Monday, 21 November 2011

Stephen's Award Winning Kirschtorte

This spectacular cake won Stephen the first prize in the cake category plus the closely-fought Best In Show Award.

Macaroon layers:

220g icing sugar

120g ground almonds

4 egg whites

80g caster sugar


3 eggs,separated

3 tablespoons hot water from a boiled kettle

80g icing sugar, sifted

10g caster sugar

50g plain flour

50g corn flour

Pinch of baking powder


225ml whole milk

170g caster sugar

3 egg yolks

170g unsalted butter

3 tbs blackberry jam (without seeds)

Kirsch syrup:

4 tablespoons water

20g caster sugar

120ml kirsch

For decoration:

100g toasted flaked almonds

70g icing sugar


Macaroon layers

1) Preheat the oven to 170ºC.

2) Draw two 25cm circles in a large piece of baking parchment and grease the insides of each circle with butter. Place each piece of baking parchment on a baking sheet.

3) Place the ground almonds in a large bowl and sift the icing sugar on top.

4) Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until the whites have formed a thick meringue, but don't let it get dry and powdery. Take one third of the meringue and incorporate it into the icing sugar and almonds with a large metal spoon. Then add the remainder of the meringue in two equal batches. Try to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

5) Spread the mixture inside the prepared circles, bringing it right up to the edge. You may find it helps to stick the baking parchment to the baking sheet using a small amount of the macaroon mix.

6) Bake for about 10-12 minutes – ideally until the macaroons come away freely from the baking parchment, but whatever you do try not to overcook them. Remove from the oven as soon as they are cooked and leave to cool.


7) Increase the oven to 175ºC.

8) Grease a 25cm springform round cake tin lined with baking parchment (for best results use one with a removable bottom).

9) Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on full power, adding the hot water a tablespoon at a time, until thick and light. Add the icing sugar gradually and beat well. It should be light and fluffy. Set aside.

10) Beat the egg whites until stiff in a clean bowl. Add the caster sugar to the stiff egg whites and beat well until smooth and glossy.

11) Sift the flour, corn flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Fold in the egg yolk and icing sugar mixture with a large metal spoon one third at a time until fully incorporated. Then fold in the egg whites very carefully. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through – the cake will come away from the sides of the tin when baked.

12) Transfer the tin to a wire rack and let cool completely.


13) Put the milk in a small saucepan with 85g of caster sugar. Heat until the mixture steams, but do not allow to boil.

14) Put the egg yolks in a bowl with 85g of caster sugar and stir until pale and thick. Do not whisk as you do not want the mixture to become airy.

15) Slowly pour the hot milk on to the yolk and sugar mixture, stirring constantly.

16) Rinse or wipe out the saucepan and return the mixture to the pan. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until thickened and a nice custard consistency has formed (it will be ready when it coats the back of a clean wooden spoon). Do not allow to boil.

17) If there are any lumps in the custard, strain through a sieve, and allow to cool until it is thickened and set.

18) Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until very soft and creamy. Then beat in the cooled custard one tablespoon at a time. Add the jam and mix well.


19) In a small saucepan, bring the water and caster sugar to the boil over a medium-high heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool. Add the kirsch and mix well. Set aside.


20) Very carefully, peel the macaroon discs off the baking paper and place one of them on a serving plate or cake stand.

21) Spread one third of the buttercream evenly over the macaroon.

22) Place the sponge on top of it, poke lots of small holes in the sponge with a skewer or sharp knife and brush it generously with the syrup. Leave to rest for a few minutes, until the syrup is absorbed.

23) Carefully spread one third of the buttercream over the soaked sponge. It will be more difficult because the sponge is moist from the syrup.

24) Overturn the second macaroon onto a clean flat chopping board so that it is upside down with the baking parchment now face up. Carefully peel back the baking parchment. Then, as quickly as you can, turn the chopping board back over and, holding the macaroon in both hands, place it on top of the cake; an extra pair of hands is useful at this point! If your macaroon is soft it might crack in your hands – don't worry about this.

25) Spread the remaining buttercream on the sides of the cake and press the flaked almonds onto the cream. Using a sieve, sprinkle the top of the cake with a small amount of icing sugar.


