At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A very muddy mud pie. :)

Now I did say I, if you recall a former post, that I was going to make something sweet in the shortcrust pastry line. Shortcrust pastry...oh, such grief it has caused me in the dim and distant past.  Honestly! Many a time I have made it and have either undercooked it or overcooked it; or made it greasy by handling too much, or...ahh, that's the thing with pastry I suppose. There are just so many rules and regualtions the baker must be aware of, and adhere to. Anyway, at least this time, my determination and carefulness did actually pay off...yes, I did indeed succeed in making a beautiful golden pastry case which was just perfect for being filled with...well, some kind of filling. 
I baked it blind you see - another thing that I did before which went horribly wrong, baking blind. I have unpleasant memories of baked blind pastry cases which were cooked around the edges but still soggy and greasy on the bottom...any baker's worst nightmare, I am sure. I atually recall one particular pastry case being a weird grey coulour on the bottom after my attempt at baking it blind. :( But this was not the case this time - my pastry case was perfect. One of the mistakes I had definitely made before was not filling the pastry case to the very top with baking beans (or dried pasta, in my case as I unfortunately don't have any baking beans.); which are used to weigh it down and stop it from bubbling upwards when it is cooking. (me being frugal again, I'm afraid.) But THIS time I filled my case right up to the top with Tesco Value rice which noone was obviously going to eat anyway (with the exception of myself and the doggies, the whole household seems to have become very particular when it comes to rice these days...only basmati will do.). And so, with about half a kilogram of rice weighing it down, we had no such problems with bubbling upwards like the last time. Yay!
And now, for the filling. I had only recently made apple and blackberry crumble, and what with the little crop of rhubarb in the garden still looking pretty scraggly and uninspiring, I didn't think apple and blackberry pie or rhubarb pie/tart was going to be on the cards. And besides, my brother had made a request for a mudpie earlier on this summer..but not the traditional mudpie as we know with a pastry base instead of the usual biscuit one, and lots of whipped cream on top. And so that's exactly what I did.
The only thing that slightly eroded my feelings of triumph were the mixed reactions I got from the brother of course was well happy, but my Dad maintains that, though my dessert was lovely, he prefers the traditional biscuit crust, and that chocolate and pastry are two entities which should be kept separate. Well anyway, I was content enough...Ganache-Elf had FINALLY, after many trials and tribulations, succeeded in making shortcurst pastry which was buttery, melt-in-the-mouth and delicious...double yay. :) 
Now I promise you that I will, as soon as I make it with the biscuit crust, share with you my recipe for mississippi mud pie (with both biscuit and pastry bases.)...seriously now, I know you might have your own one, or are convinced that Tesco Finest's version cannot be compared to...but honestly, this mississippi mud pie is not one you will want to miss out on, at all. It is my Granny's old recipe, and its high levels of sticky muddy chocolatiness make it extremely naughty, intensely indulgent, and, arguably, of the stuff any diehard chocaholic could only dream of. In the meantime, perhaps decide whether you are going to go for the biscuit or the pastry case, and start stocking up on chocolate. You're going to need a lot. ;)

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