I’ve been feeling christmassy since the leaves started falling, but now its less than a month till the big day I think I can get away with vocalising my excitement. Christmas pudding isn’t a favourite dessert for me, but it’s a such a festive tradition […]
This salted chocolate rye cake is the densest, fudgiest and most indulgent cake I’ve ever made in all the best ways! It does mean you can’t eat too many slices, but means its perfect for a celebration or an excuse to get your friends over. As who’s gonna turn down cake?!
Salted chocolate rye is a combination that I first tried in Edinburgh two months ago, when I took my sister for a birthday weekend surprise. I had booked for us to go to the Luna Cinema to see La La Land in the Royal Botanic Gardens. I had visions of the sun setting over a glorious backdrop whilst we sipped gin&tonics and ate a delicious picnic. Now whilst we did sip gin&tonics and eat delicious food, it was all within the space of 15 minutes before the heavens opened and we struggled through 2 hours of non-stop rain all the while watching the splendid LA sun… We were true Brits that day, with soggy crisps and sodden sausages rolls surrounding us.
But what I did manage to eat relatively drizzle free was the best chocolate cake ever to exist. We found a cafe called Lovecrumbs, that is exactly the kind of cafe I’d love to own one day. The decor was gorgeous and oh god the cakes. They just looked insane, but their salted chocolate rye cake spoke out to me. The depth of flavour that the rye flour provided was so delicious and salting the chocolate ganache counted the richness perfectly. I just loved it! And knew I had to recreate it, simply just so I could eat it again as Edinburgh is sadly far far away from me.
So my recreation journey began with research into rye flours; nerd glasses on! You can get light, medium and dark rye flours. The darker the rye the more bran is used which gives you the distinctive colour and flavour of a deep rye loaf. In cake form, the darker the rye the denser and fudgier your sponge will be. Its abit of personal preference really, but I opted for a medium rye for this cake.
For the filling and decoration I opted for a simple ganache with a generous sprinkling of salt. In the middle layer I also added some dark chocolate chunks for added texture, and more chocolate because sometimes if you’re gonna go in you should go ALL in.
In the sponge I added 240ml of coffee, which helps to keep the sponge super moist and really deepens the chocolate kick.
I really love this cake. Its such a different take on the usual chocolate cake and is way better than eating a loaf of rye bread, right?? Let me know if you give it a go 🙂
These maple, pecan and chocolate bars are the product of my constant note taking when eating any kind of baked treat. The notes section on my phone is overflowing with light-bulb ideas in the middle of the night, childhood favourites to recreate and ingredients I’ve deciphered mid-chew. Some could say baking obsessed, I prefer passionate…!
The chocolate bars are inspired by an unassuming treat sitting by the tills in Abokado – similar to Itsu they serve up sushi, salads, hot noodles and a handful of baked treats. I picked up their Maple & Pecan bar on a whim, not expecting much more than a quick treat for pudding. But I LOVED it! It had a gorgeously moist biscuit base which was bursting with flavour and a really thick layer of dark chocolate on top that provided a delicious snap. I just knew that I needed to recreate it and whilst I haven’t created an exact replica, I love how the chocolate bars have turned out!
My chocolate bars have quite a flapjacky taste and texture, but with the added crunch of chopped pecans and crushed digestives. I’ve also substituted some of the golden syrup out for maple syrup, which goes perfectly with the chopped pecans. Although the inspiration for these bars was more biscuity than flapjacky, I actually really like the additional texture that the oats provide. Is there anything better than the buttery smell of flapjacks baking either??
One thing I didn’t change at all was the thick layer of dark chocolate on the bars. I really think dark chocolate is a must here, as it balances out the sweetness of the flapjack base. I would also always advise buying the best quality chocolate you can when it is simply being melted onto a bake. It really does make the world of difference! For reference, I always use Green & Blacks cooking chocolate.
The chocolate bars are super simple to make and are almost a one bowl job! I did leave mine overnight in the fridge to set, but its not essential. So long as the chocolate is hard you will be able to cut them into neat little rectangles. Just be careful they’re not all gone the same day, as they’re so moreish!!
Treacle tart has never interested me. I’ve always thought it was sickly, cloying and designed for children. Until I spent a week at Ashburton Cookery School. We made an insane amount of cakes, bread and patisserie. Its funny how much you can make when someone else is doing the weighing, measuring and washing up at the end….! One of the mornings we made a treacle tart for lunchtime pudding, and I was adamant I wasn’t going to like it.
There I was spoon in hand ready to be disappointed and bereft of pudding when low and behold, it was actually a delight! The texture was more cakey than I was expecting and the zing of lemon zest cut right through the golden syrup, ensuring it wasn’t cloyingly sweet like i’d envisioned. Sometimes its the simplest of desserts that can really captivate and remind you of home. The buttery pastry and sweet smell of golden syrup really reminds me of being a child hovering around my mum in the kitchen.
I made my classic shortcrust pastry for the tart rather than a sweet pastry. I always prefer shortcrust to cut down the sweetness (especially with a treacle tart!) and it holds up really well in the oven with hardly any shrinkage. Though the real key to that is making sure you chill the pastry well in the fridge before blind baking.
Ashamed as I am to admit it, I had no clue that breadcrumbs were a vital part of a treacle tart! Anyone else?! They provide the sticky and stodgy texture that is so familiar, but in this recipe the quantity of breadcrumbs is halved to make room for ground almonds. They keep the tart really moist and add the cakey texture that I like so much. Finally the lemon zest adds a really interesting citrusy tang that cuts right through the sweetness, finishing the tart off perfectly.
Treacle tart is perfect for pudding after a Sunday roast, especially in Autumn now its getting colder. The tart is best served warm on the same day as baking, and as it only takes 20 minutes in the oven it can be popped in as soon as your roast is out!
Let me know if treacle tart reminds you of fond childhood memories, and if you weren’t a fan then I promise you will be now!
Back in 2011 I spent a summer in Ohio working as a front gate photographer at Cedar Point. It was one of the best summers of my life, and introduced me to a whole host of American candy and treats. Step in the turtle candy; a cluster of pecans, enrobed with caramel and covered in chocolate. I had turtle fudge, turtle ice cream, turtle brownies…the list goes on! Its just the perfect combination, and turtle cookies are my favourite.
The recipe makes an abundance, which believe me is not a bad thing! The turtle cookies are so moreish its unreal and they’re the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. They’re also quite therapeutic to make, as you roll, dip and roll again. Though it does make for messy hands!
You’ll need to set aside some time for these as you need to chill the dough in the fridge for an hour before you begin the rolling process. Creating the classic rugged effect around the edge of the turtle cookies is actually pretty simple. Firstly you’ll need to roll the dough into balls before dipping them in to frothy egg whites, this acts as the ‘glue’ when you roll the dough balls into crushed pecans. Finally, once you’ve placed the balls onto a baking tray you need to create the dent with the back of a spoon for your delicious salted caramel filling. Its as simple as that!
Now the salted caramel filling is actually the biggest cheat of them all. It’s simply melted toffee sweets with double cream and a big pinch of sea salt flakes on top- so sue me! But it works so well and makes for a deliciously chewy filling to the turtle cookie. Turtle candies don’t usually use salted caramel, but I thought it balanced out the whole cookie so well and added a different dimension of flavour.
I really love the simplicity of this recipe, especially considering how delicious the turtle cookies are! Let me know if you make them, or are also a turtle fan!