Sunday 22 April 2007

Am·a·zon cake

1/3 cup of cocoa powder - all it takes.

I stumbled upon this recipe, which I will reproduce below, and I can only reiterate Debbie's comments of just what a wonderfully easy, chocolatey, quick cake this is. Try it. It is brilliant.

I have made it many times now and have changed the recipe to suit what I always have to hand. Some modifications I have made :
  • I have used peanut oil, which gives a nice faintly nutty flavour, but I usually use olive oil because it is always in the cupboard.
  • I use white sugar or soft brown sugar, which gives a slight caramel flavour.
  • I have used different types of vinegar : red wine, white wine, cider, but not malt yet!
  • I have accidentally added more cocoa powder than required, to no ill effect.
  • I have scaled the recipe up and down, which is very easy to do, with no eggs to divide in half.
  • I have baked it in a loaf tin, a round tin and a square tin, all of which cooked perfectly.

Amazon Cake
via Words to Eat By, The New York Times, Cafe Beaujolais
by Margaret Fox

5 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cold water
1 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 180°c, grease a cake tin.
Whisk together the oil, vanilla and vinegar with 1 cup cold water, whisk in the dry ingredients, to make a smooth batter.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until it tests cooked with a skewer.
Cool in the pan.

Friday 20 April 2007

beer for Eas·ter

Beer for Easter - hooray!

My NZ Blogging by post parcel arrived on the door step on Thursday, the day before Good Friday - just in time!

So, I eagerly ripped open the box to find a wonderful 6 pack of Emerson's beer. There was London Porter, Dunkelweiss and Taieri George. Have a look at the Mary sent me an email, which I will quote here, describing her intentions for each :

"the Taieri George beer be eaten with some nicely sauced (but not highly spiced) sticky date pud, or as a dessert in itself. Let the dunkelweiss set for awhile to settle.. I would decant it, not carefully but I find less lees better for the dunkel. It may also accompany a light choc dessert but it's a nice way to end an evening solo. And the last, save for a chilly, wet and windy Wellington night in front of the fire.."

Thanks Mary - I think this is such a good idea for a blogging by mail parcel!

Unfortunately there had been a bit of a problem with the parcel, with it being sent back to Mary due to some of the contents being broken in transit. Sadly this also meant that the pud and biscuits that were included had to be thrown away in case they were contaminated with broken glass - what a shame . . .