Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake – Just the Thing for Halloween

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake Slice for Halloween

For years I’ve raged against the invasion of the very American Halloween and associated trick or treating; in the UK, we have All Hallows Eve, from which Halloween is derived. Just five days later we have our very own Guy Fawkes Night, with its pagan effigy burning associations – OK Guy Fawkes was a Catholic, but never mind. Well, finally I’ve come to the conclusion that if you can’t beat them you’d better join them and this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake seemed like a good start. In fact I had no choice; this month’s We Should Cocoa theme is Halloween.

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Chocolate Pear Cardamom Upside-Down Cake

Cake, Large Cakes | 27th September 2014 | By

Harvest festival meets Random Recipes meets Clandestine Cake Club in this post. As we had a hard challenge for August, Dom has gone easy on us this month and it’s back to the basics of picking a random book from our collection and then a random recipe from that book. I used my usual Eat Your Books method of selection and came up with a recipe for a simple chocolate pear upside-down cake in Jennifer Donovan’s book Chocolate. Happily this pick coincided with a Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club gathering on Thursday where the theme was harvest festival. And to tie it all together in a nice little bundle, my mother turned up with a jar of pears that she’d just poached. All sorted.

I had to add my own twist of course, so apart from using poached pears rather than raw ones, I substituted the vanilla for cardamom. The cake was fudgy and chocolatey, but the cardamom and pear stopped it being too sweet and sickly. It was in fact a delicious cake I will be repeating and the good folk at cake club seemed to enjoy it.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Pear Cardamom Upside-Down Cake

  • Melted 200g butter with 200g of dark 70% chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat.
  • Stirred in 150g cardamom sugar (golden caster sugar) and left to cool a little.
  • Beat in three duck eggs (large hens eggs will be fine) with 1 drop of the excellent Holy Lama cardamom extract (or the ground seeds from 1-2 cardamom pods, depending on how subtle you want the flavour).
  • Sifted in 120g self-raising flour and stirred gently until just combined.
  • Sprinkled 3 tbsp of dark brown sugar over the base of a 9″ round silicon mould.
  • Lay 12 pear quarters on top of the sugar then poured the batter over the top.
  • Baked at 180℃ for 30 minutes until just done.
  • Left to cool for about ten minutes, then turned the cake upside down onto a serving plate.

 

The harvest festival theme resulted in a bounty of fruit and vegetable cakes. The cake shown here completely stole the show, but they were all very tasty and yes, I did manage to try a piece of each! An independent wine merchant with accompanying champagne and coffee bar, Bin Two in Padstow, was our venue and some of the participants seemed much more interested in the wine than they did in the cake. The shop included a cafe bar, so we all crowded and got up close and cosy. Thanks as always to Ellie Mitchell for organising another splendid cakey gathering.

Bin Two were hosting a Macmillan Coffee Morning the following day, so I also brought along a few oaty ginger biscuits. These were quite fiery as they were not only flavoured with ground ginger but included crystallised ginger too. CT got almost grumpy when he was only allowed to try one.

So this is another success I put down to Dom and his Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen – such a fun and interesting challenge – most of the time anyway!

I had a bit of a dilemma trying to decide which of this month’s seasonal recipes should be sent to Simple and in Season – there have been so many good ones. But despite the rather prosaic nature of pear after the colours and flavours of blackberry and plum, this cake deserves recognition. Nazima of Franglais Kitchen is hosting this month on behalf of Ren Behan.

Coconut Chickpea Chocolate Cake (GF) – We Should Cocoa #46

The theme of this month’s Clandestine Cake Club was free as a bird. I have to say, I was somewhat stumped by this and the best I could come up with was a free to make whatever I liked cake. The theme for this month’s We Should Cocoa is gluten free, so that got me wondering. I’d also been sent some coconut oil and coconut nectar to use from Cocofina – review to follow in a later post. Suddenly it all clicked into place and I would do a free from cake – free from gluten, free from dairy, free from eggs and free from sugar (sugar in the everyday sense anyway).

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Chocolate Cake for £1 – We Should Cocoa #45

Malted Chocolate Cake

When I set this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge to make a chocolate cake for £1, I really wasn’t at all sure I would be able to do it. Many of the ingredients I use in baking are organic and thus relatively expensive. The chocolate, butter and eggs required for an 8″ round cake cost more than this alone. I knew I was going to have to compromise, but I still wanted it to taste good.

