It feels right to get blogging again with a classic and as far as I’m concerned, the carrot cake completes the holy trinity of cake baking grande dames – flanked either side by the Victoria sponge and the chocolate cake. I know that a classic shouldn’t really need messing about with but I have to insist on pecans over walnuts here. You get all the texture without any of the bitterness and, when candied and dipped in bronze, you also get an ostentatious flourish that no diva worth her salt would turn down.
Hello you lovely lot!
I just wanted to apologise for disappearing for a little while but I have a really good excuse – I’ve landed a job, a foodie job. Since the summer, I’ve been working as a chocolatier at Paul A Young Fine Chocolates, where we spend every day elbow deep in incredible chocolate making handmade truffles and bars for Paul’s four beautiful London shops. If you’re a fan of chocolate (and let’s face it, who isn’t) follow Paul on Instagram, @paul_andrew_young, for endless pics of his gorgeous creations.
Needless to say what with Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter being our busiest times, chocolate has taken over quite a bit but don’t worry, I’m still utterly in love with baking and as of this week will be back on track with a weekly bake to share as well as videos, photos and all sorts of foodie inspiration. What else? Oh yes, I have a new favourite food blog that I can’t recommend highly enough called Fork and Mouth – you’ll want to try every single recipe, I promise. So pleased to be back in BloggingLand again and thanks for your continued support guys, really appreciate it.
You know about me and brioche by now, we’re involved and it’s serious. I would normally be telling you to add absolutely nothing to the buttery perfection of a good brioche dough, why would you? But for those days when you feel like embracing a more is more attitude, give these babies a try. Crunchy pistachios and sweet tangy apricots manage to hold their own against the richness of the brioche, and they’re even better torn in half, smothered in jam and served as breakfast in bed.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of collapsing with a coffee and a slice of cake at Lily Vanilli’s bakery, chances are you’ll already know the wonders of this cake. If not, let me share the love, and the recipe, from her brilliant book Sweet Tooth. This isn’t a cake to call on when you need a slab of something sweet and familiar, it’s something altogether more thoughtful; for those days when chic trumps comfort.
When a Pac-Man cookie cutter meets a classic biscuit recipe only good things can happen, trust me. After successfully transforming the humble custard cream last year into a geeky tea time treat, I thought it was about time that the jammy dodger got the 16-bit treatment too. Novelty cutters aside, this is the best jammy dodger recipe I’ve found and comes courtesy of Justin Gellatly and his wonderful baking book Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding, so, even if Pac-Man isn’t your thing, I can guarantee that this recipe will be.
If you own a madeleine tin then, chances are, it’s your favourite tin to bake with. Maybe you get a little misty-eyed each time you butter-up those pretty shells thinking about the tiny Parisian store you brought it in on a sunny August day that seems all too long ago now; or maybe you’re just after a sexy little cake to nibble on with your morning coffee – either way, these nutty little guys are for you.
They don’t come much cooler than Debbie Harry do they? No; the answer is no. Devastatingly beautiful, with that creamy, cool voice and a nonchalance that every front woman since has tried to emulate – she’s part superhero if you ask me. So, obviously, my rock cake collection wouldn’t be complete without an ode to her, and as Blondie are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, now is the time. This is no ordinary blondie recipe mind you, I went all out with leopard print white chocolate, rose petals and figs – a platinum Blondie, worthy of the capital B.