Last Saturday was predicted to be sunny and warm, so I woke up all keen and eager to make my (belated) Solar Christmas Cakes in the solar oven. The weather in Cape Town has not been conducive to solar oven use apart from the one hot sunny day we had a week or so ago. A windy, cloudy and sometimes wet Spring is lingering, and summer is still hovering in the sidelines.
But, on Saturday morning everything went well - I even had all the necessary ingredients on hand LOL I awoke to a blue sky, and ignoring the wind, for that doesn't affect the performance of the solar oven, I got down to making the cakes. I tripled the recipe...... and I scored 6 more egg shells in which to plant seeds...
|In order to use the empty egg shells as|
seed trays, the trick is to open the egg
shells as close to the pointed end as
possible - that will allow for more sand in
the empty egg shell :)
|Check out that little patch of sky at the|
back - it looks promising, doesn't it :)
But, I think I got excited too soon. One-and-a-half hours into the baking the clouds rolled over! I gave the cakes a prick test, and there was still wet dough in the centre. Damn! What am I going to do now? Can I afford to waste all these ingredients, and start again on another day...?
Or, should I switch on my (electric) oven and complete the baking process in that?
I decided on the latter. But, idiot me, I placed the cakes in the oven whilst it was warming up - I didn't want to lose any heat from the mixture during the oven heating stage. And I clean forgot that the oven heats from the bottom element and the top grill element - guess it is a year-and-a-half since I last used my oven - I can forgive myself for making such a stupid mistake. But the result was that the tops of the cakes were burnt - some worse than others. I tried waiting for the cake to cool down and "slicing" off the worst of the burn - and again forgot that fruit cakes need maturation time in order to mature and firm up. Crumble, crumble, crumble... :)
Drat! And I wasted 3/4 - 1 hour of electricity trying to salvage my cakes.
So I had to toddle off to the shops early yesterday morning in order to purchase more ingredients so that I could make a new batch of Christmas cakes - I'm also baking one for NGirl to take home with her, for RSon and for our two staff members as well.
|I scored another six eggs shells - plus RMans|
shell from his breakfast :) From RMans shell
you can easily see how close to the top I break
The other cakes won't be wasted though. We don't normally make (or eat) Christmas pudding, but there is nothing to stop me from using one from the 1st disastrous batch in a fruit cake trifle :)
Here are the cakes as they continue their baking without their lids...
And here are the finished products :)
Now I'm happy.
And I am even more (if possible) convinced that my solar oven is the only way to cook!
|Moist, heavenly smelling and perfectly baked :)|
And serious solar cooking is once again on the menu in Cape Town - YAY!
Now, the rest of my Christmas preparations will have to wait until we get to the farm...