven't had any for years) are really tart and you have to load them with sugar to make them palatable. Liquorice isn't sweet either so I'm not sure how it ended up like that.

If I ever try making anything from an American recipe I usually have to halve the ingredients because I find the amount of fat and sugar you use horrifying. I'm not making something that calls for six eggs and four cups of sugar.

I'd say that Americans prefer sweeter things generally, but I don't know why Oreos are so popular because they taste of nothing to me.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2019, 05:12:52 PM »
This takes me back. I think this goes back to Victorian England.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5562/pineapple-upsidedown-cake

I'm not a baker but I take a healthy interest as a spectator. Has anyone ever had junket? That was a fruit dessert very popular way back. I think they made it with cream and you cut it into slabs.

Does it indeed go that far back?  I wonder if it predates the tarte tatin which operates on a similar principle.  I kind of want to make it and really brown the bottom like they do the tarte.  Maybe make it in a skillet.

Junket is new to me, I'm afraid, but if it's anything like a trifle I am all in.  Norway has its own version of a trifle made with apples with a name that translates as "wrapped-up farmgirls".  And we have a reputation for not being poetic hahaha

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 05:19:23 PM »
For your amusement, here is my practice cross braid made a few days before (hence the uncolored eggs).  It turned into a monster and the far egg rolled off the end of the sheet.  Didn't expect so much rise; it's an uncommonly rich and sugary dough.  I ended up making two instead for Easter that were more presentable, but the eggs went all cattywompus in the expanding dough and looked vaguely obscene, like they were trying to get away from each other.  I think next year I will lay them on their sides.



It tasted good, though:  cardamom, mahlepi, mastic, and a little cinnamon

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2019, 05:27:17 PM »
Does it indeed go that far back?  I wonder if it predates the tarte tatin which operates on a similar principle.  I kind of want to make it and really brown the bottom like they do the tarte.

Junket is new to me, I'm afraid, but if it's anything like a trifle I am all in.  Norway has its own version of a trifle made with apples with a name that translates as "wrapped-up farmgirls".  And we have a reputation for not being poetic hahaha

Perhaps I mixed it up with Victoria sponge, it seems it was invented in the early 1900s. But close enough, really, the old girl died in 1901.

I have a book of Victorian recipes and I'll post some of the cake recipes if anyone is interested. Although they would call them 'receipts', 'recipes' being a French word (yeuch!).

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2019, 05:31:11 PM »

It tasted good, though:  cardamom, mahlepi, mastic, and a little cinnamon

Thanks, I'll pass.

https://www.sealantsonline.co.uk/Products/Mastic-sealants-for-plumbing/EVE046

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2019, 05:34:12 PM »
Perhaps I mixed it up with Victoria sponge, it seems it was invented in the early 1900s. But close enough, really, the old girl died in 1901.

I have a book of Victorian recipes and I'll post some of the cake recipes if anyone is interested. Although they would call them 'receipts', 'recipes' being a French word (yeuch!).

By all means!  Any fruitcakes that sound good, or anything using an unusual leavening agent (potash, pearl ash, hartshorn) would be of particular interest.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2019, 05:38:21 PM »
I donít do sweet much anymore.  Here is a pork pie I made.  Sorry my kitchen sanitation isnít up to Senda standards.

VC

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2019, 05:38:24 PM »
Two of the things I've made from the Masterclass series have been way too sweet. One of them was Paul Hollywoods black currant* and licorice (liquorice) Swiss roll. The flavors were O.K. but the sweetness killed it for me. Same thing happened with Mary Berry's Orange Cake. Do Brits just like overly sweet things? They seem to think our pies are too sweet.

*It's hard to find black currant in the states because apparently it was banned here for 50 years because they were thought (mistakenly) to help spread a fungus that threatened the timber industry.

Look forward to any pics and recipes. Were the Masterclasses done with Paul/Mary doing the baking or, instead, guiding "chosen bakers" just focusing on teaching the audience how to bake each recipe?

I'm definitely into using as little sugar as possible, as everything I buy that uses sugar is waayyy toooooo sweet for me.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2019, 05:38:33 PM »
Thanks, I'll pass.

https://www.sealantsonline.co.uk/Products/Mastic-sealants-for-plumbing/EVE046

Haha yeah that's what everyone thinks but it's just hardened drops of sap from a tree.  Tastes like what it is.  You've probably eaten it in your Turkish Delight.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2019, 05:41:35 PM »
Pizza on the grill.  Baked at 750 degrees.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2019, 05:46:16 PM »
Blackcurrants (although I haven't had any for years) are really tart and you have to load them with sugar to make them palatable. Liquorice isn't sweet either so I'm not sure how it ended up like that.

