Sunday, March 10, 2013

One last feed for the undeserving

Very early in this challenge, my father dubbed my colleagues "the undeserving workmates" in protest that they got to eat more of my baking than he did. Whether they are undeserving is a matter of opinion; but they have certainly proven themselves useful in disposing of a fair number of Edmonds creations.

Naturally I had to bring them one last morning tea. I'd set aside chocolate log (p66) for this occasion, and with the deadline looming, I couldn't put it off, but I wasn't quite recovered from my cold - I didn't want to pass on my germs. I grabbed a mask from my emergency kit, sanitised my hands, and went to the kitchen.

Before I started cooking, I had to make sure I got a photo of myself in this ridiculous getup, which proved quite difficult. Seems that if you smile when your mouth is covered, you just look really intensely psycho. Finally, I managed one that looked only mildly psycho, decided I was satisfied, and turned to the actual baking.

This is really just a chocolate-flavoured sponge roll. That wasn't necessarily reassuring, considering my history with sponges, but I gamely forged ahead, confident of a decent result. If I haven't learnt to make a sponge by now, I never will.

I beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick, added melted butter and a little water, then the sifted dry ingredients: cocoa, flour and baking powder. I was worried about how much volume was lost by the time all the ingredients were combined.

My sponge roll tin is not really usable anymore, as the non-stick coating is peeling off every which way. I've been using my adjustable tin instead, but once you pull it out to sponge roll size, it a bit flimsy in the middle. I had to put it on a tray to keep it flat, and even then, some of the mix oozed under the lining paper at the join as I moved it.

After 12 minutes in the oven, the sponge was cooked. It was a bit low at the sides, and had a noticeable hollow in the centre where the tin joined. As I tried to flip it on to a sheet of baking paper I'd prepared with a dusting of icing sugar, the sponge cracked straight down the centre and flopped onto the bench in two separate pieces.

Well, there's nothing I could do to fix it. Luckily, the crack was straight and even, so I supposed I'd have to make two smaller chocolate logs instead. I spread each piece of sponge with jam, and rolled them up in the baking paper to cool.

While the sponges were cooling, I made up a chocolate butter icing, and whipped some cream. When I unrolled the cooled sponges, I spread them with cream and rolled them up again. The final step was to pipe the icing on "with a shell pattern icing tube to resemble a log".

Okay, well I didn't have a shell pattern one in my standard set, but among the nozzles that come with the disposable piping bags was one that might do. Icing and decorating has never been my strong suit, so I did my best, but it's a bit sad-looking. It would have been easier (and probably more effective) if I'd just spread the icing on and run a fork over it afterwards.

So that's morning tea tomorrow - one last Edmonds offering for the workmates, and I've only got one more recipe to go. Anyone picked what it is?

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