Friday, 1 February 2013

Cake competitions and foraging.

This week at Ballymaloe Cookery School two hugely significant things happened. First, we had ourselves a cake competition. Ok, so maybe it wasn't that serious and second, we only had the choice of three cakes but still. A little Ballymaloe/Rachel Allen inspiration did not go astray! We had crisp rolled dark chocolate mounds, sparkling iced primroses covering bases, mugs of steaming coffee decorating others etc, etc. (I'm hoping you get the picture)

Wednesday was Rachel Allen's, along with Pam who is definitely a fountain of cake wisdom, turn to show us all how to make/ice/decorate a cake. The choices (not made by us!) where coffee cake, chocolate cake and lemon cake. I got coffee cake. For someone who doesn't drink coffee or has never liked coffee cake this was definitely one to help me not lick the bowl! Obviously not forgetting how unhygienic that would be….

Second myself and Pam, who as Darina Allen says 'once seen never forgotten', had been doing some recipe testing with left over marzipan and sour cherries.  It's a delightful mix of fluffy rich cloud with hint of almond with random red sour cherry bursts topped off with crunchy marzipan. Today was the day I got it right. 1 hour of cooking (and worrying) and 1 plate of pieces sent to the office later I received two fantastic compliments. 1 from Rory Allen (I'm still happy as Larry over this one) and 1 from Darina who then said, 'yes we'll put it in the book as Jette's marzipan and sour cherry bake'. Yep. That'll do me thank you very much.

After our cakelunch but before demo foraging was next on our schedule.  Off we tootled down the country lanes off to Garryvoe Beach with Darina. Perrywinkles, horse winkles, sea spinach, urchins and the list goes on and on of our salty treasures. Not long enough on my opinion as I am utterly into foraging. I've found a new obsession reading any foraging blogs (a fave is this one).

And so now it's Friday night, as a little treat for all of you who read this (thank you by the way) here is the fantastic Marzipan and Sour Cherry Bake. Enjoy this over the weekend.

6oz salted butter
6oz self raising flour
60z caster sugar
3 eggs
roughly 2oz of homemade marzipan (a little kept behind to sprinkle on top)
100g of dry sour cherries.

Mix butter, flour, eggs and sugar in a food processor. Fold in the most of the  marzipan and the cherries. Put in a low tray/tins and sprinkle with remaining marzipan. 180degrees in the oven for about 15 minutes. Nom nom nom.

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