I've actually had a relatively good day's study. Four hours at five o'clock in the afternoon is pretty decent. Of course I'm not entirely sure I've learnt anything. I'm doing the questions again (third? time) and it's like... yes I am still getting X wrong. Least I know what it is and I've got precise notes on what the answer SHOULD be. I have this weekend to do the questions and then four whole days to memorise the missing elements.
Cake moment. Have I mentioned the Daring Bakers? I'm still in debate on whether to join. This month's challenge was almost off-putting. Gluten free crackers? Is that my future? Spending a Saturday a month making dishes I won't really eat? Hmm. Given I've found a new love in Scottish Oatcakes when I was I was in Aberdeen perhaps I shouldn't be hasty. We shall see. But I am beginning to make a HUGE list of recipes I MUST try.
Things I found reading the two books I bought yesterday - the biscuit one really is OTT in the amount of colouring they add to almost everything. I shall be remedying that. By, er, not buying a single recommended colouring. We own one bottle of food colouring in this house and it is used in miniscule amounts to try and tint the edge of the icing. We use Bird's custard powder to make egg tarts yellower (the colouring is in there but it FEELS less toxic). Either way, very happy I bought the book and you can hold with baited breath to watch me fake corn syrup. Golden Syrup apparently doesn't cut it in all cases.
The Magnolia cookbook I have decided to keep. Brother dearest just took a look and said, "Well if you don't like it, just give it to someone for Christmas." The solution to all Christmas shopping for him is raiding the downstairs room. OOOH Just realised this Xmas I might be able to go see my cousin's baby. "Irrelevant" says the New York Times. Ok, well the big a$$ coconut cake on the front. Is big because they make three layers. Cheats. Also, the frosting is as far as I can tell, Italian Meringue. I had an internal conflict here as raw eggs are something that we don't usually use for baking purposes. Last year I used the dried egg whites for royal icing on my gingerbread house and this year I've tried Swiss Meringue Buttercream which cooks the egg whites over a bain marie. I *think* I've been convinced by the BBC food forumites to just go for it. But I won't be telling my mother what's in the frosting!
For your loving dis-interest and because it saves me saving bookmarks each time I reformat the hard drive - William Curley gives the recipe for a) Truffles b) The chocolate thing I ate at the dessert bar. Note he doesn't give the recipe for the "hazelnut and almond Dacquoise, chocolate biscuit jaconde, milk chocolate and praline Feuillantine, praline ice cream, orange caramel compot and confir kumquats". Well he has to keep some secrets!
You might want to take note - he's won some awards for his chocolates so I don't know, he might be some good? xx