WITH this week’s recipes, I turn to cakes in preparation for Christmas desserts.
I think it’s a really good idea to cook at home, especially if you have kids, because some of my fondest memories are baking apple pies and rolls in my grandmother’s kitchen.
Of course, there was always a run to the bakery in the morning for a Belfast bap – because, after all, we are a nation of bakers in Northern Ireland.
If you’re having guests over this Christmas, it’s always a good idea to have a chocolate and fruit dessert to suit different palettes.
This week we have a chocolate roulade, which you can fill with red currants, and a very simple orange and lemon cake.
These are two great recipes to get the kids involved, before they sit down and enjoy your baked goods with a nice cup of tea.
:: For more information on our cooking demonstrations at Waterman Cookery School, visit www.waterman.house
CHOCOLATE ROULADE FOR PREGNANCIES
(For 8 people)
6 eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder plus extra for dusting
Icing sugar for sprinkling
For the filling:
250 ml fresh cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Start by preheating the oven to 160°C. Line a roll mold about 23 cm in diameter and grease with a little butter before setting aside.
Put the egg yolks and caster sugar in a large bowl and whisk until the mixture is thick and creamy. Sift the cocoa powder over the mixture and whisk until well blended.
In a second bowl, whip the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the mixture until evenly distributed. Pour into the mold and spread in the corners.
Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for up to 20 minutes. The sponge will not rise because there is no flour in the mixture but it will retract from the sides of the mold.
Take the mold out of the oven and loosen the edges with a spatula before leaving to cool.
To make the filling, whip the cream and icing sugar together until thick enough to form soft peaks. Remove the gooseberries from their stems.
To roll the roulade, place the cake in a sheet of clean parchment paper, cover the cake with cream and sprinkle with currants.
At one end of the cake, start flipping it over and rolling it on itself. Don’t overtighten as you don’t want the cream filling to come out. Keep rolling until the whole cake has transformed into itself.
Sprinkle with caster sugar and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
ORANGE AND LEMON CAKE
(For 4 people)
300g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
2.75 cc baking powder
300g vegetable oil
The zest of 2 oranges
Zest of ¾ lemon
To make the syrup:
20g caster sugar
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of a lemon
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Put the sugar, ground almonds and baking powder in a bowl and mix.
Add eggs and vegetable oil until all ingredients are well combined.
Grate the zest from the oranges and lemons and mix again.
Line a cake tin with parchment paper and stir in the mixture before putting the tin in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
To make the syrup, mix the caster sugar with the juice from the orange and lemons, place the sugar and juice over medium heat and, once dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil, stir well and pour over the cake.