50 years of Doctor Who! Who’d have thought! The first Doctor I recall was the 2nd, played by Patrick Troughton, then Jon Pertwee turned me into a fan, Tom Baker sealed the deal and I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for every episode since. And I am proud to say that 3G is a next-gen Whovian. There hasn’t been a Doctor I haven’t liked, although I’ve been sadder at the departure of some than others – every regeneration brings new quirks and a new angle. Looking forward to seeing what the brilliant Peter Capaldi brings to the TARDIS.
But, most importantly for a food blog, some regenerations bring food fun! 4th had his jelly babies, 5th wore his stick of celery, there have been many, many references to apples over the years, and of course Matt Smith’s Doctor is never without a Jammie Dodger. But he also brought us a food combination even the most hard-core foodie would shrink from – fish fingers and custard! Well, being vegetarian, I’m not going to eat fish fingers, and I wouldn’t ask you to, so what to do? What goes well with custard? Sponge cake!
Serves 6 (the cake fingers are very sweet, so they could serve more)
115g all-purpose (plain) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
115g unsalted butter, room temperature
115g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and flour a small rectangular cake tin. I used a brownie pan which measured 18 x 27cm (7 x 10 1/2″).
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat in the vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour using a spatula, just until there are no lumps. Be careful not to overmix.
Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and spread out with a spatula.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden-brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When cool, trim about 1/2cm (1/5″) off the ends so they are square and slice the cake lengthwise then into “fingers”. Mine were about 2cm (4/5″) wide, so I got 24 fingers.
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
150g (5 1/3oz) sweet crackers (I used digestives)
Line a baking tray with parchment.
Crush the crackers into crumbs in a food processor. Spread in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Mix together the powdered sugar and milk into a thin icing in a shallow bowl.
Take a “finger” of cake, roll it in icing (wipe off excess with your finger) then roll it in crumbs.
Place on parchment-lined sheet and continue until all your “fingers” (and fingers!) are coated.
Allow coating to set for at least half an hour.
16g (2 tbsp) all-purpose (plain) flour
200g (1 cup) granulated (white) sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
500ml (2 cups) milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk flour and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Beat egg yolks and egg together in a medium-sized, bowl. Set aside.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan. When the milk comes to the boil, remove from heat. Add vanilla, flour and sugar to the milk and whisk until there are no lumps. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the eggs.
Return the mixture to the the saucepan. Cook over a very low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into serving bowls.
Serve a bowl of custard with sponge cake “fish fingers” on the side, turn on Doctor Who and whoop for joy!