Plum Semolina Cake

August 23, 2012

Plum Semolina Cake

Aren't these little cake squares pretty? This is the kind of dessert I love to make - quick, simple and bursting with flavour. This plum cake is moist, tender, wonderfully fruity, and has just the right amount of sweetness. I instantly became a semolina fan a few years ago after tasting RedChillies' Eggless Mango Cake. I turned out many versions of that cake and each one was a hit. With this cake instead of mashing the plums and adding the purée to the batter, I preferred to dot the cake with halved plums for a more appealing look. This also created a delicious contrast of textures and colours.

Semolina gives the cake a pleasingly grainy texture. It also helps retain moisture, making it less dense than similar flour-based cakes. This semolina cake is flavoured with Bramley applesauce which adds a pleasing touch of tartness and makes it light and fresh tasting.

Coconut Cherry Ice Cream Layer Cake

August 17, 2012

Coconut Cherry Ice Cream

There is something hopelessly cheerful about this cake with its alternating layers of delicate pink and vibrant red that create a delicious contrast and give it a celebratory appearance. I made it for a recent birthday party and it was a total sensation. Prior to the event I had tried this combination of coconut and cherry in ice cream form and its raving success made it the obvious choice for the special occasion instead of the usual chocolate cake. The flavours are fresh and bursting with each bite. It turns out that homemade ice cream is great fun both to make and to eat. Making an ice cream cake from scratch is deeply rewarding and justifies all the effort put into it.

Chickpea and Mushroom Curry

August 07, 2012

Chickpea Mushroom Curry

The chapter For the love of chickpeas continues with a very simple Indian-style curry, a recreation of the one that got me hooked on these little legumes in the first place years ago. This was a lucky combination, but the result blew me away. For an hour after eating a bowlful of curry and rice I kept on saying how incredibly good it was. As with any food I instantly love, I had the curry again the same day and made even more the next. Mushrooms seem to complete chickpeas. I used white mushrooms this time, but my favourite are the chestnut type. This curry is rich and wonderfully aromatic, with a harmonious blend of spices that creates a warm, long-lasting aftertaste. It's also highly nutritious and provides a good amount of fiber to aid digestion.
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