Saturday, 13 April 2013

#ProjectPudding

If you follow me on twitter (@cupsaucerblog) you may have noticed me demanding ideas for desserts over the past couple of weeks. This is because I volunteered to make dessert for 25 people for tomorrow. What was I thinking?!

But why have I been making pudding for 25 people? Well, my step-mother is Spanish, and pretty much her entire family are descending on her and my dad this weekend- most are coming from Spain, but her sister is flying in from Mexico with her husband and two under-threes (good luck everyone else on that flight!). And the hilarious thing is that this isn't even for any particular reason- no one is getting married, no one has died, no one is being christened... it's just because.


(I like "just because".)


When I heard about this, my first reaction was one of extreme panic, for several reasons. Firstly, I speak minimal Spanish. I can count to 10, tell people that my name is Alice, and say hello, please, and thank you. Oh, and I know the word for "beer". So I can say "Five beers please!" when the situation arises. This means conversation between me and the Spanish Armada will be extremely limited.

Secondly, I haven't seen any of them, other than my step-mum's mum, in about eight years. My step-mum and I had a rather large falling out when I was about 16, and as I result I refused to see her for about 5 years. When she and my dad got married, I decided that I needed to be a bit of a grown up about it all, and manned up, went to support my dad, and things have been much better since. But although her family come over most years around Easter, I haven't been there for the last three- I've either chosen not to go (year 1), been at uni (year 2), or been in Guernsey (last year). So this will be interesting.

So yes, tomorrow may be a little uncomfortable for me, but I think we often need to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations, and it is a necessity when it's important to the people we love, i.e. my dad. Nothing makes him happier than having his kids around, bless him! And the way I thought I could make it less uncomfortable for myself is my contributing to the enormous roast my dad is making tomorrow- and in true Alice style, I'm doing this by making pudding.


And therefore #projectpudding was born. I have spent today making four different desserts for everyone: my infallible brownies, lemon and raspberry pavlova (which will be lemon-ed and raspberry-ed tomorrow morning), tarte aux pommes, and a baked vanilla cheesecake, which will be completed by a berry compote. I'm thinking this covers all bases, non?


Just call me superwoman.


However, I have learned a few things today:


1.  If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you're making dessert for 20 virtual strangers and 5 people you know, do not make three that you have never made before. It makes for stressful (but still fun) times.


2. Making things which you can do the day before is definitely the best idea.


3. If you get a TEENY TINY amount of yolk in with your egg whites, (and I mean tiny amount in with six egg whites) they will still get to stiff peaks, contrary to popular belief.


4. Trying to take a picture of yourself holding bowl of aforementioned stiff egg whites will only result in you nearly dropping the entire bowl on your head. Don't do it.


5. That said, there are few better ways to spend a horrifically rainy April Saturday than in the kitchen, doing what I love to do.


And to complete this, here are a few snaps of today. Apologies for the not great light, the rain has been relentless today.







Still feeling chipper three hours in... I'd do well on the Great British Bake Off I think!

Extra pastry leads to chef perks. Namely nutella twists!


Poor oven has been working overtime today...
Stage 1: Tarte aux Pommes. COMPLETE
Stage 2: Baked Cheesecake. COMPLETE.
That pan was SO heavy to lift in and out of the oven!

Stage 3: Brilliant Brownies. COMPLETE.

Within seconds of this being taken, I nearly dropped the bowl on my head. Smooth.

Stage 4: Pavlova. Ready to go into the oven!

Berry compote for the cheesecake, and lemon curd for the pavlova


And the last picture shows how I feel now. EXHAUSTED (but very happy)

 Tomorrow morning, I need to top the pavlova and remember to take everything with me. Phew!!

How is your weekend going so far?

20 comments:

  1. Impressive piping skills lady!

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    1. Why thank you! I decided it was best to make it look as pretty as possible in case it tastes rubbish. x

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  2. Aww I'm actually a little jealous of your epic baking-filled day! These all look fab, but you're right - no chance I'd try 3 desserts for the first time all on the same day! The only thing that would be more stressful is if Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry were scrutinising me at the same time haha
    Jen x

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    1. Thanks! It was tiring, but a LOT of fun. Haha three new desserts was stressful, but they all turned out ok in the end! x

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  3. Alice you NEED to go on the GBBO, you're a bloomin' marvel in the kitchen!
    Hope tomorrow goes well for you, I'm sure you'll sweeten everyone up with these beauties :)
    Kaz x

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    1. Maybe I'll apply for next year- gives me time to practice ;) Thanks, it went pretty well in the end! x

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  4. You sir, are a champion! (You're not really a sir, it just felt right to say!)
    I hope it tastes delicious! x

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    1. I like being called sir haha! They were pretty yummy, even if I do say so myself! x

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  5. WOW! They all look amazing - pudding is always the way to a family's heart! Hannah x
    PS - save me a slice of the cheesecake!

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    1. They did seem to sweeten them all up- maybe I used too much sugar haha. It's in the post ;) x

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  6. Useful Spanish words for you (aka all the Spanish words I know): Claro = of course. Calambres = cramp & Mapache = raccoon. Good luck squeezing those last two into general conversation... and good luck more generally for the arrival of the 'Spanish Armada' aha, loved that x

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    1. Oh I WISH I'd got these in yesterday! Would have been amazing. It all turned out well in the end thankfully! x

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  7. Your pavlova looks amazing. And I giggled so much at your writing for this post, I have a great image of the near whipped eye white incident! Congratulations on making so many beautiful cakes in one day, everything looks great, I hope they appreciated it!

    E x

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    1. Hahah thanks lovely, glad you enjoyed it!! They did- dad was particularly pleased he didn't have to stress any more after making roast beef for that many people...! x

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  8. Oh wow your tart aux pommes and your pavlova look unbelievable!

    Chelsea <3 HumbleHonesty

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    1. Aww thanks lovely, I loved making them! x

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  9. Haha! I love this post. Everything looks amazing! You are going to be stealing the crown from Miss Berry herself one day! x

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    1. I could NEVER steal MB's crown. I love her too much to take it away from her haha! x

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  10. You are very brave taking in such a large amount of baking in a short space of time! All the puddings looks amazing! x

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    1. Haha I didn't think of it as brave!! I love doing it so I was in my element all day :) x

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