Thursday, June 10, 2010

Welcome back ... yesterday

Sue's been off work for the past three weeks, selfishly swanning about at home while I ran madly around, doing all her work for her (I'm joking - she was actually recovering from an operation). She was due back on Wednesday, so I decided a 'Welcome back, Sue' cake would be a good way to use up some of my leftover crumble topping.

I went to make the cake on Tuesday night, but immediately found it was a no-go: I'd used up the last of my flour making dumplings. It was late enough in the evening that I didn't want to go out and get any, so I flagged the idea for the time being. There's no reason why I couldn't bring it the day after Sue came back, right?

After work in Wednesday, I went for a walk up to the mall to acquire some flour. On the way I also acquired the company of a random child named Stacey, who joined me for a considerable distance before I finally, to my relief, convinced her that she shouldn't be straying so far from home. This conversation delayed my progress somewhat, and by the time I had got to the mall and purchased my flour, I found myself walking home in the dark.

I try to avoid being out alone in the dark, but since it was only around 5.30 and I was walking fairly busy streets, I did not experience anything worse than nasty blister. I sat down to eat some reheated beef and mushroom casserole (and dumplings!) before beginning the cake. Eventually I forced myself off the couch and went into the kitchen to begin my date cake (p48). That was, of course, until I opened the cupboard and found I didn't have any dates.


I could have made another cake recipe that didn't require any dates, but the only ones I thought would go with the crumble topping needed 3 eggs - and I only had two. So I rugged up again and jumped in the car.

20 minutes later, I was back home with a packet of dates, and could finally begin making the cake. Since I didn't trust my scales, I used the chart at the front of my Edmonds book to measure out approximately 125g of butter (about 8 tablespoons), which was then creamed with butter, lemon juice and lemon zest.

The eggs had to be beaten 'until thick' in a separate bowl, then the dry ingredients sifted in another separate bowl. With the crumble topping in yet another bowl, and a small jug holding my chopped dates, the meagre space on my benchtop was pretty well swamped.

Anyway, you add the eggs alternately with the dry ingredients, add a little bit of milk, and fold in the dates. Then, since the recipe is for an 18cm ring tin, which I don't have, I pulled a shifty and used my normal tin with a small water glass in the centre. It was a bit tricky to spread the cake mixture smoothly around the tin without the glass moving off-centre, but it looked quite even once I'd finished. I sprinkled on a generous amount of crumble topping, and bunged it in the oven.

I still had a fair bit of crumble mix left, so I dug some stewed rhubarb out of the freezer, zapped it in the microwave, and used it to make a crumble in my benchtop oven while the cake was baking in the main oven, and I was cleaning up the kitchen. I had just enough time to scoff a bowl of my rhubarb crumble (SO good) before the cake came out of the oven.

It looked pretty good, and on trying it at work this morning, we found it tasted pretty good too. I was actually quite stoked with the way the cake came out - it was lovely and moist, and the dates went really well with the crumble topping. It's a bit crumbly and messy to eat, but it was totally worth two separate trips to the supermarket. Still, next time I'll try to be a bit more organised!


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