Thursday, June 09, 2011

What's on the table?

Finally returning with a Thursday food post after a few weeks' hiatus!  Need to do something normal right now after the emotional strain of the last week so here goes.

My favourite meal this week was Tuesday's tea: homemade cheese and onion quiche, warm from the oven; watercress and rocket salad dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar; steamed peas and courgettes [zucchini] with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic; and steamed broccoli.  Mmmm!

Baking... this weekend it's going to be cheesecake for Dan's cousin's birthday, flavoured with a bit of lemon and, for a tasty twist, the insides of a vanilla pod.  Last weekend I made Nigella's incredibly dark Guinness cake with its addictive creamy topping as a treat for our friend Beth, who's off to the States for three months.  The week before that it was Andrea's chocolate oil cake for our friend Kemp's birthday.  That cake... it was my most favourite yet.  I have to confess, I've been drifting away from the tried and tested legendary chocolate fudge cake in favour of Andrea's slightly healthier version.  Anyway, I made it with coconut oil, and sandwiched it together with a vanilla butter icing.  This wasn't just any vanilla butter icing, though.  It had two tablespoons of finely ground fresh coffee folded into it.  And that's not all.  I melted a bar of Green and Black's espresso chocolate, stirred it into the remaining vanilla butter icing, and iced the cake with it.  Finely ground fresh coffee grounds adorned the top of the cake. Scrumptious doesn't even begin to describe the levels of flavour in that cake.  Of course, if you don't like coffee, forget about it.  But for those of us who do... Oh. My. Goodness. 

I actually used organic Swiss decaf beans for all the ground coffee in the cake, to minimise the caffeine impact.  However, the Green and Black's bar definitely contained large amounts of caffeine, and so did the cocoa in the cake, so... it's possible that the caffeine content was still dynamically high.  I don't even want to think about what would happen if I gave that cake to my kids!

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