Cenador De Amos Review-Michelin starred food served with a sense of humor

At the risk of cries of outrage from men throughout Cantabria, I’m going to put it out there and say that the best food of the region is not in fact their mothers’ tortilla, or even their grandmother’s age old, six hour to cook recipe for cocido montanes.  Tucked away in the small village of Villaverde de Pontejos culinary maestro Jesus Sanchez, chef at restaurant Cenador De Amos is creating innovative food good enough to impress even the most devout mummy’s boy.

The restaurant is located in Cantabria in Northern Spain, in a small village where every second building seems to be for sale.  This along with the fact that the restaurant is not exactly on the beaten track (read: very tricky to locate!), it is surprising that the restaurant receives enough custom to keep its doors open. It really must be the food.  Cenador de Amos has a range of menus ranging from molecular gastronomy to more traditional fare.  We opted for the Menu de Degustacion, deciding previously to go all out and live off lentils for the rest of the month.  Although it must be said that by the end of the meal we thought we may not need to eat at all for the rest of the month.

The restaurant is housed in a restored stone building, with the dining room decorated in a modern, simplistic style.  Simple white table clothes, polished silver and rustic tiled flooring made for pleasant surroundings that weren’t over done.  Other than the food, the stand out feature was definitely the service.  We were greeted and seated in a manner suited to the style of restaurant (coats taken, chairs pulled out etc), but whilst very polite and helpful, the server and sommelier also proved to have a sense of humor; not always the case in these types of restaurants.

All the courses were explained simply in a mix of Spanish and English, suitable wines were recommended crumbs were removed, and subtle jokes about Manchester United’s recent loss to Bilbao were made.  The friendliness of the staff made the dining experience hugely more enjoyable since we didn’t feel like we were being watched constantly and creating too many crumbs on the table (we are pretty messy eaters).

Now to the food.  The menu we chose consisted of 16 small and surprisingly multicultural courses, featuring dishes ranging from traditional Cantabrian with a gastronomical twist to Moroccan and South American style courses.  There was a great range of flavours, colors and plates.  All the courses were handily printed on a take home menu, not only useful for blogging purposes as it would be impossible to remember the names of all the dishes, but also to remind you of what to expect next during the meal.

I will apologize in advance for the photo quality.  Although I have a camera which in theory should do all the hard work for me, I don’t seemed to have quite mastered the art of food photography yet.  Rest assured the food did not all have a slightly blue tinge up until the 9th course- this is just when I realized the camera was on the wrong setting.

The first dish was Crema de ave y foie (Chicken and foie soup).  This was creamy, rich and utterly delicious, giving us high hopes of what was to follow.  There is nothing more worrying when you sit down to 16 courses than receiving a bad soup to start, it makes you a little uneasy of what you are in for next if they can’t even nail a simple soup, but this did not disappoint.

The second entree was Morcilla sin sacrifico (Black pudding without blood).  This seemed like a puzzling concept, as far as I knew Morcilla was made of pretty much only blood, with a bit of rice thrown in.  However it was soon clarified that the Morcilla was in fact an olive tapanade, shaped exactly into the form of a small slice of morcilla.  It’s amazing the surprise you get when you bite into something that looks exactly like Morcilla, but tastes like olives- even when you know what it is, it seems like your brain is programmed for the flavour you associate with what your eyes see.  This was served with La guindilla (a pimiento stuffed with tuna), typical Cantabrian fare, but shaped into a perfectly smooth sphere.

Morcilla sin sacrifico y La guindilla

The next entree was Tomate pimiento del cristal (Glass tomato and pepper).  This was a thin green pepper stuffed with a fresh tomato salsa,very light and tasty.

Tomate pimiento del cristal

We then started the second part of the menu, (second entree, first main course?  I’m not exactly sure what to call it!).  The first dish was one of my favorites of the night, El Juego alrededor del foie (loosely translated, foie three ways).  These included a piece of fresh pate like foie, sandwiched between to thin wafers, a cooked piece of foie and a creme brulee made from…foie! With a little meringue in the corner, just for fun.

