I can’t quite believe it but today is the three year anniversary of my first blog post. I have grown a lot in the past three years, and with me this space has evolved. I have been thinking a lot about what I have to offer those who read this blog, and have come to the conclusion that it’s more than early onset diabetes.
The accessibility of baking to every home cook is important to me, so with this in mind I am going to start a bread of the month series, kicking off next week with a Black Olive Loaf. Once a week on a Friday, I will also be sharing a few things that have been inspiring me from around the web. I love seeing what other bloggers have enjoyed reading and it’s a great way to show how much I appreciate the blogging community as a whole. There are so many talented people in the food blogging world and I have loved being able to contribute to the huge pool of food love over the past three years.
This time last year I took a moment to remember some of the great things that happened both here on this site and in my life. In keeping with this tradition here are my top 10s from July 18th 2013 to today.
1. Spiced Pear Tarte Tatin – my favourite photo of the last year, and it was so tasty as well!
2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
4. S’more Cupcakes
5. Warm Spiced Cider
6. Chocolate Bundt Cake With Boozy Berry Compote
7. Buttery Leak and Gorgonzola Pancakes
8. Sweet Potato Fries With Two Dipping Sauces
10. Sweet Potato Burgers
So many wonderful things have happened in the last year that it was so hard to reduce them down to just ten things. When I started this blog I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I had a job but not a career, and I lived in a lovely city, but it didn’t feel quite enough. In the last year I have accomplished some of the biggest goals I set myself after I graduated six years ago. I can’t wait to see what happens between now and 18th July 2015, but it has a lot to beat!
1. Dan left his job working with some of his best friends and started a new one in London.
2. I answered a tweeted job advertisement to work on a marshmallow cookbook, and met the food stylist who would offer me a job as her assistant a few months later.
3. Started saying ‘yes’ more, beginning with an impromptu acceptance to visit Winter Wonderland with friends.
4. Drank wine half way up the Shard and started imagining what our life in London would be like (we were so wrong!)
5. I got emailed a job offer and after a lot of soul searching (and financial calculations) decided to make the jump!
6. We packed up our home of three years into a storage locker and went to live with Dan’s parents whilst we found a new home in London.
7. I went on my first hen do! It was hilarious!
8. I left the same job I had been in since I left University. I thought it would be scary, but not a single day has passed that I have regretted that decision.
9. We found our dream home in north Hackney, and moved in 7 days later.
10. I worked on my first commercial, which was the most rewarding and tiring experience of my career so far. I could have slept all the next day!
I have eaten a lot of cake in the last three (ok twenty eight) years, and the ones I have enjoyed the most have been a balance between not overly sweet and with a tart kick from fresh fruit or citrus. I have been obsessed with raspberries since eating a bar of white chocolate with peach and raspberry that Betty & Walter with Creightons Chocolaterie sent me. They are just coming into season, which makes them sweet and bursting with flavour. Using wholemeal flour instead of plain give the sponge a subtle nuttiness which pairs well with the honey and vanilla. I have found in the past that wholemeal flour creates a slightly drier result which makes it important to add more liquid to the mixture to create a moist cake that can hold up without being smothered in frosting.
The quantities for the sponge will make two of these cakes, I upped the size of the recipe to get the desired thickness of sponge. It freezes well, which I had to do promptly after cutting it as I was snacking on broken off wedges dipped into the hot lemon curd I was making. Lemon curd is my go to cake filling, I love the sharpness it adds to a sweet dessert. It is so easy to make at home, since making it for the first time I have never resorted to buying jar.
Previously on BAKE
serves 2 by Jennifer Brown
For the Sponge:
125g wholemeal plain flour
80g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
3 tbsp greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Curd:
1 egg yolk at room temperature
30g caster sugar
1 tbsp flavourless oil, I like rapeseed
zest of ¼ lemon
25ml lemon juice
75g raspberries, washed and dried
4 tbsp greek yoghurt
- Preheat the oven to 180C, line a 8x8 inch tin with baking paper.
- Put all your ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth. This only works if the butter and eggs are at room temperature, I have never found any difference in results doing this compared with creaming the sugar and butter first.
- Pour into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Depending on your oven you may need to rotate the tray halfway through baking to make sure it cooks evenly. I thought this was an unnecessary step at my old flat, but the oven at my new place is hotter towards the front right, you learn something new every day!
- Leave the sponge to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and allow to cool to room temperature on a rack.
- To make the curd, whisk together the sugar and yolk in a heavy bottomed pan until slightly paler and creamy.
- Put the pan on a medium heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Keep stirring until the curd begins to thicken. Remove from the heat when you notice the first few bubbles. You want the curd to be slightly thicker than normal as you want it to be able to support the top layer of sponge.
- Leave to cool to room temperature.
- To assemble, cut out two circles of cake. I used a 3 ½ inch cookie cutter this time, but I have used an appropriately sized glass in the past.
- Spread half of the yoghurt on to the base sponge, and arrange 2/3rds of the raspberries in a circle on top.
- Carefully spoon the curd over the layer of raspberries, and top with final layer of sponge.
- Dollop the rest of yoghurt onto the middle of the cake and tumble the rest of the raspberries into it.
- Serve immediately. Without a full crust to the cake it will begin to dry out within a couple of hours.