Sugar thermometers make the ability to give gifts your command.
Fudge is SO simple with one of these – it takes the guesswork out of heating the sugar, which is 100% the scariest part of making it. I’m so excited to have added this treat to my repertoire of quick treats. It has the perfect smooth but chewy consistency without any hint of grittiness from crystallisation. It also stores well at room temperature and so is perfect for sending away for friend’s birthdays! I would definitely recommend having an occasion planned for this wee one, mainly because it is altogether too easy to consume in vast quantities. Much easier to simply discount the extensive spoon licking and off-cut consuming afterwards as quality control for its final purpose.
This is a cake for people who don’t think they’re into cake.
I’m sure you all have one of those friends (or colleagues … or bosses). Well. This cake will turn them. To me, this is what cake is all about. There’s no fuss or fondant, and every element celebrates the others in a beautifully simple way. I made it up on a lazy Sunday afternoon in which the salted caramel set a precedent for me to be unusually productive.
Maybe it’s because I know my winter will be broken up by one month of glorious, European summer, but I am so enjoying the crisp autumn days lately, the wearing of sleeves and the changes in produce that the seasons bring. Now that I’m comfortable enough to essentially throw together a recipe of my own accord, it is so much easier to base what I make around what looks best at the farmer’s market. I’m reading that sentence now and realising I sound like an utter food wanker. But basically, the pears were cheap and fresh and this cake is delicious. You need to make it and experience it for yourself.
When I was four, my idea of baking involved cutting out pieces of puff pastry with cookie cutters and glazing them with jam for an extra something special: “jam tarts”. This would ideally be punctuated by a photo opportunity involving candidly brushing my hands off onto my apron. While I have not purchased puff pastry for myself to relive my childhood, I remain a secret butter sneaker; enjoying the butter that was meant to be for greasing the trays nearly as much as licking the bowl.
Now that I’m an adult, I can slither off bits of butter from time to time and call it low carb dieting. Or I can brown the butter and call it genuinely delicious.
I’m well aware that a lot of people have a problem with this word, but there’s no getting around this: this loaf is moist.
The building blocks of many of my day dreams is to come up with a desired flavour combination and then challenge myself to offset it with a contrasting texture to keep things exciting. What’s happening here is pretty obvious: fresh lemon zest highlights the white chocolate swirled through, with the dense texture of the loaf yielded with the ground almonds and further enhanced by the crushed roasted almonds within the cake itself and also on top of the lemon drizzle. For something so simple, it stands up as an elegant afternoon tea (or in this cake, pre-midnight snack) in its own right.
Apparently all I like to do is cut things into quadrilateral pieces, because slices (bars) are becoming a bit of a treat theme here. I was vaguely disappointed to discover that beyond my contribution, the only other St. Patrick’s-related adornment to my workplace were some clover-printed socks (concealed with scrubs). I was unintentionally overzealous with the green food colouring when making the peppermint filling, and I initially intended for it to be a rather elegant shade of light pistachio. Not the case. Thankfully the garish colour did nothing to put people off, even a few chocolate-mint naysayers (someone even went as far as to say that things were always more delicious when covered in green icing. I’m not so sure I agree with such hyperbole but gold star for enthusiasm). I was inspired by Jane’s Patisserie for this recipe, but also used what I had on hand to make a slightly more robust filling to the slice, because apparently I like things thick like that.
No bake slices are so easy – they’re pretty much the ultimate method of combining various delicious things, so it’s hardly surprising that these taste good. They’re very forgiving and totally adaptable for whatever you want to stuff them with.