Do you eat to live or do you live to eat?

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Lemon and blueberry 

Attraction is a fascinating thing, proximity to familiarity to symmetry, all factors that leaven the power of interest. Omit hours of conversation, slightest of touches and let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, we’re going to expose our most private moments to mere strangers.

Sharing a meal with somebody is stunningly intimate but we jump right into that one mouth-first. Ever been on a date where you strategised every bite, weighed each mouthful, and reevaluated the ancient method of chopsticks? There are people who eat, and then there are people who eat. Those endorphin releasing peers you can eat with comfortably, now they are our cathartic audience, but then there are those out to generate mind numbing deductions into the viability of staying splash-free, deductive reasoning has nothing on you.

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A date in a chic French brassiere in Soho to the económico street pizza in Shoreditch sat within the same boat, shall we compare thee to a date in a swanky Japanese place in Chelsea? This was likely the most costly and yet the least enjoyed, the difference between them… the company.

How much does it matter if our dates are (financially) invested in fine dining? The ‘fine’ dining may not be necessary, but ‘fine’ food is inordinately necessary. Good food doesn’t always need to come at a hefty price. Fair enough the beloved artichokes and the extra helping of chorizo is almost the total of a main, but it equals good food. My favourite pizza place is rivalled by none, and I get around, a lot- the cost? No more than £7. Perhaps it isn’t the most food-coma inciting idea to mix brilliant food with tedious company.

So then, what is it that we desire from our peers? The validation of beliefs? Reinforcement value of social approval? Achieved. So now, what do we fear? Rejection? Drooping self-esteem? And of course the most unnatural feat, halting evolution, loss of appetite. Eating can reveal incredibly private traits, our partner in food will at that moment be what drives or stills our appetite.

There are people who make you marvel at the taste of everything you love, and then there are those that enter our food-lives without such stimulus. Shall we say that the opposite of such scintillating tendencies are induced?- The suppression of our most addicted tastes and the elimination of what it all boils down to- nutrition.

Have we not all ever reached such a devastating and uncomprehending peak? Driven recklessly by possible self-loathing, credible theories, specious arguments. I’ll admit, yes, sometimes you just don’t fancy that bite, but that tends to be short-term, and if (by some all-encompassing food hell) it embraces the idea of long-term, it’ll be one dish that shines the light to the right path. Revel in this dish. Intermittent sentiment can alter appetite and sever beloved food relationships, as humane as such sentiment is, the results thrive on inhumanity. The fundamentals of eating to live, this is never so basic, or not completely.

So, do you eat to live or do you live to eat?

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Recipe + Method

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

220g caster sugar

80g light brown soft sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

360g plain flour, sifted

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

3 lemons, zest + juice

330ml buttermilk

200-300g fresh blueberries- ensure they are completely dried

For the frosting

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

500g icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1-2 tbsp whole milk

Preheat the oven to 160C (fan assisted), grease and line 3 round tins (20cm)

Beat the butter and both sugars until light and creamy- about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla paste. Leave aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt- beat this into the creamed mixture and follow by adding the milk, lemon zest and juice. Stir in the blueberries. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sponge bounces back and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes within the tins before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble the frosting beat together the butter and icing sugar, add the vanilla and milk (1 tbsp at a time). Refrigerate if needed before frosting the cake.

Possession by the Madeleine.

Madeleines. Patisserie lover? I think so! We should know what we eat, but when I made these little cakes nobody had an inkling as to what the blip they were! I say Madeleine and they say “what-a-lin?” We can’t let this continue, or I can’t. They were tortured, bribed and coerced into learning the art of the madeleine- my role in this? I am the torturer, briber, and coercer – and not necessarily in that order.

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The art of the madeleine is not simply learned, but one bite and it becomes a repetitive affair. They are light but moist, chocolate but oh-not-so-much, indulgent but… yes just indulgent. These little cakes aren’t dunked in heaps of flavour or filled with something or the other, they are simply chocolate. Chocolate that’s not too sharp, not too sweet, but that chocolate that makes you crawl back for just that little bit more.

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It’s an easy affair; after all, nirvana is hard for anybody to turn down.

