sushidog: (Sleeping Venus)
[personal profile] sushidog
Gruh and argh.

Lots of people seem to be sleeping badly at the moment; I may count myself very firmly in their number. I woke up last night, heart pounding and sweaty, having heard, or dreamt, a noise that may or may not have been a mouse. Then I lay awake with the blood pounding in my ears for a while, alternating between kicking the bedcovers off because I was too hot and huddling them around me because I was sweating myself cold.

And then, just to complete my night, I had a series of dreams about not being able to sleep, complete with various explanations not just for my insomnia but in some cases, other people's; one involved a snake which managed to open my back door (my unpleasant dreams the night before involved people getting in through my back door too; I'm pretty sure this is "OMG I'm moving house in three weeks" angst), while another involved the very pretty and spectacular electrical meltdown of a nearby power station, all neon pink and blue spark showers and ground trembling.

This morning I am sleepy, but I have to be up in decent time as I have someone coming round to eye up my worldly possessions and give me a quote for moving them to Plymouth. I'm currently worrying that they're not all going to fit in the new flat but frankly I'm too tired to think straight at the moment. I think I shall have a nap this afternoon.

Busy week this week; povvo cinema tonight, good company for dinner tomorrow, a trip to Sheffield with lovely officemate on Wednesday to househunt (she's seen one flat which is in a converted castle; I want her to get that one, because, well, it's in a castle), curry night on Thursday, and on Friday, oh, the joy, I get to pick up exam resits and spend the weekend marking them. Lucky me.

Ah well. My weekend was mellow; I did a bit of mild domestic stuff, incuding making chinois (rolled briche filled with creme patissiere), and spent a very chilled out evening yesterday with lovely officemate, stuffing her full of nice soft food (she's had wisdom tooth problems this week, so I made butternuit squash risotto and provided soft ice cream with no bits in, and home-made chocolate sauce, although she was sufficiently recovered to try the chinois as well, and declare it the filthiest thing I've ever baked) and drinking to my flat and her job in fizz which was possibly contrindicated by the antibiotics she was on.

Still, she made it home OK, and I'm taking the remaining chinois in to work later.

How are you doing? What are you up to this week?

Date: 2009-08-24 07:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh! Recipe for chinois, plz? Or, if it's not on tinterwebs, just a reference will do :)

Date: 2009-08-24 08:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I adapted it from one that appeared on [ profile] bakebakebake, so this is what I did;

For the dough;

A heaped teaspoon dried yeast (I'd have used about an ounce of fresh if I had it)
Half a cup of milk
A squirt of honey
A teaspoon flour

250g white bread flour
30g sugar (I used golden caster sugar, but frankly any will do fine!)
A pinch of salt
A teaspoon or so of cinnamon and/or mixed spice (I'd use a bit more next time)
70g butter, melted and allowed to cool
An egg

Mix the milk, yeast, and a teaspoon each of sugar or honey and flour, and leave to foam.

Mix the dry ingredients and stir in the melted butter; it'll go lumpy, but that's fine, cut it in a bit but don't worry too much, it'll sort itself out later. When the yeast has foamed a bit, add the egg to the milk/yeast mix and beat it in. Add this to the dry ingredients and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon (or bung it in a food processor with a dough hook). It should form a sticky, soft dough with lots of stretch, which an be pursuaded to leave the sides of the bowl clean. Beat or knead for five minutes or so, making sure there are no buttery lumps left.
Leave to prove in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with cling film or a clean tea towel.

For the creme patissiere;

150ml milk
An egg yolk
1 tablespoon cornflour
25g sugar
Vanilla essence (I'd be tempted to add some cinnamon next time i make this)

Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over a low heat (don't wander off and get distracted!); keep whisking until it thickens. Take it off the heat, transfer to a bowl (to stop the cooking so you don't end up with a lump!) and cover the top of the custard with cling film to prevent a skin from forming. Leave to cool.

When the custard is cool and the dough has doubled in size, knock it back down, give it another bit of a knead on a floured work surface, and then roll it out into a rectangle; you want it fairly thin, and I guess mine was a bit bigger than a standard baking tray.
Spread the custard over it, leaving a bit of a gap at one long edge. Sprinkle the surface with 200g of raisins (it's worth soaking them in a bit of sherry or something for a while beforehand to stop them being too dry) or chocolate chips. Or whatever else you fancy really.

Roll up from a long side, towards the edge you left a gap at (so that the custard doesn't splurge out); a pastry scraper is helpful here, and I cut it in half first, which also helped. Cut into thick slices (you should get about six from this quantity) and arrange, cut-side up, in a well-buttered cake tin, ideally a springform or a loose-bottomed one; you'll need a spatula to lift them in as they're quite squishy!

Leave to rise in a warm place for half an hour or so, or pput them in the fridge overnight and then leave in a warm place for an hour the next morning.

Bake at GM 5, 180oc, for about half an hour, until golden on top.
You could glaze them with warmed golden syrup or honey or sugar syrup or indeed apricot jam or similar when they come out of the oven if you like; I probably will next time I make them.

Date: 2009-08-24 09:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh! Thank you :)

I tried to make pasteis de nata at the weekend, and the recipe I had was rubbish; the custard filling split during baking, so that's the last time I use that recipe.

Date: 2009-08-24 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What did your custard recipe involve?

And a bonus question; I have one egg white. What shall I do with it?

Date: 2009-08-24 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
4 egg yolks, 350ml milk, 150ml double cream, vanilla, lemon peel and cinnamon sticks (fished out before being added to the cases), 3tbsp sugar and - this is where it went wrong - 2tbsp plain flour. The custard needed cooking before adding to the cases, which was fine, and then into the oven to cook the cases and the custard got too hot, the flour started to cook, and it all went a bit pete tong.

Oh, and if you have one egg white, make a fruit syrup, whisk the egg white up with a teaspoon of icing sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar, fold the white into the cooled syrup and freeze it. Voila: sorbet.
Edited Date: 2009-08-24 09:25 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-08-24 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Might cornflour work better than normal flour?

Hm, sorbet is an interesting thought, I've never made it before!

Date: 2009-08-24 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooh, is it the Queen's Tower apartments you're coming to look at? Someone on my flist has a flat there and it's lovely!

Date: 2009-08-24 08:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, that's the one!

Date: 2009-08-24 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Again, I should be there between 6.30 - 6.45. See you soon! (Kevin's not coming cause he don't like girly films)

Date: 2009-08-24 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OK, see you there!
Wait, are we getting dinner, or just drinks?

Date: 2009-08-24 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What time does film start? Whichever is easiest.

Date: 2009-08-24 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
8.25. I think I shall eat something beforehand, as I have lots of leftovers to use up, but if you and Babs want to eat, I don't mind sitting and watching while you do!

Date: 2009-08-24 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll eat popcorn and dirty nachos!

Date: 2009-08-24 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Angel" - Belly, from there fantastic first album Star.

Date: 2009-08-24 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is a superb album, yes! Although now I feel rather old, because it was released sixteen years ago.

Date: 2009-08-24 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wasn't it 17? I recall getting it for my 18th birthday, but figured the single and album had been out in 1991? Maybe the album came out in Jan 1992... we love Belly, we did.

Date: 2009-08-24 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
1993, according to Wikipedia and Amazon, and the track info.

Date: 2009-08-24 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Durrr. I turned 18 in 1993... :)


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