I know I’ve probably said it before, but I really am terrible blogger. When I first started this blog, my aim was to post at least once every couple of weeks. You know, just to keep things regular and running smoothly. In reality, that hasn’t happened at all; I just keep getting distracted by university/work/life/stuff. Not even interesting stuff necessarily, just tedious things like my daily routine and chores. Often, when I do remember that I should blog again, it’s at the most inconvenient time such as when I’m in the middle of a lecture or at the supermarket doing my weekly shop. What I should really do is just write myself a reminder and stick it on my laptop, so that I’ll see it every time I start up my computer…there’s no guarantee that it’ll actually work, but it’s worth a try, right? At any rate, this is probably a good example of how not to blog.
So, where was I? Oh yes, the Easter holiday. It’s been an extremely welcome break from academic life and the prospect of going back to university on Saturday is not one which fills me with any great joy…still, it has to be done. (Technically, next week is still holiday – term doesn’t begin again until April 23rd, but I need to get some actual work done, which is why I’m going back early. Being at home is apparently not conducive to work for me. I just get distracted by baking, books and the novelty of having a television again.) However, the real highlight of this holiday was undoubtedly my visit to the London branch of the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Seeing the new lecture/demonstration rooms, the sleek pastry kitchens (fully-equipped and including marble worktops, not to mention all the KitchenAid mixers, enough for one per student), the amazing professional environment and students dashing around, dressed in chef’s whites and carrying their Wusthof knife bags was an amazing, eye-opening (if also slightly intimidating) experience. It just made me realise how much I want to study there, to wear those whites and to work in those kitchens. It would be a dream come true, and another step towards realising my ambition of becoming a professional pastry chef/baker. Cordon Bleu aside, other highlights of my holiday have been not doing work and hosting a tea party for two of my best friends, more of which to come in a later post.
Here’s where I should probably mention cake.
I made this for a housemate’s birthday before the Easter holiday while I was still at university. It’s a three-layer vanilla sponge, with chocolate cream and raspberries. The flavours are simple, but complement each other beautifully. The light (but still substantial) cake was delicate and moist, sandwiched with layers of rich, dark chocolate ganache and topped with fresh berries that added a sharpness, balancing out the sweetness of the cake. For my first three-layer cake, I feel that it’s not bad at all – it didn’t fall over, at any rate!
Of course, the most important thing is that my housemate loved it. Of all the cakes she received for her birthday (and trust me when I say that there were many), this was the first to go; a huge compliment, considering that one of the others was a vast, professionally baked and decorated affair involving jam and buttercream and complete with sugarpaste hearts and stars.
Anyway, that’s all for now, but I promise that there are some exciting things coming very soon…that is, if my irregular blogging patterns don’t get in the way again(!)
(Cake recipe is my standard go-to sponge cake, taken from the book Best-Ever Cake Decorating by Angela Nilsen & Sarah Maxwell.)