Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Asparagus Tarts with a Pesto Surprise aka Asparagoose Tarts

Asparagus Tarts

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.


Lavender Chocolate Goose Egg Cake for Mother’s Day

Lavender Chocolate Goose Egg Cake with a rich chocolate ganache.

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.


Chocolate Victoria Sandwich with Lime Curd Buttercream

 Well it doesn’t look as though Blogger is going to bring back my lost post, so nearly one week on, I’ve decided to just clench my teeth and rewrite it.  Once again, I apologise for all the comments that were lost on this one and several of my other posts when Blogger went down.
Remember those wonderful sunny days littered with bank holidays that seem like a distant dream now? On one of those we staged our alternative to the Royal Wedding. Forget the thronging crowds of Pall Mall, we opted for a moorland walk followed by tea and cake. A Victoria Sandwich seemed appropriate, but one with a twist: a chocolate Victoria Sandwich hosting a generous layer of lime curd buttercream. I used Nigella’s recipe, substituting the cornflour with cocoa and using yogurt instead of milk. Once again, I was lucky enough to have acquired a goose egg, so this went into the mix too. Inspiration for the buttercream came from Little Bear Cakery with her lemon curd version. I of course used my lime and ginger curd.
This is what I did:
  • 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.
Once again we enjoyed tea, scones and cake in a lovely Cornish moorland garden. Having worked up an appetite, the cake vanished rapidly amid appreciative comments. The cake cut well; it was moist and very tasty but the star of the show was the buttercream. It was so delicious, it tasted just like lemon sherbets – why don’t they have lime sherbets I wonder?

Willie’s Cloud Forest Chocolate Cake & Goose Eggs

Gluten Free | 5th May 2011 | By

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 3 duck eggs or 4 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).

Willies cloud forest chocolate cake, is similar to my almond chocolate cake and Claudia Rodin’s gâteau au chocolat.

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.