Pie in the sky, a late night cake, and a blog post lost in the ether

Where do I begin? Aha, I know, offering my apologies. One should not be a stranger this long.

It’s been a week of discovery. One, that I can go mad with work stresses. Two, that the song Yes by McAlmont And Butler will never age. And three, I’m all things considered becoming a competent baker. My tales of lost mojo, constant disasters etc are fewer and much further between.

Last week, I tried a recipe from a bargain The Works book purchase by Nick Malgieri, called Bake. I read the recipe for Kyra’s Hot Milk Sponge with interest. What kinda alchemy is this? It’s a cake which requires a whisk. You fold the ingredients whilst whisking ingredients. It’s a lighter consistency. It sounded odd, but the outcome was said to be akin to a Genoese. I tried it. And I am sold.

Hot Milk Sponge

The oven is set, 180 c.

In a milk pan, warm 120ml of milk, and melt in 55g butter.

In the bowl of a Kenwood Chef or other mixer, best 3 eggs, before adding 225g sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whisk until it lightens, a few minutes will achieve this. Slowly whisk in the milk.

Sift together 195g of plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Add this in 4 quantities. Using the whisk, fold it into the mix, using a light touch. In between, lightly whisk the mix.

Add to two lined sandwich tins, 20cm or 23cm depending on requisite depth. Bake for around 20 mins. Cool completely on wire racks out of the tins. And you will get a lovely, light vanilla milk sponge. Mine was great sandwiched with mulberry jam. Delicious.

My other Feat for the week? Adam’s now signature Lemon Meringue.

I made my own creation sweet shortcrust. I decided to recreate a classic is daft. Like when they remade Melrose Place, just a big old potential mess. No Amount of Heather Locklear made up for them tarnishing the memory of Marica Cross as Dr Kimberley Mancini. Oh happier days. But sometimes a remake can be just fabulous. Doctor Who anyone?

So I made my shortcrust. Icing sugar, plain flour, egg yolk, chilled lemon juice. A tip there for anyone, it’s just better than water in my opinion and not too sharp. The egg adds richness. My Key Lime Pie taught me to go with the condensed milk filling, it is a winner. So I ditched lime, added lemon zest and juice, along with egg yolks, and it set beautifully. And meant I had 4 egg whites to whisk to make my topping. Thick, luscious, sugar added in a French style, it created a gorgeous meringue, stable enough to be piped. Here comes the highlight. I tweeted a photo. Within minutes, who should comment? Only the Great British Bake Off’s own Mary-Anne. Saying “woo. That looks awesome!”

Highlight. Of. My. Life.

Bread wise, it came out first class too.

I also made a new pie up. Chilli, cheddar and onion pie.

But that’s for another day.

Today I made a mistake dear world. I was enjoying the radio, so settled in for Jo Whiley whilst looking at my Christmas Cake fruits, steeping in their bourbon goodness in a pan on the hob. My thought? Ooh let’s make that. So started creaming butter and sugar, grating lemon zest, crushing cloves etc. Next thing You know I’m pouring the golden batter into a lined tin. At around 9pm, putting the pan in the oven. Then I remember. Oh yes, it takes 3 hours. Three bloody hours. I’m about to pass out I’m so tired. It’s 10.20pm. I’m 31, it’s too late in this game called life for me to be pulling late nighters.

I’ll come back to you with how this one pans out. My timer is set, it may just have to be a dressing gowned dash mid REM cycle. Life’s too short.

Night folks, blog later xx

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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