World Baking Day 17 May 2022

A special day for sharing the book launch video https://youtu.be/CgWbT21ati4 and refining the Brownie recipe ready for the next on-line demo.   Did you try anything different or new?   Perhaps, next year, we can make more of the international event.

Talking of things new, Robert, a final year design undergraduate from the South Bank University, brought the latest version of his peeling gadget for visually impaired people.   Basically, it’s a salad spinner which uses centrifugal force to spin the potatoes against a grater disk and so remove peel.   The first problem was the push-button that had to be repeatedly pressed to spin the contraption: more of a work-out than the potatoes deserved.   Solution: a small motor.   Next question was whether it would work with other foods.   The carrot was OK once it was cut into chunks.   It didn’t even take the shine off the cooking apple.   The parsnip and other vegetables were rather more grazed and scored than smoothly peeled.   Next came washing-up.   The bowl and lid weren’t difficult but, for a blind cook, getting the bits out of the grater was more of a challenge.

Robert’s slicing attachment was optimistic.   It was fine for vegetable crisps at the risk of fingertips.   It needed a motor and a safe way of feeding vegetables on to a sharp spinning blade.   Finally, was the storage space justified by its usefulness?   When the alternative was a traditional peeler and vegetable knife, I was less persuaded.   But the others taking part in our on-line review were far more enthusiastic.   I’m probably just too old-fashioned.

Robert went back to the drawing board (screen – for those more up to date) with new ideas for his approach to the project: understand potential customers; identify their key problems; consider safety, frequency and variety of use, existing alternatives, storage, washing and more.   With luck, he’ll return with his next solution.

There’s a video of the demos (lemon curd, no-churn ice-cream and the gadget): https://youtu.be/QbnBtIYkqj4 

I too have learned from my previous version of the ice-cream.   With true one-up-womanship, friend Rosemary in Australia made a lime version, commenting that her tree was groaning with them.   How the other half live!   I’ve now adjusted the proportions to avoid left-over ingredients and it’s even more embarrassingly easy:

397g tin of condensed milk.

300ml carton double cream.

Flavouring of your choice) see below).

Mix all the ingredients together with an electric hand-whisk and pour into a lidded container to freeze for at least 12 hours.   Done.

Flavourings: This is quite a sweet mix that works well with more acid fruits.

Alcohol will reduce the freezing point of the mix so needs to be used sparingly.   A small amount will produce a” soft scoop” ice-cream; too many results in a sloppy mix that needs serving in glasses.

Options include:

The zest of two oranges and a capful of Cointreau (see video – utterly fabulous served with sliced strawberries macerated in the orange juice, a teaspoonful of sugar and a dash of Cointreau).

Raspberries or strawberries, chopped and gently heated to a puree before cooling.

Grapefruit and Campari, lemon, passionfruit or, like Rosemary, lime.

A couple of handfuls of raisins soaked for a week in dark rum.

Strong coffee, pecan or walnuts and Kahlua/Tia Maria.

Vanilla bean paste.

Date for your diary: 1030 Monday 13 June for free on-line demo of a vegan chocolate cake and those brownies.  Link to follow.

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