Challenge: To cook all 124 recipes from the brand spanking new Brave New Meal cook book in one year.
10 recipes down, 114 to go…. and God only knows how many days left. I think I am behind on this challenge.
Am I the only one who’s been stressed and busy as fuck recently?
When all your deadlines have got your plums in a vice, I find the best thing to do is take them out, and bake them into a cake instead.
So this Plum-Side-Down Cake seemed like the perfect choice.
I love how our Bad Mannered friends (previously known as Thug Kitchen) double up on the protection when dealing with….um…”plums.” ahem.
Or rather, when dealing with Plum cake. First, they get you to grease and flour your cake tin, and THEN pop parchment paper in there too, and then ALSO grease and flour the paper. It made me think of the part in ‘Pretty Woman’ where she says “I’m a safety girl” after having shown off 10 different types of condom. So this cake tin, is now like the gold circle coin. The cake tin of champions. NOTHING IS GETTING THROUGH THIS SUCKER.
(if you don’t know wtf I’m on about check out the clip here)
I moved on to heating up the butter and brown sugar and other goodies in a saucepan. There was something so therapeutic and soothing about melting brown sugar and butter, turning it into caramel. Honestly, this was a stress-reliever in itself, so if you were on the fence about making this cake – do it for your stress-levels! Do it for your health! Melt your way to soul-soothing relaxation. Plus, you get yummy cake at the end, what more is there to even to talk about?
Get off the fence, and into the kitchen – what the hell were you even doing up there in the first place? Grab a few plums from that tree while you’re up there.
I poured the caramel goodness into the cake tin and then lined with the plums, trying to make it as pretty as humanly possible (not an easy feat when you’re as clumsy as me, and you have a child chasing your cat and dog around the kitchen. GAWD!)
I took in the magical beauty of what I was creating and then promptly turned around, crashing into my son and spilling apple cider vinegar everywhere. Oh well, they say it’s good for the hair, so maybe it’s good for the skin too? Or the hair on my arms? Who knows? I didn’t have time to cry over spilled vinegar, so I moved on.
Ignore the peas…they aren’t part of it. They’re dinner. (Don’t worry we didn’t just have peas for dinner, there were other things too. I wouldn’t just serve my family a random bowl of peas. I’m not a total nutcase. The only time I’d do that is if I was really sick and could barely move. Or if I was really really hung over and the same applied.)
While this gorgeous cake was doing its thing in the oven I prepped our dinner – which covered several food groups, so relax already.
And when the time was right, I whipped the cake out the oven. It smelled so good that I can’t describe it with words. Only grunts and maybe some snuffling.
Then I FORCED myself to be patient and wait till the cake had cooled for 30 minutes before I turned the cake over. There was something so satisfying when I took the cake tin away and I finally got to peel away the parchment paper. I imagine it’s like how a plastic surgeon feels when removing the bandages from a patient’s face to reveal a gorgeous supermodel. (or just something less weird, and more related to cake)
I was so psyched, I actually said “TA-DAAAAAH!” out loud, only to turn around smiling gleefully, and realise I was all alone in the kitchen. No one was there to witness the great reveal.
I was disappointed for all of about 3 seconds, when I realised with a small thrill that this was my chance to try the cake all by myself. I grabbed a plate and knife with a sense of urgency. Then of course the fuckers, sensing that there was cake to be had somewhere in the house, all came piling back into the kitchen in a chaotic frenzied state. Like rabid dogs, or zombies chomping at my legs, I swatted them away shouting “GET OFF!” before finally conceded, and cutting them a slice. A slice EACH.
(You don’t know how long I considered just making them all share one slice. Undeserving bastards.) (said with love)
The cake was wonderful. Gooey and caramelly, and with that yummy plum thing going on where you could almost convince yourself that this could count as one of your ‘five a day’ fruit and veg.
But I knew vegetable-God was watching (or whatever deity you subscribe to. It’s cool if its a tofu God you believe in. I’m openminded and down with anything) and I couldn’t lie to myself or vegetable God. We both knew there were no health benefits in this cake. Only soul-warming benefits. The sugary kind.
Vegetable God and I agreed that I could have the day off and just eat cake. After all, I’d had all those green peas earlier too, that has to count for something. We also had a frank discussion about making caramel a food group in its own right. I got vetoed, but it was worth a try.
By the way I know my food pics are shit, it’s winter here and there’s hardly ever any daylight. It will get better in the summer, and the pictures will be nicer. Right now it’s about survival, and darkness, and snow, and popping vit D tablets several times a day, and lighting fires, and weaving our own clothes out of faux-bear skins and hemp.