Author: Caroline

6

The best chocolate cake: Chocolate Orange Spice Cake

Chocolate Orange Spice Cake

I’ve always liked to bake. As soon as I was old enough to co-ordinate reading recipes and using a wooden spoon, I was anxious for any cake-making excuse – and most of them involved copious amounts of chocolate. Over the years there have been many good chocolate cakes, from my early attempts using chocolate-flavoured cake covering and marg to (when I started paying for my own shopping!) butter and 70% dark chocolate. This cake, however, although it may not look like much, stands head and shoulders above the rest.

19

Blackcurrant Almond Cake

When we bought the cottage, I was delighted to discover a threesome of blackcurrant bushes out in the back garden. I missed the first few years’ worth of harvest but this year managed to get enough to make this deliciously moist Blackcurrant Almond Cake.

2

Playing gooseberry

Seventeen gooseberries does not a summer make but it’s just about enough for a Gooseberry Yoghurt Fool.

0

How does your garden grow…organically?

Wet garlic

Last summer, when we had the Mallow Farmers’ Market running outside Urru, we saw a lot of Patrick Frankel, a local organic vegetable grower. When he started coming to the market he had just started producing vegetables on his family farm near Doneraile and customers were delighted with the early fruit of his labours: spring onions, yellow and green courgettes, an assortment of tomatoes, new potatoes, peas and, my favourite, mangetout. I bumped into him a few times at the Killavullen Farmers’ Market, always making sure to stock up on the mangetout – great shredded and tossed raw into salads or briefly steamed and served as a side – but hadn’t seen him around for a while so I was delighted to see that the North Cork Organic Group had organised a farm visit.

0

Strawberries for not so sunny days: Strawberry and Peach Sundae

Strawberry and Peach Sundae

Here’s a desert that’s perfect eaten outside in the late evening sunshine – or to cheer up a rainy day. There’s no real need for quantities as the amounts depend on how many people you are trying to make the strawberries stretch between, how big the glasses are and how greedy your audience!Chop up the fruit before dinner and toss with the sugar so that the juices start to run then assemble the sundaes just before eating so that the biscuits don’t get soggy. With each mouthful of sweet fruit, fragrant juice, cool yoghurt and almond crunch you could be almost forgiven for thinking that it’s summertime.

Wine online 4

Wine online

If – like me! – you didn’t make it up early enough to catch The Wine Geese, the first part of the series is online here (I can’t seem to find it on the Lyric podcasts page) and there’s more information about the documentary on the Lyric FM website here. Well worth a listen.