This morning Mr K invited 2 of our senior staff members over to our house for a meeting. At 9am.(this is EARLY in our house, I used to be a morning person but then winter and Kindle happened at the same time). It is to become a regular event, so he can have their undivided attention without the distractions of other staff and modelling agencies near coffee shops (its ok, we had the distraction of dogs and Mr K's army helmet collection to fill the awkward pauses)
I don't know why, but I had in my head that I would present to the meeting, a just-out-of-the-oven cake and a pot of tea for three (maybe I was still in high-tea fantasy after I found out yesterday that I have a STUNNING silver tea set coming to me!). The vision was accompanied with the house warm and friendly - it was warm as the heater was on, but not sure that a dirty floor and cobwebs in the windows equates to 'friendly' - then again it was very 'farmhouse' so I guess that's friendly?
I, and my house, would be the vision of Mrs Bucket, except with groovier dress sense. Not sure why I was wanting this scene for 3 men, on a mission, who could not care less about periwinkle tea cups? Am I really becoming such a recluse with working from home that I would play tea parties with work colleagues? I had a recipe for a tea cake all ready to assemble (see below) and I had timed the cake making, tidy-up and shower to be finished by 8.50am.
Except ... one chap, lets call him Mr Eager arrived early .. and I mean like 8am early! I was still in PJ's, as was Mr K (well Mr K does not do PJ's .. he was in daggy grey long johns with obscene flap near the groin area). The cake making was in full swing, so the kitchen was a mess, as was I. Mr K dives off and says he will just pop in the shower, arriving back just in time for the next guy to arrive ... Mr Not So Eager But Still Early. I am, by this time, sweaty (I always sweat when I am stressed), desperate for a shower, but making pots of tea for staff and despondently watching my fantasy morning slip away. I was feeling much more Elizabeth than Hyacinth!
The cake was a hit however! I even got asked for a copy of the recipe like a real tea party! Hope you enjoyed it lads :-)
It is in this months (July 2012) Delicious ABC Magazine. Except I have adapted it to my taste.
Apple, Pecan & NO Ginger Loaf
Set oven to 180c
Grease and line 1.5l loaf pan with baking paper
150g unsalted butter
150g brown sugar
150g golden syrup
into a small saucepan and heat gently until combined. Remove from the heat and add
set aside to cool
In a bowl, sift ..
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Make a well in the centre and add cooled milk/butter/sugar mixture.
Stir with a wooden spoon until combined,
then fold in
2 eggs (beaten)
75g chopped pecans
3 green apples, chopped into 1cm pieces
Pour mixture into lined pan, dust over
Cinnamon and caster sugar
then pop in oven for 50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 mins in tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Serve it warm in thick slices, on its own is lovely, but with mascarpone its divine.
The original recipe has 3 pieces of crystallised ginger, chopped, added with the apples but I left this out and added another apple. Turns out fine.