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Why are my children so suspicious of me?

May 7, 2012

It’s still unseasonably cold and wet, even for Devon. Today we ventured into Newton Abbot. It was in true bank holiday mood and most of it was closed for business. The one open shop (apart from the supermarkets of course) was Austins which has probably the best toy department in Devon. Arlo was delighted. I’m still aiming to cook my way out of winter – it will work, even if the skies are grey and ominous birds fly overhead.

Today I made a swiss roll with a mixed berry jam like filling. “What is it?” Rella asked when presented with a piece – I did feel it was self evident, but apparently not. “I’m chasing the winter away with cake” I said.

“I think that’s the most hippyish thing you’ve ever said” she replied, “What’s it got in it? I feel there’s something you’re not telling me.”

Arlo looked at it suspiciously and fixed me with a glare. “What’s the hidden ingredient?”  Honestly, talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Anyway, after yesterday’s muffins I still had some frozen berries left so I thought I’d use them for the swiss roll filling. I defrosted about a cup full, stirred in some sugar to taste and a teaspoon of cornflour and put it in the microwave for a minute, stirring after 30 seconds. This thickens the berries (you can of course put it in a saucepan and heat on the stove). The picture is before they went into the microwave – not good I agree.

If you want to make a Swiss roll that doesn’t crack when you roll it, this is a recipe that works. Line a 7 x12 inch tin with baking parchment making sure that there’s enough sticking up for you to grab hold of when the cake’s done. Whisk two eggs and 2oz caster sugar together until pale, thick and creamy. Add 2oz self raising flour slowly and mix it in with a fork. Pour the mixture carefully into the tin and bake for about 12 minutes – or until it’s lightly browned –  in a moderate oven.

As soon as the baking parchment”s cool enough to hold, remove the cake from the tin onto a wire cooling rack and slowly remove the cake from the parchment, rolling it up as you go. Get rid of the paper and then unroll the Swiss roll carefully, spread with the warm filling, roll up again and dust with caster sugar. It’ll be inside out, but it won’t crack.

“Smells delicious” said the beloved, “Tastes delicious too.”

But it’s raining harder than ever…

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