El Juego alrededor del foie

We were then served with what was my least favourite dish of the night, La Ostra Margarita (Margarita Oyster).  I don’t like oysters, so this wasn’t totally surprising.  I was hoping they would do something magical to change to way I saw oysters forever, but it still tasted like sea water to me!  I liked the little spherification pearl though.

La ostra margarita

This was served with a little wafer basket filled with guacamole.

Then the main courses started to arrive.  All of these were totally different and included dishes made with meat, beans, fish and vegetables for total variety.

The first was a rather improved version of french onion soup, Cebolla tierna con queso ‘Divirin’ y oregano fresco (Onions with Divirin cheese and fresh oregano).

Cebolla tierna con queso 'Divirin' y oregano fresco

The next had a South American flavour, Pochas en caldo de arroz venere (red beans in stock with little ‘rice’ like crumbs flavoured like popcorn).  It tasted a little like a corn tortilla filled with beans…but much better.

Pochas en cado de arroz venere

We then moved onto a more Morrocon inspired dish of Como un ‘cus-cus’ la lenteja (like a cous- cous made of lentils).  This was indeed just like cous- cous but with a lentil flavour.  It was served with melting pork belly pieces and grapes.  I don’t know what they had done to the grapes, but the result was like an explosion of grape in the mouth.

Como un 'cus-cus' la lenteja

The next course was Ravioli de apio-nabo con brandad de bacalao (Ravioli of celery and turnip filled with cod)

Ravioli de apio-nabo con brandada de bacalao

This was followed by a fish course of Rape en adobo de aceituna negra (Monkfish in a marinade of black olive).  This was delicious despite the skid marks.

Rape en adobo de aceituna negra

Then came the meat course in the form of Molleja de ternera con alcachofas y queso almendra (veal sweetbread with artichokes and almond cheese).  The cheese was the stand out part of this dish, fresh and light, but with a distinct almond flavour.

Molleja de ternera con alcachofas y queso de alemandra

Then at last it was time for the last savory part of the meal.  La albondiga de pichon y anchoa, (Meatball of baby pigeon and anchovy).

La albondiga de pichon y anchoa

Time for dessert!

The first course of sweets was a delicious Yogur con manzana e hinojo (Yoghurt with apple and fennel).  This was a frozen apple flavoured yoghurt with a variety of yoghurt and apple flavoured accompaniments, and what seemed to be a contact lens on top.

Yogur con manzana e hinojo

The second dessert had a Cantabrian flavour- Sobao caramelizado, leche y tapioca.  (Traditional Cantabrian sponge cake caramelized with milk and tapioca).  Still not a big fan of the tapioca, but the rest was delicious.

Sobao caramelizado, leche y tapioca...hard to see for the bubbles!

Finally, the icing on the cake, entretenimientos dulces (sweet entertainments!),served with tea and coffee.  These featured a variety of meringues, chocolates, Turkish delight, strawberry yoghurt and their own version of the ‘Filipino’, a popular chocolate coated, dohnut shaped biscuit in Spain.

We left full, relaxed and thoroughly impressed with what is without a doubt some of Cantabria’s best food.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Milk Poached Fish

Tapa Style

According to Breadhead, gnocchi is easy to make.  I’m not so sure, but this pumpkin gnocchi tastes amazing, and even if it takes you a little more effort than buying a pack of gnocchi from the supermarket, it’s well worth the effort! One of my all time favourite restaurant meals was a yam gnocchi with beurre blanc at The Red Ochre in Adelaide, but this was equally as good, perhaps even a little better!

This gnocchi can be made in rolls and cooked in cling film, which means it doesn’t fall apart so much during cooking (good for those of us who are not so gifted in the gnocchi area, and tend to add more flour to stop this happening, resulting in pumpkin glue rather than gnocchi).  It also means it can be sliced into rounds for nice presentation.