Recipe + Method

80g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

100g caster sugar

100g unsalted butter

2 large eggs

Cocoa powder, to dust

Sift the flour and cocoa power together along with the baking powder. In another bowl combine the salt and sugar then whisk in the butter and eggs. Add the dry mixture into the wet and continue whisking until it is fully combined. The mixture may need some fridge time to set to better consistency. I left mine for a few hours but it could be left for longer and even prepared to make the next day or so.

The next day(s) (or hours) preheat the oven to 180C (fan assisted), and butter a madeleine mould, divide the mixture evenly, and make sure not to over fill the moulds. I filled mine a little less than ¾ full. Bake for 12-15 minutes. They will appear plump and will bounce back when touched. Once they are cool dust them in cocoa powder.

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Comfort for the Conformist.

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We relish in a bubble of safety when we do things that are acceptable or common, but what’s so wrong with that? So many times we simply crave something safe, secure and, commonly indulgent. These have been very popular, or so I like to believe; they satisfy those inevitable cravings all we common people suffer. Because really, if you don’t crave such things in life, then you aren’t very common are you?

IMG_5593 An irresistible chocolate cake makes the base for the comfort, and a rich layer of salted caramel frosting topped with sticky toffee popcorn and drizzles of sharp dark chocolate brings this baby home. During just the first completed comfort cupcake however my comfort cravings reached its peak and demanded satisfaction- needless to say I acquiesced. This isn’t a sickening cupcake, it’s a toe-curling cupcake, so darn good it’ll make you moan.

IMG_5595You see, comfort promises not just that safe, homely feeling but it insists on the feelings of contentment and in this case, it’s very much blushingly akin to sexual pleasures, or so I was told. I was surprised nevertheless that the cake was so moist, it seems to me that using cocoa instead of melted chocolate or milk in substitution of oil brings richness to this cake, or perhaps the complete synchronisation of the recipe? Either way, it is undeniably very moist and moreish!

IMG_5596It’s so typical and acceptable I dare you to try something so very common.

Recipe + Method

For the Chocolate cupcake

60g of cocoa powder

1tbsp baking powder

2 eggs

215ml milk

½tsp salt

180g plain flour, sifted

80g unsalted butter, at room temperature

260g, caster sugar

For the salted caramel frosting

130g caster sugar

90ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

220g icing sugar, sifted

150g butter, at room temperature

Sea salt, to taste

For the sticky toffee popcorn

60g popping corn

1tbsp oil

60g salted butter (unsalted if you do not have salted on hand)

3tbsp golden syrup

60g light brown muscovado sugar

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100g dark chocolate, melted

For the cupcakes, start by whisking together the butter and sugar until combined, and then gradually add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder- it will be rather dry; this is when you whisk together the milk and eggs in a a separate bowl and then pour into the crumbly mix and whisk this until it is smooth and fully combined. Then scoop them into the cupcake cases, about two thirds full. Place it to cook in a preheated oven at 160C (fan assisted) and cook for about 25 minutes, and once baked leave on a rack to cool.

For the frosting, start by heating the sugar with 4 ½tbsp of water on a medium heat and stir this until it begins to thicken and you can see a caramel colour taking effect. This process usually takes about 5+ minutes. Once it has reached its peak remove from the heat and pour in the cream and stir in the vanilla. This will be very hot so let it cool to tasting temperature and then add salt to taste- I added about a 1 ½tsp. Then leave this to cool completely. It will start to thicken and even harden slightly but the cream will stop it from setting. In a bowl, whisk together the butter and icing sugar until it is thick and creamy, then pour in the caramel and whisk away until smooth and combined.

For the sticky toffee popcorn (prepare a sheet of baking paper), start by heating a large pan with oil and add in the popping corn and cover, let this pop on low heat and ensure to leave it for a few minutes after the heat is turned off to allow all the corn to have popped. Whilst this is popping make the sticky toffee by throwing in the butter with the sugar and golden syrup and stirring this on a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Then pour this over the popcorn still in the pan and stir until all the popcorn is coated equally and then tip this on the baking paper and separate the popcorn.

To assemble, get the cupcake and pipe on the salted caramel frosting (I used a simple round nozzle), if this isn’t your best skill then don’t worry because the popcorn will hide any flaws. Top the frosting with the sticky toffee popcorn in a sort of pyramid shape and coat with the melted chocolate. Best eaten straight after they are put together whilst the chocolate remains gooey, but also great the next day!

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Red Velvet Glory.

