Thursday, September 6, 2012

Great cakes!

Can't quite decide whether these were a triumph or transcendent - on the border, so will give both ratings!
Great cakes!
So I have been cooking this year, just not posting. With autumn and winter approaching - my favourite seasons for food - I'll try and post more. 

But I can post on a couple of recent triumphs, both cakes. Baking cakes is something I've always found cathartic, and given a rather frustrating week at work, I felt the need to bake two. 

I decided to make one for a friend's birthday party I was invited to, and then another when I realised a colleague who complains he doesn't get cake in his office would be in town just before his birthday. 

Then the hard question of what to make. I have so many cook books and recipe scrapbook volumes, that I haven't looked into even half the recipes. Then I found two I had never made before that were easy, simple to make, and - more importantly - sounded delicious. 

For my colleague-who-never-gets-cake, I settled on melt-and-mix white chocolate cake with a dark chocolate glaze from Donna Hay's Modern Classics Book 2. Ms Hay is the queen of quick, simple cakes that taste delicious and this one was no exception. 
Melt-and-mix white chocolate cake
The sweet white chocolate and vanilla cake perfectly contrasted the slightly bitter dark chocolate glaze. The cake itself was not too dry, but did take a little longer than expected to bake. 

It was definitely a hit with all of my colleagues though, with some going back for seconds afterwards and there being none left at all by lunch the following day. 

The other cake I chose for the birthday party was a lemon and raspberry loaf cake. This came out of one of my recipe volumes, and I think it's from the cooking section of an edition of Perth's Sunday Times newspaper.

Although the recipe called for frozen raspberries, fresh ones are currently in season here in Switzerland, so decided to use those instead. It was a good choice, as I think the juice from the fresh berries made it delightfully moist. 

Lemon and raspberry loaf en fete
The flavour of tart lemon and raspberry complemented each other well, with the lemon coming through in the icing on top. Interestingly, several friends had a hard guess trying to pick the fruit that was in it (I hadn't told them), which I was a little surprised by; looked fairly obvious to me! At any rate, comments of 'great cake!' were backed up by the cake having been polished off with nothing left at the end. 

I think of the two, I preferred the taste of the white chocolate cake, but found the lemon and raspberry one easier to make (all done in Betty, my Kitchenaid) and it also turned out more moist, which is something I like in a cake. Thumbs up for both, and they'll definitely go into my list of tried, tested and trusted cake recipes.

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