Friday, 4 April 2014

UK Coffee Week (7-13 April)

So, next week, in the UK at least, is dedicated to that most heavenly of caffeinated beverages, coffee, and Delicious Delicious Delicious is giving away 50 coffee pods to celebrate.

More about that in a minute. First, what's this coffee week business? Well, the Fine Coffee Club (who are giving away the coffee) put it rather nicely:

UK Coffee Week really is for everyone who enjoys coffee and wants to give something back to the countries which produce the beans we love so much. It doesn't matter if you are an instant coffee drinker or an artisan roaster: everyone can support UK Coffee Week.

The Fine Coffee Company gives 20% of the cost of their Rwandan coffee direct to the farmers at The Rwandan Coffee Farmers Company (RFCC). The RFCC is right now building a coffee roasting and packaging plant that will provide an income for 50, 000 local coffee farmers and, of course, create jobs.

The pods the company make are compatible with Nespresso branded machines. And I know you want to get a hold of some.

Delicious Delicious Delicious is giving away 5 x 10 pod packs of the following coffees:

Dark Roast - A darkly roasted blend of premium Central American and African beans that delivers a full-bodied, well – rounded bold taste. Recommended drink: Latte

Light Roast - A mild, easy drinking espresso consisting of the finest beans from Colombia, Costa Rica and Africa, this blend has a fruity flavour with a softly rounded character. Recommended drink: Espresso

Lungo - best enjoyed as a longer shot. Hand selected coffees from South America and Africa result in full-bodied intensity and a lasting rich flavour. Recommended drink: Americano with a splash of cold milk

Guatemalan - Guatemala's rich volcanic earth has produced this rich Arabica with many layered flavours. Darkly roasted, with a medium body, bright acidity, floral aromas and dark fruit flavours, leaving you with a clean lingering after taste. Recommended drink: Americano

Rwandan - Our 100% single origin Rwandan coffee has a full body and strong acidity. This coffee is rich and smoky, there are brown sugar and bittersweet dark chocolate flavours alongside the black tea note that is characteristic of Rwandan coffees. Recommended drink: Americano or Espresso

How to win:

Simple. See up top there I have a photo of a latte with a flower on it? I love coffee art. In the past, I have had coffees with dogs, hearts and even Hello Kitty on the top. 

Leave a comment or tweet me @peterdelicious telling me what you'd love on top of your latte. I'll pick a winner at random next Friday.

Good luck! 

(For the record, and for equity, I would like Ewan McGregor's face on top of my latte.)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Finnish Bilberry Cake

I have recently been obsessed with Finnish things. My offering Iittala glassware as a Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 prize shows that. I have also been obsessed with Willam Belli, but I don't think Delicious Delicious Delicious is the place to discuss that. (Godammit.)

I'm thinking that more Finnish baking will follow in coming weeks, because obsession is mind-occupying thing, but I'm kicking the game off with a completely self-imagined delicacy that I'm only calling Finnish because it contains cardamom (swoon) and bilberries, or what the Finns call mustikka.

Now, I don't want to get too over the top about these bilberries. They come dried, I buy them in Helsinki and I love them, but that's not to say that they aren't also somewhat unremarkable. I'm from the North West: we have winberries, which I am pretty sure are the same thing. We just don't dry them or grind them into a powder (that's coming in a later recipe.), or put them in coffee.

But nonetheless: there's something super charming about the packaging that these come in (bad photo coming up. Sorry!) which makes me want to buy them.

Let's put them in a cake!

You could replace the dried mustikka with whatever you like. You could chop up some of that dried kiwi fruit you can get in health food shops. Why not? (It would be green though.)

Finnish Bilberry Cake

You will need:

50ml milk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
seeds from 10 cardamom pods, crushed
150g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g soft butter
50g dried bilberries

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. In a medium bowl, mix the milk, eggs, vanilla and cardamom.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients (except the bilberries) and mix using a hand whisk until blended. This means no sifting: awesome. Add the butter, cubed, and half of the egg and milk mixture. Mix, with an electric hand mixer, on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. 
  3. Add the remaining egg mixture and beat for 40 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Fold in the dried bilberries using a spoon..
  4. Scrape the batter into a greased 6-cup bundt pan, or a loaf tin of the same size. Smooth the surface with a spatula. (If you prefer, use the batter for cupcakes. You should get around 14.)
  5. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. This took an hour for me. 
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn out to cool.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014: The Winner

 One word: winner.

Oh boy, do I find choosing a winner difficult. Seriously, I take less time choosing which body butter (obsessed) to pick up when I am at The Body Shop, and that's pretty much like 'Sophie's Choice' for me anyway.

I'd had this idea that I would get some friends of mine to do the judging and pick a winner, but it didn't work out. We're all in our thirties now, we're busy and who really has time to judge a lamington competition anyway?