I went off to our local co-op and costed up some possible ingredients. There was no doubt about it, the butter would have to go.  As for the chocolate, I had a cunning plan! I would use drinking chocolate with just a smidgen of my Green & Black’s cocoa powder to give it some oomph. I was very lucky to pick up some real free range organic eggs from a farm shop recently that only cost 60p per half dozen – I normally pay twice that amount. I’d also recently bought five large bananas for £1 so figured I might be able to use one of those for added flavour. Then of course there was my dandelion honey that cost very little to make – things were looking up.

The question was, did I make a chocolate cake with eggs and without a banana (I couldn’t manage both) or did I make a vegan chocolate banana cake? Well I did both of course.

Malted Hot Chocolate Cake

  • 190g plain flour – 15p
  • 100g golden caster sugar – 17p
  • 40ml organic sunflower oil – 12p
  • 30g drinking chocolate – 17p
  • 1 tsp G&B cocoa powder – 3p
  • 20g Horlicks – 13p
  • 2 x organic eggs – 20p
  • 1 tsp baking powder + pinch of rock salt – 2p
  • 180 ml water – 0p
Grand Total = 99p

Banana Hot Chocolate Honey Cake

  • 190g plain flour – 15p
  • 100g golden caster sugar – 17p
  • 40ml organic sunflower oil – 12p
  • 40g drinking chocolate – 24p
  • 1 tsp G&B cocoa powder – 3p
  • 1 large banana – 20p
  • 2 scant tbsp dandelion honey – 6p
  • 1 tsp baking powder + pinch salt – 2p
  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar + 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda – 1p
  • 150 ml water – 0p
Grand Total = £1

Vegan Chocolate Banana CakeI managed to get both cakes within the £1 budget and felt inordinately pleased with myself for doing so. Both cakes were good, but the chocolate banana cake was splendid. It was bigger, had more flavour and a better texture. It reminded me of a banana version of sticky gingerbread. It was so good in fact, I think it might become my go to banana cake – what a revelation. CT tasted them both blind and detected the respective Horlicks and banana flavours; he thought that despite the difference in textures, both were chocolatey and tasty. The banana was light and fluffy in his opinion and the malted cake was firmer and CT reckoned redolent of childhood birthday party chocolate cakes.

Of the two, my entry to the #WeShouldCocoa £1 Chocolate Cake challenge is the Banana Hot Chocolate Cake. I’m really quite excited to see what others have come up with.

I’m also sending this off to Credit Crunch Munch with Camilla of Fab Food for All and Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. This month is being guest hosted by Gingey Bites. I’m not sure the credit for a chocolate cake can be crunched much more than this.

Vanesther of Banger’s & Mash participated in the Live Below the Line Challenge, so has come up with Cheap and Cheerful for this month’s Family Foodies event. My cakes fit the bill perfectly. This event is co-hosted by Lou over at Eat Your Veg.

Made from scratch and made with love, I am also submitting these cakes to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays.

Both of these cakes only took 20 minutes to knock up, but as the banana and honey cake has a nice sticky texture, I reckon it is the more dessert like of the two. Served warm with some custard or cold with clotted cream, it would be even more delicious. Normally hosted by Sarah of Maison Cupcake, Dead Easy Desserts is being guest hosted this month by Tina of The Spicy Pear.

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Malted Chocolate Cake

£1 Malted Hot Chocolate Cake

by May-6-2014
A quick and frugal cake made with drinking chocolate and Horlicks for flavour.
Ingredients
  • 190g plain flour
  • 30g drinking chocolate
  • 20g Horlicks
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • a pinch rock or sea salt
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 40ml sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 180ml water
Instructions
1. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.2. Beat the eggs with the oil and water.3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly add the liquid stirring gently as you go until all is just mixed.4. Pour batter into a prepared 8″ cake tin or mould and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.5. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: One 8″ cake

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Vegan Banana Chocolate Cake

£1 Banana Hot Chocolate Honey Cake

by May-6-2014
A frugal but delicious dairy and egg free chocolate banana cake. Real honey can be used for non vegans, but it works well with dandelion honey. Golden syrup could be substituted.
Ingredients
  • 190g plain flour
  • 40g drinking chocolate
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch rock or sea salt
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 40ml sunflower oil
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 150ml water
Instructions
1. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.2. Mash the banana in with the oil, then add the vinegar and water.3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly add the liquid stirring gently as you go until all is just mixed.4. Pour batter into a prepared 8″ cake tin or mould and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180℃ for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.5. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: One 8″ cake

