Firstly this week I have no video to bring you unfortunately, its been a busy week and with Joanne only getting back from holidays last Sunday and me doing a little roadshow appearance for Odlums, we simply didn't have enough time to record something. However I have done a recipe for you which I will go in to further detail below. All you need to know for the moment is those gorgeous beauties are called Duffins, a muffin and doughnut hybrid.
So.... oh ya I got Star Baker!!! What can I say I was and still am chuffed with the accolade, I finally after 3 shaky nervous weeks have come alive, quite literally a sleeping giant. This week I woke up and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Steve Twydell for making me realise this. We both sat down post episode 3 and chatted about how I was letting the nerves and the stress of the show get to me, however Steve made it clear to me the show is meant to be fun and baking most importantly is meant to be fun not stressful. He was right, baking is meant to be my stress release, that little chat was like having a big dark cloud lifted from my shoulders. I decided I was gonna let all of my barriers down, those barriers only come down in front of family or Joanne but now I was giving myself to this show for better or worse, what could happen? To quote a friend of mine we are not saving lives, that's right I am baking. I really enjoyed this week it was so much fun, we started with a technical challenge, a Biddy challenge too, which was a nice change. The apple cake I had read so many times in Biddy's book and when we were presented with the challenge I was thinking oh I will be having some of this, it was the first time I was happy in a technical. I also loved making the custard, it could have done with a little more elder flower but thats down to my personal taste as I had never had elder flower up until that date. The syrup was quite perfumed so I was wary of using too much, just in case I over did it. However my custard was on point and I had a good technical which set me up for the showstopper.
Showstopper time, I had practiced all 3 desserts so many times in the lead up to this episode. We had to make 1 bread based dessert, 1 roulade based and 1 crumble based dessert. My tear n share bread was a take on bolussen buns, my pineapple and coconut roulade was purely all from my head aswell as my fig blueberry crumble tart. Everything I do comes from my head, one day I am walking along and thinking what can I use to make something different but keeping things simplified. The judges loved all 3 desserts, I was worried about the fig tart as I required fresh figs but was given dried figs, seemingly however it still worked thank god. When they called out my name as Star Baker I was delighted but it can deconstructed in to 2 phases immediatly , 1 being GREAT! Star Baker, its like scoring a goal but you still have to win the match, its great and all that but its momentary you have to move on fairly fast, that is helped by number 2 eliminations. This week the bake off got serious and we saw two bakers go in the form of Bridget and Steven. We all knew it was coming, yet it doesn't make it any easier when it happens.
Firstly Bridget, she was one of the first people I spoke to on the first night we arrived, I actually sat at the same table as herself and Steven for dinner. She is such a good person, and you want to be in her company because she makes any situation instantly better. Then you have Steven, I first met Steven at my first live audition back in March. A native of my mum's home town Luton in England, so for some reason I was drawn to him. His choux buns in our audition were fantastic and he was one of very few to nail the biscuit crunch atop the choux buns on that day. Steve was a good mate through my time on the show and still is, he is an awfully nice guy even with his dad jokes. He always has sound advice, sure of course he would the man has 7 kids and 1 grandson, I can't think of a nicer bloke to be around. A fantastic baker, and a true gentleman, and I would like to thank him for the kick up the bum I needed going in to episode 4. It just goes to show how advice like that is invaluable.
A week for me at least had its high in the form of Star Baker but I lost two friends ( ok they are not dead but you get the gist ). Yet again I move on in to episode 5 which is all about chocolate. You will need to make sure you tune in for it at the usual time on TV3 9pm next Thursday. Outside of the tent I am loving every second of the bake off, be it on Twitter talking to so many new people or working with Odlums last weekend in Swords which for me is an absolute highlight of the bake off so far. I don't or have never had much interaction with kids, I don't have kids, my friends don't have kids but it was the best craic just messing about and decorating cakes with loads of different kids last weekend. I felt very at home for some reason, Jesus 5 years ago if you told me I would be standing in the middle of a Dublin shopping centre with kids decorating cakes, I would have laughed in your face. This for me, this whole thing is the best thing in my life I have ever done, its a rollercoaster I don't want to get off.
Myself and one of my helpers
Ok I bring to you a recipe with pics rather than a video this week. However this week's recipe is slightly controversial as Duffins are now available in Starbucks but the creator is a little ticked off which you can read about here. Either way I love Duffins they are so tasty :)
400g self raising flour
1/2tsp of salt
200g caster sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
140g melted butter
12tsps raspberry jam or any jam for that matter
100g butter melted
- Preheat the oven 200c/180c fan/350F/gas mark 4.
- Grease and flour a 12 holed muffin tin.
- Sift the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract, give a quick whisk.
- Now make a well in the centre of the flour adding the buttermilk and melted butter.
- With a wooden mix it all up in to thick batter. Beware this batter is really thick which is great because it doesn't allow the jam escape later on.
- In each of the 12 muffin hole put about 1 dessertspoon of the batter in each, then pop 1 teaspoon jam in the middle and cover with more cake batter.
- Bake for 20 mins, to test they are done lightly press on them and if they spring back they are done.
- Remove from the oven, give them 5 mins rest and then pop them out of the tin.
- Now coat each duffin with butter and roll all over in caster sugar.
Enjoy these babies and I hope you enjoyed this weeks bake off I know I did.
Thanks for reading