Monday, October 10, 2011

Cherry-Almond Cake

This morning's breakfast - Cherry-Almond Cake. Another very easy cake to do with satisying results. The cake's every bit an almond cake- nutty, gritty and crumbly (not too dry though) and is pleasant with a cup of tea. Children and the MOTH dug out the dark pitted cherries and left them at the side of the plate...sigh. But I loved them and thought they added a nice flavour to the otherwise ordinary-tasting almond cake. Think I'll pass a few slices to grandma Ivy who loves anything almonds (and apples). See you at school, Ivy!

Rosebud Madeleines

Been meaning to bake these forever but I never got around buying a madeleine tin. I had intentions to get an antique madeleine tin when I was in Paris. But we didn't have time to check out the march├ęs or go to Le Halles where all the cookware shops are. Sigh. Well, I suppose I'll need to plan for another trip then! Back to these Rosebud Madeleines. I ended up buying a silicon 28-cavity madeleine mould. The upside of using a silicon mould is that you don't have to grease and flour the mould as you would with a regular tin. The downside is the groves in the cavities aren't as deep and I didn't get the nice shell design. Nevertheless, the results were good. It's a very simple batter recipe but the key is to let it sit in the fridge for an hour. Just like pancakes, the batter needs to bloom so you get it spongy. I found a lovely bottle of organic rosewater from Ben's General Store (also bought a bottle of orange blossom water) and love the subtlety of it fragrance in the madeleines. They're quite addictive if you asked me and I intend to make more the next time. I ended up with only 25 madeleines with a single recipe here. Ordinarily, madeleines are plain and eaten with a cup of coffee or tea. You'll see some even dunking them into their beverages! But, I'll be tinkering with more of these soon and swap the rosewater for orange blossom, lime zests, honey or even cinnamon...

Banana Bread

If you've been following my attempts, you'd realise the number of times I've put off baking the banana bread. I don't mind banana cakes but banana bread? Hmmm....not my kind of food. Anyway, yesterday seemed appropriate since the whole family was down and out for 2 weeks with viral fever and we had to (I mean, I had to play "responsible mother") eat somewhat bland food (think cream crackers and water). With the leftover bananas, this was easy enough to whip up within an hour. I left out boiling and steeping the sultanas in bourbon for obvious reasons but kept the walnuts. My loaf only took 45-55 minutes to bake. Funny since the recipe says 1 to 1 1/4 hours. But I was glad it was done sooner. The verdict - everyone ate at least 2 slices each at 3pm because we didn't have lunch (we had a heavy breakfast) and there was a soda bicarb aftertaste. There was only 1/2 a teaspoon in it but somehow, we could taste it. Could have done with more sugar in it. I think we all agreed that we'd prefer the banana cake.