Vanilla is one of my favourite fragrances. I adore Vanilla scented candles around the house and use Vanilla Beans and Paste in abundance in my baking. So when I received a complementary copy of Vanilla Table from Jacqui Small publishers, I was intrigued to know how international Chefs used Vanilla in their cooking and baking.
Looking through all the lovely recipes, savoury and sweet, it was difficult deciding which recipe to make as they were so tempting. Being a cake club, it had to be a whole cake of course.
I chose this Caramelised Pineapple and Carrot cake. It actually made two cakes, which was most likely the result of me using 2 x 19cm cake tins, instead of the recommend 20cm in the book.
With my baking experience, I knew this amount of batter would run over the sides of my loose bottomed cake tins. So I greased and lined them with sufficient baking parchment to allow the cakes to rise enough and prevent any batter spilling over the sides. I think recommending deep sided cake tins, in the method, even for a 20cm tin, would help in this case.
It took me a while to reduce the juice and sugar when caramelising the Pineapples, but when it did and after I added the Ginger and Sultanas, it tasted divine and could be an ideal mix when making Muffins. I might try that next time.
I didn’t have all the spices in my cupboard, so substituted the All Spice for Nutmeg. The cakes had a lovely texture when baked and I think next time I make it I will get myself some All Spice as the Nutmeg was a little overpowering or perhaps I use less.
Cream Cheese and Double Cream Frosting
I changed the frosting too, as my love affair with cream cheese frosting that contains butter has diminished to the point of being out of love with it. The ‘C’ word, ‘curdling’ happens every time and I could see it going that way again.
So before I wasted any more butter and cream cheese, I choose my current favourite easy frosting of Full Fat Cream Cheese mixed with an equal mount of double cream that I whipped together with a little icing sugar until nice and thick. I then added more Vanilla paste to enhance the overall flavour.
I left the second cake uncovered to be eaten without any frosting. It was full of enough flavour from the Pineapple and spices to warrant this.
I just had to make some Vanilla Syrup. Very easy instructions to follow. I only had small bottles. So I added an extra Vanilla Pod, along with the seeds into a second bottle. To carry on infusing the syrup with Vanilla.
Cups, Imperial and Metric measurements
All in all a good book with Savoury and Sweet recipes – in cups, imperial and metric, for Starters, Mains, Desserts, Cakes, Cookies and Sweet Treats. Many of them accompanied with lovely colourful pictures. There are 32 contributing chefs such as Galton Blackston, Peggy Porchan, William Curley, Duff Goldman, David Lebovitz and many more.
Disclosure: Many thanks to Jacqui Small for my complementary copy of this lovely book.
Vanilla Table officially releases on 19th March and is published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com.