I think I’m feeling a little better today. Less tears. Less earache. Less sore throat. More sleep. Banging headache, but you can’t have everything. I did less today, because the last few days have been rather manic with one thing and another. That’s not to say I lazed about, but a morning of cat wrangling will take it out of a person.
And a cat.
More steroids, more flea drops, but a slightly less eye watering bill for reasons I’m not clear on, but accepting with gratitude regardless.
The house mum and dad put an offer in on and were hoping they could still purchase with some sort of miracle, was taken off the market today as someone who already sold their house wanted it. This is a bit sad making, but I am hoping that it means the universe is lining up a better house for them. That’s the most positive thing I have to say about all this.
Let’s talk about Bake Off.
My main take this week was that I wanted Noel’s jumper very badly indeed. I won’t look it up, because no doubt it will be out of stock, or worse, in stock but £800. He’s like a bohemian John Craven isn’t he? And if you know what I’m talking about, you’re in the right place for cultural references that don’t make you immediately start googling things. Tallulah told me something ‘low key slapped’ the other day and I had to look it up because I didn’t know whether that was a good or bad thing.
Turns out it was good.
Anyway, it was Japanese week this week. Steamed buns were the order of the day, and much like last week’s pasties, I could happily have eaten them all. I didn’t have a steam bun until a few years ago but I have gone from being mildly indifferent to liking them a lot quite quickly. My sadness is that you often get small portions for big dollar. I like lots of steamed buns.
To be fair, I generally like lots of things in the quantity of ‘lots’. I’ve never been much of a minimalist in the food department. Or the life department. The only time I will accept small is when there are at least nine courses.
The technical was to make matcha pancakes layered with white chocolate Swiss butter cream and strawberries and fold it into a kind of virulent green cake. I did not enjoy this. I’m not a massive fan of matcha. It’s a bit like eating grass clippings mixed with dirt. Maybe, like buns I could get used to it and learn to love it in time, but it would take a lot of work for something I can probably cheerfully avoid and still live a full and fascinating food life without. I’m not sure how I feel about green cakes either. It all looked a bit like an old fashioned grocer’s front porch to me, and not in a good way. Or possibly reminiscent of slightly saggy astroturf.
The last round was to make a kawaii cake. Kawaii, as I know from my manga obsessed children, is all the cuteness. I follow a Twitter feed which is weird and wonderful Japanese mascots and they are extremely kawaii. The cakes not only had to look like internet memes come to life, but also had to have Japanese style flavours. I’m not a fan of cuteness unless it’s actual, bona fide real life baby animals, so the cuteness of a cake is not going to do it for me, just like I don’t really like cakes in multi coloured layers with forty trillion sprinkles pouring out of them.
After all these years of bake off and general baking, I realise I am a bit of a cake purist and given a choice I’d stick with a basic, home made cake of some kind or best of all, an entire French patisserie. Who knew?
Mark, who went home, made an avocado cake. He made it with actual avocados, and I know I’ve been out of the cake baking lark for too long because nobody batted an eyelid at this or said, ‘gosh, what a strange thing to make cake out of, aren’t you clever?’ They just nodded, like making a cake out of avocado was the most normal thing in the world.
Now I eat quite a bit of vegan cake these days. Never from a supermarket, because all vegan cake that comes from a supermarket or out of a box, Mr. Kipling style, inevitably tastes like old door mats and should only be offered to vegans you hate as a punishment for crimes against tofu or something. But there are a lot of great bakeries near my house and many of them do splendid vegan cakes. It has been my suspicion for quite some time that those cakes may be as moist and delicious as they are because avocado is involved in some way.
Having said all this, I have never bothered to try and verify my suspicions because even though it might be true, and they are delicious, the thought of avocado in cakes makes me feel a bit uneasy. I’d rather not know, so when Mark started happily chucking avocados into a mixer, I worried. I also worried because his whole cake was very green, and avocado shaped and generally I just worried it would taste like fourteen mashed avocados glued together with butter cream and fondant and that made me sad.
It made the judges sad too, and home he went.
I do like yuzu as a flavouring and I would like to have gone around and tasted all the yuzu flavoured cakes, just to help out, obviously.
Lottie, who got star baker this week, made a cotton wobble cake. Again, everyone nodded wisely as if cotton wobble cake is a thing. Is it a thing? Am I missing out here on a common or garden cake experience that has just passed Leicester by because of our super extended lockdown? Have you ever had one? What does it taste like please?
If it’s avocado, don’t tell me.