I fell down a rabbit hole. A rabbit hole with desks and computers and phones which, for the past two weeks, held me captive from morning ‘til night (some of you may recognise this strange phenomenon as the thing they call ‘a job’). I came home, ate dinner - something on toast, something swirled into pasta - and began my second shift, tackling my usual workload late into the evening. So blogging came a poor second or third or fourth after, oh, sleep and stumbling, bleary eyed, into the shower. But now I’m back in the room, or at least the kitchen. Normal service will be resumed.
Yesterday morning, our presence was required at a most unusual wedding breakfast. Our dear friend and dog walker, Mark, was celebrating his civil partnership ceremony with his dapper darling, Ian, at lunchtime. But dogs still need to be exercised, even on special days, so Lindsay and Chris had the inspired idea of hijacking Gomez and Nico’s walk with a little party in the park.
At 8.30am on a damp and misty morning, smoked salmon bagels, cake, champagne and juice were laid out on Mark’s favourite bench. A happy crowd of people and dogs gathered beneath the dripping oaks and chestnuts to surprise the normally stoical, unflappable Mark. It was touching to note his usual bellow - a bellow that can halt a speeding hound hell bent on raiding a shopping trolley or stealing a sandwich at 300 metres - was temporarily silenced.
Mark’s Wedding Breakfast Chocodoodles
You don’t think such an auspicious morning could pass without a baked offering from me do you? Given the rabbit hole situation, it had to be something I could throw together quickly, so I went for Nigella’s Snickerdoodles from How to be a Domestic Goddess. Substituting some of the flour for cocoa turns them into Chocodoodles, which seemed appropriate. Not just because chocolate is always a good thing, but because the park is full of labradoodles, chocolate and otherwise – they’re the Staffordshire Bull Terriers of the middle classes. Yes, Polly, I’m talking to you.
225g plain flour
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g, plus 2 tbsps caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 baking sheets, lined or greased
Makes about 30.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
Sift the flour, cocoa, nutmeg, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 100g sugar together until light, pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Now stir in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth, coherent mixture. Spoon the remaining sugar and cinnamon onto a plate. Roll the dough into walnut sized pieces and then roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on your baking sheets.
Bake for 13-15 minutes. Leave to rest on the baking sheets for a minute and then transfer to a rack to cool.