There are winters that are ok and then there are those that aren’t. That for some reason or other feel darker and colder and never-ending, after all. When no matter how high you build a fire in the grate and how many logs you shove into the wood eating burner in the kitchen, your bones are frozen and you could swear there’s a currant caressing your neck.
This winter was one of the latter. A seemingly eternal twilight. Now aside from the inconvenience of bone chill, it has it’s charm too, that peculiar gloomy victorian vibe I love so much. So I lit beeswax candles for they say they’re burning brighter, its light the spectrum of the sun. Yet the flame reminds me of the full moon casting silvery shades on a frozen garden in January. The smell a mix of buried flowers and Christmas memories. Very beautiful.
They’re handmade by a lady beekeeper and you can get them online, so for once I’d say online shopping really feeds the soul, well well. Now I wonder should I start making a beeswax candle lit only cookery retreat? It’s intriguing, isn’t it, the antithesis to modern shiny and bright lab cooking. Cooking in the candlelight, late September, when dusk falls swiftly yet softly over the land, soft like a velvet cloak. The shop is called Apidae Candles and the beekeeper’s name is Amy.
Also and to complement the candlelight I made a lot of cake, cake of all sorts for I know indulgence puts spirits at ease. This particular one is a gingerbread no bake cake and this is how it goes:
What you’ll need
- 250g stale gingerbread, like in the unlikely case you have got some leftover from Christmas
- 100g butter
- 2 tablespoons of Armagnac
- 4 tipsy damsons
- 50 g of dark chocolate
- A whiff of cinnamon
- 2dl fresh cream cold from the fridge
- One bag of whipped cream stabiliser
- 50g of sugar
How to make it
Melt the butter in a small pan on the stove. Cut the gingerbread into little cubes and put through the blender so you end up with something like gingerbread crumbs saw dust. Mix 200g of the gingerbread crumbs with the molten butter and pour into a tarte mould laid out with parchment paper. Make sure to really press firmly with the help of a spoon. Melt the chocolate with the armagnac and the cinnamon. Meanwhile cut the tipsy damsons into slices and lay out on top, mix the chocolate-armagnac well and spread over the tarte, then let sit in a cold spot or the fridge for a couple of minutes so the chocolate solidifies. Whip up the cream with the sugar and cream stabiliser and put on top of the tarte. Dust the whole thing with the remaining gingerbread crumbs saw dust.
How to eat it
When I made this tarte I realised that actually we’re in the middle of lent, well. So perhaps one should make a nice little tisane to go along with it, hot and steaming and with a big drizzle of honey. Yet if one feels in a little more celebratory mood however, one might as well add a sip of armagnac to the tisane.