Curation of Magical Curiosities – Box Review

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I like subscription boxes and am quite partial to the GeekGear World of Wizardry box, which is Harry Potter themed. Staying with this theme I’ve been following Cherry Wallis, a magical online creator, on Instagram and Youtube for quite some time now. I was super excited when I found out that she was creating her own one-off box with GeekGear, I pretty much pre-ordered on the day it was announced!

Its taken me a little while to get around to writing this review, as I’ve not wanted to give any spoiler away, but I think most people should have received their boxes by now, so it should be safe!

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GBBO – Week 3 – Bread Week

This week of the Great British Bake Off was all about bread and with Paul being known as the King of bread, it was always going to be a tough one! From previous series bread week is generally one where a lot of the bakers seem to struggle, this year Michael started the episode with “bread dread”! We were also randomly greeted this episode with Noel, Sandi, Prue and Paul wearing a shirt of the same pattern, I’m sure there’s a reason somewhere.

The Signature – Filled Tear and Share Loaf

For the signature challenge the bakers were tasked with creating a filled tear and share loaf. They were able to use any fillings they wanted, sweet or savoury and had 3hrs to complete the bake.

  • Henry – Chicken and pesto tear and share
  • Michelle – Noson caws (cheese night)
  • Michael – Keralan Star bread tear and share
  • Rosie – Chilli and manchego tear and share
  • Phil – Pancetta and cheese focaccia tear and share
  • Steph – Sun dried tomatoes and pesto
  • Priya – Smokey jalapeño tear and share
  • Amelia – Chorizo brunch tear and share
  • Alice – Baklava tear and share
  • David – Cinnamon swirl tear and share
  • Helena – Frosted cinnamon and Pecan tear and share

As always with bread, it was important for the bakers to get the proving and baking times right! While proving, the live yeast lets off gas which makes the bread rise, when done correctly it creates a nicely risen loaf with a good texture. If not proved for long enough the bread can be quite thick and doughy at the bottom, or if over proved, it can collapse in on itself. During this bake we were also treated to Noel expertly juggling some of Michael bread rolls. 

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GBBO – Week 2 – Biscuit week

This week in the tent was biscuit week, with 3 challenges all based around biscuits! Biscuit week is usually quite an interesting one, especially the showstoppers which over previous years bakers have created some amazing biscuit sculptures! I also learnt that while watching on channel 4 catch up, that they have somehow managed to block you from taking screenshots…which isn’t useful when you are trying to write a review with pictures, so my photos aren’t as good for this weeks review.

The Signature – 12 decorated chocolate biscuit bars

This weeks signature is a challenge I don’t think we have seen before! The bakers were tasked to make 12 decorated chocolate biscuit bars. For this they had to make sure that there was a good balance between biscuit and chocolate. The biscuit interior being the key aspect to the bake! In total the bakers had 2.5hrs with their biggest challenge of making sure everything was set and cooled!

  • Henry – Coffee, cardamom and hazelnut bars
  • Steph – Chocolate, caramel macchiato biscuit bars
  • Michaels – Lemon and rosemary biscuit bars
  • Rosie – Virgin mojito biscuit bars
  • Jamie – Cherry caramel shortbread biscuit bars
  • Michelle – Bakewell bars
  • Alice – Honeycomb peanut mallow bars
  • David – Coco nutty chocolate bars
  • Amelia – Pistachio, almond & Eason nougat biscuit bars
  • Phil – Orange, cranberry and white chocolate fudge bars
  • Helena – Wicked witch fingers
  • Priya – Ruby barfi biscuit bars

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The Great British Bake Off 2019!

Last year I wrote a whole little blog series on the Great British Bake Off and even tried out some of the bakes myself! Bake Off is now back and so begins my 2019 Bake Off blog series!

The first episode aired last week, 27th of August, so I am a little late posting this, but here is my opinions on last weeks cake episode! This year we have a bakers dozen taking part in the competition, 13 competitors giving their all in the tent at Welford Park!

The episode started off with Noel, Sandi, Paul and Prue all dressed up as the Wizard of Oz characters, I’m not entirely sure why, but it did make me chuckle and wonder what else they are going to get up to this series!

This week was cake week – a chance for the bakers to show off their skills in one of the most common baking topics!

The Signature Challenge – Fruit cake

The bakers were asked to bake a fruit cake, which had to include a significant amount of dried fruit and be beautifully decorated, all within a time limit of 2.5hrs!

Normally I’d list out all the contestants and their bakes, but at this stage in the competition that would be a long list…so here are my chosen bits!

We started to get to know some of the bake off contestants while they were busy mixing their fruit cake batters. There is quite a range of people in this series, although the average age is certainly down with most of the contestants being under 30! Another great range of professions too, Amelia a fashion designer, Rosie a vet from somerset, David working for Yorkshire international health, Alice a geography school teacher and this years youngest contestant, 20yr old Jamie who is on a gap year.

Some of the bakes included Christmas cakes, Grandmas fruit cakes, sunshine cakes, Easter cakes with some exciting flavours such as chai tea, butternut squash, ginger and rum!

We saw our first chopping board waft of the series, which seems to be a bake off tradition when bakers are trying to get their cakes to cool faster! High cake temperatures where a problem for some in this episode as the cakes needed to be cook for the bakers to decorate them! Michael did mange to cut himself many times, but thankfully not fingers were lost to this fruit cake challenge.

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Baked – Cherry Crumble Muffins

This months Bakedin, The Baking Club box contained the recipe and dry ingredients to make 12 delicious Cherry Crumble Muffins!

Ingredients:

  • Bag 1 – 45g light brown sugar, 10g granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Bag 2 – 70g plain flour
  • Bag 3 – 100g light brown sugar, 50 granulated sugar
  • Bag 4 – 220g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp mixed spice, 1/2 tsp fine salt, 1/8 tsp madagascan vanilla
  • Bag 5 – 20g roasted flaked almonds

Extras you will need:

  • 155g (40g + 115g) unsalted butter
  • 300g fresh cherries, stoned and quartered
  • 120ml milk (I tend to use coconut)
  • 2 large eggs

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