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Bake or Break

I don't usually bake but after a savoury savouring of Copenhagen this weekend, I feel the need to flood the kitchen with the comforting scent of vanilla and chocolate as an antidote to all that aquavit and herring!
The demise of the cupcake has come none to soon for me, they never tasted as good as they looked, dried out cake and two inches of sickly icing, didn't float my Goodship lollipop. The edible sparkles were fun though but you can put those anywhere.
Today is all about the Whoopie Pie, Neenish tarts and Claudia Roden's Moroccan Coconut cake.
The Whoopie Pie, really a squishy biscuit, is an American invention that is slowly meandering it's sugar buffed way across the Atlantic to the UK.
Originally they were made by the Pennsylvanian Amish ladies to put in their men's lunch box, causing them to squeal "Whoopie" on their discovery. They are cakey but a little crispy on the outside and usually filled with buttercream but today, although not authentic, I'm using goo - making marshmallows because I don't like the filling too sweet.
Breaking my own demi- rule by inserting a food picture just to show how cute they are.

Whoopie Pies

175 grams of dark chocolate ( 55%-70% cocoa solids)
125 grams unsalted butter
250 grams castor sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 grams plain flour
3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
½ teaspoon of baking powder
Large pinch of salt
18 marshmallows for filling
Pre- heat oven to 375 F or 190 C
makes 18 pies
Line a sheet pan with baking paper or lightly butter and flour the tray.
Gently melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla in another bowl, until creamy. Gently combine wet and dry ingredients, don't over do it, just fold.
Using a tablespoon, drop 36 nice high dollops onto the sheet pan, leaving room for them to spread slightly.
Bake for 5 to 8 mins, they should spring back to touch.Allow to cool slightly, put half of them onto a rack to cool completely and the other 18, flat side up, top with a marshmallow and return to the oven for about 3 minutes or until mashmallows melt. Top with the bottoms. or bottom with the tops, we're all friends here......
The Neenish Tart, so entwined with my childhood along with chocolate crackles, tablet and vanilla slices that I had to pass on this recipe. Gawd, I've food fotoed again....
Claudia Roden has been my girl-crush for yonks, the boiled orange cake with almonds, the salads and this little coconut I like to serve warm with mango sorbet, candied pistachios and rosella fruit champagne cocktails
Moroccan Coconut Cake
Start by mixing 250g of dessicated coconut and 250ml of orange juice together, letting the orange juice soak into the coconut for a good quarter of an hour. The coconut should have started to soften slightly.
Separate six eggs and add the yolks to the coconut, along with 300g of golden caster sugar and four tablespoons of sunflower oil.
Beat the egg whites until they’re at the ‘you can hold the bowl upside down over your head and not end up in a mess’ stage, then gently fold them into the coconut mixture.
Pour the mixture into a well greased, non-stick cake tin and bake for forty-five minutes at 180c.
Let the cake cool a little and then turn it out, upside down, onto a plate.
A base of creamy egg will have formed on the bottom of the tin as the mixture has sunk and separated, and this base will end up on top of the turned-out cake.
Copenhagen has the wonderful Noma and the fabulous Louisiana art musuem amongst other divine things but this visit I was blown away by the simple success of hot young boys making great juices and paninis at Joe and the Juice, look out for them, they're coming to a town near you, soon.

Love food X



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At first whiff, Gentleman's relish was an instant flashback to my school packed lunches, Peck's Anchovette paste on spongy white bread, served at school bag temperature of around 29 degrees celsius. Them were the days. Patum Peperium, the Gentleman's relish is another paste not for the faint hearted. It is made from salted anchovies, butter and some very punchy herbs and spices. A little goes a long way and as recommended, a …