Jul 26, 2011

When Comfort Carbs Fail.

Comfort carbs and I are in the process of reevaluating our relationship.  We used to be such reliable friends in the bitter cold of a winter afternoon, bonding over a hot cup of tea, but something's different these days.

I don't know if it's something I've done or said to them but our relations have been strained of late.  First it was a burned batch of golden syrup dumplings and now a leathery bread and butter pudding.

I thought I did all the right things too.  As a gracious hostess, I used a generous swig of brandy to soak the raisins.  And there was real vanilla essence.

I celebrated the diversity of baked goods by using both croissants and fruit bread.

Perhaps my mistake was trying to add chocolate to comfort carbs.  Too many 'c' words in a dish is a recipe for disaster.

It all looked fantastic in the pan before baking and then something went wrong in the oven.  It over baked and the custard wasn't sweet enough.  Even the chocolate couldn't save it.

I think the man in the larger photo used to play cricket for Australia.  He now plays Nintendo Wii for the nation instead.  I think he just got married.  I could be wrong though....
The rccipe I used was from 'The Carly Findlay New Idea' rather than from Carly herself.  Perhaps I should have just asked Carly to share her recipe with me.
So, I'm giving comfort carbs a bit of space for the moment and savoured some new experiences. 

Like black soap.  This one's from Crabtree and Evelyn and don't worry, it doesn't leave your skin embalmed in a later of black.  It is a soap that challeneges your senses and perceptions.  It smells of the sea yet to look at, it conjures up the dark arts.  Shower time is such a provocative and intellectual ritual these days as I try to reconcile these concepts.

I also have a new caddy of tea bags in the SSG Manor kitchen.  Have you tried T2's French Earl Grey?  It is a completely different being to any Earl Grey you may have previously tried.  It's not bitter but instead has a little hibiscus in it.  Very fragrant, it smells of roses and softness.  It's the tea to take you to Paris at your desk.

How are you coping with winter?  Do you have any suggestions for a good bread and butter pudding recipe?  I promise not to spike it with chocolate this time.


  1. It's not even close to winter yet here in California, but I did live for quite a long time in a spot with rather frigid and dark winters. My coping device was a piping hot sauna. With plenty of comfort carbs afterwards, of course.

  2. I am obsessed with tea at the mo mo. Me and my T2 tea pot and tea cup do our first rounds together, the pot and cup perched on a dressing trolley... It's about as glamorous as you can get in a hospital at 2300.


  3. Femme Curieuse: I knew it, a sauna is the perfect solution!

    M: that's the chic-est dressing round I've seen since forever.

    SSG xxx

  4. Do you think one of the problems was mixing the carbs? They might cook at different times... Two good suggestions for B&B pudding:

    Nigella does a really good ginger jam version http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/my-grandmothers-ginger-jam-bread-and-butter-pudding-2565

    I also make individual ones with stale croissants and marmalade. No recipe (I just make it up really - eggs, cream, touch of sugar, combine, pout over torn up croissants and marmalade and raisins in Mr K's). I find smaller ones tend not to overcook as much.

    Another tip is to bake the pudding in a water bath - it will steam it gently (like a cheesecake) and stop it from overcooking and getting tough.

    I'm so glad you are loving the T2 teabags! I have a box of French Grey in my cupboard - I need to try it!

    K xx

  5. I personally can't think of anything better than croissants, fruit toast and chocolate all together. Hits the spot for me!!! loving the new SSG look! xx

  6. I find that sometimes you go through a little cooking fail period. It will pass and you will be enjoying comfort carbs again in no time.

    I adore tea and have a large collection, however a friend of mine works at an inconveniently located tea boutique, so I feel guilty when I buy from T2 rather than from her. How does one reconcile convenience with friendship in these situations?

  7. Lisa: thank you for the reassurance. A life without comfort carbs is a life not worth contemplating!

    Kitty: you will love French Grey.

    B: thanks, hun!

    SSG xxx

  8. Hi SSG love the new look blog. You should try Madura Tea you can buy online and is an Australian company. There premium black tea is delicious and now they make a variety of flavoured/herbal teas.

  9. I'm glad that winter's still months away here in Norway, but hot chocolate is always a winner in wintertime! Preferably in front of the fireplace:) And wool underwear.

  10. Hi SSG,

    Winter can't be done without carbs. I have literally not been able to get through UK winters without plates of comforting carbs. Now I dont really eat dessert, however I did notice this Martha Stewart Bread and Butter Pudding recipe recently:


    All the best with the baking. Fifi

  11. Lovelovelove T2 French Earl Grey, 'tis super yummy!
    Sorry to hear about your bread and butter pudding hun - I must confess I've never made one. I swear by a good old-fashioned rhubarb crumble as a winter dessert xx

  12. I'm really over winter now. Today's sunshine did save my sanity but I don't think I could for another cold snap! :(

  13. Oh, really wondering how anything with chocolate can ever be ruined (or not saved with perhaps cream)?? So many carbs, so few thighs to stick to. Yummo, love Posie

  14. Nigella does a brown bread and ginger marmalade bread and butter pudding that is to die for. Google it!

    Loving the black soap.

  15. AFW: okay, second vote for Nigella's ginger and brown bread version. It was meant to be. Thank you :-)

    SSG xxx


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