Tag Archives: Twitter

Yesterday I was reunited with an old friend…Caravan on Exmouth Market. I used to be lucky enough to work just around the corner and make a weekly pilgimage there as a Friday treat (blogged here and here). Not only is it an awesome cafe and restaurant, they also roast their own coffee on site. If you happen to venture downstairs to the basement you’ll come face to face with the coffee roaster that they use to roast small batches of beans daily. Their flat whites are very good but if you’re a coffee fan I highly recommend asking for a pour over filter or aeropress of one of their single origin coffees. 

Now, my Twitter addiction is well documented on this blog. Some may see it as an affliction, however it’s also put me in touch with some really interesting people. One such person, who I’ve engaged in some Twitter coffee chat with, is Dan, Caravan’s Wholesale Operations Manager. I hadn’t planned on calling into Caravan yesterday but happened to be loitering around Exmouth Market, slightly early for a meeting so thought I’d use the excuse to pop in. I was really pleased when Dan  came and introduced himself and I was able to put a face to the name and say hi in real life!

I enjoyed a filter coffee whilst I was there and then skipped off to my meeting a happy lady, swinging a bag full of extremely exciting goodies (well I actually walked away normally carrying a bag of coffee but you get the idea)…

This morning I made it my mission to try each one of my Caravan coffees in turn, so I apologise, as the majority of this blog post was written in a caffeine fuelled frenzy!

Now I’m by no means a coffee connoisseur, I know what I like and don’t like and these are my general ramblings…

First up I opened the El Bosque and was surprised at how light in colour the ground coffee was. As my first coffee of the day, which I always savour, it definitely had a head start at being my favourite. It was amazingly rich, deep, dark and easy to drink.

Next up was the El Carmen, from the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountains in El Salvador, could not have been more different. It was darker in appearance and really packed a punch when I stuck my nose into the packet for a sniff! The tasting notes said to expect ‘some good notes of demerara sugar’, which I liked the sound of and it sure didn’t disappoint! I’m a bit like a goldfish when it comes to coffee, my favourite is usually usurped by a new favourite pretty quickly, which is exactly what happened here!

I moved onto the Kinunu next, a Bourbon coffee from Rwanda. I have to say I wasn’t bowled over by the aroma of this one…it was quite woody and reminded me of sawdust and in particular, my Dad’s garage. It was a lighter and more acidic coffee than the first two and not my new fave!

Last but not least came the Kilimanjaro AA Tarakea, produced on the North-Eastern slopes of Tanzania’s Mount Kilamanjaro. It was slightly more acidic than the first two but unlike the Kinunu, it was gorgeously dark, fruity and somewhat mysterious. A very good coffee indeed!

I never thought I’d say it but I think I might have coffee-ed myself out!…at least until tomorrow morning!

I’ve heard rumours that Caravan may be growing its ranks and branching out down the road in the Kings Cross area. Being a Cambridge to London commuter this makes me very happy indeed! I sincerely hope the rumours are true and that my weekly treats can be resurrected! If you haven’t visited…I highly recommend that you do, don’t just take my word for it, do your own taste test! 

You can find some much more knowledgeable blurb on their coffee’s here and apparently online ordering is imminent! 🙂

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The winner of my twitter cake poll…ginger cake with ginger fudge buttercream icing…

I’ve spent a lot of time recently revisiting some of my favourite cake recipes in order to perfect them, making sure they’re faultless every single time I make them. This morning, however I woke up with an urge to bake something new, to experience the excitement of trying a new recipe, starting from scratch and hopefully finding a new fave to add to my repertoire! Unfortunately I was also feeling particularly indecisive. I flicked through a few of my recipe books and made a shortlist of 6 cakes but decided that the only way I was going to whittle down my wish list was to ask Twitter to make the decision for me. So I did a Twitter cake poll, asking the cake loving community to decide between…

1 – Squidgy lemon ginger cake

2 – Plum, almond & ricotta cake

3 – Cherry & marzipan cake

4 – Coconut cake with coconut buttercream

5 – Sticky ginger cake with ginger fudge buttercream icing

6 – Apple & cinnamon cake

The response was amazing! perhaps due to the fact that I caught everyone when they were feeling peckish for their elevenses. The sticky ginger with ginger fudge icing came up trumps with the coconut cake coming up the rear as 2nd most popular. I hopped on my bike to the supermarket to stock up on all things cakey, gingery and coconutty…I figured I’d make them both in the next couple of days anyway 🙂

But this bad boy is today’s cake adventure…sticky ginger cake topped with lashings of ginger fudge buttercream icing…

To make it you need…

200g unsalted butter

175g molasses sugar

3 tbsp black treacle

150ml milk

2 eggs, beaten

4 pieces of stem ginger, drained and chopped

300g self raising flour

1 tbsp ground ginger

For the ginger fudge icing you will need…

4 tbsp ginger syrup, drained from the stem ginger jar

300g icing sugar (golden icing sugar if you can find it)

140g unsalted butter

2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and butter and line the base of an 8 inch or 9 inch round cake tin. 

Melt the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan over a low heat until smooth and lump free.

Let it cool for a few minutes before adding the milk. Then beat in the eggs and stir in the chopped ginger pieces. Finally sift in the flour and ground ginger and add a pinch of salt before stirring well until all of the ingredients are combined.

Pour the warm mixture into the prepared cake tin and pop it into the oven. If you’ve used a 9 inch tin it will need to cook for about 30-35 minutes. I used an 8 inch and mine needed 50 minutes. I always think it’s best to take the cake out and check it 5 minutes before the recommended cooking time, so after 45 minutes stick a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. If it’s still a bit wet in the middle just pop it back in he oven for another 5 minutes, before checking again. Repeat this checking process every 5 minutes until you’re happy that your cake is ready.

Leave it to cool in the tin for an hour or so before removing it and leaving it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Pierce the top of the cake all over with a skewer and drizzle over 2 tbsp of the ginger syrup, this will add to the moistness of the cake, not to mention giving it even more of a gingery punch.

To make the icing, beat together the butter, icing sugar, remaining 2 tbsp ginger syrup and the lemon juice until smooth and light.

Slather the buttercream on the top of the cooled cake and there you have it…

It is a gorgeously moist, rich cake…I found it a little overpowering what with the molasses AND treacle but I made my housemates do a taste test for me and they all proclaimed that it was a winner 🙂

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