May Fare

Fete-ful Fudge Fest 

Last year I was asked to make fudge for a parish fete. This year I was asked to do so again and invited to assist at the stall where the fudge would be sold. I agreed to both and the fudge-making began five days beforehand (16th May). I decided to try different recipes: one from a recipe book sold many years ago in aid of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, one cut out of a magazine and one downloaded from a commercial website. All three required different types of sugar, or different types of milk (evaporated, condensed or ordinary) or a combination of two. Altogether I made four batches, including one with fruit and nut. What a blissful week that was! 

This haiku by "Amanda in Scarlet" sums up my feelings for fudge: 

Layers and folds yield 
to pressure, tongue sinks - dissolves 
into soft, sweet bliss.
Training Days 

Wholewheat scones: worthy but dull
I am now preparing for another local event: the baking competition component of a forthcoming horticultural show. I entered last year without checking out the standard and typical fare. This year I will be better prepared. The style is old school so I have begun trying out scones using recipes from Doreen Fulleylove's Country Fare. Last Thursday (26th May) I made Doreen's wholewheat scones - worthy but dull - and her Norfolk scone - now that's more like it but I think it might still be too avant garde for the July baking competition. 
Norfolk scone: too avant garde?

The ingredients for the Norfolk scone include self-raising flour, butter, eggs and milk with a filling consisting of butter, currants, nutmeg and demerara sugar. In an effort to use up ingredients in my store-cupboard I substituted dried blueberries for currants, hence the jammy liquid that oozed out. I may have overbaked this scone but it tasted good all the same. I will try out other recipes over the coming weeks and not just for scones. Expect to read about tea bracks, shortbread biscuits, apple tarts and gingerbread. The spouse is working on sweet peas for the horticultural show. 

Cryptic clue: Theatre Cat in Season 

This luxury vegetable is in season so I thought I would make the torte as per the recipe in the Norfolk's Own Cookbook. I'm afraid I cannot guarantee the provenance of the vegetable that I bought but I doubt it was from Norfolk. 

Oven-ready theatre cat
Ingredients: butter, Parmesan cheese, the mystery vegetable, an onion, eggs, yoghurt (I didn't use double cream as listed in the book) and parsley. Quite fiddly but I did the prep work in stages during the afternoon. The husband and I had the torte for our supper. Verdict: delicious, very tangy. 

Rosemary and Rhubarb

Rhubarb and orange cake
What a fruitful weekend I've had. Yesterday I baked a rhubarb and orange cake from Norfolk's Own Cookbook for a 30th birthday celebration. I haven't tasted it yet but it's looking good. 
Ingredients: butter, golden caster sugar, eggs, flour, oranges (zest and juice), ground almonds, rhubarb and flaked almonds. 

And from my Good Housekeeping Step by Step Baking I made an iced rosemary cake. 
Ingredients: sprigs of rosemary - the thrill of using fresh rosemary from my garden-, butter, caster sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, flour and milk; for the glaze: icing sugar, grated orange rind and orange juice (to which is added rosemary-infused water). Result: glorious, not a cake to rue. 

From Sir Thomas Moore: 
Iced rosemary cake: good for the spirit

As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language.

That's all for now. 



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