Breadhead served the gnocchi with a beurre blanc sauce, a chunky tomato sauce and milk poached fish- pretty damn good!  The milk poached fish method is great as you can leave it in the milk for as long as you want and it won’t overcook- this helps to make sure everything is ready at once.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Milk Poached Fish

For the Gnocchi

400g pumpkin

400g potatoes

Roasted veg

125g plain flour

125g grated Parmesan

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

3 tbsp chopped chives

salt

1.  Bake potatoes and pumpkin in oven until soft

2.  Scoop out flesh and pass through a ricer (much better than using a food processor as the fast movement releases the starch from the potatoes and makes them gummy, mashing by hand is OK, but not so smooth and very time consuming).

Ricer set up

3.  In a bowl add Parmesan, flour, egg, yolks and chives to potato and pumpkin.

4.  Mix well and add salt to taste.

5.  Take about 2 Tbsp of mix at a time and lay in cling film.

6.  Roll into log shapes, twisting each end of the cling film to seal.

7.  The logs can be stored in fridge until needed, or cooked straightaway.

8.  Cook logs for 10 minutes in boiling water (still wrapped in cling film- don’t worry it doesn’t melt!)

9.  Remove and refresh in cold water.

10. Unroll from cling film and cut into 2cm lengths.

Ready for frying

11.  Dust in flour and fry over a medium heat in butter for 2-3 minutes each side, or until lightly brown.

For the Beurre Blanc.

1/2 shallot

Keeping warm in a water bath

2 tbsp white wine

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

50ml water

120g chilled butted diced

1 heaped tsp mustard

lemon juice

1.  Boil shallot, wine and vinegar and reduce over medium heat in small saucepan

2.  Add water and reduce further

3.  Gradually whisk in butter one cube at a time.

4.  When all butter is melted, remove from heat and add mustard, lemon juice and salt to taste.

5.  Use immediately as it will solidify and separate if its sits around.

The bible

For the Milk Poached Fish.

Fillets of fish (frozen is fine and can be cooked straight from freezer)

milk

1.  Cover fish with milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil

2.  Remove from heat and leave to sit until needed.

For the Tomato Sauce

1  400g tin whole tomatoes

2 dried chillies, diced

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic finely diced

1.  Drain tomatoes, reserving some of the juice

2.  Crush tomatoes with your hands to retain the chunky texture

3.  Fry garlic over medium heat in oil

4. Add tomatoes, chilli, and vinegar and a couple of tbsp of tomato juice

5.  Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

To assemble

Serve a round of gnocchi, topped with a small piece of fish, and drizzled in sauces for a tapas style dish, or serve a few gnocchi s topped with sauces and a larger piece of fish on the side for a main meal.  This is also good with grilled prawns!

Healthy Snack-Salt and Vinegar Chickpeas

Well, for once I have decided to post something healthy with this salt and vinegar chickpea recipe.  This is makes a great alternative to fried snacks such as salt and vinegar chips.  I have always loved salt and vinegar flavoured anything- a childhood favourite was a bucket of chips with so much vinegar there was literally a swimming pool of it at the bottom of the bucket when I finished.  I didn’t even like chips without vinegar!

These little gems are very easy and make a slightly more gourmet party snack that is high in protein and has a little more nutritional value than a packet of crisps.  Give them a go!

Salt and Vinegar Chickpeas

1 can or jar of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

About 2 cups of white vinegar (or enough to cover the chickpeas in a saucepan)

Drizzle of olive oil

1/2 tsp salt.

1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. Cover chickpeas with vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat

3.  Leave boiling for about 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and drain

5.  Spread over a pyrex baking dish in single layer and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt.

6.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until slightly crispy.