Red velvet is an absolute wonder, it seems rather overrated but then you bite into it… and it justifies its exasperated, most loved, reputation. I made my first red velvet cake for a birthday and it was absolutely, beautifully red! Now I make it for another birthday (for a friend’s boyfriend), more of a lover’s cake really. So I prepared my ingredients and set to it. After my first attempt however my red velvet endeavours were not the beloved lustrous red that I once succeeded in, and its disastrous adventures made me take a back seat in future productions. Then of course I decided I had to master it!! I just had to; I needed to take the drivers’ seat and tour all the way around the world with a winning red velvet in the back seat, carefully lulled in its mighty delicate packaging of soft, fluffy cream cheese with a pit crew of white chocolate to defeat those prying flecks of dirt and those inevitably tempted finger-lickers.

But alas! Here in another world where things are morosely ordinary, I decided to embark on a kitchen escapade and made lumps and bumps of messes in every direction. I will never regret my joyful time. My mum saved me here, twice might I add. My mum was my saviour, she uses this crazy red-red when she makes tandoori chicken, and it really boots my red velvet cake into gear. You can add profuse amounts of red food colouring and copious heaps of gel but then you must consider the consistency, which suddenly drowns in the pothole of colour. The worst part is that even when you create such folly you aren’t left with the gleaming red you deserve, and I won’t lie I always accused the cocoa to be the culprit of my losing in the colour department here. The red that saved me is in the form of a powder, and regardless if you are booted in the sports car gear to match the challenge of the lustful red of velvet, you will not escape without a smudge of red somewhere on yourself – it’s that good!!

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So then I thought, I conquered my race with red, won it with one hand on the steering wheel and one on my mixing bowl, and I’m left pondering my new challenge. The velvet. Red velvet is not just known for its beauty, that is red, but it’s the moistness of the cake which makes it a cake worth driving round the world for. You could consider the moistness a defined feature of consistency, of colouring, of the flour, of the pinch of salt, or you could see that none of those are distinctive enough to leave something famous right in its name. Buttermilk is the moist factor in this beauty, beetroot was a has-been but we’ve come to see that not many recipes call for this as a necessity any more, it’s a shame really. I love to eat beetroot and I have seen and tasted the wonders it does to a cake but unfortunately it has a mighty fine substitute where food colouring takes a first for the red and the buttermilk running right next to it for a lick of moistness. I am never one to have buttermilk on hand however, I have never needed it for anything unless a recipe calls for it, and only then do I use it. In my case I have discovered countless substitutes so I make my mix of lemon and milk and throw that in instead, it always works.

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I used cooking rings to shape and bake them, but if you’re not someone who has a number of them on hand, like myself, then it just takes a bit more patience. I sliced them to smother the tiers with cream cheese and then piped over the whole of it. You can use any kind of technique, nozzle, or fancy artwork you like, the end result is brilliant.

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So these are the epitome of my win of the red velvet 2013 championship race, I hope you win yours this season!

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Moistness irrevocably ingrained into its flesh.. Just as it should be.

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Recipe + Method

130ml butter milk

2 eggs

180g plain flour, sifted

2tsp white wine vinegar

280ml sunflower oil

1tsp red food colouring (powder)

1½ tbsp red food colouring (liquid)

1tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp baking powder, sifted

½ tsp salt

10g cocoa powder, sifted

230g caster sugar

Frosting

90g white chocolate, melted

180g butter, at room temperature

2 ½ tbsp milk

400g, icing sugar, sifted

To prepare, either butter the cooking rings or as I did, spray with cooking oil, then cover with baking paper and place on a baking tray lined with paper or a silicone sheet. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together, then place aside till needed. After, cream together the sugar, eggs and oil, once its thoroughly combined,  add the buttermilk, liquid colouring and vanilla. Then fold in the dry ingredients and then the vinegar. Once this is complete, add in the powdered colour and gently fold, keep adding until it has reached the peak of red you desire. Pour into the cooking rings until ¾ full and bake in a preheated oven at 30-40 minutes on 160C (fan assisted). To make the frosting, beat together the icing sugar and butter, then add in the white chocolate and the milk as needed.

When the cakes are baked leave them to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack and peeling away the paper. Once completely cooled, slice them horizontally and swipe with frosting (I used a plain piping nozzle) but coat as you wish.

