Regular readers of my blog will be aware that I recently applied to take part in the new series of Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard. I was a bit apprehensive at first and came over all self-doubty and weird so wasn't going to apply. But after lots of lovely comments, tweets, facebook messages and emails I decided to go for it. If I have learned anything this year it is that life is just too short.
Last Monday I set off on a little road trip to Leeds for the casting day. My lovely lovely sister offered to drive which was great, I love road-tripping with my sister as we spend most of it just loudly singing along to anything and everything. Plus on the way back we got to messily munch on all the leftover baked goodies. Bonus!
For my casting interview I had to take something baked along to "wow" them. I spent about 2 weeks worrying and planning what I would take. I firstly decided to take my triple threat cupcakes as they were deemed the most "wow" worthy. But when I practiced them the weekend before they didn't go to plan at all.
After having a long chat with friends I finally decided to avoid cake altogether as I imagined that everyone would be taking cake/cupcakes to casting. So, I decided to stick to my strengths and went for pastry! I love making pastry and it is the thing I probably have the most experience in if I am honest...
So, I made a lovely selection of mini-tarts (which turned out to be not so mini). Lemon meringue, Egg custard and a bakewell tart.
The Lemon Meringue didn't survive the journey unscathed. The meringue crumbled and cracked and looked a bit of a mess, but it did taste bloody good! The bakewell looked lovely, nice and golden and the pastry was cooked to perfection (no soggy bottoms here!) but the frangipane was a little bland to me, I think next time some almond extract would make it a bit more flavourful.
The Egg Custard however was a triumph! A TRIUMPH! It was absolutely delicious, the pastry was crisp and buttery with just a hint of nutmeg, the custard was rich with a strong vanilla flavour and the sprinkling of nutmeg on top finished it off beautifully. I am a big egg cutard fan in general but had never made it myself before. Will definitely be making it again though! Since the egg custard was such a success I thought I would share the recipe with you.