It’s been a rather chilly spring here in the UK and picnics have not been high on our list of fun things to do. However, the sun is now giving off some much needed warmth and suddenly we want to get outside and picnics are very much on the agenda. These seasonal asparagus tarts are ideal picnic fare as they are portable and easy to pick up and eat with your hands. Why asparagoose tarts? Read on.
This dark rich lavender chocolate goose egg cake is made with a single egg. You can, of course substitute the goose egg with chicken eggs, but it’s well worth trying to get hold of one if you can. The cake is filled and covered with an unctuous chocolate ganache which is also flavoured with lavender. Ideal as a Mother’s Day cake and probably best enjoyed by adults.
- Creamed 225g unsalted butter with 225g vanilla sugar (granulated) until pale & fluffy.
- Beat in 1 goose egg (3 to 4 hens eggs).
- Sifted in 200g flour (50g wholemeal spelt & 150g white), 25g cocoa, 1 rounded tsp baking powder and a pinch of bicarb of soda.
- Stirred in 1 heaped tbsp Greek yogurt
- Spooned into two 22cm sandwich moulds and baked for 25 minutes at 180C until risen and firm to the touch.
- Left to cool for 10 minutes then turned out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Creamed 40g of unsalted butter with 80g icing sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Beat in 2 heaped tbsp of lime & ginger curd.
- Spread this over one of the cakes and put the other on top.
- Sprinkled with caster sugar.
After writing my post on duck eggs nearly two years ago and seeing the picture of a goose egg there, I’ve been yearning to get my hands on one ever since. Goose eggs are meant to be even better than duck eggs for baking. Well, I couldn’t quite believe it when I went to get my duck eggs from our local weekly produce market the other week. Right next to the duck eggs was a basket of three goose eggs. I bought one immediately. I’d only been gone about a minute when I turned around and raced back again to buy the other two. Who knew how long it might be before I’d be able to get my hands on another one? I’d been told goose eggs make particularly good fried eggs and scrambled eggs. Well it seemed a shame to scramble my first ever eggs, so we had one each, fried for breakfast that Saturday. They were enormous (see above comparison with duck egg) and virtually covered the whole plate. They also kept us going down at the plot for a good many hours.
So what was I going to use my remaining egg for? I’d been wanting to make Willie’s famous cloud forest chocolate cake ever since I first saw it, but was waiting for the right occasion. Well really, what could be more special than baking with a goose egg? Willie’s Chocolate Factory Cookbook was thus unearthed and I proceeded to melt his Venezuelan Black 100% cocoa. As the egg, although large wasn’t quite worth 6 chicken eggs and as I only had 160g of the cocoa, I made a smaller cake than the stated one and had to estimate the quantities. This is what I did:
- Grated 10g off the block of 100% cocoa.
- Melted the remaining 150g over a pan of hot water with 210g unsalted butter and left to cool a little.
- Whisked 1 goose egg (about 4 duck eggs or 5 hens eggs) with 40g light muscovado and 120g vanilla sugar (granulated) until thick and doubled in volume.
- Poured the chocolate down the side of the bowl so as not to knock the air out of the egg mixture then proceeded to fold in as gently as I could.
- Folded in 80g ground almonds.
- Poured into a 22cm cake mould and baked at 170C for 30 mins.
- Left to cool, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool further.
- Placed onto a cake stand and scattered over the grated cocoa (which then proceeded to melt as I hadn’t left the cake quite long enough to cool).
This had such a powerful chocolate smell whilst cooking, it made my stomach rumble even though I’d only just had lunch. Although the cake was meant to be iced, I thought it would be quite rich enough as it was – and it was! It was rich, dense, truffley and gorgeous. CT reckoned it was an adult only experience. The taste and aroma of chocolate was very strong. The texture was mousse like and more like a brownie than a cake. It wasn’t in the least bit sweet and had a robust underlying bitterness that was a bit like beer.