chocolate hazelnut cake and the spectre of maoist cultural violence

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god its a shiny cake. but as i sit here and ponder the substance of todays encyclical im distracted. out of the corner of my minds eye, and out of the centre of my actual eye i can see a rainbow banner atop the page. now i dont know if you see it too but i suspect its visible to blogger and stalker reader alike. and i would like to apologise on behalf of my blog platform for the arrogance and the assumption that you are a) aware of its signification, b) consenting to the argument it’s saccharine ‘love is love’ mantra pretends not to be making or c) if not a supporter at least unoffended by its appearance. obviously this is all a bit cryptic but as you would know its very difficult to speak freely, to say TRUE FACTS in a landscape of snowflake surveillance and groupthink. i joke but of course, as those of you i am not meeting for the first time would know, im deadly serious.

but given the size of my following i dont think its wise, as my employer would say, to divide audiences so lets return to something we can all talk about with civility: cake. and to whitewash out the bitter taste, a food pic.

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this is obviously NOT product placement because no one is sending me nutella or money for my pictorial comments. both of which i would warmly welcome but until such time i do it for free. this recipe is the first from SWEET, a book i have been waiting for for many many moons. heres le recipe.

ingredients

250g sour cream

130g greek yoghurt

1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda

3 eggs

280g caster sugar

250g butter (room temp)

2 tsp vanilla

460g plain flour

2 tsp bak pow

1 tsp salt

10g hazelnuts – thinly sliced, chopped or not even there at all

hazelnut crumble

80g hazelnuts roasted

80g caster

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Ganache

80g milk chocolate

80g nutella

100ml dub cream

 

FIRST make the hazelnut crumble

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Begin by roasting your hazels if not already roasted. put them in food processor with sugar, cinnamon and alt and pulse til finely chopped. set aside.

pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. grease and flour a large bundt tin.

put the sour cream, yoghurt in a bowl and whisk in the bicarb soda. leave to stand for 15 mins for the mix to puff up and become light and airy. WEIRD SCIENCE

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while puffing is taking place, out eggs and sugar in food processor and mix to combine. add butter and process for another min. at this point it will look disgusting and curdled. push on. because what even other choice do you have.

then mix vanilla into sour cream mix and pour it all into the food processor and pulse til combined. then tip the mix into a large bowl (i used pretty much every bowl i owned for this cake it was horribubble) and sift in the flour, baking powder and salt (which could have first been sifted into a separate bowl and then added but ENOUGH WITH THE BOWLS). stir until just combined.

now put one third of the mix into the cake tin and spread out with spatula. then sprinkle a generous layer or hazelnut crumple over. then do another layer of batter and so on and so forth, ending with a layer of nuts (3 cake batter layers in total). press the last layer of nuts gently in so they dont fall out which they will anyway. looks like this…a bit unappealing but patience iago.

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put in oven for 55-60 mins. leave to cool for 10 mins then flip it out of its tin so it can breathe miz. erstwhile make the ganache

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put chocolate and nutella in a bowl. heat cream very gently until little bubbles form around the edges. pour cream over chocolate and mix until smooth.

once the cake is completely cool pour over ganache. then sprinkle chopped hazelnuts. though i had lost interest completely by this final step so obvs you can do without.

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revenge is a dish best served warm.

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cauliflower soup and the end times

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as per this weeks request…cauliflower soup. a la the glorious, the underrated and the misrepresented, karen martini

ingredients

2 heads of cauliflower

2 leeks

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 potatoes finely sliced

30-50 g butter

pinch cayenne pepper

(karen uses curry powder and a bit of mustard. i dont but she definitely knows best)

150 ml milk/cream

1 litre chicken/veg stock

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methode

first cut up cauliflower into its respective florets, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 180 for about 30 mins or until golden and carmelised

in a big pot put olive oil, leeks, onion and garlic and cook til soft

add the potatoes

add the butter

stir until the potatoes start to change colour

add salt, pepper, cayenne

add the roasted caulfilower and stir so its all coaty

pour in the stock and simmer til its all softened

pour in milk or cream

blitz til smooth

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in conclusion a) apologies for the gross splats on the side of the bowl there and b) its quite heavy so can i recommend ordering our garden salad to accompany the dish

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snows carrot cake

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twas a dark and stormy day. there were severe weather warnings. it wasnt exactly harvey but also it may as well have been.

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gale warnings were issued for the poor little mariners, marining about the place. i learned that its hard to capture wind in a still image. there may be some rich symbolism in that. so you’ll have to take my word for it. and in these times of gales, “earthquakes” and terror there are few things more reassuring to the disturbed mind than snows 3C recipe ebook. replete with its own index. i was going to make a pavlova-roulade but truly who can be bothered. so snarrot cake it was. i do not have permission to republish this but if stealing intellectual property and making it freely available is a crime then lock me up.

ingredients

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2 cups grated carrot (the living juices squeezed out of them. a thankless, hand-chilling task)

1 cup sugar

1 cup oil (i used sunflower)

3 eggs

vanill (not in original. why)

1 and 1/3 cups plain flour

1 and 1/3 tsp bi carb

1 and 1/3 tsp bak pow

1 and 1/2 tsp cidabod

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup raisins (not in original)

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icing ingreds. (i converted these from snow ounces. my pleasure)

115g cream cheese

vanill

30g butter

225g icing sug

walnuts for decoration if you are on the decorations committee

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method

oven to 180 degs

grate the damn carrots. draining them of their juices

beat sugar and oil together. it looks, at this stage, quite revolting.

add eggs one at a time

add vanill if using.

fold in (sifted?) dry ingreds. (i didnt sift. but

fold in grated carrot and chopped walnuts

pour into greased tin and bake for 1 hour (snay says check after 40 mins)

to make icing

beat cream cheese a bit til soft

add butter, vanilla and sugar

wait til the cake is completely cool then ice

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consume in moderation or all at once.

