I love autumn. Not only because of the lovely colours that start to appear and because we are getting closer to November (and the next trip to Iceland) but we start to get some great tv again - including The Great British Bake Off.
This week was a cracker - some wonderful innuendos, eye-rolling and one-liners. And jaffa cakes.
According to the recipe they are 'nowhere near as tricky to make at home as you might think.' And...'the only fiddly bit is making the chocolate look perfect...'
Which is a lie.
I started off thinking it was a breeze. Made the jelly - poured it into a shallow tray and put it in the fridge to set. Made the cake batter and greased the bun tins to within an inch of their life (I didn't want to mine to stick). So far so good.
In the oven for 7 minutes. Then out. Leave in the bun tin to cool for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
And that's when I came unstuck. Well..not so unstuck as completely bloody glued in. I should have gone with my gut and removed the cakes as soon as they came out of the oven - before they cooled and gripped like mortar.
After very careful teasing I managed to get all 12 out in a fairly decent state.
Now I tried to 'turn the jelly out onto a sheet of non-stick baking parchment'. Yep. Nope. Not happening. But, not to be beaten I just cut it straight from the baking tin. And threw it at the cakes. I wondered why there was enough jelly to make at least 24 discs.
Moving on to the chocolate. Melted - easy. 'Leave to cool and thicken slightly'.
This is the important part and should be in CAPITAL LETTERS AND BOLD.
If you leave it to cool slightly and thicken - you melt the blasted jelly disc.
So...I left it to cool longer. And then spent about an hour applying to the rest of the cakes. Before carefully making a criss-cross pattern with a fork on the top (which then melted back down into the chocolate so I repeated each one several times - until I lost the will to live).
After around two hours of faffing the final result was 11 non-identical vaguely Jaffa-cake like but really quite tasty chocolate-covered things.
I won't be trying them again. Really not worth the effort.
My bank balance is still trying to right itself after the summer trip. But that hasn't stopped me booking flights back to Iceland for November. I don't need too much of an excuse and I think our first anniversary is good enough. Paper is the traditional gift for one-year hitched - so Stu will be presented with a boarding pass.
As that's the flights sorted and paid for (well.. they've appeared on the credit card bill I got this morning...) today was all about finding the accomodation.
As this will be our fifth trip we are now seasoned Iceland travellers and turn our nose up at the over-priced tourist hotels (we can't afford them). Airbnb it is. We found a couple of cabins in pretty near perfect locations:
Seems the bookings are confirmed and, worryingly, paid for (forgot that Airbnb is not like Booking.com where you pay on arrival). I might leave it a month or so before I book the car.
artist's impression (crap digital visualisation) of the cube
and what it currently looks like - in real life
the second cabin (I'm praying for weather like this!)