Bake Well Or Not ~ You Decide

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

Prior to starting any previous DB project, I spend alot of time organizing my shopping lists & ingredients, researching the subject, and reading posts by other DB'ers to see their outcomes and experiences during the process. I'm always well prepared to begin the project and to achieve the best possible outcome. I took one look at this month's challenge and decided that I could do it with my eyes closed. And one hand tied behind my back. There was really no need to spend all that extra time preparing...this one would be a cinch!

Maybe I should have closed my eyes and tied my hands back. It couldn't have been any worse than what I wound up with as a final result.

The individual components came together with ease and presented no real challenge ~ my crust looked tender and crumbly all nestled into my tart pan. The luxurious frangipane completely engulfed a layer of strawberry lavender jam and all I had to do was wait out the baking time and my not-so-much of a challenge would be done. I figured I'd use that time to catch up on some gossip, so I dialed my best girlfriend on the phone.

But the proof is in the pudding...err...tart or whatever the heck this thing was starting to overflow its pan and smoke up my oven, that the easiest things aren't always as they appear. And that you should never distract yourself during a Daring Bakers project. My luxurious frangipane was overflowing like a volcano and turning into charcoal briquettes. My kitchen was filling with smoke and soon the detector would alert everyone that the girl who calls herself a caterer needed to put her gossiping on hold and call the fire department {should I mention here that this was the second time in a week that I've smoked the place up??} But have no worries...slide a baking sheet underneath to catch the burning goo and the gossip monger never misses a beat.

The timer announced that my easy peasy pudding/tart/whatever thing was ready to be unveiled and I must say it looked mighty pretty ~ I was so proud of myself at this point and still incessantly chatting away.

Some time later, after I'd gleaned all the juicy, dirty details about who said what to who I came back to the kitchen to admire my Bakewell Tart. Anticipating the taste of the crunchy almonds and silky lavender infused jam combined with a flaky shortbread crust, I slid my knife through the perfectly browned top {trying to ignore the burnt crusty stuff on the sides of the pan} and was met with a gushing pile of goo spewing forth from the innards of this now I'm cursing thing. Had I done my research, I would have known that the frangipane does turn a lovely golden brown, almost to the point of looking like what I feared was burnt, but a piece of foil over the top would have allowed it to continue baking until it was completely set. Also, had I not been yakking away about trivial stuff, I would have been smart enough to stick a toothpick in the thing and figure that out for myself.

Fearing my tart/pudding/total waste of time was a loss, I tossed it in the fridge to be dealt with, photographed, and cataloged here as a failure. But much to my surprise, after spending the night in those frigid confines, it wasn't that bad at all! The tart eventually set up and even though I knew it was a little underdone, I don't think anyone else would have known it. Although I would prefer this for breakfast more so than for a dessert course, it tasted great and will possibly make it into my files as a "try it again because you screwed it up the first time" project.

Thanks again to Jasmine and Annemarie for a wonderful challenge! Click the links above to head over to their blogs for the recipe and then spend a day or two reading about all the other creative concoctions from the Daring Bakers blogroll.


kristenly said...

i had similar issues with getting distracted and over cooking my tart but it all turned out well in the end. your tart looked lovely to me. (i never would have known a thing was wrong with it.) very eloquently written post!


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