Joe Trivelli’s recipes for pumpkin cake, crostata, marsala cake and biscotti | Food

In our home, baking is remedy. My spouse bakes within the early morning earlier than the remainder of us are up. We come all the way down to steamed-up home windows and a heat loaf of banana cake to slice up for breakfast, or cram into a college bag for a day snack. I’m extra prone to be discovered crouched over the work floor on the different finish of the day. My spouse has been identified to have pudding hours after supper whereas studying a guide in mattress.

By Creation, there isn’t a floor within the kitchen and not using a dusting of flour. I bear in mind my love of boozy puddings, and my spouse enjoys the need of a cake to chop up along with her afternoon cup of tea. There may be right here a clutch of instant-gratification recipes: a jam made when it’s wanted, a sunken cloud-like marsala soufflé cake that requires consuming immediately, and a spiced apple and pumpkin cake.

I’ve included a festive biscotti recipe, for treats to package deal up and give as a present or to buoy your self up with mid-morning.

Pumpkin and apple cake

I attempted a number of variations of this, the ultimate edit being a pale, pillowy quantity studded with apples, with refined spiced flavours. In true tray-bake model, serve in rectangular squares, perhaps with a dollop of one thing creamy. Serves 6


pumpkin 150g
eggs 3
sugar 115g
salt a pinch
oil 4 tbsp
flour 150g
baking powder 1 tsp
cinnamon ½ tsp
apples 3, small
honey 2 tbsp
butter 25g
pumpkin seeds 25g, toasted

Warmth the oven to 180C/fuel mark 4. Line a baking dish with greased baking paper, mine is 20cm x 14cm. Cube the pumpkin into 1cm cubes and place them with a number of tablespoons of water in a small pan. Cowl and place on a medium excessive warmth for 5 minutes, till they’re smooth. Take away from the warmth and mash with a fork.

Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks with sugar and salt till pale. Subsequent add the oil and pumpkin and then flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Whisk the egg whites till agency peaks and fold them into the pumpkin combination.

Peel the apples, quarter and reduce out the cores. Now reduce into eighths. Pour half the cake combine into the dish, cowl with apples, then add the remaining cake combination. Bake for 35 minutes. When completed, take away from the dish.

In a small pan, convey the honey and butter to the boil and prepare dinner for 1 minute, then add the pumpkin seeds and take away from the warmth. Enable to chill and thicken briefly earlier than spooning over the cake.

Clementine jam crostata

‘The quintessential Italian dessert’: jam crostata.
‘The quintessential Italian dessert’: jam crostata. {Photograph}: Romas Foord/The Observer

Jam crostata is the quintessential Italian dessert. It may be unforgivably candy, so I just like the distinction of a bit rye flour. The one clementine peel is a lot to provide it a bitter marmalade hit. Serves 6

clementines 600g, peeled
sugar 315g
lemon juice of 1
plain flour 150g, plus further for dusting
rye flour 50g
baking powder ¼ tsp
salt a pinch
butter 100g, plus further for the tin
egg yolks 2

Peel the clementines, and reserve one of many skins. Minimize the fruit in half and take away any pips with a fork. Place them with 115g sugar, all of the lemon juice and the reserved pores and skin in a meals processor, then blitz till easy. Switch to a heavy saucepan and convey to the boil. Flip to a simmer and prepare dinner, stirring fairly often, till the consistency has modified from juice to one thing altogether firmer. It shouldn’t take greater than about quarter-hour to realize one thing like jam. If you’re uncertain of its texture, place a spoonful onto a chilly plate and see the way it thickens because it cools. If it is rather runny, preserve cooking.

Make the pastry by meals processing the flours, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar with the butter till it resembles breadcrumbs. Then, pulsing, add the yolks till a dough is fashioned. Separate 1 / 4 of the dough off and roll each items into balls. Set the dough balls apart to relaxation for half-hour within the fridge.

Warmth the oven to 170C/fuel mark 3. Grease a 20cm pie dish. Mud the work floor with flour and roll out the bigger piece of dough right into a spherical and line the tin. Fill with the jam and then roll out the remaining pastry. Minimize into skinny strips and organize right into a lattice over the tart or do as I do and simply have it in clever little scattered items. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve when utterly cooled.

Marsala cake

‘Best very soon after it is made’: marsala cake.
‘Greatest very quickly after it’s made’: marsala cake. {Photograph}: Romas Foord/The Observer

It is a fast cake, greatest very quickly after it’s made. Relying on the kind of evening you’re having, it’s a contender for making on the finish of a meal – if you happen to’ve prepped forward. Serves 4

butter for the tin
marsala 150ml
sugar 75g
eggs 2
egg yolks 3
flour 40g


Put together a 12cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Line the underside with a disc of paper and the edges with a hoop of paper, buttered on either side, to double the peak of the tin.

Warmth the oven to 180C/fuel mark 4. In a small pan, cut back the marsala with all however 10g of the sugar over a medium warmth till diminished by half and visibly thicker.

Within the impeccably clear bowl of an upright mixer, add all of the eggs and yolks with the remaining 10g sugar and whisk at a medium velocity for 1 minute. With the mixer nonetheless at a medium velocity, add the recent marsala syrup in a stream. When included, flip the velocity to most and run for 5 minutes till very thick.

Rigorously fold within the flour, spoon into the tin and bake for 12 minutes. It would have risen and will now sink spectacularly. Enable to chill for a number of minutes earlier than eradicating from the tin. It ought to be softer on the centre.

Ginger chocolate biscotti

‘The ubiquitous Tuscan biscuit with a Christmas makeover’: ginger chocolate biscotti.
‘The ever present Tuscan biscuit with a Christmas makeover’: ginger chocolate biscotti. {Photograph}: Romas Foord/The Observer

The ever present Tuscan biscuit, given a little bit of a makeover with Christmassy flavours: walnuts, ginger and chocolate. Makes about 30 biscuits

walnuts 50g
eggs 2
sugar 200g
00 flour 250g
baking powder 1 tsp
darkish chocolate 50g, finely chopped
ginger 30g, finely chopped

Warmth the oven to 180C/fuel mark 4 and toast the walnuts for 8 minutes, till faintly colored. Whisk the eggs with the sugar till pale and gentle. Then add every part else, mixing to make a dough. Break the dough into three items and roll every right into a ball. Then roll every ball right into a department about 3cm thick and place facet by facet on a baking tray lined with paper.

Bake for 20 minutes, then take away from the oven. Enable to chill for 5 minutes earlier than slicing into 2cm thick slices. Lay them again on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Flip them over and bake for a final 5 minutes. As soon as cool, they are going to be very crunchy and will final properly if saved in an hermetic jar or tin. Tip from my Danish good friend: if you happen to combine up a number of forms of biscuits when storing, they soften rapidly.

Joe Trivelli is head chef on the River Cafe, London

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