Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Gaelic Coffee Cakes

It's been quite a week...

I was at the BBC Good Food Show at Glow, Bluewater, on Friday.  The highlight was a fantastic live Masterchef cook-off between this year's champion, Shelina Permaloo and 2011 winner, Tim Anderson.  John and Gregg are far more entertaining in real life than they are on the TV show, funnier and less intense, and the two chefs cooked stunning dishes.  The competition was very close but, Tim's smoke filled mozzarella ballon was the clincher!  I came home laden with goodies, including smoked rapeseed oil and Anila's Spicy Korma Curry Sauce.  

On Saturday, I visited friends who have a new baby girl and a brilliantly energetic two-and-a-half year old.  We have been friends since our first year at university and they are such warm and funny people (who share my slightly weird sense of humour) that spending time with them is always enjoyable.  I took some of my White Chocolate Rocky Road, which their wee girl described as "too nice", probably the best compliment I could have hoped for!

Monday was the Husband's birthday so the day was filled with much food, including a homemade brunch and a dinner at Wagamama in Canterbury!

The FreeFrom Food Awards presentation took place yesterday (Tuesday).  The evening itself was spent catching up with fellow judges and bloggers, as well as meeting some of the shortlisted producers.  When I have had time to organise my thoughts I will write a post about the many well-deserving winners and more than a few exciting (and mouth-watering) discoveries I found along the way.  You can see a list of the winners, highly commended and commended entries on the FreeFrom Food Awards winners page.

Today, I returned to work for the first time since my surgery.  I was anxious about going back, I hadn't worked since the end on January and although I was keen to get back to normality, I felt like I had forgotten everything I knew about how to do my job.  My fears were unfounded and everyone was very welcoming, making me forget about the all the worrying I did before I got there! It feels like the final step towards normality, like I'm getting on with my life sans colon and it feels great.

Oh, and somewhere in all of the above, I baked many birthday cakes for the Husband and his colleagues!  

Gaelic Coffee Cakes
The cake part is actually the same as my Mocha Cupcakes but without the cocoa powder (just add 10g more flour instead).  The exciting bit is the Swiss meringue topping, you'll need a kitchen blow-torch to make these.

12 coffee cupcakes (see my mocha cupcake recipe)
30ml Drambuie (or other whisky liqueur)
3 egg whites
150g caster sugar

  • When the coffee cupcakes are still warm from the oven, poke a few holes in the tops of each.  Trickle 1/2 tsp Drambuie over each cake and let it soak into the cakes.  Leave to cool.
  • Put the egg whites and sugar into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of just simmering water.  Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the surface of the water.  Whisk the eggs and sugar together for 5-7 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites warm up.  Remove from the heat and whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks (if you have an electric hand-mixer it will save you a lot of arm ache).
  • When the cakes are cool, fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe a blob of meringue on to each cake.  Brown the meringue tops with a blow-torch, taking care not to set fire to the paper cases, if used.  
  • (That final tip may, or may not, be down to personal experience.  I'd rather not confirm it either way.)

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