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Crouch End Tiger, Hidden Cake…

10 Nov

Yup, I’ve been out and about, cake-stalking again.

This time I visited my favourite Crouch End cafe and bakery (as its name obviously implies)- Coffee Cake.

I feel Coffee Cake is special, not only because of their lovely baked goodies, homemade smoothies and fresh salads (oh, and they sure do sell a good cup o’ coffee), but because every time I go there the atmosphere is lovely. It seems that in the land of Coffee Cake, everybody is friendly and at peace, and; unless you visit at the peak time of lunch, when everything is crazy and manic- a testament to their popularity really; you’re free to relax and have a calming intermission from your busy life outdoors.

During this visit, I bought a walnut and carrot cake, which tasted interestingly herby, whilst my friend had this miniature victoria sponge.

Anyway, all of this is not to say that there aren’t any other nice cafes/bakeries in Crouch End, because believe me, if anything there is a serious over-population of them…

No, I have visited others in the area, but some haven’t honestly been able to match up against the wonderful-ness of this one ( *ahem* The Haberdashery, I’m looking at you! NB: your popular selling point of serving tea in vintage teaware only works if they’re clean and not chipped! Also, quit serving me hugely overpriced muffins in bloody plant pots! Yes, I get it Haberdashery- you’re arty and alternative, but that doesn’t allow you leeway on cleanliness, thank you very much).

Finally, I only have one thing to say against Coffee Cake. Seeing as I like it so much, last year I actually applied for a job to work there (imagine the free cakes and cups o’ coffee!), but after handing in my CV they never actually got back to me!

Oh the shame! Coffee Cake– it could have been the start of a beautiful friendship, but alas you let me down! Needless to say, it genuinely hasn’t put me off…

Night all!

You Must Be Having A Loaf

30 Jul

Not bad for a first attempt, is it? I baked this Coffee and Chocolate Loaf yesterday and, even if I do say so myself, I’m pretty pleased with the results. I’ve even received rave reviews from family members and friends who I persistently badgered to try a slice, so that must be good! Here’s the recipe:

  • 190g (70z) unsalted butter, softened + extra for greasing
  • 130g(4½oz) plain flour + extra for dusting
  • 190g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60g (2oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 20ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp strong coffee (brewed and cooled)
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3, then grease loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Separately pour milk into a jug, add the coffee and mix together. Add the dry ingredients to cake batter in two batches, alternating with coffee/milk. Mix well after each addition, until finally the batter is smooth and even.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and place in oven to bake for approx. 1 hour, or until sponge is firm and a skewer inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool for a while in the tin before turning out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Personally, I find that there’s no real need to strictly follow any recipe right to a tee, so in this case as I couldn’t find any soft light brown sugar, I opted for the hard dark brown sugar that I did find at the back of my cupboard, which may sound rather dubious, yet seemed to work perfectly with the coffee to create a dark, rich loaf. I could stick to that story, which sounds quite inspired; or I could just be honest and say that it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever, so to hell with it!