|Summer in a cake|
This is probably because it's where my 'knack' (I hesitate to call it talent) and passion lie. In baking. I enjoy cooking from scratch but when you live with someone who has to eat a dish that tastes exactly the same every time you make it, the joy can be taken out of cooking when you fear the reaction if you happen to have run out of xyz and replaced it with abc just this once. With cake, most people are polite/complimentary about it. I can't remember ever giving anyone (apart from the husband) a bit of cake and them not at least saying thank you, but more likely they provide very positive feedback.
The one thing I've gotten from this year of cooking and blogging is the confidence to be a little more creative and experimental in the baking department although I still have much to learn. The fabulous Great British Bake Off is back on our screens tomorrow night. It was watching that this time last year that inspired me to do this rather strange challenge to myself. The only way to progress in something is to practice and evolve. I have learnt so much this year about cooking and baking and flavours and little twists that I feel I'm in a better place than I was a year ago. I will be watching avidly this year to see what other gaps in my knowledge I should consider plugging once I get underway with my new blog.
Top of the learning list is that when you use something up, remember to put it straight into the Ocado shopping app so when you have the urge to bake, you don't wind up having to adapt and cut corners on certain recipes. Or if you happen to be going to the shops for one ingredient, double check the cupboards before you go to make sure you've got everything you need. Which is why I ended up making an almost almondless almond cake.
|I still can't let go of the Olympic Food Challenge|
So I ended up flavouring the sponge purely with almond essence and replacing the almonds weight-for-weight with more flour. It seemed to work okay although the little slice I tried was quite crumbly. I'm sure the almonds would've made the sponge much moister.
But this is a fabulously cheery cake with it's sunny saffron hue and topped with sliced peaches. The perfect antithesis for a miserable August day. You can find the recipe in Short and Sweet or on the Guardian website.