A visiting virtuosi Grandchild is gifting us all with a rendition of Vivaldi’s Autumn, rasping and scraping with all the tenacity and musicality of a chain saw. Bob and I avowed to return post Adagio Molto. The glissando (sliding between 2 notes) and polytonality combination of two or more notes being played at the same time – the child is already a master of the musicale known as:- all the right notes but in the wrong order, so Bob and I hop’d it.
Bob About is my, ever-so-slightly, tamer-than-tame Robin, he prefers his tiffin from a particular terracotta tile which stands on a slice of a tree that fell foul to Honey fungus, whence he was born. His home sweet home but in another guise. He has many God parents, Walter Pigeon, Christopher and Jenny (Wren) and the Woodpecker family Cider and Rosie yet none dare to attend his plat-du-jour. Bob is shown here fielding a bird table from marauding magpies.
I retire to my kitchen as Bob is edgy. He audibly and physically threatens the little G’ninga Kitten from the dark side of the hedge.
I see wincing and frowning walkers on their way back from the river with their plastic bags of Fidos stoop and scoop, as I bake. We all have one over-riding thought in common, which is that no violin string should be so harshly penanced yet alone in the name of Vivaldi albeit Harvest Festival or teachers on strike.
Plum berry sponge with a Plummy accent
In my trug I have herb flowers, a few Marjorie and Victoria plums and blackberries that have escaped the attention of our feathered friends. With the afternoon to myself = Yay noisy food mixer and then cake!
Plumberry sponge, is a variation on a Victoria v Victoria theme, a country hedgerow twist
A little classical music ? – and my afternoon delight.
Spend hours laboriously weighing everything or use the
Bish, bash, bosh, cook, scoff recipe as below or indeed buy or make one which suits your dietary needs.
This is an imperfect confection for a now wet and windy afternoon, rather than prissy act of perfection. In the summer it dons a dollop of vanilla ice cream and the fruits suitably strewn to tumble and jumble about.
Equal amounts of flour sugar butter.
I use 225 g each and 2 eggs, splash of decent vanilla, a teaspoon baking powder. Use appropriate alternatives if necessary
Set oven 180 degrees – ish
Baking paper line 2 post war sponge tins about 8” used here.
Bake for 20-25 mins
Wash a handful of plums, cut slices into the fruits as you remove stones add the flesh to a non stick pan on medium heat, sprinkle with sugar, let them bask in the heat and sugar to a brief yet satisfying blubbly bubble, remove from the heat and pimp with table-spoon or two of booze, I only used a splash of the cherry brandy and drank the rest. Ho hum. Add a little fresh juice or rosewater if you prefer? Can’t imagine why though?
Include some of the blackberries towards the end to be warmly macerated. The juice and colour achieving CSI / Dexter crime scene carnage to the elegant purity of your pretty but plain cake ( note: the colour of the sponge comes from richly coloured local egg yolks ). Heres one I made even earlier… which ‘pales’ into significance?
Whip up a Chantilly cream – or use clotted cream if you can. Chantilly cream has vanilla seeds or essence and icing sugar plus a scant pinch of salt. Use whipping, double or heavy cream for this.
Assemble on vintage cake stand
Layer as follows:
Blackberry and plum jammy goo
Fresh blackberries to the outer edge
Wallop half the Clotted or Chantilly cream into the middle and squidge the 2nd cake on top dome side up, this gives a better slalom affect for the gliding fruits and cream.
Add and combine a tiny amount of rose-water or lavender sugar to remaining Chantilly or clotted cream, then utilize the flop and dollop method to the top of the cake. Flow the fruits and syrup over the top of the cream, encouraging it to slather and fall over the edges by wiggling it about, no dear, the cake not you.
‘Dress’ with dribbling slivers of poached plum, blackberries and any remaining sauce, decorate with herbage or edible flowers and give yourself a patronising pat on the shoulder for ‘Victoriously’ having your cake and then eating it.
3 parts of your ’5 a day’ being Plum, Blackberries, Cherry brandy, and I’m delighted to report that the child has fiddled off and returned home.
A piece of cake eh?