So. Yesterday was not a great day in the kitchen. I managed to end up with a few edible things, but the amount of time, ingredients, and frustration that went into them were verging on the overwhelming.
This is batch two of the dulce de leche macarons (recipe from Tartelette):
I know, I know, when photographing macarons, you’re supposed to go for the artful stack of them, but if I’d done that, then you would have seen how they’re not all the same size. Also, I made them too big, I think – they’re almost too sweet for words. Basically, it’s just a convenient way to eat dulce de leche without getting too sticky. Which is not a bad thing, but I can really only manage one a day and I have to chase that with a large glass of milk. (Also, I think I overcooked my dulce de leche so it’s a bit stiffer than I was hoping for. Still, not a bad thing, just a note.) I also forgot to make the praline crumbs that Tartelette adds in her version. I’ll definitely attempt macarons again, as there were several extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to their less-than-perfect state (it was very hot and humid and I forgot to let the egg whites sit out for a couple of days beforehand). As you’ll see, it was just that kind of day.
Then came the orange cake.
Oh, the orange cake. I made not one, but two of these before switching recipes and getting an edible version. By the time I made this one, though, I was running out of ingredients (and the recipe is from one of those inexplicably UK-written bargain books that are pretty much ubiquitous at Borders and called for things that I didn’t have on hand), so there is almost one substitution too many. Not quite, but it’s close.
For the self-rising flour, I used a combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt (next time I’d try using cake flour, I think, to try and improve the cake’s texture). For the custard powder, cornstarch. I no longer had enough oranges for the cup of orange juice, so I used 1/3 cup orange juice and 2/3 cup milk. I think that was it.
Oh, no, I forgot – for the 9-inch baking pan, I used an 8-inch (not purposefully, although I don’t think I have a 9-inch one, so I would have had to do something, at any rate) which added some baking time and, I think, contributed to the cake being on the dry side. It’s not horrible, but I was expecting a very moist cake and this was close but not quite. It did actually improve after spending the night in the fridge and it’s definitely a recipe I’ll try again (with more of the correct ingredients, hopefully), but it was a bit of a disappointment.