Honey & Walnut Yogurt Semolina Cake

Yogurt Semolina Cake

Before Christmas, I was sent vouchers to buy some Greek Gods yogurt to try. However, it was a few weeks before I was able to get to a store that sells them, which was no bad thing given the amount of Christmas baking I ended up doing. Greek Gods yogurt is all about the honey. There is something about thick creamy yogurt and honey which speaks to me of the Middle East. It is a thick Greek style yogurt and is quite delicious as a dessert in its own right. There is no mistaking the honey flavour which comes through quite strongly; I find it very pleasant. The yogurt is a little too sweet for me to eat on my morning muesli; I prefer plain yogurt best for this purpose. On reading the ingredients I noticed there is added sugar as well as honey. Does it really need both? Served with fruit or with puddings instead of cream, however, it would work splendidly. The texture is quite firm, almost solid but smooth and creamy too. It reminded me of the yogurts I used to eat in Switzerland, which were quite different to those then found in the UK.

The Greek Gods range is available at Sainsbury’s stores nationwide and retails at £1.99 for a 450g pot and 99p for a 175g one.

I chose a 450g pot of their honey yogurt, a 175g pot of honey and vanilla and a 175g pot of honey and walnut.  Any of these yogurts, including the honey and clementine which I didn’t buy, would work well I thought in a yogurt semolina cake recipe. However, it was the honey and walnut version that particularly grabbed my attention and it whispered seductively: basbousa.

When I lived in Egypt many years ago, one of my favourite sweet treats was basbousa – a syrupy cake made with semolina and honey. In the sweet shop I particularly favoured, it was served with something that was suspiciously like clotted cream. My Arabic was never good enough to find out exactly what it was, but that’s my bet and I do know something about clotted cream. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to recreate the wonder that was basbousa, but I’ve never managed it. This could of course be false memory syndrome and nostalgia getting in the way. Whatever the reason, I now have a particular fondness for yogurt semolina cakes. I made one recently as part of a 60th birthday celebration and it proved to be popular.

Basbousa

Traditionally, basbousa is made without eggs and is quite a dense cake. I thought I’d try making a lighter textured version, so included eggs and a little flour.  I decided to use white chocolate, which I’ve found works really well in cakes. I reduced the amount of butter and sugar needed accordingly. Nuts are generally used for decoration and are not included in the actual bake, but inspired by the Greek Gods honey and walnut yogurt, I thought walnuts would marry well with the flavours of honey, lemon and rose.

And I was right. the walnut yogurt worked brilliantly in this cake. The result was a substantial yet light cake which was moist with a slightly chewy texture. Not surprisingly  it tasted of honey and walnuts. Any self respecting Greek god would be delighted to tuck into this on Mount Olympus. We had to make do with Bodmin Moor, but there are compensations; we ate ours with clotted cream. Proper Job.

This is my Y for Yogurt Cake entry to Alpha Bakes which is hosted by Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline of Caroline Makes.

I was sent some vouchers to buy Greek Gods yogurt. There was no requirement to write a positive review. As always, all opinions are my own.

This is my tribute to basbousa.

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Basbousa

Honey and Walnut Yogurt Semolina Cake

by Choclette January-19-2014
A dense but delicious nutty cake made with semolina and yogurt which is then soaked in a sweet citrus and rose honey syrup. It is very simple to make.
 
Ingredients
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 75g white chocolate
  • 200g semolina
  • 50g wholemeal flour
  • 100g walnuts
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g Greek yogurt (walnut & honey flavour)
  • 120g 120g caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • juice and grated rind lemon
  • 1 tbsp rose water
 
Instructions
1. Melt the butter and white chocolate in a pan over low heat.2. Grind the walnuts roughly (I used a coffee grinder).3. Sift the semolina, flour and bicarb into a bowl then stir in the walnuts.4. Make a well in the middle and break in the eggs. Stir from the centre a little. Add the yogurt and stir a little further towards the edges. Add the butter and stir until all incorporated.5. Grate in the lemon zest and stir once more.6. Turn into a greased or lined 8″ sq, cake pan and bake at 180C for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.7. Meanwhile dissolve the sugar in the water in a pan over a low heat. Then add the honey and lemon juice and simmer for about 10 minutes when the syrup should have thickened and reduced. Remove from the heat and add the rosewater.8. Pour slowly over the hot cake making sure all is covered. It will seem like a lot of liquid, but the cake will absorb it all. Leave until cold, then turn out of the tin and cut into squares or diamonds.
 
