Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Scrumptious Weekend

It's a funny thing, you know, this summer business. I have always delighted in most of the seasons. I love the scrunch of autumn leaves and the dull nip in the air; I love the dark velvet sky and icy puddles of winter; I love to welcome spring in by filling my little flat with hyacinths and daffodils. But summer...well that has always been the hot bit between spring and autumn!

But this year, perhaps as we have had such glum weather for so long, I am really enjoying it. The sunshine! The blue skies! Being able to go out with bare arms! It is such bliss, for the soul as much as the body I think too.

This being a rare Saturday off, and an even rarer beast, a sunny Saturday off, Carl and I decided to go back to the Gardens of Easton Lodge that I mentioned a post or so a go. We walked around the lush green abundance of the gardens, talked to the peacocks, took tea, luxuriated in nature really.

Then Sunday was brunch club, an altogether delightful affair. The host this time was quite nervous as his previous brunch club theme was Chinese Takeaway for the Chinese New Year which was really fun- but this was the first time of his cooking for us. And, he did fantastically (despite his worries!) we had a salmon starter on a bed of green beans, followed by a from-scratch chicken curry with two kinds of rice to choose from (divine yellow pepper and onion rice!) and the dessert besides.

Oh, the desserts! One lovely girl bought individual key lime pies she had made- so light, and good with creme fraiche. Another lovely girl bought along the most divine, sweet, scrumptious white chocolate cornflake cakes. And as if that was not enough dessert, I bought along a chocolate cake, of which I was inordinately proud!

Made to a Rachel Allen (who I worship!) recipe, you melt chocolate, butter and sugar in a saucepan, then beat in some eggs and ground almonds, scrape into a lined cake tin, and bake until just set. It comes out of the oven all puffed up, and you worry about how it looks- but as it cools, it sinks back down, and goes dense, and fudgy and gooey. All good qualities in a chocolate cake, I feel!

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