Hello dearest ones,
I thought I would play catch up here with what I’ve been doing over the last few weeks so this is an integrated ‘this is what I have been up to’ story and my reading list!
I am busy reading The Camino: A pilgrimage of courage by Shirley Maclaine. Walking the camino is on my list of things to do at some point. This is a starting point to get me there.
I had a craving for chocolate soufflés the other night so I made some from Mastering Simplicity. It is a recipe I’ve had bookmarked for ages and ages and it is ridiculously simple – butter, chocolate, sugar and eggs. If you made it differently you could make a chocolate mousse. Chocolate soufflés (which I always always always want to pronouce su-ful in a ridiculous voice because my mother does) remind me (and Jen, it turns out) of that silly, ridiculous and yet wonderful movie Because I Said So. (I am a big fan of ridiculous and totally romantic movies. Also how many times can I say ridiculous in one paragraph? A lot it turns out.) I love that movie because of the cakes and because of the way Mandy Moore’s character has the psychic ability to know when chocolate soufflés are done. I mean who does not want that ability? Andrés and I shared one, as it came out of the oven and then we cooled and refrigerated the other to eat greedily the following day. The cold soufflé was like a mix between a mousse and a fondant. Rich, creamy, smooth, decadent. Andrés says he prefers them that way which makes me think he doesn’t actually like soufflés. I prefer them hot, at a temperature almost to burn your tongue. Next time I’ll make some custard to pour inside it.
Did you watch the Great British Bake-Off final? I did! I even managed to watch it on the night it aired which made me feel super accomplished because normally I’m at least a week behind the times. And it means we can talk about it in the office at work. I am officially converted as a fan of GBBO. It is just so lovely. And everyone cried! Too sweet. And even though I was slightly stressed at certain points, I actually enjoyed watching! (And I’ve told you about it without revealing the winner, just in case you’re still in the dark. I am such a nice person.)
I tried to make Molly Yeh’s funfetti cake last weekend. It has been on my list like all year. I wanted to make it for my birthday but that never happened so I finally got round to making it last week (only like 7 months too late but never mind). It was a total fail! The cake itself was fantastic (like proper birthday cake from your childhood) but the sprinkles I used disappeared.There was no pop of colour! So this is now an ongoing project. Ali is going to send me both sprinkles and the original box cake mix from the US so I can experiment – maybe British sprinkles aren’t up to the task? Maybe I need a different flour? Different oil? I’m not sure yet but watch this space!
I made Deb’s broccoli and cheddar soup. Because autumn. And cheesy soup.
We ate it with Small Food Bakery‘s radford wild sourdough. I love love love Small Food Bakery. It is a 10 minute walk from my house and a few Saturdays ago I wandered up the street in the morning to buy bread and pastries. We had a very lazy breakfast at around noon, first eating eggs with jamón on sourdough and having the pastries for dessert. It’s only open Fridays and Saturdays but worth a trip every week. I’m hoping Kim will hold a sourdough course soon. I couldn’t make her last one and want to learn the art to sourdough croissants!
Yesterday I visited Sutton Bonington farmers market. I haven’t been in over a year. It was awesome and I spent far too much money but they had sour cherry chocolate! And really awesome squash. And flour that I’m going to make bread with over the weekend!
I’ve been eating much overnight oats with raspberry yoghurt and apples (picked from the community garden!) It’s my ideal autumn breakfast during the week. It doesn’t require me to actually be functional in the morning and is easily transportable to work if I’m running late (basically every morning…)
I worked a final shift at the Pudding Pantry. And I got to make this cake, which for the record is dark chocolate, salted caramel and cookies ‘n cream in flavour. And have a ridiculous series of photos taken for funsies.
Maybe you haven’t noticed yet but Christmas is on its way. I am excited because it is my favourite holiday. Gingerbread. Mince pies. Ham cooked in coca cola. Fairy lights. Shop windows. Generally excessive behaviour. Champagne. Roast potatoes in duck fat. I could go on but I do also believe Christmas is a December activity! There is still Halloween to look forward to! But, just in case anyone is very organised, I really want this calendar for 2016!
I don’t know if you remember but last year I discovered a bookshop with a bar. It was in Hudson, NY. And I thought it was a brilliant idea. But then I read this story from David Lebovitz about Butter & Scotch, a bakery-bar in Brooklyn and now I am obsessed with opening a bar/bakery/bookshop. Maybe I’ll call it Triple B’s?! (That sounds kind of naughty doesn’t it?) That is my new life’s ambition. Along with all the others…
That is all!