Yeah, that’s a mouthful I know but they are all crucial ingredients so I couldn’t really miss them out the title. I really loved the flavour and texture of the cake so I plan to experiment more with buckwheat. This recipe is based off Nigella’s lemon polenta cake but is very different from the original. It’s much more like a pound cake and has a wonderful texture. Continue reading
When I stress bake I like to go big or go home. I really wanted pretzel butter to be a thing. I tried to make it by blending blending blending with milk and a little coconut oil and really all I ended up doing was recreating pretzel dough again. It’s a work in progress. Continue reading
My contribution to Easter: taking a recipe that really really doesn’t need to be any sweeter, and adding Mini Eggs to it. It sounds gross, but most of what baking is is layering sweet things on top of each other. You’re supposed to introduce a savoury element, reduce the sugar where appropriate, balance the flavours (salt, acid etc.) in your baking to make sure the end product isn’t cloyingly sweet. Instead, I thought about the flourless dark chocolate cake and I wondered whether it would work with white chocolate and Mini Eggs. The result has the texture of a blondie, just a little bit gooier because of the lack of flour. You still get a crackly top – I always feel disappointed when I see a brownie/blondie without one so this was definitely a win-win situation.
The cake would have been too sweet if I didn’t caramelise the chocolate for an hour and a half, even if sticking your head in a hot oven every ten minutes to stir chocolate feels a bit OTT – caramelising the chocolate is necessary, especially if you’re going to add crushed up bits of chocolate that contain an indecent amount of palm oil and E numbers. If you can’t be bothered to caramelise the white chocolate and can’t justify buying a 2.5kg bag of it (smaller quantities yet to be seen), you could fold through crushed raspberries. Or save yourself the hassle, use dark chocolate, leave out the Mini Eggs and serve with a dollop with crème fraiche – it doesn’t get much more sophisticated than a flourless chocolate cake, and it would make the ultimate dinner party dessert. Continue reading
It’s been a little while since I was last here: toward the end of last year I launched NorEats, a directory of the best independent food and drink in Norwich, and so have been busy eating and writing about all the region has to offer. Truly, a hard task.
I’ve not been resting on my laurels, though, having been told in no uncertain terms that I had to bring a birthday cake to my friends’ celebrations. Cue the troublesome jar of dulce de leche.
A jar of dulce de leche in the cupboard that you need to get rid of is a good problem to have, even if the necessity is there because you can’t help dipping a spoon into it with alarming frequency. So instead of going directly jar to mouth, I’ve taken it on a slight detour via two tweaked recipes: one for white chocolate & salted caramel cake and one for After Eight chocolate mint cake. Continue reading
This cake is perfect for autumn. It’s just slightly adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe for carrot cake and you probably wouldn’t know it was sweet potato if I didn’t tell you but it’s the maple frosting that makes it. I had a glut of sweet potatoes lying around and I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t use them in the same way as carrots. This frosting is much sweeter than your basic cream cheese frosting so you don’t need a big slice when it comes to eating, but who am I to tell you how to eat your cake?!
It is crumbly without being dry and has the right balance of sweet and spice. As with all cakes, I recommend a strong coffee. Continue reading
I didn’t get nervous about the Swiss meringue until I saw the polyester sleeve of my mother’s dressing gown dangling perilously close to the flame flying out of the blowtorch.
Let me start at the beginning. When we decided to make cakes for my mother’s birthday, I went with my usual method of imagining something and deciding to leap in without being fully sure of my method. It sounds like a reckless process when I write it down like that, but “Eh, I’ll learn by trying” has served me pretty well so far.
What I didn’t realise when I pictured a cake topped with fluffy meringue, piped tips torched golden, is that Swiss meringue is notoriously finicky. Thanks to reactions between proteins that I don’t completely understand and definitely can’t pronounce, Swiss meringue can be both unstable and less fluffy than you’d hope. It can weep. It can collapse. If I’d known this, I might have been nervous earlier than when I had visions of my hand flying off to the left and setting the kitchen on fire.
Thankfully, using this method, the meringue – and I – did not weep or collapse. Instead, it came out glossier than a show horse, and once I’d moved that pesky sleeve out of the way, turned the most glorious golden colour after being kissed by a blowtorch.