What is it with so many birthdays in September?
Two people. Every day. All of this week.
I guess it says a lot about the long, dark, cold winter months, and the festive season circa 9 months ago.
So it was Bruce's Birthday too, and apart from his favourite chocolate caramel cake, he also loves whoopie pies, so that's what I made: red velvet whoopie pies with orange buttercream.
Since the launch of my portfolio site, I've been quite busy with a steady stream of new jobs and clients, which I've been so grateful for. And remember when I was talking about balance a few weeks ago? Well, my life seems to be recalibrating itself quite well since then and I'm feeling very Zen - in harmony with everything around me and exactly where I need to be at this point in my life.
In other news, I got to meet Australian chef Bill Granger the other night at a dinner party he was hosting for the launch of his new book. For me, Bill has been one of the most inspiring chefs when it comes to cooking and baking, with his quick and easy recipes and his flair for keeping things simple yet sophisticated, it was such a pleasure to finally get to meet him. He said he's been living in London for the past 12 months and is looking to open one of his gorgeous restaurants here, probably around Marylebone, and I can't wait for that. When I was in Sydney I spent most of my time at Bill's. His ricotta hotcakes are worth the price of the ticket from London. And don't get me started on the photography in his books...
I have to confess though that I do buy cookbooks for their photography. Is that bad? Do you do that? I just feel like it's not worth buying if the photos are bad or if there isn't a photo for every recipe, no matter how great the recipes are. What do you think? And what are some of your favourite cookbooks?
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies:
125g butter, at room temperature
180g light brown sugar
300g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp red food colour paste
1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone mats.
2. Whisk together the butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, blend the red food colour paste with the cocoa powder
3. Whisk in the egg until completely incorporated, then add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix in the red cocoa powder mixture.
4. Fill a piping bag and pipe 5cm rounds onto the lined baking trays.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when touched. Allow to cool before filling with buttercream. For the buttercream, you can use my ginger and lime recipe, but substitute the ginger and lime with the fine zest of one orange.
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