Saturday, 20 February 2010

Spiced chocolate cake with chili


This cake is amazing, gooey and moist, almost like a baked chocolate mousse. Here's the recipe:


250g Butter
300g Sugar (half Muscovado and half Caster Sugar)
1 Pinch of salt
125g Plain Flour
3-4 Eggs
300g Dark Chocolate
1-3 Red Chilies (dried or fresh)
1 Tsp each of cinnamon, clove, cardamon, pepper

Heat oven to 160°C/Gas 3. In a bowl mix melted butter and whisk in the sugar. Add the flour, spices, salt and eggs. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a hot water bath. Let it cool a bit and then pour into the mixture. This should now be of a chocolate mousse like consistency. Bake in the oven for 1hr 15 min.
For the filling: Cut the cake in half. Melt 100g dark chocolate and add 100ml double cream. Spread on the cake half and assemble. Done.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Inspired by... nature

Kyoto Garden 1

Kyoto Garden 2

I love the shape and colour of these red algae that I photographed on a beach in Greece and they have inspired some pieces of jewellery we have been working on.

Garden in Kyoto

Kyoto Garden 1

Kyoto Garden 2

Japanese garden

Japanese Gardens

I always considered Japanese Gardens an oasis of tranquility with their limited use of materials and the way they are carefully choreographed. In Japan garden-making is a high art linked to calligraphy and ink painting.

Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa is justifiably classified as one of Japan's most beautiful landscape gardens and features various ponds, streams, waterfalls, bridges and tea houses. Kenrokuen literally means "Garden of the Six Sublimities", referring to spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, waterways, and panoramas. Due to the amount of snow in Winter in this area of Japan some of the branches need to be supported to prevent them from being broken by the weight of snow.