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id also just like to take a moment to welcome our Saudi friends.

 

spinach and feta filo without feta

20170820_164652another post so soon you ask? well, the feedback has been so overwhelming i felt it would be a shame to lose the momentum. its always been such a supportive community and i just want to thank you all for your ongoing appreciation. snow, i know how much you enjoy onions so this one’s for you ralphie.

ingredients:

2 boxes of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained of their disgusting, fetid green juices

half a bunch of spring onions (or most of a bunch as per the above) finely chopped

2 whole onions very finely chopped

350g feta crumpled. i used cheese de goat. i dont see what all the feta fuss is about

4 eggs beaten

half a cup of oil

pepper

melted butter (maybe 100g? its just for brushing on pastry so who can say)

1 pack filo pastry (which needs to be left either in the fridge overnight or for 2 hours at room temp. no one told me. nothing comes easy)

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mix spinach, onions, spring onions and cheese together

in a separatist bowl mix eggs, oil and pepper with a fork

pour egg mix into cheese and spinach mix – mix very well

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brush the base of baking dish with melted butter

lay 2 layers of pastry then paint with butter

lay another 2 layers then paint with butter

then cut pastry in half and lay half pastry, slightly overlapping each other and paint with butter again. keep doing this until half the filo is used up

pour the filling in

then cover with the other half of the filo, painting each layer with butter as you go

bake for 45 mins at 180 degs

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‘this cake is seminal’ – abu mumza, 2017

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Some of you i know, some of you im meeting for the first time. those in the latter category, im not sure what youre doing here. so just bot off. those in the former category may remember this cake from such posts as butter cake.

circa 2010. simpler times. when we were kings. before we were doctors. before the great rupture of 2012. before all those that followed in its wake. back then things were smaller. tiny little bundt tins holding tiny little lives. things have slackened since. expanded. now we feast at the banquet and as we awake the next day, scratchy faced, puffy eyed, always a little heavier we ask ourselves the same questions: are we or are we not aliens? are there really tunes for bears to dance to? and where have all the children gone?

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but in this age of bigger cakes and ontological anxiety, there are some truths we can cling to, some surfaces we can still touch. and as ceo, sheik humbali of armadale quoth, this cake is seminal. (not to be confused with simnel because marzipan is the devils food). the recipe remains unchanged. only bigger. and its happening below, from memory:

250g butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

vanilla

3 cups self raising flour

salt (lots)

6 tbsp cream (mine smelt a bit off but jazz hands joz said its fine – its all probiotics. theme and variation on her other meme, it’ll all come out in the wash)

4 tbsp cocoa powder

the rest, you know by heart. cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time. add vanilla. add flour, salt then cream.

pour 3/4 of the mix into a buttered and floured bundt tin.

mix the cocoa powder into the remaining mix and then pour on top.

theres really no pouring involved. its more of a very reluctant dolloping consistency.

put in 175 degree oven. 1 hour. RING OFF

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Chiffon cake

i made this with cara cara oranges, the queen of citrus. they occupy the netherworld betwixt orange oranges and blood oranges. they are probably too precious to juice for a cake but too perfect not to. here they are amidst the remnants of late capitalism:

they come in for a mere 2 months. there was some concern that cyclone debbie may have disturbed the supply chain but based on the findings of my recent investigation (and mostly based on their availability) the fears were found to be unfounded.

this cake is baked in a special tin. this is the tin. its specialty. you have to buy it from a specialty shop for specialty people. it has feet, just like you and i.

this recipe seems pretty watertight. im not thrilled by the absence of vanilla but i didnt want to expose the cake to any training that might derail his teachings…

here is the recipe.

5 large eggs (separated)

1.5 cups sugar

1.5 cups self raising flour

3/4 cup sunflower oil

3/4 cup orange juice (i strained mine)

1 tsp lemon zest

beat egg whites stiffly with 1/3 of the sugar (which i calculated to be 1/2 a cup…without a calculator)

beat yolks with sugar, then, on moderate speed, add flour and alternate with orange juice and lemon zest

then slowly pour in the oil and beat for a few seconds

fold in egg whites

bake at 160 degrees, fan for an hour

remove and turn upside down immediatement until completely cold. for blurry example:

then get a spatula in the sides to loosen cake and remove from tin (dont drag the spatula around the outside or you will tear at the fabric of reality. just gentle insertions therein thereof)

hopefully this doesnt happen to you

if it does its totes cool. just flip it and reverse it…

then make icing: half a cup lemon juice + 1.5-2 cups sifted icing sugar + lemon zest (just whatever til it looks like icing)

mix then drizzle

otherwise put, the first bird up, the worms are his.