Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sorted Food and Chocolate Magic Custard Cake



I first came across Sorted Food on YouTube about a year ago, if you haven’t heard of them or seen any of their brilliant videos you should check them out at SortedFood.com.

Sorted is made up of four childhood friends who are on a mission to get people cooking simple, tasty food. The guys are clearly good mates and have great banter and their videos are hilarious as well as being great tutorials.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to meet one half of Sorted (Ben and Jamie) at a Google event and I plucked up the courage to go and introduce myself. They were absolutely lovely and I got to ask Ben who is a trained chef lots of foodie questions. He told me about a new craze for Magic Custard Cake which they will be making in one of their future videos.

After a quick Google I found out a bit more about Magic Custard Cake. It’s one mix which separates out when baked creating a three layered ‘cake’. From what I read online it sounds pretty tricky to make and a temperamental - it won’t work if it’s not the right temperature and will crack easily – basically it’s a diva of a bake. But it sounded soooo good I decided to take the risk, even if it could end up a big squidgy mess on a plate.

I followed a recipe from whiteonricecouple.com and am really pleased with how it turned out.



Can you see the layers?


Perfect served with a sprinkling of icing sugar and some fresh berries.


I wanted to take a dessert to a dinner party so I made them in little ramekins making them much easier to transport, however don’t do what I did and remove them from the oven 5 minutes before you're due to leave the house and transport them warm – give them plenty of time to cool down and "set".


I filled 5 ramekins and then had enough batter left to fill a 15cm / 6inch losse bottomed round cake tin.

The cake came out of the tin much easier than expected and cuts really easily. It tastes as good as it looks and makes a great dinner party dessert. Success!

Monday, 2 September 2013

New York Cupcake Tour

I just had the most amazing holiday in Costa Rica and on my way home I stopped off in New York (amazing, I know!).

I'd been to NYC two times before so I'd already ticked all the usual tourist things off my list so wanted to do something a bit different on my third visit. I decided that the ideal thing to do in NYC would be my very own tour of all of their amazing bakeries, tasting lots of cupcakes along the way. My very own NYC Cupcake Crawl.

My first bakery was Crumbs Bakery, Bryant Park. This is actually a chain which is all over the US and has a number of stores in NYC. I went to the one right by the New York Public Library (where Carrie is due to marry Big in the first SATC film).



They have an amazing selection, I spent ages choosing and finally opted for a Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake (I definitely share the Americans love of peanut butter and chocolate).


The shop is opposite Bryant Park which was the perfect place to sit and enjoy it. It was a moist chocolate sponge filled and topped with buttercream and decorated with chocolate chips and peanut butter cups. Pretty darn good!

Next was Levain Bakery, Upper Westside. This place specialises in cookies and is rated 3rd best eatery (out of an impressive 12,711) in New York. I went for their most popular bake, a 6-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie (ok not technically a cupcake for this 'cupcake crawl' but it was necessary).


The bakery is down a quiet residential street not far from Central Park so I took my cookie (which was still warm from the oven) and ate it in the park. It's not the most beautiful cookie (in fact it's a bit ugly) but trust me, it's DELICIOUS. It's really really thick so whilst the outside is crunchy the centre is gooey. If I'm honest it tasted a bit uncooked in the middle but if you've ever eaten raw cookie batter you'll know this isn't a bad thing!




Day 2 of my New York bakery adventure and I started the day with a trip to Empire Cake. They have some amazing cakes in the window, they do special occasion cakes for weddings and birthdays as well as cupcakes, traybakes, brownies etc.





I opted for the Salted Caramel Cupcake, a chocolate sponge filled with salted caramel, topped with dark chocolate buttercream and salt flakes. The cupcake was pretty small, I'm not usually a fan of small but you couldn't eat much of this rich cake.

Finally I headed over to the world famous Magnolia Bakery. I have actually been here before on previous visits to NYC but last time I had given up chocolate for lent (don't ask, never again!) so this time I HAD to chose something chocolatey.

This bakery is adorable, its tiny but always packed with cake lovers. They're best known for their cupcakes but they also have large cakes, traybakes, brownies, mini pies and individual (but massive) cheesecakes on offer.




I chose the Blonde Marble Cake but still full from my earlier visit to Empire Cake I took it to take away. What a perfect way to say goodbye to the city, a cupcake at the airport.



Until next time NYC! xxx