Cakes & Muffins, Chocolate & Cocoa, Finger Food

Cooking For a Reception

On the occasion of my recent book release (the travel guide some of you might remember me chatting about last summer), I couldn’t help but invite just about everyone I know on Earth to a reception. Much to my surprise the usual statistic of about 60 % yes-sayers didn’t pull through and nearly everyone said yes yes yes. Lo and behold, T and I suddenly had about 50 people on our hands who, thanks to the weather gods, could do their small talking in the blooming court yard in front of our apartment. But what to do about the food, we wondered? We seriously loathe the usual cheese squares with tooth picks and carrot sticks really don’t do the trick for us either. That’s why we embarked on a journey through about 120 delicate nibbles-on-a-stick and for my part, about 80 tiny cakes. Above from the left are tiny luxury brownies, made on a recipe for the Italian Chocolate Cake also pictured here on my blog. And that’s really my best and most simple trick: Many recipes for large cakes can be made into finger-size cakes or muffins without any big changes to the recipes except from the baking time. In this case I took a cake recipe that I usually bake in a round cake tray and poured the mixture into a large square baking tray with an adjustable metal frame. After baking it I simply measured and divided it into equally sized “brownies” and that was it. The best part is that with our new freezer, I could bake the whole lot a week in advance and then freeze them. The flavour only gets better from setting for a while. Win-win, as I see it.
As for the cakes, the mini-muffins to the right (above), they are miniatures of the apple-maccaroon cake pictured here on my blog. The only difference is that I pimped them up a bit using hard and slightly tangy plums instead of apples, because the marzipan-like flavour of the macaroons goes perfectly with the plumness of the fruit.