Monday, 26 April 2010

Margarita-Syrup Cake

Going back over my older posts I had the realization that I never posted the actual recipe......

While you enjoy the view of the mess that is my kitchen when we're having a baking session.....I found the precursor of this recipe in this amazing cookbook called 'Cook in Boots' by Ravinder Bhogal which is just a pure treasure-trove...the trifle this weekend was from there as well....well the general idea and the amazing custard that goes into the trifle....but i'll save that for another day...
So here we go...

Margarita-Syrup Cake
190g Butter
225g Sugar
350g Yoghurt
3 tbsp Tequila
4 Eggs
Zest of a lime
150g Self-raising flour
75g Semolina (go for the kind that is not too fine but don't go for the kind that is made from durum wheat.....)
75g Polenta
11/2 tsp Baking powder
75g Ground almonds

125g Sugar
Juice and zest of a lime
Juice of half an orange
6 tbsp Tequila
4 tbsp Cointreau

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and get out you 26cm springform tin, you'll want it lined with baking parchment but I wouldn't bother greasing it.

Cream the butter and the sugar together (if you're using an electric mixer that should probably take just under 5 minutes at a medium speed), mix in the yoghurt, tequila, egg yolks and the lime zest and give it another minute till it's all mixed in.
Add the dry ingredients and stir it until it's all well combined.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until you have those lovely peaks forming. I find if I add a pinch of salt this tends to be a lot quicker (not sure whether that's just superstition).
Anyhow....mix in about a third of the egg whites into the batter and make sure it's all well mixed in, then you fold in the rest of the egg whites. Apparently, if you mix in about a third of the egg whites with the batter the folding in is a lot easier (seems to do the job for me).
Once you have a lovely batter, pour it into the tin and bake it for something between 50 and 60 minutes.
Once you've taken the cake out of the oven and you are enjoying the most amazing smell in your kitchen you mix the sugar and the juice over a low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Take the syrup off the heat and add the tequila and the Cointreau and then you poke your lovely cake with a skewer....I know, it's a bit depressing to do that....but you'll get over it the second you pour the syrup over the cake and it all gets absorbed into the cake.
The syrup recipe is a bit more than you need but trust me, there won't be anything going to waste :)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Indoor Picknic

No recipe this time, but lots of previews for recipes :)
It was my birthday a while ago but since I seem to spend more time away from St Andrews than here I never had a chance to have a party. Anyhow, since I'm obviously living in the wrong country temperature-wise I decided to have a 1950s themed picknic in my flat....
I was thinking that what I'll do over the next few weeks I'll add some of the recipes of the cakes I made but will give you a taster of what's to come....

We had some Margarita-Syrup Cake....then we had Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (so the white ones at the front)....Vanilla and Rosewater Cupcakes with a Blueberry-Cream-Cheese Frosting (the pink ones)

And then we had some amazingly amazing Trifle (at the very back). I think I was most amazed by the Trifle because I realized I had never made custard from scratch (and let me just say I'm a convert) why do people use custard powder???? It takes just as long as making it from scratch and the difference in flavour is incredible. will follow when I get around to it....

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Northpoint Hot Chocolate

Up here in St Andrews we've got this cafe called Northpoint and they serve the most amazing griddle melts and do a decent American breakfast...but the best thing about them is their hot chocolate. They top it with marshmallows and cream (ok, so far not that exciting...) and then you can have maltesers on top or chocolate buttons or mini-oreos....when you feel down on one of those glum days in November....or actually at any point if we're being honest this is a real pick-me-up.
The last time I was down in London I went to Hope and Greenwod for the first time. It's this lovely old-fashioned confectioner's and they have the most amazing sweets! So when I saw their chocolate buttons I obviously had to buy some to make my own hot chocolate creation :)

So when another cold, windy, and generally horrendous day came along a couple of weeks ago they finally got their chance....pure joy in a cup :)

Friday, 2 April 2010


It's been ages - at the moment I keep going back and forth between St Andrews and London for a collaboration. So no time to cook - lots of time to eat out though.
Since I haven't made anything other than pasta in a while I thought I'd share some photos I took on my last trip.

After having gone to Primrose Bakery I feel like I should definitely make some cupcakes some time soon. I mean they looked lovely

but were a bit on the dry side. I've got this addiction thing going on with Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, especially the Red Velvet ones, and I got my mum the cookbook two years ago. It has a recipe for a Red Velvet cake in it but it's sooo much nicer as cupcakes.
I'll make some this weekend and post the photos.

I had this amazing spring vegetable soup at Le Pain Quotidien after we went to the V&A for a Friday Night thing....there was a DJ in PJ's....pure amazingness!!!!

And then I couldn't resist getting this chocolate mousse. It was a lot more like chocolate truffles that an actual mousse, I guess that's what made it so amazing

Anyhow, I hope I'll get back to properly cooking at some point soon - otherwise I'll just have to keep taking photos of food for a while. I'm going on a roadtrip in Georgia and Florida next month, I'm sure I'll find some amazing food there.

Any suggestions?
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