So I relied on all of your comments and tweets (which, as a Twitter newbie, I still find exciting) to guide me. And they did. To Curtis and his Eurythmics inspired lamingtons.

Congrats to Curtis! Do you want to actually Fed-Ex me the lamingtons so I can make sure they're worthy? :)

The prize is on it's way.

And thanks to all who entered!

Stick around people, I have some awesome cake coming this week.

Ciao for now.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014: The Round-Up!

I know. This is late. All I can say is that if you were me, and had my life (and more importantly, my lack of skill with an iPad Mini), you would also find blogging remotely in hotel rooms a nightmare.

I can only apologise for taking forever to get this post together. I get so jet lagged on layovers that it is really hard to motivate myself. But I am back home now, and making it happen. Rejoice.

I still don't know how to judge these (I love them all), but your comments or tweets will definitely help, so please let me know your thoughts. I hope to reach a decision by the end of the week.

I am always amazed by the entries I get for this competition, and also touched. I know that lamingtons make mess. Thanks to all who baked, or even just read along.

So, without further ado!

Jana blogs in German and English. (I know, right?) She made me think for a second that I should start publishing in Japanese as well, but then I thought about having to translate myself and it gave me a headache. Jana made Carrot Cake Guglhupf Lamingtons. I love these: read the post. They don't look like lamingtons, but they are super lamington-inspired.

Vivien Lloyd, she of preserving fame, made Marmalade Lamingtons. I bet they were moist and squishy and delicious! How beautiful is this picture by the way? Say hello to her on Twitter - @vivienlloyd. Hell, why not say hello to me as well? @peterdelicious

Michael Toa made lamingtons using Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise. I have to be honest, when I first heard about them I was pretty shocked. The mayo is actually in the cake though, as an ingredient, and the lamingtons are Chocolate and Passion Fruit. Score! Michael has a cute YouTube Channel by the way. Check it out!

Dom, he of Belleau and regular lamington re-invention, did not disappoint this year. He made a Green Tea, Lime and Coconut Lamington Cake. I have always resisted the matcha lamington, but I do not think I would turn his down. Look at those cake layers! Tell him you love them. Tweet @belleaukitchen.

Lou Lou made some Raspberry and Rose Lamingtons. These just look unbelievably perfect. I nearly screamed when I saw them. With joy. Deep joy.

These are Mardi's first entry. I do love a baker with a competitive edge! They are Lami-Choux, and are definitely what Parisians would call 'très choux!'. Up next we have her...

 ...Jaffington Cupcakes. I love the sound of these, and especially love the marmalade in the ganache. It's not just an orange cake with some chocolate on top. Mardi (@eatlivtravwrite) lives in Canada. Gutted it's too far to pop around for one.

Curtis came out of Blog Hibernation (tsk tsk) to post the most unique lamingtons I think I have ever seen. Yes, these are lamingtons inspired by the wonderful Annie Lennox. And Dave Stewart. You may balk at Eurythmics Lamingtons. I say, 'Bring them over here. Now.' That up there is a Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) Lamington, and here we have a There Must Be An Angel Lamington.

They are obviously made of angel food cake. :)

Lucy made Raw Raspberry Lamingtons. The title, when you look at the URL for the link alone, is 'Treat Me Raw Raspberry Lamingtons' - I think they sound pretty saucy!

So, that's it for this year's entrants. Let me know what you think of them - which is your favourite, etc. I have an idea anyway of how I am going to select someone, but decisions can always be informed.

Have a great week!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Ten: Chocolate Hazelnut Lamingtons


Before this 2014 lamington shiz all began (not that long before, but more than a few days), I made Nigella's Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake.

Shopping for the ingredients made me feel guilty; it's an artery-clogging, sugar-loaded coronary waiting to happen. I didn't let that bother me too much, because I was making it for some boys who were coming over for dinner, and I'm trying to fatten them both up 'cause they're cuter than I am, godammit. In a further, entirely selfless act, I  gave them half of the leftovers. You might say this was uncharacteristiaclly generous, but I would call it sensible. Because my gosh, that cheesecake really is a thighsticker.

Anyway, whilst I was licking the mixer bowl (don't pretend you wouldn't), it hit me that chocolate and hazelnut is one of the great flavour combinations in life. People can bang on about chocolate and chilli, strawberries and balsamic vinegar and mangoes and soy sauce (maybe that last one is just my mum), but let's be real about it: Nutella is popular for a reason.

You can see where the thought process went.

These are not Nutella Lamingtons. Nutella will never work as a lamington glue (or rather, coating). It's too thick, too sticky. I did think, more than briefly, about sandwiching these with some Nutella à la Clotted Cream Lamingtons (sinful), but I couldn't because, uh, I'd actually eaten all of the Nutella.

I'm sorry. Don't look at me.

Anyway, you might say that I saved the best for last. I'm refusing to pick. My lamingtons are my babies, and this ain't 'Sophie's Choice.'

