9.22.2010

Coffee Klatch


My Garden Club came for their first meeting of the fall and I thought you'd like to see my table (You may have expected a fall tablescape, but remember I live in Florida and it's still stifling here!) and what I ended up serving.
Blogger-like, I snuck in before anyone came and took photos.



Most of the treats will be linked to recipes online but the Sticky Chocolate Loaf recipe from my Ottolenghi book will be included here in full. We had to do a lot of refilling of platters, so I deem this a big success.



1. Peach Shortbread, Smitten Kitchen




2. Creamy Lemon Bars, Martha Stewart
( These were the #1 favorite. We ran out!)





3. Financiers, Adapted from Francois Payard of Payard Patisserie




4. Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, Smitten Kitchen
(These were my personal favorite!)



5. And last:


Sticky Chocolate/Prune Loaf
From Ottolenghi, The Cookbook








Ingredients:
7-3/4 ounces dried, pitted prunes (Agen prunes are nicest if you can get them)
1/2 cup Armagnac or Cognac
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons treacle (I used Lyle's but you can use Karo syrup)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
150 g. dark chocolate, chopped

For the syrup:
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Armagnac or Cognac

Method:
Preheat oven to 340°. Butter two small loaf pans and sprinkle with fine bread crumbs or line with parchment paper.

Place half the prunes in a pan with the Armagnac; warm and then set aside to let the prunes steep.
Put the remaining prunes in a blender or processor along with the buttermilk and sunflower oil. Process until the mixture resembles a thick mayonnaise. Remove to another bowl, add whisk in the egg, both sugars and the treacle.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder and slowly, with a spatula, mix the dry ingredients with the wet.
Fold in the chocolate and divide between the two prepared pans. Level the tops.
Cut the Armagnac-soaked prunes in half and using your fingers, press them below the surface of the cakes.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a cake testor comes out clean.

Prepare the syrup while the cakes are baking: mix the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool.
As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, pierce them through with a skewer and using a pastry brush, soak them with the syrup.
Allow to cool in the pan before removing.

67 comments:

  1. Your table looks so lovely and all those baked treats look yummylicious!

    Maria
    x

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  2. A wonderful table! Those treats look so good and so does that loaf!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Your table is just right~ Lovely..I've emailed myself the lemon bars:)

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  4. What a beautiful table, and such delicious treats!

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  5. I'm always amused at the German words in the English language, especially in the U.S. Wow, I sure would have loved to have been there and have to say, I'd like to try a bit of each! I only recently tasted chocolate and prunes together and was surprised how great it was. Your loaves look amazing Barbara and must have been popular too.

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  6. Oh my stars & garters, Barb - I literally GASPED when I opened this post! FAB-U-LESS!!!

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  7. I would have loved being at your delicious table! By the way, our dining rooms seem to be very similar in color.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  8. Your table looks so inviting! It must have been a great party. I just ordered Plenty, and I think I'm going to need the other Ottolenghi book too. The sticky chocolate prune loaf looks delicious!

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  9. What a beautiful array of goodies you prepared for your club! I'm sure the lemon bars and chocolate shortbread would be my favorites too ;) Your table looks lovely!

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  10. That's a lovely assortment of treats! Beautiful table too- it would be hard to resist any of those goodies!

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  11. Your fellow gardeners are so lucky! I would have loved to have tried this assortment of sweets. I'll definitely have to try those lemon bars, which I adore and also, I'm in the pursuit of an "ultimate" recipe. Lovely table. I love the white orchids!

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  12. Your table looks so beautiful! The sticky cake looks absolutely addictive... sounds like a great time!

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  13. Barbara!!! I'm finally back. Ohhhh!!!! I want to join your club now!!! The food looks good and the tea sets looks fab!

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  14. Oh, to be part of your club just to go for the food LOL... everything looks lovely. I would go for the chocolate loaf just cause it's Ottlenghi's :) (okay, you and i both know I'd eat everything, twice... three times).
    Gorgeous spread, your guests are lucky!
    *kisses* HH

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  15. I wish I was invited too. You made so many beautiful treats I cannot decide which one to choose.

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  16. Barbara, I thought you're celebrating the mooncake festival too! haha... Oh, it's a club party! I love everything on the table. And the decoration is simple & beautiful. Thanks for sharing & have a great day.
    Cheers, Kristy

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  17. Barbara,

    I love your gorgeous table, the flowers are stunning. I have made Martha's lemon bars and I just love Payard! I haven't been in a few years and I think it's no longer, I believe Francois is baking somewhere else in the city? I'm going to try the others that you made too , I will be adding the recipes to my baking folder, thanks for all the links. I'm planning on baking a lot this weekend so this post is perfect timing.
    Enjoy that sunny weather, I can't wait to get down to Delray this December ,did you ever go to the Snappy Turtle? It's so adorable!
    Xx
    Bunny

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  18. I'm thinking my invite must have gotten lost in the mail. I forgive you, don't worry. All of these treats look excellent! Ottolenghi is actually going to be my gift to myself after I lose ten pounds. It's because of recipes like this that I can't wait!

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  19. Beautiful! I love those yellow cups and saucers. I've got to Google those Martha Stewart Lemon Bars. It all looks wonderful, but those caught my eye.

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  20. Such a lovely table, Barbara. The frilly white flowers catch the light. Your chocolate prune cake is the one that really captures my imagination. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Now, on to that oregano ice cream with fig syrup--

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  21. I'm hopeless at gardening, but I'd come just for the food!

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  22. Wish I was in your coffee klatch! Your table looks wonderful. I'd probably go for the lemon bars too.

