With two hours of the flight to go I recognised the familiar “poo face” on Lucas as he did his business somewhere over north Africa. Usually his deposits are pretty self contained and easily cleaned up but as irony would have it, with next to no space to move around, this was not so much a deposit but more an explosion that went all down his legs and up his back. I managed to squeeze in to the two foot square bathroom and commence a clean up operation that required flexibility, breath holding and a lot of wipes. At times my face was uncomfortably close to the toilet seat (you’ve seen the force at which the flush works…) and I may have smeared some poo on the walls (which I cleaned up) but thankfully I managed to complete the job and return to our seat. Usually I change Lucas on my knee when we are travelling, thankfully I did not get myself in to the inevitable trouble that would have come had I attempted to.
It is 2.30in the morning, Andrew, Lucas and I are all eating Weetabix with UHT milk, all the sofa cushions are already on the floor and being used as jumping mats, tractors are parked everywhere and Lucas’ toy car is just taking a break from being rushed around the flat! Finally after what has seemed a long 10 days we are home and together again and it feels so good. It’s the middle of the night and we are wide awake, we landed at 10pm where we were met by Andrew who said he had nearly been arrested at the arrivals lounge for being over excited, and we drove straight to Nakuru. Unfortunately we had a puncture on route in an area you don’t want to get out of the car, at the same time it started raining (for the first time in weeks), I think it was actually a blessing it was raining and hopefully kept anyone away that might have caused us trouble. Four hours later we were home, adrenalin still pumping around our bodies from the hair raising journey. Lucas, with only 90 minutes sleep in his system since leaving London and oblivious to the dramas on the journey was brimming with excitement to be home. We finally all got to sleep at 3am and were unable to drag ourselves out of a sleep coma when Lucas decided that he’d spring out of bed and demand an involved session of tractor racing at 6am!!
We have the hardware engineers for the Peek project in Kenya (very big brains) this week who were treated to the chocolate log along with the team (one I’d prepared earlier). I thought it may be nice to make them some lovely sourdough ciabatta, and in all honestly I couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen… however someone has been baking in the kitchen and not only that they have chucked away my go to sourdough pot but also my back-up one!
Andrew – oops. It looked like a pot of mould, sorry. 😐
The ‘how to’ on this blog is taken from Mary Berry’s Chocolate Roulade Recipe, she uses a cream filling but I like a chocolate cream cheesy one so I’ve adapted the recipe here.
Recipe – Chocolate Log
- 175g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 eggs, separated
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 200g cream cheese
- 2 tbsp of cocoa for filling
- 50g icing sugar (I think thats how much I used).
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease a 33cm x 23cm/13in x 9in Swiss roll tin then line the base and sides of the tin with a large sheet of greaseproof paper, pushing it into the corners. Make a small diagonal snip in each corner of the paper; this helps to fit the paper snugly into the corners of the tin.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. (Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.)
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until stiff but not dry. If you turn the bowl upside down, the whites should be stiff enough not to fall out.
- Put the egg yolks in a separate bowl with the sugar and whisk using the same whisk (no need to wash it) on high speed for 2-3 minutes or until thick and creamy and the mixture leaves a thick ribbon-like trail when the beaters are lifted. Pour in the cooled chocolate and gently fold together until well combined.
- Gently stir two large spoonfuls of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen the mix, then fold in the remaining egg whites using a large metal spoon (you don’t want to squash out the air you have just beaten in). Sift the cocoa over the top and lightly fold it in. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and gently move the tin around until the mixture is level.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes until risen and the top feels firm and slightly crisp. Remove from the oven, leave in the tin (expect the roulade to fall and crack a little) and set aside until cold.
- Prepare the filling by beating the cream cheese, cocoa and icing sugar. Lay a large piece of greaseproof paper on the work surface and dust it lightly with icing sugar. Turn the roulade out on to the paper so its lining paper is on top, then carefully peel off the paper. Spread the roulade with the filling, leaving a border of about 2cm/¾in all the way around the edges. With one of the shortest edges facing you, make a cut along it with a sharp knife, going about half way through the sponge. This will help to start the rolling up. Now roll this cut edge over tightly to start with and use the paper to help continue the tight rolling, by pulling it away from you as you roll. Don’t worry if the roulade cracks – that is quite normal and all part of its charm.
- Finish with the join underneath then lift the roulade onto a serving plate or board using a large wide spatula or two fish slices. Dust with icing sugar.