Food Drink

Eat out, drink up

Just how easy is the River Café Cookbook Easy? Words. Mark Robertson

o liaie your cake and eat it. no“ that is very l'oitunate. To suggest they \lititlltl eat cake is a kind. it na'i'\e. act ol‘ generosity. To make the cake like it say .\ in the cookbook. well that‘s a whole other thing. Despite \\ hat (iai‘y. .lainie or l)elia might claim. cookbooks are as much about the aesthetics ot' ownership as their practical application. l.ike slielyex bulging with antique lirst editions. it's the haying as much tix reading that counts. Rose (iray and Ruth Rogerx‘ River (ii/i" (bolt/molt has long been regarded as a gastronome‘s bible. not only an iiber-cool source ot‘ upmarket l‘ood porn bill a skilt'ul. it occasionally outlandish guide to some of the line dishes the pair prepare in their e\cellent restaurant on the batik ol' the Riyer Thames. In 2003. eight years on from the publication ol‘ this l‘oodie landmark. llic Rii‘t'r ('uft" (bolt/molt [any \\a,\ deliyered. purporting to take the luv and fiddle out of the original collection. 'l‘hix is great in theory. but \\ hat about in practice'.’ The Rircr (‘uji‘ (bolt/mult- set a contemporary standard both \ isually and for cookbooks. but there \ya.\ one sticking point. ()ne ot‘ their more legendary recipes \\a\ lot" a

40 THE LIST '-1-\._:.""

The result was a sinisterly

dark- looking but wicked smelling tin of



llourlcxx chocolate cake called the Nemexix. lt ix a beautifully ricli. ebony cake but the method in the book \\a\ inaccurate and by l‘ollouing their ill\ll‘llc‘litin\ it just yyouldn‘t turn out. .\li\ing boyils clattered to the ground in shock from llillliead lo llenley. llo\\ could this be'.’ (‘ould there be a cliink in Roxe and Ruth's \eeniingly impenetrable arniour'.’ With the release ot the ‘eaxy‘ i'eyiorking of their book. replete with childish typet’acex and tliiiigx

\yitli big numbers beside each recipe \o as not

to trighten poor you. the inclusion of an 'caxy” nemesis cake was too much ol a challenge to resist. As a confident cook a but stuttering. llL‘l'Hith baker. it tell only right to \eejust him ‘liasy' lliix really \ytlx.

lixtreinely generous amounts of sugar. 70’} cocoa solidx chocolate. eggs and enough unsalted butter to induce heart failure in l.ynl‘ord ('lirixtie are the simple ingredients. lhc.‘ :10! Put tliroui—‘li a good halt-hour‘s north of iiieltiiiii. beating and ‘gently cooling" bet‘ore being bunged in the in en lot 50 lllllillle.

The result “as a \inixterly dark—looking but \iicked smelling tin of gloop. lixtenxiie prodding (they don’t tell you liti\\' to test it" it's readyi demonstrated that it \\'11\ xii” completely liquid. despite enjoying oy er double the baking time recommended. 'l‘yyo days later it \\a\ set but remained suspiciously sticky and iiiotisxe-like. (’onxultation ot a local cal'e oyyner lound that he had to bastardise the recipe xeyerely to make it \york tor him. increasing the cooking time (at least doubling it) and adjusting the amounts.

The conclusion'.’ liasy 1’ Well. in places but in thix caxe it “as more a simplilied \‘Cl'\ltlli \yith some of the \aluable detail remoy ed eyen it it did taste absolutely delicioux.

We might not aluayx haye time to marinate something for a day or spend at‘tei'iioom searching out “hats in season. but \\ e do haye time to get things right if we're told lioyy. .\'o\\ that may just be hay ing you cake and eating it.

River Café Cookbook Easy is out now published by Ebury Press priced £20.

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I PROVINU It It; SOi'llOlllllltl :iioii: tiia'i a reactionary, giro tiiititiiiti organisation, the Country/Side Aiiiaiitte If} sponsoring; the, tl‘t't.l(;tll{li SC')lllSli l’(t()(l l ortrrqht. beginning) on 90 f'itllili‘tll‘l‘tll In (to opeiatioii unto the Guild of l lll(} i'ooti “(Yitliitjt‘l and the 'Zaiiiiiaigiii tor Hmi Food. the event's s; ateti aims are to (zeietiiate the ‘wealth of Scottish food and drink and to promote awareness that SCOlltiEli food and drink is; of the highest (iiiaiity' and best purchased iii season.

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