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 slices

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake – We Should Cocoa #41

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

A friend recently passed on a recipe for me to chocolatify. He reckoned that not only was this cake unusual, with its inclusion of Jerusalem artichokes, but it was also possibly the best cake he’d ever made. I was intrigued. At this time of year we have no problem getting hold of this particular root vegetable as it grows, almost of its own volition, down on our plot. I adore the taste of artichokes, but do find them a real pain to clean, so I don’t use them as often as I probably should. The cake includes roasted hazelnuts and I could see how well these would work with the nutty flavour found in artichokes.

I had planned to follow the recipe as written, apart from adding chocolate and using my usual half wholemeal, half white flour mix of course, but things went a little awry.  I didn’t have any raisins for a start, so had to substitute sultanas. But mostly, I didn’t read the recipe carefully enough. I ended up using a different method entirely and added all of the sugar (50g more than I should have) to the cake rather than reserving some of it for the icing – oops! I also didn’t think I needed to peel the artichokes, which I scrubbed well cutting out any bad bits.

Some time before Christmas, I was sent three lovely bags of Cacao Barry chocolate drops. This is a new range of high quality couverture chocolate they have introduced. It uses a new fermentation method which purportedly gives a more intense taste. The Q-Fermentation TM method uses natural ferments found in the plants and soil of the plantation which is said to give a purer bean with a fuller flavour. I’m looking forward to trying the chocolate out in a few sophisticated recipes where the flavour can shine through. However, I decided as there were so many lovely ingredients in this cake it would be good to use a special chocolate too. From previous experience, I’ve found that milk chocolate chips tend to work better in this type of cake as a very dark chocolate can sometimes take over rather than enhancing. The 41% Alunga milk chocolate seemed ideal. With its strong caramel notes and high cocoa content, I found it hard to stop dipping into the bag as I went along. I’m looking forward to trying the Inaya 65% and Ocoa 70% dark chocolates in due course.

This is how I made:

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

  • Added 1 tbsp brandy to a bowl filled with 120g sultanas and placed it on the heater to soak in for about an hour.
  • Toasted 80g hazelnuts in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until the nuts had browned a little and the skins had loosened. Left to cool, then rubbed the nuts in a piece of kitchen towel to remove the skins. Chopped roughly.
  • Grated 200g of well scrubbed and trimmed Jerusalem artichokes in food processor.
  • Creamed 150g unsalted butter with 200g soft brown sugar (should have been 150g).
  • Beat in the brandied sultanas.
  • Beat in 3 large eggs, one by one and alternating with a little of the flour.
  • Sieved in 200g flour (half wholemeal, half white), 1 level tsp baking powder, 1 scant tsp bicarbonate of soda, a large pinch of rock salt, 1 tsp cinnamon and a good grating of nutmeg (about 1/2 tsp).
  • Stirred this in lightly together with the nuts and 50g chocolate drops (41% milk).
  • Folded in the artichokes.
  • Scraped mixture into a deep 8″ lined cake tin and baked for about 1 hour at 180°C (recipe stated 30 minutes, but mine was still almost raw at that stage) until well risen, brown and an inserted skewer came out almost clean.
  • Allowed to cook in the tin for 15 minutes, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Beat 180g cream cheese (should have been 200g, but that was all I had) with 40 light brown sugar.
  • Grated in the zest of an organic lemon and squeezed in nearly half of the juice.
  • Beat it all together then slathered over the top of the cake.
  • Shaved some dark chocolate over the top.
Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

I couldn’t have told you there were Jerusalem artichokes in the cake, but wow, I’m sure they added to the overall nuttiness. This cake was truly delicious: chewy, crunchy, moist and abundant. The Alunga buttons left chocolatey hotspots throughout the cake which contributed nicely to the overall richness of taste. The sharp lemony icing offset the additional sugar I added by mistake and the cake, thankfully, wasn’t too sweet at all. It was similar to a carrot cake, only, dare I say it, much nicer.

