Hi. It’s been a while. It’s been a whole summer, actually, pretty sure my last post was May. In England Summer happens as a series of 10-14 days, occurring in fits and starts over June, July and, if you’re lucky, August. This August we’ve not been lucky. It’s a public holiday Monday today, so of course it’s absolutely shitting it down and me and most of UK-based social media are whinging boringly on about it. Fair enough, though. Whilst I’ve stayed warmly at home with a water-phobic whippet, the boyfriend and NewHuman have been tramping around Wimbledon Common no doubt getting illegally muddy and full of the smug vigour that a walk outside in shit weather tends to engender.
Nothing much has been happening here in London, for us. It’s been status quo except that NewHuman continues to evolve into something increasingly resembling an actual human being, albeit one full of opinion and voice without the logic to back anything up. He’s also taking over. See below:
He refuses to use any of the wheeled vehicles other than the car, although will deign to use the scooter as long as he’s allowed to push it along like a Zimmer frame, rather than actually scooting. Not even the sight of younger and faster-moving children motivates him to switch and scoot which on one hand makes me pleased he’s not a lemming but on the other makes me worry for his cognitive function. The bike gets totally ignored except for the times the boyfriend gets on board ostensibly to show NewHuman how it should work but mostly to test out his aged knees (they fail).
After over 2 years eschewing any kind of vegetable or food of exotic nature NewHuman has begun to experiment with crazy outlandish flavours such as rice and chicken, as evidenced above. It’s been a revelation for us all, and I bet he’s full excited about the asparagus risotto I have lined up for his supper tonight. And thank feck I can deviate from the fruit-pesto-cruskit roundabout we’ve been on. Oh poor me, etc.
So listen, I am really sorry I’ve been so long between posts. I blame general ennui and possibly the need for some blog long-service leave. It’ll have been four years since I started this blog, come December, and I was getting a bit embarrassed about the plethora of Donna Hay posts, yo. And lazy. There’s been a lot of cooking going on, just ask my and boyfriend’s waistlines. They’ll both confirm it as fact, in between mouthfuls.
Right. Australian Women’s Weekly recipe, this, for an orange and blueberry syrup cake. You can see blueberries in the ingredients pic below. I decided not to use them, but please, do, if you fancy it. I also doubled the amounts because I needed a cake for a visit to a mate tomorrow and there was no way I was making a cake without some of my own. I’ve already had a slice and if the boyfriend doesn’t get home soon there’ll be nary a crumb left for him to wrap his wet face around.
Set your oven to 160-70C fan, or 180C non-fan.
125g softened butter
110g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
260g SR flour (1 3/4 cups)
125ml yoghurt (1/2 cup) – it doesn’t specify what kind. I only had fruit, so I used fruit. It was fine.
60ml cup orange juice (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon finely grated or chopped orange rind
If you want – 150g fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tblsp orange rind, grated
The recipe asks you to cook it in a ring tin but I don’t have one so I used a loaf tin. Whichever you use, grease and line it.
Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl, electric mixer will be a dreamy help here, till they’re properly light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the flour and combined yoghurt and juice in two batches.
My fancy microplane won’t work on zest, and so I had to use the old-style grater then chop. Bloody chore. Whilst everything is beating to a light and fluffy (and traditionally vomitous) texture, sort your rind and juice your oranges.
I found it quite a dry mix so added some milk till I felt, deep in my soul, that it was a better mix and that I could then rightly sacrifice it to the heat of the oven. See how you feel. I probably added a further 1/4 cup. Boyfriend’s milk, not mine, obvs.
Put the cake(s) in the oven for about an hour or until a skewer comes out with a nice damp crumb. Not wet mix. Wet mix would be bad.
Make the syrup now. Really, you need to do it straight away so it’s ready when the cakes come out. Pain in the ass as you probably won’t feel like doing it cause you’ve just spent way too fricking long chopping rind and juicing oranges and scraping yoghurt pots but just bloody well do it.
Stir the sugar, orange juice and water in a small saucepan over heat, don’t let it boil, till the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved then add the rind and let it simmer, without stirring (pretty complex this, the stirring and non-stirring bits, don’t stuff it up), for five minutes.
Let it simmer till it goes a lovely darkish colour. Will smell great. Do not taste, will burn. Done cakes, above.
Use your skewer to poke a lot of holes into the cakes as soon as you take them out of the oven. If they start to look like the enlarged pores you can now see on your own face without the benefit of a magnifying mirror then you’re on your way to a good lot of pokery. Then plug those cakey pores with as much syrup as you can get in. You’ll be surprised, the cake can take it all. It took maybe five mins of gentle spooning to get the whole lot on and in. Looks good. Is messy, less good.
Above is the cake, sliced into. It looks different to that now cause I’ve already sliced into it again. You will, too.