Soft centred Sundae…..

orange cake_0750There is such a silence this Sunday morning. Even the birds are in quiet contemplation. The soft hum of the computer and the click clack of the keyboard  is all that breaks the hush. Once it would have been the scratching of a pen nib on paper. That times have changed is confirmed by the swiftly passing roar of jet engines  from an empty blue sky. Les Saintes Glaces have made their exit for another year which means, according to mediaeval beliefs still strongly held, that clouts can be cast off: a little earlier than English clout casting, which attends the end of May, but that’s the French for you. Can’t wait to take them off. This day should herald the arrival of summerish things, if not summer itself, but there is still a chill in the air. More firewood was delivered yesterday as the wood burner is still lit each night. In part for “convivialité” but mostly for warmth which, at this juncture of the year, I don’t remember happening before. It might just be that I feel the cold more and nothing has changed.

But, in the wake of the Saintes Glaces, the sun was shining to lure the unwary into casting their clouts. I decided on cake and coffee in the sunshine, but remained fully clouted. The cake looks good, but looks alone, as we all  know to our cost, can deceive. Born of the most complicated and time consuming recipe, this confection emerged from the oven looking as it should. Being by nature an upside down cake, this means to say that it emerged as in a breach birth, bottom first. The perfection of a bottom is not the ideal yardstick by which to measure perfection: tell that to the roués in a Parisian café as they watch the derrières go by. I made this fatal error. Even when cooled and turned over, the cake looked right – rightish. The layer of of orange slices that I had candied, so patiently, in syrup ( I somehow used a kilo of sugar in the making of this cake, and only used half of the recommended ingredients) but the centre slice did seem to be lurching to one  side. As I carefully laid the glaze onto the top of the candied citrus slices, bubbles appeared around the centre slice. Like a pilot ignoring all the alarms in the cockpit, I ploughed on relentlessly, even though the inkling of suspicion had turned into an inkblot. The truth of the matter was: the middle of the cake remained uncooked – what a total bastard that sweet new born was turning out to be. No backbone whatsoever, a soft centred, lily livered excuse for a cake. But, as the Curate’s Egg, this cake was good in parts. I dug out the offending centre and spooned it into muffin cases, and put them into a very hot oven for 20 minutes. The cake now had two tiny twin siblings, that not only looked good, but were sticky and delicious. Now didn’t I hear that someone once took a rib from someone in order to create…..

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, Art photography, Bad luck, baking, Baking, cake, coffee, Cooking, desserts, Digital photography, Expectation, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, Les Saints de Glace, Miracle, muffin, oranges, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, St.Mamert, St.Pancrace, St.Servais, Sugar, summer, Sunday, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Soft centred Sundae…..

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  2. lulu says:

    Your words are a delight as I hope your morning coffee and cake were for you.

  3. Mad Dog says:

    Ha ha – I live in Camden, St. Pancras never leaves 😉
    That cake looks beautiful in the sun!

  4. Yummy scrummy cake. On a photography note, I’m curious to know how you got so much warmth, light and focus on the cake and not the rest?

  5. Tessa says:

    I would have never known that the cake was a mistake… It looks so delicous topped with the candied orange slice!

  6. I have to go sit on the porch and eat an orange now. Ah, the power of a photo.

  7. The closest I got to this was a clementine. Not nearly as satisfying.

  8. Clever to spoon out the uncooked portions. I love the shot of the coffee.

  9. Well, we almost have summer here in its full force, but not quite.Glad to hear that you got your load of firewood in a timely manner. We have a wood burning stove in Cedar Key, and it is lit for the convivialité as much as for warmth, but now will sit rather useless till about November some time. I am not quite sure what we did before we had it – the good cheer and comfort it sends out is not rivaled by anything else!

  10. Eha says:

    Lesson for the day: waste not, want not 🙂 !

  11. It looks like summer – light, colour and shadows – even if there was a chill in the air still. Here in the Midi it’s the Saints Cavaliers (St George, 23 April) and St Marc, 25 April) that we’re supposed to wait for before planting out tender vegetables. Not much clout casting has happened here either, though!

  12. ChgoJohn says:

    When you first mentioned “clouts”, being in Chicago, I first envisioned another campaign to clear the City’s government of the cigar-chomping Bosses, the stubborn remnants of the old Machine. Common Sense — and an online dictionary — prevailed and I was left to admire that cake and photo, just as I should have been doing all along.

  13. Ooh, that is some beautiful light. Way to go on rescuing a near-fail.
    I’ve heard of political clout, but not “clouts.” Guessing it’s either clothing or something to cover the windows?

    • You’re right. “Clouts” is the old English word for “clothes”. Funnily enough the French have a similar saying to the old English “Ne’er cast a clout till May is out” which roughly translates as “Don’t put on your swimming costume until June at the earliest!”

  14. Karen says:

    How very clever you are…not only in your words but digging out the uncooked cake and cooking it in muffin tins. It sunny color is lovely. It is the middle of May but it is cloudy and cold here today.

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