The Tea Boy decided that the wedding breakfast of marmalade and ice cream deserved a toast!
Time to deploy my ploy. The kitties mentioned in the previous post are ginger twins, named Penny and Tuppence. I chat with the retired Judge whilst quietly bringing together the collective odd bits of citrus fruit which, it transpires, were more sizeable than I first thought. Proceeding with due stealth we spoke of happier days to a backing track of loud, restful purrs. Listening to the enchanting wordsmiths mog-a-logue, was a gift in itself.
Later long, lingering thoughts of a trip to Sardinia many centuries ago. Luxed-out under the warming sun, blousy bougainvillea, platters of freshest, local fruits from laden boughs, served with orange ricotta cake for breakfast. A couple of defibrilating espressos, an equally powerful, frozen citrus concoction that would be gifted a small sparkle of local prosecco (magnifying even the dullest memories of meh mimosas) to an eye twitching smack in the kisser.
Time to make a swift and strong sugar syrup, one cup of sugar and same of water. Behold, melt the sugar into the water over a low heat, leave to syrup cool.
Room temperature fruits yield more of their sweetness and flavoursome juice. Having scarified the wonderfully aromatic zest before hand, the detritus produced an astonishing 3 cups of multifarious juice. (Ok, ok I drank the rest). Proffer the zest to the cooling syrup as you go, combine the juice and commit the lot to appropriate lidded vessels and freeze.
Deploy the scratch and scrape every hour or two to aerate if you wish. In my case, after a few hours (make sure the top is secure) give it a damn fine shake, return to the freezer forget about it until required. There’s a belting amount of sugar within so it shouldn’t set like a brick and if it does pop it into a poly bag and clout it a few times before returning it to the freezer with a stern, tut tut for misbehaving.
Alternatively reserve some as a drizzle for the ricotta cake you have put into the oven! The wafting aroma of a warm, fragrant orangey-vanilla cake is currently sublime.
Cake: 1 cup of sugar, 3 decent eggs, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1.1/2 plain / all purpose/plain flour, 2 baking powder, 1. 1/2 cups of ricotta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, scant teaspoon of orange flower water and zest of a lonely, remaining orange.
Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another and gently fold together. Slither and smoosh the mix into a 9″ silicone cake pan (or whatever is comparable and to hand) and bake in a moderate oven for best part of an hour, test after 45 minutes and if it’s getting too dark, lower the temperature (who knew) or as in my case leave on a shelf, bottom right Aga, for an hour and ten minutes. Let it cool on a rack before you nick a bit from the bottom where it can’t be seen. Doff the wonderfully gentle cake with a flamboyant cascade of icing sugar to cover your tracks.
An auspicious, warm May afternoon, tea for two and time to raise a VE Day 75 commemorative glass. Since Mama was being swept along in the conga outside Buckingham Palace and Father (Royal signals) on a six year sojourn in the Far East with the compliments of His Majesty. As sweethearts, they wrote to one another everyday, (placing a cigarette within their blue notes), many of which I still have.
They married and rocked the ‘happy ever after’ (auto corrected to therapy ever after – now theres a sign of the times!) and likely no great surprise that their respective exits were respiratory driven. Having nailed togetherness for themselves they wrangled a stoic and inexplicably wonderful childhood for their only child.
Gasp! … Did you see that?
She just put some sorbet to melt in the sun and drizzle through the cake. Murmuring something about quality control?
Present the whole impromptu shebang to the (now chortling) Tea Boy. Raise a glass to ones kindly readers wishing them safe, well and happy.
In the doe-eyed delirium, the makings of another plan. Umm. A refined, weekend brunch of ricotta cake, with marmalade ice cream and maybe a flimsy, a mimsy, a whimsy of a mimos-ahhhh.
Toot toot x