Day 993 – #50 Make fresh pasta

27 09 2012

For my final cooking challenge I decided to try making ravioli.  I can’t say it was an enormous success!  They tasted very nice in the end, which I suppose is the main thing but there are plenty of things I’d do differently next time.

Firstly, I’d get the pasta thinner.  It was too thick but didn’t seem to be rolling any thinner.  I obviously need a pasta machine.  And a ravioli press.  I can see a trip to Lakeland coming on….
Secondly, I’d drain the spinach better.  The filling was a bit wet which made making the ravioli shapes difficult.
Thirdly, I’d make sure they were properly cooked!

Day 750 – #56 Bake Bread

26 01 2012

I’ve never really made bread.  That’s really quite sad at the ripe old age of 32.  I vaguely remember making a cottage loaf and a plaited loaf at Primary School in Melksham.  But that might have been dough.  And I certainly don’t remember the making process.

So I added it to my list and god, it’s easy!  I mean really, really easy.  I can’t believe I’ve never done it before.  Ok, so the rising takes a bit of time.  But it’s not like you have to *watch* it whilst the yeast is doing its thing.

So there we have it. My mis-shapen loaf of bread.  It smells divine.  Well, at least it did until I realised that the hob was still lit underneath it.  It now has a black bottom 😦  But I’ll cut that off.  Nobody will ever know…. oh, wait… [doh!]

Day 722 – #57 Make Turkish Delight

29 12 2011

My other christmas cooking experiment was that of turkish delight.  Now, I tried making this *last* christmas using the recipe in my Hope and Greenwood cook book.  However, it didn’t set, smelt foul and made a horrible mess.  So I needed to look elsewhere for a recipe.  I found one in Rachel Allen’s book which looked promising.  Not least because it used 3 sachets of gelatin!  It couldn’t fail to set with that in it…..

I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of making this as it takes sooooo long.  Boiling sugar for 3o minutes and then for another hour with regular stirring is pretty tedious.  However, this time it didn’t smell horrid and it thickened nicely.  As you can see from the photo, it set properly and got divvied up and given out as gifts to my lovely mum and my girly friends.  Mum liked hers so I hope the others did too.

Day 313 – #58 Bake 5 different cakes

12 11 2010

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For my final cake in this challenge I tried something completely new!  My first ever madeira cake.  My first ever attempt at covering a cake with icing.  My first ever attempt at cake decorating.  And my first ever attempt at piping writing!  Mum made the little dancer on top, but I did the rest of it.

I don’t think it turned out too badly in the end.  Everybody thought it was delicious and Mike was really pleased with it 🙂

Day 273 – #60 Make fudge – updated

3 10 2010

As predicted, the fudge wasn’t right.  Even putting it in the fridge it didn’t set properly.  It was almost like toffee when I peeled it out of the tin.  Not right at all.

So today I tried again, for the third time!  This time I used a recipe from the Dairy Cook Book.  It had the same 4 ingredient (albeit the sugar was granulated, not soft brown) but with slightly more butter in this one.

It was looking fabulous, smelling gorgeous, reached 116 on my sugar thermometer.  The next instruction was to leave it for 5 mins to cool down.  So I did that.  Went back to it exactly 5 minutes later and the whole thing had separated!  Very bizarre.  So I boiled it again.  This time I did the soft ball test rather than use the thermometer as I’m not convinced that’s right.  It seemed to be ok.  So I beat it.  For ages!  (I definitely didn’t beat it for long enough before) and it started to come together!  At long last it was looking like fudge.  So got it in the tin – et voila!

Proper Fudge 🙂

Day 270 – #60 Make fudge

30 09 2010

This is the second attempt at making fudge.  The first recipe I tried used evaporated milk.  But it didn’t work properly.  The result was all crystallized, more like tablet.  It tasted right, but the consistency was wrong.

This time, I followed the recipe from my Usborne First Cookbook, thinking that *couldn’t* go wrong!  Hmm, I’m not convinced.  The recipe only had 4 ingredients – brown sugar, milk, butter & vanilla extract.  It looks a bit dark to me, but it’s not set completely yet so can’t verify the consistency or taste.

Why is fudge so hard?!?!?

Day 265 – #58 Bake 5 different cakes

25 09 2010

Today I baked Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Pear & Almond Cake.  We saw it on an old episode of River Cottage the other week and since we had so many pears off the tree, I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s gorgeous.  Unfortunately its 64 points for the cake!  So I’ve limited myself to half a slice so far.   Poor me 😦

I think I could cut the points by using spread instead of butter (it has 35.5 points worth of butter in it!) but whether it would be as nice or not…