Sunday, 14 February 2016

Meeting Mr Bean (no, not THAT Mr Bean) at the Bakes and Cakes show

You might remember that in 2014 something amazing happened. I got to meet Mary Berry when my cookies won first prize at the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show in London. Lots of other amazing things have happened with my cooking adventures since then too...

I won at Kent Cooks that year which was an awesome experience as I got to cook in a proper professional kitchen.

Then last year I got to cook with Edd Kimber which was brilliant as he was really fun.

So I thought that was enough exciting things to have happened. But then when I saw that the 2015 BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show had 'London Landmarks' as the theme for the baking competition, I had the idea of making 'The London Pie' which is a play on words about my favourite London Landmark which is The London Eye.

I had made some hot water crust Cornish pasties before and so I really wanted to do a hot water crust pastry pie as I like making hot water crust pastry. You can see the recipe for the pie I made here.

It was a really good day in London as I got to see lots of my favourite chefs like Jo Wheatley. I like making her recipes as I made her pannetone before.
 We also saw Marcus Bean who is great.
 And the lady at Bake Box showed me how to decorate a Christmas star really nicely.

This year the Bakes and Cakes show was part of the BBC Good Food show so there was lots to see and do!

Then it was time for the announcement of the winners - I really really didn't think I stood a chance because there were so many great entries. Most were cakes or biscuit buildings and mine was the only pie so I really didn't have high hopes.

I couldn't believe it when my name was called as runner up in the junior category!!!

I won a signed Paul Hollywood cookery book, a magimix icecream maker and a ticket to see the Paul Hollywood theatre session. I was secretly really pleased not to win first prize as that was to meet Paul Hollywood and I find him a bit scary on TV so I didn't want that.

When I saw him in the theatre session he actually seemed nice and he was funny too.

 He made a fougasse bread, cut it up and threw it into the audience.

 My mum managed to catch a piece for me! (it tasted good)

Overall we had a really great day out! 

The London Pie Recipe: A a warming winter lentil and vegetable pie

The Brilliant Chef is back! I was too busy to blog for a while because I was too busy at school but I wanted to write up my recipe for what I call 'The London Pie'. It is based on 'The London Eye' as that is my favourite London landmark.

I had to chop up loads of vegetables

And make a hot water crust pastry - which I really enjoy doing!

Here are all the ingredients you need:

For the pastry:
80g butter
140g lard
1 tsp table salt
600g plain flour
1 egg for egg wash
240ml water

For the filling:
1cup dried red lentils - washed thoroughly
4 potatoes
4 carrots
2 onions
groundnut oil
fresh or dried herbs - we used fresh rosemary from the garden and some dried mixed herbs.

1. Wash the red lentils in a sieve, place in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 15-20 minutes.

2. Wash the potatoes and peel the carrots (you can peel the potatoes too if you want to but I like them with the skins on as long as I wash them properly).

3. Dice all the vegetables - the potatoes, carrots, and onions.

4. Brown the onions on the hob in 3 tablespoons of groundnut oil. Then add the carrots and fry for 7 minutes. Then add the potatoes and fry for another 7 minutes. Finally add the lentils in. Add seasoning if you wish to and add the rosemary and dried mixed herbs. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes on the hob then remove from heat and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 200C.

5.  To make the pastry place the water, lard, butter and salt in a pan on the hob and heat gently until the lard and butter melts.

6. Measure the flour into a large bowl, carefully pour in the water/lard mixture and mix it with a spoon until it forms a dough.

7. Knead briefly. Then take one third of it and keep to one side for the pie lid. And keep a little bit of pastry to make the other decorations.

8. Roll out the remaining pastry and lift it into a tin. I used an 8 inch cake tin. Fill the pastry with the filling. You probably won't need all the filling. I had enough leftover to make some cornish pasties too. I then rolled out and placed the pastry lid on top crimping the edges using egg wash to seal the pie properly. I made a hole in the middle to let out steam and I egg-washed over the whole top of the pie. To help make some of the pattern I needed for the London Pie, I made some fork marks from the centre to the outer edges of the pie.

9. I cooked my pie in the oven at 200C for 15 minutes. Then the temperature needs to reduce to 180C and I baked the pie for another 45 minutes. Then you need to check the pie to make sure it is not burning, and then cook for another 30 minutes.

10. Then I used the other bits of spare pastry to make the capsules of the london eye and the struts. These need to be egg washed and baked on a separate baking tray for about 15 minutes.

11. When the pie is ready remove from the oven and using more egg wash stick on the 'decorations'. This then needs to go back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Then the pie was ready for its London adventure. My school let me have the afternoon off school to make this and then my dad had to drive it all the way to London as I had been shortlisted in the BBC Good Food bakes and cakes show!

Keep reading my blog and you will find out what happened in my next blogpost.

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