Friday, 4 February 2011

It's February!

Ok, so where did January go? Not that I am complaining - I think out of all the months, January is my least favourite.

February is all about love?  Not on your Nelly!!  What would we do with the other 14 days after Valentine's Day if it was?!

According to Anglo Saxon Britain, February was named Sol-monath.
Literally translated, 'monath' means 'month' & 'Sol' means 'mud'.
Mud month!
And looking out the window at my garden I would say that is pretty accurate - thanks to our 1 year old Labrador with, it would seem, the biggest paws in the world!

(Despite 'Dulcie Devastation', my one remaining, tiny clump of snowdrops has managed to bloom - bless!)

 'Sol', however, could also be interpreted as 'sun' which brings about visions of bright spring days & a promise of things to come - the daffodils are just beginning to peek out of the soil ready to grow & show their beautiful bright sunshine colours.

What interests me most is Saint Bede the Venerable (672/673-735) of the Northumbrian monastery of St Peter.
In his writing - 'On the Reckoning of Time' (De Temporum Ratione) he states -

Solmonath can be called “month of cakes”, which they offered to their gods in that month.
This is what I want to hear!
So, taking into account all of the above, I think it only fitting to bake a cake - but not just any old cake -

White Chocolate Mud Cake!
250g Butter.
150g White Chocolate - chopped.
300g Caster Sugar.
300ml Milk.
300g Gluten Free Flour
1 tsp Xanthan Gum.
1 tsp Vanilla Extract.
2 Eggs.
Pre-heat oven to 170C & prepare 20cm baking tin.
Place Butter, Chocolate, Sugar & Milk in a pan over a low heat & stir until melted & smooth.
Allow to cool.
Add Flour, Xanthan Gum, Vanilla & Eggs.
Bake in a prepared tin for 1 hour.
Leave to cool.
Cover your lovely cake with -
White Chocolate Ganache.
300g White Chocolate - chopped.
125ml Cream.
Dark Chocolate Shavings.
Bring cream just to boil & pour over Chocolate.
Stir until Chocolate has melted.
Cover & refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Spread over cooled cake.               
Top with dark Chocolate shavings.     
Chris xxx                                                                                    

References -
Wallis, Faith, trans. Bede: The Reckoning of Time, Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Pr., 1999/2004.
 ISBN 0-85323-693-3.
Early Medieval Britain -