“Hellllp!! It’s all gone horribly wrong!” Poor Chéri Bear. I’d decided to whip up my first batch of “mincies” of the season but, as usual, I’d put off actually making them until the last possible moment – i.e. approximately one hour before we were due at a friend’s house with said pies. Taking a leaf out of Felicity Cloake’s book, I’d decided to add almonds to my shortcrust pastry but – and don’t ask me why – I decided to add a few more than usual, thereby creating a pastry that was virtually IMPOSSIBLE (my italics) to roll out. I tried once, twice, three times, covering myself and my tiny Paris kitchen with clouds of flour in the process, but I was getting nowhere fast and time was ticking by. That’s when I was forced to cry for help. Chéri Bear, thank goodness, rode to the rescue on his white charger, suggesting rolling the dough out between two pieces of clingfilm. Genius! The pastry was still a pretty fragile affair – next time, I’ll keep the almonds to about 10% of the mix, rather than 25% – but it baked to a deliciously crisp and crumbly finish and even survived a métro trip in pretty good shape. So I did it. I finally made a full batch of mince pies from scratch, mincemeat, pastry and all. Tomorrow, the world! (If you want to see the finished versions, they’re here.) Bring on the egg nog.
December 18, 2011
November 1, 2011
Et voilà !! Chéri Bear’s first EVER Victoria Sandwich, thanks to The Great British Bake Off cook book. “At times, it seemed almost as if I could feel Mary Berry’s hand guiding my spoon,” he said – it doesn’t get much better than that!