Thursday, May 8, 2008

With great wisdoms comes great agony (and #49)

First off all I should apologise for my total blog tardiness of late; I have been very busy at University recently and so I've been working and cooking tried and tested recipes from (sharp intake of breath) OTHER cookbooks. I feel like I've been unfaithful to our Jane...

Today found out that I will be having my wisdom teeth out on the 15th May, which is the day Greg goes on his cruise and is also my Mum's birthday, so I don't know if I'll have anyone to go with me! Not being able to eat however, will somewhat hamper my cooking, so expect a reduction in blog action! I am calling for help from you, the beloved blog reader - I need recipes for food that requires no chewing. I will obviously be making good use of my ice cream maker next week.

Any road, I did do some cooking - or, in fact, baking - again at the weekend. I am all enthusiastic about bringing back the old tradition of high tea. There was a spot on the BBC's Breakfast programme with Prue Leith talking about how people don't know what Eccles Cakes or parkin and other British fayre are, never mind not baking them themselves! I am on a one-man mission to bring it back. I shall open up a lovely tea shop...

I did (#49) Orange cake and invited Joff round again. I had an orange in and wanted to try the pound cake again from last week; the recipe is exactly the same, except the grated zest of an orange and the juice of half is added to the mixture. This time I baked it for only 30 minutes and it came out perfect. I suppose no one - not even Jane Grigson - is perfect. The best bit of the cake-making was the butter cream. 4 ounces of sugar and the juice of the other half of the orange were boiled until the sugar had reached the soft-ball stage. I didn't have a sugar thermometer, but managed to do it by dropping small amounts into cold water and feeling it between my fingers. Easy. Thank goodness for my ever useful Larousse Gastronomique. This was whisked into 2 whipped egg yolks until thick and fluffy. When warm, 4 ounces of very soft butter was whipped in until even more thick and fluffy. Yum. Hopefully Greg and Joff think I have improved on the previous ones - hopefully they'll mark it highly!

#49 Orange cake - 8/10. A fine cake indeed! I'm not going to mark it higher, because, although very good, more extravagant cakes, like the parsnip cake or divine treats like sticky toffee pudding beat cake hands down! I think I've nailed the pound cake now!

4 comments:

Gregling said...

Yes it was an improvement. It was like a cake from when I was a little boy! With the last version I opted for slices from either end which had dried a little due to the random oven times but this one was uniformly airy and moist all the way through. I have a morbid fear of the complexities of baking so the simplicity of the pleasures to be had in a good English cake are still very charming to me. 8/10

Neil B said...

Hopefully there will be more to come though, Gregling. If my gob ever heals up after me op!

Gregling said...

Ooh ooh I think you should write a piece in praise of the Larousse, it being the most amazing book ever written or published, and I say that as FACT working in publishing.

Neil B said...

Indeedy! I love my Larousse. I should quote more from it really for my FYI bits, but it's at home and I usually blog at work. I shall see to it Gregling and do a bit on it. It's a shame there isn't an online version of it