I’ve been distracted, these last few weeks.
Since the beginning of May, I have:
– Handed in my dissertation
– Been to my last lectures
– Sat my final university exams
In fact, I actually finished my last paper (Philosophy of Music, in case you were wondering) yesterday afternoon at exactly 5:15pm. Freedom is still a strange concept, after weeks of being holed-up inside working and revising. It hasn’t helped that British summertime seems to be in full swing at the moment. We’re practically in the middle of a heatwave! At least, that’s what it feels like…and of course, being British, as soon as the weather cheers up, everyone breaks out their summer wardrobe, the sandals and sun hats, the Pimm’s and the barbeques. Quick, before it starts raining again!
I’m still trying to get used to the fact that I have officially finished the academic part of my degree. No more classes, no more coursework, no more exams. Goodbye university and hello, real life! Funny to think that I started this blog back in October 2011, just as I was about to begin my final year and here we are now, as I’m about to finish it. Where has the time gone? I always seem to be asking that question. Now, everyone is looking beyond the end of the academic year, planning their next move, their next step. One of my housemates is going abroad for a few months after graduation. I still remember when she was planning the trip, months ago; all of a sudden, or so it seems, it’s nearly here. This really is it. I still can’t really take in the fact that I won’t be coming back here next year, that I won’t be around in the Music Department, won’t be having lectures, won’t be playing in the University Orchestra. This has been such an important part of my life, I don’t think I’m quite ready. (Thankfully, I don’t have to quite yet; there’s still four weeks until the end of term, not to mention the University Gala Concert and my end-of-year tutorial.)
Anyway, I think that’s enough of the sentimental stuff…back to the baking!
After the success of my white tin loaf (thank you, Fabulous Baker Brothers), I was inspired to try brown bread next. This was the result:
The dough itself was slightly heavier than the white and required more water, but the texture of the bread itself was surprisingly light and soft. Definitely one to make again, I think.
I also made my first foray into choux pastry recently, which is something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Having heard from others about how difficult it is to get right, I was quite curious about the pastry and decided on profiteroles for my first attempt…
The mixture itself took some working and a bit of careful judgement about to the amount of eggs needed, but otherwise seems to have been a success! (By which I mean my parents liked them; that’s always a good level to judge my food by, I find…) The choux buns were light and crisp, filled with a vanilla cream and finished with a dark chocolate sauce, although I overheated the chocolate, which is probably why it looks like it’s about to split…lesson learned. Don’t overheat chocolate! No-one seemed to mind though, although whether that’s because they really didn’t mind or they just didn’t notice, I’ll never know…!
Anyway, that’s all for now. It’s nice to have time to blog again, but it’s even nicer to have time to BAKE again! (I’m already planning a batch of chocolate chip and pecan cookies; the shopping list is sat on the desk beside me as I write this…) Hello, freedom!
(Bread recipe by Tom and Henry Herbert, taken from The Fabulous Baker Brothers, recipe for choux pastry by Dan Lepard, taken from Short & Sweet.)