This recipe is adapted from Patricia Scarpin's Zuger Kirschtorte recipe. The macaroon layers are based on Ottolenghi's macaroon recipe and the buttercream is adapted from a recipe in Leiths Techniques Bible.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

2011 Best Year Ever!

This year's Bunfight was our most successful to date so well done to everyone who took the time to enter. With 85 spectacular entries, the bakers and cake-eaters of Peckham raised a fabulous £405 for the Art Clubs at Peckham Space.
Our thanks go to our wonderful judges, Lucy Williams from delicious magazine, our own prize-winning Charlie Fox and artisan chocolatier Isabelle from La Melange.
Thanks to our little crew of organisers for getting up very early on a Sunday morning and packing away when everyone else was in the pub!
Finally thanks to all those who kindly donated lovely prizes or gave their support: Review bookshop, Jake Tilson, Ganapati, Frog on the Green, Fenton Walsh, Old Villa, Anderson & Co, Roullier White, Franklins Farm Shop, La Melange, Toutes Directions, Starbucks, Gareth Sambidge and Quadrille Publishing.
Anyone who entered, send us your recipe and we'll put it up here.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Bun Fight 2011

Our 5th annual cookery competition will be taking place outside the Review Bookshop on

Sunday 9th October

This year's Classic Cake Competition will be The Best Carrot Cake and as always there will be a special prize for Best In Show. All winners and runners up will be awarded a prize.

Please drop off entries between 10am - 12pm.

Winners to be announced at 3.00pm followed by the cake sale (of any entries that have been donated to the event)

Entry forms and further info are available from Review.

£1 per entry is payable on the day. All proceeds raised will be donated to charity. Please contact us with nominations for this year's funds.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Well Done Everyone!

This year's Bun Fight was a great success! Despite the drizzle, the people of Peckham brought us their wonderful cakes and jams and we are delighted to have raised £225 for The Coplestone Centre.
Thank you to everyone who helped out, to Roz at Review for the venue and for donating lots of books, thanks to the judges, Angela Boggiano, last year's champion Tamsin Thorne and lovely Matt from Petitou, thanks also to delicious magazine for providing many prizes, to Ganapati for offering the Best in Show prize of dinner for 2 and to Starbucks for keeping us warm with gallons of hot coffee.
Here are some of our talented winners:A thrilled Sarah with her 1st place jam and prize hamper

Bea and her yummy Smiley Cakes
First-Place-Max and his amazing Anzac Biscuits
Top marks for Stephen who won 1st prize and the super special Best In Show award with his delicious Lemon Tart
Charlie Fox, winner of the most competitive category of Classic Cake - The Best Lemon Drizzle
Michael and his marvellous Runner Bean Chutney

Hayley won second prize for her irresistable Chocolate Biscuit Cakes
Sam and his brrrrilliant Too-delicious-to-try-scrumped-plum-jam!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Bun Fight 2010

Our 4th annual cookery competition is taking place outside the Review Bookshop on

Saturday 2nd October

This year's Classic Cake Competition will be The Best Lemon Drizzle Cake and as always there will be a special prize for Best In Show. All winners and runners up will be awarded a lovely prize.

Please drop off entries between 10am - 12pm.

Winners to be announced at 3.00pm followed by the cake sale (of any entries that have been donated to the event)

Entry forms and further info are available from Review.

£1 per entry is payable on the day. All proceeds raised will be donated to charity. Please contact us with nominations for this year's funds.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Sam's Eye Poppin' Cookies

This recipe is from Sam Fisher who scored very highly in the Under 8s category with his yummy cookies

125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
50g soft brown sugar
50g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
70g butter (softened)
1 large egg, beaten
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

preheat oven to 180c, and grease 2 baking sheets

Put flour, bicarb, both sugars, vanilla extract and butter into a food processor for a few seconds. Blend in egg briefly then chopped chocolate.

Divide mix into 8, and place 4 blobs, well-spaced (so they don't join together - which some did anyway with our wonky sheets), onto each baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or till golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before lifting onto wire racks to cool completely.

Decorate with melted dark chocolate - Sam put chocolate sprinkles and mini marshmallows on to the chocolate while still wet.