Something simple, sinful and delightful!

This one here is just marvellous, it doesn’t require hours and hours slaving in the kitchen (as much as we love being those slaves); it doesn’t require expensive, fancy ingredients or even a hefty amount of them. I don’t make this often enough I think, especially since it hardly takes much time to put together and even less to eat!

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Just a quick fact, it’s not a Swiss roll! And not because roulade sounds much fancier but more so because it’s not rolled up from the shorter end, instead roulades are rolled from the longer (landscape) end. It’s absolutely perfect for Christmas, looks stunningly impressive, and the taste? Oh its ineffable!

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This here uses lots of egg whites so the roulade has a delicate outer meringue-like layer – oh yeah, it’s that good! 

Recipe + Method

6 eggs

180g dark chocolate, melted

180g caster sugar

2 ½ tbsp cocoa powder

300ml double cream, whipped

Icing sugar, to dust

First separate the eggs and whisk together the caster sugar and egg yolks in one bowl until it’s all thick and creamy, do the same with the egg whites until they have reached stiff but not dry peaks. Then pour in the melted chocolate, which should be rather cool by now, and fold it into the creamy egg mixture gently, keeping the volume. Once combined thoroughly, fold in the egg whites gently and then sift in the cocoa powder and fold again. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined Swiss roll tin then bake for about 20 minutes in 160C (fan assisted). Once it’s cooked, let it cool and then turn over onto a baking sheet sprinkled with icing sugar, spread the whipped cream and roll up long-ways.

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Spices make extraordinary cakes extraordinary.

This cake is truly unique; it’s not an ordinary chocolate or pumpkin cake with flecks of spice. It’s got a kick like no other! The secret? Cayenne pepper! Cakes tend to call for the usual cinnamon, and though I love cinnamon, cayenne pepper adds heat in the most special toe-curling way possible! The pecans added in this cake have been roasted with cayenne pepper and then chopped up roughly. The pumpkin was finely grated and then folded into the batter with the roasted pecans. I will also mention for all you health-aware folk, that cayenne pepper is super good for your health, being super high in vitamin A it also supports a healthy energy balance. A little added bonus to the… Um active, is that it is also claimed to be an aphrodisiac!

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What’s even better is that it’s so moist!! Incredibly moist that even I was surprised, and it didn’t last long till it was gone either. I was lucky to get a few snaps right after the dusting of the cocoa powder. I really hope you can see how moist it is in the pictures, though it doesn’t do it enough justice.

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I do adore a good old chocolate cake, so moist and fudgy, but I think it’s eventually deemed a tad ordinary as comforting as the ordinary is. Spice things up and I do mean more than the ½ tsp the recipe calls for. It’s a great combination, truly, especially with all the left over pumpkin waddling around.

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Method + Recipe

100g grated pumpkin

3 eggs

230g dark chocolate

150g unsalted butter

255g self raising flour, sifted

130g pecan nuts

280ml water

280g dark muscovado sugar

1 ½ – 2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your taste)

3 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

3tsp vanilla extract

cocoa powder, sifted to dust

In a bowl mix in the pecans and sift in the cayenne pepper, then place on a baking tray and roast for about 10-12 minutes on 150C (fan assisted). Then roughly chop them after leaving to cool a little; place aside until needed. Melt the butter with the chocolate over simmering water. Then whisk the eggs and sugar together, once combined pour in the melted chocolate and then the vanilla extract and water. Fold the flour in and then the pecans and pumpkin. Bake for 1 hour 15-20minutes on 150C (fan assisted). Once Cooked, leave it to cool for 10-15 minutes before placing it to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with cocoa powder to serve.

Welcome Great Pumpkin!

This is a special little thing; I created this recipe recently keeping in line with the pumpkin craze. It’s incredibly moist, a cake super soft but so malleable, it’s easier to keep together when rolling. You can spend hours slaving over a masterpiece cake, a fool proof recipe, but if the finishing touches aren’t justifiable to that hard work then really, why bother?

It’s a superb recipe and it’s exceedingly easy to put together, so if your rolling is not quite so successful then remake and reroll! I should warn you though, I detest shortage of flavour in food, and rolling with that point, I wanted this cake to have a wee kick to it, not a subtle hint of it here and there. Therefore if you are a little on the bland side, or even average flavour side then please do be man enough to tone it down!

