October 2009


Celebrating a friend’s last day in the office seems like the wrong thing to do, somehow; sometimes a good wallow is needed before the drinking can begin. Since we all needed to line our stomachs and indulge ourselves a bit, Nigella’s chocolate fudge cake seemed the perfect solution for Bryn’s leaving cake. A fitting farewell, because I know he has a bit of a soft spot for the lady herself, and suitably greedy for someone who’s been an enthusiastic consumer of pretty much anything I’ve baked for the office over the past couple of years.

As well as being packed full of Nigella’s usual indulgences (plenty of butter and decent chocolate), I can honestly say that this is the first sponge I’ve ever baked that contains sour cream and corn oil. Maybe those are the secret ingredients that kept the sponge moist and light, even after an hour in the oven and still by the end of the following day. I couldn’t smother the finished cake in the chocolate fudge icing as much as one would have hoped (Nigella recommends spreading the icing round the sides of the cake too – impossible when you have to put it back in the tin and cart it across London, I’m afraid), but I think I’m right in saying that it went down pretty well nonetheless…

 

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Work hell has meant a distinct lull on the blogging front over the past few weeks, in spite of my best intentions. I’ve baked plenty in the meantime, from Harry Eastwood’s sticky toffee and banana cake (with my homemade stem ginger ice-cream)…

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…to her lavender cupcakes (made a right mess of the icing)…

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…and Valentine Warner’s onion tart…

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But finding the time to write about them all has been just too difficult! (Ditto another lunch at the Bull & Last, and a delicious dinner at Green’s in Manchester.) Must try harder. I’m off to Italy for a week on Sunday, so will do my best to document all the foodie delights of Piedmont, if it doesn’t all disappear into some Asti-blurred black hole in my memory.