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Entries in cake (9)


Mini Valentine's Cakes : Baileys-soaked Vanilla Cake with Nanny Burke's Buttercream

I made mini Baileys-soaked Vanilla Cakes for my Valentine

Vanilla Cake recipe was Fannie Farmer's Boston Favo(u)rite Cake made as a sheet cake and then cut into small circles with a biscuit cutter.

I laid all of my cake circles out on a piece of parchment and, using a pastry brush, soaked them with Baileys, assembled them into mini two and three-tiered caked and frosted them with Nanny Burke's Buttercream. I tried to emulate Jody's amazing piping skills but I have finally accepted that I will never be great at cake decorating.

They're super cute though, and, my Valentine ate them with a smile, so that's all that matters!



Polenta 'Cake' with Black Olive Pesto Filling and 'Nduja Ricotta 'Frosting'

When Joana from Yummy Food Blog emailed me and asked me if I'd like to enter her Mediterranean-inspired recipe contest I was excited, however, as you may know, I don't usually do things the 'traditional' way. 

From Joana - 'I’m asking a small set of bloggers including yourself to write a blog post or recipe all about your favourite dish that’s inspired by Mediterranean style cooking. For example, I’m originally from Portugal and love seafood and veggie dishes that are packed full of fresh herbs and spices such as Chorizo & Pancetta Bake and Bacalhau Com Natas. The most creative and imaginative post will receive a Kindle Fire HD, there is also a second prize of a £25/$40 Amazon Gift Voucher.'

The recipe contest is sponsored by Spanish travel agency, Canarias -

'Canarias.com - experts for all things travel in and around Spain and the Canary Islands. What once was a car rental company with a small fleet of 40 vehicles has become a major tourism company dedicated to the areas of Spanish tourism, car rental, leisure, health and food. We do everything in our power to offer our visitors the best experience by offering the widest range of products and services - everything the client needs to make their vacation unforgettable.'

I've not had the pleasure of visiting Spain, but Sean has, and despite three separate visits to Italy, Spain is still his #1. Now that we know about Canarias.com, perhaps a trip to the Canary Islands is in order?

I came up with a fun Mediterranean-inspired appetizer that's assembled in an round cake tin. It would be neat to present the 'cake' on a beautiful stand at a dinner party!

Polenta 'Cake' with Black Olive Pesto Filling and 'Nduja Ricotta 'Frosting'

6-8-inch round cake tin - greased lightly with olive oil or butter

1/2 C pinenuts

1 C Kalamata olives, pits removed (I buy Kalamatas that are already pitted and sliced)

1 clove garlic, rough chopped

1/4 C Manchego cheese, grated

1 500g tub Ricotta

1 C 'Nduja**

2 C water

1 1/3 C milk

1 C cornmeal

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp butter

1/4 C Grana Padano

- Toast pinenuts in a dry pan until golden - combine toasted pinenuts in a food processor with Kalamata olives, garlic clove and Manchego cheese - pulse until 50/50 chunky/smooth - mix with 250g of Ricotta and set aside

- In a small bowl, with a spoon, mix 'Nduja and remaining 250g Ricotta until smooth

- In a large microwave safe bowl, whisk water, milk, cornmeal and salt - microwave in 1-minute intervals, whisking between each minute until thick - about 6 minutes - add butter and Grana Padano - stir to combine - voila! Microwaved polenta!

- spread a thin layer of polenta in greased cake tin - top with olive pesto/Ricotta mix - top with another layer of polenta - top with 'Nduja/Ricotta Mix - top with another layer of polenta - leave yourself enough 'Nduja/Ricotta mix to 'frost' the outside of the cake

- place cake tin in fridge to cool/set one hour - flip cake onto plate and 'frost' with remaining 'Nduja/Ricotta - can be served warm or cold

***'Nduja is a SPICY spreadable salami made in Calabria, Italy. I ordered mine from Bottega Nicastro in Ottawa!


Blood Orange Coconut Cake with Blood Orange Glaze

This recipe almost didn't make it to my blog and I'm still not 100% sure I should post it.

After searching the internet for recipes I was feeling uninspired despite the fact I had a bag of beautiful blood oranges sitting on the counter. Two days later I said 'fuck it' and decided to try a different approach.


If you've not heard of it, there are ratio formulas you can apply to pretty much any type of baking to create your own recipe. Michael Ruhlman is often credited for the 'Ratio Method' and has even written a cookbook on the subject, however, since I don't own his book, but do have access to free info online, I decided to give it a go and make up my own goddam cake recipe.

My plan was to start simple with a 1:1:1:1 cake - equal parts egg, butter, flour and sugar. Essentially a recipe for classic poundcake, you can change the texture of the cake depending on which order you blend the ingredients. So they say. I think that depends though, on if you stick to traditional ingredients.

Which I did not.


I can't do it. I just don't know how not to veer.

My train of thought:

'What if I crack open that jar of coconut oil I've had in the pantry for over a year and give it a try? Oooh ooh ohh - and what if I use that beautiful white Italian cornmeal I have instead of flour? Oh - maybe I should cut it with some ground almonds to give it a little more flavour. Oooooooooh - and THEN I'll make a small batch of blood orange jam to go on top of the cake. But that will be kind of dark so what if I mix it with a light sugar glaze!! YA YA YA! This is gonna be awesome!!'

And that's pretty much how it works.


For me, that is.

Anyway, I made this cake and photographed it, then I took it downstairs and made Sean eat a piece. Before he even tasted it I said, 'Ugh - I don't know why I didn't just follow a stupid recipe!! This cake sucks!!'

To which he replied, 'I really like it'.

And so, because I am married to the pickiest man alive, and he said he liked this cake, I am posting the recipe. Because who knows? Maybe someone else will like it too!

By the way, it's gluten free and dairy free.

Blood Orange Coconut Cake with Blood Orange Glaze

1 egg + 2 yolks

100g coconut oil

100g organic cane sugar + 100-150g more for topping

100g cornmeal (I used fine-ground white Italian polenta I have in my pantry but any cornmeal will do)

100g ground almonds (mine were the No Name pre-ground kind)

1/2 C medium-shredded unsweetened coconut

4 blood oranges (mine were around 120g each)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 C icing sugar (aka powdered suagr/confectioner's sugar)

- Preheat oven to 350º - grease an 8-inch round cake tin with coconut oil and 'flour' with cornmeal

- Zest and juice one blood orange - set aside

- In a stand-mixer beat eggs and coconut oil on med-high speed for 10 minutes - slowly add sugar until combined - add cornmeal, ground almonds, coconut, baking soda, kosher salt plus the blood orange zest and juice you set aside - mix until combined - pour into prepared cake tin and smooth top with a spatula or butter knife - pop into hot oven and bake 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean - when cake is done, remove from oven and let cool in the tin, on a rack

- Slice the peel and pith off of two blood oranges with a sharp paring knife - cut orange pieces into small segments and remove seeds - weigh the cut up oranges and then put in a pot with an equal amount of organic cane sugar (my cut up oranges weighed 135g so I added 135g sugar to the pot) - bring to a gentle boil and continue to cook at a gentle boil for 15 minutes - set aside

- Sift icing sugar into a bowl and whisk in the juice of the fourth blood orange - stir in the cooked blood orange/sugar mixture - spread on top of cooled cake allowing the glaze to drip down the sides