Trying to stick to my ‘Bake once a Week’ resolution. I missed last week, had too much on my plate and bad brain* got took up all my down time.

This week I wanted fruit to be the star of the show(since last bake was chocolate chip cookies). I also wanted to use an ingredient that was in season. Had to go with rhubarb.

Rhubarb is super nostalgic for me, my maternal grandfather grew a large patch in his back garden. His partner Beverly would make jams and pies and crisps and crumbles to feed the grandchildren and the neighbours.

I’ve been homesick lately. Summer in the city always gets me down. I’m an island girl and I miss the sea and the wilds most this time of year. I’ve also been reflecting on mortality, family relations, and legacy. So this bake was reflective of that.

I had never had a CRUMBLE until I moved to the UK. It was one of the first desserts I remember being served by my inlaws. I grew up on CRISPS which are essentially the same but with an crispy oat topping instead rather than the crumbly crumble topping.

crimble1

Recipe:

COMPOTE/FRUIT FILLING

  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
  • 450g strawberries
  • 450g rhubarb
  1. Preheat oven to 75F / 190C / Gas Mark 5
  2. Cut your fruit into chunks, I like mine big and rustic, and place in a bowl.
  3. Remember the fruit will soften and disintegrate when you cook it so bigger pieces make for better mouthfeel and be more substantial.
  4. Add lemon juice, sugar, black pepper, and cornflower to fruit and toss gently.
  5. Place fruit into a saucepan and heat on medium-low until fruit softens and sauce thickens.
  6. Pour compote into baking tray.

crumble2

CRUMBLE:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature, cut into pieces
  1. Throw everything into a bowl and using a fork mash it all together until you get that lovely crumble.
  2. Scoop crumb topping onto the compote.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.

CRUMBLE3

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

 

 

 

Until I met my husband I was pretty cynical about love, so Valentines Day was more of an annual annoyance than special occasion.

I can’t lie and say I’m not a die hard romantic… because I am. I FUCKING AM! I LOVE ALL THE ROMANTIC CHEESE!! I just like to pretend I’m not, shh please don’t tell anyone.

 

We made plans for Valentines just to go out for a nice dinner, no gifts, I just wanted to be surprised! My husband is literally THE BEST. I’ve been pretty depressed for the past several months(thanks hormonal birth control!) and worrying my moodiness would ruin another special occasion I tried to keep it low key.

Last night at half seven a car picked me up to take me to my mystery destination; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. It was sweet because it was the first ‘fancy’ place we ever went for dinner after we got married, I appreciated the nostalgia.

Despite having said no gifts, he got me a present;

tiffanypearls

Pearls from Tiffany&Co. he even had the clasp replaced, silver instead of gold because of my allergies. I had mentioned a few months earlier that I needed to get the vintage pearl necklace I owned fixed. It’d been sat in a drawer for several years broken, and tbh I don’t even know if they’re real pearls. He’s so thoughtful and such a good listener.

It wasn’t a TOTAL surprise because I had, completely by accident, discovered the receipt from Tiffany&Co. while cleaning a few days before. It didn’t say WHAT had been bought, so exactly what I was getting was still a mystery!

The day before Valentines I had rushed into the West End to find SOMETHING so as not to arrive empty handed. It wouldn’t quiet measure up to ANYTHING from Tiffany’s but I wanted to get him something! I had already cheated slightly and ordered PERFECT MATCH chocolate matches from Choc on Choc after I had seen them online, we have MATCHING MATCHSTICK tattoos and my inner romantic cheese fiend couldn’t resist…

perfectmatch

…but I wanted something else. He had mentioned needing another pair of sweatpants so I braved the Nike store and picked up a pair of Jordan sweatpants. Not satisfied with either of those I played my trump card; home made gifts! I made him a Valentine. I hadn’t made him one since BEFORE we were dating. Back in 2011 when we were only just starting a friendship I made him a card where I illustrated a anthropomorphised tree holding a bouquet of flowers and a heart shaped card that read ‘Single on Valentines? It could be worse! Be glad you’re not an ENT!’ …because the Ent-wives… you know? I told you I was a nerd. You were WARNED! I was going to follow that Valentine up with an ‘adult ENT-ertainment’ joke but drying a stripper Ent-wife pole dancing was way too complicated. After several failed attempts I went back to the drawing board and came up with this;

vdaycardfrontvdaycardinside

… on theme.

Dinner was lovely, I drank too much wine and woke up with a hangover.

I hope you all had a lovely Valentines, Palentines, or Galentines. However you celebrate, or even if you don’t I hope you felt loved yesterday. Just incase you didn’t here’s a kiss from me from last night;

 

 

XOXO Gwendolyn