One thing I never pretend to be any good at is cooking; more specifically baking. However, after seeing a number of videos online of the baked Christmas tree, I thought I would give it a go. Just a heads up, this is no recipe blog post as in all honesty, it turned out to be a massive disaster. Regardless, I still thought it was a good opportunity to jump on my laptop and write a blog post all about my failures.
To begin with, as I have mentioned, I am no baker and therefore, I didn’t even own a rolling pin. The morning I decided to bake, I went out to buy everything I needed. Of course, I forgot the mixing bowl so my large saucepan came in handy. I have to be honest, I had every intention of buying ready made pastry in order to make my life a bit easier. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any so I decided to take the plunge and make my own. That was a bad decision. The main reason for this is because, I don’t own any measuring equipment, so I was just throwing flour and butter into a bowl (saucepan), until I thought it looked okay. It’s not that hard right? You mix flour and butter until you get a breadcrumb like consistency and then add water. Well…. Turns out it’s not that easy if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing. Add too much water and you need to go in with more flour and vice versa. Anyway, when I got something that I thought roughly resembled pastry, I left it to chill for half hour and then begun to roll it out. This is where the real breakdown begun.
In my flat, I have very limited counter space and lets just say that the rolling pin was bigger than the space I had. After becoming very frustrated I literally moved the entire kitchen. The micro-wave, kettle and toaster all made home on the floor for the rest of the proceedings. Not that this made any real difference as apparently I can’t roll pastry in a basic rectangular shape. If I am honest, after another half an hour of trying to roll the pastry, I gave up and dealt with what I had. Using nothing more than my imagination, I cut out two Christmas trees and a star. Although the trees turned out kind of okay, it is safe to say I should have invested in a star cutter. Regardless, I had my pastry and was ready to add the filling.
Here comes the next failure. A lot of the videos I had seen online used some form of chocolate spread for their filling. Whilst that is all good, I think I underestimated just how solid the spread was in comparison to the uncooked pastry. First movement caused a rip…. Anyway, I persevered and melted the spread before continuing. After this I added cinnamon and coconut to the filling, which I actually thought was quite adventurous… However, the next part was the egg wash and this didn’t quite go plan. As I don’t own a cooking brush to lightly glaze the pastry, I thought that a spoon could do a similar job. Turns out I was wrong and was left with what I can only describe as scrambled egg around the edges.
After a distressing phone call to my boyfriend whos response was ‘try again’, I decided that this was the last thing I wanted to do. So I left it in the oven to bake. Sadly, I now needed to tidy up and I honestly think that more flour went onto the floor than it did into the pastry. As you can imagine, there was quite a lot of banging of pots and pans at this point.
Once the slightly burnt Christmas tree came out of the oven, with my fingers I literally placed lumps of icing sugar on top. I waited for my other half to come in and his reaction was ‘what on earth is that!?’. Nevertheless, we both had a try and I don’t think I have ever such a look of disgust on his face as I did that night. Naturally, my reaction was ‘oh it’s not that bad’ and got annoyed at him for even suggesting that it was bad. However, around 3 bites it I couldn’t bare it anymore and admitted defeat. I think it is safe to say that I will be staying far away from any baking for a long time.