Year of the Cake Part Thirty Three: Nutmeg Cake and Gianduia Brownies


The year is fast drawing to a close – I’m starting to wonder what next year will be the year of. I’m hoping that I might get some new recipe books at Christmas time, so perhaps I will get some help there – suggestions are very welcome though.

These two recipes were both LC tests, which I made in one evening of baking frenzy, and as such I don’t have many pictures. By the time  I realised that I didn’t have much evidence, they were ready and packed into Tupperware to take to work, and I couldn’t really face taking them back out again, so the photos suffered in consequence…

The nutmeg loaf (click for the recipe) was particularly well received by my colleagues with less of a sweet tooth – it has a lovely warm flavour, and it’s unusual to find a recipe where nutmeg is given centre stage, to be metaphorical about it. I am now picturing a tapdancing nutmeg in a top hat. Heh…

The texture of the loaf is soft without being crumbly, and it tastes moderately sweet but more warming than anything else – a good elevenses snack for those sensible people who don’t like to eat chocolate all day long. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people.

Now, gianduia brownies, eh? What more is there to be said? Except that I had no idea what gianduia meant, but knew that I liked brownies a lot, so I was pretty much always going to try the recipe… It turns out the gianduia is a mix of finely ground hazelnuts and chocolate, and what’s not to love? It also fit in with my recent interest in trying out different kinds of nut in my baking, to get over the terrible, terrible nut prejudice I have cultivated over the years. I’ve always been alright with hazelnuts as long as chocolate is involved, but I’ve never really used them in my own baking, but this recipe was a definite step in the right direction on that front – as was this banana and pecan loaf recipe, of which I managed to take no pictures at all. The recipe also contains Nutella, which I kind of felt was cheating, but which tastes undeniably great so I can’t say that I had too many qualms about using it. Maybe a moment of hesitation. A nano-moment. A mo. A ‘m’. Alright, nothing really, I just bought it and looked forward to eating a spoonful of it by itself in a kind of ‘I should feel guilty but I’m too happy to’ kind of way.

These brownies weren’t the best I’ve ever had, if I’m honest – the tried and tested triple-chocolate brownie recipe retains its claim to that title so far, but they were extremely good. My main advice would be to under- rather than over-bake; as is the case with all brownies, you’d rather have them a bit sticky in the centre than dry. My first attempt at this recipe did come out a little dry, which was a shame, but not dry enough to spoil them by any means. They’re basically Nutella in brownie form, which is as good as it sounds.

A short blog post today, by my standards – just wanted to share these recipes for anyone looking for some baking inspiration! No playlist this week, all my musical energy is going into making a giant, kick-ass awesome Christmas playlist, and it’s too early sharing for that kind of thing. Festivities begin on Wednesday 15th – that’s when I’ll be putting up my tree, wrapping my presents and maybe doing a bit more baking…

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About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983. View all posts by Rock Salt

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