July 16th, 2009

food cooking tomato

Lemon polenta peach cake

We made this for dinner with I&B at the weekend rather than orange brownies so elinor could eat it. I'm sure I have a dozen recipes in various cookbooks but himself found the BBC Good Food recipe online and I changed it a lot ;-)

250g of ground almonds - we pulverised two 100g packets of slivered almonds in the magimix, so I scanted all the other amounts
200g of caster sugar - I always use a little less sugar and 180g was more than enough
250g of butter - well, that's just silly; polenta cake should be made with olive oil - I used a few splashes of pure orange oil (from lakeland - probably Boylian), a spoonful of Pasolivio tangerine olive oil (time to stock up in Paso Robles soon) and half and half of Waitrose Extra Virgin and a 'Light' olive/extra virgin olive oil blend measured halfway between the 1/3 and 1/2 cup measure
3 eggs
1 lemon (the recipe says 3 lemons but oil adds more liquid than butter and we had the orange flavouring)
100g polenta - the instant packet mix works just fine
1tbsp baking powder
peaches - I picked up a reduced punnet of slightly bumped peaches I wanted to use up so I cut three of them into chunks, removing the dints, and grated over cinnamon from a whole stick using the microplane grater which produces a wonderful fine dust.

if you're using butter, you cream the butter and sugar; that's much easier with oil and sugar. Beat in the eggs, zest the lemon then squeeze it in. Fold in the almonds and polenta and bakng powder.

We use silicon cake pans so no oiling is needed; for this amount (which the original recipe says serves 8), we used 12 silicon muffin cases and the loaf pan (this wants not to be too thick, and I wanted individual servings). Without the peach you would just pour it in and bake; we spooned in mixture to cover the base of the cases and pan then spooned in a piece of peach per muffin case and the equivalent amount of peach into the loaf pan and then covered with more mixture leaving room to rise.

oven 160/140 fan/gas mark 3 for 50 minutes; the cakes in silicon cupcakes took a few minutes less, the loaf pan a few minutes longer. the top will look golden and the edges will look well defined. this is such a moist cake that testing with a skewer doesn't help much.

I microwaved the peach chunks with a spoonful of rich, dark honey and a spoonful of water for a minute or so and let it cool, for something between compote and syrup. the original recipe uses a mixture of limoncello and icing sugar.
snark maiden

Well, you'd expect that of Slytherin, wouldn't you

Having enjoyed The Half-Blood Prince last night with tanais and elinor and (I'm sure she has an LJ!) Heiko, it was amusing to catch this news story today: "Jamie Waylett, 19, who plays bully Vincent Crabbe in the film series, pleaded guilty to growing 10 cannabis plants in tents at the Kilburn house....The court heard police found shots of the plants on Mr Waylett's camera after he was arrested for taking a picture of officers." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8153908.stm

I don't disapprove of growing cannabis (the drug enforcement in the UK is a masterpiece of ignoring the issues and demonising the wrong people), but keeping photos of your hydroponics is like posting your mother's maiden name on Facebook and wondering why your bank account gets hacked. Much more worrying is the bit where "Waylett had been videoing the road side for a music compilation when he caught the attention of officers". Why was that so suspicious? Why did the police get to look at the footage on his camera? Did they have a warrant for that? If not, is that not a violation of his privacy?
snark maiden

Dear Barbican, fix your ecommerce site - no love, me

The first time, it was my fault; I got halfway through booking tickets for Ludovico Einaudi in October at the Barbian, couldn't remember my password, went to look it up and got distracted. Fill in the password, discover there are no tickets in my basket; OK, it timed out.
The second time, my card didn't go through (this happens one time in a few; I obviously need to phone MBNA pretending to be John Lewis and sort it out; I love getting the vouchers but I pretty much hate operating the John Lewis card because the experience is awful) and when I went to put in another credit card - there were no tickets in my basket again!
Also, no I don't want to save 25p by paying for my ice creams three months in advance. Maybe if you didn't put an extra screen in the booking process just to turn that down, it would be slightly less irritating to go through the booking three times.

But. Einaudi. Barbican. October 24. New work, yay!