- Food & Drink
While Truffle Web Services and I were building this swanky new website, I kept up with the internet’s bottomless appetite for new recipes by writing a weekly cake column for Aol Lifestyle. Some of you may not have noticed this parade of bakery marching past. I know how it is. You’re all busy people. You have things to do. You can’t just go hunting round the web to see if I’ve got up to anything interesting with some flour and butter recently.
So, for those that missed them the first time around, these are some of cakes I baked for Aol (all the Christmas recipes are going to go into a separate post. You’ll thank me for it in December).
Clementine, polenta and almond cake
This is probably the best cake I baked in 2011. It’s a gluten-free and dairy-free cake based on Claudia Roden’s classic orange and almond cake from A New Book of Middle Eastern Food. It has a bitter marmalade flavour that comes from the whole boiled clementines, and a hint smoky woodiness from the rosemary. It keeps well, getting stickier as the days pass. In spite of the faff of boiling the clementines, it’s definitely worth making. A guaranteed hit and it makes a great pudding with a spoonful of crème fraîche.
My New Year’s Day breakfast. These American-style pancakes are made with whisked egg whites to keep them fluffy and have bananas fried into them, as well as extra slices stuffed between the layers with walnuts and syrup, so you get an extra fudgy crust. Great for weekend breakfasts and teatimes.
Galette des Rois
Get your Gallic on with this recipe for the traditional French Epiphany cake. The flower water/brandy-scented almond filling has more than a touch of the Olde Worlde about it, and I took great pleasure in lacquering the galette with as much egg wash as possible to get a good shade of mahogany sideboard on the pastry.
Obviously you should only eat it in January, but with hot cross buns and Easter Eggs already on sale, limiting your pleasures to the appropriate season seems to be out of fashion. I strongly disapprove of this and am wearing a very stern expression as I think about it. But on the upside, you could eat a warm slice of buttery galette tomorrow, if you liked.
Swedish cinnamon buns
A contender for the best thing I’ll bake in 2012. A version of the kanelbullar I stuffed myself with in Stockholm that’s made with an enriched yeast dough filled with cardamom and cinnamon flavoured butter. I spent ages trying to get the twisty look right and just about managed it, helped by this excellent online bun twisting demo.
Banana fritters with sesame caramel
A little bit of lovely from the slaggy end of the Chinese take-away menu. Chunks of banana in a light, crispy batter; super sweet caramel; and melting vanilla ice cream. It’s not big or clever, but hell, deep-fried stuff is good.
Vegan pear, hazelnut and chocolate muffins
Vegans! You can have cake! In spite of being both vegan and containing wholemeal flour, these muffins are actually really tasty. Possibly this is down to quantity of toasted hazelnut and melted chocolate I stuffed into them. I’d make everything taste like Ferrero Rocher if I could.
And that’s it. You’re up to date with my Aol meanderings. So go forth and bake.