Category Archives: baking

Olive Oil Chocolate brownies – A Nigella recipe

Last may, on a walk by the cliffs with some friends, I sampled the best chocolate brownies ever at the charming Salmarsh café in Seven sisters country park, Sussex. This recipe, inspired by Nigella Lawson, is the closest I can get to the Saltmarsh brownies – that is until I go back to enjoy them!

 

This month, I have travelled to a land of cacao and volcanoes, of high rain forest and dry Pàramo heath, of hot springs and salty ocean waves, and I wanted to celebrate the beautiful, godly taste of chocolate with this very delicious recipe which unites the best cacao from South America with the best olive oil and almond from Europe. A nice one to take on holiday wherever you are heading!

Ingredients list:

  • Virgin olive oil, 100 ml (plus more for greasing)
  • Cocoa powder, 50 grams good-quality (sifted)
  • Boiling water,125 ml
  • 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
  • Ground almonds, 200 grams
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Caster sugar, 150 grams
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 170°C. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.

 

Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, dark, fragrant paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.

 

In another bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.

 

Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-yellow, aerated and thickened cream, a lot like a mayo.

 

Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and add the ground almond (or flour) mixture.

 

When it is all well mixed in, pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.

 

Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Eat with ice cream.

PS: Have tweaked the original to include less sugar and oil and more almond but see what you like!

Advertisements

Brioche bread and butter pudding with orange blossom water

Bread and Butter pudding to use up Christmas left-over brioche!

Ingredients list:

  • Panetone or pandoro, sliced horizontally
  • Liquid cream, 500ml
  • Butter, 50g
  • Brown sugar, 50g
  • Eggs, 2
  • Dark rum, 3 tbsp
  • Orange blossom flower water, 3 Tbsp
  • Vanilla essence
  • Some icing sugar to sprinkle
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

IMG_2168Butter a flat dish and then each slice separately ,then lay the buttered slices into the dish. By slicing the pandoro horizontally, I produced large star shapes which were a great look for our festive table.

Mix the sugar, cream, milk and flavourings into a jug and pour on top of the bread to cover generously.

Let it steep for a few minutes, then put in the oven for 30min at 170°making sure it does not dry out – add milk if necessary.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of orange blossom water and icing sugar on top.

This is a great way of using up the left over bits of brioche or panetone, post Christmas. The flavours of rum and orange flower blosson hit a winning note and make this dish a very posh version of the humble bread and butter pudding.

Pumpkin, ginger and cinnamon bread

Here I indulge my love of all things ginger! Don’t you love this warm colour and spice?! And it goes so well with pumpkin it would be a sin not to pair them… Here is your week-end recipe, just in time!

Libby’s pumpkin purée is a very ubiquitous ingredient in the UK and it is a great product to use when winter makes fresh fruit a bit more scarce… So this is a cupboard or pantry recipe, unashamedly quick and practical.IMG_2049

Ingredients list:

  • Eggs, 3
  • Libby’s pumpkin purée, 3/4 of a jar
  • Brown sugar, 150g
  • Rapeseed oil, 100ml
  • Self-Raising Gluten free flour mix, 150g
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
  • Ground ginger, 1 generous Tbsp
  • Cinnamon, 1 Tbsp
  • Vanilla extract

Blend the eggs with sugar and pumpkin purée.

Add the oil, then the flour mixed with the bicarbonate.

Blend in the spices. I use a robot for that but you can make do with a hand whisk because all the ingredients are very easily blendable.

Pour the mix into a rectangular pan and bake for 30 minutes at 180°.

This is a lovely and light cake with lots of seasonal spices, perfectly suited to the winter and delicious with a cup of chai latte or coffee latte.

Because it is rather low in sugar and has no dairy in it, I will still call it a bread but it is as indulgent as it gets! The pumpkin purée makes it very moist and similar to a gingerbread. Just a nice, healthy twist on it…

NO butter, no dairy, no gluten! No fun?! Actually plenty of taste – As I said I DO love all things ginger…IMG_2007

 

 

 

Roasted Spanish style haddock with red peppers

As students up and down the country prepare themselves to move into their Freshmen’s halls or flat-shares, this is a cheap and very tasty recipe to warm up an autumn evening in a new city! A fast and healthy recipe, all cupboard based, to save time and money. The flavours are inspired by a couple of recent Spanish week-ends and the endless and delicious tapas tasted, where only a few but excellent ingredients help produce food that sing in the soul!

Haddock is a firm fleshed fish with no bones and a great source of omegas, lean protein and important minerals to nurture hungry young brains. It is very nice frozen so no need to look for fresh one unless you are near the sea. This dish is all cupboard or frozen ingredients so easy and cheap to source and it only boasts 3 to 4 ingredients (plus some seasoning) so it is real quick to put together. Hardware wise, all you need is an oven proof dish and the oven that goes with it.

Spanish red

Spanish red

Ingredients list

  • Frozen haddock, 1 filet per person
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ red pepper, chopped

Seasoning:

  • Sweet paprika, 1 tsp
  • salt and pepper
  • A little olive oil
  • Quarter of  a lemon to serve

Lay the fillet (still frozen) in a dish and pour all the ingredients on top.

Swing it into the oven at 180° and bake for 30min or until the fish is tender and totally defrosted. Cooking frozen fish without defrosting is key to getting a tender but firm and tasty end dish rather than soggy and unappetising flesh… Unlike meat, fish should always be cooked frozen!

Summer evening on a beach somewhere...

Summer evening on a beach somewhere last month…

Almond and Cumin Roast Chicken – reblog!

Almond and Cumin Roast Chicken, curtesy of Cooking Up the Pantry.

I had to re-blog this as it sounds just so yummy! I will be definitely be trying it soon… Hope you like it too. Plus it is a great way of using up my Garma Masala spices.

Back to the printmaking studio and the yoga routine this week, so too busy to post anything of my own but just you wait…

Copyright to Cooking up the Pantry- thx!