February 14th, 2013
Well, at some point I had to hand over the recipe, so today I gift to you the Niknok’s bakewell tart. A straight forward, no fuss bake that is best kept that way. The pastry light and crumbly, the jam should be a layer of raspberry in my humble opinion (though cherry and blackberry work), and the frangipane, deep and fluffy.
Best served warm or cold, at anytime of day but always with a cup of tea.
January 15th, 2013
So, it is definitely January. Near freezing. Bouts of drizzly sleet. Not quite cold enough for ‘proper’ snow but cold enough to need comforting cake with your tea. My cake of choice today (always changes) would have to be a nut one. Nuts over fruit flavours at this time of year, with the exception of rhubarb, naturally.
This recipe is not the type of coffee and walnut cake Nigel Slater talks about having for his last supper. I love a butter cream but not necessarily a heavily flavoured one. The walnut comes first here, coffee second. This is a richer and dense yet light, less sugary, simpler flour less version that you can add a little frosting to but it really doesn’t need it. You can use coffee essence instead of fresh espresso, adjust depending on how ‘coffee’ you want it. You can also play around with different nuts to alter the flavours, try hazelnuts or pecans. They can be made individual cases as pictured, just take them out of the oven after about 30 mins.
Right, kettles boiled. Time for tea and my choice of cake.
November 16th, 2012
Or its correct title Reine de Saba – Queen of Sheba, as Julia Child’s named it in her The French Chef Cookbook that accompanied the show in the late 60’s.
It was a good friends birthday this week and I was informed by his lovely girlfriend that he favours a good chocolate cake so, after hours (days, weeks) trawling through recipes I opted for this celebratory beauty from the queen of bakes herself.
I have become a little obsessed with the late Julia, largely since seeing the tattoo of her on the arm of Noah from the www.thewayweate.net blog. These two New Yorkers are recreating all, yes all the recipes ever published in the American magazine series ‘Gourmet’ – over 800 issues of them. If this brilliant dedicated pair love her, then I do too.
The cake has a rich yet velvety texture, with a centre similar to a crumbly brownie but far more grand. The topping makes it all the more decadent with a think layer of dark chocolate melted with butter and either rum or coffee. Orange or bergamot flavours may add to it to. I toasted almonds to cover the outside but you can throw chocolate shavings, cocoa powder or just keep it shiny and slick.
Regardless of the finish, once you have tasted this, you’ll understand the title for Julia and the cake and then possibly the tattoo.