Thursday 31st March
This evening I have half an hour to make the icing for my husband’s birthday cake - coffee and walnut. It sounds luscious in Nigel’s recipe - rich and creamy with mascapone cheese, butter, sugar, coffee.... My heart sinks when I see it curdle in the Magimix - separating out into a grainy, lumpy, watery mess. I try to rescue it with more of everything but only make it worse. Too late to go to the shop so I revert to another recipe - a traditional butter cream which does the job - a thick layer between the cakes and a soft duvet on top to hold the walnut halves and candles. I hope it will stretch to feed eighteen people.
Now the curdled pale brown sea is sitting in a bowl in the fridge - I’m going to try adding flour and eggs and make it into a cake tomorrow. But I’m not sure - when you stray too far from the proportions of ingredients in a cake it doesn’t work. The balance is disturbed - something breaks down. Nothing is certain when you mess with the basics.
Today I’m dancing on the edges of uncertainty - trying to learn new steps. Trying not to curdle.