I started this blog about a year and half ago (to the day almost) and only whilst looking back I realised that this blog does not reflect even half of the baking that I do and there are a number of reasons for this:
1) some of the baking is functional, uninteresting and not particularly blogworthy;
2) I sit down to eat it and realise I haven’t taken a photo or took note of what I was doing;
3) it was a disaster!
To be honest, I have been better of late with points 1 and 2 and have made extra efforts to make things that are interesting (to me at least) and also since I got my new lens for my birthday I take photos of everything. That just leaves point 3! Well despite all my best efforts some things just don’t work out, and usually because I have overlooked some seriously basic issue mistake. July was one of those months! Despite a good start to the month with a special birthday cake for my brother, the rest of the month appears very quiet on the blog. I was away for one week on holiday so I can be forgiven for that but not the rest.
I had a friend’s birthday 2 weekends ago and decided to make a dessert cake because he already had a Birthday cake. I decided on the Saturday night I would make something simple like a sponge or something so I left it until the morning of the birthday to bake. When I woke up Sunday morning I had one of those genius moments of making a cake version of my rhubarb and ginger cupcakes I made previously. Simple!
So I finely chopped all the rhubarb, and while I was doing this my mind decided to wander. I decided I would make a rhubarb tart, which then morphed into a Rhubarb Meringue Pie. I went from the ‘tried and tested’ to the ‘unknown’ in about 10 minutes. I found a recipe for rhubarb curd which was simple enough to do and looked amazing in the pictures. I made my pastry from my Michel Roux book and my meringue with my left over rhubarb syrup. What could possibly go wrong??
Well for a start it took about 4 hours in total to do all this so I was already regretting leaving it to do the morning of the party. Having never made rhubarb curd before this, I didn’t really know what I was doing so I was relying on the recipe to be spot on. I’m not sure if it was lack of skill or patience on my part but my curd didn’t set fully but as it was a filling in a pie I decided it would be fine.
I assembled the whole pie, meringue looking good and put it under the grill to brown while I went to put the kids shoes on as we were running late at this point. This took longer than I thought, and when I returned to the kitchen the meringue was slightly over-caramelised (polite way of saying burnt). I had some meringue left over so himself helped me remove the burnt meringue and replace it and returned it under the grill and watched it carefully. What I didn’t bargain for was my barely set curd wouldn’t withstand 2 blasts of heat and it turned into a runny mess! The meringue was floating on top of rhubarb flavoured custard. I agree, that doesn’t sound like a major problem, and in fairness it did taste fine, it just lacked the structure of a pie!
My second disaster of the month included a simple shortbread recipe from one of new books by Mary Berry that I bought in London recently. I decided to make these to accompany my second batch of rhubarb curd as eating the whole bowl with a teaspoon seemed a little…uncivilised. The shortbread was easy to make and all went swimmingly and was lovely with the curd. The only criticism I had about the shortbread was that it had a slightly chewiness. About a week later I realised I made another basic error. I had accidentally used polenta instead of semolina in the recipe! Explains the chewiness but it also lesson learned! Unmarked plastic containers in the press lead to silly mistakes.
So you see blogging isn’t always successful. There is alot of trial and error. Unfortunately errors sometimes lead to infrequent updates! Hopefully my run of bad luck is over!