Archives for posts with tag: nigella lawson

It seems I am working my way through the Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame in Nigella Lawson’s Feast.  It wasn’t really my intention and there are some I make over and over again so I’m really not being methodical about it.  If you hold the book and let it fall open it naturally it opens at the recipe for Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake which, incidentally, seems to have quite a lot of Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake mixture smeared across the page.

At the moment it is seven (incredibly rich and delicous cakes) down, and three to go:

Tropical Chocolate Cake – it looks delicious but every time I read that the recipe contains canned pineapple rings, cream cheese, cocoa and malibu I start to feel nauseous.  I’m pretty sure it would be delicious even so.

Chocolate Ginger Bread – I love gingerbread, I love chocolate, it looks amazing.  I keep buying the ingredients to make it and then deferring because the recipe doesn’t say whether the cake should be wrapped for a couple of days before icing so that it is unctuous and sticky.  I think I need to drop my ginger cake holy grail ambitions and just make it.

Chocolate Guinness Cake – I just haven’t found an excuse to make it yet.

I made the Honey Chocolate Cake for the first time for my son’s first birthday last week.  It has little marzipan bees on top so I thought it would appeal to the children and making it would be less stress-inducing than the fire engine cake I made for my eldest son’s third birthday earlier in the year.

The resulting cake is a bit like a Sachertorte in texture and my children and my nephews were very taken with the bees (as were any of the adults with a penchant for marzipan).  I found some royal icing decorations I had made a while back with some left-over icing lurking in a container at the back of the cupboard and used them to make some flowers for some of the bees to sit on.

I think I must have been a bit over-excited about watching the quarter final of The Great British Bake Off last night as I thought to myself “ooh I think I’ll just get a cake into the oven before it starts”. Fifteen minutes before it started.

I know, I know, I said I was planning a month of lighter cooking but I’ve had the dry ingredients for Nigella’s Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake weighed out and taking up space in a container on the top of my fridge for a couple of weeks now, since I weighed out the ingredients for a third loaf cake when I made the fire engine cake. Just in case there was a need to avert disaster late in the proceedings.  Then there was the fact that my Mum brought me some dark purple plums and I couldn’t stop thinking about plums and dark chocolate in combination.

So, I had lots of reasons to come up with a variation on this moreish cake and call it Plum and Chocolate Loaf Cake with Sloe Gin Syrup.  Well, why not?

I replaced the sour cream and all but 20ml of the boiling water in the Nigella Lawson recipe with 210g of cooked plums (simmered gently for 25 minutes with nothing added).  I also replaced most of the dark chocolate chips with chunks of Roasted Almond Dark Lindt chocolate and 25ml of the water in the chocolate syrup with 25ml sloe gin which I added after removing the reduced syrup from the heat.  I cooked it for ten minutes longer than stated in the recipe but I always find this cake needs a little longer in my oven.

The result is pretty good but, well, it is not quite Nigella.  A bit like chocolately Christmas Pudding really.

Lesson learned: don’t mess about with what is already good, I decided to follow the recipe to the letter for this evening’s meal and made Marcus Wareing’s Sea Bass with Cauliflower Puree from October’s Delicious Magazine (the link will be added when the recipe has been published on the website).  The recipe was included as part of a feature about the Action Against Hunger Campaign promoting specific ingredients in its fight against child malnutrition (in this case, fish).

This is an excellent meal for young families – not only is it really tasty (the baby gleefully covered himself in the cauliflower puree and my eldest, who wasn’t so keen on the cauliflower, was asking for more fish before I had even taken my second mouthful) and nutritious, but much of the preparation can be done in advance and it only takes just over thirty minutes to make.

We’re all very excited in the breadfortheboys household as one of my lovely sister-in-laws is coming to stay with us from Australia.  She is going to have to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs as our house is tiny.  I hope she doesn’t mind.

I’ve been trying to work out what she might want to eat when she gets off the plane.  My mother-in-law always gets it right with a cool yet comforting bowl of vichyssoise and toast.  Great when you are going from freezing cold London to lovely warm (or cold, or wet, or scorching – depending on what mood the weather is in) Melbourne!

I think simple food is best most of the time, but especially when you’ve just got off a plane, so there will be toast, lots and lots of toast.  Fruit. And macaroons.

Not the pretty, ultra-sweet and brightly coloured ones that are all the rage at the moment.  I love them but my preference is for these Chewy Almond Macaroons (Nigella Lawson, Feast).  They are chewy, marzipany and scented with rosewater and cardamon.  They can also be out of the oven and on the cooling rack within thirty minutes of me deciding to make them which is definitely an added bonus.  They will spread out a little more and become flatter than the ones in my picture (see this picture) if you use larger eggs (mine were on the small side of large).  A bit of squidginess might be lost though, which would be a shame!

Now, what to do with those leftover egg yolks.