No sugarfree week this week for me. Maybe next week. One has to follow traditions at least a little bit. And this week it was both Carnival Tuesday and Valentine's day. At Carnival you eat something called frappe in Rome, elsewhere in Italy I think they call them chiacchiere and they also have other names, depending on the region. Armando had promised the children that he would make them himself and so he did. I was a bit skeptical about it and about all the mess he would make frying them, but to my surprise they turned out very good and he also cleaned up the mess. They tasted better than the ones you buy.
I haven't been so successful with my baking lately. Last week when I was baking a cake, the oven temperature accidentally had gone up to 300 and when I noticed it, the cake was black outside and still uncooked inside. Then the cake I took to Carlotta's carnival party - one egg was missing, so it was too friable. Today I got the brilliant idea to let the bread machine do a dough while we went riding. I thought I could quickly make buns out of it when we came back from the stables to celebrate Valentine's day. But I think the program I used wasn't good for bun dough, because it was far too liquid and hadn't grown. I hate to knead the bun dough that sticks everywhere, so I chose another bread machine program. The bread machine's manual didn't say anything about it, but it was called "pasta" and I thought that would mean dough. Well after a while I started to feel a scent of baking bread and when I looked, I saw that the machine had started to bake the dough. Help! I quickly took out the dough, started mixing it and added some flour because it still was too liquid. I let the bread machine knead it some more and in the end I managed to make the buns, but only in the evening when Carlotta already was in bed. Actually I wanted to put whipped cream and almond paste inside them and eat them as we eat them in Finland on Shrove Tuesday, but I think I will do it on the week-end when I have more time. The buns turned out good anyway. Fortunately we had bought Baci Perugina chocolate when we came home from the stables, so we had a little Valentine's dessert for everyone. That was Sofia's idea, she likes these sweet traditions.
So my baking attempts seem to be bound to fail, but there are so many inspiring blogs with lovely pictures and nice recipies and they make me want to try them. I have a lot of work in this period and it's nice to take a little break from the computer and bake something that I know my children appreciate and sometimes they are also willing to bake together with me. If they have something better to do, at latest they appear in the kitchen when it's time to put the cake into the baking pan, so they can argue about who gets to lick the dough from the pots.