Microwave Cake? – Passionfruit Sponge with Marinated Berries and Whipped Cream

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Market fresh Aussie passionfruit mmmmm!

C’mon,  I’ve baked for many, many (toooo many!) years, and yes, I’ve owned and loved using a microwave for at least 25 years.

yuk calvin face
Like, really?  Microwave cake??

But, babe!  You know it, I know it, how come everyone on Masterchef doesn’t know it?  YOU CAN’T BAKE A CAKE WITH A MICROWAVE.  What is going on people?

There has been the inevitable, take over of the world, of microwave mug recipes.  Late night or quick dessert fixes, I get it;  I really do!  I even bought my daughter a mug cake recipe book for Christmas.  But, microwave sponges seem to be the biggest thing since Matt Preston, himself!  I am dragging my ‘Vans’, I know, but traditional techniques are what I taught myself, so even though this recipe is from 2014…

http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/80-40-20–passionfruit-sponge–marinated-berries–whipped-cream

I’m testing it out, ‘coz I have been sucked in by the hype, over 1500 people have rated it 4 stars, and I NEED to know!!

How ironic that my ramekins were too big and I had to use teacups!
After 40 seconds in a 1100 watt microwave and it isn’t cooked
Another 20 seconds has done it
Ran a knife around the edges but it is still a little rustic when turned out

 

Texture was a little dense and rubbery but quite acceptable to eat warm with cream and berry compote as the recipe suggests.

 

Cooled to stale cake consistency after about an hour, dry and hard

 

Bliss

“Definitely a mug cake.  Great eaten warm but a little bouncy and slightly dense.  Tastes great and is a perfect, quick treat for pudding.  Cools to stale cake consistency within an hour.”

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DeleteRedNot a recipe I would do gluten free.  The texture would suffer even more with any substitutions

tickUnrefined sugar substitution suitable.  Raw castor sugar or Stevia would work well.

tickRecipe as written, is nut free.

 tickI would be happy to substitute any kind of vegetable or nut oil for the butter in this recipe

when nothing goes right go  left
Image from www.upnorth.com

What would I change? Hmmm, probably it’s name!  It is a great warm pudding or mug cake but would I call it a sponge cake?  Probably not.  It also needed 50-60 seconds in my 1100 watt microwave on high, not the 40 seconds as written in the recipe.

The flavour was great and would definitely have been great with the Chantilly cream. I personally wouldn’t want to serve the passionfruit pudding with berry coulis though.

To ‘Bliss’ it, I would serve it with double or triple cream or even a custard.  I think a matcha infused custard with white chocolate, would have been gorgeous with this little pudding!

This recipe has definitely not convinced me that I can make cake in a microwave.

I hope you  have enjoyed this recipe review, and found it useful?  Would love to hear what you think.

See you next time 😉 X

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Moist Chocolate and Beet Cake

Have you dared to try it?
I’ve put it off for years but the time for testing and tasting is finally here!

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Beetroot in a cake??!!!

‘Chocolate beetroot cake,’ has been a phrase that has both intrigued and repulsed me for YEARS!   No, I just couldn’t do it.  So many opportunities to do a trial and so many reasons to not go there. Please, don’t get me wrong, I am a big beetroot fan in its many of its guises; most importantly; a burger is no burger of mine without it.  But, no matter how many people said a beetroot chocolate cake was all kinds of wonderful, I just couldn’t make the leap….until today.

When I decided to listen to my family and post reviews of the recipes I tested, I knew there were 2 recipes that I have avoided for decades yet, never been able to let go of.

Time to make the plunge; this Moist Chocolate Beet Cake recipe is originally by Nigel Slater but I found it via David Lebovitz website.  I followed the recipe to the letter, although I did not have an 8 inch springform so used a 7 inch and had batter left over.  You definitely need an 8 inch and in fact I probably could have used a 9 inch pan.

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Beautiful, just set and wobbly in the centre
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Sank a little while cooling. Not a big deal. Maybe another 5 minutes in the oven?
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Looking pretty with the entire tub of creme fraiche poured over it, and sprinkled with poppy seeds

 

 

Bliss

 

“A beautifully textured cake, full of deep chocolate flavour and just enough sweetness to balance the bitterness of the cocoa. If you  like chocolate and beetroot paired, this is a spectacular recipe!  For the adventurous, definitely try it, you might find you enjoy it.”

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tickGluten free substitution suitable.   I would feel happy to bake this cake with a gluten free flour substitute.  It may have a slightly gummy feel to it though.  Another option would be to substitute half almond meal and half gluten free flour.  I feel all almond meal would change the texture too much.

tickUnrefined sugar substitution suitable.  This cake would actually take on a whole new complexity of flavour using coconut sugar or rapadura sugar.  The caramel flavours of these sugars would really give you a lovely depth of flavour.  To avoid grittiness, process the sugar until it is finer before you use them.  Raw castor sugar or Stevia would also work.

tickRecipe as written, is nut free.

DeleteRed Not dairy free.  The flavour that is added by this amount of butter would make it difficult to change out for anything else.

when nothing goes right go  left
Image from www.upnorth.com

What would I change?  As a chocolate beet cake it was beautiful, I wouldn’t change it at all.  Although, I found the flavour of beetroot had mellowed even more after 2-3 days.Since I am a big believer of allowing chocolate cakes time to develop in flavour, I would even consider making it 2 days ahead of serving.

I personally, would consider cutting the beetroot with some green apple to help smooth the transition between chocolate and beetroot.  But hey, that’s just me!

To ‘Bliss’ it, I would serve it with sour cream on the side to give it a punchier flavour and a creamier accompaniment.  Creme fraiche was a little bit delicate in flavour and texture for me and I didn’t really think the poppy seeds did anything for it.  I would consider a really airy cream cheese frosting for it as well, but it would definitely have to be whipped within an inch of its life!

Wow, so there it is; Nigel Slater’s Moist Chocolate and Beet Cake.  What a great start!

I hope you  have enjoyed my first recipe review, and found it useful?  Would love to hear what you think.

See you next time 😉 X

PS if you are looking to get a springform pan, it is definitely worth spending a little bit more money to get one that won’t leak!
This is a link to Amazon.com, for a particularly highly rated tin by Kaiser, that won’t break the bank.


Kaiser Bakeware Noblesse 8-Inch Round Non-Stick Springform Pan

Have you got a good recipe for…?

Trials and tribulations, we all have them; they never stop coming at us.

But, when we go looking for trials…well, that is another matter altogether!  Usually, I am not expecting tribulations to come along with these trials though 🙂

Lucille Ball chocolate face
Yep, sometimes things just don’t work out!

I get asked for recipes, A LOT!  And, since the only way I actually find good recipes is by trialling them, I thought you might like to see what I trial, how they turn out and how I rate them.

In fact, the internet is so choc-a-block full of recipes that it is nearly impossible for you to know if they are really any good so, if you have any recipes that you have had your eye on and you would like me to trial and rate, send them through to0!  I’ll pick and choose some to bake up and post.

I’m also going to pop a little tick box section about whether the recipe is, or can, substitute ingredients for;

gluten free

unrefined sugar

dairy free

nut free

I have yet to come across a really good substitute for egg so at this point I don’t feel confident to add that to the list.  (if you have any recipes you would like me to trial for eggless cake, PLEASE shoot it through!  I’ve trialled some really bad ones blech!!!)

I am aiming to post my first recipe review on Saturday, and I would love your feedback!.

Cheers L x