It would not be an Easter series if I didn’t do a bake involving mini eggs. There is something so addictive about them that I take full advantage of every Easter. This year it went a step further – it has taken a lot of willpower to resist buying these mini egg inspired nail varnishes and I doubt I’m out of the woods yet. So to celebrate the best Easter treat, this cake was made.I have been meaning to bake this cake for several Easters now but every time I never quite got round to it and spent the week after Easter looking at it and realising what a fool I had been. A chocolate cake, topped with chocolate cream, and finished with chocolate decorations? What is not to love.I’m so pleased I finally got round to making this. It was more than worth the wait and looks like it may well become a new favourite! The flourless chocolate cake base is dense, truffle like and rich. The chocolate cream on top is surprisingly light despite the hefty layer and tastes just like chocolate mousse. It goes without saying that the mini eggs were delicious, but this cake doesn’t need to be confined to Easter – swapping the mini eggs for raspberries and strawberries would lighten the cake (a tad) and be amazing for a summer birthday cake. My tips for this cake would be to drastically under whip the cream – until it is only just beginning to hold its shape – because folding in the chocolate and spreading it over the cake continues to firm it up. You can find the recipe here – enjoy!
Sunday, 20 April 2014
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
I will only have butter on my toast. No jam, no marmalade, no Marmite or Nutella, no honey. I don’t know why, because I like most of these things in every other way (apart from Marmite), but I can’t stand them on toast. Really this just means that I have to get my honey fix in other, far more delicious, ways such as this summery torte… I don’t usually think of honey as a core flavour for a dessert. I’m sure I’ve added it to biscuits, cakes and flapjacks to add a bit of extra sweet and stickiness, but rarely used it as a main attraction. In this dessert blossom honey is combined with orange to make a really light version of a cheesecake – using just yoghurt and cream instead of any cream cheese. In my mind cheesecakes set with gelatine have a bad image of being overly firm and bouncy, but this is a really light set so it stays super creamy. Blanched almonds are added to the biscuit base (I used Nice biscuits because I thought the coconut would complement the other tropical flavours) which is such a simple idea but one I haven’t done before and was delicious – you know I’ll get almonds into anything somehow! My favourite part, however, was the accompanying fruit salad. Passion fruit instantly make me feel transported to a desert island and are without a doubt my favourite fruit. Combined with fresh mango and a sticky, ever so slightly spicy, ginger and lime syrup and I almost didn’t even need the torte. Almost. You can find the recipes here – enjoy!
Monday, 14 April 2014
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
The last week of our second term! After this Easter break only 10 more weeks stand in between me and the end of Leiths, a scary thought. It was difficult to concentrate this week with thoughts of impending exams on everybody’s minds, but still the cooking continued…With Easter rapidly approaching, it was only appropriate that our last baking task of the term was the classic hot cross buns. Or in my case, some hot cross and some hot stripy buns as I ran out of the paste mixture for the crosses halfway through, resulting in some slightly sad buns that were not photo worthy! Nevertheless they were fun to make and even more delicious to eat than normal, knowing the work that went into them.Our very last cooking session was spent cooking a Thai buffet in groups, hence the pile of som tam (papaya) salad above and roasted, marinaded salmon below. We proved just how much being a cookery school student has affected our appetite as we happily sat down to eat this full meal (which also included gyozas and a curry) at 3:30 in the afternoon. It was a really nice way to end the term – a relaxed cooking session and then getting to properly enjoy the meal afterwards, rather than everyone rushing off. The only downside was the extra washing up…but it was worth it!Boning a chicken, ice creams, sorbet, 3 types of soufflés, bavarois (I need a long break from bavarois’), turning vegetables, tunnel boning lamb, 4 new types of pastry, enriched breads, espagnole sauce, pasta from scratch, crème patissiere – just a few of the things I’ve learnt this term that I had no idea how to do 10 weeks ago. Two more weeks of Easter holidays to go, then back to the craziness of the cookery school bubble – bring on the Advanced term!