Monday, December 22, 2008

ho ho ho and bah-humbug


On the twelve days of Christmas my true love gave to me....

cupcakes a plenty.

well really, the three days of Christmas. One every day until Christmas Day. which is three! hurrah!

And on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me vanilla caramel cakes.

These are a no-brainer. The cakes are dead simple and come courtesy of the lovely Nigella Lawson.

Put 125g of each butter, sugar and self raising flour in a blender/mixer with two large eggs and a little vanilla extract. Mix. Add just enough milk to make a good batter, about a couple of tablespoons. Put into the liners and bake for about 18 minutes.

The caramel was to use up some of the caramel syrup left over from the last daring bakers challenge (speaking of which this month's as yet as no place on my calendar, but I'll see how I go). I simply mixed about 100g of butter with about 200g of icing sugar, added the syrup and enough cream to form the right consistency.

And this icing was lovely. If you remember (or if you scroll down a couple of posts) I found the official one a little sweet. Don't know what it was, but this was better. Either the butter/sugar ratio suited me more, or simply that it make the correct amount so I wasn't slathering it on.

..... which brings me to the bah-humbug.

Please, I beseech thee. I BEG thee.

If you're a recipe writer can I ask that you do two things.

First - write all the components in the order that you need to make them. If you need a syrup, or a glaze or a puree for the main show, say so up front. Don't make me get half way through and then have you say 'add the syrup, see recipe below'. I know you should read all the way through a recipe first, but darn it I'm a busy, modern, work-a-day kinda gal and I forget these things. Put the syrup first.

Secondly, if I need a cup of syrup, can you give me the recipe for this. Not for three litres of the stuff. There aren't enough mouths in my house to use the left over syrup, and as I'm too Scottish to chuck it away, it sits, dormant, in the back of my fridge for years. Literally.

You may be able to tell I've encountered these problems recently. And I think I've totally stuffed up Christmas Day desert. Maybe I'll make an extra batch of cakes!

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