Earlier this week, Volume 5 of the Bake from Stratch cookbooks arrived. After looking through the recipes to discover what to bake first. The chocolate-covered peanut butter cookies called out to me. So, I made the cookie base last night, then finished them this morning with the peanut butter and the chocolate dip. They took some time to make, time well spent.
The cookies were the easy part of the day.
During the last season of The Great British Bake-Off, on the next to last show, Paul Hollywood provided the technical round challenge. He had the bakers make a Danish Cornucopia. It was beautiful, it was amazing, and it most definitely was a challenge.
When the show was over, I knew I had to give it a try. After finding the recipe and the necessary templates, I made my first try. I was able to follow the directions, but the flour was off as things kind of crumbled and didn’t hold together well.
The second time I had the right flour mixture. The pieces came out correctly, I was able to make the tempered chocolate shapes, and get the icing on the pieces. But, when it came to the caramel, it kept seizing up each time I tried to make it. Finally, I found a different recipe, but the caramel was better for ice cream than for bonding the pieces together.
Today, for the third time, it all worked. The pieces appear to have come out okay. The icing has been applied. The tempered chocolate came out as best it can do in the temperature of the house. And, miracles of miracles, the caramel came together. I know because of two things: 1) I have a burned fingertip to prove it, and 2) The Danish Cornucopia is standing of its own free will. The third time was the charm. Fait accompli!
It definitely was a challenge. My hat is off to the contestants on the show who had to attempt to make the Cornucopia without the full instructions. The fact they got anything on the plate is a testament to their skills. I’m fairly certain I could not have done it without the full instructions and templates I used.
Now that I’ve actually done it, I don’t have to try again if I choose not to do so. However, there are some things I would do differently to improve the look the next time. I’m pretty sure I’ll make it again—I have to get it to look more like Paul’s—just not anytime soon.