Cooking and baking for communal occasions tends to be freakingly stressful as an experience. You never know what other people will enjoy eating, and thus the bar is already set very high. Chocolate usually goes down very well, so all my Christmas baking ended up having a very cocoa-y theme.
There was quite a lot of stomping around getting cross with myself as I turned out failure after failure. A pastry case crumbled into pieces the moment I removed it from the tin. The chocolate cake initially seemed fine, but the caramelised nuts decorating it decided to start dissolving and ooze messily everywhere. Not the worst thing that can happen in one day, to be sure, but it’s not a great feeling putting in a lot of effort and getting very little success in return.
I haven’t sampled either of these yet. The cake I’m fairly certain will go down well, it is a tried-and-tested faithful recipe, although it’s not as pretty anymore as it was in the photo. The tart remains to be seen. It’s full of ingredients mashed together in a wholly improvised fashion. So, bon appetit, mes amis. It’s not my best effort, but I tried.
Later: Well, astonishingly the tart turned out to be the star of the day. It was really rich, but everyone loved the flavours. The cake went down well, but really it was the tart that won all the accolades and I’ve been asked to make it again over this festive season – who’d have guessed!