Nothing evokes the feeling of a cosy Autumnal evening quite like a slice of sticky ginger cake. The thought of its dark luring crumb and spiced ginger aroma wafting through the house is enough to make me crave it. Sticky toffee pudding is I think, one of the best baking inventions possibly ever. So I thought I would combine the two for a perfect warming treat.
This cake stays fresh and moist for a couple of days, making it an even more rewarding bake. It’s my favourite way to end a long day. A bowl of warm sticky ginger cake doused in indulgent dark toffee sauce nestled under a blanket with the cold autumnal evening outside.
Its taken me a while to get this recipe up. As the world slowly went back to a new kind of normal, a lot of the free time I’ve had over the last few months has all but evaporated. However, I did manage to make time to squeeze in a bake using some of these gorgeous Greengages.
For me, late summer and early autumn is a time for seasonal fruits. A glut of ripe ingredients ready to snap up. Blink and they’ll be gone before winter sets in. Figs, Greengages, Damsons and Mirabelle’s are among my favourites this time of year. A great time to pickle, jam and preserve them before they’re gone. Also perfectly delightful to eat alone.
With a broken oven and a week of epic kitchen fails behind me, I decided it was time to make a Tiramisu. It’s quick, satisfying and one of my favourite desserts. I’m a big coffee drinker and if I can consume even more in a creamy dessert, I’m there.
There are a lot of Tiramisu recipes out there. The last one I made a few months ago was just shy of perfect. It was beautifully soft with a moreish quality but it was too soft for a large Tiramisu. It would’ve been perfect for gooey individual portions.
I wanted to create a Tiramisu that was soft enough that the sponge and mascarpone cream melted into one another, but that was firm enough to cleanly serve and stand proud on its own. So on my second try, I decided to increase the mascarpone and decrease the amount of eggs so that the cream had more body but hopefully didn’t lose its perfect texture.
Delicately whipped with a strong creamy mascarpone flavour, this Tiramisu is wonderful. With every silky bite I just want to eat more. Tiramisu has always been something that I’ve eaten practically as quickly as I made it. This one being no exception.
Puffed, soft, sticky and sweet. French Crullers. I didn’t actually know that they existed until a few weeks ago when I was thinking about making doughnuts and ended up coming across them. One of my greatest pleasures is a strong cup of coffee alongside a golden brown, shiny, glazed doughnut.
The only downside to making them at home is that its quite a long process. It takes hours to make, prove, shape, prove again, fry and finish. I’m very much the kind of person that would take half a day to do that but I get that not everyone is. That’s where Crullers come in. Make choux paste, pipe it, fry it and glaze it. Finished.
However, these don’t have an ordinary doughnut texture. Expect a soft airy interior that’s not sweet nor savoury; very much like a traditional baked choux. The outside stays soft but retains its shape so that the sweet glaze can rest in its grooves.
Quick, fun and delicious. I just wish I made more.
I had never been a particularly big fan of cherries growing up. I’d eat fresh when they were offered but they weren’t ever used in baking by family members. I can count my food dislikes on one hand, I pretty much love everything. Although one of my most loathed flavours is bitter almond, something that accompanies cherry in a lot of recipes. This means Cherry Bakewell tart is pushed to the side lines meaning my childhood memories of baked goods have not a cherry in sight.
When I started working in professional kitchens, one of the first things I noticed was the quality of the produce. Unlike anything you’ve ever tasted in the supermarket. Every ingredient had so much flavour, especially the fruit. Every year when cherries come into season, we receive large punnets of dark shiny cherries. Beautifully sweet and rich with their wine coloured juice, sometimes they seem too precious to do anything with other than leave them.
I’m also not an avid pie maker. Although I’ve always thought there was something so lovely about a pie that brings people together. Its humble but charming. Faced with the task at hand, I was determined to choose an extra flaky pie crust recipe. Enter Stella Parks. After much research, I chose Stella’s recipe knowing that the large butter layers and folding technique would ensure separate crisp layers.
