Oh, and my daughter has given up eating raw tomatoes. Yup, she really knows how to make a sacrifice for Lent.
So it is with somewhat dampened enthusiasm that I find myself baking for work this week. We are having our own little bake off, and the category is "Continental Cakes". While at first I had thought of making a fraisier, I realised that this would be quite a bit of effort for a cake that wouldn't slice well and would need refrigeration. Instead I decided to make a more pannetone type affair, using a bundt tin to give it a pretty shape. Bundt tins are useful like that.
Now if you ask any Italian for their Panettone recipe, they'll laugh and direct you to the nearest reputable bakery. But in my Joy of Cooking, next to the recipe I use as the base dough for my hot cross buns, is a recipe for Panettone, which I followed loosely until the last step where I put it into a bundt tin rather than a tube tin.
I didn't get my camera out until I'd made the sponge starter. Here it is, in all its clingfilmed glory, sitting in the morning sun.
Er, yeah...moving on...
Then while that rose for a while I covered some sultanas with water, brought them to the boil, and drained them. This prevents them from being super dry and stops them from burning...mostly.
While Joy asked for separate additions of chopped candied citron peel and orange peel, all I had at my disposal was chopped mixed peel. So be it. Here you can see my weathered Joy peeking through.
In it went with the soaked sultanas...with the addition of a couple Tablespoons of rum.
And hour or so later, my sponge starter looked like this, al bubbly and happy.
So in a separate bowl I put an egg, some yolks (eek - egg separation anxiety!), sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and clementine zest (I had no oranges).
And some plain flour...which was supposed to be bread flour but I didnae have any in my hoose. Oh, and the sponge starter went in too.
It was gloopy. This is supposed to be kneaded/mixed until smooth.
This was as smooth as I got it before I lost patience and threw in the butter.
Again, this was as smooth as I got it before I lost patience. More would be better and would result in an airier cake.
In went my fruit mixture after I'd drained off most of the booze.
And I mixed it until it looked like so.
I then put it in a buttered bowl. It's supposed to be a smooth ball, but oh well.
Here is one purchase I did manage to remember: cooking spray. These bundt pans are great for pretty cakes, but they are a real pain to grease before use.
Once the dough had risen, I punched it down (or rather, gave it a rough stir with a wooden spoon) then spooned it into the pan to rise
At this point I was running out of time. This was enough rising for me.
But you know what makes everything better?
Yes, that's right: BUTTER. Just a little bit over the top before it went in.
And then a little bit when it came out.
Pretty, ain't she? But not as tall as I'd hoped, so more decoration was required.
Er...um...how about more sugar?
That's better! Good enough for me to bring in. Although the official bake off is tomorrow, it looks as if turnout will be low. I thought it best that people dig in now while the cake is fresh, and simply report back as judges tomorrow. When I made this suggestion, it was happily received.
But how does it taste, you ask?
I DON'T KNOW BECAUSE I CAN'T HAVE ANY SUGAR, YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!
But here's the recipe which I am too lazy to type up: