Matzo cupcakes and Christmas Challenge Update

Evening all!

Well, the Christmas Challenge has been an unmitigated disaster so far – hooray! There are a number of reasons for this. I’ve been working pretty much every waking hour in the last week, which has meant that today was the first time in nearly a week that I’ve been on the old Wii fit doobery. Ho hum. I have been ensuring that I walk a lot in the day, avoiding the tube when I’ve been to meetings in London, and volunteering to walk across town to the university for meetings instead of getting them to come to me, but it has still not been enough. I think that also a weekend of takeaway pizza last week, and many beers drunk on Friday followed by sharing a portion of chips with my hubby yesterday may also have contributed. Nevermind, onwards and upwards! I shall continue and see how we get on. I do think that my arms are looking a tad more toned, so it’s not all bad news. Plus we’ve still got about 48 days until Christmas (therefore about 41 until the work’s Christmas do) so there’s still plenty of time yet.

Unrelated cat and husband image

I am considering knocking the lager on the head for a while and sticking to the wine. This seems like an eminently sensible weight loss decision if you ask me. At least I’m still not compromising my morals at this stage, although I do remember the Special K diet looking appealing midweek. Urghhh.

In other news, I realised today that we still have a ridiculous amount of jam in the house (stolen from the toast day because I wanted the nice close lid glass jars). I got myself all het up to do a spot of baking until I realised that we didn’t have any flour! Poo!

Luckily, the Store Cupboard of Ultimate Randomness still contains a packet of cake matzo meal that I bought on a whim, reduced to 15p from Morrisons a while back. After dutifully searching the internet, I came up with a number of likely looking sponge cake recipes and set about making some fairy cakes, with a big dollop of jam in the middle. I’m just going to go and whip them out of the oven now, let’s see how they turned out…

Matzo meal and jam cakes

…Turns out they look OK! Hooray! Now to pass some time so that the jam is cool enough to sample them!! Matzo meal is made from crushed up Matzo crackers.  These crackers are a traditional Jewish food, usually presumed to be kosher (indeed the meal that I have carries assurances that it is kosher). A common application of this meal is to make dumplings for chicken soup. This is something I will try in the future (I am sure that using a finer ground matzo meal will be fine in the end).

These cakes were made using golden caster sugar, beaten up with egg yolks and then stirred in to the matzo meal with some lime zest. I then beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and folded it altogether. I was not convinced that they would rise, and therefore adding the jam prior to baking them was potentially the kiss of death on them, however, they seem to have risen nicely. I suppose they are glorified meringues, cooked for just under 20 minutes on a medium over (I think I went for about 160’C).

And so, the taste test.

Mmm!!! Nice! They are quite a dense sponge, as you would expect from ‘flour’ which is crushed up crackers! I think the jam in the centre was a bit of a masterstroke as they clearly need a lot of sweetening up. The recipe I used called for nearly twice as much sugar as matzo meal and they are just  balanced with a big dollop of jam in the middle! Definitely a great recipe using a cheap flour alternative and a good way to use up eggs if you have a glut! Very enjoyable.

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