Medieval FEAST!

Doc knows how obsessed I am with all things medieval, and he was so kind as to buy some tickets to a Medieval Feast event! I got so excited, I made a double hennin and everything.

Going Medieval
Me at the Medieval Feast as photographed by Doc

This got me super obsessed with Medieval food, and soon I stumbled upon the Boke of Gode Cookery, and in particular the recipe for Sambocade (elderflower cheesecake). So of course, I had to make it.

But, like, of course I had to first make cheese curds! Because the recipe explicitly says the first step is the strain the whey from the curds.

Cutting curds with saffron in them
Cutting the curds. And as you can see, I decided to stir some saffron threads into the milk before adding the rennet and letting it set. For a moar medieval flavor!!!

Ladling saffron curds into cheese cloth to strain out whey
“Wryng out þe wheyze and drawe hem þurgh a straynour”

Straining out whey from curds
The saffron curds actually tasted really, really good. I’m now thinking that a saffron panna cotta would be amazing.

Medieval elderflower cheesecake!
Tah-daaaah! Medieval cheesecake!

I would recommend serving it with some caudell drizzled on top.

Note that, I didn’t care about improving the recipe or adding new-fangled things to better suit a modern palate. All I cared about was that I would eat a thing that was literally what a medieval person ate at least once. Because that’s who I am.

This led me into some trouble trying to interpret the recipe. The recipe appears to say to strain the whey from the curds and put them into the pie shell. THEN, add the egg whites and elderflowers and rose water. But the “modern translation” says to mix everything together until smooth, and pour the whole thing into the pie shell. So, which is it? Is this dish more like a cheesey crust with a meringue on top? Or is it more like a modern version of a cheesecake, with one layer of a smooth cheesey homogeneous mix?

Ultimately, I decided to go with what the “modern translation” said, figuring that medieval authors generally didn’t have the same level of explicit instruction that we do today, and that maybe the translators know better than I do what the intent was. But sometimes I wonder!

I Made a Wedding Cake

My sister asked me to make the cake for her wedding (which was the 22nd). The 10th was Doc’s birthday, and I used that as an opportunity to test out all the cake baking/making/decorating techniques that I had read about online. His cake turned out moist, good tasting, and good looking; so I decided to go ahead and use the same cake and frosting recipes on my sister’s cake.

This is the finished cake that I made for my sister. She picked out the LEGO toppers for the cake, which I think was a very nice touch.

I wrote last week about the techniques of making crumb coats and freezing the cakes while still warm. I utilized all of these new techniques on the wedding cake, since they worked so well last time. Freezing the cakes truly does make them moister! I froze the sections of the cake that I was going to use, and ate the sections that I cut away without freezing them, and largely preferred the cakes which had been frozen. That being said, I also froze the cakes because that way I could make them ahead of time and decorate them at my leisure. Continue reading “I Made a Wedding Cake”