1: Baking Up A Storm

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

Now THIS is a birthday cake. Made for my friend who lives 100 metres away and is celebrating alone due to lockdown. @lorrainepascale’s Let Them Eat Cake Cake (my standard birthday cake) topped with the frosting from @alisoneroman’s Dining In. And Mini Eggs, because they’re my pal’s favourite. #birthdaycake #minieggs
April 22, 2020

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.

Groundbreaking. Right?

Wrong.

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.

happy easter everyone 🐣
huge, HUGE thanks to everyone who ordered treats for themselves or their friends this week. it has been a pleasure seeing so many happy faces. orders for next week (thur-sun) are open on our website, link in bio, please take a wee look at our updated delivery info too, we are pretty much making up this mad new side of the business as we go and ironing out the wrinkles as fast as we can.
enjoy the rest of your sunday mateys
#wehaveflour #treatstoyourdoor #cake #cinnibuns #coffee #delivered #lovecrumbs #edinburgh #supportlocal
April 12, 2020

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