Chocolaty felicitations to those amongst you of an Eastery inclination. And even if Easter isn’t your thing, I hope you have some cocoa solids handy anyway. Because, well, chocolate.
Given the ongoing grey/damp outside, I’ve been creating colour in the indoor flowerbeds. This. Project. Is. Going. To. Be. Finished. Very. Soon. Or. I. Will. Scream.
The plants/foliage are aggressively crocheted, and then I’m embroidering on the flowers.
But never mind that, it’s Easter. Despite the fact that we’re not very good at seasonal celebrations in this house, something of an arms race has developed this weekend. After the Stoic Spouse’s home-made hot cross buns on Friday, I decided to make a simnel cake (well two, actually, so that we could give one away).
Not to be outdone, the Stoic Spouse is at this very moment preparing a feast of duck à l’orange for later tonight. Early indications are that it smells good. Hmm, not sure how to better that. A home-made six-foot-high statue of the Easter bunny worked in chocolate? I’d better get carving…
Anyway, simnel cake is delicious. Recipe for the cake here, and for the marzipan here. Home-made marzipan is much
more alcoholic nicer than shop-bought. Inspiration for the whole thing comes from my good friend Selma, who is much better at seasonal celebrations than I am.
Unlike Selma, I’m not good enough at adulting to plan ahead and soak the dried fruit for two days in alcohol, orange juice, and lemon juice, so I plopped it all in a pan and warmed it on the lowest possible heat, as a way of encouraging the currants and sultanas and candied peel to get thirsty and soak up a little of the delicious juice. I’m not sure how far it worked, but I swear I got drunk on the fumes.
There are lots of glacé cherries in a simnel cake. There are even more in two simnel cakes. Ditto eggs:-
But it smells gorgeous as you add the ground mixed spice and the boozy fruit, and beat the mixture until your arms ache.
Seriously, though, I recommend making your own marzipan. The only disadvantage
other than cost is that it’s not as malleable as the shop-bought sort.
You glaze the top with egg, and then you dice with failure by popping the whole thing under the grill. It’s one of those times when there’s a two-second difference between RAW and IRREVOCABLY CHARRED. You have been warned.
It’s worth it, though. The layer of marzipan through the middle of the cake is just delicious and will be mandatory in all cakes when I become Ruler Of The Whole World.
So then of course, there’s all that cake to be worked off. The weather has been vile, and so the ****ing, ****ing, ************ING running has been even more of a chore than usual. (I may have graduated to lycra and fitness trackers, but I’m still a gasping, wheezing, exercise-phobe in my heart.) So here is a picture from yesterday’s run. My running partner has disappeared off to the Alps to bask in the snowy sunshine amongst the mountains. I bet she was wishing she was back home. Drowned rat number one:-
And this was at the end of today’s run. Drowned rat number two.
I’m going for a hat-trick of sodden-ness tomorrow.
No, this is not fun and it’s not my hobby.
Happy Easter, folks! 🙂