My father used to talk about Meitheals in the West of Ireland where he grew up – everyone coming together to help their neighbour to complete a task which would have taken forever otherwise.
I saw the Meitheal concept in operation last week when very good friends gathered round to help me photograph my food offerings. The wonderful Derick, one half of Kenmare Foodies, ventured up from the Kingdom and spent the day cooking up a storm. The lovely Fiona from Hunters Lodge arrived supposedly to potwash but was quickly put to work as a food stylist (and ironer). The fabulous Paula Ryan was photographer for the day and the results are stunning. Paul from the Shoebox arrived in the afternoon and we even got him to do some work in the kitchen! Then Jacqui & Geoff appeared that evening to make us cocktails and sample the food.
Here’s a flavour of the day…
And then there was the poser…..
And I love this one – very Downtonesque
Food photography is hungry work so I had to provide everyone with a treat to keep them sweet – with chocolate cake of course 🙂
This gorgeous cake is from a Nigella recipe and then topped with lovely orange and almond chocolate which turns it into a rather large jaffa cake…..
Chocolate & Orange Cake
Oven: 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4
What you need:
- 5 clementines
- 6 eggs
- 225g /8oz caster sugar
- 250g/9 oz ground almonds
- 1 tsp (heaped) baking powder
- 2 bars Butlers Orange and Almond Chocolate
What you do:
- Simmer the clementines in saucepan of water for 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure you don’t run out of water! Drain and allow to cool
- Cut each clementine in half, remove any pips and then whizz oranges in a food processor.
- Line the base of 20 cm springform tin with baking parchment and butter the sides
- Beat the eggs
- Mix the dry ingredients – sugar, almonds and baking powder together.
- Add in to the beaten eggs and mix well.
- Finally stir in the puréed oranges.
- Pour mix into the lined tin and bake in preheated oven for 50 mins to an hour or until skewer comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool in tin for about 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack
- To finish, melt the chocolate bars and spread quickly over the top and sides of the cake.
Happy Cooking !
Thanks again to Derick, Fiona and Paula for all their hard work – you were brilliant guys x.
Oh and the lover bit – well to quote Meatloaf two out of three ain’t bad – the CT was on business in the UK and missed all the fun.