How can I put this politely? I didn’t notice any, er, unfortunate consequences to eating the Jerusalem Artichokes in this way, so it got a double thumbs up from us.

This is my offering for this month’s We Should Cocoa. Linzi over at Lancashire Food is kindly hosting and has asked us to combine an ingredient we have never used with chocolate before. I was initially going to send over the paprika and cocoa roasted cauliflower that I made earlier in the month, but in the end decided this was a more unusual and worthy entry. I can honestly say, that I have never until now, eaten Jerusalem artichokes and chocolate together.

I am also using this as my entry to Family Foodies over at Bangers & Mash. The theme this month is Hidden Goodies. These artichokes are very well hidden and I suspect few would ever guess as to what the cake contained. This challenge is co-hosted by Lou at Eat Your Veg.

Not only made from scratch, but some of it grown from scratch too, I’m sending this off to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays.

As this is the most exciting recipe I’ve posted this week, I’m entering it into Recipe of the Week with Emily of A Mummy Too.

Chilli Cardamom Cranberry Upside Down Cake for Clandestine Cake Club

Large Cakes | 8th December 2013 | By

 

It was the last Clandestine Cake Club of the year and to cheer us up through the dank, dark days of November, the theme was “a splash of colour”. Time was of the essence, I had to leave the house at 8:30 to get to the venue at Truro for 10:00 and I had to do my bake that morning. So not only something colourful, but something simple was also needed. I knew the very thing. I’ve made Nigella’s Cranberry Upside Down Cake from How to be a Domestic Goddess before and it was very well received. However, this time I felt the addition of some warming chilli would not go amiss – so the last vestiges of my Dartmoor Dragon bar winged its way into the mix. Talking of dragons, I’m looking forward to the next instalment of The Hobbit, coming to a cinema near you sometime very soon.

So literally hot out of the oven and into the back of the car, off we headed to Truro. Who needs an air freshener when they have hot cake on board? We had a wonderfully fragrant drive.

This is how I made:

Nigella’s Cranberry Upside Down Cake

  • Melted 50g unsalted butter in a large pan.
  • Added 175g cardamom sugar (golden caster) and left on the heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Removed from the heat and stirred in 200g fresh cranberries. Left to one side.
  • In a large bowl, melted 20g white chilli chocolate (Dartmoor Dragon)
  • Creamed 200g cardamom sugar (golden caster) with 200g unsalted butter until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
  • Beat in a pinch of rock salt.
  • Beat in 4 medium eggs alternately with a spoonful of the flour (see next line).
  • Sifted in 200g flour (half wholemeal, half plain), 1 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp mesquite powder (optional).
  • Stirred in 4 tbsp sour milk.
  • Turned the cranberries and sugar into a 23cm cake mould, then piled the batter on top.
  • Baked for 40 minutes at 180C. Left in the mould to cool for a few minutes, then turned out onto a plate.

Though I say it myself, the cake was absolutely scrummy and benefited, I felt, from the addition of white hot chilli chocolate. It seemed to go down well with the others at CCC too. It was moist with a  good flavour and the tartness of the berries offset the general sweetness. Heavens, that naga chilli, even in such a small quantity, still had a bit of a kick to it. It wasn’t as fast acting as my previous bakes, but it crept up on you and left a warm glow in the back of the throat. Cranberries aren’t just for turkeys.

The colour of my cake wasn’t quite as vibrant as some, but it held its own both in looks and taste. A splash of colour was a particularly appropriate theme, given our venue was an art shop in Truro. The name of the cake was also appropriate: CCC for the CCC. Thanks go as always to our splendid organiser Ellie Michell and to Truro Arts Company for the splendid venue.

Coffee at Truro Arts Company

 

A splash of cakey colour
 
Loved this red stripy teapot
I’m entering this into Four Seasons Food with Anneli over at Delicieux and Louisa at Eat Your Veg. The theme is Party Food and it just so happens that I baked this yet again yesterday for a friends party. 
 
I’m also sending it off to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays.
 
Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes is doing a Fresh Cranberry Link Up, so linking up is what I’m going to do.