You still have time to Re-Invent the Lamington to try and win either the bundt pan or Iittala plate. The last date for entries is 28 February. I have had some great lamington submissions so far, but don't let the competition being fierce put you off. Be creative; this is just some fun.

Thanks for following along. Be sure to check back for the round up and winner!

Chocolate and Hazelnut Lamingtons

You will need:

1 x batch Coconut and Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake

300g milk chocolate (or plain if you prefer)
250g hazelnuts

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into eight rectangles.These are big lamingtons!
  2. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan. This just means pushing them round in an oiless pan until they smell fragrant. Don't let them burn! Once cool, chop them finely. Set the chopped nuts aside in a dish.
  3. Melt the chocolate either over warm water or in the microwave.
  4. Dip the chunks of cake (I said they were big!) into the chocolate and coat well. Then turn and roll them in the chopped nuts. Set them aside to set firm and devour them with a cup of tea and joy in your heart.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Nine: Strawberry Jam Lamingtons

The pandas loved being on Instagram. It made them feel complete.

Inspired by my Seville Orange Lamingtons, what was there to stop me from repeating the process using some of my other homemade preserves? Really. What?

Truth told, I think it's nice to have a recipe like this to get me to use up what I stash in the cupboard upstairs. I have a bad habit of keeping the jams and chutneys I make because they are 'precious'. It's counter productive. The point of preserving is to put something away so you can actually enjoy it later, not watch it gather dust.

These lamingtons actually remind me of the old fashioned baker's madeleines you used to see all the time when I was little and which I haven't seen for years and years now that I sit and think about it. The closest you get, at least in the UK, is that rotten coconut and jam topped cake that they do in Starbucks.

No offense, Star-Bees, but my lamingtons school your rubbish loaf cake. Now go and pay your corporation taxes, dammit.

Maybe those madeleines will make a comeback. Stranger things have happened. Look at the resurgence of Tottenham Cake! It's everywhere. I hate it.

Until that day, I give you my Strawberry Jam Lamingtons. Enjoy. And don't forget to Re-Invent the Lamington yourself. I have had loads of great entries so far, judging is going to be a nightmare!

Strawberry Jam Lamingtons

You will need:

1 x batch Coconut and Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake

1 x jar (around 250g) strawberry jam (you can make your own)
100g dessicated coconut

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into 24 cubes, or as many as you like/can.
  2. Make the jam glaze: mix the strawberry jam with a little hot water from a recently boiled kettle until smooth and glossy. Add the water a little at a time, because if you add too much, the glaze will thin out and become unusable. Set the coconut in a dish.
  3. Dip each cube of cake into the jammy glaze and then roll in the coconut. Set aside on a wire rack to dry out. Plastic panda bears are an optional, but thrilling, extra.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Eight: Coconut Lamingtons

 I just freaking LOVE my hot pink background. Sorry not sorry if I overuse.

Some people call me Vanilla Boy, using the term in its modern slang sense. I say, 'If only they knew.'

But regardless, I thought a vanilla lamington might kick some ass. Imagine: fluffy vanilla scented sponge cake, dipped in a creamy white chocolate ganache and sprinkled with vanilla infused sugar crystals. Exciting, no?

Trouble is, as I got ready to make these vanilla lams, I lost interest. I didn't want to eat such a sweet and sickly sounding confection. I wanted coconut, and lots of it.

Now, you might say, looking at this blog, 'Wow. That's a lot of coconut! More than enough.' And you'd be absolutely right. But (and this is true of so many things in life), do you know what's better than just enough?


So we're having coconut lamingtons. They are my favourite of the 2014 batch of Re-Invented Lamingtons. At least, they are my favourites out of the ones I re-invented myself. The lamingtons you have been re-inventing and tweeting me about look pretty sensational as well to be honest. I love seeing your entries when I do this every year, it makes me want to bust out my Blogging Community apron and just weep with happiness.

Right now I have to finish this post though, so my tears are on standby. If you want to Re-Invent the Lamington yourself, I'm running a great giveaway. Details here. Get involved!

Coconut Lamingtons

You will need:

1 x half batch Victoria Sandwich

300g icing sugar, sifted
50ml Malibu (I'm not even embarrassed.) 
100g dessicated coconut 

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into 12 cubes, or as many as you like/can.To be honest, with this cake (which I baked in a 20cm square tin), as opposed to the chiffon cake I used for the other lamingtons this year, crumbing and breaking is less of an issue, but I still like nice defined edges so recommend the overnight cold treatment.
  2. Make the glaze: mix the Malibu and icing sugar together until smooth. If you need to thin it down a little more, use a few drops of hot water from the kettle. Set the dessicated coconut in a dish.
  3. Dip each cube of cake into first the glaze and then cover generously in coconut. Set aside on a wire rack to dry out. 
  4. We ate these with ice cream. I don't know why, but they felt much more like a dessert lamington than some of the others. 
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