Recently my part-time job has taken me up to and back down from a spot just outside Drogheda more times than a lift in a high-rise office block yo-yo’s between floors on a busy day. By the by, in case you don’t know, Drogheda is a port town situated roughly fifty-five kilometres north of Dublin.
Category Archives: Cake
Feeling in need of something to cheer me up I headed to the city centre for a spot of retail therapy. I say of the spending kind because as often as not I am as happy to browse as I am to buy.
I have mentioned before on the blog that I try to eat in a healthy fashion. Mostly! I say mostly because I am inordinately fond of cake; I also like to eat the occasional burger and fries with a dollop of added-sugar-horror aka tomato ketchup on the side; and I indulge in the odd ninety-nine ice cream cone.
Just in case you have been on planet Zog for the last little while and haven’t heard of the cronut furore, I will tell you that a cronut is a croissant-doughnut fusion. French pastry chef Dominique Ansel invented and perfected the hybrid breakfast pastry at his eponymous New York bakery.The cronut is also the latest food craze and that craze is spreading around the globe faster than the Starship Enterprise gobbles up light years.
I recently had an existential showdown with some bananas. As existential showdowns go it wasn’t in the same league as Oscar Wilde’s with the wallpaper in a Parisian hotel, where he reputedly uttered the immortal line: ‘one of us has got to go’, while lying on his deathbed and looking at said wallpaper.
I am Irish so therefore I like Guinness. Right? No, wrong. I don’t like it at all. I believe it’s an acquired taste but no sip of it that I have ever had has encouraged me to try to acclimatize my taste buds to what’s known locally as the black stuff.
I was never going to buy another cookery book. Never ever. For a start the bookshelves in my kitchen, of which incidentally I am inordinately proud of having assembled from an IKEA flat pack, are stuffed to capacity. I was especially not going to buy another cookery book with instructions for making cakes because I must already have a zillion recipes for sweet confections. And as for buying a cookery book with a saturated pink cover which has a photograph featuring a cheesecake with a lurid lime-green topping made from jelly – now that would be totally out of the question.
As an expression, it’s never too late to bake a Christmas cake, may not be in the same league as one of my favourite quotes ‘It’s never too late to be who you might have been’ (George Eliot). This recipe is from a Delia Smith Christmas Cookery book; she calls it last-minute Christmas mincemeat cake. It seems to prove the point that as in life so too in Christmas baking it’s never too late. Once cooked it can be iced in the traditional way, topped with a glazed nut topping, or simply left as is.
I went to see ‘Cézanne et Paris’ an exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg (running until 26th February 2012) when I was in Paris last week. Cézanne urged by his old school friend Émile Zola to come to Paris, to further his artistic career, arrived in the capital aged twenty-one in 1861. From then on Cézanne travelled back and forth between Paris and his native Province, he did however return permanently to the landscapes of his childhood for the last fifteen years of his life. The exhibition is of Cézanne’s Parisian works and includes a picture of Zola; sadly the two friends fell out possibly because of Zola’s portrayal of an artist, loosely based on Cézanne, in his novel The Masterpiece.