Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Baking Boo-Hoo's

So. School is back on Monday and J is working all day so I thought I'd use the day to be productive and get ready for next week. Uniform washed and on the line - check. School bag cleared of bits of paper, old Xmas cards, dried leaves, old bit of orange peel, stray raisins - check. Next on my list was getting some baking organised for school lunches.

Now I want to start this by saying that I really am a good cook. I'm very strong in all areas of poultry, I can make homemade bread like nobodys business, and I can preserve and bottle like the best of them. Baking however, is not my strong point. My little sister has inherited all of the cake and biscuit making genes. And let me tell you, the ability to bake is highly prized in my family.

Being a stay at home mum seems to have BAKING in the job description so I've had lots and lots of practice in the last few years. I think I've gotten quite good at it. My issue for the last 18 months has been that two out of four people in our family are gluten free, and my son is allergic to egg and eats limited dairy. Try making a vegan, gluten free, decent looking cake. I dare you.

My pride is seriously wounded every time I bake these days. My cakes are flat and have the consistency of sawdust. My biscuits (I feel a tear in my eye as I type this) always come out like one big melted sheet of glue. My muffins don't rise. And my brownies - oh the brownies!! The 70% chocolate, expensive brownies. They were shiny and elastic and the next morning turned into a plate of hard chocolate chewing gum.

I have shed tears. I have thrown out sheets of biscuits before J can see them. I try and tell myself I am baking under extreme circumstances here and it's not my fault.

Anyway, back to this morning. I found some normal wheat flour leftover from when I made the kids playdough so I thought I'd make Jemima some normal muffins. Ok, I admit, I wanted to see if I actually could pull off a decent muffin anymore.. and I guess I needed some validation that it was indeed the FLOUR and not me. Here's the result:


Ta-da! Normal, nicely risen muffins. And I had to use "No-Egg" because we don't have eggs in the house.

And then I made some vegan, gluten free biscuits for Ben. For the record, these were perfectly round, perfectly pressed with a fork, beautiful little balls when they went into the oven. When the buzzer went and I opened the door my heart stopped for a second - would they be Ok? would it work this time.......

NO.



So there you go *sniff sniff*

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