Posts Tagged 'cake'

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.

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pear & almond tarts

these tarts were conceived of initially as an exercise in waste management. i had lots of shortcrust pastry, lots of hopes, and so many dreams. but more to the point i had the need to not do what i was meant to be doing – a need which always, invariably ends in baking. the french left was going to have to wait…because i was filled with a sudden, unexpected and extremely pressing sense of urgency to use up my chilled pastry. and i doubt the communards would disapprove of my pear and almond tarts. as it happened, the amount of pastry i had remaining only made for ten tartlets and as a result, i was left with a glut of frangipane mixture. so i was forced to turn that into a cake. mores the pity. it was more of a cake-tart. i spent some minutes looking at the almond mixture – trying to work out the science which would transform this from tart filling to cake, in and of itself. ‘what does it need?’, i asked out loud, much to the consternation of those around me trying to record audio (yes these cakes are the product of a very artistic, if occasionally fraught environs). it had butter, it had sugar, it had eggs, and it had ground almond substituting flour. all it lacked was air and, henceforth and forthwith, lift. so i took my almond mix and to it i added one whisked up egg white and a smattering of baking powder. and poured it into a cake tin. i also lined it with the roasted pears left over from the tartlets, which were, in turn, left over from the free-form pear and raspberry tart, which were loosely based on left overs from some teacakes, which lay in the house that jack built. so here they are – the tartlets and a tart cake. both were lovely and didnt taste like leftovers at all.

ingredients

1/2 quantity shortcrust pastry – divided into ten tartlet tins – pre-baked, ready to rock

350g butter

350g sugar

350g ground almond

4 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

4 pears roasted (in oven on 200 degrees with 2 tbsp vanilla sugar and a few knobs of butter. i used vanilla paste – and tossed the pears in the sugar and vanilla in a bowl before spreading them out on a baking tray to cook – until tender which is about 30 minutes)

couple handfuls of raspberries

preheat the oven to 190 degrees. make the almond mix. beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. add in the ground almonds, then the vanilla and beat to combine. then add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. what you have now is beyond description – its golden, sweet, textually mind blowing heaven. what you no longer have is self-restraint. so at this stage, take a moment to enjoy.

pour the almond mix into the tart cases – filling them almost to the top.

then press the fruit into each one. you can of course exercise your freedoms and use any fruit you choose. and you do not need to roast them first. i did for unrelated practical reasons but mainly on account of a total lack of direction – but they did seem to taste lovely roasted, their flavour concentrated and intensified and given the tarts are only in the oven for 20 minutes, it helped that they had already had some cooking. this again depends on their ripeness. mine were like rocks.

i also used some leftover frozen raspberries – so push them into the top. frozen is probably better because there didnt appear to be any bleeding…which is all you can ask of a raspberry in a cake.

put them into the oven for 20 minutes or until golden

and then there were more….

if you are mad enough to continue on in the belief that you are responsibly managing potential waste (by making another cake that had no where to go and nothing to do, thereby only adding one more step before it all goes to the bin) then take your leftover frangipane mixture. to it, fold in one egg white, which has been whisked to stiff peaks and give it a tsp of baking powder. mix together and then pour into a greased 21cm cake tin. arrange your leftover pears on top, which ever way you see fit and push them in gently to the cake mix

put into the oven, which yes, is still on but turned down to 180 degrees for 30-40minutes or until golden brown

tosca cake

for reasons too many to mention, i no longer have the opportunity to cook with BBC world service on in the background. nor do i have pleasure (and so often pleasure through pain) of the dulcet tones of LNL, as i calmly cream my butter and sugar. good thing too probably. its not necessarily a healthy pastime for a young girl. what this means however, is there is an intellectual void. sometimes its more like a gaping chasm into which, if im not careful, im liable to plummet. in order to avoid (albeit narrowly) this obstacle, i have started to obsess over the task at hand. an unprecedented attention to detail seems to be the fortuitous product of the survival instinct of my brain. an unlikely predicament for someone with acute attention deficit tendencies such as myself…after all, i didnt get asked to leave starlab because i was concentrating too hard. but i have, as always, by default, found a way to focus intently on the task before me. (with the obvious exception of the bit where, realising i had misplaced the base of my existing cake tin, i had to rush out to the understocked and underwhelming supermarket to purchase a lesser 22 inch cake tin…it works but not as well). what got my undivided attention in this particular instance, on this particular evening, was an almond cake. a very special cake on account of it not being at all cake like. because, i ask you, what child of the 21st century really wants to eat cake? but this is to cake what the friand is to the muffin, what the tartlet is to the tart, and what the cupcake is to all the posers in the world. its delicate, its mostly crisp with a soft base that cakens it but doesnt weigh things down. so i bring you an almond cake entitled tosca’s cake. which was given to a very special lady…from whence it was finally liberated by myself, with the help of a very sleepy spoon.

