2nd January 2014
For those of you who don’t know IMK, Celia curates an ever growing list of lovely bloggers who share things happening in their kitchens across the world. Click on the link to go to Celia @ FIgjamandlimecordial.com to find out more. I don’t have lots of wild and exotic things to show you that arrived for Christmas as I spent Christmas on the beach but you might like to see these photos anyway from my Bristol kitchen.
My current favourite thing to do with dough is to make the date syrup kefir dough with a healthy scoop or two of stoneground wholemeal in the mix and then shape it into a loaf and a tray of rolls. I am somewhat enamoured of rolling the rolls in sesame seeds before leaving them for their final prove as I love the taste that sesame seeds add to the dough and it makes a change from the usual floury tops I tend to make. These rolls use about 85 – 100 g of dough and bake on a tray in about 20 minutes at 210-220º C. They freeze well and are very good for slicing for emergency toast, for a lunch as here, and perfect stuffed with salami for a picnic.
I also continue to bake the semolina BBQ buns (aka duvet bread) from Dan Lepard’s recipe even though it is not BBQ time of year, here we had them with grilled halloumi, avocado salsa and home made coleslaw and they were pretty good.
I made a couple of batches of biscuits from this old Dutch mould lent to me by my father. I had often looked at it hanging on the wall and wondered how it worked so when I read this recipe for speculaas on the Dutch Weekend Bakery site, I thought I would like to have a crack at it. I was very pleased with how they came out. We put lots of white pepper in our spice mix so they had quite a kick!
Before Christmas I ordered a new bundt tin on a whim and it finally arrived a few days ago – it has sat there saying, ‘Go on, bake a cake, I need my potential to be fulfilled’ – (these New Age cake tins have been reading all together too many self-help books over Christmas) but there was some truth in what the tin said, what was the point of it just sitting there, in the same way as those biscuit boards hung on a wall for decoration.
Yesterday I picked a random bundt recipe from the first page of my search results which was this one for a chocolate almond bundt cake from the BBC Good Food site and this was the result.
It reminds me vividly of a cake I ate as a child; the Mandorle Dolce flavouring from Bakery Bits (incredibly strong, you need less if you make this recipe and use this for the almond essence) and slightly grainy texture that ground almonds give to a cake, the bits of chocolate chips, the flavour of cocoa. It is always fun to try and make a marble cake, though you do end up with alarming numbers of bowls to wash up.
Anyway, the sighs of relief when the cake popped out on to the cooling rack were audible. It works well as an afternoon tea cake and it has been requested as a repeat bake. I don’t think I have quite got the marbling technique right, but I am easily pleased. Any tips from you expert marblers out there would be welcome!
I baked it for the lower end of the recommended time 40 minutes in a fan oven at 160 C.
Finally a photo of a surprise light show, nothing to do with cakes but I wanted to show you this. I came downstairs and on the table my old Rorstrand Bla Eld (Blue Fire) fruit bowl had this extraordinary halo of light all around it. It is a reflection caused by the sun being so low in the sky and hitting the slightly embossed glazed pattern on the outside of the bowl (which is a stylized ear of wheat pattern). I was entranced – I hope you like it too!