Great Bespin Bake Off – Week 1

Jamm

Crisp fall day? Almost- a little unseasonably humid today but we can do this. Plans prepped and ready? Again, almost- these recipes need a little modifying, but we can do this. Are modifications a good idea? Not really, but we’re doing it anyway. 

Welcome to the Great Bespin Bake Off! Week 1- The Batuu Autumnal Festival! An idea to share virtually, originally posted on twitter from user @bookhoarding – 

I decided that yes, this casual baker is going to make some Star Wars baked goods! 

Perks of this Bake Off- no one is actually going to be judging these goodies, so may as well go crazy right? Wrong! First step should always be “Keep it simple!” (More on this later…)

The week 1 prompt is the Batuu Autumnal Festival! For me, that brings two definite things that I want to include. First, whatever I’m making needs to be handheld or snack sized. Imagine walking around Black Spire Outpost, smelling all the tasty foods set up around the marketplace. You won’t want a fork and knife since you’ll be walking around! This baked good needs to be portable! Second, it needs to fully embrace the fall season! Incorporating the fall harvest is a must, whether that is apples, pumpkins, or the autumnal meilooruns. 

So in typical Jamm fashion, I’m have reached very high and made two things. Originally, the thought process was if I make two things, and one doesn’t work out, well we can just trash one and savor the good one. That’s a solid plan right? Ahh, well, things don’t always work out to their original plan. 

Treat number One – Apple Upside Downs 

I did some searching on the good ol’ HoloNet for a few autumn recipes and was drawn to the apple spice cakes, complete with apples and a caramel-ish topping. Since I wanted to make these portable though, they were going to have to be individual cakes. Cue the cupcake tin! 

The appeal of these little cakes would be the upside down topping and the overall shape of them. That meant that using any sort of cupcake liner was out the viewport. Paper liners would leave grooves on the cakes, which we’re not looking for in this treat. So with the cupcake tin sufficiently greased up, I got to work on the rest of the cake assembly. 

Cake batter preparations went very smoothly. Cutting the apples went even smoother, and I combined that with my prep for the next treat just to save some time. (If there’s anything I’m really good at with baking, it’s chopping up apples!) But the topping was a little tricky. The instructions noted to cook until slightly thickened, then pour into the prepared tray, and place the chopped apples immediately after. My topping from the start didn’t look too great- a little grainier than it probably should have been- but into the tin it went. Apples and cake batter followed, and they went into the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. 

Coming out of the oven, these were looking mighty tasty. Cooled in the tin for a few minutes, then flipped them over onto a wire rack to cool further and let the topping set properly. Popping them out of the tin went well enough; some of them tried to roll away, but I caught them quickly. They looked good upon coming out of the tin. Everything was looking up with the Apple Upside Downs. 

Once they cooled,  a quick taste test proved otherwise. These poor little cakes were SO SWEET! And all because of that topping! Might be sweet enough for a Rancor, but those beasts will eat anything. Cake portion was good though on its own, a nice little spice cake. Unfortunate that the topping overtook everything. 

If this was being judged for real, I highly doubt I would have made it to next week. Let’s move on to treat two! 

Treat number Two – Apple Egg Rolls 

The HoloNet really delivered with this one. Pretty much portable apple pies? Holy Snokes they were destined for greatness. That is until I got to the final step of baking, excuse me, frying them! A very opportune moment to remember that I really don’t enjoy frying anything, but it had to be done. 

The journey began with making the actual dough for the egg rolls! Why buy it when you can make it, right? I had never made egg roll wrappers before, but no problem. Although, a little bit of a problem when you run out of flour the first time you’re making it. With my flour stores replenished, I got back to work and cranked out this dough. 

Recipe specified the dough needed to rest for 30 minutes. During that time, I worked on treat one and it may have taken longer than 30 minutes for that workflow. This may have influenced the outcome of the egg rolls, but I can’t be certain. Never really had to keep a close eye on timing for baking; this might have to be the start of something new. 

The filling for the egg rolls went very smoothly! With the apples prepped and ready to go, I gave them a quick simmer in a saucepan with the sugars and sweet spices. Oh, it smelled glorious in this kitchen. The apple upside downs were also in the oven at this time, and everything was just coming together so well.

That is, until we had to assemble the eggrolls! The dough was a piece of work at this point, and rolling it down to a paper thin like thickness was absolutely dreadful. I got it to a point where it was a solid “OK” and decided to start wrapping them up. From the start these were smaller than I intended on making them, but due to the problems with rolling out the dough it was the best I could do. 

With my eggrolls all rolled and ready for cooking, I finally got to the dreaded frying portion. I filled up the skillet with vegetable oil, opened every window in my kitchen for the best ventilation possible, and dropped the first few eggrolls in. Recipe claimed it only needed a few minutes at most for each side, and I quickly threw all timing out the window. Pretty much, if the eggroll burst while in the oil, and the sugary filling seeped out into the oil and caused the most terrible hissing noise, I took that as a sign it was cooked and yanked it out of the oil. I tossed some cinnamon sugar on top while the grease drained off of onto some paper towels. 

Taking them out at any sign of leakage wasn’t the best idea for consistency. Due to my inexperience with frying baked goods most, if not all, of these eggrolls had raw dough on the inside by the time I had finished. Quite the shame really! In tasting some of them, I cut them in half trying to find the sections that were closer to the outside layer of dough. The combo of the apples and the cinnamon sugar outside was simply divine though! 

If these were being judged in a real baking competition, immediate elimination. My eggrolls were undercooked, and that’s just unacceptable. 

Good thing this is just be messing about in the kitchen and there wasn’t any pressure to give these away to people. Maybe next year we can add that element of pressure and have a real bake off setting. I don’t know if my casual baking will be up to the challenge! But maybe at that point I will have another year’s worth of experience baking and experimenting? Who knows. But I’ll tackle week two with the same enthusiasm as the first with the theme being, just in time for the new season, The Mandalorian and The Child! 

Looking for more visuals? I made a full video of this baking adventure as well!