Our regular lunchtime haunt on weekends is the Pig and Pastry café, Petersham. After enjoying savoury dishes we normally crave a chocolate treat.
Last Sunday we were not disappointed; a variation on an eclair. None of the traditional choux pastry and cream was to be seen. Instead, alternating blobs of milk and white chocolate cream sandwiched between Genoese fingers topped with chocolate icing. Delicious!
While growing up in the UK I would make multiple Christmas cakes, puddings and chocolate logs for friends and family. Since living in Australia, whenever moving house we have tried to reduce the volume of chattels. The various sized round and square cake tins went to the charity shop some time ago.
To celebrate the visit of our niece from England for New Year, I have come out of retirement, so to speak. The above is the result of a trusted Harrods Cookery Book recipe after I burnt Delia’s; it wasn’t her fault, I had the oven too hot. Most of my cookery books predate modern fan forced ovens. I was amazed to find the decorations in the biscuit tin where we keep birthday cake candles, piping nozzles and cutters.
As I enjoy a second mince pie for breakfast this morning, the pudding and cake are silently calling “eat me, eat me”.
I have baked this mini Christmas cake to celebrate my connection with you. Even though I won’t have the opportunity to see or speak to you today, I would like to wish you peace, love and understanding (PLU).
The cake recipe:
I used: half the sugar; brandy instead of rum; and added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Using large paper cases in large muffin tins make 18 cakes.
There are periods of time around mid-morning when my mind seems to switch into standby mode. Maybe it’s to do with my blood sugar level. On this particular day I was experiencing a foggy head coupled with a difficulty to process words spoken to me.
Thoughts of a vanilla slice filled my mind as we drove to a local cake shop in Dulwich Hill. Heading past the savouries, I gazed longingly at the crisp, golden pastries, fruit tarts, croissants and brightly iced sponge squares.
A stout, pale skinned lady with red hair advised us that sour cherry was today’s special filling. After selecting one slice of tart and one of strudel the shop assistant enquired “any xing alse?” Noticing a lonely savoury egg tart on a cake stand atop the counter I pointed to it and requested the flan. The archetypal dinner lady purred “iz keeesh!”, “yes we’ll take that too” I replied. “Any xing alse?” she asked.
Spotting hot cross buns packaged in boxes of six my mind wandered to the early nineties, this matronly figure reminded of Iris with whom I briefly worked. “Hot cross buns please, two”, “better if buy six” she said, “yes two boxes please”. “any xing alse?”, “no, thank you”. I didn’t catch the next question as Iris look-a-like gestured in the direction of the coffee machine. I turned to my partner, “coffee?”, he thought this was very funny as I was being offered a carrier bag. Iris with the Eastern European sounding accent asked “vair you from?” ” I don’t know today, I’m all over the place”, I exclaimed with a laugh as I grabbed the purchases and beat a hasty retreat from the shop.