The Musette: Sticky chocolate prune cake

Chocolate cakes are always popular at cycling club events. I’ve tried a number of different versions but this one really hits the spot. It’s very rich – you only need a small piece to get that sugar hit – so it goes a lot further. Crucial when you’re feeding up to 500 hungry cyclists in a morning. I like to think that the addition of all those prunes must make it better for you too. Continue reading

The Musette: Lemon madeleines

My parents were in the food trade and, as a consequence, I was fortunate to eat at many nice restaurants when I was growing up. My litmus test for a good restaurant rested on a number of things, one of which was the quality of the petit fours. After the meal I would often say in my best beguiling voice, “Coffee for two and petits fours for five”. I don’t recall anyone not responding to my entreaties. Continue reading

The Musette: Coffee and walnut cake

I’m a sucker for anything coffee-flavoured, so this is one of my favourite cake combinations. I wouldn’t necessarily cover it with frosting if I were serving it at a cycling club event, but it’s a staple at my afternoon tea parties.

The French are not overly enamoured of what they perceive to be British cooking but they do agree that we make a cracking breakfast, fantastic desserts and delicious afternoon teas. Of course, without the frosting, a slice sits neatly in one’s back pocket for a spot of mid-ride refuelling with a coffee. French cafes don’t so much as blink an eyelid if you eat something you’ve brought with you after buying a drink from them. Continue reading