It is also where I first came across organic vegetables, long before the supermarkets saw them as a money-spinner or the organic box schemes would turn up at your door. I have made this banana bread at least twice a week for three and half years for the guests in our guesthouse. With the mixer still on a slow speed, fold in the ground almonds and zest, but not the juice. Separate the eggs. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are springy to the touch. The flavour comes from top-quality chocolate and a tiny cup of the darkest espresso and it has just enough flour to give it a lightness. There have only ever been two chocolate-cake recipes in his life, says Nigel Slater. Spoon into your tin and bake for 45 minutes. Part recipe journal, part kitchen chronical, each story has, at its heart, a recipe I have cooked during the week that I feel I would … Serves 10-12For the cakefine sponge flour 350gbaking powder 1 tspcaster sugar 400gsalt 1½ tspeggs 2vegetable or grapeseed oil 240mlwhole milk 240mlvanilla extract 2 tsp, For the tres leches soakmilk 250mlevaporated milk 170mlcondensed milk 170mlvodka 2 tbspvanilla extract 2 tsp, To finishdouble cream 500mlcaster sugar 75gstrawberries 250g. Short of the delicate moment when you mix it all together, it is the cooking time that is truly make or break. Oswaldo Oliva is head chef at Lorea, in Mexico City, Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for 24.60, Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £16.40. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter, then gently fold in the almonds and pistachios. The snobbery that has banished flour from most modern cake recipes is robbing us of the sacred thing that is proper chocolate cake. Butter and line a 23cm round tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Remove it from the oven five minutes too early and you have chocolate milkshake; five minutes too long and you could use it as a frisbee. Test the cake for doneness with a skewer. Top the soaked cake with the whipped cream and strawberries. Grate the zest from the lemon and squeeze its juice. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them too. The modern chocolate cake comes to the table with its molten interior oozing out across the plate. Gooseberry and elderflower drink A non-alcoholic summer drink of gooseberries and elderflower cordial. Mix in the orange zest. It should be moist and oozy, but still able to hold its shape when sliced. It is slightly heavier with the almonds - though not in a bad way - so if you want a lighter crumb, rather than a squidgy interior, and are not making the cake for the gluten-intolerant, then replace the 150g ground almonds / 1½ cups almond meal with 125g plain flour / ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Insert a skewer in the middle of the cake: if clean when withdrawn it is done, if not, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. More of a mousse than a proper cake, it is now a matter of honour that your cake can barely hold its shape, a distinct case of the wetter the better. I believe it works better when beaten and smooth. You will need a shallow cake tin, 23-24cm in diameter, about 5cm deep, the base lightly buttered and lined with a round of greaseproof paper. Lightly butter two 22cm cake tins, then line each with a disc of baking parchment. Fold the flour into the mixture with the machine on slow. Mix well and allow to rest for 10 minutes. When the cake is cool, sandwich the halves together with about a third of the frosting. The rich chocolate sponge, the sort you get for afternoon tea in posh hotels in Vienna, was pensioned off a good decade ago in favour of this infinitely more gooey confection. Fold firmly but gently into the egg white and sugar. 250g butter 250g sugar 3 eggs 100g shelled pistachio nuts 100g ground almonds/almond flour 1 orange, … Much depends on your chocolate. Cut the butter into chunks and drop it into the chocolate and coffee. A cake as dark as Bisto, its texture barely a notch away from chocolate souffle. To make the cake, sift the flour and baking powder twice. Watermelon Smoothie A smoothie of watermelon and raspberries for a hot summer's day. This has the built-in bonus of making it perhaps more suitable for an everyday cake. - 60 g ground almonds - 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence - 25 ml milk - 20 g flaked almonds - about 8 apricots, stones removed, fruit cut into quarters Preheat the oven to 170 C. Using a hand held electric whisk or freestanding electric mixer cream the butter and the sugar together until pale and … Whizz all together for a minute or until it is a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin. What you are looking for is the moment, somewhere between 25 and 30 minutes, when your cake is spongy round the edge, but still a bit creamy