It’s been a few weeks since my last post so I thought I would update you all on what I have been up to.
Where was I? Oh yes, the faulty dishwasher turned out to be unrepairable. Cue several weeks of going backwards and forwards between the manufacturer and the supplier trying to get a replacement. In the end we decided to pay a bit extra and upgrade to a Neff appliance. The supplier agreed to cover the costs of disconnecting the old one, installing the new one and putting the kitchen back together. Finally I have a working dishwasher and normality has returned to our household.
I had been commissioned to make a special cake for a 30th anniversary. The client wanted two different flavoured sponges spliced together to form a figure of eight and covered in buttercream roses. She pretty much left the rest up to me so I decided on strawberry and Prosecco for one of the cakes and chocolate for the other. I also decided to try and make Italian meringue buttercream for the roses as this would give a better finish. This is complicated and requires a lot of ingredients so I was anxious to get it right. You have to whisk egg whites and sugar together whilst cooking a sugar syrup to exactly 235 degrees. Once it hits that magic number you have to swiftly but carefully drizzle it into the egg whites, whisking all the time until it becomes thick and glossy. If the syrup is not hot enough it won’t cook the egg whites and the meringue won’t work. Too hot and the mixture will seize up. You then need to continue whisking the meringue until the bowl is cooled right down. Now you switch to a paddle and beat the mixture whilst adding in butter, a shedload of butter, one small cube at a time until the buttercream is smooth and light. This is where I made a rookie error. I used salted butter instead of unsalted and although the mixture looked right, because it contained half a kilo of butter it was far too salty to use on the cake.
This was the point at which I had a mini breakdown as I realised that I would have to repeat the whole process again, so I pulled up my big girls pants, jumped into my car and drove to the supermarket for fresh supplies of butter. Once home I started again, weighing everything out beforehand to make things easier and this time it tasted delicious! Finally I was able to finish the cake in Barbie pink and cream roses, finished with pearl lustre powder as it was for a pearl anniversary.
The client came to pick up the cake the following morning and she was blown away by it. She went away happy and I started work on preparations for an afternoon tea party I had been asked to host by the winner of my Facebook competition. She wanted to donate her prize of a cream tea to her former colleagues who were all nurses at a local hospice. These wonderful ladies took care of my beloved godmother Pam as she battled cancer, making the final days of her life as dignified as possible so I was delighted to be able to give them a special treat. The homemade scones with clotted cream and jam, freshly baked cupcakes and strawberries were well received as was my beautiful vintage china and everything looked so pretty.
I spent today, my Silver wedding anniversary washing and sorting the china I had used and running errands. My husband is unfortunately away with work but my mum and my sister didn’t want to let such an important day go unnoticed so they came over for dinner and we had a lovely, relaxed, girlie evening. I’m glad I don’t have to get up early tomorrow as I’m very tired!
This weekend Big and I fly off to Corsica for a holiday so I will be taking a break from baking for a few weeks but I have plenty of work lined up for when we return so I will fill you in on my plans then.
Thanks for reading. Xx