And so Oscarsfeast 2014 begins.

It starts this year… with Her.

The film:

The Dish

The Reason

Is it possible to hold love in the palm of your hand? Spike Jonze thinks it might be, with Her.  The OS1 is not just an operating system. It’s a consciousness. ‘Samantha’ is portable, responsive, and ever evolving.  She has the ability to both coordinate Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix)’s schedule and reawaken his soon-to-be-divorced heart. The question remains, can you outsource the complexity of a relationship to a piece of technology? While you’re mulling over that, take comfort in the fact that it would be just as easy to fall head over heels for these sultry cakes as it would be for the husky tones of  Scarlett Johansson. They’re headily spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. They’re layered in texture- as sandy as a date to the beach on the base and as pillowy and snug as a hug in a cabin while snow falls outside on the crest. These are small, square versions of the classic, mysterious Persian Love Cake- of which you’ll find as many iterations as Samantha has connections. They’re complex and wondrous, with their inherent sweetness balanced with the bite of pistachio  and tang of yoghurt. And if like Theodore you’re the kind of person who is perfectly happy employing technology to perform mundane human tasks- then the recipe below also includes instructions for how to make it in a thermomix.

The Way:

Thermomix Love Cakes

Makes 12 small cakes (enough for a modest dessert when served with extra yoghurt, or perfect as an afternoon pick me up with a cup of tea). You can also bake as one 23 cm round cake , though increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.  Nb, a thermomix is not essential to make these at all.

Shopping/foraging
360 gm (3 cups) almond meal
110 gm (1/2 cup) caster sugar
110 gm (1/2 cup) brown sugar
120 gm unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250 gm Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (either ground in a thermomix, or on a microplane)
45 gm (¼ cup) pistachios, coarsely chopped

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

2) Take a twelve hole, square muffin/ cake tin and grease and line each with a square of parchment paper.

3) If using a thermomix, grind your nutmeg by placing it in the bowl and grinding on speed 9 for 45 seconds, until you have a powdery texture . Remove the ground spice and measure out 1 tsp. Combine it with the cinnamon.

3) Combine almond meal, sugars and butter  in a bowl, then rub with fingertips until coarse crumbs form (if using a thermomix, combine on speed 5 for 15 seconds).

4) Portion half of the mix into the base of the tins, pressing down to ensure it is tightly packed and firm.

5) Add the egg, yoghurt and spices to the remaining mix and beat until smooth (if using a thermomix mix on speed 4 for 30 seconds).

6) Pour over prepared bases and scatter pistachios.

7)  Bake for 30 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature.

See Oscarsfeast 2013 here

See Oscarsfeast 2012 here