Tag Archives: cakes

Flora’s Tearoom: One year Anniversary

Pancake of the Week (0683)

Update: Please note that as from the 28th October, 2019 Flora’s Cafe is permanently closing down. It will now only cater for private events and tea parties.

One year goes by so fast. I find myself saying this repeatedly these days. A year ago I was told by a good friend of mine about a little tearoom and cafe’ (thank goodness) in the heart of Naxxar. You should go, Anna said, you definitely should. So that’s basically how Flora’s, which I think must have been open for just around two days, went straight to the top of my places-to-visit list. I had moved to Malta with J the previous summer and was looking for quaint independent places where I could have good coffee and a piece of cake (or two) while chatting to my mum or for just reading a book. Needless to say, discovering Flora’s felt as if I hit the jackpot.
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Walnut and Banana Loaf (For Writing 101: Hook Em’ With a Quote and #TeaandCakeTuesday)

Walnut and Banana Cake (0130)

There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!

Thorin Oakenshield (from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit)

I know that these past few days have been all about Writing 101 and today is no different, but I wanted to combine three things at once. I know you won’t mind, mainly because there’s a recipe at the end. You have all been so good. Even though many of you come here for the food and photos, you have been so positive and supportive of my other non-foodie ones. I’m thankful. Truly. On to the quote.

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Flora’s Coffee Shop and Tea Room

Mirror (0141)

Update: Please note that as from the 28th October, 2019 Flora’s Cafe is permanently closing down. It will now only cater for private events and tea parties.

One thing I thought I would miss, since moving back to Malta last year was a good place for coffee and conversation, and perhaps for some reading. I’m sure there are a few places dotted around the island where you can do all that, but I haven’t come across anything till now. From this week though, I’m happy. In fact, this post could easily be part 2 in my love Malta series. From this week, my lovely readers, there’s a new kid on the block I like – a place so charming you will want to visit very soon. It’s called Flora’s, a small but beautiful coffee shop and tea room in Naxxar. So central, so on point. At least, for me. With an address like 1, Victory Square, you cannot miss it, and it’s right by the church. That’s exactly where I wanted to go on Friday. They opened on Wednesday, and I wanted to see how they would manage the usual teething problems a new place faces during its first few days.

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Victoria Sponge

Victoria Sponge (9267)

So I promised you a second cake recipe today and I wasn’t going to back down. A promise is a promise. I confess that it wasn’t a difficult task for me, especially this week. I’ll be having a break for my birthday this weekend and as per tradition I am baking a double treat: two cakes or any two sweet other things for that matter. Forget the pitiful attempt at making this sponge way back when I was still new at this blogging thing. This is the recipe you want, and which I will repeat tomorrow.

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Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (gluten-free)

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Revisited (8397)If you are one of those readers who likes to scour this blog for ideas you would know that I have already posted a photo of this simple beauty, sans recipe when I got Nigellissima to review. For all the criticism the book received, there are still valid recipes to be made from it and this particular one gets full marks from me. Incidentally recipes from Nigellissima are the most popular here. Since then, I have made this cake countless times without really thinking that it was gluten-free. Yes. It’s that good. So without thinking, when people were asking me for GF recipes I was stupidly stuck, actually stating that my Lime and Coconut Cake was my first ever recipe of the sort! I am Absentmindedness personified. I know it…and now you do too. I am rectifying this mistake by revisting the recipe, I made the cake again (there’s no cheating here) and took fresh pics, some better than others, and watch out because there will be more recipes of this kind hopefully very soon. Btw, just on a personal note, this is my 200th post on Chorizo & Thyme. I humbly thank you for your readership and friendship. Cheers to you!

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Revisited (8391)

  • 50g good quality cocoa powder, sifted
  • 125ml boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150g ground almonds*
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 150ml regular olive oil
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs

Grease a 22cm round cake tin** and line the bottom with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 170ºC/Gas mark 3.

Into a jug or bowl, sift the cocoa powder and whisk in the boiling water until you get a runny, albeit smooth, just pasty mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract and leave this to one side to let this mixture cool a little.

Mix together the ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl tip in the sugar, olive oil and eggs and whisk or beat these with an electric beater until you have a pale yellow cream, light in texture.

While whisking, pour in the slightly cooled cocoa mixture. As soon as the mix turns evenly brown, slowly fold in the almond mix.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for around 45 minutes, until the centre of the cake looks a little damp and the sides are set, detached inwards from the tin itself.

Let the cake cool for a little while in the baking tin. Place on a cake dish and sprinkle away with icing sugar. It will approximately give you 12 slices.

This cake is light, soft and gooey, and very quick to make, with minimum fuss. My kind of recipe. Perfect with an espresso, or still warm with ice cream.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Revisited (8396)

*Nigella suggests substituting the ground almonds with 125g of flour for less crumb in the cake. I have tried this and it certainly works for the whole amount, half that or even with just a few grams. Of course don’t do this if you want the whole thing to be gluten-free. Personally I like almonds so these days I keep it as is. It would be useful, and I will do this soon, to try a similar recipe recently sent to me by a friend of mine. It calls for dark melted chocolate, instead of cocoa powder. With this she told me that toasted hazelnuts work well too. I will post something on this in the next few weeks.

**You can also use a springform cake tin but to be honest I’m not a big fan. I use them when I have to. For this recipe you don’t. So don’t worry and work with what you have. Adjust timings according to your oven and size of whatever round tin you usually use.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Revisited (8400)

All that remains to be said is…Enjoy!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from Nigellissima, Chatto & Windus, 2012.)