Cakes and a pie

Posted by Lou. The time is 1.30pm here in London UK.

Raspberry Cheesecake Chocolate Brownie Cake

I had a big cake success this week after following Michelle's lead and turning raspberry cheesecake chocolate brownies into a cake. The recipe is one she has lying around at home generically printed on a plain white piece of paper that gives away nothing of its original, but after a bit of googling I have traced it to this Nigella speciality. Basically you just do it all the same except shove it into a loose-bottomed cake tin instead of a brownie tray (and please do remember to swirl - the swirl is very important). And - the key thing that she and I always forget - cook it for significantly longer than what the recipe says.

I made mine before heading off to the tennis on Monday, and despite leaving an extra 15 mins cooking time it was still a bit raw in the centre when I had to leave for my date with Federer. I left it in the (switched off) oven to hopefully cook a little more, then panicked all my way to Wimbledon that I was creating a disaster by letting it dry out. Thankfully the cheesecake component stopped it drying out, and the slightly-under-cooked nature of the brownie part just made it fudgier. I had also been concerned about the appearance at it developed a few crevasses, but my colleagues insisted it looked amazing and with one accusing me of buying it from a shop and passing it off as my own I guess I can believe them.

I was too embarrassed by the appearance to take a photo,
but here is one of cheesecake brownies to give you an idea of the potential.

And if you like could imitate the orgasmic sounds emitting from the dozen or so people enjoying a piece next time I see you. Thinking about their reaction in conjunction with the fact that Michelle won a cake competition at her work with it last year, I would say that of all the things I have ever made this is the one that is guaranteed to dazzle and delight so give it a go sometime! (They are, of course, also excellent in their intended state as brownies.)


Willie's Cloud Forest Chocolate Cake

Willie is a British chef who moved to Venezuela and bought a cacao plantation, which led to a business producing boutique 100% chocolate. (website here) He then had a Channel 4 series going behind the scenes of cacao production, featuring his recipes for food made using the pure cacao, both savoury and sweet. Kelly gave me his book and so - using Lindt's 90% dark chocolate as the closest alternative available at my supermarket - I've been trying a few of them out and this "Cloud Forest" chocolate cake has become a staple.

A slight twist that came through one of my serendipitous baking mishaps, was when I omitted the almonds, not quite realising that they were taking the role of flour, and was left with the most amazingly gooey cake ever. Not recommended if there is an emphasis on presentation and being able to eat it tidying, but definitely recommended for a messy treat at home.


Key Lime Pie - part 1

Whilst in Miami over New Year's, Di and I launched into the quest to find good key lime pie. Unfortunately the only really good one we did come across was at a bar one night after I'd eaten so much for dinner I didn't order one and had to be contented with one delicious forkful of hers. I decided to make some in the weekend in preparation for Di's upcoming 30th birthday celebrations (have to get some practise in to find the best recipe, you see), and used this simple recipe from the BBC Good Food website. Unfortunately I didn't think about it too much in advance, but in retrospect I should have gone with something more like this recipe from the Hairy Bikers as there is one key difference that is very important to me: one type of key lime pie has a creamier and larger filling (which is what I made), while the other is a thinner layer of a more tarty filling, with cream on top (which is very much my preferred version - in fact, I don't like much cream with it at all).

This is what my ideal key lime pie would look like - no artificial colouring,
focus is the citrus filling, and just a little bit of cream.

The pie was okay - luckily I had bought an extra lime or two as our local grocer turned out to have sold me expensive and too dry limes grr so it wasn't quite as citrus as I wanted it to be, but it was a very quick and easy recipe. Luckily I'd only made half though (in a loaf tin using a lining of greased baking paper to easily pull it out and leave me with a rectangular shaped pie) as I don't think I wouldn't have wanted to eat another full serving. So I'm going to call this part 1 with further experimentations to follow - anyone want to invite me round for a BBQ to give me an excuse to try the Hairy Bikers' version?

**oooh just read the Hairy Bikers's one all the way through and it also is wrong - it has meringue on top, which makes it more like a key lime meringue pie, so I'm going to try this one from the Joy of Baking website**

4 thoughts on “Cakes and a pie”

  1. Hahaha that first photo totally caught me out - I was scrolling down and was like "WOW!! WHAT THE DRIBBLING TASTEBUDS!" when I saw the caption and realised it was a professional culinary photo and not your post-tennis snapshot heh heh....

    I don't think I've ever had key lime pie. I'm a lemon meringue fan!

  2. You say that as if it's key lime pie or lemon meringue pie. Let me tell you one true fact to keep with you for life: there is room for more than one pie.

  3. So, I came here to get the recipe for cheesecake brownies and found that, oh no! the link no longer goes quite where you want it to, instead redirecting you to the general Nigella site. But then when I went to save the recipe when I found it and copied it into a word doc, was that oh! I already copied it! But from smitten kitchen. Thus I felt compelled to share it, since maybe it would cook better or something. I intend to make this this weekend, I think. You will hear of the results. Anyway, without further ado, here is the link: