Busywork

Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Baked goods August 22, 2009

Filed under: Food — lauravw @ 4:07 pm

custardI’ve been making a bit of an effort to lose a few pounds recently (and it’s slowly working), but that didn’t stop me from making both brownies and egg custard the other day.

My mum turns out baked egg custards seemingly every few days, without ever once looking in a recipe book. She’s been making them for so long that when I asked for her recipe, she just said to add ‘some’ milk to ‘a few’ eggs and ‘a bit’ of sugar. Hmm. So I scoured my recipe books and eventually found a recipe. I won’t post it here because I don’t think it was sweet enough – next time I visit my mother, I will take some kitchen scales (I don’t think she has any) and measure out everything she puts in her egg custards so that I can write up the details. What I was very happy with was the fact that, baked in small ceramic dishes inside a big lasagne dish filled with water, the surface of the custard didn’t crack. It looked great – and they were quite yummy, it’s just that sweeter would have been better.

browniesNext up: chocolate brownies. I am a fan of brownies (who isn’t?) and even have a little book that’s pretty much entirely about how to make them. (It’s called Brownies, Fudges and Toppings – and seems to be selling for a fortune second-hand on Amazon today. It must be somewhat rare these days – it’s only a little booklet.) But this time I wanted to try something new. The recipe for Brownies in Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess has always looked interesting, but it seems to use an obscene volume of ingredients – and would cost a fortune to make. I made it anyway – but I halved all the quantities. And as it turned out, that was fine – my brownie pan was nicely filled, and I don’t think could have accommodated the full amount prescribed. I’ve learned through the years that a ‘properly’ baked brownie is a dry brownie: I like mine still gooey, and so always remove them from the oven five or ten minutes earlier than the recipe books suggest (after poking them a bit with a skewer to check they have at least done a bit of baking). These were delicious – I was very happy with them.

All the ingredients came from the very kind people at Abel and Cole – thank you! The chocolate in particular was very special, and I hope to try some other products from the same range soon. The brownie recipe used two bars of it (so you can see how expensive it would have been to make the full amount as per Nigella’s recipe). We also got to try the eggs and the organic flour – both good and fresh.

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2 Responses to “Baked goods”

  1. Liz Says:

    Ooh, I like a good baking session. My dad used to make egg custard tarts all the time and yes, you’re right, they do need the right degree of sweetness. I couldn’t manage without scales but I haven’t gone metric yet!

  2. LauraVW Says:

    I’m metric when it comes to cooking, but imperial when it comes to my own weight. I’m also metric when measuring fabric and furniture, but imperial for distance and temperatures. Britain is a confusing country that way!


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