Saturday, 31 August 2013

'Chocolat' by Eric Lanlard - book review

You only have to look at the front of this book to get the ooh and ahh of the lure of what lies inside, the cake depicted on the front cover looks amazingly decadent with the dribbling and runny white and plain chocolate cascading over the sides.

Inside there are all manner of chapters and each one is chocolate related, from the history of chocolate to working with chocolate to baked goods right through to drinks and sauces. The background to the book is that Eric Lanlard the author (of Cake Boy fame) trained as an apprentice chocolatier when he was training as a pastry chef and from this his love of all things chocolate began.

This book is really well written and put together, almost all the recipes are supported by a photo of the finished recipe on the opposite page. The photography is pretty good and very decadent. The recipes are easy to follow and are pretty straightforward. There really is a wide range of things to make, and a lot of the recipes for sweets, truffles, florentines, shortbreads, biscotti and cookies would make great home baked gifts. I don't want to mention the 'C' word but we had had our last bank holiday until then!

Friday, 30 August 2013

GBBO Courting cake - recipe - not just for courting purposes

Did you see the GBBO last week but one (the first episode in the new series) and the piece about the courting cake, and it being a Lancashire tradition? If you missed it the article about courting cakes is here on the Lancashire Life website.  The person that presented the piece on the show is a local food writer Phillippa James. Anyway got me thinking about baking a cake last weekend as it was our wedding anniversary on the Bank Holiday Monday.

We had a very quiet wedding just the two of us, and a total of two guests, my sister and her husband (to be). They were bound to secrecy because we just didn't want a huge fuss, the deal was, 'if you can't keep our secret then please don't be involved'...luckily they managed to keep the secret. I say luckily as I was glad my sister was there.

Eight years on, here we are with a growing family, and a lot to be grateful for...including a delicious slice of courting cake...the recipe is adapted from the one on the Lancashire Life website...I used very small (almost mini size) sandwich tins to make my cake...this made one tall but small cake (just enough for a courting couple to have two slices each). You might want to make the cake bigger by doubling these amounts if you are feeding more than a courting couple?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

'Dish of the month' August - Nigel Slaters Lemon and thyme cake

Way behind with my entry this month...might be too much crocheting...might be too much sun worshipping...but whatever...but here I am at long last!

I decided to make a lemon and thyme cake from Kitchen Diaries II, the recipe is a mix of butter, eggs, flour, sugar, ground almonds and fresh lemons (mine were organic unwaxed lemons - small but full of flavour) and fresh thyme leaves.  The cake is dead easy to make and once its baked you give it an extra lemony hit with a syrup made of lemon juice and sugar. Whats not to love? It cuts beautifully and keeps really well in a tin, and I felt it tasted even better after a few days and the taste of the thyme is suitable, lovely and different but in a good way.

We enjoyed our cake with tea on the garden one afternoon, such has been the gorgeousness of the weather here this summer (thank you - whoever you are!). And at last the seasons have somehow caught up with the recipes in this fabulous book, Kitchen Diaries II.

If you are entering the challenge this month just refresh yourself of the rules and pop over to Janice's blog as she is giving away one of Nigel Slaters other books 'Real fast food' as by of a thank you/gift for taking part...get entering - good luck, and keep enjoying the warmer weather while its here along with Nigel's recipes of course!