Category Archive: Cake


  1. Peanut Butter Cup Cakes

    peanut butter ganache

    Peanut butter: the perfect combination of salty, sweet and that protein taste called umami. Leaving out the nostalgia for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there’s nothing much better than a peanut butter cake in my book, which is why I keep re-visiting my recipe.

    This time I have added Greek yogurt to the mix, which I think has given it a creamier feel yet a lighter texture. The yogurt acts a bit like buttermilk, adding acid to the baking powder to create a nearly frothy reaction. You can see how the batter forms silky peaks.

    IMG_5388

    I’ve topped these ones with dark chocolate ganache and sea salt, so they’re a bit like a fancy peanut butter cup.

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  2. Lazy Almond Cake

    This is a ‘well I really want cake but I refuse to go to the shop for anything’ kind of cake. And I don’t have any baking powder… I am always running out of something. What the heck, let’s give it a go!

    It turns out it’s amazing what you can do with what is lying around in your cupboard. Phew! I don’t have to go outside… The result of this laziness is a dense, moist almond cake that works perfectly with tea and even better with coffee and a book. Tah dah!

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  3. Project Wedding Cake – Dave and Mel

    Crafting this rather large wedding cake was hard work but so much fun that I would do it again and again. I thought I would share a few details of the adventure so here it goes! Let’s start with the final result:

    Wedding Cake Kiss

    Wedding Cake Kiss

    Wedding Cake Tiers

    I know you might be thinking ‘it’s only 12 inches, that’s the size of a pizza’, but it’s not like a pizza at all. I have never seen such a large cake tin in my life. You could practically bath an infant in it, though of course I wouldn’t recommend this multipurpose use! The depth feels like an abyss that ingredients might disappear into. If you’ve ever made a cake you might understand the anxiety…

    It fit in my oven by some miracle and by one even greater it cooked through. I can’t express the fear felt as you take a cake out of the oven that is four times an original recipe with lots of expensive ingredients. If doing this at home I recommend classical music, camomile tea and maybe a tranquilliser. Phew!

    12-Inch-carrot-cake

     

    But oh the bliss when it comes out perfect. BLISS. Only 5 more layers to go…

    Frosting is another adventure. I can’t tell you the grief of finding that your go-to icing sugar company had switched to a new emulsifier that doesn’t do its job, yielding grainy buttercream no matter the method. 2 kilos of sugar later and I finally decide to switch from a classic to a Swiss-style buttercream. The result was ace! Soft, cloud-like and sturdy all at the same time. Perhaps the sugar gods had a plan for me after all. I’ll never use another frosting again!

    meringue-whisking

    Essentially, you start with a Swiss meringue, where you heat caster sugar and egg whites over a bain-marie until the sugar dissolves, then whisk to stiff peaks, add flavour and a ton of butter. It turns into a lumpy mess at first but with more whisking you end up with heaven.

    It takes more frosting than you would imagine to cover a wedding cake. I try to go for enough to cover a VW Beetle – I think I might just make it…

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  4. Porter Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Whisky Frosting

    I recently went out for dinner and we had this chocolate stout cake. It was dense, sweet, malty, moist, bitter (maybe slightly too bitter) – but mainly just a delicious piece of cake. Something worth baking at home, with a couple of little changes.

    First thing’s first – it’s the beer that gives this cake depth of flavour by introducing some of its fruity and malty notes, so the beer is one of the most important ingredients to think about.

    In Harold McGee’s book ‘On Food and Cooking’, the beer style chart lists stout as being mainly dark and bitter. Porter on the other hand has a bit of caramel sweetness to balance the bitterness from the dark roasted malt. It also has a bit more fizz, which might help to leaven the cake. I’ll tell you what – it works. I’ll never again bake a chocolate cake without it… and the whisky in the frosting? Well, it’s the icing on the, you know, cake.

    Porter Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Whisky Frosting

    chocolate-porter-cake-whole-after-the-market

     

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  5. Carrot Cake with Apricots and Pecans

    Carrot cake is an all American classic and a signature of Autumn, with its orange and brown colours reflecting the changes in the trees. We had it as our wedding cake two Septembers ago we love it so much, so I suppose I get a hankering for it this time of year in part out of reminiscing… Here is a photo of that gorgeous wedding cake, made by Sugar Rush Bakery in West Seattle, sadly now closed. It was so delicious!

    Maggie and Hugo wedding 2-198-Edit
    Photo by Marla Smith Photography

    There are hundreds of wonderful recipes out there filled with raisins and walnuts but I prefer to make mine with apricots and pecans. My recipe doesn’t make as big as the one above but it is just as delicious. Sweet but not sickly and good enough to eat for breakfast. Come on, it’s got veg in it!

    Oh, and just a little hint – if you want it to be really moist make the cake the day before, cool it and wrap it in cling film and leave it out, then frost it the next day. If you have time, it’s worth the wait. Doing this allows the flavours and the moisture to develop.

    This cake also freezes wonderfully if well wrapped so you can make it far in advance. Just leave it wrapped and out on the counter for at least 12 hours to defrost fully before use and frost it on the day.

    IMG_8381

    Top it with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting and eat it within three days for best results (as if it will last that long!).  Refrigerate it if it is at all hot out and you aren’t eating it within the day of making. The frosting will keep up better this way anyway.

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  6. Peanut Butter Yogurt Cupcakes with Sea Salted Chocolate Ganache

    Well, here we are! The new After The Market! It’s been a bit quiet here for a while but I hope you’ll think it’s been worth the wait.

    I am so happy to share my new site, with more user-friendly buttons and ways to search. I’ve certainly enjoyed the process of putting it together with mastermind graphic designer David Waters and designer/web builder Kimberley Chan. Thank you so much guys!

    To start us off, I think something sweet fits the bill… Enjoy!

    peanut butter ganache

    Peanut butter: the perfect combination of salty, sweet and that protein taste called umami. Leaving out the nostalgia for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there’s nothing much better than a peanut butter cake in my book, which is why I keep re-visiting my recipe.

    This time I have added Greek yogurt to the mix, which I think has given it a creamier feel yet a lighter texture. The yogurt acts a bit like buttermilk, adding acid to the baking powder to create a nearly frothy reaction. You can see how the batter forms silky peaks.

    IMG_5388

    I’ve topped these ones with dark chocolate ganache and sea salt, so they’re a bit like a fancy peanut butter cup.

    (more…)

    [SHARE]
  7. Dark Chocolate Banana Cake

    When you have about a hundred bananas lying around the office that need eating you just have to make banana cake. Chuck in some leftover dark chocolate (the rest of the bar you’ve just bought and eaten a few squares of counts as ‘leftover’ in my book), a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a little extra butter and you’ve got a deliciously sweet and bitter cake.

    Ingredients
    Handful of roughly chopped dark chocolate
    4 teaspoons double action baking powder
    1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
    1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    8oz plain flour
    4 1/2 oz butter
    4oz caster sugar
    3 banana’s smushed
    2 room temperature eggs
    2 bananas, sliced down the center along the ‘spine’ curve for the top of the cake

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  8. Cupcake Challenge Tea Party

    Every cook needs feedback on culinary experiments. I find the best way for me to get a review of new recipes is to break out the china and invite the girls over for tea to test out new creations. So I baked and baked and swirled my way through endless bags of flour and sugar and brought out 4 new recipes to share with the girls. Boil the kettle and off we go!

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