If you think my interests have been completely overtaken by cake making, you’d be right! My inner cakey diva has gone crazy bananas. Especially since getting a new cooker – it’s taken a bit of getting used to and I’ve cooked all sorts of things to get the measure of it and am starting to feel comfortable with it now. The kitchen is nearly finished but am beginning to think it’s turning into an example of the analogy of the frog hopping to the well in a succession of half distance hops each time to explain infinity…. – you understand the parallel?
Mr T is just better at some jobs than me. Fact. Otherwise I would do them. He can be, by nature, a difficult person to nudge along, though and he will
very frequently frequently often sometimes leave things half done. Resisting the urge to morph into one of my super anti-hero personas (Medusa) and have a hissy fit storm worthy of a head covered in petrifying serpentes, I normally nod acquiescently and ‘accept’ the feeble invalid frequently illogical load of nonsense bollo**s excuse reason for the latest stall. But the inner gorgon is just below the surface….
I am just joking with you, however passive-aggressive this may sound. He’s worked really hard and the kitchen has been a PITA at times and it’s looking so clean and bright that I love it already. I don’t want him to bust his belly getting it finished but it’s so nearly done that it’s frustrating.
The finishing touches would be the cherry on top (you see what I did there?|).
So, I made this cake yesterday. It’s fabulously decadent and lush. It’s an almond sponge layered with cherry buttercream (cherry goo with more cherries roughly whizzed in the blender and sieved a little to get rid of excess juice mixed into normal buttercream). It’s topped off with chocolate gananche and a bunch of fresh cherries, ripe and sweet.
The choc chip decoration… wish I hadn’t. They’re made from some kind of S*#% nasty compound chocolate. Note to self: avoid like the plague! Next time I’ll use cacao nibs or buy some Twirls or Flakes and smush them around.
The cake was amazingly fresh, light and tasty. Took two slices round to my neighbour – she rang me some 30 mins later to tell me it was the best cake I’d made – EVER! Made my halo a bit heavy, I can tell you but what a lovely compliment.
Also had a go at dark photography. Dark photography is kind of on trend at the moment and I really like it! It’s sometimes called ‘Mystic Light’, or Chiaroscuro (an Italian term pinched from the art world to describe a technique that emphasises the the contrast between shadow and light in an image.
The cake was mounted on an upside-down cake tin (as I had no matt cake boards), and then onto my home-made cake stand (the bottom is a candle holder on sale from Ikea in 2014, the top is a Snudda or Lazy Susan, also from Ikea, spray painted a chocolate brown and the two stuck together with Gorilla glue).
I extended my kitchen table full length, made an enclosure (a little housie, awww) out of black foam board held together with T-pins (the very same as used for blocking crochet) and lined the bottom with an A2 length of black mount board. I left a slit between two sheets of foamboard to let in a ‘slice’ of light.
My camera was popped onto a tripod facing the scene and lowered for a head on shot and the opening between the foamboard was covered with a diffuser (the light from the window was streaming in).
The shot above has been enhanced with various Photoshop interventions, increasing shadow, contrast, blacks, reducing whites and highlights, masking a couple of highlights and using Curves to dampen them a little, etc. I’m fairly happy with it for a first attempt but would like to achieve some properly good atmospheric shots. A little more Nosferatu….
I’m following The Bite Shot on You Tube for tutorials, tips, techniques and all other good alliterative T things. (see – did it again there – Nosferatu… The Bite Shot – groan – am good at puns and such like)
Nice to see cherries in the shops. Am looking out for fresh figs – I think they’re around some time in May… Love them.
Finally got round to making a tray of meringues using a Sultane nozzle. Crisp outer shell, gooey middle… but that’s enough about me… no seriously, the meringues are really nice and the squidgy middle is sumptuous. I like a couple with fresh blueberries and a dollop of Greek yoghurt for dessert.
Of course, using a bunch of egg whites left a load of yolks so they got turned into lemon curd which is surprisingly easy to make and tastes sooo much better than any commercial brand! And, I’ve found a recipe for blackcurrant curd!!! On that shortly!
Despite all the baking, I found some time to crochet a little and will post pictures of my crochet adventures next time around.
Am off to respond to a wonderful email sent by the united nations compensation commission – apparently I’ve come into an eye-watering amount of money – proper folding dollars! I can’t remember how much it was as I lost count of all the zeros after the comma… eleventy billion or thereabouts. To think that I qualify for such a life-changing cash injection having never lodged any compensation claim ever… AND have also received a notification about unpaid inheritance from a distant relative on the Ivory Coast on the SAME DAY. It’s truly a miracle.
Think lucky and you’ll be lucky, eh?! Have a lovely sun shiny day and enjoy yourself!