Sunday, 4 December 2011

52 Recipe Challenge - Week 22.

I was debating if this blog post could technically be classed as week 21 but after some deliberation have decided that I'd have to write off week 21. Last week was the last week of the NaNoWriMo challenge and I tried writing for hours to reach my goal of 50,000 words on my novel by the end of November but I had to admit defeat at 11 on the 30th when I had reached 47,365 words.  This is a good 46,000 words more than I wrote last month and probably three times as much as i had written in the last three or four years so I'm pleased to have got that far.

Doing NaNoWriMo has been fun but it has been time consuming and has made me neglect doing new recipes for the blog so I decided it's about time I get back to my cooking and baking!

This week I decided to try the: Apple, Pear and Honey Cake by Daniel in the Bristol Community Cake Book.

To make this you need:

200g Plain Flour
100g Caster Sugar
150g butter/ margarine
3 Eggs
30g Honey
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 small Apple
4 small Pears
A bit of apple juice
200g Icing Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Granulated sugar.

To start off I turned the oven on to full whack as I measured the flour and then sifted it into the mixing bowl.

Then I turned it down to the recommended 180c/ gas mark 4 and added the caster sugar, baking powder, butter, eggs and honey.

Once I had put all of these in the bowl I mixed it all together until it was combined and then put the mixture to one side as I greased and lined my cake tins.

When the cake tins were lined I gave the mix a quick stir again before peeling 1 apple and 1 pear then trying to core the apple. I didn’t do too well at this so the apple broke in half... I ended up chopping bits of core out of the apple and then slicing the remnants of the apple thinly.

Once I finished chopping the apple I put it in the mixing bowl. After the apple disaster I decided against trying to core the pear and sliced it up thinly until I reached the core then stopped, then as with the apple I put the sliced up pear in the mixing bowl.

Following the instructions in the recipe I gently folded the fruit in being careful not to break it.  Once the fruit was mixed in I put the mixture in the waiting cake tins and then put them in the oven for 20 – 25 mins.

After my 20 minute timer went off I checked on the cakes and one of the looked down but the other didn’t so I took the one which looked done out and swapped it for the one which needed more time.  I tested the cake I took out of the oven with a metal kebab skewer to be on the safe side and then checked the other cake out a few minutes later.  The second cake sponge looked out and seemed to meet the kebab skewer test but when I turned it over it looked anaemic so I put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes until it was golden brown all over.

Whilst the second sponge was in the oven I set about making a pear puree to use in the middle of the cake and to ice the top.  To do this I peeled and chopped up three more pears and put them in some apple juice in a small saucepan until they were soft.  Once they were all cooked and soft I put them in my blender and blitzed them but when I finished blitzing I realised I’d made a smoothie.... so I put the mix back in the sauce pan and reduced it down to a puree consistency.

Whilst the puree mix was simmering I peeled attempted to core and tried to slice an apple into thin rings.  I was marginally successful at this... i put these rings on to a greased and lined baking tray.

Once I had done this the puree mix was now a puree consistency so I poured it from the pan into a bowl and tried to add icing sugar to make it into pear icing but it kept soaking up the sugar.  Eventually it seemed to start becoming a bit icing like so I decided that was good enough for me and used it to sandwich together the sponges.
After doing this I turned the oven on to grill mode and sprinkled the apple rings and bits with sugar and put them under the grill.  I tried to faff with the icing a little more but realised I needed to focus on the apple rings so they didn’t all burn.  I got the apple rings out and threw the burnt bits, then I put a bit more icing on the cake and tried to arrange the apple pieces appetisingly. I looked at the picture in my book and then at my cake which didn’t look like that and despaired a little.

Then I showed it to my boyfriend and family who said it looked nice, then that it tasted nice.

So it goes to show, don’t always judge your baking or cooking against the pictures in the recipe books!

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