Momofuku Cereal Milk Ice Cream

This is without a doubt my favourite ice cream recipe I have made in the ice cream maker to date.  It is incredibly smooth and creamy, which is not always what you expect from a cheap churning home ice cream maker, but with this recipe the ice cream turns out more like a commercial ice cream texture, but better.  It’s possibly one of the best ice creams I have had anywhere.

Being a massive fan of cereal the flavour was also particularly attractive to me.  It tasted exactly like the milk left at the end of a bowl of breakfast cereal, sweet and malty.  The caramelized cornflakes were the perfect crispy, slightly salty contrast to the smooth ice cream- not to mention tasty ( I made have had to make a few extra batches as I kept eating them all!).

I also made a chocolate cereal milk version of this ice cream, with more or less the same ingredients, but using chocolate cereal flakes instead of cornflakes, also very tasty!

CEREAL MILK ICE CREAM RECIPE (From Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook)

Caramelized Cornflakes

  • 280g cornflakes
  • 55g  nonfat dry milk powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 185g unsalted butter, melted

Cereal Milk (approximately 1 cup):

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 400g caramelized cornflakes

Cereal Milk Ice Cream (makes approximately 3,5 cups):

  • 1 cup whipping cream cream
  • 1 cup cereal milk (see ingredients above)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 110g caramelized cornflakes, to serve

Caramelized cornflakes,

1.  Preheat  oven to 140 C.

2.  Put  cornflakes in a large mixing bowl and crush them with your hands a few times.

3.  Combine milk powder, sugar and salt in another bowl, give it a stir and set aside.

4.  Add the melted butter to the cornflakes and then the sugar mixture and toss to combine.

5.  Spread over two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven until they caramelize, (approx35 minutes). Remove and let cool to room temperature

Cereal milk

1.  Combine 400g of caramelized cornflakes and milk in a large mixing bowl and let steep for an hour (I left it overnight in the fridge, hoping for more flavour, which worked well)

2. Strain the milk with the help of a fine-mesh sieve (o press on the cornflakes  to extract as much liquid as possible).

3.Strain once again (through a finer sieve or cheesecloth this time), pour it in a container and set aside.

Cereal milk ice cream

Cereal Milk Ice cream (pictured with strawberry cheesecake ice cream)

1.  Pour the heavy cream in a medium bowl and place it in the fridge until needed.

2. Combine cereal milk, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

3.In the meantime,  whisk together egg yolks.

4.  Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly.

5. Place over medium heat and stir until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, (don’t heat too high, as eggs with scramble!)

6.  Pour the custard through a strainer into the chilled heavy cream and stir to combine.

7.  Chill the mixture, then freeze it in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve sprinkled with remaining cornflakes.


I think the Momofuku birthday cake will have to be next on my list!

An ode to the Staffordshire Oatcake.

Well have just read in The Guardian (See article here), about the closure of a hole in the wall bakery in Hanley and it seems it was the last of the traditional served on the street oatcake shops (whatever that is.) Now I didn’t know the bakery personally but I do know Staffordshire oatcakes and I adore them.  I have fond memories of Saturday mornings eating Dale’s oatcakes with lots of melted Cheshire cheese. So it gives me a good excuse to share the recipe I have for these bad boys.

Traditional Staffordshire Oatcakes (Adapted from Allotment Growing Recipes)

225g quick cook oats

225g wholemeal or plain flour

1 tsp salt

450ml warm milk

450ml warm water

1 tsp sugar

15g or 1 sachet of dry yeast

  1. Mix flour, salt and oats together in large bowl
  2. Mix yeast, water, milk and sugar in another container. Give it a good stir and combine with the flour mixture.
  3. Cover and leave for 1 hour.
  4. In an oiled non-stick 28cm frying pan, on medium heat, add a ladle full of mixture and shake it around pan like making pancake.
  5. Cook on first side until you see the top covered in bubbles and almost completely dry. 2-3 mins.
  6. Flip cook on other side 1-2mins. Should be light golden colour on both sides.
  7. Stack on a plate and continue making them until you have used up all the batter.
  8. Allow to cool then Clingfilm and put in fridge till you need. Or scoff straight away, add you favourite grated cheese in the centre and melt under the grill or in microwave then roll up a bit like a fajita or spring roll but without the tucked in bits so more like a cigar!

