Seeing Yossi Arefi’s rhubarb and rye cake recipe on design*sponge immediately focussed my Sunday night baking cravings.
I did not have any rhubarb and am forever unable to leave a perfect recipe alone; but I found some of last summer’s strawberries and red currants in the freezer, nixed the vanilla seeds, added lots of orange zest to the fruit and a bit of cardamom to the batter.
Caramelising/stewing the berries with sugar and butter for the topping (bottoming? either way, a genius technique) of this upside-down cake filled the kitchen with a glorious scent – and made me realise I probably should have thawed and drained the berries: even after reducing the lot for quite some time, I still had way more liquid from all the released juices than I felt safe pouring into the bottom of a springform pan. So I scooped out the berries and some of the juices, scraped the batter on top and baked a beautiful cake; which is still cooling, smelling lovely and I am sure will be very good, soon to be made again in its originally intended way.
But once I let the leftover juices cool down a bit they turned into something I can only describe as buttery, slightly caramel-y, perfectly sweet-tart “toffee-d jelly”. For the moment I am quite happy eating this stuff by the spoonful or swirled into yoghurt, but once I need more (to fill cakes, add to pavlova, drizzle over ice cream): does this exist outside happy accidents like mine? Is there a proper name for it?