For a long time I have been in a frustrating funk where cooking is concerned. I’d utterly lost my mojo, motivation and satisfaction.
But! (I hope) this month things are changing, helped along by the multiple birthdays April comes with. My uncle’s, my mom’s, my friend’s, two of my brothers, the love’s step-dad AND his daughter all celebrate their birthday this month! Then come May and June during which the pressure does not reduce much.
So far the uncle, the friend’s and one of the brother’s birthdays have passed and I have made something for two out of three of those occasions. I was adamant that I would make something for my friend but she’s one of those types who plead with you not to make a fuss. Now it’s a very busy time at the moment otherwise I would have done as I pleased despite this, but just mark my words Megan – I will not let this slide 😉
I have used two recipes found online that I have barely altered, and if I made them again I would do exactly the same thing because they are perfect.
The first, which I made for my uncle, is this gorgeous nut brittle. I LOVE nut brittle, but this is the first time I’ve had a go at making it. It all seemed to be going perfectly, but unfortunately I made the mistake (I think) of taking the caramel off the heat too soon. This meant that when I looked in the fridge after leaving it to set overnight, the caramel was slowly oozing it’s way aaaaaall over the place! It was rescued however, by changing the greaseproof paper it was sitting on several times. This got rid of excess sticky stuff to leave nut brittle as it should be. You can use any combination of nuts and seeds that you like, and it has a sumptuous dark chocolate base which is just so necessary! Unfortunately I took no photos 😦 the reason being that at first, I forgot because I have become accustomed to not posting these things, and later because I thought it was ruined… But there are lots of lovely (albeit Christmassy) pictures of the finished article on the link I provided above.
For those of you out there who are caramel experts (which I am definitely not), am I right in thinking my mistake was not boiling the caramel for long enough? Or do you think there is simply too much caramel in ratio to the nuts? It is very sweet so, maybe… Not too sweet for my tastes but maybe some people’s. I’d consider making it with salted nuts actually. Oooh…
Now, I REALLY pushed the boat out for my brother’s birthday! I made a seven-layer rainbow cake which took me an awfully long time – I ended up in the kitchen at 11.30pm exhausted and covered in icing! It was so worth it, but I didn’t reap the full benefits of it there and then as I was so concerned about it having the right effect when it was sliced into.
And it was extremely well received!
At my Grandma’s house…
Where everyone said it tasted as good as it looks 😀
There were so many compliments flying around I felt like it was my birthday!
Now I am out of pictures so I guess a little more description would be the way to go… Well, I highly recommend it!
My other brother (who has said that since I’ve made this for Liam I have to outdo myself for his birthday) doesn’t like icing, but he claims the ability to eat bowls of this. It is practically the same icing used for Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake. As for outdoing myself… I don’t know what to do guys!!! I’m thinking along the lines of cupcakes, and now that this challenge paid off I’d really like another one… But I really will have to get my thinking cap on.
In other words, it is good. Do it.
Watch this space for more recipes 🙂