Thursday, June 11, 2009

the long bad Thursday

Things didn't get off to a particularly good start today when I was awoken at 4 am by the rain tap-dancing on the roof then I couldn't get back to sleep. For BB's birthday today I planned on making a Black Forest Gâteau as per his request the other day, but as it's years since I last baked a cake, when I went to write a shopping list for the missing ingredients I found that I was also missing some vital equipment - such as cake tin and electric whisk. This discovery actually made my heart leap because it meant that I had an excuse to drive 130 km round trip to my favourite shop, Bos Equipement Hôtelier, in Moutiers. This is kitchen shop heaven - a ginormous warehouse filled with everything you could ever imagine or wish for in your kitchen/dining room/restaurant, and where it is rumoured that culinary colossus, Gordon Ramsay, buys all his kitchen and restaurant equipment.

However, my joy at shopping there was diluted, first when I got stuck in a traffic jam for two hours just outside Moutiers, and then when I went to take a picture inside the shop to show you how huge it is. This is the finger bowl section tucked away in a corner ....

As I was taking the picture I was approached by a member of staff who asked me what I thought I was doing - as if I was some Russian crockery spy - and all I could think of to say was, "je suis un bloggeur", before shuffling out of the shop (empty-handed) with my face like a beetroot. (Not only was this an embarrassing retort but it was also grammatically incorrect because I used (a) the indefinite article and (b) the masculine form!)

Back home, determined I was going to make the damn cake, I improvised using a flan tin and then cut circles out of the sponge with a scone cutter. The recipe then called for kirsch to be drizzled, cherry jam to be spread and double cream to be whipped to soft peaks.

Now, I can't seem to find double cream, as I know it, in France. The closest I've found is crème fleurette (whipping cream), which after I'd whisked by hand using a balloon whisk for 20 minutes - my arm going up and down like a fiddler's elbow - resembled something like cottage cheese. By this time I was thinking less of the photo opportunity and more about putting something edible on a plate, so as I finished off plating and sprinkling and topping, I went to set up to take a photo, slipped in some cat sick and dropped the plate. Et voilà!

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