Thank goodness for cake, is all I can say. Although cake wasn't my salvation yesterday either. Everything went pretty well with the Prune and Caramel Cream Roll (even the caramel making) right up to, but not including, beating the cream. Yes that's right, it all went cactus with the last and simplest task.
Never turn your back on the stand mixer when you're beating cream, is the lesson for this week. Annoyingly, this a lesson I've previously learned through bitter experience and then promptly forgotten. So instead of deliciously light caramel cream, I found myself looking at a large bowl full of wet sand. Ho hum. My attempts to save it by adding extra cream were marginally successful in reducing the size of the 'sand' but even some late night gelatine action couldn't make it suitable for human consumption (yes, even my colleagues have standards*).
I managed to cobble something together for a photo but the stiff, sandy caramel mixture was not that pleasant to eat. The little sample I made with curdled, pre-gelatine cream (in the last photo) was very delicious. The combination of flavours (who would think of adding prunes?) was sophisticated and interesting as well as being delicious.
*But no shame. I get regular unsubtle queries about my 'baking project for this week'. They're going to be very upset when I tell them the Alpha Bakers are finishing up soon.)
I only had a small oven to use so I had to make two small cakes. Unfortunately I was already tucked up in bed, reading up on making the caramel cream for the next day, when I realised I'd carefully wrapped and placed the flat cakes into the fridge rather than rolled them up ready to be filled. And this was well before the cream disaster. I went to sleep dreaming of the possibilities of prune, caramel layer cakes.
This cake is really soft, airy and delicious. I like to eat it on its own although chocolate and caramel are always popular additions.
This recipe is another multi-bowl humdinger. It helps if you make it over several days to manage the bowl/dishwasher dance.
A cook's treat (curdled). It's strictly the hand mixer to beat cream from now on.
Next week the Alpha Bakers are making Chocolate Sweetheart Madeleines.