Hello my lovelies! Sorry for the radio silence – I had been preparing a post to keep you all up to date on what I’ve been up to, namely the #Bakingitbetter Mystery Box Baking Challenge, part of Wellington on a Plate. For those who aren’t from around these parts, for two weeks in August every year Wellington restaurants put on special menus, there’s a burger contest, and all manner of food activities and events take place all in the name of deliciousness! This year the fabulous charity Good Bitches Baking, held a baking challenge. GBB organises bakers and drivers in different NZ regions to make and deliver treats to people who are having a hard time at places like hospices, the womens refuge, city missions and the like. They are some truly kind and wonderful women that I am so glad I’ve met!
Anywho I ended up flat out last weekend so I was very neglectful of you all. I had a schedule for the Sunday morning before the entries had to be in and I realised at about 10.30 that I hadn’t put any time in to have a shower and get dressed. You’ll be pleased to know that I ended up with time to spare so no one had to witness me pajama-clad roaming the streets covered in flour and sugar…
My head of tasting and my best gal conspired to get me TWO entries in the competition. I prepared one sweet and one savoury entry and they were very good if I do say so myself…And I’m not the only one who thought so because I WON the sweet category!!!!!!
I’m getting ahead of myself. The gist of the contest was that one weekend each entrant collected a box of mystery ingredients, and over the following week had to bake something either sweet or savoury that used at least one of the ingredients from the box, and then drop it off the following Sunday for judging. The mystery ingredients were: lemons, beetroot, Mojo coffee, a Parrotdog Brewery IPA beer, a NZ made worcestershire sauce by Stabler and Steel, Genoese basil pesto, and Whittakers 72% Dark Ghana chocolate.
My (winning) sweet entry was a Lemon and Beet Eclair. It was a classic eclair filled with a beet jam and a lemon custard cream, topped with chocolate. And a gilded beet chip. It’s a contest guys I had to bust out a bit of fancy! The invention of this eclair has involved a parade of different batches of goo of varying thickness and flavours over the course of the week. It was a really fun and I enjoyed the science-y experimenting and the opportunity to make something more fancy. I did make a decision not to make something so complicated that no one would ever make it again. It paid off, as well as choosing to spend my time working on the flavour and texture rather than elaborateness.
The beets left my kitchen looking like a badly cleaned up murder scene much of the time. I think I’ve found all the pink spots….
For my savoury entry I have created a poppyseed brioche scroll filled with beer-braised caramelised onions and goat cheese. I may have winged it a bit on this one after spending so much time working on my eclair. It was delicious though, and I will share the recipe with you soon!
Oh, and there were prizes! Like this METALLIC LIPSTICK PINK KITCHENAID!
And also insanely exciting, a 2 hour session with a top pastry chef from Logan Brown! And lots of other vouchers and treats and goodness. Phew. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks; fun and encouraging and exciting and tiring and rewarding and energising.
Normal service will resume next week my lovelies – until then look after each other!