Guess how many varieties of olives there are in Spain?
50? 100? 200? Keep going.
There are actually more than 260 varieties, and this is only one of the reasons Spain is the WorldLeader in Olive Oil: producing, commercialising, and exporting this wide variety. From all those olives, different Olive Oils can be produced, resulting in a huge range of Olive Oils with different aromas, flavours and uses.
I took the opportunity recently to use Olive Oils from Spain in a dish where a high quality and properly stored Olive Oil is incredibly important as the cooking medium – Olive Oil poached salmon.
This was the cake I baked for Christmas lunch: a black forest chiffon cake (black forest in the loosest sense of the word). The cake itself was a chocolate chiffon (but of course), cut into two layers, and then filled with whipped cream and jarred cherries. The outside was coated with more whipped cream.
That was a bit of an unintended hiatus. December is always a very full month – for everyone, I’m sure – along with Christmas and New Years, it’s also my birthday month.
This year some friends came around for birthday waffles, and naturally there had to be cake. And since this is me, it had to be some form of chiffon cake. I’d seen this sprinkles cake on Serious Eats the previous month and it stuck in my mind, because what says HAPPY BIRTHDAY more than hundreds of coloured sprinkles?
Hello, the chiffons are back! Did you miss them? (Y/Y.)
Well, I did even if no one else did.
After quite a long break, I got back into chiffons with a black sesame version.
Black sesame seeds are the unhulled seeds of the more common white sesame seeds, and are more fragrant and flavoursome. They’re mostly used in East Asian cuisine eg sweet black sesame soup, which is one of my favourite things.
For those not in the know, Mama H had been staying with me for the past two months, which resulted in TWO WHOLE MONTHS of me being thoroughly spoiled. Now that she’s finally gone home, I’m not quite sure I remember how to look after myself.
Needless to say, there was little (zero) cooking from me when Mama was here. Is making dessert considered cooking?
Have you ever made dulce de leche, caramelised condensed milk, at home? The most common technique – simmering the cans in a saucepan of water for several hours – is easy enough, but I’ve never wanted to spend the time babysitting the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
But making dulce de leche in the pressure cooker in 30 minutes? That I can get behind.
Yes, I’m not bored of them yet. And I hope you’re not either because I have many many MANY more chiffon ideas in my head. And they want to be made and eaten and loved.
Last weekend I made this cake to take to lunch that Michelle organised. My friends are all matcha lovers so I knew they would enjoy this triple version: a matcha chiffon cake filled with a matcha and white chocolate ganache and covered with a matcha cream.