So I’ve been making these delightful gem iron cakes, and having a mixed bag of disaster and rescue. Firstly, the recipe lists milk in its ingredients but alas! I have read the instructions repeatedly only to find no milk directions enclosed. So I got out my Ladies, A Plate and looked up the ginger gems recipe for clues as to what to do with that dastardly milk. Add it in at the end! Hooray! And need it the recipe does, because it would be pretty stiff without it.
Well, I was going to start this post with an ‘Ode to Having a Baby in the House and What Good It Does For My Baking Preparation’. It had occurred to me that babies are a blessing for the baking prep as you don’t quite know when you can start mixing, but you can get all the ingredients together and give the butter time to soften. So I had measured the butter and cut up the bits to put in the hot gem irons, and was feeling quite pleased with myself until I cooked the batter. I had accidentally picked up the High Grade Flour. I wondered why the butter in the irons was sizzling around the sides of them while it cooked – it may have been that the flour didn’t soak it up. Or maybe because I put too much in. Regardless, these gems were more like rocks. Bricks. They tasted good but oh, they were ridiculous. Flat, heavy, retarded. I began to wonder if I would ever make a gem again. And then I looked at the bag of flour. Babies + baking still do not mix.
But I had already made up the jelly. The recipe said ‘leave until it has the consistency of raw egg whites’. Did I have time to make another batch? Surely. I tried. I conquered the recipe. Victory was mine. And then I had lots of time to clean up afterwards while the jelly cooled and set to its required consistency. The gems on the right are the ones that worked – those brick-like impostors are loitering on the left.
One thing I have learned from the experience is just how quickly jelly does set once it has cooled. While dipping the cakes one by one in the jelly and then in the coconut, it seemed to be thicker with each cake. And now I have a lot of jelly in the fridge, made with only half the water and super strong. When I cave to the temptation, there will be a serious sugar headache. Oh yes. I have tried to rescue the jelly by dissolving it in more hot water and resetting it. Fingers crossed. Meanwhile, let us look at the delightful sheen of my gem irons – the one on the right has been used more, hence being shinier.
It was too sticky and messy for me to get out the camera while dipping and rolling the gems, but here is the finished product. I’m just waiting for Aaron and Perrine to turn up so we can tuck into them. The recipe made ten – so no previews for anyone, not even the chef!