Welcome to Issue 1 of Pull Up A Chair, my new email newsletter full of foodie chat. It’s what I’m missing most in this pandemic, telling a friend to pull up a chair and sharing some food with a good chat. In German the word Kaffeeklatsch has some of this energy - but you can fit in much more chat over a meal than you can over a coffee and cake.
Every week, I’ll be sharing with you a recipe I’ve recently made, a kitchen tool that has earned its place in my arsenal, and a shout-out to an eatery where I love to join people for a chat and a bite to eat.
Recipe: Mini Egg Cake
Last week I had an excuse to make my favourite birthday cake recipe - this is the one I always make if dietary restrictions allow. It’s Lorraine Pascale’s Let Them Eat Cake, Cake, a rich chocolate layer cake which she covers in frosting and Maltesers. In this case, though, I made just one layer and covered it in Mini Eggs.
To make one layer of cake you will need:
75g soft unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
75g self-raising flour
62g sour cream
2 medium eggs (at room temperature)
25g cocoa powder
1/2 a tsp baking powder
A couple of drops vanilla extract.
To take this up a notch I made a sour cream chocolate frosting with a healthy pinch of salt, balancing out the sugar and creating a salted caramel sort of effect.
The annoying thing about leaving a cake on someone’s doorstep and walking away is that you don’t get to see them enjoy it - or sneak a slice to check it actually does taste okay!
Kitchen Tool: Non-stick ‘Wooden’ Spoon
This £5 kitchen tool really can’t be described as a gadget - it’s a silicone spoon which is shaped exactly like your standard wooden spoon, except made of silicone.
I do have a wooden spoon but I find that I’m always wary of using it for tomato-based sauces, because I don’t want to stain it. I’ve also got lots of silicone spatulas, but they’re not as good for gently mixing sauces or for taste-testing. So, the silicone spoon.
The only downside? John Lewis appear to have decided that we can’t have fun things, so instead of the bright red version I bought last autumn when I had a voucher to spend and I couldn’t find any clothes I like, it’s now in a very elegant pale grey. You can’t win them all, I suppose.
Cafe shout-out: Lovecrumbs
I say often that the independent cafes and restaurants are a big reason I love Edinburgh, and Lovecrumbs is chief among these. The summer I was 20 I lived in student halls opposite Edinburgh College of Art while completing an internship down the road. On the corner of West Port and Bread Street, 2 minutes from my front door and on my route to and from work every day, was Lovecrumbs - a hugely popular cake cafe where the flavour combinations and gorgeous decoration blew my mind on every visit. Examples: Rose & Raspberry Cake, Chai Pear & White Chocolate Cake, and the now-classic Salted Chocolate & Peanut Butter cake.
They have recently expanded to a mini branch in Stockbridge (Edinburgh’s Islington - don’t @ me!) as well as a standalone bakery nearby on Morrison Street. With the pandemic on, there is now a Patreon and they also have an online shop, with fresh baked goodies for local delivery and other nice things available through the post.
Find me on Instagram: @LilyMCooks
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