Alright Amblers? This month I’ve been taking it easy and working my way through my haul of leftover mince pies and Christmas biscuits. Although, as we approach the end of the month (and some upcoming birthdays) it’s time to put my creative hat on and come up with some new ideas. In particular I’ve been tasked with creating some sort of a pistachio/Kinder egg mash up; I’m thinking a pistachio and white chocolate cake with a green drip and mountains of Kinder bars/eggs/Buenos on top!
The key to a good drip cake is getting the right consistency for your ganache. You want it to be solid enough to set firm, but thin enough to flow down the cake. As I’ll be using white chocolate to get the right colour, I find that a 3:1 ratio of chocolate to cream is perfect. You should note that the quality of the chocolate does affect this as well though, so it’s always best to use a really good quality chocolate to achieve a great finish on your ganache.
I’ve also been a bit nostalgic, remembering the Snickers cake I made for my friend’s birthday a few years ago. After about 3 hours of the 5 hour drive to visit her, the icing had softened so much it was running down the sides and when we took a turn too hard, the top half of the cake slid off into the side of the box. Lesson learned: always check the stability of your buttercream before transport.
I recently had the chance to stop by Cinderbox for a coffee break. Tucked away in the shadow of the ever-bustling Jaunty Goat, it’s easy to overlook their small exterior presence, but once inside I found it to be full of colour and character. With modern décor and plenty of comfy armchairs it’s easy to relax and enjoy a sandwich, coffee or a slice of cake. They have a generous selection of cakes, cookies and bakes as well as a specialized drinks menu. My friend and I opted for a chestnut dark chocolate, pumpkin spice latte, espresso brownie and a slice of red velvet cake. The damage – £13.
The hot chocolate was wonderful; the perfect balance of bitter and sweet, and accompanied by a delicious caramel chocolate truffle. However, I did find that the chestnut was a little lost in the dark chocolate. It may have been better suited to the white or milk chocolate. I found that the coffee was not as strong as I would normally like, but the pumpkin spice was well balanced and the sprinkle of fresh nutmeg on top was a nice addition. The espresso brownie had a strong chocolate flavour with subtle hints of coffee; the creamy top and chocolate chunks created a nice contrast and it had the soft, fudgy texture expected of a good brownie. The red velvet cake had a very light and fluffy sponge and was well finished with a perfect swirl on top and a gradient of crumbs around the sides. It was, however, a little lacking in flavour in both the sponge and the cream cheese frosting; slightly more style than substance on this one.
All in all, a little pricier than some of the other coffee shops in Chester, but Cinderbox presents itself with little flourishes which may just lure me back again for another sample.
I’ve also recently discovered Moss Coffee on Brook Street. I’ve only briefly had a chance to stop by and grab a coffee (which was heaven), but I think next time I’ll have to grab one of their divine looking cakes, courtesy of GoodyGoodies, as well!