This is the first year that I have not had a weekly 8pm(GMT) date with BBC1 and the Great British Bake Off since the show started. It is also, however, the first year that I have time on my hands to be more actively involved in my love of the show and as such, I’m taking part in my own little bake-off in Songdo.
My challenge involves me making one recipe (I stuck to one given the hideous expense of getting baking ingredients here – sorry Raj!) from each week of the show and here is where I will post my results, for better or for worse.
Taste Test Wise I’ll be feeding my baked goods to Raj and our Friday Night Drinks Squad – although obviously this depends on whether my attempts turn out to be edible or not!
Before I started the challenge however, I made a trip into the Baking district in Seoul to get a few essentials (and also check out what else I could buy for the future challenges). Bangsan Market is central-ish in Seoul. I went to Euljiro4-ga station, which is on the same line as Hapjeong and left through exit four. Immediately upon exiting the station, you’ll find yourself in the sewing district (making my own clothes is going to be 2017’s challenge).
Following the map (left) I made my way to the market, via the promotional and packaging district – useful to know where these places are!
The market has a bit of a weird smell but once you get used to that, there is loads of stuff at affordable prices for the amateur baker such as myself. I picked up a couple of things and saw a few others too…
- Icing Sugar: 1.5kg for 3.500 Won
- Vanilla essence: 118ml for 16-18,000 won depending on the shop
- Chocolate chips (and other cooking chocolate): 500g for 6,000won or 1kg for 10,000won
- A huge variety of cake pans in different sizes, from 5,000 won up
- Almond powder: 500g for 8,000 won (or 1kg for 15,000 won)
- Dessicated coconut: 400g for 3,000 won
- Unsalted Anchor Butter: 454g for 6,000won
And plenty of other stuff besides. I think Bangsan is going to be a regular haunt of mine.. at least for the duration of my bake-off-challenge.
Week 1: Cake Week
This week was all about drizzle cakes. Now I do actually make a Lemon Drizzle Cake on a fairly regular basis, as it is Raj’s favourite, so I decided to up my game and try something new – a Passion Fruit & Lime Drizzle Cake.
I used this recipe and all in all, I am quite pleased with the results – it smells fruity and citrusy and taste nice and moist with the right amount of zing! I’m waiting for Raj to get home from Manila (2.5 hours until he lands!) to proivide the final taste-test however…
Week 2: Biscuit Week
This week’s technical challenge was to make Mary Berry’s Viennese Whirls – a wonderfully melt in the mouth combination of butter and sugar. I did cheat slightly by using ready made jam instead of making my own, but I blame the lack of jam sugar in my kitchen…
As far as my first biscuit attempt goes I was pretty pleased. OK, so I won’t be winning any technical challenges based on appearances any time soon but the biscuit was nice and short and the buttercream filling wasn’t overly sweet.
I’ve literally just finished watching breadweek (SO NERVOUS!) and after a Facebook plea, one of my friends has given me a supposedly easy recipe for a plaited loaf (just the one – it is my first time making bread so there won’t be any showstoppers in my immediate future) so once I top up on flour and yeast I’ll be giving it a shot. YIKES!