Acts of Kitchen: Kate makes jam

AoK_logo_v2

In which I make a chiffon cake and a kale (I know) and potato pie, and Kate talks about the amazing world of jams and jellies and chutneys and marmalades.

IMG_1396.JPG

My sponges

The Monday Morning Cooking Club, and my discussion with them.

mmcc_frontcover_fin-copy-539x618

Kate’s website, and Facebook page

An example of the amount of fruit she sometimes gets:

20170123_160234.jpeg

 

 

Acts of Kitchen: Monday Morning Cooking Club

AoK_logo_v2In this episode, I CONQUER A NEMESIS – sponge cake! – and cook from The Feast Goes On, and talk to Natanya and Merelyn from the Monday Morning Cooking Club (you should totally check them out) about their books and cooking in general.

mmccthefeast

The sponge cake recipe to DEFEAT ALL ENEMIES. Look what I created! img_1318

My bagels: 

img_1313

Acts of Kitchen 8: cooking for dozens

AoK_logo_v2In which I discuss CAKE and Gillian discusses cooking for the masses.

The first cake mentioned (sponge)

The second cake mentioned.

The third cake (chocolate and beetroot) is similar to this one. I made the version in Annabel Crabb’s Special Delivery. 

The fourth cake (I call them mandarines, Nigella calls them clementines…)

Email acts of kitchen at gmail, or leave a comment here, or a review on iTunes!

I hate sponge

Or it hates me, who knows.

On the weekend, I supervised a sponge being made by my niece (3) and mother in law (of episode 7 fame). We used a recipe from Taste, and we weighed the eggs because homegrown eggs are larger than store-bought ones. We had to increase all ingredients by an eighth, which we did, and the result was AWESOME. Fluffy sponge! So I thought, Hey, now I know the secret! I can do this!

IMG_1255.JPG

This was the result today of using Anneka Manning’s recipe in BakeClass. I am very disappointed. Especially since I have also been challenged to Sponge by my own mother (she of episode 1). So next time I will be making the version from the website, and if that works… well, I won’t feel like this is quite my fault.

ETA: it doesn’t look quite so bad when on top of one another. I filled it with apple butter that I made today, as well as cream (obviously).

IMG_1256.JPG

Acts of Kitchen episode 7: learning to cook and teaching to cook

AoK_logo_v2In which Robyn discusses baking for her grandmother, cooking with small children and letting teenagers choose menus, and changing food availability.

And then, We Make Sponge.

Email your comments to acts of kitchen at gmail dot com!

IMG_1180

IMG_1181

This is the recipe that we tried to follow. As you can see, not a whole lot detail!

IMG_1183IMG_1184

Above is what the cake looked like when it came out of the oven. Not a complete failure, but still far from perfect… of course, we still ate the whole lot.

IMG_1185

Desserts, baby

IMG_1123.JPG1. A dessert that worked.

This is from Indian Made EasyThey’re carrot and orange balls, where those things have been simmered in milk until they go mushy and then the mush is fried in butter and cardamom for a while. Then the mixture is formed into balls, once cold, and then drizzled with chocolate and pistachio (which is what I tried to do artistically on the plates at the back). They were delicious.

2. A dessert that didn’t work.IMG_1128.JPG

Recipe from BakeClass. What I really have to say here is I HATE YOU SPONGE. I really thought that I had mixed it properly – there were no gloopy bits in the mixture – and I thought I had cooked it long enough, because it looked the right colour and it sprang back when touched. It had risen and everything! But then when I put it on the tea towel I noticed that it immediately stuck. And then after I unrolled it, spread it with jam, and went to roll it again off the towel… well. It stuck a lot.

Sponge. Again.

This book was provided by the publisher at no cost.

UnknownPreviously, on BakeClass: rhubarb cake; self-saucing pudding; the book itself.

When I tried to make lamingtons, I mentioned that I have yet to conquer The Sponge. I thought that maybe BakeClass would help; after all, it’s got step by step instructions that are pretty clear.

The setting: one friend who saw The Fifth Element about eight years ago; another who had maybe seen bits; and a third who had never seen it. The perfect excuse to test my sponge-making abilities.

I carefully read the instructions, and they seemed to make sense. I got the eggs out hours before I was going to make the cake, so they would definitely be at room temperature. I measured everything scrupulously. I even did the grease the tin – line the tin – grease the paper thing as commanded.
I came unstuck at the last instruction: after sifting over the flour and cornflour, and then the warm milk and butter, I was to beat briefly until flour was combined – but not for TOO long. My panic was this: how do I KNOW when it’s combined? There was still a speck of IMG_0895flour on the top; I presume that means it’s not combined? That cake-y type consistency at the bottom of the bowl, is that good or bad? Does it mean I’ve over-beaten? OH NO WHAT HAVE I DONE. This is the first instruction I’ve found in the book that’s not as precise as I would have appreciated.

And then it seemed to take longer to bake then it ought to have. Maybe it’s my oven. I should get on that.

Anyway, once cooked the sponge had this effect on the top. I think this was as a result of the cake-y consistency and that it means it was over-beaten.

IMG_0896They didn’t rise as much as I would have hoped, as you can see. Still it must be said that these were better than the sponges I made last time, so I guess there’s hope? They were a bit fluffier, for sure.

I filled the cake with whipped cream, of course, and with Kate’s What Eve Did Next  – an apple and lavender jelly that’s just amazing. I sprinkled some lavender on top and everything. How fancy is that?

ETA: how could I have forgotten the result?? Despite my misgivings, five of us managed to polish the entire thing off over the course of the movie (which was only two serves each; the beloved managed to get one…). It wasn’t as airy as I would have liked, and a couple of spots tasted a bit… eggy, maybe? I think it was the swirly bit featured on top. The Eve was delicious but probably could have had a bit more added – the recipe called for something like 225g of raspberry jam, and I used nowhere near that much because it sounded far too over the top!

IMG_0897