Sunday, 5 May 2013

Peaches & Cream

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Yes, this was a long time coming, I know. Ahhhhh gateau...need I say anymore? As much a nice Victoria sponge is ideal with an afternoon cuppa, or cheesecake is perfect for that stolen midnight couch treat, I find there's nothing quite like a fresh cream cake (except maybe a cupcake!) to top off an already indulgent meal - palatable and thankfully, light enough to be stomachable. 

Now, in light of just HOW much was consumed during the preceding celebratory lunch, I wouldn't be surprised if you were disgusted that we still managed to chomp through cake for afters. BUT. You've gotta trust me here, because really, gateaux are more cream than cake, more air bubbles than butter blobs. And yet it really does quench that craving for something sweet. So. Give it a go. If you don't like peaches, try passion fruit. Or raspberries. Both delectable in combination with white chocolate. Just an aside for you though, while we're at it. Don't blame me if once you start, you just can't stop. It's so remarkably light, you'll never feel you've had 'enough'. Honest.  

To have yourself a peachy time, you will need -  

- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 2tbsp grated orange rind
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 100g white choc, melted but then cooled
- 225g self-raising flour
- 300ml double cream
- 40g icing sugar
- 125g almonds, blanched then skinned & chopped

For the peach filling - 

- 1 can of peaches, chopped
- 300ml double cream
-50g icing sugar

What to do - 

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C & lightly oil & line a 9 inch round cake tin. Cream the butter, orange rind and sugar together until light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one and then add in the cooled white chocolate. 

3. Add the flour and 175ml of cold water in 2 separate batches. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin & bake in the preheated oven for an hour and a quarter, or until firm. 

4. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wiring rack. To make the filling, whip together the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form, and then fold in the peaches (reserve a few for topping, if you like). 

5. Split the now (hopefully!) cooled cake into two layers. Place one layer on your serving plate and spread with the peach filling. If you're lucky and somehow end up with too much, feel OBLIGED to eat it. 

6. Top with the other half of the cake and now, whip the other 300ml of cream with the icing sugar until, again, soft peaks form (deja vu, I know). Spread over the top and sides of the cake.

7. And finally, press the almonds into the side of the cake. You can sprinkle some on top too should you wish, of you can top with more peaches, like I did. 

8. If you can help yourself, refrigerate. If you can't... well, not my problem ;) 


sl x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

...and the Southbank itself

So here I am, one day later one week later as promised expected... but I reckon it's all worked out for the best; had it been a cold, rainy or windy day, I guarantee you'd've thought I'd lost my mind - it is about taking a scenic walk along London's Southbank, give me some credit okay?!

Southish London. I'm not overly familiar with it, no real reason to trek so far you see. If you draw a straight line between the West End and High Street Ken, that's preeeeeeetty much my half of the playground. North of the river, yes, I hear you, didn't think of it before. But. As I'm learning, slowly but surely, London Bridge, Borough Market, the Tate and Southbank beyond do have their own little lure going. An eclectic mix of old and ultra-modern. But as it's not awfully frequent I'm in those areas, I'm ever so slightly embarrassed to admit that I jump right onto the tourist bandwagon - y'know, clicking away like crazy with my camera, always carrying a backpack (hey, it's a long way away for me okay?!) - for let's face it, you can't be standing in absolute awe of the Shard if you're actually from only 15 miles away and you're wearing wearing formal workwear with stiletto heels. Too many 'weirdo' glances. Try it out, can be good fun. 

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...Views from the Southbank Centre (and free pianos in empty ballrooms, what's this all about?!)...
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...and sights closer to the ground...
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...grab a Wahaca* mmmmm....
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...reconstructed history...
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...and actual history...
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...then there's shopping of course (for food, the best type uh-huh)
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...*or maybe you want to hold out some pizza, proper italienne...
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...before feeling like an ant before an elephant...
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And let's not forget Gabriel's Wharf... back tomorrow, for SURE!
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SL x

P.S. Happy Friiiiday in advance, long weekend whoop whoop!


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