Category: Sweet

Simon’s rhubarb sponge cake

Haven’t made this since high school. My cousin told me back then about a cake he sort of made up that was just rhubarb tossed with some ginger in a pan, and covered with sponge cake mixture. A guy at work has a surplus of rhubarb, so I went over yesterday to grab some and this is what I made. I don’t have my cousin’s sponge cake recipe anymore but I looked up another and the cake is fantastic. I am of course sharing it with my colleagues as having a pan full of cake all to myself would be a dangerous thing indeed.

Deep dark chocolate cookies

So I have this thing where I often cook without reading the recipe fully first. Sometimes it ends in disaster, sometimes I’m ok. It’s a crapshoot. These delightful cookies turned out great; the only consequence of getting to the end of the dough-making portion and thinking “Oh crap! When does the flour go in?!” was that I unintentionally made amazing gluten-free cookies.

They’re soft, sweet and chocolatey. I will be making them again.

Chai concentrate

So easy. So good. I love having things like this on hand at home. Don’t get me wrong: Starbucks is awesome, but sometimes it just feels good to avoid that $4.50 latté and make something to your own taste for far less money.

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 cups water
8 tsp black tea leaves, or 6 bags
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole cardamom pods

Boil together in a pot until the sugar and honey have dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Let simmer for about 8-10 minutes, then strain. This will keep in your fridge on its own and can be diluted with water, more tea or milk and made into a delicious hot drink. You can also add a little vanilla extract to your mug before you drink it.

Travesty mallow

Travesty mallow!

For our apartment-warming a couple of months back, I decided to make a big batch of marshmallows that I could just set out for people to help themselves to.  It worked out well in the end, because I just made them all the night before and didn’t have to worry about clearing fridge space or anything.  I just sat them out on the table and cut them up before the party.

To make them special, I did three different flavours: chocolate swirl, rhubarb (sooooooooo delicious), and mint, because I have a mint plant in a pot on a shelf.   Fresh mint will be even better than mint extract! I thought to myself. But I have to tell you, internet, it was not better. Not even a little bit.  The stiff block of icky green mallow I flipped out of its container the next day was indeed a travesty upon its kind.  In short: it doesn’t go in your mouth.  My husband was fascinated it by the texture though, and before we threw it out he had to take a big bite out of it.  Why?

“Because when else am I going to be able to take a bite out of a GIANT BLOCK OF MARSHMALLOW?”

I think these may actually be deadly

*drool

I needed something nice to go with Easter dinner; something that would go with the roast chicken we’d done for when our friend came over.  I decided that these little cakes would be a good thing to try; they weren’t too hard, and they looked sufficiently decadent so as to be a grown-up version of Easter chocolate.

Boy howdy were they good.

For a change, I followed the recipe to the letter, so I have nothing to add other than I can highly recommend using a bar of 70% dark Rittersport as your chocolate.  You’ll get a gooey, velvety, rich and dark cake that looks like you spent ages getting the batter just so, when really it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Chocolate swirl marshmallows: attempt #2

Mmmm...chocolateI am much happier with the texture of these than the first batch of plain marshmallows.  This time, I let the mixer whip the syrup and gelatine together for the full 10 minutes instead of 8 like I did last time.  It seems to have made for a significantly fluffier mallow.  I may have also let the syrup cook a couple degrees less though, although I’m not sure.  (Although these marshmallows turned out better in the end, I somehow screwed up the first two batches of syrup last night, screaming profanities at it as I watched it collect around my whisk attachment in an amber clump and clatter around the bowl.)

At any rate, they are very good.  I took Brownie Points’ suggestion of swirling in the chocolate at the end of mixing rather than adding it to the liquid that the gelatine blooms in.  Sound advice: not only did the mallows retain their volume, but they’re very pretty too, with swirls of dark and light brown mixing with the white.  I also added a little cocoa powder to the icing sugar/rice flour dusting mix, which adds another small hit of chocolate.