Torta caprese

I woke up this morning with a craving for chocolate cake. In truth the craving started on Friday evening, it feels like it been a hard week for women.

I thought it might be interesting to cook with almonds instead of flour and I found this very simple recipe on the Food52 website.

Ingredients 
  • 125 grams (4.4 oz) blanched almonds (or almond meal)
  • 125 grams (4.4 oz) good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 125 grams (4.4 oz or 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, chopped
  • 125 grams (4.4 oz or 1/2 cup) sugar
  • large eggs, separated and left to come to room temperature
  • powdered sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

1.Grease and line a 20 cm or 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper and preheat oven to 160ºC or 320ºF. 

2.If using whole blanched almonds, blitz them to a very fine, sandy texture in a food processor. Set aside.

3.Place the chocolate, broken up, in a metal or glass bowl set over a bain marie (double broiler, or a pot of simmering water). When melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula to help it melt. Then add the sugar and the almond meal.

4.Once the mixture is no longer hot, add the egg yolks and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. If adding any further ingredients (orange zest, rum, etc), stir them in now.

5.In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with beaters to soft, fluffy peaks. Fold the whites gently through the chocolate and almond batter.

6.Pour the batter into the cake tin, smooth over the top and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the top appears dry and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (not wet batter). It is important not to overcook this cake so that it retains its wonderful moist consistency. Let cool completely in the tin before handling.

7.Dust with powdered sugar and, if desired, some lightly whipped cream. This cake keeps well for several days and is even better the next day.

Oh, yes, I started a podcast! Have a listen, I think it’s fun.

Prune and mixed fruit loaf cake

The prunes are all used up now!

I found this nice simple recipe, Prune and raisin loaf cake. This time I used mixed fruit instead of just plain raisins. I soaked the fruits and prunes in orange juice and I did not add sugar to the recipe. I also used ordinary plain flour instead of rice or gluten free flour.


What you need

  • 150g mixed fruit
  • 150g soft pitted prunes
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 150ml orange juice
  • Oil spray
  • 1 egg – free range
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp mixed sweet spices

What you do

  • Soak the fruit in the juice for a couple of hours, stir in the sugar until dissolved in a large baking bowl. I leave it covered with a tea towel in the kitchen
  • Oil spray and base line a 2lb loaf tin
  • Pare heat the oven to 170c
  • Sieve the flour, almonds, baking powder and spices on to a plate ready for adding to the bowl
  • Add the sieved flour and egg to the bowl containing the soaked fruits, mix thoroughly and then turn into the prepared loaf tin
  • Bake for 50 to 55 mins until golden and well risen
  • Cool initially in the tin and then cool fully on a wire rack
  • Stores well in an airtight tin.

This is the second time I have made this. I cooked for 50 minutes the second time round.

This loaf cake did not last long. Made Saturday morning, finished Monday morning

Prune and almond cake

I made another cake…

This is Nigella’s Winter Plum Cake co-opted with tinned prunes.

Ingredients

1 tin of prunes

125g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

75g ground almonds

125g butter, softened

125g soft light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 scant teaspoon almond extract

1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 C / 150 C fan and butter and line a 20cm springform cake tin.

  1. Drain the prunes and remove the stones, then leave it in a sieve to drain some more.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and ground almonds together.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour mixture after each. (This helps to prevent curdling.)
  4. Beat in the almond extract and then fold in the rest of the flour mixture.
  5. Finally, fold in the prunes. Tip into the prepared tin, and smooth out the top a little. Sprinkle over the caster sugar, and bake for about an hour. (If it isn’t yet coming away from the edges, of a cocktail stick doesn’t come out more or less clean, then it may need up to an extra 15 minutes.)
  6. Leave it to cool in the tin, on a wire rack, for ten minutes before turning out onto the rack.

Makes 6 – 8 slices. 

Sweet treat Sunday

I woke up this Sunday with a craving for egg bread / French toast. I indulged myself and wolfed this down dripping with Maple Syrup.