Day 24 – Coconut Macaroons (page 50 ) and Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake (page 166)
The coconut macaroons contain an elusive ingredient – shredded coconut. Not desiccated, not flaked, but shredded and this was not available anywhere in Penzance. Instead I had to order it online from the amazing Melbury & Appleton store. Of course as the delivery was £5.99 I had to make the order worthwhile, so was able to indulge Paul’s passion for Mexican food with lots of incredible dried chillies and genuine Margarita Salt. Anyway, once the shredded coconut arrived:
It begins with an egg white base, mixed until frothy, add in cream of tartar , almonds, salt, vanilla and the coconut. Form into domes and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Pretty simple. I couldn’t quite make my shapes look like Nigella’s picture here:
Overall they were pleasant, not incredible or mind-blowing, but pleasant. Not too sure if I’d be in a big rush to make them again.
Marks out of 10: 7
Bakers comment: the main ingredient is hard to buy and I’m not sure I’d recommend going the extra mile to buy it online. If you are lucky enough to have it in a local shop then do give the recipe a whirl.
Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake
I had high hopes for this cake. It looks good in the pic in the book:
and what’s not to like about anything with chocolate in? Simple recipe with generally good instructions, although I’m always wary when a recipe tells you things like ‘take care to blend well but be careful not to overbeat‘..that is such a fine line, and if you’ve never made the cake before it is a hard thing to judge, when is careful blending overbeating? Anyway, I’m not sure if I achieved the correct level of blending as you’ll see in my end results. Cake went into the prepared loaf tin and baked for the requisite 45 minutes. I followed Nigella’s instructions not to test the cake as it should still be a ‘bit squidgy inside‘ and just went on the cooking times. It looked really good when it came out of the oven, and did collapse in the middle as the recipe said it would. We served it up with some delicious Russian Fudge yoghurt and it was a tasty treat:
The thing I wasn’t so keen on was on further inspection the centre of the cake was actually pretty liquid still. It didn’t really taste like it had cooked enough and certainly couldn’t be sliced into clean portions. Instead we had to pick bits that were cooked off. I had a plate on the second night after cooking and it left me feeling sick – not what you want in a cake!
Marks out of 10: 5, was ok when first cooked but didn’t keep well.
Bakers comment: If you plan on making this I’d cook it for 55 minutes – 10 minutes longer than Nigella recommends, might be just enough to take it from wet in the middle to squidgy.