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I will gracefully add that though it’s got a kick, it comes with a cooler; a heavenly creamy filling in perfect balance with the flavour of the cake. I will recommend that if you’re not a big fan of rolling then lessening the filling will take some bulk out of the cake and make it easier to roll.

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Recipe + Method

For the cake:

130g plain flour, sifted

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp cinnamon OR 2 tsp for the lighthearted

3 large eggs, at room temperature

130g fresh pumpkin, pureed (add a few tablespoons of water to get it to the right consistency)

200g caster sugar

icing sugar, sifted (to dust)

For the filling:

180g icing sugar, sifted

65g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

250g full fat cream cheese

1/2 tsp vanilla, (optional)

After preheating your oven to 160C (fan assisted, or gas mark 3), ensure your Swiss roll tin is greased and lined with baking paper. To make the cake, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until pale and fluffy, shouldn’t take too long. Then sift the dry ingredients together (flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda) in another bowl and then add this to the wet mix of sugar and eggs. Whisk away until all the dry ingredients are combined, you may find a few lumps of flour floating around. Then pour the mix into the Swiss roll tin and bake for about 18minutes, depending on your oven. Once cooked, allow to cool completely in the Swiss roll tin.

To make the filling, beat the butter and icing sugar together, then gradually add the cream cheese and then the vanilla extract and whisk on full speed until smooth.

Lay out a tea towel or some baking paper, a few inches larger than the Swiss roll tin itself and sift icing sugar on the surface. Then invert the cake onto the surface and gently peel away the paper, first from the edges and then work your way to the centre. Slather on the filling evenly and tightly roll up the Swiss roll. It helps to get a knife and line the cake about 2cm from the long end all the way across in a straight line to the other end, not quite cutting through the cake. Then use this to start you off. Once its all rolled up, sift icing sugar on top and serve!

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“Yer oot yer face!”

Though the origins are easily given away in the name and the title of this post; a tipsy laird is essentially a Scottish dessert and it is simply a good old British trifle! Except instead of sherry they use whisky! It is traditionally a dessert which is served on Burns Night, in celebration of Robert Burns, of his life and poetry. Recently we went on a trip to Scotland and stayed in this lovely remote cottage in Glasgow. During this stay we decided to explore a famous whisky distillery, called Glengoyne.

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Glengoyne has been around since 1833 and are exceptionally unique in producing a lovely Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands. What’s even better is that they are resting right upon the Highland line! So whilst Glengoyne’s stills lie in the Highlands they leave their whisky to mature in the Highlands, across the road from them! Well, isn’t that the best of both worlds?!

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Now these barrels look cool right? I like the words, though they aren’t just anything random. If you haven’t noticed the words on these barrels are actually units/volumes of alcohol. So a butt (last one on the right) is actually about half a tun of whisky, which is about 105 gallons!

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Now the thing is, during the process, I believe around 70% or so of the whisky is lost to the “heavens” as they say, well isn’t that a shame..

Anyway the tipsy laird is super easy and quick, it’s also a very impressive little dessert because it looks bloody good to the eyes as well as leaving you feeling nice and satisfied inside. That’s what it was like for me anyway, but I didn’t hear anyone else complaining either? In fact they all looked pretty darn sated to me!

Here’s how it goes, firstly make your sponge! Do not cheat and buy it. To make my sponge, I used a square cake tin (easier to slice into fingers). Once it’s cooked and cooled, slice the sponge to reduce its thickness and slather with butter and top with brown sugar, demerara or any other will do. Then dollop some jam on to the unbuttered side and sandwich them together (sugar-side-out) , I used Scottish raspberry preserve for mine.

The Slicing
The Jamming
The Sandwiching
The Sandwiching

Then you want to thinly slice each sandwich about one millimetre each and line them up in your dishes. I decided to add an extra treat and patted a few smudges of clotted cream on the end of my thin sandwich fingers; this also helps them to stay in place. Then you want to thinly slice some leftovers of sponge on top, I mean tiny sponge pieces. Then we add the raspberries and the special Scottish touch of whisky (a sprinkle or drizzle, do not soak the sponges). Obviously considering I have basically been citing Glengoyne’s short version biography here so it’s no mystery I used their 15 year bonny concoction.