in the centre. Health-food shops rarely used to be without a carrot cake on the salad counter, usually next to the blackcurrant cheesecake and the deep wholemeal quiche. And where else can you get a joss stick when you need one? These is something endlessly reassuring about their rows of cellophane-encased dates and haricot beans, their dried nuggets of cranberry and jars of organic peanut butter. Prick with a toothpick to make sure that the batter is cooked (the toothpick should come out clean) and remove from the oven. Separate the eggs, dropping the egg whites into a large bowl. Mix the egg yolks together then stir quickly into the chocolate, just till the ingredients come together. It acts as a pick-me-up, a little zip of energy to get you through till lunch or dinner. Perfect for tea or as a dessert. Fold firmly but gently into the egg white and sugar. Traditionally, tres leches is eaten as a sandwich cake. Use half of the cream to sandwich the soaked cakes together and top with the remaining cream and the strawberries. To make the frosting, put the mascarpone, Philadelphia cheese and icing sugar into an electric mixer and beat till smooth and creamy. To this day I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my lentils and beans, though I can live without the crystals and self-help manuals. Beat the oil and sugar in a food mixer until well creamed, then introduce the egg yolks one by one. This recipe was my grandmother’s and I have adapted it slightly. Bake for 45 minutes, when the cake should be risen and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to settle for a good 10 minutes before turning the cakes out of their tins on to a wire cooling rack. Ingredients 150g butter 150g unrefined golden caster sugar 16 plums (size dependent, less if large plums) 3 large eggs 75g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder 100g ground almonds Clotted cream is an extravagant but very necessary extra. What is essential is that the cocoa solids content is around 70 per cent. Cream: A tart cream, such as creme fraiche brings out the flavour of the cake more than a sweet cream. If you are using almond meal, then just grind the pistachios. 6-7 tablespoons of elderflower syrup. I really like the way these turned out, because the hazelnut has a lovely light flavour. First, blend together the caster sugar and the margarine, using a stand mixer or handheld whisk, until fluffy. Bake for 20–25 minutes. Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £16.40, Serves 8For the apricotsapricots 12, plumpwater 500mlwhite wine 250mlcaster sugar 250gvanilla pods 2bay leaf 1black peppercorns 10lemon 4 strips of peel, and juice, For the cakeunsalted butter 250g, softened to room temperaturecaster sugar 250gwhole almonds 100g, blanched and peeledpistachios 150g, shelledeggs 4 largeplain flour 40gbaking powder 1 level tsplemon 1. In this recipe, I add a boozy note to the mix that can be replaced with your drink of choice. Some cream is most welcome. As soon as it has started to melt, pour the hot espresso over the chocolate. Place all the apricot ingredients except the apricots in a wide heavy bottomed pan. 200g fine dark chocolate (70 per cent) a small, hot espresso200g butter80g plain flour1 tsp baking powder 2 level tbsps of very good quality cocoa powder 5 eggs200g golden unrefined caster sugar 125g shelled almonds. Mix the egg yolks together then stir quickly into the chocolate, just till the ingredients come together. Add the sugar and ground almonds. Nigel Slater recipe: an extremely moist chocolate beetroot … Test with a skewer for doneness. Good they were, too, with thick cream-cheese icing and shot through with walnuts. Soak the cakes with the milk mixture and refrigerate (as above). Serves 10. Beat the sugar and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl resting over a saucepan of gently simmering water. I found this fantastic Nigel Slater cake on the Guardian website, which I adapted a little as I didn't have all the ingredients in my cupboard. Makes 12-16 friandsbutter 115g, melted, plus more for greasing the mouldsplain flour 90gbaking powder ¾ tspground almonds 50gground hazelnuts 80gicing sugar 190gegg whites 5, slightly whiskedvanilla extract 2 tspfresh raspberries 200g (about 40-50)slivered hazelnuts 50gicing sugar for dusting. Now there's a third. If using a mixer, use the whisk attachment on medium speed until you get a homogenous liquid. Lightly fold in the flour and cocoa mixture then the ground almonds. Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir to dissolve the last of the butter. For the best dark and velvety cocoa powder, try shops that specialise in fine chocolates or look out for brands such as the Chocolate Society, Valrhona or Green and Blacks. Beat the butter and sugar with a food mixer until it is pale and fluffy. A version I have tinkered with for so long that every inch of my house now smells like the inside of a fabulously expensive Easter egg. