Saturday, 21 January 2012

Chocolate florentines

Appearances can be deceiving. Take these for example. These were a disaster. I would say an unmitigated disaster, because that does sound rather dramatic, but I did manage to salvage at least 5.

16 beautifully formed mounds of almonds, pecans and cherries went into the oven. A giant bubbling puddle of caramel and nuts came out. Cue a frantic Emily muttering "No no no no no no no you dicks" while she tried desperately to prod them back into some kind of circle.

So, no recipe for these babies, because I wouldn't want to inflict that kind of stress on anyone. Does anyone else get stressed when baking goes wrong? My best friend still laughs at me for the time two meringue mixtures failed on me and I had to go have a lie down because I felt ill.

They still tasted good though.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Coffee and Walnut Loaf Cake

I know what you're thinking, "More cake? Really? But I promised myself I'd be healthy this year...", and I'm thinking it too! I am! However, I am hindered in my plan to eat only healthy, dull things by the sheer quantity of cookbooks I got for Christmas, included both Hummingbird Bakery ones, Heston Blumenthal at Home, Lorraine Pascale's new one [though I find her very irritating, I have to concede that she does have some good simple recipes], and Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet. Get ready for some baking, compadres.

This is a bit of a lovechild between a coffee chocolate cake and a walnut and honey cake from the Hummingbird Bakery, because I was craving a coffee walnut cake AND I had all the ingredients all ready in my pantry. Don't you love it when that happens? It's like free cake!