Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This Week's Baking: Rye & Spelt Sourdough and Chocolate Cherry Cake

It's been a while since I did a baking post... I have been too sick to bake much over the last couple of weeks - we even had to buy bread from the market the other weekend, which we haven't done for ages! And then I thought my sourdough starter might have died... It was looking very sorry for itself in the fridge... But I took it out and gave it some love (and flour and water) and it has perked right back up and is still doing its job beautifully. Thank goodness!

Today I made a rye and spelt sourdough. Here it is on the rise in its tin:

This dough was a dream to knead, not too sticky at all. Drives me bananas when the dough is super sticky, especially because I am not always as organised as I should be and then I have to go hunting for my bench scraper with dough all over my hands, etc etc. I do try to remember my mise en place but I get a bit carried away sometimes.

It's not been super warm and in fact has been raining steadily for most of the day, so the dough rose relatively slowly. I'm pretty happy with the way I rolled and shaped it to fit the tin this time; I need a lot more practice (and maybe to watch some instructional videos) to get my shaping right!

I wish I could share with you how nice this bread made the kitchen smell on this rainy, rainy day! I had some trouble getting it out of the tin to check it for doneness, unfortunately... The bottom stuck even though I thought I had greased it thoroughly. Oh well.

Last night I made a chocolate cake for dessert (seeing as dinner was a pot roast that didn't require any last minute preparation - have I mentioned how much I love my slow cooker?? I must write a post in praise of it sometime) from my husband's Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Chocolate: the Chocolate Cherry Polenta Cake.

It's quite a nice cake and relatively easy to make as well. I don't normally choose recipes that involve beating egg whites and folding them into a mixture because that sounds intimidating. It wasn't too hard though, but I think the cake turned out a bit flatter and denser than it was supposed to because I didn't fold the egg whites in delicately enough. Anyone have any handy hints for how to do this properly??

The cake tastes good, but I prefer the Nigella Lawson chocolate brownies for sheer chocolatey indulgence! But this cake was a good way to use up some glacé cherries that have been lurking in the pantry for goodness knows how long (although glacé cherries are so scarily artificial that they could probably survive almost indefinitely. There's something slightly addictive about them though don't you think?).

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