 

Lemon and Almond Cake and a Giveaway #33

 This cake is the one I had wanted to make for CTs birthday – he likes these flavours and they seem sort of light and summery somehow. Fates conspired as they often do and he ended up not getting a birthday cake at all – well not until now anyway. I’ve been awaiting delivery of a much coveted silicone cake mould from the ingenious Mustard. I have seen several cakes made with it on the internet over the last few weeks and I was keen to try it for myself. Its scalloped edges resemble a daisy flower which cunningly, when cut into six slices, comes out in a series of heart shapes. As well as being quite sturdy for a silicone mould, it’s nice and deep too, so it can make one very deep cake or can be cut into two or even three and sandwiched with something delicious.

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Chocolate Blackcurrant Buckle

Chocolate Blackcurrant Buckle aka Blackcurrant Crumble Cake

Large Cakes | 6th August 2013 | By

Blackcurrant Buckle is one of the cakes I grew up with, but I haven’t made it for many many years and indeed I don’t even know where the recipe is – buried in one of my mother’s piles of clippings somewhere I suspect. When I was unexpectedly given a punnet of blackcurrants the other day, I decided on the spur of the moment, now was the time to try chocolate blackcurrant buckle or blackcurrant crumble cake if you prefer.

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Rhubarb and Rose Polenta Cake – Random Recipes #30

The task this month from Belleau Kitchen was to select our 30th cookbook and then make the recipe from whatever was on page 30 – this is the 30th RR after all. I always approach Random Recipes with some trepidation as you just never know what you might get landed with, but off I went to Eat Your Books to find my 30th cookbook. In case you’ve missed it, I have a giveway running at the moment for a lifetime’s membership of Eat Your Books – I can’t recommend it highly enough. As it happened, I struck lucky and my 30th book was Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. For many years, this was the only book on my bookshelf dedicated to baking, so I know it well. Now that I have many others, I don’t use it as often; I was glad to be persuaded to renew my acquaintance. It also meant, that with any luck I might be able to enter this into Forever Nigella.

The next task was to go and find the book and turn to page 30 – Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake. Now this couldn’t have been more opportune. I made this cake once before, many years ago, so I already knew it was a good one. I was shortly to be baking for Liskeard’s first pop-up cafe and was wondering what gluten-free bake I could include. With a little tweaking, namely substituting the wheat flour for buckwheat, this would do very nicely, I thought. The addition of white chocolate could only improve things and would allow it to appear on Chocolate Log Blog. I’ve already established that rose and rhubarb make for a fine combination, so I wanted to include some rose syrup here for added interest.

So this is how I made:

Rhubarb and Rose Polenta Cake

  • Washed and trimmed the rhubarb, cutting it into ½ cm slices.
  • Placed in a bowl and covered with 100g of cardamom sugar (caster) to extract some of the juice. Added 4 tbsp rose syrup.
  • Melted 50g white chocolate (G&B) in a bowl over hot water.
  • Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 150g cardamom sugar (caster) until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the cooled chocolate.
  • Beat in 2 large duck eggs, one at a time.
  • Sifted in 150g buckwheat flour, 155g fine cornmeal, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, ¼ tsp salt and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • Stirred in 250g natural yogurt alternately with the flour until just combined.
  • Gently stirred in the rhubarb and juice.
  • Poured into a 23cm cake mould and baked at 180° C for about 50 minutes until the top was well risen and springy to the touch.
  • Covered with tin foil after the first 30 minutes to prevent the top burning.
  • Left to cool for 20 minutes, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dusted with icing sugar and scattered with rose petals.

The bake came an honourable second behind the most popular one, the chocolate cake. Sadly, I didn’t get to try any, but I had very good feedback and all of it disappeared. The very first person to try anything was gluten intolerant, so she was delighted to have something tasty she could eat.

I am entering this into Random Recipes, an excellent if somewhat adrenalin-inducing monthly challenge run by Dashing Dom of Belleau Kitchen.
And I did indeed strike lucky with Forever Nigella, a monthly challenge from Sarah of Maison Cupcake. This month Victoria of A Kick at the Pantry Door is hosting and luckily for me, she has chosen Party Party. I think this is a fitting contribution to any celebration.
It’s been a while since I entered Made with Love Mondays, a weekly challenge from Javelin Warrior, whereby everything must be made from scratch.

As I used rose syrup in the cake, made with my own roses, I am entering this into Cooking with Herbs with Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

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