Saturday 4 June 2016

Adventures in Baking 3: Blueberry & Orange Cake with Lady Grey Syrup

It's clearly time for some more Adventures in Baking.  And there is also a convenient birthday that requires cake.  So here we are again!

Step 1: Make cup of tea

Step 2:  Send crazy children outside to play in the rain.

Step 3:  Cue daggy music.  Just discovered "Fun" digital radio station #ftw Belinda Carlisle on the radio #win.  Loads of fab 80s music.  Although I had some disconcerting high school flashbacks when Yazz' The Only Way is Up came on.  (Go on, click the link, you know you want to re-live it!)

Step 4:  clear up kitchen enough for photos to be taken without you realising how messy it really is ;)

Step 5:  Realise this recipe requires every piece of kitchen equipment I own.  Try to locate them all.

Step 6:  commence

Step 7: Use crazy methods to soften the butter.

Step 8: Find tasks for the children to 'help' with.

Step 9: Cream butter & sugar (caster sugar had to be milled in the TMX because I couldn't find it!)

Step 10: Add orange zest.  Use slave labour help to obtain said orange zest.

Step 11: Add egg yolks one at a time & beat, then add ricotta & beat til light & fluffy

Step 12: Add almond meal (again, thanks Thermie), flour & baking powder

Step 13: Use slave labour help to beat egg whites

Step 14: Check mixture is not too stiff to fold in the egg whites.  Add dash of milk if necessary - I did do this, but I think that I should have given it another dash.  Took a while to fold in the egg whites.

Step 15: Add half of batter to pre-greased tin. I put a little more than half in, I'd be more careful next time as I think all the blueberries will be a little close to the stop.  I'm also wondering if using some of the orange juice would intensify the flavour further, or whether the milk is required for clever chemistry reasons...

Step 16: Add half of blueberries, dusted with a skerrick of flour (don't they look like sugar plums) - so they don't sink (thanks Annabel).  Following instructions carefully, I didn't put any near the edges so the cake would have a solid wall.

Step 17: Add remainder of batter and scatter remaining blueberries, pushing them in a little.

Step 18: Threaten nagging children that there will be no bowl licking if they continue nagging.

Step 19: Ignore their howls of anguish.

Step 20: Surreptitiously (or not:  it winds the kids up more if they see you) lick the batter.  The flavour is incredibly delicate, which surprised me as the orange flavour was quite strong at first.  The addition of the ricotta & egg whites lightens it.  I cannot wait to try the final product :D

Step 21: Put cake in oven and get onto the Earl Grey Syrup.

My tea-drinking buddy sorting out the tea for the syrup
Step 22: Make another cup of tea.  This time it's legit.

Step 23:  Make syrup:  magic happened when the syrup ingredients were combined.  Oh my.  It reminded me of orange blossom.  The fragrance became more floral as it heated, with the citrus less obvious.

Step 24: Put slave labour on to the clean up job, starting with bowl-licking

Step 25:  Be delighted that it looks like the picture

Step 26:  Make a pot of tea.  This time it's for the visitors, promise.

Step 27:  Serve on best china & eat

Step 28:  (only if alone) lick syrup from plate.  I didn't do this.  I would have.  The syrup is just divine, and went well with fruit, it would also suit ice cream or other lovely things.  It would possibly even go well in a soda water for a refreshing summer drink.

I wonder if this would also be lovely made with frozen cranberries - the flavours should match, and that would look soo pretty :)

Don't you just love the watercolour portraits princess did today of herself & the dude.  Clearly, nothing else would suffice for a birthday table decoration.

gratuitous china photo ;)

Note to self:  I cooked it a little fast.  Will cook at 170 for longer in future.  The cake was a little underdone, although it was golden & crispy on the edges (as per recipe) Still getting used to our new oven & which fan-forced temps to use & which to ignore.

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