Gastronomically Terrific

January 29, 2016

S’moreanne cupcakes

Filed under: Cake, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 1:49 pm



A slightly more successful attempt at making sugar syrup

After the complete failure of my butterscotch marshmallow bars, I (perhaps foolishly) decided to try out another recipe from the same recipe book. This time, I wanted to make S’moreanne cupcakes. Having read through the recipe, I knew they were going to be something of a challenge.

There are three different elements to these cakes. Firstly, you need to make a chocolate sponge. That turned out fine, and was no more complicated than making a standard sponge cake. Secondly, you add chocolate shavings and biscuit crumbs to the top of the sponge batter. Again, not particularly hard to do.

Thirdly, you make the sugar syrup. Whilst this is boiling, you whisk together egg whites. You then add the sugar syrup to the egg whites and whisk it all together to make a shiny meringue. This meringue is then added to the top of the baked cupcakes. The cakes are then lightly browned with a cook’s blowtorch, before being topped with squares of chocolate and some biscuit crumbs. Now, I admit that I ended up using the blowtorch after adding the chocolate squares, giving the cakes a little more of a burnt look than intended. But overall, I was really pleased with how these cakes turned out. Yes, they are incredibly rich. But they looked good, and tasted lovely – and I didn’t mess up the sugar syrup this time!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days Recipes to make every day special, by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers, pg. 182-3


July 2, 2015

Easter meringue tart

Filed under: pudding, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 11:04 am

Easter meringue tart very CUWanting to make a slightly different, interesting pudding for when mum was visiting, I decided to make this Easter meringue tart (even though it was in no way close to Eater). I made it the night before she arrived, and we ate it over the course of the week she was with us, as it was rather large.

The first thing I did was make a flan case using the recipe in the same book for cuddura, which is basically a sweet pastry made from flour, icing sugar and butter. That was fairly easy to do.

Once I had made that and used it to line the base, I made the rice filling – basically a rice pudding made with milk, rice, caster sugar and almond essence. That took ages because I had to wait for the rice to cook in the milk. I got a bit bored waiting. I then added egg yolks and waited for the mixture to thicken, which was much faster!

Once that was done, I covered the flan base with cherry jam, and added the rice pudding mixture.

Finally, I made the meringue mixture (by whisking the egg whites and then adding the caster sugar, teaspoon by teaspoon) and added this to the top of the tart. Once the tart was assembled, the whole thing was baked in the oven for an hour at 110C.

Whilst the tart was fun to make, and looked pretty good, it did taste a little odd. The rice filling didn’t really feel like it belonged, and we were all in agreement that really it would have been nicer (and much more normal) if it had been a standard lemon meringue tart.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter! By Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 26-29

June 11, 2014

Cake baked Alaska

Filed under: Cake, pudding — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 12:57 pm

Cake baked Alaska with flashThe June recipe from my Homebaking 2014 calendar, this seemed like an ideal pudding to make when we had friends visiting for the weekend.

Now, it sounds odd, but cake baked Alaska is really easy to make, and doesn’t taste as bizarre as it sounds! Firstly, you make a cake. Any cake you like. I chose to make a sponge cake, but the recipe suggested a banana loaf cake. Either way, once it has been made and cooled down, you cut it up and put it on the bottom of a dish or flan tin. You then dollop ice cream in the middle (the recipe called for vanilla; I mixed rum and raisin and vanilla. Vanilla would probably have been better, but we had rum and raisin to use up). Finally, you make a meringue mixture with egg whites and golden caster sugar. You then pile this over the ice cream and around the edges, on top of the cake. You then bake the whole thing in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

Like I said, it doesn’t taste half as bizarre as it sounds!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Homebaking calendar 2014, June

February 17, 2011

Chocolate, Meringue and Strawberry Gateau

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 7:21 pm

Dare you stare into the face of death?

Chocolate cake and meringue and chocolate sauce and strawberries and chocolate cake and meringue and strawberries.

This frightening cake stands a good 8 inches tall.  In the photo, there is no sense of scale – it looks like it should be on a quite small plate.  But that is actually the biggest plate we own.

Basically, the way this works is:

  1. Part bake a chocolate cake.
  2. pour a meringue on top.  Bake until cooked.
  3. Repeat steps one and two.
  4. Make a chocolate sauce to go in the middle.
  5. Add some strawberries to pretend the whole thing is healthy.

It is also very difficult to make it look appealing.  The problem is that, fundamentally, meringue is egg and sugar baked until it goes hard.  It rises beautifully, creating a huge bubble bursting with sweet goodness.  But then you need to get it out, and pile it up in an yummy deathly tower of goo.  There really isn’t a way to do that neatly – it breaks up and falls apart.  It tastes pretty good – sweetness mixed with bitterness, creating an unusual effect (though the chocolate sauce set again when we kept it in the fridge), and – if size counts for anything! – it looks impressive, in its own way.

Anna made this in a heart shaped tin, though sadly (due to subsidence) I couldn’t photograph it adequately from any other angle.  Amusingly, the meringue on top cracked… read that how you will!

In conclusion: This would be great if it could be better presented, which would help if it was single layered and cooked in a tin with removable sides.  Saying that, I think the intensity of the chocolate adds rather than multiplies the delicacy of the meringue – it is as tasty as a standard gateau.  Not better, just different.

Who made it: Anna did the work but Dan “helped with the presentation”…

Recipe:”Simply Cadbury’s Chocolate” by Joanna Farrow.

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