Fact: there are few problems in life which cannot be fixed by a gooey chocolate brownie. The multifaceted dessert provides not only the perfect resolution to frost bitten winter months, but also act as delicious alternative to birthday cake.
My 'To Make' is divided into two distinct categories. One is for recipes I stumble upon on which really whet my appetite, which includes straight-foward, practical recipes like Ginger Scallion Noodles or Moroccan Red Lentil Soup. While useful, this category is not nearly as satisfying, or exciting, as the other more terrifying category — Things Everyone Must Make At Least Once.
The mini vanilla sponges are so simple to make yet look so elegant when you serve them. For the full effect, this recipe calls for a mini sandwich tin that has removable bottoms for each cake, but if you just have a standard muffin/cupcake tin that's fine too. Your sponge cakes will just be a little oddly shaped!
I pondered the concept of home baking as I strolled through a Tesco Extra. There were aisles and aisles of baked goods ranging from humble ginger breads, apple crumbles and sticky toffee puddings to lavish chocolate éclairs, profiteroles, and citrus tarts. In addition to these categories of tarts and fruit breads, you have the basic muffins and scones, and then the next levels of fruit scones and chocolate chip scones, and each of these then has its own numerous subtypes. Choices are overwhelming.
I recently found myself wanting to make a procrastination cake during exams. Receiving a lifetime of kitchen gadgets as gifts has made me reluctant to spend my own money on kitchen necessities. I found a Swedish pewter cheese slicer in my cupboard, but no appropriate cake tin. So here is my attempt to streamline my kitchen kit, a list of what I think a semi-serious student cook needs to tackle any recipe.
In his cooking, my dad goes through intense periods of experimentation with single dishes. At one point, when my parents were first dating, they found themselves in a tiny urban apartment with enough quarter-eaten lasagnas in the freezer to survive a nuclear attack. There was beef lasagna, veggie lasagna, white lasagna; I wouldn’t be surprised if my dad had a recipe for dessert lasagna tucked up his sleeve. He’s gone through the same process with chocolate mousse, stewed fruit and, every summer, with ribs. This summer I discovered I’ve inherited this slightly obsessive gene.