My Doctor Who baking disasters are legendary amongst my friends and almost as inevitable as any Dalek defeat.
There was the Tardis cake with its impressionistic take on the traditional rectangular police box shape, the Rutan jelly that refused to set and the Unit badge cookies which even Bernard Black would have struggled to describe as ‘some sort of delicious biscuit’.
However, I am a big Doctor Who fan and, determined not to be deterred by my previous baking disasters, I have decided to take a shot at making fish finger cakes and custard from a recipe that I have found on a fan site.
Why fish fingers and custard I hear you ask? Well, for those of you who do not know the significance of this dish in Whovian mythology, it is the food which Matt Smith’s doctor finally decides he likes following his regeneration.
It is a strange combination and something that I would not want to attempt with real fish fingers. However, this recipe calls for something a bit different, replacing the fishy treats with delicious vanilla cookies coated in a ginger crumb.
Given my past record with any Doctor Who related recipe, I am not holding out hope that this will work. However, I tell myself that it cannot possibly be as bad as last time and get started.
As I begin creaming the butter and sugar in a large bowl I start to realise that this is not going to be as easy as I had first hoped. It is difficult enough making tasty, regular shaped cakes but trying to make them look like something that no-one except a Time Lord would want to dip in custard is going to be a tall order.
So, after adding an egg, self-raising flour and salt to the butter and sugar mix, I allow it to cool in the fridge and make myself a cup of tea so I can contemplate the daunting task of exactly how I am going to make a cookie look like a fish finger.
My plans of attack vary widely from sensible suggestions such as using a ruler to ensure the cakes are all the same size to the outright insane idea that I could just use real fish fingers as, given my track record, no one will want to eat them anyway. However, I decide to be sensible and begin shaping each dessert spoon of my mix into a fish finger before rolling it in a breading made out of crushed ginger snaps, sugar and melted butter.
Amazingly, as I place them in the oven, they do actually look very convincing and hopes that I could be about to break my Doctor Who baking curse start to cross my mind. However, it is too early for celebrations as, from past experiences, I know that everything could still go horribly wrong. I place the cookies in the oven, heat some custard in the microwave and wait.
I am absolutely delighted when I take the cakes out of the oven and they actually look like real fish fingers, slightly bigger than I had expected but still unmistakeable. At last I have finally made an edible and convincing Doctor Who themed cake. The curse has been lifted. Fantastic!
If you would like to try making fish finger cakes and custard follow the recipe below.
- 300g of self-raising flour
- half a teaspoon of salt
- 110g of room temperature unsalted butter
- 90g of icing sugar
- 1 egg
- half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- six ginger snaps
- half a dessert spoon of sugar
- two tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
And a tin of custard
1. Mix together the self-raising flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy
3. Add the sugar to the butter and beat until it is thoroughly combined and fluffy
4. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar and mix together
5. Add in half of the flour and salt from the small bowl and mix until just combined
6. Add in the remaining flour and mix together thoroughly
7. Cover and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes
8. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees celsius
9. To make the breading crush the ginger snaps until they resemble dry sand and put them in a small bowl ( If you do not have a rolling pin, turn a mug on its side and use that instead)
10. Add the half dessert spoon of sugar to the bowl and mix it in
11. Add the melted butter to the bowl and mix it until the ginger snaps resemble wet sand
12. Line a baking tray with baking paper
13. Remove the cookie mixture from the fridge
14. Take one tablespoon of dough and shape it into a 3-4 inch fish finger then roll it in the ginger snap breading and place it on the baking tray ( Continue this process until you run out of dough)
15. Put the cookies in the oven for 15-20 minutes
16. Transfer them to a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before serving