I sometimes wonder if I need to grow up. Obviously when I wonder this I go jump in puddles until the feeling passes.
Don’t believe me? A few of us went on a little road trip to St Andrews on Saturday and we ended up talking about a feature my friend had heard on the radio – it was called ‘Drunk or Child’. The basic premise went like this: someone called in with a ridiculous story (“I tipped a bowl of spaghetti upside down over my head!”) and the presenters then had to guess whether it was a story from the caller’s childhood or something they’d done whilst under the influence. All very amusing, but we decided there was a category missing: ‘sober adult’ or perhaps for use better described as ‘normal day’. Why? Because many of the suggested topics (“I climbed a tree whilst walking home one evening and fell out!) we felt could easily apply to our everyday sober lives. A bit of a digression for a food blog, I realise, but it’s just to put in context what happened twenty minutes later: we were walking along West Sands and decided to go for a paddle. Not content with establishing it was very cold (shockingly enough for late October) one accidental splash ended up in a three-way water kicking contest which rendered all three of us dripping wet and covered in sand. With a pair of 5 year-olds laughing at us. Drunk? Nope. Child? Arguably, but nope. Sober Adult? Most definitely.
I sometimes wonder if I need to grow up. Then I realise that it would be far too boring.
In complete contrast to Saturday’s salt and sand escapades I spend most of Sunday sitting at my dining table in the living room (yup, the wooden Ikea one that serves as most of my backgrounds, including for this post). Not only was I working, but it was pouring with rain outside. Paying for a day of fun on Saturday (thank goodness for that extra hour in bed) I wasn’t playing drunk, child, sober adult.
Five hours in to my enforced boredom of watching people dance round the puddles to get in to the shop across the road I decided that I’d had enough. It was approximately then that I realised that I’d totally forgotten to bake my entry for Baking with Spirit, one of my favourite blogging challenges, hosted by Janine over at Cake of the Week. This month’s theme was ‘homemade liqueurs’ and it occurred to me that I couldn’t have planned mine better if I tried.
A week and a half ago I was pondering what to make. I fancied something pumpkin flavoured, but didn’t have time to sort it. What I’d done instead is happened across a mango whilst buying milk on the way home from work. It was a bit of miserable day and I decided that I wasn’t ready to embrace winter quite yet. What resulted was bright yellow with a bit of a kick – perfect for a day when it’s pouring with rain. I’d made Mango & Chilli Rum!
Sunshine in a bottle with enough of a kick to break through a miserable autumnal Edinburgh downpour. I don’t think I could have planned it better if I’d tried.
So I closed my laptop, tossed the pen I’d been needlessly twirling in my hand over my shoulder, bounced up from my chair and went to hide from everything I was meant to be doing and went to bake cake. Dunk, child or sober adult – answers on a postcard?
The recipe is dead simple to follow – the loaflettes (yup, I’m still pretending this is a word) are based on my World Gin Day Loaflettes and the rum is adapted from the Raspberry Gin recipe (substituting the gin for white rum, the raspberries for a diced whole mango and dropping a chilli into the mix).
Mango & Chilli Rum Loaflettes
This recipe in an original from The Usual Saucepans, but is based on the two recipes mentioned above. It makes approximately five loaflettes. For my ‘mango pieces’ I used the mango that had been flavouring the rum, meaning it was a lot easier to work with and much more… ‘flavoursome’… If you don’t have any rum-laced pieces kicking about I’d suggest using fresh mango over dried.
2 large eggs
130g self raising flour
130g golden caster sugar
40g mango pieces
50ml mango & chilli rum
10g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C and place a large flat baking tray in the centre.
Weigh the butter and golden caster sugar into a large bowl and then blend together using a wooden spoon until light and fully combined. Add in the flour and mix once again. Crack the eggs in to the bowl and beat thoroughly to mix, beating in lots of air as you go.
Add in the mango pieces, mixing them in gently. If the mixture looks a little too wet here, add in another tablespoon of self raising flour.
Spoon the mixture into the loaflette moulds and place these on the baking tray in the middle of the oven. Bake them for about 20 minutes (they should be golden and springy to the touch) then take them out on to a wire rack. At the same time put the rum and icing sugar in a little bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Prick little holes into the tops of the loaflettes and, using a teaspoon, gently pour the rum/sugar mixture over the cakes. Allow it a minute to soak in and then repeat the process (you don’t have to use all the rum, but it’s more fun if you do).
They can then be eaten straight away. Or kept for later, if you feel like sharing.