You’ve chosen the perfect pattern, acquired the perfect yarn in the perfect colour (Drops Merino Extra Fine in Mustard and Dark Grey Mix), your needles are lined up, stitch markers and a tapestry needle at the ready, even the scissors are on hand, just in case… Your brother-in-law only needed reminding once (ok twice!) that you need his chest and arm measurements – preferably in inches, and you learn a new cast-on because you need something super-stretchy.
The deadline is way off, so no pressure. You might even be feeling a little smug about how well organised you are this time. You’re a good girl/boy and you have taken the time to not only knit but also BLOCK two gauge swatches – and the second one is perfect (which never happens).
This one is a joy, worked on those Knit-Pro Interchangeable needles that you splashed out on after Christmas (green and gorgeous). You love the knit rows and tolerate the purl ones – why can’t everything just be knitted in garter stitch?
Your son, who is physically only a little smaller than your brother-in-law, has agreed to be a stand-in for trying things on for size – not sure what has prompted this cheerfulness but don’t rock the boat, just enjoy it while it lasts. It’s all looking good…
But there’s just this nagging doubt in the back of your mind – “It’s too small, it’s too small.” You counter this with a less certain “It’ll be OK off the needles and with gentle blocking” but it takes until you’ve worked 18 inches (front, back, front) and have almost finished one sleeve before you finally accept what the tape measure has been telling you for days and admit that the blinking ‘Biker Boy’ cardigan is going to be too small, even though you’ve knitted it two sizes bigger than you really should to compensate for all the comments on Ravelry that have complained that it comes up smaller than expected.
So I frogged it and started again – same yarn, different pattern, great Ravelry reviews etc.
But the joy has just seeped out under the door and I’ve been distracting myself with a host of other projects (I’ll talk more about those next time) managing only a few sad rows of the new cardigan at a time. Sigh…
Now, I promised you a recipe last time and I’m bringing back the lost joy with this Vegan Madelaine recipe – yes, it’s my very own (!) and even though I do say so myself, they taste absolutely gorgeous!
(enough for about 36 little morsels of cakey goodness)
- 1 cup soya milk
- juice of ½ lemon
mix together in a jug to curdle and leave for 5 mins
- 1/3 cup sunflower oil
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
blend together in a large bowl and add curdled soya milk mixture
- ½ cup ground almonds
- ¾ cup self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- finely grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon
Add to liquid/sugar mixture to form a smooth batter.
- A little sunflower oil and flour for preparing the madelaine tin
- 2 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Prepare the madelaine tin by spreading a small amount of sunflower oil into each madelaine shape in the tin – I use a few drops and spread into all the creases with a square of kitchen roll. Then dust a very fine layer of flour into each – to stop the madelaines from sticking to the tin.
Drop 1 generous tbsp of mixture into each madelaine shape and bake in a moderate oven (180 C) for about 10 mins, or until the edges have just started to colour a little and the tops of the cakes are rising up into the distinctive madelaine ‘bumps’.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 5 mins before removing carefully (I use a teaspoon to loosen the edges of the cakes) and placing on a cooling rack.
When the madelaines are all completely cold, either dust with icing sugar (powdered sugar) or half-dip in dark chocolate.
Delicious served for elevenses or for afternoon tea, but nobody will blame you for having a small stash by the bed to have when you wake up in the morning or hidden in the glove compartment of the car in case you get stuck in traffic.