Nobody commented on the Irish soda bread, but it all got eaten. Either they liked it or they just wanted to try it. The real thing is different from what many people think Irish soda bread is: not white flour (usually), no fat or raisins or other add-ins. It’s a quick bread because it’s leavened with a chemical leavener rather than yeast. When we think of quick bread, though, we tend to think of something made with extra flavorings: sugar, spices, fruit, nuts. This is just whole wheat bread.
The second batch of Italian bread apparently was dead on. The Italian colleague who requested it liked it a lot and thought it came from an Italian bakery. The softer crust must be right, then. And it all got eaten, so it looks like making larger loaves was a good decision.
I did get a small slice of the chocolate stout cake. Dr. Science snagged one right after lunch. At that point, about half the cake was gone. Later, when he went into the kitchen, all that was left was the plate. One of his colleagues told him she doesn’t like chocolate cake because it’s bitter, but she really liked this one. Possibly that’s the dutched cocoa in the cake. I was surprised that it wasn’t obviously sweet. The cake (not including the frosting) is about 30% sugar by weight (28 oz of sugar in 95 oz of cake batter). It was dense and moist, definitely not genoise. I kept getting a faint impression of rye bread, which must’ve been the stout.
The blood orange tart is pretty good but not great. The crust is okay, but it’s kind of chewy. That’s the whole wheat pastry flour, of course. I’m just going to have to give up the idea of using whole wheat flour in pie crust. I love whole wheat bread, but white flour appears to be the right thing for pie crust. The curd definitely tastes like blood orange, but it might be too sweet, or at least not tart enough. For the next attempt I’ll try ½ cup of blood orange juice and ¼ cup of lemon juice, and stir in the zest, and see if that brightens it up.