Friday, 27 April 2007

sexy, sumptuous, sashimi

Sashimi is a wonderful thing: beautiful fresh fish marbled with the finest traces of fat. It’s truly beautiful, delicious and healthy.

As my final post before I embark overseas on a two week business trip, I give you a trio of sashimi recipes.

Kingfish w Lime, Olive Oil & Pink Peppercorns
Salmon w Ginger-Soy Sauce
Kingfish w Soy, Mustard & Onions

Each is a beautiful, exquisite morsel of tangy dressing and delicate fish.

Kingfish w Lime, Olive Oil & Pink Peppercorns
Anna’s very own recipe, inspired by Marcela. Serves 2 as appetiser.
100g hiramasa kingfish (sashimi grade)
1 tablespoon good quality EV olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground pink peppercorns
Juice of 1 lime
1. Finely slice fish into thin segments. Arrange on plate.
2. Drizzle over lime juice then olive oil.
3. Sprinkle over pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Salmon w Ginger-Soy Sauce
Jonas & Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2 as appetiser.
100g salmon (sashimi grade)
2 tablespoons shoyu (light soy sauce)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon mirin
1. Combine all ingredients except fish and refrigerate for 1 hour or even overnight.
2. Finely slice fish into thin segments. Arrange on plate.
3. Drizzle over sauce and serve immediately.
Note: There will probably be sauce leftover. This can be used as a marinade or salad dressing.

Kingfish w Soy, Mustard & Onions
Anna’s very own recipe, inspired by Rise. Serves 2 as appetiser.

100g hiramasa kingfish (sashimi grade)
1 tablespoons shoyu (light soy sauce)
½ teaspoon mustard powder or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 shallot (scallion) thinly sliced separating white & green parts
1. Combine shoyu, lemon juice, mustard & vinegar with the white part of the shallot.
2. Finely slice fish into thin segments. Arrange on plate.
3. Drizzle over sauce. Top with green part of shallot and serve immediately.
As this final sashimi dish contains shallots, I dedicate this post to WHB, hosted by Glenna at a Fridge Full of Food.

Adieu my friends and see you when I get back!


Sunday, 22 April 2007

walnut & pomegranate spatchcock

This will be my last WHB for a few weeks, since I’m headed overseas for work. Between all the hard sell I’m sure I’ll have some time for new culinary experiences and cultural exchanges in my two destinations: Frankfurt and Tel Aviv.

I’m hoping to visit some produce markets, try out some traditional cuisine and see the sights in amongst the work.

So I leave you with this WHB entry, which is one of the finest meals I have ever cooked: Khoresht-e Fesenjân.

It comes straight from Julie Le Clerc’s Taking Tea in the Medina, a beautifully photographed and wonderfully written cookbook containing dishes from North Africa and the Middle East and combining commentary on culture and cooking.

Le Clerc explains that fesenjân is an ancient Persian dish, still widely eaten in Iran today where it is served at all religious festivals. It can be made with duck, chicken, lamb or veal and even fish and ground meat.

The ground walnuts bring a richness to the gravy that makes you believe there is cream in the recipe and the pomegranate molasses adds a sweet-sour quality.

The ingredients and combination sounds incredibly exotic, and the flavour is very unique, however the recipe is remarkably simple. I would recommend this to anyone wanting wow factor for a dinner party, since it’s so easy to make and can be done so in advance and just reheated.

I served mine with wilted spinach dressed in olive oil and lemon juice and plain long grained rice. The spinach was delicious and cooking it involves merely boiling a kettle! For dessert I served my Muhallabiah Mousse with Pomegranate & Orange Blossom Syrup.


Le Clerc’s original recipe is for duck, however my butcher didn't have any and so I used a beautiful organic spatchcock instead (a spatchcock is a baby chicken or poussin). This changed the recipe somewhat, since a spatchcock contains considerably less fat than a duck and therefore needs a little oil added.

The below recipe is my ever-so-slightly amended version, which is pretty much the same as the original, so if you wanted to use duck just substitute 6 whole legs and omit the browning oil.

