{Pots n' Pans} Over On Heart Home ...

20 June 2014

Over on Heart Home today I am sharing my pick of pots, pans and oven dishes, along with some of my favourite recipes that are perfect for such vessels.

This is the third in my series of product post for Heart Home. Past posts in this series include breakfast and cake stands


Some women have a weakness for shoes. I have a weakness for beautifully designed kitchenware.

Images: left to right - John Lewis | Yummy Supper

A Flourless Chocolate Cake + Holiday Planning

13 June 2014

Have you planned you sumer holiday yet? Over the last couple of weeks we have. Flights are booked and the countdown has begun in earnest (though it's not until mid August). This year we are off to Finland and we are all extremely excited at the prospect. 

Our friend is letting us stay at her family summerhouse. It's a place that really has the best of both worlds. It's only a mere half-an-hour or so from Helsinki, yet it's pretty isolated, surrounded by pine trees and vast lakes. It will be the break we'll need: days free of agenda to kick back and relax combined with days of exploring a capital city I have always been fascinated by.

Over the weekend, our generous Finnish friend came over for lunch, with her husband and children and gave us a fantastic list of places to see and things to do and to impart some 'general Finnish knowledge' on us.

We ate Tahini-dressed courgette and green bean salad, with cheeses, sourdough and focaccia. Afterwards we indulged in this seriously chocolatey cake. Made without flour, it's rich and indulgent with a texture not to dissimilar to a chocolate brownie. The recipe originates from a Sophie Dahl cookbook I own, but I have made a few adaptions, mainly as I don't own a food processor, so I've adapted the method a little to suit my old-fashioned kitchen.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Butter for greasing
300g plain chocolate (or 150g of plain, 150g of milk chocolate)
225g caster sugar
180ml boiling water
225g salted butter, cut into cubes 
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
To top the cake:
125g blueberries
125g strawberries
a handful of pomegrante seeds
200ml crème fraîche

Grease and line the base of a 23-cm/9-inch round springform cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180℃/160℃ fan/Gas 4.

Break up the chocolate and add to a bowl and suspend over a pan of gently simmering water and melt, stirring occasionally. Then pour the melted chocolate and butter into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, boiling water, egg yolks, coffee powder and vanilla extract and mix until combined. In a glass bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and then add them to the mixture in the large mixing bowl and blend for 10 seconds or so. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and put in the hot oven for 45–55 minutes. The top will be cracked like a desert fault line.

After you take the cake out of the oven it will collapse in on itself quite a bit. This is ok; it’s not meant to be a proud cool cake, it’s meant to be slightly rough around the edges and home-made, and the crème fraîche and berries will hide any dips and cracks!

Let the cake cool, then put it in the fridge for a few hours. When you are ready to serve, remove from the tin and smother it in crème fraîche and liberally adorn with strawberries, blueberries and pomegrante seeds. You can indeed use any berries you like such as raspberries, blackberries or beautiful summer currants.

Orange & Almond Cake {again}

6 June 2014

Yesterday evening I baked a couple of Orange & Almond cakes for The Hive, and taking advantage of the early morning light, I took a few pre-breakfast shots before delivering the cakes. I can almost make this cake with my eyes shut, I've made it so often. I actually featured it here on the blog three years ago (three years!!!). With a new image and the fact that this recipe really has withstood the test of time, I am cheekily (or lazingly) repeating it for those who it may have bypassed the first time around.

Orange & Almond Cake.

Makes 12 slices

6 medium free-range eggs
300g golden caster sugar
200g ground almonds 
1 large orange
2 tbs water

Grease and line a 25cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas2.

Separate 3 of the eggs, putting the whites aside in a mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining whole eggs in a large bowl.

Add 200g of the caster sugar and all of the ground almonds and mix thoroughly. Grate the zest of the orange and add this too, keeping the rest of the orange for later.

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Using a slotted metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the thick cake mix, a spoonful at a time. Be careful not to knock the air out of the whites.

Now pour this foamy cake mix into the lined tin and place in the oven for 35 - 60 minutes. The cake is ready when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Keep your eye on it and if it starts to brown to much, cover the top with foil.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin and make the syrup. Put the remaining 100g of sugar in small saucepan and add the juice from the orange and a few tablespoons of water. Place this on a really low heat in order to dissolve the sugar and slightly reduce the syrup. Using a toothpick, plant holes all over the cake and pour over the syrup. Allow the cake to cool and absorb the syrup before removing it from the tin.

Delicious served with a dollop of Crème fraîche and eaten in the sunshine.

{Breakfast} Over On Heart Home ...

5 June 2014

Over on Heart Home today I am sharing some of my favourite products for the breakfast table along with some of my recipe finds from a cluster of inspirational food blogs. If like me, you wake with a rumbling tummy, you'll love the recipe links - I plan to bake a batch of the Marzipan Dark Chocolate Scones (with raspberry Jam) for breakfast this weekend (You'll find a link to the recipe over on Heart Home).

This is the second in my new series of product posts for Heart Home. Last week the focus was on cake stands - if you missed it you can check it out here.

Images: left to right - Anthropologie | Green Kitchen Stories