Today was National Bookshop Day in Australia, and as I am a complete and utter bibliophile I had to celebrate the occasion with a visit to my favourite independent book store: aptly named ‘The Really Good Bookshop’ – you can’t get more obvious (and truthful) than that. I have written before of my love for this place: towering shelves of books crammed inside a small store front, stacks upon stacks of books crowd the floor and beckon you to kneel upon the floor and discover the treasures at your feet, still more books filed two-deep on the bookshelves themselves, and if – after all that – you still can’t find a book that tempts you to open the covers and discover the world within, then the owners will gladly order you anything your reader’s heart desires. Wendy and Peter (I know, I know – I was so happy when I discovered they had novel-worthy names) are fonts of information in themselves, and know the whereabouts of every one of their precious printed cargo. They are also one of my favourite reasons to visit ‘The Really Good Bookshop’, and so I decided that on National Bookshop Day, the best bookshop owners that I know deserved something special to nibble on when they finally get to relax with their own favourite reads.
Now, I am a little particular when it comes to ‘things I will eat while reading’, there must be some thought put into the food because one doesn’t want: a) to get crumbs or oil stains on the book, or b) to eat something merely mediocre and (as my darling friend Casey says) waste calories on something not completely delicious. These little cakes can be eaten with a fork while your plate sits on a little table beside your favourite reading chair.
When celebrating I can think of nothing better than cake (well, really at any time of day I struggle to think of anything better than cake…), but for my favourite guardians of books something really special was in order. Something with a little surprise….
Peanut Butter Lindt-Ball-Filled Chocolate Cakes
- 180 grams butter, softened
- 180 grams brown sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 3/4 cup milk
- 300 grams plain flour
- 30 grams cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 150 grams dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 12 peanut butter Lindt balls
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Butter a 12-cup friand tin (or two 6-cup tins, or a 12-cup large muffin tin) very well – you don’t want these little cakes to stick when you go to turn them out at the end.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until creamy. This should take about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, and scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. I use a whisk for this because a sifter usually ends in a lot of mess!
- Add the flour mixture to the batter in three parts, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Remove the bowl from the stand and mix in the cooled melted chocolate with a wooden spoon.
- Fill friand cups half-way with the batter. Place a Lindt ball in each and divide remaining mixture between the cups to cover the Lindt balls.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The tops should bounce back when touched lightly.
- Allow the cakes to cool for five minutes in the tins, then gently remove.
These cakes are best enjoyed warm, but they were certainly gobbled down just as quickly at room temperature. Mum and Dad have highly recommended microwaving them for 15 seconds and enjoying them with some whipping cream! You can see that moderation doesn’t really run in my genetics!
Tell me, dear reader, what are you reading at the moment?
I am currently enjoying reading some books for my Master’s thesis. On my list currently: White Jacket Required by Jenna Weber (author of fabulous blog Eat Live Run); Poor Man’s Feast by Elissa Altman (author of the blog of the same name); and Not Quite Nigella by Lorraine Elliott (author of the blog of the same name).