My bees are drowning...... in chocolate
On Wednesday I decided to make my debut into the Leamington Spa & Warwick Cake Club with my honey and chocolate creation. I have made this cake a number of times and I was initially drawn to it by the bees, naturally. Nigella's cake is fairly tall in her recipe and although I've never been able to reach those heights, the cake has always been very well received - dense (more torte than cake) yet gorgeous with lots of honey flavour.
However, on Wednesday I decided to bake it in a heart-shaped tin and without using the fan in the oven. Big mistake! Soon after it came out, it quite literally sank about 3 cm in the middle and when I poured the icing over, it formed a pool. I thought that I may be able to redeem myself with the marzipan bees but once I placed them around the edge, the bees soon started to look as though they were nose diving into the chocolate pool. Or they may have been trying to hide from the embarrassment of the other beautiful creations on the table.
But that wasn't the worst of it - my cake wasn't cooked in the middle and was more goo than crumb. One lady tried to make me feel better by saying at least it wasn't raw :/
On the queen front - I finally have news to report. I had a phone call from John Home today (the local beekeeper who I bought my nuc from last year) and he does have a queen and mini nuc that he can give me. I'm going round on Monday morning to pick her and her entourage up. I haven't actually been to the Beehaus in two weeks - I was advised that there wasn't much point if my queen was laying drone brood as the bees will just carry on but slowly die out :(
So, the next challenge is uniting my bees, what's left of them, with the nuc on Monday. I've heard icing sugar is one way but it means killing off Queen Freddie. Not sure how I feel about squishing her :/
I've also put my name down on my local branch's swarm list and will hopefully get another colony at some point during the summer as I would really like some honey this year, even if it's just one jar.