Fall is a time when I need to pick myself up from the lazy carpet of summer on which I have been laying, ripening with age, for far too long this year. Long sunny days of rustic torpor are not conducive to mental exertion and, in the words of Hercule, “ahhh yes, these little grey cells of the mind…they must be stimulated, mon ami”! So I decided to shoot myself. Sugar, a substance that I have only recently started to treat with the respect that it deserves, was to be the chosen silver bullet that would awaken the kraken in my brain which in turn would scare the shit out of the little grey cells and make them do something more than demand another glass of red or a quick nap on a deckchair. The chosen weapon was a cake, “three pear cake” to be precise, from “The Provence Cookbook” by Patricia Wells. My new found respect for the perils of sugar is manifested by the comparatively understated presence of sugar in our kitchen which scarcity flew in the face of the demands of this recipe. At first sight the sugar bullet is a medium calibre projectile specifically designed to hit the pleasure centres with a similar impact to that of being struck behind the ear with a stuffed seal (pace P.G.Wodehouse). It will daze you, but not put you down…..but it’s the addition of the sugar, egg and eau de vie glaze that is poured onto the cake, after its initial 40 minutes in the oven, and then replaced in the oven for a further 10 minutes to crisp and bubble. This small addition turns the gateau into a gator…a full metal jacket that would suit Vinnie Jones .50 Desert Storm in Snatch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgBA1jA2-mo – beware:)
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