Sunday, 23 December 2012

Baking Day

It rained a lot overnight (in addition to all the rain during the day yesterday), and by this morning the water level had risen.  I knew, because the boat was on a bit of an angle, and I had to go out and loosen the rope that I'd tightened up a bit yesterday.

I had a plan to do some baking today, so first I made a batch of orange pastry for mince pies.  I'd forgotten to bring the recipe with me, but I've made it a few times in the past couple of weeks so I could remember the proportions.  While that was resting in the fridge, I made a fast Christmas cake mix.  I'd forgotten to bring the book with the recipe in it, but I found it on the internet.  Once that was in the oven, I made some mince pies, and cooked them at the same time.

The temperature of the boat oven is a bit all over the place.  The top seems to get very hot, while the bottom is barely warm.  The mince pies were near the bottom, so took about twice as long to cook as they do at home -- and the ones in the middle of the tin still needed a bit longer.  The vagaries of the oven were also making things difficult for the cake.  In spite of a double height lining of baking paper, and putting tin foil over the cake after an hour or so, it was still cooking quite quickly round the edge and quite slowly in the middle.  As a result, the edges are a bit darker than I'd have liked.

I had to pop out after lunch to get some jam to stick the marzipan on with, and once the cake was cold I melted the jam and rolled out the marzipan.  It went on quite neatly.

Apparently it needs 24 hours to dry out before the icing can go on, so I guess I'll be doing that tomorrow after work.  It might look a bit more interesting once that's done!

Also this afternoon, I filled the water tank.  I couldn't remember whether I filled it last time I was here, and I assume I didn't as it took a while.  I also emptied the ash bucket and took the ash up to the bins.

As I haven't had the engine running to make any hot water, and I've done quite a lot of washing up today, I've taken to having a kettle of water on top of the Squirrel stove.  It's not the quickest way of getting hot water and it never quite boils, but it's plenty hot enough, and it's free!

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