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I am now joining the ranks of the no-knead bread fan club, membership no. 2,384,373

After recent forays by bloggers Jane Brocket and Momofukufor2 how could I resist giving it a bash? I have this year been slowly improving my yeasty skills, spurred by a breadmaking lesson from my brother, who in turn took his lessons from the great book Dough by Richard Bertinet. I’ve been on a breadmaking hiatus while on a yeast free diet, but to celebrate the return of bread there’s nothing like a new recipe.

And it turned out great. I didn’t get as much rise as I’d wanted, so I was feeling pretty pessimistic when I put it in the oven, but it still came out crusty, chewy, light and delicious. I have another batch already fermenting in the kitchen 🙂

I halved the recipe successfully, and definitely think the secret is in the steaming in the Dutch Oven, which I will have to also try with regular kneaded bread. Much easier than pantsing around with spray bottles and bowls of water in the oven

So, wedding cake decisions for a baking fan like me are not taken lightly. D-man of course immediately vouched for chocolate mud. Not at all surprising, and so zzzzzz. I’ve never gone crazy over chocolate cake.

So, even though I know the feasibility of making my own wedding cake is extremely low and a high risk venture into crazy town on the crucial lead up days to the wedding, I can’t stomach the idea of paying someone $400-800 for a cake I can do myself. The design (not being discussed here, a lady must have some secrets) is quite simple, so if I’m not paying for amazing tasting cake I ain’t paying.

So, after much deliberation, “my” layer of the cake will be a coconut raspberry cake. It needs to have:

  • a dense, moist crumb
  • nice coconutty texture, that doesn’t stick in your teeth
  • to improve with maturation- if I’m making it myself I can’t do it on the day
  • and it needs to be UTTERLY DELICIOUS!

So, I started with this recipe for ‘Southern Style’ Coconut Cake

Adaptions: I halved the ingredients, seeing as I don’t need a full cake for these tasters. I added some coconut essence and a cup of frozen raspberries tossed in flour stirred through last thing before being placed in the pan.

Verdict: Meh.

It was an ok cake, a bit bland with not much texture or coconut flavour. The coconut milk I think weighed it down, and absorbed the sweetness of the sugar and the zing of the raspberries.

On the up side, tossing the squishy defrosted raspberries in flour worked well in containing juice bleed in the mix. And this was the first time I’d used my Wiltshire adjustable cake ring and it worked a treat. With this little gem you can make a deep cake from 16cm to 28cm diameter. I need never buy another round cake tin again.

Next step: Next recipe I will add some lime zest and/or juice to spark the flavours, I’ll use shredded coconut instead of dessicated for more texture. I’ve come across some recipes using almond meal, which is an intriguing combination that will have to be tried.

Need a lift in your afternoon? Minted stationary company are running a photo competition with the theme ‘Joy‘.
There are some awesome photos being posted. They really put the fizz back in your blood. There are also a plague of wedding photographers plugging things up, the bane of my existence.
But there are enough real gems amongst the Swarovskis to give you smiles.

Thanks Joy the Baker (who is also a judge) for sharing  🙂

Had a crappy day of that inbetween stage of being sick and getting better, when you’re starting to feel better, but don’t have the energy to actually do anything.
Not totally true, I finally finished off the thank you cards from the Black and White party (3 months, new record!), but I’ve spent the entire afternoon doing… nothing.
I got the excitement of starting an antibiotic with the rather alarming instructions of  ‘don’t lie down for half an hour after taking, it can cause a real burning sensation’. Super. I was also recommended to take it after a full meal, with a really big glass of water to make sure it really got washed down. Oh, and I have to avoid excessive sunlight, iron and calcium supplements and antacids while taking them. I may as well just sit in a box for the week.

You know what though? I was so bored that the command to not lie down meant that all I wanted to do after taking it was have a lie down, and I fell asleep sitting up in a chair. The straight-backed, definitely not reclining, chair. Like an old man.

I need stimulation, help me!

Here’s a random picture to liven up this post. If only it could liven up my day