If I ever try making anything from an American recipe I usually have to halve the ingredients because I find the amount of fat and sugar you use horrifying. I'm not making something that calls for six eggs and four cups of sugar.

I'd say that Americans prefer sweeter things generally, but I don't know why Oreos are so popular because they taste of nothing to me.

I am very suspicious of the accuracy of my scales though when I put a 50 gram weight on them they post the correct weight. Still, they're on notice. I am going to make the orange sandwich cake again but cut out 25% of the sugar. One thing I liked about the recipe is that she takes a whole orange and simmers it covered in water until its soft then processes the whole orange until it's in small chunks and uses that in the frosting and cake batter. I had not seen that technique before. It adds a nice tartness and of course, orange flavor to the cake.

I think before and after the wartime rationing in the 1940's of sugar Americans went a bit overboard with sugar in their recipes. Getting fat wasn't much of a problem as it is today. (I might be channeling Noory with this last paragraph).

If I ever try making anything from an American recipe I usually have to halve the ingredients because I find the amount of fat and sugar you use horrifying. I'm not making something that calls for six eggs and four cups of sugar.

It sounds like you were making brownies.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2019, 05:46:19 PM »
By all means!  Any fruitcakes that sound good, or anything using an unusual leavening agent (potash, pearl ash, hartshorn) would be of particular interest.

Wasn't hartshorn used as smelling salts? I will have a look. I don't know if you've ever tried seed cake but I know I have that one. That's a solidly Victorian cake.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2019, 05:47:42 PM »
I donít do sweet much anymore.  Here is a pork pie I made.  Sorry my kitchen sanitation isnít up to Senda standards.

Oh that looks good and sturdy!  Is it a hot-water crust?

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2019, 05:51:40 PM »
Oh that looks good and sturdy!  Is it a hot-water crust?
It is.  I even used lard in the crust.   Had a hell of a time finding pigs feet to make the gelatin.  Pretty standard, pork unsmoked bacon and very little in the spice department.  I think it has a hint of nutmeg and/or allspice.  It is excellent in small doses with hot mustard and salad.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2019, 05:53:18 PM »
Wasn't hartshorn used as smelling salts? I will have a look. I don't know if you've ever tried seed cake but I know I have that one. That's a solidly Victorian cake.

Yes smelling salts, but it also puffs up wonderfully when trapped in dough and subjected to heat.  The odor when baking smells a little like ammonia but it's very volatile and dissipates by the time it's cool.

Seed cake I have tried, but any instructions on how it is supposed to be shaped would be interesting; you see everything from frosted layer cake to individual-sized triangles like scones.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2019, 05:58:01 PM »
Alright, all this talk has me thinking about baking something special.  I made croissants a few months ago and they were delicious but donít want to eat a pound of butter.  Iíll have to give it some thought.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2019, 05:58:49 PM »
It is.  I even used lard in the crust.   Had a hell of a time finding pigs feet to make the gelatin.  Pretty standard, pork unsmoked bacon and very little in the spice department.  I think it has a hint of nutmeg and/or allspice.  It is excellent in small doses with hot mustard and salad.

Oh you went all out!  Good job; it looks wonderful.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2019, 06:05:18 PM »
Alright, all this talk has me thinking about baking something special.  I made croissants a few months ago and they were delicious but donít want to eat a pound of butter.  Iíll have to give it some thought.

Why not?

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2019, 06:20:39 PM »
This takes me back. I think this goes back to Victorian England.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5562/pineapple-upsidedown-cake

I'm not a baker but I take a healthy interest as a spectator. Has anyone ever had junket? That was a fruit dessert very popular way back. I think they made it with cream and you cut it into slabs.

I've made a few pineapple upside-down cakes. I haven't been that happy with them. The best part about making them is the reveal when you flip the pan over and remove it showing the pineapple rings on the top. That recipe is similar to the one I used. There is a butter and brown sugar mixture that you pour into the cake pan before you put in the pineapple rings and cake batter. I guess that's kind of like a caramel topping but I think I would like to improve on the recipe by making the topping even closer to caramel thereby creating a slightly crispy candy type crust on the top. That way you have more than just soft, you have crispy in their too.