 

Hope you enjoy these Staffordshire delicacies.  They are really good for breakfast (or lunch or dinner!).

Here are some fillings I suggest:

Traditionalish -Bacon, cheese, black pudding, sausages, mushrooms

Sweet– honey, nutella, jam

Pretensions – sun dried tomatoes, chorizo, spinach and mozzarella

Basically it’s a bit like a pizza experiment and try different combinations, have fun and hope you enjoy. Long live the oatcake! Viva la revolution!

Mandarin Yoghurt Cake

My third installment of February’s Daring Bakers challenge was a mandarin yoghurt cake.  Mostly because I had a lot of mandarins to use up!  To make the cake taste more strongly of mandarin, I boiled the mandarins in their skins until very soft, and then blitzed the whole lot up with the stick blender and put the lot in the cake, skins and all!

The recipe is adapted from My Fabulous Recipes

Mandarin Yoghurt Cake

2/3 cup softened butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup thick natural/Greek yoghurt
4 mandarins

2 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

  1. Boil mandarins in a saucepan until soft (about 15 minutes)
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Blitz boiled mandarins in food processor or with stick blender
  5. Add yogurt and mandarin to eggs and sugar
  6. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  7. Add the wet mixture and beat until smooth
  8. Pour into two medium sized  greased bread pans
  9. Bake at 180 degrees C for 45-50 minute until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean if poked in the middle of the bread.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.

Serve with lemon yoghurt icing(recipe below)

Lemon Yoghurt Icing

3/4 cup natural yoghurt

2 cups icing sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp butter softened

1.  Beat yogurt, butter and icing sugar until smooth.

2.  Add lemon juice and refrigerate to firm up a bit.

 

Banana Caramel Peanut Butter Loaf

This was another Daring Bakers’ Challenge quick bread recipe.  The loaf turned out more of a peanut loaf than anything else, the peanut butter and whole peanuts seemed to dominate the flavor, so you couldn’t really taste the bananas much in the end.  It may be better with a reduced amount of peanuts, or using another more subtle nut, such as the more traditional walnut-banana combo!

Banana Caramel Peanut Butter Loaf (adapted from Dan Lepard’s Butterscotch Banana Cake.)

250g caster sugar

250g banana flesh, chopped into 2cm pieces

1 tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

175ml sunflower oil

2 large eggs

150g plain flour

75g  wholemeal flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 level tsp baking powder

½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda

50ml plain yoghurt

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup whole salted peanuts

1 cup chopped dates

1.  Grease a 20cm square tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

2. Put 150g of the caster sugar into a frying pan with 25ml water, bring to the boil, then cook over a high heat until the sugar caramelizes.

3.  Add the banana pieces, butter and vanilla, and simmer until the bananas break up in the caramel and the mixture is thick.

4.  Leave to cool on a plate.

5.  Beat the remaining 100g sugar with the oil and eggs until thick

6.  Then beat in the bananas, peanut butter and the yoghurt.

7.  Sift the flours, spice, baking powder and soda together two or three times (throwing the bran back in), then fold this through the banana mixture.  .

8.  Fold in whole peanuts and chopped dates.

9.Spoon the mixture into the tin, heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted) and bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Serve with salted caramel whipped cream (recipe below)

Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

1 cup whipped cream

1 Tbsp Dulce de Leche

1/2 tsp salt

Combine ingredients and serve. 

