wrestling with the oven gods

Being innundated with babies this week has prompted me to do a little *proper* cooking, rather than the standard hardly fare (which involves lots of fresh pasta and various red1 sauces).

I still don’t have a handle on this wretched fan-forced oven o’ mine – if there was one thing I could change in this house it would be the oven – give me a proper conventional oven any day! Things cook so very quickly that the 10o less temperature / 10% less cooking time rule for fan-forced ovens is rarely successful. So it is a matter of trial and error (and more error!) – the divine Kerry Apple Cake takes 40 minutes (compared to 90 minutes!!)

I’ve renewed my love with the BBC Comfort Food book (after the Toad In The Hole disaster of 25 April 2004 – which shall never be mentioned again2):

  • whipped up a batch of the always fabulous toffee brownies. Despite the the eggs being beaten far too much – the brownies tried to rise up and escape from the pan – (note to self: use a whisk, not the electric beaters) and that I substituted easter egg chocolate for the recommended 60% cocoa solids chocolate and they were magnificent.
  • The heavenly gratin dauphinois.
  • Shepherds pie – which was a huge success with the sprogs and shall be cooked again this weekend.

In addition I’ve made Kerry Apple cake (and finally got the timing for this acursed oven right) – we discovered this divine dish during the world cup – when each night we were cooking dishes for the kiddies from a team that was playing that evening. Its really simple and completely yummy and will be made again for Saturday night dessert.

Also on the Mra Hardly cooking agenda is one of kitschenette’s fantabulous yoghurt cakes from the red kitchen – mmmmmmmm yoghurt cake.

I’ll add some pix later.

1red being hardly-speak for tomato-based sauce.
2something I thought I had blogged about, but after searching, realised it was on my old, dead blog. This leaves me wondering if i have ever mentioned that most excellent book here. I should really upload some of the old entries to this blog – with names changed to protect the innocent of course. But that would require actual, you know, effort. If I have not mentioned it, this is the book of which I speak.

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