I had lunch outside today! What a pleasant surprise the weather has been so far today.
I made a coffee and hazelnut praline gateaux this morning. It looked like one of those showy cakes you see in pictures, and I thought why not give the fancy cake a go? I made the praline yesterday which was just melting some sugar and pouring over the hazelnuts until it solidified. The cake itself is in 4 layers and I was quite brave to split the two thin cakes I came out with. Sandwiched with coffee flavour marscapone, topped with the same and sprinkled with the bashed up praline.
As my friend Neil described it, it looked like it had broken up bits of Newcastle Brown Ale bottle on it. A little reminiscent those walls you see where people have cemented broken glass on the top to prevent intruders. The cake went to Sarah and Neil (and Max, their son) and we had a trip to a local ‘zoo’ our friend Annika had arranged for us. We met Oscar the very big and bouncy dog and Fred and Killer Bill the tortoises. It was the tortoises first day out this year and they were very active. They were kind of chasing people, although not so fast to be terrifying. Annika received a few shell-butts to the foot, apparently they are letting you know you are in their territory!
We also had the above mentioned lunch on the deck of Sarah and Neil’s Super Shed, which is more like a summer house in size. Sarah made us an onion and goats cheese tart, with salad. It was really good and it was lovely of her to cook for us. There was an incident where a nostril invader, shall I say, needed to be removed from Max’s nostril. This I found quite stomach turning. That is my main arch nemesis. Everyone has one. For James, it’s Sean Paul.
We had a slice of cake. It was very coffee-ey and it’s quite like a dessert. The word gateaux in the name should have given me that clue. The cake got its own little photo shoot courtesy of Neil.
Tomorrow, is HALF WAY! Not today. Tomorrow. Phew!