Monthly Archives: October 2011

Ultimate chocolate food porn – chocolate loaf with chocolate glaze and cranberries.

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Yesterday I had a food porn moment, and decided to make an ultimate chocolate loaf with chocolate glaze and cranberries. It was so simple, it took me about 10 min to prepare it, and then 50 min in the oven. You have to try it! The important thing about this cake is that it’s not about the amounts, its about the proportions. I measured mine in glasses, as that’s how my mom always did it. Normal tea sort of glass about 150-200 ml.

 

You will need:

 

2 glasses of normal flour

2 glasses of sugar

5-6 tbsp of good cocoa

4 eggs

1 tsp of baking powder

225 g of butter

vanilla (optional)

handful of dried cranberries

 

 

Melt the butter, sugar and cocoa in a pan on a low heat. Add vanilla. Leave about 100 ml out for the glaze. Let it cool, then add the eggs to the remaining mix and whisk in well. Add the flour, mix until well combined. That’s it! J it’s that easy.

Now, you can add more cocoa if you want it darker, richer. You can also add choc chips to the mix , or nuts if you wish. I like it plain.

 

I baked it in a loaf tin, just because I like the shape, and it’s a chocolate loaf after all! I greased the tin and lined it with some cocoa powder. I poured the mix in and baked it in 180C for about 50 min or until the skewer comes out clean.

 

I left it to cool for about 15 min, an when it was still slightly warm, I poured over the glaze and let it drip over the sides ( food porn moment!!!) then decorated it with cranberries (cause of the nice colour contrast) you can use coconut shavings or nuts to decorate as well.

 

The glaze soaks into the cake leaving it nice and moist. It has a crunchy bite to it, but inside it’s soft and fluffy and super chocolate-y! you gotta try it. Here’s how it looks 😉 I served it with a bit of extra choc glaze on the side 😉 hope you like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfect oven potatoes

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So I promised you my recipe for smashing oven potatoes, and I’m going to keep my promise! 😉

This recipe is easy, and the oven does most of the work for you. All you have to have is some potatoes, the rest is what you probably already have in your pantry!

 

Portion for 3-4 people.

 

1 kilogram of potatoes, cut into thin slices/thin wedges

4-5 tbsp of vegetable oil

2 tsp of granulated garlic

2 tsp of dried parsley

1 tsp of chili flakes

salt to taste.

 

 

Wash the potatoes well, and slice them into thin slices, leaving the skin on. Put them into a large bowl and put the oil and spices in. Use your hands to combine well, so the all of the wedges are coated evenly. Pop them onto a non stick tray, or a tray lined with baking paper. ( feel free to make them as hot or as mild as you want).

 

Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour in 180C or until golden brown and crisp on the outside and soft inside.

 

Great to have with a sour cream & garlic sauce 😉

 

Here’s how they looked, they were really yummy. Enjoy!

 

Meatball surprise ;)

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Meatballs. I love them. Even though some people might think they’re dull , I still can come up with many ways to make a meatball interesting. My favourite way of pimping up a meatball is to stuff something inside of it, so when someone cuts into it- there’s a little surprise hidden in it 😉

I’ve stuffed many things into many meatballs in my short life, but today I’d like to show you a mushroom-surprise meatball 😉 it’s dead easy, and packed with flavour. Let’s get started.

 

You’ll need:

 

500g beef mince

1 egg

50mls of milk

3-4 tbsp of breadcrumbs

1tbsp of dried or fresh parsley, chopped.

14 button mushrooms

1 small onion

salt,pepper

oil to fry on

3 cloves of garlic.

 

This couldn’t be easier. First remove the legs from the mushrooms and brown the mushrooms from both sides on a bit of oil, seasoning them well with salt and pepper. Once they’re browned, set them aside to cool.

Chop the remaining legs and fry them off along with the onion (chop it very finely). Season that to taste.

Once the mushrooms and the mushroom legs&onion is cooled, proceed with the mince. Add the mince to a bowl, add milk, egg, breadcrumbs, season to taste. Add parsley and crushed garlic. Mix well using your hand. Add the fried mushroom legs&onion and combine very well.

