June 16, 2020

The Great Social Distance Bake Off: Finale Week!

Friends, welcome to the 10th and final week of The Great Social Distance Bake Off!

When I started this challenge, it was with the idea of just doing something fun and challenging myself a little bit but over these last 10 weeks, I have learned so much!

I've always been called a good cook and baker by friends but the truth is, up until now, I've always just known how to follow a recipe. I never felt right taking credit for making something because it was never truly mine but these last 10 weeks, I've really worked hard to experiment with new flavors, try new things, and create my own recipes.

The Basil Lime Chocolate Tart I made this weekend? All mine. The Neopolitan Entrements? Mine! The Panna Cotta was of my own crafting, as were the Blackberry Lime macarons, and the Flourless Pistachio cake I made.

I love how this Challenge has pushed me out of my comfort zone. Not everything I've made has been perfect - far from it - but I've become a better, more confident baker and I'm so excited to continue this adventure in the kitchen...with a little bit more creativity outside the rules of the Challenge. Even though I set each Challenge week myself, sometimes, I got inspired to make something different but didn't really have the chance to. To the friends who joined along for one week or all 10, thank you! This has been so much fun and I've loved seeing what you've come up with! It has certainly been a way to keep things fun through this period of social distancing and has been an amazing way to reconnect with old friends!

With all of that said, this finale week of The Great Social Distance Bake Off is Afternoon Tea Week!

If you've never had a proper Afternoon Tea, there are three elements - tea sandwiches and savories, scones or biscuits, and sweets. You can get as creative as you'd like but I'd love to see both a savory bake as well as a sweet bake! You can make sweet and savory scones or mini quiches. For your sweets, you can make brownies or lemon bars, or miniature cakes! You can even make macarons (which, surprisingly, I will not be doing) if you feel up the challenge!

I want to see everything put together picnic style or, if you have a three-tiered cake stand, go with that! This is the one and only challenge where I really want to see your creative skills put to the test for presentation!

I started this week with Joanna Gaines' Orange Scones from the Magnolia Table cookbook. They are absolutely delicious and pair perfectly with my favorite cup of tea - Lady Grey!

Thanks for baking along with me these last 10 weeks! I can't wait to see your final bakes!

On your mark, get set, bake!

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