Rainbow Cake

rainbow cake

It has been another one of those unexpectedly busy weeks where, despite trying to do very little above and beyond what was necessary, the hours have flown by at a very alarming rate.

The week started with us making a rainbow cake.  As some of you may recall, the wee boy has been talking about this for quite a while now and I had promised him, in the half term holidays, that we would give it a go, little realising that the holidays coincided with our lovely Charlotte’s birthday.  So, we made her a rainbow cake for her birthday.

When I say we, I am being generous.  The wee boy did a little stirring, a lot more licking, and when the violet cake fell apart – you’ll notice there are only six colours and not seven – he did a great deal of ‘quality controlling’.  However, it finally got made and presented, covered in icing, silver balls, coloured sugar, and love.

Interestingly, when the cake was cut, none of us, for one second, thought there was anything unusual about having a large, six layered slice of special birthday cake, despite each slice being absolutely ginormous.  Oh no, instead, we valiantly waded through the layers, stopping regularly for a swig of tea, and then more tea, until the wee boy, with still a mountain of cake to go, declared he’d had enough.

There was still plenty of cake left on all plates, but we trundled off on a dog walk, convinced that we would make room for the final part of the slice on our return.  Imagine then, our genuine surprise when himself came home and cut himself half a slice.

Just three colours.

*metaphorical lightbulb switches on*

Himself and I don’t do Valentine’s Day.  Mainly because neither of us are comfortable with the commercial concept, but also because we both believe that love should be given all year round.  That said, I would never judge anyone who does wish to engage with Valentine’s Day.  It’s a personal thing.  However, I do try and let people we love, know that is how we feel, so was brought to tears later on in the week when, flying hither and thither, the wee boy and I were on the telephone to son #1 and he finished the conversation with ‘love you’.  Similarly, when the wee one telephoned son #1 again, he left the conversation with ‘lots of love’.

I cannot put into words just how much this makes me glow inside.  I’m more proud that my boys can express their love for each other and us, than any bunch of flowers or heart embossed card and hope that nothing and no-one manages to crush that piece of perfection they both have within them.




Goats Cheese Flan

Goats cheese flan

I very rarely make any kind of flan or quiche.  Not because I don’t enjoy it, but because, actually, I love the taste of the shop bought ones so much I just don’t see the point.  Why have a dog and bark yourself?

However, with the glut of vegetables that have come to us via the ‘veg box’ I am very quickly running out of innovative ideas as to how best utilise said veg.  And by that I mean how to utilise them where all my boys will eat them.  There is a subtle difference.

Making pastry is even lower down on the agenda than making a flan.  But that is where the similarity ends.  I am probably one of the worst pastry makers in the history of the artform – or at least up there.  Apparently you need to have cold hands to make good pastry, but it’s a sublty lost on me.  Thankfully I must not be alone, and as a consequence the niche has been filled by ready rolled wonderment.

*breathes a sigh of relief*

You may now be looking at the title of this post and beginning to suspect that as the goats cheese would not have come in the veg box, the reference to ‘the box’ may be irrelevant.  And you would be right-ish.  However, the flan does have a larger stash of items in it, but it doesn’t make for a catchy title.

So, here we go.  Unravel a short crust pastry roll into a tin and blind bake.  Now here’s a thing.  I’m also very rubbish at blind baking pastry properly.  I have the clay bean things and greaseproof paper, and actually do manage to combine the two in the proper manner these days, but somehow it falls short of what it should look like. That said, I shall continue to persevere as I think that when I eventually master it, I will probably have a disproportionately smug sensation that I will continue to carry around with me ad infinitum.

Caramelise an onion.  Now then, the proper way to do this is to slowly cook, in oil, a sliced onion sprinkled with salt for 15 – 20 minutes and then add sugar and balsamic vinegar.  However, as we are on the homeward stretch of giving up sugar (barring the odd relapse) I just slow fried my onion in oil and butter with a sprinkling of salt.

Spread the caramelised onion on the base of the cooked pastry.  Sprinkle over some purple sprouting broccoli, covering the onion.  Slice up a tube of goats cheese, so that the slices cover the broccoli.  Whisk up four eggs, add a little milk, salt and pepper.  Pour over the goats cheese and return to the oven, gas mark 6 for around 40 minutes.  Maybe more, maybe less.  You really just need to keep an eye on the flan after 30 minutes.  As soon as it’s stopped wobbling, job’s done, so whip it out and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, it’s not everyday you find yourself experiencing two rainbows in two different places, within two minutes of each other.  Even more rare, in my limited experience, is actually seeing where the rainbow beings.

Today both these things happened which has left me with a very small tingle inside, and a reinvigorated suspicion that days full of rainbows, are magical.