I’m absolutely exhausted. This was one of those weekends that felt like a massive test of my endurance. I’ve been working without a holiday for what feels like a very long time, and I really need a break over Christmas to recharge my batteries!
The tiredness has been affecting my running, which hasn’t been going to plan at all. I’ve managed a couple of short runs here and there, but not much beyond that, which aggravates me like mad. It’s also been impacting of my most recent bakes as well. For instance, last week I decided to bake some fork biscuits, but completely forgot about them when they’d gone into the oven, resulting in the lingering smell of burnt baking wafting through the flat, and potentially most of the building.
So it was with trepidation that I approached the making of my friend’s birthday cake. I decided to go straightforward and simple – make a chocolate sponge in advance, and smother in chocolate icing closer to the date. Easy peasy.
Well, not quite. The sponge went fine – it didn’t rise as well as it could have, but I think that was due to the use of almond milk instead of cow’s milk, as that was all that I had. I tried to make a fancy hazelnut praline to sprinkle on top, but I didn’t have enough sugar, and ended up playing around with it and it somehow ended up as a crunchy chocolatey mixture that didn’t seem much good for anything. Loath to waste it, I spread it into the middle of the cake as a crunchy nutty icing. Dubious about the success of that – but the remaining stages are yet to be finalised when I drape the whole confection in a layer of ganache, and hopefully decorate the top in a suitably celebratory manner. We’ll see.