Let me start as I mean to go on. With cake:
I made this on Sunday for my sister's birthday. She’s a cherry/chocolate fiend and I usually make her Nigella’s delicious chocolate-cherry cupcakes for her birthday, but we all fancied a change this year. This is a “Chocolate Dipped Cherry Cake,” and features a chocolate chip sponge and a white chocolate and fresh cherry filling and topping. I found the recipe here:
I’ve amended it a little. My version features a vanilla sponge heavy on grated and chopped dark chocolate because I think milk is too sweet for baking. I’ve also replaced 20g of sugar and the what I considered an odd addition of mashed banana with 100g of fresh halved and stone cherries and 40g of cherry jam (I'd add more fresh cherries I think if I made it again, they were a delicious addition). It turned out rather well I think (I made it on Sunday and it was all gone by Monday evening, and it was enormous!)
In other news, I had a fantastic charity-shop book haul today. Unlike my great friend Geeky Weirdo Chick (see blog), whose awesome charity shop fashion finds I remain in deep awe of, I have no luck on the secondhand clothes front. Sometimes Ebay, when I'm looking for a specific item, but not the happened-upon-find. I'm not sure why. Books, on the other hand, I'm very good at sourcing secondhand. So today I have purchased, for the grand sum of £5.50:
The End of the Peace Process, Edward W. Said
Said's work was formative for me during my undergrad years. My favourite text of his is After the Last Sky, which is a beautiful work of prose-poetry and photographs on Palestine. But I also love his political writing, so I'm pleased to have found this collection.
The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai
I've been meaning to read this for some time! I'm a sucker for novels set in South Asia (I've just finished Amitav Ghosh's The Glass Palace which was stunning, and I'm currently reading Indra Sinha's Animal's People).
Abhorsen, Garth Nix
I'm aware this is the third of a trilogy but I've already read them, and am sure I'll come by the other two in time (or via Amazon Marketplace...)
I recommend the trilogy thoroughly to fans of fantasy - I prefer it to the Keys of the Kingdom series, and I'll confess it scared me silly on more than one occasion!
Off to watch Ugly Betty now!