Coming through the front gate, I had yet another moment of front garden admiration. It's much dryer now than it was when I took that last photo. When I was moaning about the rain, can you believe? The other night I dreamt that I heard heavy rain on the tin roof and even got up to check, but nary a drop had fallen. Anyway, the front garden is holding up quite well and the iris have started to bloom. I don't think they get enough sun, water or attention for all of them to flower, but I quite like the randomness of it.
The morning baking project was a chocolate date meringue cake from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion. I have the first edition and on the whole I love it. I refer to this book frequently for ideas on say, yet another way to cook broad beans. Some pages are obviously loved over and over. But I have to say, some recipes are less than great. And this was one of them. I chose the recipe because it was flourless. My sister Betty doesn't handle gluten well and the cake was for a family lunch. Maybe it needed to sit in a cooling oven for longer and then sit overnight as per the recipe, but even then I don't think it wouldn't have been a great cake.
I don't mind that it fell apart a bit as I topped it with some slightly sweetened vanilla ersatz marscapone. It was quite edible, but just didn't do it for me. When I initially read the recipe, I couldn't imagine the ingredients melding well. But being such a simple recipe, I wanted to believe that it would be fabulous, so I cast aside my doubt. Never mind, there's a world of other flourless cakes to explore.
Next time I might try a semolina free version of a Sri Lankan love cake or maybe a lemon, polenta and almond cake. Or maybe even reworking this idea, maybe with cocoa instead of chocolate. I think I read a recipe like that years ago when I was doing some fat free diet. Anyway, I enjoyed making the cake, what with G playing me Beatles vinyl (the double white album) and Grace napping and then a read of the paper once the cake was in the oven.