It wasn’t supposed to be an actual mud pie…

Yesterday, I fulfilled my “provide sweet treats for your colleagues after you’ve had a birthday” obligation and made Mississippi Mud Pie.

Crushing 600g of chocolate biscuits took a while!

Biscuit crushing in progress
Biscuit crushing in progress
Crushed biscuits and melted butter
Crushed biscuits and melted butter

These marshmallows came with a warning to only eat one of them at a time!

Not sure I'd like to meet the person who could eat more than one of these at a time!
Not sure I’d like to meet the person who could eat more than one of these at a time!

The last time I made this, I was still young enough to require supervision in the kitchen and I’d forgotten how annoying marshmallows are to melt!

Melting the giant marshmallows
Melting the giant marshmallows

Yes of course they stuck to the bottom and started to crystallise because I had the audacity to leave them to their own devices for 30 seconds while I sorted out another ingredient…

My dad’s instructions called for one pint of double cream (this dish is not for people on a diet!). My jug, being German, only does millilitres, so I measured the cream in a pint glass:

A pint of cream
A pint of cream

Finally I was ready to start mixing all the ingredients together.

Melted marshmallows and melted chocolate
Melted marshmallows and melted chocolate

Once everything was well combined, I poured it onto the biscuit-crumb base (which had been hardening in the fridge while I made the topping) and the whole thing went back into the fridge while I headed to the train station to buy something to decorate the pie with. I’d forgotten I needed decorations the day before and, being a Sunday, all the supermarkets were closed. At home, we always used Milky Bar Buttons for decoration, but no such thing is available here. Also, being a crappy train station shop, the selection of decorative streets was rather limited, so I ended up going with M&Ms then adding some sugar confetti that I still had in the cupboard. The result wasn’t too bad:

Colourful Mississippi Mud Pie
Colourful Mississippi Mud Pie

Now all that remained was to let the pie set overnight then bring it into work this morning and hope my colleagues didn’t object to finding the occasional piece of caramelised marshmallow in their pie… oh so I thought. I hadn’t reckoned with the torrential rain when I got off the train this morning… or the little holes where the handles of my cake carrier met the rest of the plastic…

My colleagues were willing to give the cake a try anyway, and pronounced it good… despite the fact that the M&Ms had been completely washed clean of colour! Poor cake, as Jan said when I texted him about it…

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Science and Sunday dinner

I made a sort of Sunday dinner yesterday. Why “sort of” you ask? Well, there werre no Yorkshire puddings and the meat (pork steaks) was fried rather than roasted because I don’t trust my oven at all (there’s something wrong with the thermostat – no matter how high a setting you put it on it always claims to be at most 150°C. And I really don’t want to risk putting meat in an oven that I don’t actually know the temperature of…). We did have both roast and mashed potatoes though. And after my recent trip to England I have actual proper gravy granules. German “Bratensosse” is just not the same. Sure, it goes well enough with wild boar or Schnitzel but for a proper Sunday dinner you’ve gotta have English gravy!
We had a starter as well. I’m currently doing an Open University short course called Science Starts Here and this weekend I had to do an experiment which involved putting sliced potatoes in the oven and weighing them every hour to find out what percentage of a potato is water. The end result was something that looked a lot like those potato skins you get as a starter in restaurants so we covered them in salt and pepper and ate them. I also dipped mine in allioli (garlic sauce) which was dee-licious. While we were waiting for the main course to finish cooking I happened to mention to Jan what a shame it was I had no dessert to offer him. You see, one of the things on my 101 things list is to cook a three course meal for my boyfriend (3 times!) and as I had done all the work with dinner I thought if I had dessert I could let this count (even if the starter was originally a science experiment). Having had the thought I naturally couldn’t rest until I’d at least tried to carry it out, so I got onto Google and started looking up recipes that only use ingredients I actually had in the house. It being a Sunday in German I would have had no chance of getting anything that was missing – only the petrol stations and the tiny little shop at the train station are open. Luckily I found a recipe for golden syrup dumplings, so I made that. Mine looked nothing like the picture on the website but they tasted good and that’s all that matters, right?

We were going to go to the cinema after dinner to see the German film Der Weisse Band (The White Ribbon – read about it here) but Jan decided he was too tired, so we stayed home and watched two episodes of ER instead. We’re up to season 3 now. I love the old ones – Noah Wyle (Carter) looks so young!