Like most food bloggers, I am quite obsessed with cookbooks. I get sent dozens of them every year to review and I buy dozens more. A lot of them sit in boxes as I just don’t have enough room to display them in my house (although I’m working on rectifying this).
When I receive a new one I usually bookmark a few pages of ‘must cook’ recipes and save the rest for when I need inspiration to flick through.
It’s not often that I go crazy bookmarking them, but I found myself in a Pinterest-style frenzy with this new one by Sally Wise called Sweet! (you might know her better as the slow cooker queen).
I don’t even have that much of a sweet tooth, as you know, but there are so many nostalgic recipes of delicious ‘fete’ favourites in this book that I couldn’t resist getting a little excited. Think coconut ice, finger buns, marshmallow slice and even iced vovo’s – see pic above!
My hubby has a real sweet tooth so I’m really looking forward to giving this book a workout. It will be like transporting ourselves back in time to the eighties (the best decade, mind you).
But before you think there are just old retro recipes, I better set you straight. There are also lots of recipes for cakes, slices, biscuits and a whole chapter charmingly named ‘Diabetic Friendlier’, which I will be using to make appropriate treats for my type 2 diabetic Dad.
Not all the recipes have photos, but when I flicked to this page I knew it was the perfect cake to make my chocoholic Mum for Mother’s Day.
The recipe worked beautifully, however, being a little impatient I didn’t allow it to cool enough before slicing in half and made a big old mess. Next time I will make two of the cakes and layer them, much easier for an idiot baker like me.
I am telling you all this to preface the next photo…
Ahem, please wait for the damn cake to cool before trying to slice it in half!
(See Steve, I told you I would put this blooper photo in here!).
I followed the recipe exactly, however added a layer of cherry conserve to the centre along with the ganache. Delicious!
I covered up most of the lumps with ganache and a flower or two. Yes, I am a terrible cake decorator!
I have always been horrible at arts and crafts, so my poor mother has had to endure some pretty ugly creations over the years, and it looks like this year is no exception! Perhaps it made her nostalgic? She said she loved it, like only a mother could.
Are you a sucker for nostalgic sweets too?
Sweet! by Sally Wise is available now published by Harper Collins. Fig & Cherry received this cookbook with compliments from Harper Collins Publishers.
Rich chocolate layer cake
- 125g butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 60g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups self raising flour
- 2 level tablespoons cornflour
Heat the oven to 160C. Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper, grease again.
Place the butter, sugar, cocoa, choclate, water and bicarbonate soda in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then quickly whisk in the eggs, flour and cornflour. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Cut the chocolate cake in half horizontally. Spread one-quarter of the ganache over the bottom layer, then top with the other layer of the cake. Using a spatula, spread the remaining ganache over the top and side of the cake and leave to set.
- 1 cup cream
- 300g dark chocolate, chopped
Pour the cream into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Immediately add the chocolate and stir until melted.
Leave to stand for just a few minutes after which it can be poured as a glaze over a chocolate cake. Alternatively, it can be left until thickened to the consistency of table margarine, then beaten to make a fluffy frosting.