Recreated from The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The banquet tables, fifty feet from end to end, (or perhaps these were merely the appetiser tables; the light afternoon refreshments at a feast like this could rival the main courses from any lesser occasion) were laid with silver-trimmed linen cloths. Guild chefs, the Masters of the Eight Beautiful Arts ... stood at attention in their cream-yellow ceremonial robes and black scholars' caps with hanging gold cords behind their ears. Each chef, male or female, had intricate black tattoos on each of the four fingers of each hand, every design representing mastery of one of the Eight Gourmet Forms.
At one end of the banquet table were desserts (the Fifth Beautiful Art) – cherry cream cakes encased in shells of gold leaf that were intended to be eaten; cinnamon tarts painstakingly assembled with honey paste glue into the shape of sailing vessels, a whole fleet of little ships with white marzipan sails and raisins for crewmen ...
There's enough tempting food in The Gentleman Bastard Sequence to fill an entire cookery book, so this will no doubt be the first of several Scott Lynch entries.
For now, I've turned to some treats on one of his dessert tables. I can vouch for their deliciousness despite not being qualified for a single finger tattoo yet. I ate as many as the fingers on one hand though.
Guinness doesn't sound like a particularly delicious way to start cakes but rather than being there for flavour, it gives them, in Nigella Lawson's words, a "dark majesty"; they do look especially striking against the white and red of the cream and cherries. This colour combination is a very popular choice in Fantasy cover art so I'll claim a connection there too.
For the cake (makes 8 muffin-sized cakes)
For the filling
Based on Nigella Lawson's recipe for Chocolate Guinness Cake.