Despite being extremely pressed for time, I did find time to bake cupcakes for the neighbours and a sacher torte for a friend of mine. This was my first attempt at a Sacher torte and I probably spent more time researching the best recipe than was spent actually baking! What surprised me was the range and variety of chocolate glazes that were used to cover the cake. In the end I chose two different recipes; one for the actual cake and apricot glaze and the other for the chocolate glaze. The cake recipe was Austrian, and I used a ganache-like glaze that had a higher proportion of chocolate to cream and incorporated butter as well.
Now I am on a forced baking hiatus for a week or so as our kitchen suffered several disasters over the holidays. Namely on the evening of the 23rd, right after business hours, our dishwasher broke down. That in itself is not an unsurmountable problem, merely annoying as heck! On Christmas morning I managed to wreak havoc in the kitchen by omitting to remove the ceramic stove covers before heating up some mulled wine to take with us to the stables. Sure enough the covers exploded, leaving the kitchen filled with acrid smoke, and the stove covered in shattered glass and melted plastic. Again, once the glass had been cleaned up, the kitchen aired out and the plastic scraped off the stove, no apparent damage to the stove itself. Phew!
The crowning glory of all disasters occurred during Christmas dinner in the evening. The oven had been left on low to keep the desserts warm. No sooner had my daughter removed the desserts and closed the oven door when the door, which was glass (of course!) literally shattered for no apparent reason. My daughter got a fright but no one was hurt. It will be well in to the first week of January before we can get that repaired. In the meantime there will be no turkey pie, sausage rolls or cakes prepared in this house. An awful prospect indeed!