Tuesday, 5 May 2009

My dear Maderia

The baking experiment went surprisingly well. Faced with the decision to either buy a sponge from the shops to use in the Birthday Trifle, or be brave and hit the aga, my disbelief in buying shop bought cakes overruled my nervousness of the beast.

The sponge came out better than expected, though it was, shall we say slightly darker than normal and also rather lopsided. It did however taste pretty good and would be just the job sliced up and drenched in sherry for the Birthday Trifle (I know, Darling boy is just one year old and therefore not really a suitable candidate for sherry, but he can have the top layers)

Motivated by my sponge success, and with the Darling boy in nursery for the day, I decided to make the most of the opportunity and bake some cookies and biscuits to have in store for the big weekend. First up was honey and ginger biscuits that I have baked a few times. There were thinner and more spread out that usual, which I put down to the hot-hot-heat of the roasting oven. The first batch were sadly, mostly only fit for the worms, as they were cinders. The next batch however were morely closer watched and came out squidgy, gingery and deliciously honey flavoured. We plan to get some bees next spring and I can’t wait to make these with our own honey.

Next up was a batch of cinnamon cookies, which came out very well, fragrant, sweet and suitably doughy. They came out of the aga just in time for the in-laws arrival and Darling boys return from nursery with Handsome husband. We enjoyed a selection of both with a cuppa and a gossip in the run up to bath time.

From baking the sponge and biscuits, I found that any cakes in the aga need to have the tray placed above them to help reduce the heat and stave off burning. I also learnt that the top left side of the roasting oven is much hotter than the bottom right side- all very handy lessons for the big party!

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