Caramalized Onion and Chorizo Quick Bread

As promised in my previous post, here is the recipe for one of the quick breads I made for the February Daring Bakers challenge.  The bread was a bit of a throw in whats in the fridge recipe, luckily there was chorizo in the fridge, which i think is almost impossible to go wrong with.  The bread turned out a little dry due to an unreliable oven that refuses to rise above 150 degrees, therefore I had to cook it for much longer than I should have!

 

The quick bread was loosely based on a recipe for Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Olive oil quick bread from Cookin’ Canuck, but ended up quite different, as I had to substitute a lot of ingredients!

 

Caramelized Onion and Chorizo Quick Bread

3 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp  salt
1 jar roasted red peppers, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp herbs de provence.

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

1.  Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

2.  Add the onion to the pan, with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the onions are golden brown, about 10 additional minutes.

3.Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the onions, then stir in garlic and peppers.  Cook about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

4.  Whisk together flour, herbs baking powder, and salt.

5.  In a large bowl, combine eggs, lightly beaten, milk, and extra-virgin olive oil. Whisk well until combined.

6.  Pour the flour mixture into the eggs mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix or the bread will become tough. Add onion, pepper mix and stir until just combined.

7.  Grease a loaf pan and line with grease proof paper.  Add batter to tin.

8.  Bake until the top is for about 25 minutes then remove from oven and quickly grate Parmesan over the loaf, return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan, and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve with butter or cheddar cheese.

Makes 1 loaf of bread.

Daring Bakers’ February Challenge- Quick Breads

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

I couldn’t decide on just one quick bread for this challenge, so I made a few!  The first was a banana peanut caramel loaf, which was nice, but very heavy, probably due to too many peanuts, which tended to dominate the flavor.  It was really more like peanut loaf.

Banana peanut caramel quick bread

a caramalized onion and chorizo bread

and a mandarin yoghurt cake

Recipes to follow….

Cake Truffles: Momofuku Genius

Peanut Caramel Banana Bread Truffles

I have spent the weekend delving into the sweet tooth heaven that is the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christine Tosi.  Starting with the cereal milk ice cream, (recipe to follow- definitely the best ice cream I’ve made at home so far, and one of my favourite ice creams ever!), I then started perusing the internet looking at pictures of other fantastic creations from this New York bakery.

One picture that kept popping up was the Cake Truffle, in particular Birthday Cake Truffles, sold by the bakery.  These looked absolutely amazing, and combined two of my favourite things, truffles and cake.  I couldn’t locate a recipe for these bite sized cake balls, but after reading a number of blogs from people who had tried them, or made something similar it seemed it was simply a case of crumbling a cake, mixing it with icing and rolling into balls.  Perhaps with a quick roll in something to coat to improve the appearance. Obviously the quality and flavour of your original cake and icing will effect the ball. I’m not sure this is quite how Momofuku does them, as the menu seems to feature binding ingredients such as liquid cheesecake (further experimentation to come!), but it was a good starting point.

I had a couple of cakes in the freezer after a Saturday baking frenzy that resulted in three cakes and only two people to feed, so I thought I would experiment with those.

One cake was a banana peanut loaf and the other a mandarin and yogurt cake.  I quickly whipped up some salted caramel butter cream for the banana and chocolate butter cream for the mandarin, crumbled them up and mixed them in.  I then rolled the mixture into balls, rolled the banana cake in shredded coconut and the mandarin one in icing sugar and chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours.

not so attractive Mandarin Chocolate Cake Truffles- next time I'll coat them in chocolate

The resulting balls were amazing, dense and moist like the part of the cake that comes in contact with the icing and is really soft (my favourite part!).  They were definitely a huge improvement on the cakes themselves which were a little dry.  A great use of any slightly old/dry cake really, but probably tastes even better with a fresh moist one.

You could really do this with any cake you enjoy, or even a packet mix.  The icing possibilities are endless and these little bites make great, transportable treats.  I think next time I will chocolate coat them, and there will definitely be more than one next time!