I really wanted Carl to come with me, so we decided to offload Romily with some friends for a few hours last night. It's the first time we've left her with anyone at night other than my parents or Carl's dad - and that's usually after she's gone to sleep! Our friends have an 11 year old daughter and Romily and Emily adore each other. We trusted all would be fine while we were out, but we took our phone nonetheless!
We had a lovely time at the Christmas drinks. We each brought a plate of something good to eat, and I had to bring something sweet. I wanted to make more than just your ordinary run-of-the-mill cake, so I had a little hunt online for yummy recipes. I really wanted to use mascarpone (a really soft Italian cheese that's very like double cream in consistency) so went in search of the 'perfect' recipe, aka one that I could cook and with the least amount of fuss!
Here it is:
Chef: Erin Miller
100g couverture chocolate chopped into small bits
1/2 cup cocoa sieved twice
2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon of brandy
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup almond meal
2 1/2 tablespoons of plain flour sieved twice
1/4 tablespoon of cream of tartar sieved
mascarpone or double cream to serve with cake
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Preheat oven to 180c and prepare a 20cm springform tin with melted butter and baking paper and a dusting of flour to prevent sticking.
1. in a pyrex bowl place the cocoa, chocolate (cut into bits) and 3/4 cup of sugar. Pour over the 1/2 cup of boiling water, stir until chocolate has melted. 2. whisk in the 2 egg yolks and brandy and stir in the 1/4 cup of almond meal and 2 1/2 tablespoons of plain flour until combined.
3. In a very clean glass bowl add the cream of tartar and the 4 egg whites and whisk together until soft peaks form. Gently sprinkle in 1/4 cup of caster sugar and whisk through until stiff.
4. In 2 batches fold the egg white mixture through the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon until just combined. 5. Spoon into the 20cm prepared springform tin.
6. Bake in pre- heated oven for approximately 35 minutes, when tested with a skewer a few crumbs will stick.
7. Remove from the oven and rest until cool 8. Turn the cake out carefully and remove the paper, then invert onto a serving plate.
9. Dust with sieved cocoa or icing sugar and serve with cream.
I added the raspberries on top for that extra wow factor, and mixed a little icing sugar into the mascarpone to make it a tiny bit sweet, as the chocolate cake used couverture chocolate, so wasn't as sweet as you might expect. The end result was indeed yum!
We arrived back at our friends' place at around 9.20pm. Romily was having a wow of a time! She had her hair in pig tails, was wearing some of Emily's jewellery and playing with all of her toys. She had been very well behaved (apart from running around with no pants on for half the night!) and Emily did all the babysitting so her parents were pleased too!
We finally managed to drag her home at around 10pm and tried to put her to bed straight away. I say tried, as yesterday we converted her cot into a bed. Yes, our little baby is all grown up and is now a fully fledged girl. Of course we couldn't keep her in her bed - she was still over-excited from her big night out, so we decided to go to bed. We figured if all the lights were off and nothing interesting was happening she would go to sleep.
Not quite! Romily came in and wanted to get into our bed (I can hear the parents among you laughing right now). We said no, go back to bed. All we heard were little footsteps racing up the stairs, a scrape and then bomp, bomp, bomping down the stairs. Next thing Romily appeared at our bedside, with her step and climbed up onto the bed, under the covers and in next to me! It was so cute. She snuggled with me for about 10 minutes before starting to go to sleep. I scooped her up and put her in her new bed, gave her a kiss goodnight and she went st raight off to sleep. Actually, she's still asleep now, more than an hour and a half after her normal wake-up time. She has stirred a couple of times this morning, but now she knows she can come and go as she pleases, she doesn't seem to be so worried about getting out of bed! Long may this last!
Of course, when we try to put her to bed at her normal time tonight we may experience a little more pain! If the worst comes to the worst, we'll put one the kiddie gates in her doorway. It won't stop her getting out of bed, but it will stop her from marauding around the place at all hours!