My perfect cherry pie is crisp, buttery and golden. The filling needs to be firm enough to hold together when cut, but soft enough to that it remains silky when eaten. This turned out to be all those things. Delicious fresh. Delicious cold from the fridge. Delicious warmed in the microwave with ice cream. Delicious however you like it.
When the days are growing darker and the sun seems to be retreating behind the clouds more everyday day, this is what I crave. I know for a lot of you summer is still in full swing. I mean, its August. But here in the UK however, it feels like October most of the days. The rain showers for hours on end although we still have those occasional summery moments but they are few and far between.
Who am I kidding anyway, it could be 30 degrees outside and I’d still want this. Its part of my DNA. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t reach for some chocolate. Lets be real.
So I bring you something that I loved to eat before becoming vegan and as always, anything can be made just as tasty vegan! I went a little crazy and added dark and white chocolate for added indulgence. I also popped in a hit of my favourite organic coffee because coffee always brings out the flavour in chocolate and seems to make it taste richer.
I love that all these ingredients are already in my cupboards and its so quick to make. Perfect when you’re in need of a quick chocolate fix. Just please don’t overbake this loveliness. Keep that centre gooey and a little underbaked. Keep that sponge dense and rich. Keep your belly, mind and taste buds chipper.
Rhubarb will always have a special place in my heart, as does most seasonal fruit. Although, Rhubarb has a certain charm that entices me every year without fail more so than anything else. I obsess over it at work; wanting every dish to contain Rhubarb and its lustrous hue. There isn’t a way Rhubarb has been baked, stewed, compressed or poached that I haven’t enjoyed. My most favourite being hearty chunks macerated in sugar for an hour or two, eaten in their raw state with a little hint of sweetness to tone down that bite.
I adore the moment when its juices gets you round the teeth; you love it and hate it at the same time, a flavour unlike anything else and immediately recognisable.
I’ve never made a cobbler before and only eaten it once. I’m more inclined to lean toward a crumble because that’s what my British roots have instilled in me. However, this time, I felt like I wanted more of a cakey topping so I turned to the cobbler instead. I paired Rhubarb with fresh Raspberries and a large squeeze of Red Grapefruit to really intensify the bitterness against the sweet doughy topping. Adding in ground and roughly chopped almonds into the dough gives the cobbler a delicate nutty flavour.
Hands down, my favourite part to a cobbler is the variety in texture. One mouthful is crunchy, crisp and clean and the next is a smack in the mouth filled with sharp Rhubarb juices and soggy dough that’s been drinking it all up.
People always say, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ I say, ‘when life gives you black overripe bananas, make Momofuku banana cream pie.’
Who knew that leaving your bananas to practically rot away in your kitchen over Christmas by mistake was a good thing?! Blackened bananas are the key ingredient to this unforgettable pie. They are the starring ingredient here, paying homage to the humble banana. This brilliant idea comes from Christina Tosi, creator of Momofuku Milk Bar.
In Tosi’s recipe, she recommends leaving your bananas to ripen until the skin is practically black. This way they become intensely flavoured, soft and with an unmistakable caramel punch to them. Not the kind of banana you’d like to eat though. Save your sweet yellow eating bananas for the hidden middle layer of sliced banana.
I absolutely love the ideas that emerge from the Milk Bar cookbook. Using humble ingredients, Christina Tosi creates approachable and unique desserts. I’m drawn to her diverse use of everyday foods; ones that you wouldn’t typically use in baking. For example, her compost cookie is packed with chocolate chips, pretzels and crisps! The Momofuku Milk Bar book will definitely be a new addition to my bookshelf.
So before you emerge in the new year a new you, healthier and vowed off sugar for the best part of January; I urge you to try this ingenious creation. Theres always room for more pie in my world.
Fun internet watching: If you want to know more about this and watch Christina herself make this pie, you can watch it in the series “The Mind of a Chef” in the episode ‘Rotten.’ A great quick watch I’d highly recommend. Click Here to watch