Thursday 24 February 2011

A few delights...

My weeks seem to be getting busier and busier...can you believe it's almost March already? Unbelievable to me. It's time to change the tone of my baking a little...not too Spring-like yet, but moving away from the very comforting, heavier cakes...slowly, slowly.
Yesterday, I made a tray of Cardamom Orange Cake with a cream cheese frosting...
Cardamom is a beautiful, warm and underused spice which goes perfectly with fresh orange. This smelt gorgeous.

Next, an Espresso Walnut Cake with Vanilla frosting...I replaced quite a proportion of the flour with ground walnuts to lighten and moisten the mixture and to make sure that there was a really good walnut flavour. Coffee is a natural partner...I used espresso, to make it slightly darker and more sophisticated than my usual Coffee & Walnut Cake. No filling in this one either...just the vanilla buttercream on top, with a sprinkle of espresso and broken walnuts to finish...
Today, as it's half-term here, I wanted a child pleaser for the Coffee Tree. I came up with this creation...

Caramel Peanut Shortbread. Another one that I had to make and deliver VERY quickly before I devoured it! Crisp, buttery polenta shortbread....caramel & peanut butter filling, topped with roasted salty peanuts and, finally, dark chocolate ganache....

oh I'm so glad that it's not still here!

Hoping your Thursday is as lovely as mine...and that you make time for a treat somewhere, somehow xo



  1. Love your Spring-e looking blog. Good thing I wasn't around those carmel peanut shortbread, they look so yummy-dangeous!
    All your cakes and bars and well just everything look spectactular. Cookbook, cookbook, can't wait!

  2. Oh, my! Any of this would quite be my undoing! It is a very good thing they are on the computer screen and not on my kitchen counter.

    Happy days, Rachel!

  3. It is evening now and I am just catching up on my reading. Just finished munching a slice of a chocolate mini-bundt cake with a cup of coffee and I could eat another goodie as my mouth is watering again! Your treats are so heavenly!! And love the fluffy!
    May tomorrow be filled with delicious-ness, sweetie!! Hugs, Sherry xx

  4. I'm very interested in the cardamom as I have never used it in a cake before; will that recipe be included in your upcoming book? I'm going to give a look about for a recipe as such because I love the spice in general. The children will go crazy over the bars- oh my, the ooey-gooey goodness of them! Last night, I went to the French pastry class- we did a Charlotte with pastry cream and raspberries that was very very good---she did macarons as well; I haven't given them a solid try yet. I now they are tricky. Most are way too sweet!
    I want to come to baking class @Blue Angel Bakery!! I don't know what will be sweeter: the desserts or the smiles!! Love it all Rachel....BRAVO!!

  5. Great post. Your coffee cake has made me go all wantie. Have been back at "proper" work this week so no time so far for baking. My chidren are demanding cake and biscuit. As I think I might be suffering from baking withdrawal they just might be lucky. Roll on the spring...

  6. Hello Rachel,

    I have to tell you how wonderful everything looks, at the risk of sounding repetitive. But it is true! Everything you make is gorgeous. I LOVE cardamom and can see how it would go well with your orange cake. I've used ground cardamom only in ginger cake recipes. It really adds a unique flavour! I also love the coffee hazelnut cake. It looks so tall! Many of you cakes look tall and handsome. I love that. Happy Friday sweetie! xoxo

  7. I want to try all those, especially the short bread and the walnut cake. I don't like coffee in general, but in a cake with walnuts I think it tastes delicious.

  8. My goodness you have been busy! I would love a slice of that orange & cardamom cake! I love fruit desserts! Love your Spring look, I can't wait for Spring . . . and it's snowing again! March 20th can't come soon enough!


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