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Grave in the Garage

MIRACULOUS ENGLISH MADELINES

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease 6-8 dariole molds with butter and dust with flour.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, using an electric or rotary beater or wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs.

Sieve the flour with the baking powder and salt. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour into the butter mixture until well mixed. Gradually fold in the remaining flour. Add enough water to give the mixture a soft dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture equally between dariole molds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until well risen and golden.

Turn the madelines carefully out of the molds, upside down, and leave to cool. Trim the bases if they do not stand up well. When cool, brush with the sieved jelly, then roll in the coconut. Stand upright on a serving plate and decorate the top of each with a halved candied cherry. Makes 6 to 8.

VENERABLE VICTORIA SANDWICH

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease two 7-inch sandwich tins and dust with flour.

Cream together the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, using an electric beater or wooden spoon. Gradually beat in the eggs.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir 1 tablespoon of flour into the butter mixture until well mixed. Gradually fold in the remaining flour. Add enough water to give the mixture a soft dropping consistency. Pour into sandwich tins.

Bake just above the center of the oven for about 20 minutes or until well-risen and golden and the cakes have shrunk away from the sides of the baking tins.

Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Spread the jelly evenly over one cake and place the remaining cake on top.

To prepare the icing, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Gradually mix in the water until a smooth paste is formed. It should coat the back of the spoon. Quickly beat out any lumps. Spread over the cake before the icing is set, and decorate around the edge with your decoration.

MARVELOUS MERINGUES

Preheat the oven to 225°F/120°C. Put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and beat until stiff with a balloon whisk or rotary or electric beater. Fold in 1 tablespoon of the sugar, then beat again until smooth and satiny. It should stand in peaks. Fold in the remaining sugar with a large metal spoon.

Put the meringue mixture into an icing bag fitted with a ½ inch plain pipe. Pipe into small rounds on parchment paper placed on a baking sheet. Dredge with a little sugar.

Bake in the oven for 1 to 2 hours or until the meringues are crisp and firm to the touch. If the meringues begin to turn brown, open the oven door slightly.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Peel off the paper when the meringues are completely cold and sandwich together with the whipped cream just before serving. Makes approximately 6.

Notes:

Meringues are easy to make if a few basic rules are followed. Make sure all your equipment is grease-free. Use 2 ounces of fine sugar for every egg white. Refrigerate the egg whites for 24 hours before using. Do not overbeat once the sugar is added. Bake at a very low temperature.

FLAMING FLORENTINE SLICES

Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and stand it over a pan of hot water until melted, stirring occasionally. Spoon the chocolate into a greased 8-inch square cake tin or silicone baking pan. Spread out over the bottom and leave to set.

Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg thoroughly. Mix together the remaining ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Spoon into the tin and spread over the set chocolate.

Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes, then carefully mark into squares with a sharp knife. The mixture will be quite sticky at this stage.

Leave until cold, then loosen with a palette knife and lift carefully from the tin. Cut into squares. Makes 12 to 16.

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