Khoresht-e Fesenjân
Recipe from Taking Tea in the Medina by Julie Le Clerc. Serves 6.
3 spatchcocks, cut in half lengthwise
250g toasted walnut pieces
1 large onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
2½ cups chicken stock
Seeds of 1 pomegranate to garnish
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint to garnish
4 tablespoons olive oil
1. Finely grind walnuts in a food processor.
2. Season meat with salt and pepper.
3. Using a flameproof casserole dish with lid, heat olive oil then brown chicken skin side down for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Remove to one side.
4. Pour off excess fat and retain 2 tablespoons. Add onion and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until softened and golden brown.
5. Add cinnamon, sugar and ground walnuts and cook for 1 minute stirring continuously as the sugar melts.
6. Add pomegranate molasses and chicken stock and bring to the boil.
7. Add chicken and baste with sauce. turn down heat, cover and simmer gently for 1¼ hours (I actually simmer it for around 25-30 minutes then removed the chicken and cooked the sauce another 20 minutes).
8. Serve coated in sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds and chopped mint.
Note: if you are cooking duck, be sure to skim off any excess fat that rises to the surface during cooking.

Wilted Spinach w Lemon & Olive Oil
Anna's very own recipe. Serves 2.

200g baby spinach leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1. Boil kettle. Place spinach into a pot or heatproof bowl
2. Cover with boiled water. Leave 2 minutes to wilt.
3. Drain and squeeze out excess water with hands.
4. Loosen leaves and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper.

Pomegranates are wonderful fruits, and although I used the products in both sauce and garnish, I have already blogged about them so I decided to focus on mint instead.

Mint (Mentha) is a genus of the Lamiaceae family and is made up of around 30 species (7 from Australia, 1 from North America, the rest from Europe and Asia). The Lamiaceae family also includes other herbs like basil, rosemary, sage and oregano.

They are flowering, aromatic perennials with wide spreading roots and hardy abilities to withstand all kinds of conditions. They are also very vigoruous growers, so be careful when planting them in the ground as they can go nuts and take over your whole garden!

It’s interesting to note that mint oil can used as an insecticide and can kill wasps, hornets, ants and cockroaches. It can also relieve insect bites.

Mint is particularly useful in the treatment of digestive and breathing ailments. Menthol inhalants help to reduce sinus congestion and a nip of diluted peppermint oil can relieve heartburn symptoms.

In the Middle Ages people used mint to whiten their teeth and cigarette companies add it to their products to mask the bitter chemicals in the tobacco.

The week’s Weekend Herb Blogging is hosted by Sher from What Did You Eat? Be sure to visit her recap to read about the other herby offerings from this week.



Friday, 20 April 2007

chocolate bread & butter pudding

My absolute favourite kinds of desserts are warm and include chocolate.

I admit that I adore tangy passionfruit pannacottas and cold mandarine jellies, but in the end, if you want to woo me then make it warm and make it cocoa!

This dish is also my celebration of Fish & Quips, which is part of an international campaign to prove that English food is no joke.

Gone are the days when French Presidents can claim English cooking is a crime against humanity (not mentioning any names, Monsieur Chirac, oopps).

Some of the best restaurants in the world reside in the UK, which says something about a well developed English palate. The mass influx of migrants from spice-rich regions means British folk have moved beyond “steak and three veg” and I think it’s about time we recognised and celebrated this fact.

England has brought us a unique and interesting selection of meals including: Bangers & Mash, Toad in the Hole, Spotted Dick, Yorkshire Pudding, Shephards Pie, Devonshire Tea, Trifles, Rhubarb Crumble, Christmas Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Clotted Cream and Fruit Mince Pies. Not to mention some of the world’s most famous cheeses Red Leicester, Stilton and Cheddar.

My particular recipe is an adaptation of one of England’s (and the world's) first TV chefs, Delia Smith. These days may be a symbol of upper-middle class society, but in her own target market she was as innovative and creative as Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay (also English).

This was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had and it made me weak at the knees.

I used Cape Seed Loaf from Baker’s Delight, a wonderful fruit bread full of sticky apricots, nuts, grains and seeds. I also switched Delia’s rum for some Pedro Ximenez sherry (not very English of me) since I think this rich, raisiny sherry goes so well with chocolate. And of course I increased, ever so slightly, the amount of chocolate in the recipe. As always.