Once the meat mixture is done, we can make our meatballs. What I like to do is take a bit of the meat mixture, flatten it out in my hand, put the mushroom hat in and work the meat so it closes around the hat. Then roll it in your hands, make sure there are no cracks. Repeat until you’re out of the meat mixture. 500g of mince makes for about 14 meatballs.

 

Once you’re done rolling out your meatballs, heat the oil and brown the meatballs from both sides.(about 4-5 min both side). After that time they should be cooked, but just to be sure, I like to put them in an oven dish lined with tin foil, and give them about 15-20 min in 175C oven.

 

They’re delicious when warm, but also sensational when cold. Perfect for dinner, snack, party snack or just in a sandwich.

 

If mushrooms aren’t your thing, you can use cheese or tomatoes instead.  In the cheese option, I put a cube ofgoudaor cheese of your choice in the meatball, and I also like to add some grated parmezan into the meat mixture

 

In the tomato option, I put a cherry tomato inside, and add sundried tomatoes to the meat mixture. The options are limitless 😉

 

TIPS: work the meat well, so it’s well combined. Add the milk,egg and breadcrumbs.makes for a nice,fluffy, moist meatball. Brown the meatballs off well, colour means flavour.

 

 

here’s how they looked, excuse my carving in the last picture, one of my meatballs kind of fell apart ;P it was still delicious though.

 

No fuss chocolate tart with fresh berries.. My idea of heaven ;)

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It’s that time of the year when the weather turns cold, grey and gloomy, and even though I crave autumn foods most of the time, like mushroom soup, roast pumpkin or hearty stews, sometimes I’d like something to ‘’wake me up’’ a little bit from all of the gloomyness.

Nothing does this trick as well as fresh fruit, at least for me. And summer berries are just what I’m looking for today.

This tart has a little bit of everything, it hits all the right spots for me. It has a bit of crunch, a bit of rich creaminess and a whole lot of fresh ZING to it, that just cleans your palate and leaves you asking for more.

It’s my no-fuss chocolate tart 😉 why no fuss? Because there’s no baking involved. All you need to do is be patient and cool it well.

What will you need?

About 250g of digestive biscuits (or some other graham crackers of your choice)

65g of unsalted butter

5 tbsp of sugar

2tbsp of vanilla extract

250g of good quality chocolate ( I used two bars, 1 dark and 1 milk chocolate)

250mls of whisking cream

about 250g of berries of your choice, I used raspberries cause of their lovely zingy flavour.

So, let the magic begin. Crumble the biscuits well, try to make sure there are no huge crumbs left. Melt the butter with 2 tbsp of sugar&  1 tbsp of vanilla extract, and add it to the crumbled cookies. Mix well, until well combined, the texture should look like wet sand. Once that’s done, put it in a cake tin, and press with your hands spreading it onto the sides, so it creates a ‘’bowl’’ shape. ( tip: you can use a glass for that, use the bottom of it to smooth out the base and encourage the mixture to go up the sides creating this bowlish shape).

Once that shape is achieved, put it in the fridge to set for the time you make the filling.

The filling couldn’t be simpler really. Melt the chocolate and let it cool. Once it’s cooling, whisk the cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla. Then add cooled chocolate and fold through carefully, so you don’t knock the air out of the cream. Once that’s done, pour the chocolate cream into your cookie base. Smooth it out and let it set for about 20 min. then add the berries on top. And let it cool for further 4-5 hrs. You can decorate it however you wish, I drizzled it with a bit of white chocolate, but flaked almonds or any kind of nuts will be very good, as they’ll provide extra texture.

You can use any kind of berries for this cake. I once made it with a mix of blueberries,raspberries and strawberries, and it looked great, also blackberries will be nice, as they’ll contrast nicely with the sweet richness of the filling 😉

here’s how it looked, hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

An old fashioned meatloaf..modernised ;)

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Who doesn’t love a good, home made meatloaf? I know I do. Sometimes it gets dull and uneventful though. So, I thought I’d try to bring the good old meatloaf back to life with a few unexpected twists J

 

Here’s how I did it.

