Chocolate Madeleines

There are few dishes that everybody loves.

And while I have met a few of those people with rather unusual dislikes (apparently, some people do find ice cream repulsive. Shocking, I know!), I am still to come across anyone that doesn’t like madeleines.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

But then this small, bite-size cake originating from the Lorraine region in northeastern France is utterly irresistible.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

With its distinctive shell-like shape, domed top and light, delicate sponge-like texture, madeleines are commonly served as a mid-afternoon snack in France and make for the perfect bite-sized treat.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Based on a light sponge batter, madeleines can be made into many different flavour variations, from plain vanilla to more extravagant combinations such as chocolate & orange.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

The chocolate-enriched version below lays somewhere in the middle and makes for a brilliant, indulgent tea-time treat.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Chocolate madeleines (makes 30 small madeleines)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • 60ml milk
  • 75g melted chocolate
  • 185g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • 175g melted unsalted butter

1. Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the milk and melted chocolate, then fold in the flour, cocoa powder & chocolate extract. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at leats 2 hours or overnight.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C (gas mark 9) and grease a madeleine tray or tin.

4. Scoop the batter into the prepared tray, filling each mold to about three quarters (about a small tablespoon in each).

5. Insert into the oven and immediately lower the heat to 180°C (gas mark 6). Bake for about 15 minutes, until the madeleines are domed and set, then remove from the oven and unmold immediately.

6. For subsequent batches, get the oven temperature back up to 230°C before inserting the tray, then down to to 180°C after inserting.

(For an even more indulgent version, dip the cooled madeleines into melted chocolate and allow to set on a sheet of baking papper before serving)

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Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Chocolate Madeleines

Blackberry Friands

The Summer-girl-at-heart side of me might be in full denial right now, but the truth is, Autumn is right around the corner.

You can feel it in the way the night comes back a little bit earlier with every day that passes, in the first squashes of the season popping up on the market stalls, and, more importantly, in the blackberry bushes bending under the weight of berries.

Blackberry Friands | Cake + Whisky

Now, I’ve already confessed my (sort of wild) love of foraging, and as a result, blackberries have been gathering in my fridge over the past few weeks…

… only one thing to do. And that is, of course, cake! #whatelse

Blackberry Friands | Cake + Whisky

Just as I was pondering what to do with all those berries, I remembered the delightful, light as a cloud little bundles of joy Chef Luc Morbihan baked for us as a part of our Lobster Masterclass in Saint Malo.

Blackberry friands it was, then!

Blackberry Friands | Cake + Whisky

The rich, nutty flavour of almonds and hazelnut butter balances the tanginess of the berries perfectly and makes it the perfect treat any time of the day!

Make a batch this weekend, I’m sure you’ll find them berry good!

Blackberry Friands | Cake + Whisky

Blackberry Friands (serves 6) – adapted from Michelin-starred chef Luc Morbihan’s recipe

Ingredients:

  • 50g of almond powder
  • 110g of caster sugar
  • 45g of plain white flour
  • 110g of egg white (about 3 medium eggs)
  • 75g of butter
  • a handful of blackberries

1. In a big bowl, combine the almond powder, caster sugar and flour.

2. Add the egg white.

3. Cook the butter in a really hot pan until it turns brown and smells nutty, then add it to the batter. Mix gently, then set aside for at least an hour in the fridge.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Butter the moulds, pour the batter into them, then pop some fruit on top of each of them.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until the edges turn golden). Serve warm or cold, with a coulis or some ice cream.

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Blackberry Friands | Cake + Whisky

Blackberry Friands

Salted Caramel Brownies

So, today’s the day.

The day when I’m officially closer to 30 than I am to 20.

Feeling old much? YOU BET!

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

Luckily, birthdays are nature’s way of telling you to eat more cake, and god knows that’s something I’m always up for!

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

Now, birthday brownies are a bit of a tradition in my house (find out why here), but this year’s needed to step it up a notch…

And what’s the best way to make any amazing dessert even better?

You know it: SALTED CARAMEL e’rythiiiiiiiiiiiing!

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

So here it is. Salted caramel brownies.

Now, I used to be a triple choc’ brownies kind of girl. And then I made those and I’m telling you: TOTAL GAME CHANGER!

