Tag Archives: bicarbonate

Revisiting old favourites: Nigella’s moist chocolate cake

I still have my much fingered copy of “How to be a domestic goddess” by Nigella Lawson in prime position on my kitchen shelves. And I have adored this recipe since I started making it because it is both light and strong but does not give you this chocolate overdose feeling, even if you eat tons of it!
To emphasize the strength and lightness of the mix, I make it with twice as much chocolate and a third less sugar than the original but I particularly love the tangy taste left by the use of bicarbonate. It reminds me of a moist gingerbread…

Recently, I have been adding cinnamon and ginger to the original mix because I love spices and because they go so well with this moist and dense chocolate base… Here is one good reason for reblogging!

The other one is that I am due to serve it tomorrow to some of my favourite bloggers and can’t wait to get their feed back on it! I am having the closest thing there is in adulthood to a Teddy bear picnic: a mum and babes tea party! I wanted to celebrate a few very good friends first babies and this seems a good reason to throw a tea party but because those friends are real foodies and very demanding girls, I am desperately trying to impress and feeling a little nervous…

“Domestic goddess” or not, I am going to enjoy this tomorrow! (this was written early summer and party went well thank you very much – Babies lovely and even the mothers behaved!)
Ingredients list:

  • Butter 225g
  • Muscovado sugar 260g
  • Eggs 2
  • Vanilla extract 1tsp
  • Dark chocolate 200g
  • Flour 200g
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
  • Boiling water 250ml
  • Optional spices: Tablespoonful of cinnamon and ginger

Pre-heat the oven to 190° C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. This cake mix will be very runny so this is pretty essential.
Cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon then add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Melt the chocolate with a spoonful of water and add it to the mix. Measure the flour with the bicarbonate and add it in batches to the mix with the boiling water until you have them all well combined.

Note that you can add some cinnamon and ginger in the mix to make it richer in taste but do not have . A nice twist is also to present it with a cinnamon and ginger infused chocolate icing- more indulgent but totally worth it for a special party.

Pour into the tin then bake at 190° for 30 minutes. Turn down the oven to 170 °and bake for another 15mn.

Remove when the cake has raised but is still squidgy inside. It keeps well and like gingerbread is lovely the next day with a cup of black tea or Chai Latte.

Here are a few photos from the tea party:

My lovely friend and blogger @homesweetlondon

My lovely friend and blogger @homesweetlondon

HIghtea IMG_0281

GF banana bread – Spring clean specials!

With spring comes spring-cleaning and a renewed desire to shake the cobwebs away, clean up your act, de-clutter your life!

To take it one step at a time, I have decided to dedicate the next few posts to clean living and feel-good recipes.

Here coconut oil cream was used in place of rapeseed

Here coconut oil was used in place of rapeseed oil

First, choose to do one healthy thing or genuinely “good for you” action every day: today I sorted out my linen cupboard and threw any old towel or sheet to recycling! Tomorrow, I tackle my desk and office corner… Tough, but really good for the soul!

Now, a treat with this simple banana bread recipe:

IMG_8980Ingredients list :

  • Black, ripe bananas, 3
  • Egg, 1
  • vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon
  • Rapeseed oil, 3 Tbsp or 50 ml
  • Honey, 3 tbsp
  • Date syrup, 3 Tbsp or treacle
  • Baking powder, 1 tsp
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
  • salt, 1 pinch
  • cinnamon, 1 tbsp
  • Coconut ( or almond) milk, 160 ml
  • GF flour blend, 150g
  • ground almond, 100g
  • oats, 50g

Mix the flour, almond and oats. Add the bicarbonate and baking powder.

Beat the egg in the coconut milk, add the oil, salt.

Mix it all in a wide bowl and add the crushed bananas, cinnamon, honey and date syrup. Date syrup or grape syrup are really great products and you should be able to source them in middle eastern groceries or oriental corner shops. But if you can’t find it just replace that with another couple of spoonfuls of honey or even treacle if you want a spicy taste.

Bake for one hour at 150 degrees. This bread has a cake-like indulgence – whilst remaining more virtuous than cake- and a moist, melting texture.

