What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Un oeuf is enough

on August 7, 2012

This Thursday marks the end of the birthday season in our house with son number two turning 18. The thought of having two “adult” children is bizarre! Anyway, as part of birthday celebrations I decided to delve into Michel Roux “Eggs” and have a bash at raspberry roulade. Now roulades hold no fear for me, I have been rolling up Delia’s Bouche de Noel complete with chestnut creme for years, and Michel’s sample on p272 looked delicious. Also I had by now 6 fresh eggs just itching to be transformed into something wonderful. And a hungry family to impress too.
It’s the night before the birthday. It’s getting late. Hands washed, apron on, ready to go. Ok, oven on, baking paper prepared. Now the first thing the recipe requires ‘one quantity genoese sponge mixture’. A quick search of the index, flick to p268. Sponge requires plain flour, 4 of my 6 beautiful eggs, sugar and melted butter. No trouble there. The process is followed as per page 268. 30 minutes later we have a beautiful Genoese sponge. As with Delia’s Christmas recipe I covered the sponge with a damp tea towel, headed for bed and quietly confident, left the rest until the morning. BIG MISTAKE.
Now some of you may know that I trained as a lawyer. What do they always drum into you? Always Read The Small Print. Don’t assume anything except that Your Client Is An Idiot. (yes really). Well I fell down on both counts. Guilty as charged your honour.
Up early to let the girls outside the next morning I return to Michel and flick back to p272 to proceed with the roulade. To my dismay I read the following –
Make the Genoese sponge mix. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes only.
Arggh. My lovely sponge, cooked for 30 minute has been cooled for 8 hours! Never mind, the damp cloth should have kept it moist enough. Hopefully.
I read on.
For the filling, whip the cream and add the creme patissiere.
Oh. I hurriedly turn to p220 and my heart sinks. Creme Patissiere requires 6 egg yolks, sugar, vanilla pod, milk, boiling AND cooling. I have two eggs left. Briefly I wonder if squeezing the hens firmly in their nether regions would make them lay any faster this morning. But in the interests of hen protection I decided to reduce the quantities of the other ingredients accordingly and started whipping madly. Soon the tiniest quantity of creme patissiere is resting in the freezer. Michel would be tutting loudly.
I turn back to p272.
Fill the roulade as soon as it has cooled otherwise it will be difficult to roll.
Oops. Never mind. ( Looking back at this stage I should have cut the by now stone cold sponge in two pieces and served it as a cake, but panic and a fear of failure kept me fully in “roulade mode”. In future I should stop and ask myself “What Would Nigella Do?”)
Raspberry jam was spread, fresh raspberries added, and the almost /nearly /not quite chilled creme was thinly spread over the lot. Well, a hint of creme patissiere is better than none I thought.
Then the rolling. No trouble there. It had no intention of being rolled, it just broke. Not pretty. Never mind. A sprinkle of icing sugar, a couple of candles and it’s finished. If it was the Great British Bake Off I’d be hanging up my apron and packing my bags for home.
Back to the recipe. Michel reminds me to “chill for 3-4 hours”.
I think he means the roulade, but after that baking fiasco I think I’ll be the one to do the chilling, merci.

This is what you would be served chez-michael!


2 responses to “Un oeuf is enough

  1. sweetaddict says:

    This is now on mt baking bucket list!

  2. quiltedhappiness says:

    That’s such a great comment for life ‘what would Nigella do’!! next time I’m stressed, particulalry when making a roulade, that’s exactly what I’m going to think! – Suzy

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