After the scattering of the raspberries, drizzle or coat in custard, I made a custard and then let it cool before pouring onto the raspberries because after that it’s the cream, ensure you avoid piping the cream onto not-entirely-cooled custard. And if using tinned custard, warm it up and let it cool so the custard is more of a drizzle-like consistency.

Then finally to top, add a raspberry or two and sprinkle with toasted almonds! About a handful is enough. Be warned, the almonds will burn almost immediately if you preheat the oven to anything over 180 C (fan assisted). Keep it low and do not leave the oven!

And there you have it, a good ol’ tipsy laird! It will blissfully warm the cockles of yer heart!

Don't forget the whisky!

Ehh lets not be so vanilla!

Vanilla custard? Yeah yeah we’ve tried, tasted, and owned it about a gazillion and 5 times! So why do we still insist on its sheer old classic vanillaness as a side to most of our sweet things?!

Well, vanilla custard has been one of the European ultimate inventions and it was the famous custard tarts which bought us this weird word, custard. That, and that it was an all-time favourite in the Middle Ages, therefore I guess it sort of carried on. To give it some credit, the vanillaness of the dessert is sort of thrown by adding a dash of starch which then reinvents itself into another classic, best known to us as crème patisserie (or pastry cream), but let’s face it, we know that the former sounds tonnes fancier.

Following the main theme however, isn’t it weird that by adding custard to something, anything, makes it perfect. It makes it, how would you put it..? Less vanilla? Oh yeah, that’s it. It’s definitely less vanilla. Therefore I’ve made this not-so-vanilla vanilla custard, to go with this more sticky, moist, and just more-interesting-than-custard cake!

I picked these figs, every single purply one of them from a little fruit and veg shop I discovered near the city, it was stocked with only the best most exotic fruit, and I guess you could say the prices matched that. These figs were insanely delicious and oh my were they nice and ripe for the baking! (How to know when they are ripe? They will be firm and hold their shape when you slice into them).

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The figs were then paired up with caramel. Ahh caramel, this is one of my favourite things ever!!! Caramel. Just one word brings oh soo much joy….. But back to the present, I made this delicious caramel to drown the cake in and give it that lovely moist and sticky factor; one of my favourite factors!

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Such a lovely transformation. You chuck everything in and there you have it. Caramel…

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Then you pour the caramel into the baking tin and layer the figs on top. (A bite of advice… put a baking tray underneath to capture the escaped few drops of caramel, because they will escape and it will be messy).

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On top of that you coat the figs and caramel with the cake mixture and bake!

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With this cake, you turn it out inverted again, so somehow you have to manage to flip it over, I topped the cake (after releasing) with a plate and did just that, flipped. And just so you know it didn’t turn to shambles.

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Oh yeah and don’t forget the not-so-vanilla vanilla custard!! It was sooo divine! The custard hit the spot just right with the warm cake and the saccharine sweetness from the caramel all topped off with the fig. Yes it was a not-so-vanilla dessert with not-so-vanilla vanilla custard. Branch out now and again I say!!

Beetroot anybody?

Ok so it’s not the tastiest thing in the world, but its there, in your fridge, at the back of the shelf..

All you need to do is puree and add it to your chocolate cake mix and there you go – the moist factor 500!!

Look closely…. closer……. closer…….. see the tinge of red?

Incredible right? You can barely even taste the beetroot, if at all, it’ll just be there, like it was in the fridge, at the back of the shelf…

The best part about this recipe that I love is that I don’t use butter but oil instead, and in my opinion they are more moist because of it. The beetroot makes the cakes nice and sticky, hopefully even a bit gooey too, also the added health bonus! Its very simple and straightforward, all you need is…

Recipe + Method

80g cocoa powder, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

250g caster sugar

180g plain flour, sifted

3 eggs

250g cooked beetroot, puréed

1tsp pure vanilla extract

200ml sunflower oil

icing sugar, to sift

Mix together all the dry ingredients, this would be the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar. Then we combine all the wet ingredients, so the beetroot, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Once smooth, add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and again gently mix the batch until nice and smooth.

Cook in the oven for only 30 minutes on 180C (fan assisted), maybe even less depending on your oven, mine took about 25/6 minutes. When the muffins spring back up from your touch, and they feel firm enough, leave to cool and sift on some icing sugar to serve!