*Hobby Alert* – None to report this week so I am still in The Husband’s good books.
Why a tart?
One of our very good friends, who has been having adventures all over the world for the past 6 months, was briefly back in the big Smoke and having a bit of a ‘do’ before heading back out to see some more of the world. So, obviously I tweeted to ask what her favourite cake was. Her response? A Bakewell Tart!
What is it? I hear you say!
It’s basically hours of your day spent using every bowl and saucepan you own to make a pastry case, filled with jam, an almond mix – baked for a day, covered in icing and topped with a single glace cherry. I may have exaggerated slightly, but this was a test of what little skill I possess.
Mary Berry is the Queen…..
when it comes to baking at least. So after hours of scouring the interwebs for a recipe, (even though it’s against my rules), I decided on Mary Berry’s recipe on the BBC Food website.
The recipe has many parts to it, the first being making jam. Me and homemade jam have a bit of a love / hate relationship.
My first ever attempt at jam was for another ‘do’ a few years ago when I thought that it would be a piece of cake to make enough jam for party favours.
Turns out I didn’t really like that bowl, spatula or saucepan (not pictured) and that it takes a bit more skill than just boiling everything in a pan and hoping for the best.
Anyway, back to present day jam making, I made raspberry jam from real raspberries and jam sugar (it is a thing!) and it was actually not that painful – first attempt and everything!
The second step was ‘make pastry’ – which pretty much sums up the instructions for the step! I now know how the bake-off contestants feel in the technical challenge. Mix everything together and I am sure it will be a soft dough. I did have questions though; what is a soft dough? How soft is soft? Anyway, winging seems to work so, once it didn’t look like it was going to fall apart, I used probably more flour than necessary and began the task of rolling it out and chilling. Once nice and chilled it’s time to blind bake (this didn’t go well, I had trimmed the pastry too much and took the beans out far too quickly, resulting in shrinkage).
The filling is a cross between a cake mix and a buttercream icing, this was the only bit I was pretty sure I could do without an issue. I was right, up until it came to baking it. Once I constructed the tart I put it in the oven. Turns out it takes about a day and a half to bake, and I left it in half a day too long. It was a little well done and definitely no chance of a soggy bottom!
Once cooled it was time for icing. The recipe called for a fancy design, as you will see from the site. I went for the “cover over the lumps, cracks and well done bits”, crossed with classic bakewell. I think it worked well.
The tart looked a bit rustic and if it wasn’t for such a good friend I probably wouldn’t have attempted something that is a fair bit out of my comfort zone.
Thankfully even though it isn’t as perfect as I would have liked, the reviews were positive and the intrepid traveller really enjoyed it at the party as well as the following days.
Till next time folks, enjoy all the cake you can!