I think it’s safe to say everyone has jumped on the baking train during this quarantine. Even me, the world least confident baker. I don’t like cooking, as many of you know, and I find baking to be tedious and impossible. That’s why when we realized this pandemic wouldn’t be over in two weeks, my sister and I decided to begin the Great Kamph Bake Off (yes, we’re big fans of the Great British Bake Off…who isn’t?).
This is us:
My sister lives in the Washington D.C. area and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1,125 miles apart and now we’re not even allowed to fly to see each other. She’s the sister who loves to learn and is adventurous in her cooking. I’m the sister who tries to cook a new recipe maybe once a month (probably more every three months) and prefers something quick and easy. We’re consistent in our differences, in every aspect of life.
When my sister texted me the recipe for week one saying “Casie, I’m making this this weekend, you should too and we can compare!” That’s when the weekly Great Kamph Bake Off began.
Week One: Lemony Turmeric Tea Cake – Alison Roman
We started off with one of the prettiest tea cakes I’ve ever seen and I was honestly excited to make it. However, as I moved through the process of zesting a lemon, trying to make a lemony sugar, and then lining a pan with parchment paper, my confidence started to fade. I knew as soon as I took my cake out of the oven, my sister was going to win. But boy, did it taste good.
These were the most tedious cookies to bake. You bake for ten minutes, then from there you take the pan and literally slam it down every two minutes to create the crinkles. I decided to make eight massive cookies, then the rest would be normal sized cookies. I ended up cutting up my chocolate bits too small and made the cookies a chocolate cookie, with no chips. Once again, my sister won.
Week Three: Cheddar Biscuits – Reese Witherspoon
Then, my sister had the brilliant idea to lean on our southern belle Reese Witherspoon for the week where I thrived. I hated every second of mixing this dough. I learned I do not like the feeling of sticky dough on my hands. My shoulders were quite familiar with my earlobes by the end of it. BUT, due to my somewhat following instructions, I actually made the most beautiful little biscuits that won me the week.
Week Four: Garden Focaccia Bread – Amelia Nierenberg
When we saw the trend for the prettiest little paintings on focaccia bread and we were sold. I can honestly say this is the most pressure I’ve felt the entire time. I wanted so desperately to have the most perfect bread, with the cutest garden, and I think we both accomplished the prettiest breads. I would say we tied this week, however, we must have a winner & we decided Molly took the garden this week.
Coming into week five, I had yet to suggest a recipe (indecisive queen over here), so when I saw another friend baking this on instagram, I knew that was what we needed to do. I learned a lot during this recipe. It was pretty simple, but needed love and patience. I learned I should take the time to spread the filling out, instead of just dumping it into the middle. However, once again, because I’m pretty decent at following instructions, we determined I was the winner for the week!
It started off with the intentions to grow my confidence in baking, but it quickly became a tradition my sister and I love. One that keeps us connected in a time when we can’t see each other, especially now. However, I still don’t love to bake, but I keep on trying!
And through this we’ve determined…we can’t do anything without it being a competition.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. I will say my sister and her boyfriend have better cameras than me to take pics of our creations, which I think gives her an advantage. Just sayin.