Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake, Not So Good Chocolate Muffins, and My Very Own Banana Muffins

Fancy, no?

As promiced, I have been up to more baking ^_^ Yup, I had a free Saturday and the need to bake, so I got going for some Sunday dessert.
I decided that I haven't really done anything new o
r interesting for a while, so I decided to try this from Nigella's 'Forever Summer', not exactly the weather for it, I know but it looked pretty.

Mmmm, cake!

  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100g soft, unsalted butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 375ml double cream
  • 250g strawberries (I used raspberries)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line, butter, and flour 2 X 22 cm Springform tins.
  2. Weigh out flour, cornflour, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Cream butter and 100g of the sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the butter and sugar.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients, add the vanilla, stir in the milk.
  6. Divide between the two tins.
  7. Whisk the egg whites 'til soft peaks form. Then add the remaining 200g egg whites. Spread meringue on top of sponge in each tin, sprinkle with almonds.
  8. Bake for 30-35 mins until meringue is dark golden brown. Let cool in tins, and spring open at last minute when ready to assemble.
  9. Whip double cream, hull and slice strawberries.
  10. Invert one cake and pile with cream and berries. Place the second cake on top, meringue side up.
All in all, I think this turned out quite well. I was a bit nervous about there being a really small amount of sponge, I was aftaid that it would just burn and be, shall we say, not so good. Then there was the whole problem with me not actually having two springform tins, but I did have once springform and one loose-bottomed, and that turned out okay. It is a bit delecate, but not half as fragile as I thought it would be. I could'nt get hold of any fresh strawberries, so I had to do with frozen raspberries, which were still pretty damn good.
Taste wise it was pretty much what you would expect, classic taste really. Meringue, raspberries, cream, and almonds, but I think the sponge gave it a little extra something, definitly worth the effort, and I think it looks pretty good too (thought my photos aren't so hot, I really have to try and take them before 12 at night >_<)


Then my sister, not being a fan of cream and fruit, asked me to make here some big ol' chocolate muffins with big, crusty tops and squishy insides. This all sounded pretty tasty to me, but I've yet to find a good chocolate muffin recipe in my cookbooks, so I went online and found one that I thought looked promicing. The results? Not so good, not worth posting the recipe. I mean, they were palatable, but you wouldn't buy them. They stuck to the wrapper, were quite dry (though I might have overbaked them a tiny bit) The only thing I can think of is that, since I ran out of coca powder half-way through, I had to use 25gs of drinking chocolate and reduce the sugar, but I don't think that could have effected them that much. All in all, I was none too happy. So, now I'm asking, anyone out there found their ultimate chocolate muffin recipe? And, if so, would you be willing to share your secrets?

My Very Own!

Finally, I decided to go on a baking adventure of my own! (wow, I sound really lame). I've been making recipes out of books for a long time now, and although I do modify them, I've never made my own. I had a craving for banana muffins and thought: Hey, let's try making up a recipe!
The results weren't bad. I decided to make them healthy, so there is wholemeal flour and not a lot of sugar. I think their lack of 'oomph' was due to this, I've had tastier, sugar-packed ones, but they had a wholesome quality and I'd have them again. Next time I would love to try substituting bran for some of the wholegrain flour, but I didn't have any at the time.
By the way, did you notice my adorable little muffin cases? I got them in habitat in Dublin, only one euro for twelve cases! I was DELIGHTED ^_^

Unfotunatly, in all my enthusaism I forgot to actually write the recipe down >_<>


Carla said...

I know Dorie has a chocolate muffin recipe in her book, but I haven't tried it yet. Seeing that it's Dorie and that I've had success with two of her muffin recipes so far, I would say it's worth a shot. If you don't have access to the book, I have a photocopied version of the muffin recipe since my library has the book. I could send you the recipe.

Doug Barnard said...

Tried making this before but couldn't get the food texture quite right. This recipe worked perfect, thanks!