Thursday, 27 October 2011

Let them tweet cake

Time for coffee and cake at Casa Rosada

There are times when the new technology can aid us in our kitchen practice but more often than not it can make a meal of it and actually deprive us of the joy, artesan skill and therapeutic experience that we are experiencing.
Twittering a cake recipe, I don´t think so. I don´t twitter, but just how can you can condense the recipe for a Bolo de Bolacha Maria into 140 Characters ( 18 characters in the title for starters ).
The downside of this phenomenon is that micro recipes can be confusing, with varying forms of shorthand such as a T for tablespoon and EVOO for extra-virgin olive oil. If you have a tablespoon and a teaspoon in the same recipe how do you differentiate? But it appears baffled users can simply tweet any queries as they cook.Do they want to? Do they heck.Or since you're online anyway, perhaps you could just Google it and get the whole recipe in legible terms. Proponents say the idea is flourishing partly because people hit by the recession seek ways to reduce the cost of their shopping baskets.Being the game bird that  I am i gave the concept a fair chance and tried writing a twecipe version of my shortest simplest recipe Quick chocolate mousse cake.....
 mlt Cc in bm.+bt+ 
Oh dear,35 characters and I have only got through the first line.It looks like  some awful disaster in my physics exercise book back in primary school.Miss wouldn´t have been very pleased with that would she? The recipe in its original form is only 225 characters long but I don´t believe that even translated into shorthand it could be condensed to 140 characters. I abandoned the exercise and decided that only twats tweet cake.Lets stick to traditional values and what we are best at eh?
As a child I learned to bake with my mum. Of course I was lured by the perfect, factory-formed cakes of their time with their garishly coloured icing, Lyons Cup Cakes, Battenberg, Fondant fancies, iced fingers, to name but a few. But Oh the sense of warmth and security that being greeted by a home-made bun on your entrance can bring.As the Algarvian days become shorter and the nights draw in, autumn brings with it a growing desire to stay home of a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the contrast between the comforting oven heat indoors and the cold that is starting to make itself felt outside.Our minds turn once again to baking, and new ways to rustle up a new creation to impress the unexpected visitor that might pop by.Electric hand whisks at the ready girls, Nigella always has a store cupboard chocolate cake as her larder stand-by, so should I. The challenges to creativity and innovation are endless.All those wonderful Portuguese Doces conventuais recipes to choose from.God forbid the Christmas cake looms high up on the list, a whole afternoons work in itself.
In the United Kingdom, according to The Independent newspaper, there’s a new word buzzing around: Escakeism. It describes this as a tendency to escape from miserable reality or routine into a fug of Victoria sponge and Battenberg cake, with Mary Berry as fairy godmother.
Our baking escapade knows no bounds, we fill the tins, we empty the tins, we knead, roll out, dust and ice A stress free afternoon of baking is excellent therapy.As for the Independent, it’s not that wrong about the immersion into the warm glow that baking brings: just think about the scent of a cake baking in the oven. Baking also requires concentration, organisation and one’s full attention, so it takes us away from everyday stresses, woes and worries.Twitter is so past its sell by date.I never considered it  fresh anyway.
Bolo Maçá Smith
(Granny Smith´s apple cake)
Serves 10

What´s the shorthand for Granny Smith?- never mind lets get on with the task in hand, cooking a good ol-fashioned cake recipe and enjoying it.Grandmothers make a large contribution to a nations baking repertoire, with cakes being named after them. Italy has Torta della nonna and Portugal has  Bolo da avo to name but two.My grandmother for sure wasn´t a Smith, so I don´t know where this recipe came from.Some old biddy called Smith must have tied in the fact that a tart crisp apple carried her name and set about creating a recipe around it.
The great thing about this cake is that if you let it rest for an hour you can serve it as a warm pudding with a dollop of creme fraiche.Leave it to chill overnight and you have a stunning firm cake to enjoy with a cup of coffee. Sprinkle a dash of canela (cinnamon) into the ingredients and a few raisins and sultanas and you will keep any dutch expat happy.

4 Maça Smith ( granny smith apples)peeled, cored and sliced
3 large eggs
250g caster sugar
185g unsalted butter, melted
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven to 190c. grease a 25cm round spring form tin, line the base with baking parchment and add enough apple slices to to cover.Whisk the eggs and sugar together till thick and pale. whisk in the melted butter, sift and add the flour and baking powder and fold in until smooth.Add the lemon juice and remaining apples and pour into the tin. Bake for 1 hour or until well risen and golden brown.Allow to rest in the tin for afew minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.

2 comments:

  1. Spooky - I made this last Sunday, although didn't read the recipe properly and didn't melt the butter . . . so there was no pouring of the batter for me . . . more like scraping out a semi-set cement like mixture. Shame to waste it though so I still cooked it and it tasted fine. Going to do your version this sunday!!! (Yours will work!)

    ReplyDelete