White Chocolate & Blackberry

Want to know the worst part of depression? Knowing someone else is experiencing it. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, so it breaks my heart when I hear someone I love is having a hard time. The lack of enthusiasm, strength, sleep and emotions. Depression often comes out mimicking sadness – crying, staying in bed or craving comfort. But sadness doesn’t quite explain how it feels. Depression doesn’t really feel like anything, but feels like everything. The only upside to knowing someone is going through it, is being able to give them advise. And also knowing that you, yourself, are not the only one experiencing it. It can feel incredibly lonely. But having someone understand and relate to what you’re going through can be so supportive.

I didn’t get that job I interviewed for. And I’m utterly gutted, and cried, and started to beat myself up about it. But A talked some sense into me. The outcome of the interview was that I did really well, and she could tell I was passionate about women’s health, but I lacked the experience they required for that role. And all I can do about that is get some experience and try again I guess! I have until November, when I graduate. And I definitely think I am putting a lot of pressure on myself. First thing is to finish placement, hand in my portfolio and give myself a much needed break.

I’ve got two weeks left and I honestly cannot wait for it to be done. This placement is fantastic and my confidence as a nurse has grown so much from the support of my mentors, but I need a rest. Three years of working in different places every few months, meeting and working with new people and in new ways, having everyone watch my every move, wearing a horrible uniform and essentially working two jobs has been incredibly tough. So tough I have wanted to give up numerous times. But nursing comes very naturally to me and it would be a shame to come this far and walk away without a degree. So, Maya, let’s do this!

A few weeks ago A and myself got ourselves a kitten! My mum had cats when we were growing up and I have always said I would get one of my own when I was older. Apparently I am now whatever “older” means. I was a little worried about getting a pet with both our working schedules, but the kitten is super happy and well loved. Having a pet is also really good for our health and mental health. Owning a cat can help reduce stress and anxiety. Two things fairly prominent in my life. Having a cat can even lower blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and provides companionship which reduces feelings of loneliness. Remember what I said about depression making us feel lonely? I also really think having a little creature depending on me to empty their litter tray, feed and water them and of course play and show affection is really beneficial for my depression. The fact I have to get up and scoop poop means I’m up in the morning.

Unfortunately this week I received some sad news and have lost a member of my family. I don’t feel it is appropriate for me to write too much about this as it’s still so fresh. But this sad news is partly why I chose to do a bake today and I do feel better for it. I wanted to make something that looked pretty and delicate, and something that would take me a long time, with different steps and techniques. I find when I do bakes like these my mind goes completely blank and just focuses on the bake. Last time I made pastry it was a complete disaster so I wanted to give another style of pastry a go. I chose Pate Sucree, or sweet shortcrust, and it worked first time!

Meringue Kisses

2 Egg Whites

150g Sugar

Red food colouring

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Preheat a fan assisted oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Oh my god, making meringues using a mixer rather then my arms is a wonderful thing. First I whisk the egg whites until they start to bubble. Add the sugar a table spoon at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often to fully incorporate the sugar into the egg whites. Keep whisking until the mix creates a soft peak.

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To create the colouring I took a spoonful of the meringue and mixed it with red food colouring. Then with a (clean) paint brush I painted stripes onto the inside of a piping bag. Add in the rest of the meringue mix and pipe your desired design onto a baking tray. Cook for one hour. Whilst these are baking you can prepare the pastry.

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Pastry

90g Butter

65g Sugar

3 Egg Yolks

200g Flour

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Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Then add in the yolks one by one. Add in the flour and then mix in the electric mixer until the dough starts coming together. Then tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Pop in the fridge to chill for roughly 30 minutes. Have a cup of tea and wait for the meringues to finish baking and the pastry to chill! Once the meringues are out bring the oven up to 180 degrees Celsius.

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Roll out the pastry and line a buttered tart tin. Place a layer of greaseproof paper on top and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, take the beans and greaseproof paper off and then bake for another 5 minutes, or until the pastry case is golden brown. Leave to one side to fully cool.

Panna Cotta

600mls Double Cream

250mls Milk

50g Sugar

60g White Chocolate

12g Gelatine Powder

8 tbsp Boiling Water

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Bring the cream, milk and sugar to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and add the white chocolate. Stir this regularly while you prepare the gelatine. In a bowl mix the boiling water into the gelatine powder. Add a spoonful of the cream mix into the gelatine, mix well and the pour this back into the cream. Let this mixture continue to cool until lukewarm whilst stirring regularly. Gently pour into the cooled pastry case. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before decorating and serving.

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No soggy bottoms here Mary Berry!

 

 

 

One thought on “White Chocolate & Blackberry

  1. Maya another wonderful blog, your passion, empathy and love of life shines through no matter what So sorry to hear of your family member passing 😥You’re truly amazing, you’re doing better than you think and there is definitely the right job for you just round the corner Your meringue kisses says it all WR Linda

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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