Who is your toughest critic – your family, friends, work colleagues or yourself? Well mine is a very independent, articulate three year old named Daisy. The Daisy test was discovered last summer when I cook a family meal for Abi and Jordon, two intrepid travelers who were due to embark on a cycle trip around Europe.
As part of the goodbye, good luck celebrations we prepared a Moroccan inspired BBQ. Harrisa chicken, spicy falafel, Beetroot & Cumin salad were a few of the dishes on offer, for desert I took inspiration from Rachel Allen’s Yogurt cake with Lime and Rose water Syrup.
As I am not the most confident of bakers I am always apprehensive when trying new recipes, especially when using yogurts or oil’s in cake and bakes. Despite this I forged forward beating, whisking, folding until finally the raw ingredients were ready to be transformed into a dazzling centerpiece to the Moroccan extravaganza. Due to my oven being gas and not fan assisted I had to double the baking time from 50 minutes to approximately 90 minutes but to be honest this was the only difficulty I had with the recipe.
So with the Moroccan feast devoured, Daisy favoring the Couscous with pomegranate, it was time for the cake. I served each eighth with a dollop of crème fraîche, a drizzle of honey and some ripe fresh berries. Everyone made the usual noises of satisfaction but I am suspicious of compliments from grown ups. The reason for my suspicions is that adults understand that sometimes brutal honesty can be upsetting, they feel it necessary to adhere to social etiquette. Grown ups don’t want to be impolite.
So wanting some honest feed back (as this is the only way to improve) I blindly asked my niece Daisy Goolden what she thought. ‘Daisy do you like Auntie Meli’s Cake?’ she looks at me thinks for a moment, intensely, and then she nods. ‘Daisy if Auntie Meli baked this cake again would you eat it?’ She nods again; ok this is going well I think to myself. ‘Daisy if this cake was in a shop would you buy it?’ Without a thought or hesitation Daisy simply answers no. It is at this very moment that I knew Daisy alone is my one true measure of success. I adore Daisy for being so honest and hope that she will forever remain my toughest critic.