Short and Tweet 10: Coconut Layer; Saffron, Peach & Almond or Chocolate Alchemy Cakes

This week’s #shortandtweet challenge from Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet was for Coconut milk layer cake pg 153 or The Alchemist’s chocolate cake pg 148 or Saffron peach cake pg 137. Cake seemed like a good idea at this point in January and I tried to select items that I thought might be in people’s store-cupboards (with varying degrees of success). The photograph above is of the sole Coconut Layer Cake entry from Choclette8 of Chocolate Log Blog who added her own embellishments to the recipe.

We all seemed a little time-crunched this week or we didn’t run into our usual variety of issues relating to flour/technique etc. so we don’t seem to have had our usual exchanges about technical issues or notes on flours or similar.

Mitchdafish of Mitchadafish blog produced a Peachy saffron cake not least because “[it] was a welcome opportunity to use up the saffron that has been in the cupboard for nearly a decade”.
Jo of Zeb Bakes showed store cupboard initiative in swapping out some of her delightful home-bottled Concorde Pears for the peaches: Saffron Pear Almond Cake: Short and Sweet.

We made the Peach Saffron Cake without the saffron. I tend to find saffron bitter and because I was making it to give to neighbours I was wary of the flavour balance so I added some almond extract to the mix to enhance the overall flavour. Early reports are that the cake is well-flavoured and is keeping its moisture well.

Several of us tried The Alchemist’s chocolate cake. Tony Inga of Pane Artigiano produced Alchemist’s Chocolate Cake (I couldn’t reproduce it because it’s locked). [Update] See The Alchemist’s Apprentice for a charming account of an lovely Saturday afternoon’s baking session: “The coconut milk layer cake and saffron peach cake never stood a chance once my 7 year old saw those magic words, “The Alchemist’s chocolate cake“.

With a twinkle in her eye and a smile that lit up the room Annie announced “let’s make the Aclamist’s chocolate cake”

So on a quiet Saturday day afternoon that’s just what we did.”
BakeCakeCrumbs of Cake, Crumbs and Cooking sent along: The Alchemist’s Chocolate Cake. I was particularly delighted to read: “I have wanted to make this cake for such a long time, and really don’t know why I haven’t got round to it before now”. Likewise: ” a slice of [this] cake works out at fewer calories than two digestive biscuits. And who would choose to eat two boring digestives when they could have a slice of delicious chocolate cake instead!!!”.

The industrious Choclette8 of Chocolate Log Blog sent along two contributions to this week’s challenge: The Alchemist’s Chocolate Cake - Short and Tweet and Dan’s Coconut Milk Layer Cake.

If you haven’t come across CT’s tasting notes on Choclette8’s creations then you are in for a particular treat. For the coconut cake (pictured at the top): “CT helpfully stated “it tastes like a homemade cake”. What he actually meant by that, was it tasted like a real cake made by a real person and was utterly delicious. It was not overpoweringly coconutty, but the rum came through clearly and pleasantly. It was moist and had a good firm chewy texture.” Intriguingly, for the chocolate cake: “I asked CT what he thought. This was his stream of consciousness whilst tasting “smells of cupcakes from my childhood. Resilient cake, not crumbly but has a springy texture. Not very sweet. Nice, slightly banana flavour, slightly grainy, like oats?”…”When he found out this was made with pears, he cried, “ahh sclereids” - blooming botanists! Sclereids are, apparently, the grainy bits you get in pears, so he wasn’t too far off the mark with the grainy and fruity associations”.

I fell asleep at the wrong moment which emboldened my Best Beloved to bake the Alchemist’s Chocolate Cake without any assistance from me apart from my advice to use a larger, rather than smaller tin as we don’t have a 20cm round (not good advice from me - I should have checked the volume of the batter). The cake collapsed to half of its height after being removed from the oven and after it had cooled it was positively bendy. I may attempt the recipe at some point to work out what went awry but I strongly suspect it was combined user error in mixing/baking as we seem to have no crumb at all.

The challenge for next week is Soft white baps pg 60 or Cider vinegar muffins pp 65-69 (not that long a recipe) or Superwraps pg 72. If you blog about your experience with a recipe, please post links in the comments or tweet pictures or links to @foodcraftspace or @evidencematters using the hashtag #shortandtweet - Thank you. It’s the same procedure if you don’t blog but just post a photograph of your work. Please send the links by 8pm 15 January or as soon thereafter as practical.

Schedule for the #shortandtweet January 2012 challenge.

Outline for #shortandtweet challenge and its conditions.

Thank you to everyone for taking part. I look forward to seeing next week’s rolls, muffins or wraps after our comparative indulgence of this week.