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their moulds, then remove and dust them with icing sugar. Look, if I want a cake that wet and creamy I won't bother baking it, I'll just lick the raw mixture straight from the bowl. A shallow, almond cake speckled with blueberries. Fold in the rest of the flour, the almonds and the baking powder using a large metal spoon; scrape into a buttered, 20cm springform cake tin. Gradually beat in the eggs, then gradually … They will keep well in an airtight container for a few days.Adapted from The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak (Square Peg, £20). It is to them I turn for the bulk of my store-cupboard shopping, from parchment-coloured figs and organic almonds to sea salt and cubes of fresh yeast. It should come out clean, without any sticky cake mixture attached. They must be finer than candied peel - almost, but not quite a puree. Remove from the heat and add the vodka and vanilla extract. The moistness will depend not just on the addition of ground almonds, but how long you bake it. Add this to the butter and sugar in small parts and whisk until a smooth batter is achieved. This is chocolate with a clean long-lasting edge to it and a slow finish in the mouth. When the cake is cooked, gently spoon a few ladlefuls of the apricot syrup on to it. Weigh out all the ingredients (except the raspberries and slivered hazelnuts) into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until foamy (about 1 minute). Do it slowly and one large spoonful at a time. Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil, partially with the lid and cook for 2 hours. This was first published in the Observer many years ago, and rarely does a week go by without an email asking for a copy to replace one that has fallen apart or stuck to the bottom of a pan. Or perhaps just through till your next slice of chocolate cake. Butter and line a deep 28-32cm round cake tin then heat an oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. It has butter, eggs and the darkest cocoa in it and is kept moist with a handful of ground almonds. As much as I bow down to today's cake with its claggy, uncooked texture, a cake so gungey and wet you could wring it out with your fist, I rather miss what you might call 'proper' cake. I've taken this from Appetite by Nigel Slater and it's called A simple cake to serve with summer fruit. Don't skin the almonds, but blast them in the food processor until they resemble fine, fresh breadcrumbs. It should have no lumps. Overmixing will result in a tougher cake. Carefully lay the apricots in the liquid and return to a boil. Put the spiced apples on top of the cake mixture, then scatter with the breadcrumbs and, if you wish, a little more demerara sugar. A chocoholic's wet dream. To check if it is cooked through, the age-old skewer test is best. It is suitable for tea and, served warm with a soft dollop of cream would make a decadent dessert, too. Pour the batter in the floured cake tin and bake on the centre of the heated oven for 55-65 minutes. Now, that doesn't mean I hanker after the chocolate Victoria sponge of children's birthday parties, (well, I do a bit) but neither do I always want the clarty gunk that has replaced it. A shallow, intensely chocolatey cake that is both moist and extremely light. Crack the eggs into a jug and mix them well with a fork. Make the cake: beat the butter, caster and muscovado sugars in a food mixer for a good eight to ten minutes, till pale and fluffy. Let it cool in the tin for five minutes. Drain, discarding the … Sift the dry ingredients into the liquid mix. Allow this to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Far more difficult is to find a texture that matches dark, heart-quickening intensity with tender, melt-in-the-mouth crumbs. Grind the nuts in a coffee grinder or mini food processor (in different batches: almonds and pistachios separately). Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. I don’t think you need be too painstaking; a rough finish will look more appropriate here. Enough for 8-10eggs 3self-raising flour 250gbicarbonate of soda ½ tspbaking powder 1 tspground cinnamon 1 tspsalt a pinchsunflower oil 200mllight muscovado sugar 250gcarrots 150glemon juice of ½walnuts 150g, For the frostingmascarpone cheese 250gPhiladelphia cream cheese 200gunrefined icing sugar 150gorange grated zest of 1 mediumwalnut halves a handful. The modern chocolate cowpat will probably go by the name of Oblivion, Mud Cake or, in a stroke of supreme naffness, Death by Chocolate. I never scorned them the way others did, finding much pleasure in the deep, soggy layers of cake and frosting. 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