Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Margot Henderson's Turkish Coffee Cake for a 3rd Birthday

I only noticed at the last minute that my blog is three years old today, but fittingly I had a cake ready to tell you about, and what is a birthday without cake... It doesnt even seem that long ago that I first sat down and chatted about squid but here we are 179 posts later... And we have cake, and Margot Henderson cake at that...

Margot Henderson has become a bit of a role model slash hero of mine over the past year or so. I don’t quite know how it began really; I have always been a huge St. John fan, restaurants, books, recipes... and I had read snippets about Margot, Fergus Henderson's wife. Then I went to a wedding last summer where she did the food, and it was perfect. JUST what I wanted, exactly how wedding food should be, terrines and salads to start, and then chicken pies to share, the pastry was just heaven, golden and suety, I can still remember it quite clearly, even through the haze of endless negroni’s. Really simple but incredibly well done. It brought everyone together in a lovely way that only pie sharing can do, the whole table got on like a house on fire. Hands down the best wedding food ever, there was fois gras in the terrine, how could it not be the best wedding food ever.

And then I read more about Margot and realised that she pretty much does everything I aspire to do... She puts together beautiful looking suppers, caters and has a little place called Rochelle Canteen where you can go for breakfast or lunch during the week, a base for all her catering. And it is all un-fussy, simple, delicious, very well thought out food that I want to eat every day, and hope to emulate in some way as time goes on. I’m going there for lunch on Friday and I couldn’t be more delighted. Her book is my most recent favourite; I am gradually getting through her stories and recipes; lovely beetroot soup with porcini, calming celeriac soup, bloody amazing sticky ginger cake and this Turkish Coffee Cake, which is just a revelation.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and mix 100g of wholemeal flour, 100g of plain flour, 250g of soft brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg in a large bowl. Then add 175g of butter cut into little cubes and rub it through the mix until you have a large breadcrumb mix; this always gives me really sore crampy hands, which doesn’t bare well for the future, I may be arthritic and unable to bake one day I fear... Then take half of this mix and press it into the base of your cake tin. This gives a lovely crunchy base to the cake.

Then add to the remaining mixture 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda, 250ml of sour cream, 2 beaten eggs, 60g of chopped walnuts and 4 tablespoons of espresso coffee and beat it all together. Pour this into the tin over the base mixture, and bake for 30 minutes. It is ready when it feels firm and springy to the touch, I perhaps slightly under baked mine, my oven is being a bit temperamental at the moment. I’ll just have to suffer the hardship of making it again; and eating it again... it’s tough. It is so tasty, very moist from the sour cream, caramelly and full of cinnamon, with a lovely crunchy base, very unusual...

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Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x