100-billion-calories-a-slice game changer, but after all, birthday = ultimate cheat day, right?

(and if it’s not quiiiite your birthday yet, well, you could always celebrate your un-birthday instead! ??)

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

 

Salted Caramel Brownies (serves 6-8)

You’ll need: 

For the brownies: 

  • 120g soft (but NOT MELTED!) salted butter
  • 160g granulated sugar
  • 3 big eggs
  • 70g self-raising flour
  • 200g dark chocolate

For the salted caramel sauce: 

  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 40g salted butter
  • about 100ml pouring or double cream
  • a generous pinch of salt

1. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C. Butter and flour a brownie pan (I like to use a 21×21 glass roasting tray like this one)

2. Make your caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan, put the sugar and a little bit of water. Cook over a hot stove until it turns a deep-brown colour and doesn’t re-crystalised if taken off the heat for a few seconds. Add in the butter, mix well, then add the cream and mix again. Add the salt, then leave to the side to cool down.

3. Make your brownies batter: In a big mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and the flour. Melt your chocolate over a double-boiler, then add it to the batter and mix until well combined.

4. Pour about half of your brownies batter into the buttered and floured pan, cover with a layer of salted caramel sauce, then top with the remaining brownies batter. Bake for 30-35 min.

5. Let the brownies cool down (they’re even better the following day!) before serving with the remaining salted caramel sauce drizzled on top.

Do you have any birthday traditions? I’d love to hear them in the comments!!

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Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

Salted Caramel Brownies

Breakfast in Paris

If there’s one thing you simply must do on a trip to Paris, it’s pop out in the morning for fresh bread and croissants.

There are boulangeries on every corner, selling all the classics.

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + WhiskyBreakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat…

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Along with every other treat you could hope for!

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Including speciality bread…

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Pizza…

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + WhiskyBreakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + WhiskyBreakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + WhiskyBreakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + WhiskyBreakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

And never-ending rows of beautiful cakes!

Pick up all your favourites (we couldn’t pass up Boulangerie Bo‘s beautiful cakes…), then take your haul to the closest sunny spot you can find.

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

If you’re lucky, your local boulangerie might even have a built-in spot for impromptu breakfast picnics…

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Then, all you have to do is get stuck in!

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Coconut & wild strawberry tartlet, fresh & light as a (coconut foam) cloud

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + WhiskyBreakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Decadent Raspberry & pistachio tartlet, bursting with pistachio flavour and tart raspberry jam.

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Last but not least, the signature Vanilla tartlet.

Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

A delicate almond & vanilla wonder, with layers of vanilla whipped cream, almond marzipan & almond biscuit.

An absolute triumph.

La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky

High on sugar we decided to walk it off at the nearby Coulée Verte.

La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky

A unique space in Paris (but not disimilar to New York’s Highline), La Coulée Verte is a 3mi green belt built on top of the obsolete Vincennes railway line.

La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Beginning just east of the Opéra Bastille with the elevated Viaduc des Arts, it goes all the way down to the boulevard Périphérique beltway.

La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + WhiskyLa Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky

From the elevated gardens, you get a new perspective of the city.

La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky

…and a little bit of a nosy into people’s flats along the way!

La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky La Coulée Verte, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Cake, nature & architectural wonders… The perfect start to any day of Parisian adventures!

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Breakfast in Paris at Boulangerie Bo | Cake + Whisky

Breakfast in Paris

Little Nan’s Afternoon Tea at Sutton House

Nothing lifts rain-drenched spirits the way Afternoon Tea does.

Especially if said tea is of the tipsy variety and involves a bit of history and a lot of vintage crokery!

Which is just what Little Nan’s latest pop up is all about!

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Hosted in Hackney’s Sutton House and taking place every Sunday starting on July 10th, Little Nan’s Afternoon Tea is the perfect mix of traditional and kitsch.

If the weather is nice you can have your tea served in the Tudor courtyard or the breakers yard and enjoy the sunshine.

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + WhiskyLittle Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

But if the summer weather doesn’t quite work out the way Facebook might make you believe it does, the indoor Georgian tea-room is absolutely charming as well.