Serve sliced for breakfast, with or without a spoonful of yogurt. This recipe was inspired by the Minimalist Baker  .

IMG_8975

Best ever Buttermilk loaf or soda bread

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Sea view

This I dedicate to Dorothee who now makes her own bread in Chelsea! And loves it. Go girl!
I have been making soda bread for a while but this is definitely the easiest and most delicious recipe: we can’t get enough of it here! Hope you enjoy it as much!

Ingredients:

Plain flour 400g
Salt 1 level tsp
Bicarbonate of soda 1 level tsp
Buttermilk 300ml

Sieve the flour, salt and bicarbonate into a bowl.
Stir the buttermilk in to make a soft but not too sticky dough- Doro, you can use your Thermomix!
Turn it onto a floured surface and knead it lightly. Roll it around in flour if too sticky. Keep it light.

Shape the dough in a ball and make incisions with a knife.
Bake at 200° for 30 min until golden and springy.
Eat warm with cheese and butter!
This loaf will not keep well but is delicious straight away so don’t hold back…

This is borrowed from a Scottish recipe book lent by my sister-in-law Liz who knows a thing or two about providing and sharing: A feast of Scotland by Janet Warren- one of those old fashioned numbers you can never tire of…

>I could not live without….

>I couldn’t live without…
….Bicarbonate of soda !

Bicarbonate of soda is one of the best and safest substances to use around the house. It breaks down easily and harmlessly in the environment plus it is cheaper than anything it might replace. Here are some of the things you can do with it:
Sprinkle bicarbonate into a burnt saucepan and fill with some water. The next day the burnt bits should have lifted off.
Scrub your sink with a bicarbonate and water paste to leave it gleaming.
Make a paste with it to whiten your teeth. After all, this is the base ingredient in most whitening toothpaste.
Clean and deodorise your fridge with it then leave an eggcup-full inside the fridge to get rid of stubborn smells.
Sprinkle inside trainers to make them smell sweeter overnight – works even on the most revolting teen trainers! Just shake them in the morning…
A spoonful of bicarbonate into the cooking water helps garden peas or vegetables keep their bright green colour.
Scrub your wooden chopping boards with a mixture of bicarbonate and vinegar : the board will fizz furiously but once the bubbles subside, brush clean and rinse.
Use to clean tea bag stains or ink from newspapers off any worktops.
Use a pinch of it in your egg whites to get them to stiffen quicker when whipped.
Use as raising agent in bread and baking (soda bread to scones!)

Shall I go on any longer?! Or are you now convinced -as I am- that this is probably the only chemical substance you will ever need to use in your house ?!!

>Nigella’s moist chocolate cake

Nigella’s chocolate cake

Nigella Lawson has this recipe in her yummy mummy book “How to be a domestic goddess”- love the  title!- and I have adored this since I started making it because it is both light and strong and does not give you an overdose feeling even if you eat lots of it!
To emphasize the strength and lightness of the mix, I make it with twice as much chocolate and a third less sugar than the original but I particularly love the tangy taste left by the use of bicarbonate. It reminds me of a moist gingerbread…

Ingredients list:

  • Butter 225g
  • Muscovado sugar 260g
  • Eggs 2
  • Vanilla extract 1tsp
  • Dark chocolate 200g
  • Flour 200g
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
  • Boiling water 250mlPre-heat the oven to 190° C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. This cake mix will be very runny so this is pretty essential.
    Cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon then add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Melt the chocolate with a spoonful of water and add it to the mix. Measure the flour with the bicarbonate and add it in batches to the mix with the boiling water until you have them all well combined.

    Note that you can add some cinnamon and ginger to make it richer in spices but the moist Demerara usually usually does the job. A nice twist is also to present it with a cinnamon and ginger infused chocolate icing- more indulgent but totally worth it for a special party.

    Pour into the tin then bake at 190° for 30 minutes. Turn down the oven to 170 °and bake for another 15mn.

    Remove when the cake has raised but is still squidgy inside. It keeps well and like gingerbread is lovely the next day with a cup of tea – while the kids will be running around looking for their eggs under the wet bushes…



  • Happy Easter!