Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Caker in New York!

My travel reading…Cherry Bombe magazine, it's the best.
I missed baking so much, I made a chocolate coconut raspberry cake for no particular reason.
My afternoon tea at Cafe Gitane.
Salted licorice and incredible chocolates (burnt caramel and gingerbread) from Dean and Deluca.
My favourite Polish donut shop called Peter Pan in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 
Bluebarb pie from Pies 'n' Thighs.
Mini mini cheesecakes at Smorgasburg.
Dessert pizza!
I have been assisting at Ovenly again this year, the loveliest bakery in Brooklyn. Here we make the most gloriously buttery scones (my favourite is strawberry and thyme), vegan chocolate chip cookies, salted peanut butter cookies, granola bars, and so much more. It's been great working in such a large scale commercial kitchen, where the order volumes are so high that there are bakers working (literally) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I walk home after work smelling like cinnamon and sugar.
My favourite dessert yet, which happens to be the simplest - a brioche and almond ice cream sandwich from Robertas. Utter perfection.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Caker x LittleMeats LA - a baking demonstration!

On September 13th I will be hosting a cake making class in LA! It will involve me demonstrating how to make 3 of my favourite wholesome and nutritious cake recipes. Please spread the word!
Email robin@littlemeatsla.com for more info.
x

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Recipe for my Seasonal Fruit Cake!


You can use any fruit you like in this cake!

Ingredients:
150g butter, softened
150g golden, unrefined caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 organic eggs
150g spelt flour
50g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup full fat unsweetened Greek yogurt
2 cups of any fruit you like, chopped or sliced

Icing:
200g cream cheese
½ lime juice
3 tbsp honey 

For the filling:
low sugar jam or lemon curd for in between the layers

To top with:
fresh or freeze dried fruit of your choice
drizzle of honey
fresh flowers

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Grease and line 2 x 22cm cake tins.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between each addition.
Sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix them in, along with the yogurt. Stop your electric mixer once all the ingredients are combined, do not over mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the two tins and dot in the fruit you're using, pressing the pieces down lightly with a spoon.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and continue to add all the other ingredients.
Once the cakes are cool, spread some raspberry jam onto one layer and place the other one, flipped upside down, on top to form a sandwich.
Ice the top of the cake with cream cheese icing and garnish as desired.

Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Recipe for my Gluten Free Raspberry, Almond Rosewater Muffins


Gluten Free Raspberry, Almond Rosewater Muffins


These muffins are lovely and moist and since they aren't overly sweet or buttery, you could even eat these wee cakes for breakfast!
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
250g ground almonds
pinch sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
2 large organic eggs
50g coconut oil, melted (or you could use butter)
1/4 cup runny honey

Rose Water Glaze

Ingredients:
150g gluten free, golden unrefined icing sugar, sifted
2–3 tbsp water
1 tsp rose water
1 drop of natural red food colouring (optional)
fresh or dried rose petals to decorate

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cupcake cases.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the dry ingredients.
Gradually mix in the melted butter and honey, being careful not to over mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the cupcake cases.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour and springy to the touch. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the rose water glaze. Mix the icing sugar, rose water and red food colouring with a whisk. If mixture is too thick, add more rose water; if too thin, add more icing sugar. The glaze should be pale pink, shouldn’t be too viscous and should fall slowly from the whisk.
Spoon on a small amount of glaze onto each muffin. Top with rose petals and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the glaze to set.

Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Recipe for my Triple Layer Orange, Blueberry and White Chocolate Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Triple Layer Orange, Blueberry and White Chocolate Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:
300g butter, softened
300g unrefined, golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 organic eggs
200g spelt flour
200g ground almonds
pinch sea salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsweetened, full-fat Greek yogurt
zest of one large unwaxed orange
1 cup good qualty white chocolate buttons
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Maple vanilla cream cheese icing:
400g cream cheese
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp pure maple syrup

To top with:
Blueberry Coulis
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp cream

Edible flowers for decoration

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Grease and line 3 x 22cm cake tins.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between each addition.
Sift in the flour, almonds, salt and baking powder. Mix them in, along with the yogurt and orange zest. Stop your electric mixer once all the ingredients are combined, do not over mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the 3 tins and dot in the white chocolate and blueberries, pressing them down lightly with a spoon.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Also make the blueberry coulis. Blend the berries, lime juice, maple and cream together. Taste for sweetness, and add a little more maple if you like, but the coulis should be tart.
Once the cakes are cool, spread a thin layer of icing onto one layer and place another layer on top. Do the same with the last layer to form a triple layer cake sandwich.
Ice the top of the cake neatly with the icing and garnish with some blueberry coulis and edible flowers.
Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Recipe for my almond butter and dark chocolate bites...

