Hello all! It’s a bit belated but here I am for Fiesta Friday!
It’s been a busy but pleasant week again. I have officially run out of private classes for dancing now and will be sticking to the group classes until I can afford the private ones as well again. But I’m very much looking forward to the group classes. I love getting to meet new people and I always learn something and have fun. I think it’s also good practice to work with many different partners because it stops me from learning anything too rigidly and it means you get used to having to adapt your style so it can combine better with that of someone else. I have also been trialling new recipes with my family and experimenting with the artificial lighting rig – as you can no doubt tell from these photos. I’m enjoying the challenge and the fact that this makes me think more about the lighting and the shadows than I had to do previously. It also means that I can take photos at any time of the night, and I find that much more fun than just sitting around after I’ve done all my chores.
I am completely and utterly in love with my new camera lens too. I wish I had decided to upgrade from the kit lens sooner. But because I was a bit mad with glee I might have gone the tiniest bit overboard the first night it arrived and taken a photo of literally everything that didn’t move. From pears to paint pots, nothing was safe. But it was all in the name of experimentation! This isn’t a zoom lens, so it forces me to be the one that moves around. However, I’m finding I actually quite like it. It stops me from being too sedentary while I’m testing out photos and it forces me to look at things from every possible angle and distance before making up my mind. I’ve also found its low light performance is stunning. Even when I was taking photos of everything in awful orange light it still came out really quite bright. So I’m confident it would be great at restaurants!
But I digress!
I picked this recipe because it was simple and allergy friendly. It looked utterly delicious and it would mean I could use up some of the hazelnut meal kicking around in the cupboard. I was surprised at how hard it was to find a hazelnut meal recipe that really piqued my interest. So I’m glad I found this one! I made a few changes, however. This cake is already lovely, moist, somewhat dense and very chocolatey. Adding the ganache seemed too intense for us, so I stuck with icing sugar. However, as the original author pointed out this recipe does go very well with things that are slightly tart or tangy, to help break up the sweetness, like passionfruit. This cake is also much better the day after as the flavours develop. So I recommend baking it the night before.
Adapted from Baking Magique’s
Serves: 6-7, Prep: 15 mins, Cook: Up to 45 mins
- 150ml olive oil (plus more for greasing)
- 50g cocoa powder, sifted
- 125ml boiling water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g hazelnut meal
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, room temp
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 21 cm/ 8 inch spring form tin with a little oil and line the base with parchment paper.
- Combine the cocoa powder and boiling water and whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside to cool.
- In another bowl, combine the hazelnut flour with the baking powder and pinch of salt.
- Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into a large bowl and beat until thick, paled and creamy. It may take up to 5 minutes or more.
- Beat in the cocoa mixture.
- Gently fold the hazelnut mix into the chocolate mix and then pour into the prepared tin.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes up clean. A few moist crumbs sticking to it is okay.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes in its tin, then gently remove and set in a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve dusted with icing sugar.