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + WhiskyLittle Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + WhiskyLittle Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Like any self-respecting nan’s dining room, the place is full to the brim with vintage furniture, lace doilies, freshly cut flowers and the most impressive collection of china tea cups…

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

And an equally impressive collection of quirky teapots…

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

That Little Nan’s sneaky grandchildren use to serve their latest cocktail creations!

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

The perfect camouflage (and the number one way to improve on your Nan’s tea!)

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

With just a few twists on the classics, the Tea itself is delightfully retro and much more in line with what your Nan would serve…

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + WhiskyLittle Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Classic Cheddar cheese straws

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Finger sandwiches

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Egg & cress, ham & mustard, carrot & hummus, smoked salmon & cream cheese (the unquestionable winner of the lot), strawberry jam… It’s a sandwich lover’s paradise!

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Beautifully golden home baked scones, served with clotted cream and the best raspberry jam (that we may or may not have fought over…)

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Followed by a selection of seasonal pastries & cakes (Almond & orange cake + Chocolate Rocky Road on our visit, both absolutely delightful!)

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Plus your choice of nutty Carrot cake or creamy Victoria Sponge…

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

And like at any grandma worthy of the name, you’ll definitely be encouraged to go back for seconds and thirds!

Grandma’s house vibes + tipsy tea = the perfect way to perk up to a rainy day!

 

Book Little Nan’s Cocktail Afternoon Tea

Find out more about Sutton House (a visit of which is included in Little Nan’s Cocktail Afternoon Tea ticket)

Little Nan’s Afternoon Tea at Sutton House

Proper Tea, Manchester

We had been walking around Manchester all day when we stumbled upon the signs below.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

It was like it had been put on our way on purpose.

I mean, helloooo, cake and tea, have you met me ever? #CakeDiva

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

We followed the signs to the cutest little tea house there ever was.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Nestled behind the cathedral, Proper Tea is the coziest place you could imagine.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Perfect for resting your worn-out feet with a nice cuppa and a slice of homemade cake from the counter.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Once you’ve made your choice, put your feet up, all that’s left to do is pour yourself a nice, hot cup of tea.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soon, the lovely staff will bring plate after plate of incredible goodies to have with your tea.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

The best thing to do is covering the whole table with plates of homemade cakes and scones.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Including gigantic fluffy heart-shaped scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And slices of whatever cake the charming staff recommends.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

For us, it was this incredible pistachio & rose cake.

Absolutely scrumptious.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Slather the scones with just a bit too much cream & jam and enjoy the time being.

A brilliant place for a spot of proper tea (!!) with some of your favourite people.

Manchester Cathedral | Cake + Whisky

And the perfect break before continuing your exploration of Manchester’s most beautiful sights, including the nearby cathedral.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Manchester Cathedral | Cake + Whisky

A true gothic gem with glorious late-medieval wooden furnishing.

Cake, tea and architecture; an afternoon well spent indeed!

Find Proper Tea on Cathedral Yard, Manchester M3 1SQ  

Proper Tea, Manchester

Mini Chocolate Lava Cake

I’m having the Valentine’s blues.

No more brilliant excuse to buy all the cheesy cards, or have chocolate dessert at the end of every meal. Which is a shame, really, ’cause those are some of my very favourite things.

But you know what, I might just keep living as if #EveryDaysValentinesDay.

Surely, all those 50% off stickers are a sign that I should stock up on all the cards and heart-shaped everything. And as for chocolate, I never really need an excuse (and even if I did, chocolate actually makes you happy, right? So #JustWhatTheDoctorOrdered)…

Plus I have found the best ever recipe for mini chocolate lava cakes.

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

AKA the easiest, most irresistible and adorable chocolate puddings ever.

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

Just look at that melted chocolate centre! #Thingsdreamsaremadeof

Mini chocolate lava cake | Cake + Whisky

Now tell me you’re not even a little bit tempted to join the #EveryDaysValentinesDay team…

 

Mini chocolate lava cake (serves 2)

Ingredients: 50g chocolate + 4 squares, 1 big egg, 40g sugar, 25g butter (+ some for the ramequins), 2 teaspoons flour (+ a bit for the ramequins)

1. Pre-heat your oven to 250°C

2. Melt your chocolate and butter (either using a bain marie or in the microwave)

3. Add in the egg, sugar and flour and give it a good mix

4. Pour 1/3 of the batter in two (buttered and floured) ramequins, pop 2 extra squares of chocolate in each pot and top with the rest of the batter

5. Bake for 9-12 min and serve immediately (preferably with a nice scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce on top…)

Mini Chocolate Lava Cake

Candy Cane Brownies

Come Christmas, I always buy loads of candy canes. Ridiculous amounts, really.

