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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sunday musings

After tanking so much wine on Friday night, on Saturday I decided to start going back to the gym, as I hadn't been since before I went to Spain, so today I made it down and onto the treadmill.  I've only just started to run on the treadmill, I used to just walk and go on the cross-trainer for the harder part of my workout, but then one day when the gym was quiet and there was no-one to judge me if it all went wrong (!) I decided to give running a go.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could do it for whole minutes at a time, as when I first started jogging when I moved back from Spain I could literally do about a minute before I'd have to walk again.  I also got a lot of stitches.  Anyhoo today I managed ten mins before I walked, which I was quite proud of, though it doesn't sound like much.  I think it's surprisingly easy to build up your times if you stick with it.  And I find it more enjoyable than the cross-trainer which always feels like a big chore!

So that's my exertions for today out of the way, nothing energetic planned for the rest of the day!

My friend V is moving back to Italy on Saturday and she's having a leaving party on Friday night so I thought I'd bake a cake to take with me.  Any excuse, really!  I've decided on this amazing sounding caramel cake from The Caked Crusader's blog, which is my baking Bible.  I've never made my own caramel before, but the way The CC says to do it sounds easy and fool-proof.  Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but I've never used one of her recipes that didn't go exactly the way she said it would, so I have complete faith in her.  Caramel, cream, and sponge - if it all goes well it'll be a total winner of a cake!  I hope V likes it, sometimes I get so excited about the cake-making progress that I forget they're actually for other people!

I made a cake for FL's birthday when I was in Spain, and it went OK but it was very touch and go - for a start it took about 3 times as long in the oven as the recipe said, my friend EWL' had warned me that that was usually the case with her oven but I didn't really believe it til I tried it myself!  The cake rose but split right down the centre, which apparently happens when you fill your cake tin more than half-way up, I had no idea!  Then after I'd made the cake we went out and when we came back at about 3am, we thought it would be a good time to make the buttercream icing so it could set over night!  Well, the icing came out fine but EW's kitchen was left looking like a fake snow factory had exploded in her kitchen! 

Gin + electric whisks + a mountain of sugar = sweet carnage.

FL had asked for a strawberry cake so I made a normal sponge with strawberry buttercream icing and it came out looking like this:

The icing looked quite grainy, because the sugar I used wasn't as fine as the icing sugar I would have used here (this also made the sponge a wee bit denser than normal), and then I think when I added the strawberries the wee pips made it look less smooth.  But it tasted good all the same! 

I love cakes!

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