Tag Archives: spices

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!

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

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Spicy pumpkin cookies

Cookies that melt in the mouth...

Cookies that melt in the mouth…

This lovely cookie I found on allrecipes.com. I was looking for a nice way to use my Libby jar of pumpkin purée and I really enjoyed the melting fudge-like texture of the dough  and the mixed spices.

Ingredients list:

  • Fine flour, 180g
  • Baking powder, 1 tsp
  • Baking soda, 1tsp
  • Ground cinnamon, 2 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg, ½ tsp
  • Ground cloves, ½ tsp
  • Salt, ½ tsp
  • Butter, 125g
  • Icing sugar, 90g
  • Pumpkin purée, canned, 100g
  • Egg, 1
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.

Cream the butter and icing sugar. Add the flour and spices mix.

Drop ball shaped portions of the dough on greaseproof paper and reserve in the fridge for 30 min if possible – it will help them retain their shape.

Bake for 15 to 20 min then let them cool and drizzle some icing over them (icing sugar mixed with a few drops of lemon) or just dust in icing sugar.

If you do not have pumpkin puree, you can replace with unsweetened chestnut puree. The nice spicy edge of this cookie is made even nicer by the fact is is not over sweet.  The icing sugar does also improve the texture and makes the dough very fudgy and melting.

Enjoy those cookies with a nice cup of tea. That is my favourite British expression: not just any cup of tea but a “nice cup of tea”! Cures all ills – might even work on my nasty cold…

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Chicken lemon in tagine dish

Tagines make ideal winter dishes

Tagines make ideal winter dishes

As a child, I used to spend most of my Christmas holidays in Morrocco where my maternal grend-parents used to live. So Christmas is not necessarily associated for me with snow or Fir trees but more often with donkey rides in the garden, fish for supper and an exotic, tenderly arranged nativity scene or crèche in the ‘salon’ where my parents and grand-parents would take us to on Christmas morning. Tagines were served to us as a warming winter dish and they are the perfect antidote to cold and dark winter evenings. With warming spices to suffuse the soul and limbs, they  also represent the easy option of a perfect one-pot no-fuss meal.

Chicken lemon in tagine dish – Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients list:

For the marinade:

  • 1 frozen chopped chilli cube or two pea-size drops of Harissa paste
  • 200 ml water
  • 70 ml olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ras el hanout or M’rouzia mix, 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin 1 Tbsp
  • Ground Coriander 1 tsp
  • Pinch of safran
  • Fresh coriander
  • Fresh parsley

For the stew:

  • Cubed skinless chicken breast with wing bone (2/3 breasts) or oyster thighs -ask a good butcher!
  • 1 large red onion cubed
  • 2 / 3 lemons in brine quartered
  • Zest of half a fresh lemon
  • 2 big handful of garden peas, fresh or frozen

Note that a few quartered potatoes can be included as an option, as in the image above –  I tend to give those a miss if I am trying to recover from excessive festive indulgence… Check the water if you have added potatoes and add if necessary towards the end.

Lay all the meat and put the vegetables in the dish, then mix the marinade in a small jug and pour on top of the dish. Cover and cook on medium to low heat for 45 min. Do not open the dish too often, if ever. Chuck the peas towards the end. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

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All the world’s spice under a tent

Courgette, walnuts and pumpkin seeds cake

Courgettes make for a very unusual but surprisingly delicious ingredient in our Friday cake… A great recipe to bake at the week-end whilst keeping to your 5-a day.
A lovely way to eat one of your 5-a day!

A lovely way to eat your veg

Ingredients list

  • 3 large eggs
  •  250ml sunflower oil
  •  250g soft light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  •  2 tsp cinnamon
  •  ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 300g courgettes, peeled and grated
  • 100g walnuts, chopped roughly
Preheat oven to 180C and prepare two 8” round cake tins.
Grate the courgettes, making sure to choose them fresh and small so they are not bitter! This could ruin your best efforts…
Beat the eggs and sugar and add the oil. Then add the flour followed by all the other ingredients.
Pour into two sandwich tins or one round tin. Bake for 35 min to 45 min, depending on your tin size. Check the top is springy and nicely raised before taking out.
I decorated the top with pumpkin seed to keep to the autumn theme.
I chose to sandwich it and spread a mix of light cream cheese and lemon curd (shop bought) in between. This is not always necessary and this cake is also nice on its own. I like the fact it is not overly sweet and the oil gives it a very springy, soft and aerated texture.
This recipe is apparently a take on the hummingbird bakery recipe, and it was found here at aureafemellabakes.
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