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Assemble the stuff for packing. I've a few items for the auction and some trip reports to try and sell. I do not have my own trip report. I know. I've done more on it but real life just became too exhausting.

Find my passport. It's around somewhere.

Carry on talking to the people on the panels I'm moderating. Found out this morning that I'm down a panelist on one, which is disappointing. Also waiting to find out when my panels are. I know about some but not others.

I'm working on the newsletter at Aussiecon because Flick Asked First. I'm not running it or anything so I thought I could take the risk. Nothing has happened YET but there's still a week to go. Surely nothing else can fall apart?

Get some spending Wonga. Will probably do that this weekend.

Contact the australian various to arrange meeting up. Need to know when panels are definitely to do this.

Also, Thursday. I've just checked the schedule and I didn't dream it: I arrive in Melbourne at 1 a.m. Now I'm not too fussed about that as I reckon the buses run through the night HOWEVER I probably reach the hotel at 3 a.m. and I've just realised that I didn't book a room for Wednesday night. Have panel on Thursday afternoon so have to be around and alert. Hmmm. Will have think. I was toying with the idea of not changing time zones (basically sleeping all day) but that doesn't fit with my schedule.

Oooh, light-en-ing! And FUNDER.

I get the BBC good food email which is cheaper and more useful than buying Olive (although it took me about ten issues to work that out). Last week was the courgette special, useful at this time of year. I cooked the lasagne earlier in the week (and very nice it was too) but was intrigued by the courgette cake and decided to do some baking.

I know. I do get embarassed by this when I look at all the fantastic cooks on my friends list. Perhaps you should look away now.

I grated the courgettes in the morning and in shifts. My RSI is better but not completely cleared (have now developed tennis elbow in my left arm because I've been compensating, *sigh*). The recipe said ten minutes to prepare and fifty to cook but I was smart and doubled the prep time because I know what I'm like. Mixing flour, cocoa powder, mixed spice and salt. Fine. Mixing olive oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla essense and courgettes, not so much. I put the bowl with the eggs and oil on the scale and added the sugar straight in. It came out as a block and meant there was a splash and a scattering so me, and the scale, and the counter-top, became a bit sticky. At least it was under the weight I needed. Then the courgettes meant that the mix was a bit... traditionally built.

I folded it in to the dry ingredients, no problem, lined the cake tin and put the mix in. It was then I remembered that hazelnuts were mentioned so I tipped them in and gave it a little stir. Into the oven with you.

After about half an hour I realised that the hazelnuts should have been chopped.

After another ten minutes I stuck a knife in to see how the cake was doing. It smelled lovely but was raw inside.

I gave it ten more. Still raw.

Ten more. Still raw.

At this point I began to wonder. Although comments said that many people left it for nearer and hour than 40 minutes I'd expected it to be sticky by now at least. I rechecked the temperature. Yes, I am a muppet and I'd set the oven at the temp for a fan oven, not my normal gas oven. I raised the temperature then got involved in the sort of silly internet discussion that means you forget about your cake until you smell burning.

So: I've cut the top off and iced it. It feels fairly heavy and looks it but I'm loathe to throw it out (having spent nearly £6 on ingredients to use up three courgettes) so I'm going to take it into work. It's got chocolate on, after all, and I work with people who can't resist anything for free. Even if there's a danger of choking.

EDIT: My cake box has spices in so I've put it on a plate with carboard round and covered it in tinfoil. *I can hardly lift it*. OOOO boy.

It does NOT look like the cake illustrated here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/633634/chocolate-courgette-cake
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ang_rosin

September 2010

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