Good day monday dwellers!
Despite some washing machine issues, this weekend was full of fabulousness – my friends Nixon and Dada are visiting at the moment.. which of course meant lots of baked goods, lots of food in general and watching Austin Powers. After so many years of not having seen it, I was laughing my ass off. The best line is – surely – when Dr. Evil talks about his parents and says that his father often “accused chestnuts of being lazy” – pure hilarity.
So I baked this coffee and pistachio cake with mascarpone, yoghurt and honey in the middle and on top. It isn’t an overwhelmingly coffee flavoured cake, but rather a subtle hint of coffee. It doesn’t have any of the bitterness of coffee. For those coffee lovers who don’t think coffee is bitter.. it just is. Not necessarily in a bad way.. but even when its as freshly ground as the day is young, I still get a hint of bitter!
I have always loved fruit. Growing up my mum would buy it and the next day it would all be gone. I was a bit over the top.. if I had one delicious tasting peach… I would eat about 3 of the same batch. As Marge Simpson quite eloquently put it, fruit is natures candy… and sometimes it hits a spot that chocolate and sweets just can’t.
My mum is Sri Lankan, but she grew up in Malaysia. As a result she introduced me to a wealth of crazy looking, and sometimes crazy tasting fruit such as rambutan, dorian, jack fruit and my ultimate favourite mangostine. When we would go to Malaysia to visit family and friends everyone would laugh at how I would eat the stuff by the kilo… and then I would sit quietly as I felt… a little bit sick from eating too much.
However, figs are not a fruit that I have eaten or used in cooking a lot in the past. Actually having moved to Berlin has made me much more aware of them. The turkish shops in my area all stock 2 kinds of fig… not sure if they are different types actually or if they are just at different stages of ripeness. But anyway, apparently they are quite the luxury product, selling at 69 cence a piece. I wanted to use them as a garnish on this cake, because they are have such a wonderful palette of colour inside, from green, yellow, red, brown and purple… even magenta! Cutting them up was a visual delight!
I don’t know if I have mentioned the fact that we have the most generous of neighbours. A family who bring us food a couple of times a week. When I moved in I was astonished at this… especially as we don’t often give them anything and although, their kids borrow our bike pump once in a while or come up and ask for newspaper etc, that is hardly worthy of the year round cooking the wife does to fill our stomachs. Stuffed courgettes, vine leaves, moussaka, salads… you name it.. they bring it.
As it is Ramadan at the moment and they are fasting, the family have been bringing us stuff EVERY night.. as soon as the sun sets. So I thought, I should make something luxurious to say thanks in a way. I hope they liked it! My flatmates had a piece and said it was good.
So.. you may have realized that peach, like rhubarb is one of my ultimate FAVOURITE fruits – particularly to bake with. I love the way the flavour goes all sweet when baked – it reminds me of school desserts. Don’t worry, I loved my school dinners. The cooks were ACTUALLY called Mrs Cook and Ms. Pie… I know whenever I tell people this, they laugh and say… “you were in primary school and you were gullible.” true, but I still don’t think it was a lie. WHY would they lie about it, just WHY? I still hope and pray that it was one of those rare but amazing comic coincidences that are just awesome. Or maybe their names got them into cooking?!
So, here is the recipe, and it can be applied to any cake size – cupcakes, muffins or even a whole cake! Mini Bundts are not necessary – even though they are awesome.