This week, undone by a ceaselessly wet, unseasonably comfortable start to a year, we found myself in need of a tiny benevolence and light. we put a pineapple in a oven and roasted it until a strength glowed, basting it any now and again with a reservoir of sugarine and anise-scented roasting juices. Just a thing for a slimy day. We ate it mid-afternoon, prohibited from a oven, with small eyeglasses of Madeira. To change a benevolence we put it on a kitchen list with a plate of soothing solidified yogurt splendid with passionfruit and lemon. We felt now improved about life, and it struck me as a rather good thing to move out subsequent weekend in honour of St Valentine.
I have been baking, too. There was marzipan left from Christmas that found itself damaged adult and tucked into a nut-encrusted cake mixture. we dappled it with finely grated lemon and orange zest, and nibs of white chocolate. It didn’t unequivocally need a white chocolate cloaking we floated over a surface, though a frail chocolate incited a block of cake into a dessert fit for a celebration. After all, Valentine’s Day is usually 7 days away. Either would fit a arise neatly.
Marzipan hazelnut cake
A shoal cake, crunchy with hazelnuts and sweetly soothing with marzipan. You could offer it as a block cut-and-come again cake or, as we did, by slicing a cake into 9 tiny pieces and topping any with white chocolate. The cake is a good keeper. Wrapped in foil, it will still be excellent for a integrate of days.
Makes a 20 x 20cm cake or 9 tiny cakes
light muscovado sugar 75g
golden caster sugar 75g
orange zest of 1
lemon zest of 1
hazelnuts 75g, skinned
white chocolate 100g
self-raising flour 150g
white chocolate 200g
fruit jellies 75g, or other sweetmeat
You will need a shallow, block cake tin roughly 20 x 20 x 7cm, lined with baking parchment.
Preheat a oven to 180C/gas symbol 4. Beat a butter and sugars together regulating an electric mixer propitious with a prosaic paddle beater until light and fluffy. Allow copiousness of time for this and frequently scratch down a sides of a play with a rubber spatula. Break a eggs into a play and kick them easily with a fork, only adequate to mix whites and yolks.
Finely abrade a orange and lemon zest. Toast a skinned hazelnuts in a dry frying vessel over a assuage feverishness until golden brownish-red afterwards cut any in half (or roughly clout them, if we prefer). Chop a chocolate and marzipan into tiny pieces, roughly 2 x 1cm.
When a butter and sugarine are ready, supplement a egg and flour alternately, a tiny during a time, and continue violence a reduction until well-spoken and creamy.
Stir a liking into a creamed reduction afterwards supplement a toasted hazelnuts and chopped chocolate and marzipan. Scrape a reduction into a lined cake tin and kindly well-spoken a surface.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30 mins until golden and easily risen. (It is not a high cake.)
Remove a cake from a oven and let it cold for 20 minutes, afterwards mislay from a tin and leave on a cake shelve until cool.
Cut a cake into 9 equal pieces.
If we are decorating it, warp a white chocolate in a play over prohibited water, afterwards widespread it over a aspect of any of a tiny cakes. Decorate with a fruit jellies or other sweetmeats, thinly sliced.
The best bit of roasting a pineapple is when a edges caramelise slightly. Here, it is a glorious contrariety to a cold citrus sorbet. The best approach to grasp this is to frequently baste a fruit with a roasting juices. Watch a syrup delicately towards a finish of cooking, as many of it will have been engrossed by a fruit. Take caring it doesn’t bake to toffee. Serve with a passionfruit solidified yogurt (below).
For a pineapple:
pineapple 1, medium-sized
lemon 1, large
oranges 2, vast
honey 4 tbsp
five-spice powder 1 tsp
star anise 2, whole
vanilla 1 pod
Preheat a oven to 200C/gas symbol 6. Cut divided a skin from a pineapple and puncture out a brownish-red “eyes” with a indicate of a knife. Cut a pineapple into 2cm-thick slices afterwards place it, with a slices somewhat overlapping, in a baking dish.
Grate a lemon and one of a oranges, and fist a extract of them all. Stir a sugarine into a liking and juice. Mix a five-spice powder, whole anise and cloves into a juice. Slit a vanilla pod in half, scratch out a black, gummy pap inside and stir into a extract and spices. Spoon over a pineapple, afterwards fry for about 45 minutes, basting from time to time.
Passionfruit solidified yogurt
natural yogurt 500ml, unstrained
passionfruit curd 250g
Put a yogurt into a blending play and kick it kindly with a drive for 30 seconds so that a hardness is softer, afterwards stir in a passionfruit curd.
Squeeze a lemon and stir a extract into a mixture. Transfer to a freezer box and leave in a freezer for about 4 hours, compartment frozen. The occasional stir, contend once an hour, will assistance to abate a texture. To get a smoother, lighter ice, use an ice-cream machine. (This yogurt never freezes quite firmly.) Serve with a roasted pineapple.
Email Nigel during firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @NigelSlater