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Leftover cake

"What can you make? The obvious answer is "friends by giving them cake." andycartwright/Reddit

Christmas is gone, so the shops are full of hot cross buns - yes they are - but vol au vents for the leftovers and David's Christmas treat are hard to find, I couldn't even see any pavlovas in Woolworths, though Coles had piles of them. They did, however have a few, but small vol au vents so that's what we are having. They had four packets and we took two of them.

However, what I am tackling in today's post, is leftover cakes as you can see here. It's not a lot but too much for David and I, so I have been searching for ideas of what to do. I had thought of a couple myself and I confess I have not found anything that makes me feel I have to rush off and make it now - right this minute. There are also some which are probably just not to my taste - or David's.

Perhaps the most obvious is trifle and I confess I'm not a huge fan of trifle. It's obvious because cake is a vital ingredient of the dish. And I did find two tempting versions: Banana bread, raspberry and ricotta trifles from SBS and, also on the SBS website - Minted raspberry brownie trifles from Anneka Manning. I suppose they look similar.

I could maybe contemplate the closely related Walnut and chocolate tiramisù from Mario Matassa on the Italy Travel and Life website I guess or Jamie Oliver's Leftovers affogato. I do love affogato and he's quite right in saying that the espresso would cut through the sweetness of the cake. I'm still not sure about soaked, mushy cake though.

Mind you I also read somewhere of someone finding some very stale cake and soaking it in alcohol - take your pick here - leaving it for a few days before tucking in. With cream or ice-cream. No - too mushy I think. Ditto for milk shakes - also not my thing.

Whilst we are still on mushy, other suggestions included a kind of bread and butter pudding of which Vanilla Queen's Cake Pudding version is a typical example. Or - for a different kind of mushy the Danes have Romkugler as presented by Tom Hunt of The Guardian but there are, many, many other recipes out there - truffles, pops, rum balls are some of their other names.

You can, however go in the opposite direction and go crunchy. Like stale bread you can either cut into croutons or just crumble and then either toast in the oven or fry until golden. Such crunchy delights can then be used in all manner of ways - scattered on things or mixed into them - an Eton Mess perhaps.

Other crunchy options are French toast, and ice-cream - the ice-cream idea accommodating itself to either toasted or non-toasted bits - within or on top. The website Tastemade has a 4 ideas post which demonstrates these two, some cookies with a lump of chocolate in the middle - we have a lot of that too - and also a base for an appallingly sweet cornflake laden top - although you could indeed use it for a cheesecake.

And I have to say I'm tempted by all of those options, although David didn't like the idea of ice-cream for some reason.

Maybe the ultimate horror was deep fried cake - dipped in a sweet batter. Ugh!

I was a little surprised that my favourites Ottolenghi, Nigel Slater and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his Love Your Leftovers book were really not into doing anything with leftover cake. Most of the ideas came from America - but then they eat a lot of cake.

Or we could just eat it - or freeze it and think about it, or wait for an occasion when we would be able to share. Cheesecake - or maybe cookies ... And I didn't even mention those fridge cakes that are made with a whole lot of sweet leftovers bound together with chocolate. anthem chilled until set in the fridge.

I'm definitely not throwing it out though. Far too nice for that. Thank you Jenny and Annabelle.

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