Nutella sponge cake and being let go

It’s not you, it’s me.

Today I was on the receiving end. Unexpectedly too.

The probationary period at my fab new job came to an end and that was it. I’m not as experienced a worker as she needs – and that’s okay. Small businesses need to be as efficient as possible and I’m not the right employee for the company. There are no ill feelings, no bitter words.

It just sucks slightly.

Re-evaluation will start tomorrow. A call to Centrelink may or may not be on the cards. But today I’m embracing the change.

I cried in the car (that was a first), I went to the supermarket in my pretty work dress with my stripey orange runners on (hopefully that’s a first and a last) and I bought a tea set that was irresponsibly expensive given that I started being unemployed this afternoon. And I felt slightly better.

I moped about the house and watched Gossip Girl to escape, but I decided that wasn’t enough.

So Mother and I took Norman for a drive…and I can thoroughly recommend this is treatment for sadness.

Feeling blue? Force your dog to go for a drive with you. I promise it is an instant mood lifter.

We drove to a local park where the wattle is overgrown. And we stole some.

Norman 3Norman 2

The difference between polenta and semolina

There’s no recipe to post today, just a little guide to baking with semolina/polenta. In my last post I made a cake with semolina in it.

I found out the hard way that polenta and semolina are not always interchangeable when I made a lemon semolina cake about three months ago. I Googled “can you substitute semolina with polenta?”

“Yes” was the resounding answer.

My cake said otherwise.

While they essentially perform the same role in a cake, the outcome of my baking with polenta was a grittier, denser texture than I was looking for.

Semolina
This is polenta, the fiend that ruined my cake!

Semolina is wheat, polenta is corn. ‘Polenta’ may also refer to the grain or the dish that results from using polenta.

There are occasions where you can substitute one for the other, but not all the time. They both have their benefits:

  • Semolina is high in protein and fibre and low GI, so it’s good for you! Semolina is a good option for people who need to monitor their glucose levels, like diabetics or dieters.  It is also a good source of vitamins E and B, which help your immune system.
  • Polenta is made up of complex carbohydrates high in dietary fibre, which means that they are a better source of energy than simple carbs. Polenta is also high in zinc, and iron.

When buying polenta or semolina, go for the most finely ground version you can find (unless the recipe specifies otherwise.) Generally cakes will call for semolina or polenta without indicating how coarse/fine the ingredient should be – if in doubt, opt for the finer alternative

My Lemon semolina cake (in which I used polenta instead of semolina) turned out even worse because my polenta was quite coarse – a similar size to couscous – and made my cake crumbly. And a little hard on the teeth.

I still Instagrammed it, because I’m lame. (http://instagram.com/p/Y7iBbAg76M/)

My advice? Tweak recipes where you need to, but if you’re really unsure, save your time by popping down to the shops and picking up the right ingredients!

Bejewelled Orange Syrup Cake and Long Weekends

Juicer

Long weekends are the perfect mix of food, drink and good company in my house. A little too much merriment however, always leaves you sluggish on the last day. Today is that day.

After excesses of gossip, laughing and catching up, Monday morning is lazy, slower than your usual Monday.

To remedy this – administer copious amounts of vitamin C (and other delicious things) by enjoying a slice of this cake.