I made cake and stew this past weekend and the reasons why are threefold:
- I have been in denial about the onset of winter and I finally reached the final stage of seasonal woe: acceptance.
- My mother is forever telling me that as the daughter of a Cake Genius, I need to experiment more.
- I wanted banana caramel layer cake and two different kinds of stew (separately of course.)
I want to preface this post by making it clear that I am no culinary whizz. I cook the same way I live: haphazardly; where my gastronomic endeavours are a study in trial and error. Even shopping for ingredients is a test of will and fortitude (especially when trying to make sense of American ingredients and measurements). This is how I found myself standing in the middle of the supermarket baking aisle on a Saturday morning, hair wild, joggers slipping dangerously down my hips, frantically phoning Mama T and pleading with her to tell me what the hell all purpose flour was.
I returned home after finally locating the ingredients I needed, checked the recipe online once more, realised that I had forgotten the baking powder, drove back to the supermarket (where I may or may not have shed a tear or 400), bought the damnnable baking powder and drove home.
By this time, I didn’t want to bake. I wanted to sit on my ass, eat non-Paleo (prepackaged) flapjacks and watch The Cosby Show but I’d set myself a challenge.
I also may have done a demented celebratory job in my kitchen when I located the measuring cups pictured above. These simple kitchen utensils meant that I could do away with the useless conversion charts over which I had been poring for days.
Part of the recipe called for homemade caramel sauce – something I’ve never made before. This involved dissolving sugar into water over a high heat and waiting for it to caramelise. It takes up to 15 minutes. I was a nervous wreck during those 15 minutes. And I’m not ashamed to tell you that once it was time to add the cream and the concoction bubbled up like something from a horror film, I screamed and ran out of the room. Because even gangstas fear for their safety.
Other mishaps included forgetting to buy powdered sugar meaning that when it was time to make the caramel buttercream frosting, I had to make my own powdered sugar by blending caster and granulated sugar together. I walked around in a cloud of white powder which elicited some painfully terrible jokes from my housemates about narcotics and how they lacked bail money and was this the reason I have two mobile phones.
The frosting was bloody delicious if not a tad grainy (because it is not possible to make perfect powdered sugar in a blender. That is why they sell powdered sugar – so you do not have to do this.)
BUT I DID IT. The majority of my relaxing Saturday turned into a maelstrom of garbled cursing, endless dishes to be washed, and the wringing of my hands as I hopped from one foot to the other waiting for the cake to bake but I did it. It was delicious too.
Sunday was easier.
Sunday I made stew.
Do holler if you want the recipes.
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Stereo. 20-something aspiring bon vivant. London based. Exceptionally Nigerian. Partial to snark. My default setting is "wry". Jeans and blazers are my uniform. Landlady. Speed reader, tuneless singer, hoarder of words, drinker of Schloer; I am suspicious of most people, have zero tolerance for tomfoolery, have a vast DVD collection, worship at the altar of Al Green, own too many bottles of nail polish, have small eyes, small ears and giant hair and owe approximately 86% of my awesome to the Parents Typewriter.
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