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Weather dependent…

September 8, 2012

It’s been sunny for two days in a row. Have I made the most of it? Not really. Yesterday I made pastry – baked it too – cooked dates in preparation for a sticky toffee date cake and made almond macaroons. Today I made the sticky toffee date cake and  a lemon tart and a chocolate cake and a Bakewell tart. Sounds a lot. Looks a lot too, and my wrist is giving me a bit of jip. This is all because it’s my birthday tomorrow and I’m inviting some friends to a cake fest. We going to be outside. The sun had better put in an appearance…

The Bakewell tart looks better than usual and I think it’s because I ran out of ground almonds and had to blanch and then skin, then grind the almonds myself. They were quite wet – that’ll be the boiling water they were soaked in – and were more lumpy than usual.  Rella would have people believe that it’s because she had to make the pastry (which is difficult with an arm in plaster).

The recipe is the one I always use except for the almonds: chuck 4oz whole almonds in boiling water for a couple of minutes – until their skins are soft, then pop the almond out of its skin (there’s probably a use for the skins, but I can’t think of one off hand). Blitz the almonds in a grinder until they resemble breadcrumbs.  Then in a bowl mix 4oz soft butter and 4oz sugar, add two eggs incorporating the whites  before adding the yolks and then fold in the almonds and 4oz self raising flour. Add a little milk or water if the mixture’s too stiff. Pour the mixture into a part baked pastry case which you’ve generously covered with jam of your choice (raspberry today), scatter flaked almonds over the top and bake in a moderate oven about 180c until golden.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating as they say. Watch this space.

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