Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Tuesday, 5 January 2021
A sign of a good cake is how often you make it. Since the recipe for this one was published on The Design Files mid-October of 2020, it's been in heavy rotation in my repertoire and has come to be associated with bright spots in what was undoubtedly a challenging year. The first time I made it was to take with me to see my dad for the first time since January in the border bubble between Queensland and NSW. In early November I caught a plane to Ballina, he drove down from Brisbane to pick me up at the airport and we pulled over at the first sign of a picnic table to eat this cake, a belated birthday one for him. I made it again it to take to my cousin and his wife who'd just had a baby (once they got home from hospital, where visitors weren't allowed) and, more recently, when a Victorian friend I hadn't seen all year because of their state lockdown, swung by Sydney on her way to Byron Bay for Christmas with her family. We ate it for dessert after dinner and the next morning I packed her off with a few fat slices for the road. Loaf cakes, as all this attests, are incredibly portable. Maybe it's partly the emotion of the occasion but there's something really joyful about
the combination of flavours and colours in this cake - the tropical feel of the coconut, the pop
of pink raspberry and the the zing of the lime. I'm always partial to sour cream in cakes, because of the taste and also as it keeps well.. which means it's both brilliant for leftovers and can be made in advance.
Wednesday, 9 September 2020
Cakes that contain sour cream are almost guaranteed to be good. I first heard about this one on the Home Cooking podcast. Samin Nosrat was raving about it so I paid attention. Samin - of chocolate midnight cake and Ligurian foccacia fame - is someone to be taken seriously. In addition to the sour cream and Samin's seal of approval, this cake also had going for it that it was super simple and featured lemons, which are cheap and plentiful right now in Australia. When I made it I wasn't disappointed - it's zippy with citrus, unbelievably soft from the coconut milk and sour cream, and in squares, easily transportable. I made it one weekend to take up to the Blue Mountains on a day trip, and the very next weekend to take across town on the train for dinner at a friend's. Its other advantage is that because it's an oil-based cake, it keeps really well and I imagine would freeze well too. Should you have any left over. I can almost guarantee you won't.
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Wednesday, 15 April 2020
A week or so ago a friend of mine had a birthday. Here in Sydney, as in so many places around the world at the moment, anything but essential travel is banned so though it was possible for me to make him a cake, it wasn't possible for me to deliver it personally, even though he was just across the bridge. In any case, there suddenly wasn't any flour to be found seemingly in all of Australia so cake too seemed impossible. But then, in an effort to distract myself from the news, I strayed across this recipe for a chocolate, buttermilk and raspberry cake. Miraculously it was flourless. And all the ingredients were store cupboard staples, or could be crafted from them with a bit of ingenuity. The recipe was from (the ironically-named, given my dilemma) Flour and Stone, a beautiful bakery in Woolloomooloo. Buoyed by this discovery, I made the cake and booked a courier... because if you have to be alone on your birthday in the apocalypse then there should at least be something sweet and celebratory you can stick a candle on. It turned out beautifully - luxuriously dark and fudgey, studded with soft, sour-sweet berries, the prettiest pops of red. It arrived a day late and smashed to smithereens, but I'm told still tasted good, and I guess was an even bigger surprise for all that. Best laid plans... If this interlude has taught us anything it's to throw them out the window... and adapt! See recipe head notes for useful hacks on the other key ingredients, should you need them.