Last weekend my focus was on baking. There were two reasons. Firstly, a feature in (Ireland’s) Food & Wine Magazine had written up a selection of classic old time recipes that evoked nostalgia for simpler times with Victoria Sponge Cake, Lemon Drizzle Cake and Oatmeal Cookies numbered amongst them.
Secondly my mother decided to pass on her Kenwood Major in the knowledge that of her four daughters and three sons I am the one in the baking phase of life. From a practical point of view with the others away in Sydney, Rome, Albuquerque, London and Dublin and I being the closest to home it makes it all the more likely that she will get to test some of the fare.
First up for her to sample was Sundried Tomato bread. Straight out of the oven or reheated on the microwave for ten seconds this is absolutely a triumph. A wettish, sticky dough, brushed with olive oil it spread to produce a rustic, airy bread embedded with bites of sundried cherry tomatoes. I used the dough hook on the Kenwood to combine all the ingredients and mixed on the lowest setting for about 6 minutes. Allowed to rest in a bowl for an hour and then baked for 30 minutes it was delicious.
Yesterday my gifted neighbour Abina gave me an excuse to start using my long wished for Nikon D5000. Abina regularly pops over with these amazing creations. The delicately puffed up layers of perfectly cooked pastry were sandwiched together with a chocolate, baileys and raspberry cream filling and greedy fingers vied for the melted chocolate, raspberries and strawberries on top.
My kids are constantly saying that Abina should open a bakery and having sampled many a melting chocolate mousse cake, divine apple tarts, heavenly pavlovas and more recently a “to die for” toffee and apple pudding I wholeheartedly agree.
I am planning a trip to the English Market next weekend to get to grips with my camera. My macro lens is on order so watch this space for some good looking food.
Til next time, Sheila