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Chocolate & Crystallised Ginger Biscuits

The worthy winner of the Biscuits & Cookies category from Hannah Jones

225g soft unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
275g plain flour
25g crystallised ginger
200g bar dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 170C. Cream the butter, then add in the sugar and beat until pale and soft. Chop the ginger into small pieces and mix it with the flour. Add the ginger and flour to the sugar and butter and mix until you have a dough.

Break off walnut-sized balls and roll in your hands until smooth. Place on a baking tray and press into them with the back of a fork to pattern 'n' flatten. Bake for around 15 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown. Near the end of the cooking time, watch them obsessively so you don't miss the optimum colour, as biscuits are sly and will burn on you in a second.

Take them out of the oven and immediately transfer them from the tray to a wire rack. When they're cold, melt the chocolate in a bowl. You will have far more chocolate than you need, but melting a large quantity makes it much easier to coat the biscuits smoothly. Dip the biscuits halfway into the chocolate, gently combing off any drips or runners with a teaspoon. Leave on greaseproof paper until the chocolate has set.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Tart

Thank you to Ralph Sinclair for his winning Tart recipe.
150g digestive biscuits
75g caster sugar
120g unsalted butter, melted
200g cream cheese
200g peanut (or other nut) butter
100g caster sugar
120ml double cream
80g caster sugar
125ml double cream
70g dark chocolate
60g unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. First make the crust. Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and bash into fine crumbs (or blitz in a food processor). Mix with the sugar and butter, then press into the base and sides of a loose-bottomed 23cm flan tin. Put the tin on a tray (some butter may seep out during cooking) and bake for eight to 10 minutes. Press against the sides if it pulls away a bit, then leave to cool.

Mix the cheese with the peanut butter and sugar. Whip the cream to stiff peaks - do not overbeat. Fold into the peanut mixture, then spoon into the cooled crust and smooth it down so it's 0.25cm from the top.

For the topping, put the sugar and cream in a pan, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for six minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and stir in the chocolate and butter until melted. Pour over the tart and chill for at least three hours or overnight.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


These chewy Tuscan macaroons came 2nd in the Biscuits & Cookies category. They're very good with espresso and ice cream and are easy to make.

Makes 24
300g blanched almonds
grated zest of 1 lemon
200g caster sugar
2 egg whites
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 170C/ Gas 3. Tip the almonds onto a baking sheet and cook for a few minutes until pale golden then leave to cool.

Whizz the nuts and lemon zest in a food processor until coarsely ground. Stir in half of the sugar.

Whisk the egg whites until they hold their shape firmly then gradually beat in the sugar until smooth and glossy. Fold the nut mixture into the meringue.

Using two dessert spoons shape ovals out of the mixture and drop onto two lined baking sheets - leave room for a little spreading. Dust with icing sugar and bake for 8 - 10 minutes until set and pale golden but still a little squishy in the centre. Leave to cool then store in an air-tight container.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Charlie Fox's Carrot Delight

This fantastic cake scored second place in the Cake catergory

175g dark brown soft sugar

2 eggs

80ml sunflower oil

40ml walnut oil

200g wholemeal self-raising flour

1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

3 tsp mixed spice

Grated zest 1 orange

200g grated carrots

175g sultanas/raisins


150g Quark

100g cream cheese

(You can vary the Quark/cream cheese ratio to taste)

20 g caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon


Juice ½ orange

1 tblsp lemon juice

40g dark brown soft sugar

Grease/line the base of an oblong cake tin (15cm x25cm)

Preheat the oven to 170º C

Whisk the sugar, eggs and oil together. Then sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the mixed spice into the bowl, adding in all the bits of bran that stay in the seive. Stir together, then fold in the orange zest, grated carrot and the sultanas/raisins. Spoon into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, until it has risen all over and feels firm and springy in the middle.

To make the topping mix all the ingredients well together in a bowl, then cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

For the syrup just whisk together the fruit juices and sugar so that all the sugar is dissolved.

When you take the cake out of the oven, stab it all over with a skewer (or, in my case, a mini screwdriver from a Christmas cracker) and spoon the syrup over evenly. Leave it to cool in the tin so the syrup soaks in.

When the cake has completely cooled, take it out of the tin, spread the topping over evenly with a palette knife (wavey pattern optional) and lightly dust with more cinnamon.