These babies are raw, vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. I absolutely love them.


Almond butter and dark chocolate bites

Ingredients:
Base
2 cups roasted unsalted almonds, skins still on
dash of coconut oil, melted
dash of maple syrup
generous pinch of sea salt sea salt

Filling
150g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
1/4 cup of toasted fine desiccated coconut
dash vanilla extract
1 cup almond butter

Directions:
Blitz the almonds in a food processor until a gritty powder forms, it's nice to leave some bigger bits too for extra crunch.
Add a small dash of coconut oil and maple syrup until a malleable dough is formed. 
Press the mixture into the base of a square 22cm cake tin, and place in the freezer.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
Add the vanilla and toasted coconut. Remove from heat and add the almond butter, leaving some swirls visible. Pour the mixture over the base and spread out evenly. Pop back in the freezer for the chocolate to set.
Best stored in the fridge and served chilled.

Adapted from Lookbook Cookbook

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Recipe for my gluten free blueberry cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler

This delicious gluten free dessert is for those occasions where you don’t have the time or patience to make a cake. It’s incredibly easy and incredibly satisfying, especially when served with good-quality ice-cream.
Serves 6

Ingredients:
100g buckwheat flour (or normal flour if you prefer)
100g ground almonds
50g gluten free rolled oats
150g dark muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
70g chilled butter, cubed
½ cup Greek yoghurt
6 cups frozen blueberries (you could use any berries!)
zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Grease an ovenproof baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine 150g flour, the oats, 60g sugar, the baking powder and salt.
Rub in the butter with your fingers, mushing it in to make small clumps.
Gently mix in the yoghurt. Knead until a dough forms.
In another bowl, combine the remaining flour and sugar with the berries, and lemon juice and zest. Toss to coat.
Pour the berry mixture into the baking dish. Tear the dough into chunks and scatter over the fruit.
Bake for 45 minutes until the juices are thick and bubbling, and the topping is golden brown.
Serve warm with ice cream!
To store, cover the cobbler with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe adapted from my own book, The Caker.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Recipe for my vegan dark chocolate and berry cake


Vegan Dark Chocolate and Berry Cake

You would never guess that this cake is vegan. I swear it has the richness and moistness of any good chocolate cake, and the addition of berries (you could use any tart fruit) makes it even more decadent. For the photo I made a triple layer version, with raspberry jam in between the layers, but this recipe is just for one layer.

Ingredients:

150g spelt flour (you could use buckwheat flour to make it gluten free)
60g ground almonds
150g dark muscovado sugar
⅓ cup good-quality cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup almond, oat or coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup 70% dark chocolate chips
1 cup blackberries, blueberries or raspberries + extra for garnish

Vegan chocolate drizzle:

150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
½ cup coconut oil
pinch of salt

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Grease and line a 22cm diameter cake tin.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and combine.
Mix in the milk, vanilla, coconut oil, vinegar and chocolate chips being careful not to over mix.
Pour the batter into the tin and scatter the berries on top, pressing them down lightly.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegan chocolate drizzle. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler until smooth. Finish off with a pinch of salt
Pour the drizzle over the top of the cooled cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow it to set.
Decorate as desired before serving.

Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Recipe for my four layer sponge with raspberries and ganache

I don't often post recipes, but it's something I want to start doing more frequently. Here's one of my favourite recipes for a special occasion…soft, buttery sponge, tart raspberries and silky smooth, rich dark chocolate ganache. You could make it simply a 2 layer cake by halving all the quantities in the recipe.