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  23. Amazing sweet treats here! Thanks for sharing a delicious recipe for the chocolate prune loaf, yum!

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  24. Your table setting is gorgeous! And all of your sweets sound scrumptious! Love the sound of your chocolate prune loaf.

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  25. The lemon bars are always a favorite of mine, but that Chocolate Prune Loaf looks absolutely delicious too!

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  26. Lovely! I'll have to remember to follow your lead and snap a stealth photo or two before our dessert social next month. In the meantime, it's stiffling here too. There's no way I can wear the heavier twill jacket I'd planned to wear tonight.

    And Sunday, if I have an energy left at all, I'm making that espresso shortbread.

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  27. This is a beautiful and sophisticated South Florida table setting. The baked treats look divine.

    I am ready for the cooler temps. We Floridians know that autumn arrives late for us.

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  28. Your table is lovely Barbara. Your baked treats look yummy. I would have had to try the peach shortbread first.
    Sam

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  29. Can I come to your Garden Club?

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  30. Hey Barbara, yum! I don't want to stare at sugar treats too long (smile), but they looks wonderful. And I've heard a lot of great things about the Ottolenghi cookbook...
    Oh, and we're moving to the Miami area. I don't know how I feel about it yet, but we'll see...:)

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  31. It looks lovely! What's a garden club?

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  32. Everything looks gorgeous and delicious!

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  33. What a lovely table !!! Balanced choice !! Congrats!
    Enjoy the last days of summer!!! (I feel a bit jealous!)

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  34. Absolutely lovely! Everything looks delicious! Thank you for sharing.

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  35. OK, you had me at all those sweet treats. But you know what really got me? The lovely way you set the table with all those various floral vases. They really look great in multiples like that. Martha Stewart would tip her hat to that.

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  36. What a lovely table. I've made some of those recipes, so I know just how good you treat your garden club.
    Mimi

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  37. oh wow I wish I was in your garden club and I adore the tea cups

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  38. I bet you have people dying to join your garden club to try your goodies Barbara! :D

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  39. very inviting table plus sweet treats.
    thoughtful post.

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  40. Your table is beautiful, Barbara. I've got my eye on your chocolate prune cake but I would love to sample every treat on your table.

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  41. Um, if I lived in Florida I would definitely crash your garden club! Every single thing looks great--but the first one I'm checking out is the espresso shortbread.

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  42. What a lovely setup and DELISH menu!

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  43. Beautiful layout...wish I was there! I love every goodie there...drooling...especially the espresso chocolate shortbread...yum

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  44. I made those same peach shortbread bars and they were delicious! I'm going to check out the other recipes too!!

    Great looking table! There will be time enough for fall! I think the white is beautiful!

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  45. What a gorgeous table! I would have loved to sample some of those goodies!

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  46. ok, so how does one become a member of this Garden Club?

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  47. Gorgeous table. I think the lemon bars are my favorite too.

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  48. Hi Barbara,

    Oh your garden club are the luckiest and I can see why you would need to keep refilling the plates.
    The table looks amazing and such a fabulous assortments of treats and love the teacups.
    Many thanks for showing us.

    Happy weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  49. Your table is gorgeous, Barbara! The goodies you served all sound delicious. The ladies in the Garden Club are lucky indeed!

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  50. yeah the prune and choco loaf is wild :: i would bite in it !!pierre

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  51. Wow, you guys don't mess around. This looks very professional.

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  52. Wow! What a great spread. I love your table scape. I live at the beach also so I always incorporate shells!
    I can't wait to try those lemon bars!

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  53. definately great looking table ! n along with the baked goodies!

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  54. Yummmm...your teacups are amazing.

    Oh how i wish I could just reach in and grab some of those yummy treats.

    Thank you for your sweet comments conerning my daughter.

    Hugs.

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  55. Hi Barbara,
    The sweet treats all look scrummy but that's the recipe I've been waiting for.
    Mercie Beaucoup.
    M

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  56. Wow you set a beautiful table. I'm going to have to start upping my game. Lemon bars are always a favorite of mine too. Your bread looks moist and delicious!

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  57. Coffee Klatch sounds like fun, garden club very fun and your table is beautiful. I never thought of combining prunes with chocolate but I imagine this cake to be so very good. If you posted it, I know it'll be worth making. Wishing you all the best for the coming week Barbara.

    Cheers x Deb

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  58. Hi Barbara! Wow what a feast you all had. I am jealous. :) I have been MIA from blogging for so long and miss it terribly. I just stopped by for a quick hi. Your treats/photos look delicious as usual. I hope to be blogging again soon, in the meantime, happy blogging to you!

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  59. What a beautiful table,Barbara!!!!The food looks fantastic!!!!!

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  60. what a beautiful table!! so many wonderful treats, I bet your guests were blown away!

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  61. Wow! What a lot of effort Barbara, it looks fabulous. Love the pretty teacups and the orchids, and the starfish, well everything really :)

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  62. The next time you host one of these, expect me to come crashing. Oh my goodness, I must bookmark this post. Everything looks sooooooooo wonderful!

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  63. Barbara...I usually bake with puréed prunes to lessen the fat content...hence your cake is perfect for my type of baking.
    Looks scrumptious ;o)

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  64. What a lovely display! Every thing looks amazing Barb. You've definitely provided me with some inspiration.

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  65. What a beautiful table and what beautiful food. You do know how to set up something delectable and stunning.

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  66. I've bookmarked all of those recipes! How delicious! And your yellow tea set is so beautiful! I hope when it is someone else's turn they live up to the standard you set.

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