13 November 2009

I Made This! — Maple Cake

Me and Donna Hay go way back. And finally I've been inspired to blog about making her recipes. Unfortuantely, I'm told by types more lawyerly than I that posting her recipes would be a copyright violation. Nevertheless, I hope my posts will be an inspiration to people looking to break out of their cooking ruts while also serving me as a record to the wonderful things Ms Hay has had me put in my mouth.

My dance class has been invited to perform at the closing gala of the St-Étienne film festival. We decided to take advantage of yesterday public holiday and meet up in the afternoon to go over our show. I thought it a good opportunity to showcase my country's one contribution to the culinary world and make a Maple Cake to bring along.

Using a Australian cookbook in Europe is not always so straightforward. Already the measurements are all different — though that's not a terribly insurmountable problem. What's tricky are the ingredients. For example, this recipe called for double cream, which doesn't correspond to anything on the shelves of the supermarché. Nor is the requisite brown sugar available. But the mother of all invention is frustrated grocery shopping expeditions, so I made do. Whole cream, which has an even higher fat content (and potentially turns into butter if whipped a touch too vigourously) stood in for the half cream while lumps of rock sugar took the place of brown. I had to take a hammer the hell out of the rock suger to break it into powder. There were still sizeable rock pieces of sugar that I was worried that people would break a tooth on, but they crystallised in oven and made the cake even better, I think.

All in all, another A+ recipe for Donna (though really does she have any other kind?)

(Admittedly this is a photo of the photo from the cookbook — I had the idea to blog about the cake after it was eaten — but my cake came out looking almost the same. Next time a real photo, I promise).

03 November 2009

Science Nerds!