FOUR LAYER SPONGE WITH RASPBERRIES AND GANACHE


Ingredients

CAKE
300g butter, softened
300g unrefined, golden caster sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 organic eggs
300g spelt flour
100g ground almonds
4 tsp baking powder
1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
2 cups of frozen raspberries

GANACHE
300ml cream
300g good-quality 70% dark chocolate

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C fanbake. Line 4 x 22cm size cake tins.
2) In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
3) Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time.
4) Sift the flour, ground almonds and baking powder into the mixture, and add the yogurt. Stop your electric mixer once all the ingredients are combined; do not over-mix.
5) Divide the batter evenly between the four tins. Dot 1/2 cup of raspberries into each one.
6) Bake for 30 minutes or until golden in colour and springy to the touch. Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
7) Meanwhile, make the ganache. Heat the cream in a saucepan until small bubbles start to appear on the surface. Take off/out of the heat and drop in the chocolate.
Stir or use mixer until it is melted through; the ganache should be thick, smooth and glossy.
8) Once cakes are completely cool, apply a layer of ganache to one of the sponges then top with another layer of sponge. Don’t be too generous here as the layers will slide apart if there’s too much (but you do want that dripping effect down the sides). Continue the process until top layer is in place. Apply a very neat layer of ganache to this top layer and allow the whole cake to chill in the fridge for half an hour.
9) Once the ganache is fully set, garnish with crushed freeze dried raspberries, berry coulis, dried rose petals and fresh flower buds. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Caker in Barcelona

A custard, strawberry and burnt sugar tart for my dessert from an incredible tapas restaurant called Cerveceria Ciudad Condal.
Eyescream! It's shaved mango gelato with raspberry sauce and crushed ginger biscuits. So cute.

I was completely obsessed with La Boqueria Markets.
I was told by some locals that this market is a tourist hub, but I wanted to check it out anyway. I'm so glad I did. Even though it is very busy, the produce is so exciting to see. From fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, smoothies, juices, ice blocks and ice creams, to gourmet chocolates, licorice, marzipan and fruit jellies, to preserved meat, nuts, cheese, bread and olive oils.
This sweet little bakery called Caelum comes with a twist. All of the alluring cakes, tarts and sweets in the window are hand made by nuns from monasteries around Spain. I wanted to taste everything so ordered a selection of delights: cherry flan, marzipan, an apple dumpling, cinnamon biscuits, rose and jasmine jellies, dark chocolate dipped figs, and an assortment of bite-sized treats which I didn't recognise, but had beautiful names such as miel de milflores, San Expidito bones, sighs of a nun and yolks of San Leandro. They also sell special liquors and elixirs, which you can have by the glass. 
I ordered not one but two desserts from this amazing restaurant we went to called Chez Coco. The first is an apple tart with the most superb quality vanilla bean ice cream, also featuring two kinds of crumbles for some added crunch. The second is a summer fruits salad with cherry sorbet.
Our Spanish friends!
We finished our week with an evening jog down to the beach to semi-compensate for all our gluttony, which ultimately ended with a swim in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. 
I'm not ready to leave. But now it's off to New York, my favourite city in the whole world. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

More of London, and a little of Paris...

The best ever cinnamon bun from the gorgeous Violet Cakes.
More treats from Ottolenghi - a ridiculously moist orange almond cake with ganache (which I had to try to compare to my own version - this one was better), and a creamy cherry cheesecake.
Lovely lunch from Broadway Market.
Me selling Meringue Girls meringues at Broadway Market.
Tarts in bed.
Delicious peaches with amoretti cream at Pizza East. This went perfectly with a cold glass of prosecco.
Cocktails at Ace Hotel, Shoreditch.
Selfies in the bakery with red currants.
My first ever Eccles cake from St Johns Bread and Wine. Sweet, buttery pastry filled with spiced currants. Incredible.
Turkish sweets at Borough Market.
Ace Hotel donuts and breakfast drinks!
Literally THE best donut that has ever graced my lips. It was so brimming with vanilla bean custard that I went into a state of delusion while I was eating it. I completely zoned out! This was from Bread Ahead at Borough Markets.
Pub Grub.
Parisian feasting. We were only in Paris for 2 days to see my grandparents and uncle (featured), but during this time we ate like royalty. Breakfast is always my favorite, and nowhere in the world makes pastries quite like the French. Lunch always consists of 5 courses, which is promptly followed by a food coma.
And lastly, I had to share this photo of the two gorgeous cats that decided to have a romantic dinner date at the table next to us at a cute Tapas restaurant in London. As the ginger cat started to fall asleep, the fluffy white cat gave him a smack across the face and sauntered out when he failed to fully wake up.