I use them for literally everything: I hang some in the tree, use a few as gift-toppers, feature them on every holiday-themed Instagram picture…

But I never, ever eat them.

Or rather, I never DID. Until this morning.

When I had candy cane brownies for breakfast #healthgoals

Candy Cane Brownies | Cake + Whisky

If you like the mint + chocolate combo, you’re in for a treat. Plus it’ll help you use up some of the leftover Christmas sweets. Less food waste, more cake. #winwin

Candy Cane Brownies (serves 2-4)

Ingredients: 70g melted baking chocolate, 70g dark chocolate chips, 1 candy cane, 1 egg, 50g granulated sugar, 40g melted butter, 30g self-raising flour (optional: a few drops of peppermint extract)

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Butter and flour a small cake tin (1 used a small enamel dish).

2. Whisk together the egg, sugar and melted butter. Whisk the flour in, then add the melted chocolate and the chocolate chips (and the peppermint extract if using).

3. Using a mortar & pestle, grind the candy cane down to a coarse powder. Add about 3/4 of it to the batter.

4. Pour your batter into the baking tray and bake for about 15 min. Sprinkle on the rest of your candy cane powder on your brownies as soon as they’re out of the oven.

5. Eat warm or cold (ideally with some mint + choc. chips ice cream on the side).

 

Candy Cane Brownies

Orange and Cardamom Galette des Rois

Eating super healthy might make sense after the whole Christmas over-eating. That’s what sensible people would do.

But the French think otherwise. On the other side of the Channel, January is the season for Galettes des Rois (Kings cake).

Orange & Cardamom Galette des Rois | Cake + Whisky

Traditonally eaten for Epiphany on January 6th, Galette des Rois is an indulgent puff pastry and almond cream pie (frangipane).

It contains a porcelain figurine, and the person who receives it becomes King or Queen.

But with great powers (and any paper crown) comes great responsabilities and the newly crowned monarch will have to offer his/her people a drink or host the next king cake party, hence the whole shebang lasting well onto January… (but then it means more cake, so why would I complain?)

Orange & Cardamom Galette des Rois | Cake + Whisky

Orange & Cardamom Galette des Rois (serves 6-8)

Ingredients: 1 block of all-butter puff pastry, 60g butter, 125g ground almonds, 125g caster sugar, 3 eggs, zest of an orange, 4 cardamom pods (shell removed and crushed into a fine powder), 1 egg yolk

1. Heat the oven to 200C/fanC180

2. Divide the puff pastry in half, roll out each piece and cut into a 25cm round. Put one round on a baking sheet.

3. Beat together the softened butter and caster sugar. Stir in the ground almonds, orange zest and crushed cardamom seeds, then beat in the 3 eggs.

4. Spoon the mixture over the pastry, spreading it evenly. Brush the edges of the pastry with water, then cover with the second piece, pressing the edges to seal.

5. Mark the top of the pastry from the centre to the edges like the spokes of a wheel, then brush with the beaten egg yolk.

6. Bake for 25-30 mins until crisp and golden.

Orange and Cardamom Galette des Rois

Sea salt and chocolate chips cookies

I recently re-discovered a recipe I used to be kind of addicted to.

Back when I was in my last year of High School, I developped an addiction to baking as a way to release stress. So much so that in the last few weeks before my exams, I baked up to 3 cakes a day. My brother and sister were really happy with this situation, my dad, not so much.

Sea salt & chocolate chips cookies | Cake + Whisky

These cookies (or one of their variations) were amongst the usual suspects back then (together with this little wonder) and there wasn’t a week I wouldn’t bake at least one batch.

And then, God knows why, I stopped.

Continue reading “Sea salt and chocolate chips cookies”

Sea salt and chocolate chips cookies