ingredients

125g softened butter

90g cater sugar

90g self-raising flour

1/2tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 eggs separated

2tbsp milk

topping ingredients

125g flaked almonds

90g butter melted

90g sugar

1tbsp plain flour

preheat the oven to 180 degrees. butter and flour a 26cm springform cake tin. cream the butter and sugar together til soft and fluffy. beat in the egg yolks and then add the milk.

sift in the flour, cinnamon and salt and fold this together

whisk the egg whites til stiff peaks

fold whisked egg whites into the mix

pour into the tin. smooth it over. it wont look like a lot but that is a good thing. bake for 20-30 minutes until cake is just firm.

while the cake is in the oven make the glorious topping. mix almonds, butter and sugar in a small saucepan.

stir in flour and cream. stir this over a gentle heat until amalgamated.

when the cake is ready, it should be just firm to the touch. remove from the oven.

immediately bring the topping to the boil. pour this over the cake and spread in an even layer

bake this for 10-15mins – until the top is golden brown.

let cool in tin for 10 minutes until the top is crisp. then remove and serve.

apple and almond cake.

…apple almond and ginger cake if youre so incline. i however, am not.

this cake made me realise a number of truths, to which i was previously either ignorant, oblivious, or indifferent. the first and most important is that chaos, complications and fuck-ups are necessary on the way to achieving greatness. the second, if you have foresight and do a little advanced planning (even over-planning such as buying 800g of almonds when you only need 300g ‘just to be on the safe side’ and having to make two extra almond recipes on account of a nut glut) is a good thing and in a recipe such as this a lack of forethought can be devastating (those prone to frontal lobe syndrome-like tendencies will fall horrendously flat on their face unless they get it together). finally, apples and almonds make for one hell of a cake. in the words of snow…’holy mother of god’. what this cake reaffirmed for me is the following a) butter and sugar, melted, creamed, or simply eaten as is, are good. b) the oxymoronic fact that experimental cooking should only be done after its been tried and tested and c) a cake made with love, especially love for a grandparent, makes for not only a better tasting cake, but so too a self-gratifying experience for its maker. so here it is, the king of cakes.

ingredients. (ive divided them into sections of making…because its a big ol mind fuck when done otherwise)

2 granny smiths

1 royal gala

30g butter

50g caster sugar

100g raisins

this is the first stage which is cooked in a pan on the stove. first peel and core apples and cut them each into 8. melt the butter in the pan, add the apple and sugar and toss to coat the apples. cook til soft (about 5 minutes), then add the raisins and cook for another minute. finally remove from the stove and let cool.

260g almond meal (dont think your clever by avoiding the saw-dust like stuff called almond meal and substituting it for ground almonds because that would not make you clever, it would make you and your cake very very stupid.)

220g almonds

2tsp baking powder

4 eggs

230g caster sugar

145ml maple syrup (i for one cannot tolerate maple syrup. most of the world would disagree the ‘most of the world’ section of my readership should ignore this parenthesis. but for those who have a similar weltanschauung i would suggest replacing the maple syrup with 100ml melted butter and 45ml orange juice.)

in a processor (or for those lacking in such fundamental kitchen aids use a bowl and pound) pulse almond meal, almonds and baking powder together.


whisk eggs and sugar and maple syrup until pale and doubled in volume.

add nut mixture and cooled apple mixture and fold to combine. pour into a greased 26cm tin.


finally and foremost, the topping. that which takes this from cake to something so much more

2 royal gala

50g roughly chopped almonds

30g butter melted

50g sugar (25 demerrera, 25 brown)

core and thinly slice the apples. if you find royal galas intolerable use granny smiths. if you only decided you find royal galas intolerable when you are at the topping stage, use what granny smiths remain, curse yourself and maybe those around you for not being more attentive at the preparatory stage to both your quantities and your emotional state as well as the potential for a sudden and unexpected change of heart resulting in the need for 5 granny smiths instead of the original 3. arrange over the top of the cake. scatter with the chopped almonds. drizzle with butter then scatter with sugars.


bake for 60-75 minutes. its beautiful and i think im ready to say, in full recognition of the profound weight this statement will bear and in full acknowledgement of maureens chocolate cake which was my first glorious foray into the world of baking, this is the greatest cake on earth.