Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Sunday 13 July 2008

In the kitchen - this week's learning points

I'm not a great gourmet - or gourmand for that matter. I enjoy reading people like Elizabeth David and Nigel Slater, who can convey the experience and idea of food in all its meanings, as well as occasionally inspiring an attempt at something out of the ordinary; but I tend to stick to the familiar and easy, and rarely set out to cook for cooking's sake. Once in a while, some respect for the seasons (gooseberries any day now, blackberries all too soon) might get me to do something different.

This weekend, it was this magazine recipe for a chocolate cake.

Memo to self:

(a) There is a reason why cooks wore pinafores: using an electric whisk for the final beating-in requires a much higher-sided mixing bowl if you - and the kitchen - are not to look as though an incontinent chimpanzee's paid a call.

(b) Cakes are not bread or puddings: they don't necessarily look or taste better still hot from the oven.

(c) At 220 calories for one-tenth of the cake, that first slice equates to something close to a five-mile run.

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