Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Cookie Project - Part 3

Bloody Men
Bloody men are like bloody buses
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.

You look at them flashing their indicators,
Offering you a ride.
You're trying to read the destinations,
You haven't much time to decide.

If you make a mistake, there is no turning back.
Jump off, and you'll stand there and gaze
While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.

Wendy Cope

This poem always makes me smile, and sometimes I feel like re-writing it to fit various other situations... right now it should be 'Bloody Blogs'. I write nothing for what seems like months, and then all of a sudden I feel inspired to write several posts all at once.

Contrary to appearances I have been baking recently, but I have also been working full time. Just as one might assume that supply-work would be winding down for the end of the year, it's actually building to a crescendo - I'm feeling very in demand! I think that teachers are getting tired, busy writing report cards, and generally can't wait to get rid of their classes after 10 long months, so just as the children start to get hot and fractious they call in a supply teacher to spend the day with 30 kids in a non-air-conditioned classroom when the temperatures are in the high 30s. No, I exaggerate... slightly... I have had a few days like that, but generally I am loving my job and beginning to feel quite sad at the prospect of leaving the schools in which I have become a regular supply teacher.

Anyway, back to the baking... poor old Martha has lain rather neglected recently, but a few weeks ago I did try the Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies. I have long been intrigued by Brownie recipes that contain cream cheese - the tartness of the cheese would, I imagine, be a perfect foil to the intense chocolately sweetness of the brownie batter - but as I had all the ingredients for these blondies to hand, these are the ones I decided to make. I am too lazy to type out the recipe, but I found some much more conscientious blogger here who has already done so! Thanks Joe in Minnesota.

We enjoyed these blondies, but the whole 'swirling' business was a little tricky. The cream cheese mixture was really quite liquid, but the blondie dough was much denser, so the finished effect was less 'swirl' than 'splodge'. The difference in the batters also proved tricky as I think I must have plunged my cake-tester into some cream cheese batter when the allotted time was up. As it was still very sticky I decided that they weren't quite cooked... but 5 minutes later the blondie batter was slightly over-cooked. Maybe it was the extra cooking time, or maybe it was the recipe, but I found the finished items to be much more like cake than blondies, which I would have expected to be more moist and dense. Having said that, I'm being pretty critical - they tasted delicious. The cream cheese did indeed form a marriage made in kitchen-heaven with the sweet cake. I will definitely be trying Nigella's Cream Cheese Brownies based on the success of these.