 

You’ll need 500g of minced meat (mix of beef and pork)

1 large onion- finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic – minced

handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

150g of couscous

about 100mls of cream

100mls of milk

spices as ground cumin, ground corriander, paprika ,chili, pepper, salt (teaspoon of each or to taste) make it as hot as mild as you like.

1 egg

 

all you need to do is combine all of the ingredients and work them well with your hand.

I always use a cake tin to bake a meatloaf, just cause I like the shape it gives it, also it makes sure for an even carmelization on the edges. I line the cake tin with tin foil, and put the meat mixture in, pressing it into all of the corners.

 

I baked it for 1 hr 15 min, but it might take a little longer depending on your oven, so up to 1hr 30 min might be needed. I baked it in 180 C.

 

After I see it’s ready I take it out of the oven and let it sit in the tin for about 10 min, then take it out, remove the tin foil and let it cool before slicing, otherwise it might fall apart.

 

You can slice it in thick slices as I did, and serve it for dinner, with some mashed potatoes or couscous salade, if you wish, it’ll go very well with those, but if you let it cool and firm up over night, it makes for an amazing home-made sandwich meat. The couscous firms up and it’s very easy to cut in thin slices. Even when it’s cold, it’s very aromatic, you can smell the onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, chillies and corriander. It’s delicious. I really recommend you try it, it takes 10 min to prepare and the rest of the work is done by the oven. 😉

 

Try it! It’s dead easy and very, very tasty 😉 here’s how it looked: ( the yellow look in the picture with the flash turned on is given by the couscous, don’t be alarmed! 😉 )

Also- this amount of ingredients will make for a big meatloaf, like mine. It’ll easily feed 4-5 people. enjoy!

Creamy mushroom pasta in 15 minutes. Gotta give it a try!

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Sometimes we need a quick meal. Something to give us energy, there is no reason you should compromise the quality of what you eat though. There are plenty of things you can make in 15 minutes, that are still healthy, and most of all- delicious.

Last time I showed you a mexican style omlette. Today I’d like to show you my 15 min mushroom pasta.

 

What will you need?

 

110g pasta per person, I used spaghetti

300g of mushrooms of your choice, I used normal button mushrooms

1 large onions

1 clove of garlic

200mls of cream

salt,pepper

some dried thyme

fresh parsley.

 

Start off with cooking your pasta. It usually takes 10-11 min to cook, in that time your sauce will be ready. Turn the heat on under your pan and throw in diced onion, sweat it off.add garlic, thyme. Add sliced mushrooms and brown slightly. They’ll ooze water, I like to leave it there, as it’s pure mushroom flavour. Then I add a lot of black pepper and cream. Simmer for 10 min until its reduced slightly, then salt it to taste and add fresh green parsley, leaving a few pieces for decoration.

 

Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce so it’s coated well. Decorate with parsley.

Those are very simple, clean flavours, so don’t expect God knows what from them. 😛  I think that’s the beauty of it, cause the dish is uncomplicated. It tastes of mushrooms, hint of garlic and thyme, creamy finish,black pepper and a touch of parsley. Sounds dead simple but those are the flavours that marry very well with mushrooms.

Delicious, simple, quick, no you have no excuse to eat pot noodles 😉 here’s how it looked,

( pardon my plating skills 😉 )

 

 

As promissed, my goulasch soup :)

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it’s so lovely and filling and autumnish! all I did is fried up 3 onions with 3 sticks of celery and 3 carrots (all chopped finely). added beef which I seared before, a can of chopped tomatoes and a liter of beef stock. spices- chili,cumin,paprika powder,garlic,pepper,salt. boiled it for 2 hrs 20 min, then added chopped bell peppers (2) and a few diced potatoes. and boiled it until potatoes were cooked. so easy.. a full, detailed recipe you can add in one of my previous posts. here’s how it looked. perfect as it is, even better with some sour cream! 🙂

 

it becomes so lovely and thick, as the celery, onions and carrots almost melt and thicken the soup up, also the potatoes release their starch and make the whole lot even more lucious. I can’t recommend this soup enough 😉 here’s how it looked, sprinkled with some fresh chili flakes.