Category : Cake, Desserts
This is my kind of health food.
Carbs are my weakness. I love bread, pasta, potatoes. I love to bake cakes and pies of all shapes and sizes. And don’t get me started on cookies. But of course, my doctor says I should try to avoid starches, as they are my weakness and I don’t want to wind up diabetic, and especially to avoid them in the evenings. Now, I can skip pastas, and minimize the potatoes and bread, but to do that and not even get dessert? Seriously? So I went searching for flourless recipes. Now, as a disclaimer: this is low-carb, but it is far from low-cal. It’s full of fat, so don’t gorge yourself on it. But I stand by the fact that, compared to eating straight frosting to try to sate a sweet tooth, this is definitely healthy. To make it lower carb, you can use a sugar substitute or agave
Flourless Chocolate Torte
This weekend just gone Doug and I had plans to fly down to Bristol for a friends 30th birthday party. And then a volcano erupted in Iceland and grounded flights accross Europe. If this was a movie plot I would have rolled my eyes in disbelief. So our flights turned into a seven hour drive down after work on Thursday and another equally long drive for Doug (the only driver) on the Sunday. I, the passenger, was greatly inconvenienced too as I had planned to use the wi-fi at the airport to write a blog post. In fact the only upside to driving down the M6 this weekend was that we got to visit the Tebay service station AKA Westmorland Farm Shops AKA the best motorway services in Britain. Continue Reading
So, here is the recipe for my Cupcake Camp Seattle submission. Some of the ingredients are a bit on the weird side, but not impossible to duplicate with “close enough” items from your local grocery store. To explain the brewing process: aside from water, the ingredients of beer are hops, malted barley, and “specialty grains.” You add these things at various stages in the boil, then cool it and add yeast, then let the yeast eat those sugars and leave lovely alcohol in their wake. Specialty grain is just varying grains, but usually mostly more malted barley, that you steep (like tea) to add special flavors to the beer. You add roasted malt to porters and stouts, which is why they have notes of chocolate and coffee, it’s the same roasted taste. The main cake recipe involves these grains. For the filling, I actually found malted barley syrup (similar to what’s used in brewing) in the sweetener section of my grocery store. It tastes a lot like caramel…well, caramel and plain ovaltine. Which, if you can’t find malted barley syrup, is what I recommend you use. Lastly, hops are an intensely flavorful flower, associated with the bitter taste in beer. For the frosting, I recommend sticking with IPA because it’s so hoppy. Frankly, while my hubby loves the stuff, it’s normally way too hoppy for me. But with all the other sweetness surrounding it, it just gives a nice floral twist to the frosting that’s really, really nice. When you use the beer, you can choose to boil it, if you want to reduce the alcohol content and/or make the beer taste stronger, but it isn’t necessary, and even helps add fluff to the glaze.
As far as decorating, I baked these guys in straight-walled shot glasses. With the color of the cupcake and the semi-liquid consistency of the frosting/glaze, it makes it look just like a pint of your favorite ale with a frosty head on it…only tinier. And less frosty, more frosting. On the side, I used melted chocolate to make logos of our favorite local microbrews on the glass. If you want to go this route, remember to grease the shot glasses before adding the batter, thoroughly wiping off the outside before decorating, and when serving them provide something to get the cupcakes out (I used wee bamboo forks, used for serving appetizers).
Cupcake Camp Seattle was decidedly one of the craziest events I’ve witnessed. I knew there would be a lot of people there, but I had no idea…there were hundreds of people there! The line wound around the block, and despite there being over 5,000 cupcakes, they all disappeared in two hours. I developed a Beer cupcake (recipe to follow), baked in shot glasses to look like little pints of ale, submitted to the Seattle category, they were all microbrews. I realized I’d never really cooked for anyone who wasn’t a friend or family member, it was a crazy experience hearing people mentioning these creations I made, not knowing that their creator was listening in, or hearing people get disappointed when mine ran out and there was just a sign that showed them what they’d missed out on. Totally wild! Continue Reading
“People won’t read about salad, it sounds boring even though it tastes awesome” said Doug when I told him I was going to blog last nights dinner. Obviously I have ignored him. “Why not blog about the salad and the savoury muffins? They sound more interesting”. He’s right, I know he is, but this salad is brilliant. It’s savoury but sweetish and tangy and rich and crunchy and soft all at the same time. It deserves to be blogged about. And on it’s own rather than as a package deal designed to tempt more people into reading it.
If I’m being honest I’ve been racking my brain all week about what I should blog about. Don’t get me wrong we’ve had some lovely meals this week but they’ve just not been ready for the internet, like the chicken kebabs we had on Tuesday which need a lot more tweaking. Or too simple like Wednesday’s baked potatoes with salsa, guacamole, garlic mayo and grated cheese or, shockingly, something I’ve actually shown you before like prawn fajitas! Continue Reading