British GP – A little bit of Britain a little bit late.

The injuries from my bike accident have now healed enough so that I can cook and eat (provided my food is chopped into little squares – it will be a while until I bite again!) This meant that, a little bit later than originally planned I finally got round to cooking my British food.  I cooked two dishes from very different ends of British society – A lovely greasy fried breakfast and an afternoon tea!

My two dishes

The first thing we had was our lovely fried breakfast.  This involved consuming the first baked beans I have had since relocation.  Being a huge fan of baked beans I was extremely excited about this breakfast.  The other ingredients were: some pork and apple sausages, some smoked bacon, some mushrooms and some fried potatoes.

As much as I enjoy eating a cooked breakfast, I find that making one can be rather taxing.  Trying to have everything cooked just right at the same time, and serving it all hot is a logistical nightmare. I usually end up using the majority of the pans that I own in cooking all the ingredients, meaning rather a lot of washing up to do later.  This, combined with the huge calorific intake, means that although a meal I very much enjoy, it’s not one I indulge in too often.

Over here in France I found I had another impediment to add to my list of difficulties – sourcing the ingredients!  Finding British style sausages and bacon (along with self raising flour, baked beans and other stables of my food cupboard) is very hard to do.  Luckily for me I discovered that not too far away from me was a “British Market” selling imported foods (at a rather high mark-up) and it was here that I was able to obtain my foreign fare.

Armed with my little taste of home I proceeded to turn my kitchen into a bombsite.  The sausages were cooked in the oven (as there was no room on the hob), the potatoes fried in a saucepan.  The mushrooms went into the microwave and the bacon was grilled on a grill pan.  Finally the eggs were fried in lashings of oil.

Three double yokers!

Something odd has been happening with the eggs I have been getting in France.  After years of hearing of double yokers and thinking they were a myth I see to have stumbled upon a brand of eggs in which 50% of the eggs have double yokes!  I have no idea why, but for now the novelty is enough to keep me amused.  In cooking for this meal, three out of the four eggs I used had a double yoke!

Anyway, mutant eggs aside, this was just the taste of home that I needed after a week subsisting on soup!  Beans had never tasted so good, and the rest was pretty damn tasty as well!

Later in the day it was time for the afternoon tea.  Although able to cook, I was up to anything too strenuous so I decided to scale back my plans slightly and stay very traditional with a Victoria Sponge, some scones and four types of finger sandwiches.

For a Victoria sponge I usually go for some ratio of the 4-4-4-2 recipe( 4 ounces of flour, sugar and butter to two medium eggs).  However on this occasion I thought I’d give the Women Institute weigh your eggs method a try.  I wanted to make a large cake and so I went for four eggs.  These weighed 269g.  I therefore creamed together 269g of butter and 269g of sugar before adding my eggs one at a time.  These were still from my mutant pack and so of the four two were double yokers which I hoped would just add richness to the cake rather than ruin everything!  Finally I slowly added 269g of self raising flour and beat everything with my electric whisk to get the mixture nice and smooth.

Making the sponge batter

I spread the mixture between lined two 8 inch pans and placed them in the oven on about 200C for around 30 minutes (I didn’t time it exactly but kept an eye on them and got them out when they looked done).  Once the cakes had cooled I sandwiches the two halves together with raspberry jam and whipped cream.  The Victoria Sponge was done!

Cooking and assembling the sponge

Next up were the scones.  I used to make scones all the time when I was younger and it was a lovely trip down memory lane to be making them again.  Scones are lovely, straight forward to make and delicious to eat when topped with jam and clotted cream (which I also from the British store).

To make my scones I rubbed 40g of butter into 225g until it resembled breadcrumbs.  I then added just enough milk to bind the mixture into a dough (around 150ml).  The dough was rolled out, scones were cut using fluted cutters and placed them on a greased baking tray.  According to the recipe this should make 12, however their scones must be tiny – I got 5!

Maing the scones

The final thing to prepare was my finger sandwiches.  My four fillings were: ham and mustard, egg mayonnaise, brie and plum chutney and smoked salmon with lemon crème fraiche.  To ensure that these looked proper I cut all the crusts off and cut each round of sandwiches into 3.  After that I set a pot of tea onto brew and arranged the food on the cake stand.

My afternoon tea

The food was lovely and the meal elegant.  I enjoyed everything evening if it did have to be cut into little squares.  I have had very little British food since I moved out to France/Geneva and it was a lovely treat to indulge in some food from home.  As for the British GP, from what I’ve read and from what my partner says it was a very good race (and Seb Vettel didn’t win for once!).  However, although I did watch it, I really wasn’t in the mood after my fall and so I can’t say I enjoyed it and I don’t really remember that much of it.  Never mind – Germany next!

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One Response to “British GP – A little bit of Britain a little bit late.”

  1. Janice Says:

    Your breakfast looks delicious, it’s always a treat when staying at a hotel to go for the full English!

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