Even though it seems I do a lot of it, I actually don't really like baking. Cooking, yes. Baking, no. It's mostly because I don't know enough about it to be able to make a lot of things without a recipe. With cooking you can taste test along the way and work out if it needs a little more of this or a little more of that, or if you suddenly realise holy crap I forgot the main ingredient most of the time it's easily remedied. With cooking once you know a little about what things work together, unless it's something fancy, recipes are a bit redundant. That's why I like cooking.
Baking to me is so much more of an exact science. If I stood there with a recipe book open, solely concentrating on that one thing it probably wouldn't be so hard. Instead I always have a couple of things cooking at once, am watching something on dvd and doing something else around the house all at the same time. Because of this I sometimes forget a key step or ingredient. Like tonight.
Neenish tarts. I started making the pastry last night and that turned out fine. Today I whipped up the filling and put it in the fridge to set. Just a little while ago I iced them. We sat down to eat one with a cup of tea and my flatmate asked what was in the filling. I replied "condensed milk and lemon juice" and then it dawned on me - what lemon juice? Whoops. No wonder they are so sweet. The lemon would take the edge off.
The thing is though that I've been wanting to make neenish tarts since I was a kid but never had. I used the Edmonds recipe. Next time I make them I'd keep the pastry the same but make the filling more lemony - maybe with a cream cheese and lemon curd kind of mix - and then ice the top with melted chocolate rather than plain icing.
Anyway, lessons learnt. They are edible - just one in one sitting though - and do look kind of cute. What do you think? Anything you've always wanted to try make but never gotten around to it?