Also, I think us savages would call a junket, pudding.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2019, 06:59:01 PM »
For your amusement, here is my practice cross braid made a few days before (hence the uncolored eggs).  It turned into a monster and the far egg rolled off the end of the sheet.  Didn't expect so much rise; it's an uncommonly rich and sugary dough.  I ended up making two instead for Easter that were more presentable, but the eggs went all cattywompus in the expanding dough and looked vaguely obscene, like they were trying to get away from each other.  I think next year I will lay them on their sides.



It tasted good, though:  cardamom, mahlepi, mastic, and a little cinnamon

That's some nice braiding! In a baking class I took we had to make Challah and the women were much better at it then the men. I guess we have more experience with braiding our hair. It was pretty funny.

I took mine home and gave it to my downstairs neighbor who happened to be Jewish, I didn't even know, so that was cool. He liked it.

Every time I've seen pictures of that bread you made, the eggs were colored light blue.

Also, I'm not familiar with mahlepi or mastic.


Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2019, 07:14:03 PM »
That's some nice braiding! In a baking class I took we had to make Challah and the women were much better at it then the men. I guess we have more experience with braiding our hair. It was pretty funny.

I took mine home and gave it to my downstairs neighbor who happened to be Jewish, I didn't even know, so that was cool. He liked it.

Every time I've seen pictures of that bread you made, the eggs were colored light blue.

Also, I'm not familiar with mahlepi or mastic.

Oh you are too kind; it is horrible.  You can't see the braids underlying the applied stuff on the short arms, and on the long arm I got performance anxiety with the very-active dough seeming to grow on the countertop and completely forgot the four-strand braid I'd been practicing for days with some shoestrings so I fudged it.

The ones I made for Easter were a little better, but man do I need practice!  It sucks for stuff like that you only make once a year that I'll probably be fifty before I can do it right.

In Greece they dye them a dark red using onion skins they save up for weeks.  It doesn't sound too hard if I can manage to requisition them from friends and relations -- I don't eat that many onions.

Mastic is pitch and tastes like pitch, but mahlepi is worth checking out.  It's made from a certain kind of cherry pits and, if it's fresh, the aroma is heavenly when baking.  Together they smell kind of like incense, but that might just be my imagination.

Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2019, 12:06:45 AM »
Berlinerkranser I made today for my folks:



A super easy cookie that I think easily beats the Austrian kipferl from which they are probably descended.  The yolks, both hard-boiled and fresh, are weird but with the crunchy pearl sugar on top give them a great texture that Norwegians call the bite.  Same idea as al dente, I suppose, or maybe toothsome in English.

Recipe in English https://www.thespruceeats.com/norwegian-berlinerkranser-cookies-2952720 though I don't know how they get a dough with just 1T of water.  I just add cream sparingly until it turns into playdo.

Pearl sugar is like kosher salt, but sugar.  It is also the secret to making real Belgian waffles with their crunchy burnt sugar crust instead of the joke that passes for them here.  Instead of vanilla sugar I use Cook's Pure Vanilla Powder.  I don't know what it is or how they make it but I think it has a more natural flavor than either Freia vaniljesukker (what they use in Norway) or Dr. Oetker's which you can sometimes find here.


Bakegab: The Bellgab Bakeshop
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2019, 12:20:24 AM »
Berlinerkranser I made today for my folks:



A super easy cookie that I think easily beats the Austrian kipferl from which they are probably descended.  The yolks, both hard-boiled and fresh, are weird but with the crunchy pearl sugar on top give them a great texture that Norwegians call the bite.  Same idea as al dente, I suppose, or maybe toothsome in English.

Recipe in English https://www.thespruceeats.com/norwegian-berlinerkranser-cookies-2952720 though I don't know how they get a dough with just 1T of water.  I just add cream sparingly until it turns into playdo.

Pearl sugar is like kosher salt, but sugar.  It is also the secret to making real Belgian waffles with their crunchy burnt sugar crust instead of the joke that passes for them here.  Instead of vanilla sugar I use Cook's Pure Vanilla Powder.  I don't know what it is or how they make it but I think it has a more natural flavor than either Freia vaniljesukker (what they use in Norway) or Dr. Oetker's which you can sometimes find here.




Random "baking" anecdote. Many Christmases ago we did a random vacation. My aunt woke early and made scones. I, hungover and hungry wolfed them down. Quote: "I normally don't like scones but these are awesome." Others weren't eating them much. Apparently she thought large salt crsytals were sugar ones.