It’s not for the faint hearted – it’s incredibly rich – and it’s not for the weight conscious – as you’ll gain kilos by just looking at it – but it is for those who want warmth, texture and chocolaty goodness in their lives. Perfect for the approaching cold seasons descending on the Southern Hemisphere.

Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding 

My version of Delia Smith's version of Larkin Warren’s version. Serves 6.

9 large slices fruit bread, left uncovered overnight
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
75g butter
425ml pouring cream
4 tablespoons Pedro Ximenez sherry
110 g (4oz) caster sugar
good pinch cinnamon
3 large eggs

1. Lightly butter an ovenproof dish 7 x 9 inches (18 x 23 cm) base x 2 inches (5 cm) deep.
2. Cut each piece of bread into 10cm squares and then into triangles.
3. Place the chocolate, cream, sherry, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a Bain Marie then melt the butter and chocolate and completely dissolve the sugar. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir to combine.
4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs then add the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously to blend.
5. Spread a 1cm layer of sauce over the base of the baking dish. Arrange half the bread triangles in overlapping rows. Pour over half the chocolate mixture. Arrange the rest of the bread then pour over the remaining chocolate sauce. Press the bread down with a fork to ensure even absorption of the sauce.
6. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Transfer to the fridge for 24 – 48 hours before cooking.
7. Preheat oven to 180’C (350’F). Bake for 30-35 minutes: the top should be crunchy and the inside soft.
8. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving with well-chilled double cream.

This event will have multiple hosts since anyone who feels up to the challenge will be invited to write a recap.Sam from Becks & Posh is the instigator, so here’s my link back to her!

Tally ho England!


Wednesday, 18 April 2007

muhallabiah mousse w pomegranate & orange blossom syrup

Hay! Hay! It’s Donna Day! has rolled around again and though I’ve only ever participated once before, I finally feel like my latest invention is worth contributing.

This month’s theme, hosted by Helene from Tartelette, is mousse.

On the weekend I was inspired by my wonderful new cookbook by Julie Le Clerc, Taking Tea in the Medina, and so invented my own little mousse: Muhallabiah Mousse w Pomegranate & Orange Blossom Syrup.

The mousse is flavoured with almonds and sweetened with white chocolate, then the finish product is topped with a refreshing salsa of pomegranate seeds, pistachios and pinenuts soaked in orange blossom syrup. The flavours are rich, heady and incredibly sensual, as any Middle Eastern dessert should be.

Muhallabiah Mousse (white chocolate and almond)
Anna’s very own recipe. Serve 6 in small portions.

240g white chocolate
1½ cups milk
1 cup cream
½ cup sugar
1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
1 tablespoon orgeat (almond syrup)
½ tablespoon gelatine
1. Bring milk, sugar, orgeat and almond meal to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 20-30 minutes.
2. In a heatproof bowl, sprinkle gelatine over 3 tablespoons of cold water and allow to go spongy (about 5-10 minutes).
3. Melt chocolate.
4. Strain milk mixture over a fine sieve to remove almond meal.
5. Pour boiling water from an electric kettle into a saucepan, then place gelatine mixture over steam, stirring until gelatine has dissolved.
6. Stir gelatine, chocolate and milk mixtures together.
7. Whip cream until firm peaks form.
8. Fold milk and chocolate mixture into whipped cream.
9. Spoon into serving glasses and refrigerate overnight.
10. Serve with generous spoonfuls of Pomegranate & Orange Blossom Syrup.

Pomegranate & Orange Blossom Syrup
Amended from Taking Tea in the Medina by Julie Le Clerc. Serves 6.
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup slivered pistachio nuts
¼ cup pinenuts
1 pomegranate
2/3 cup sugar syrup
1-2 teaspoon orange blossom water
1. Place all nuts in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 1 hour then drain well.
2. Halve pomegranate and remove seeds, being careful to discard the white pith.
3. Combine sugar syrup with orange blossom water, then mix with nuts and pomegranate seeds.
4. Chill well until serving.

Muhallabiah is a milk pudding served all over the Middle East, but most of the recipes flavoured with almond seem to be Iranian or Lebanese. Since I served this dessert after a main course of fesenjân, a Persian stew based on pomegranates, I have to lean towards the Iranian influence.

This month’s Donna Hay themed event should be very interesting and I look forward to reading the recap of all the other scrumptious mousses.


Monday, 16 April 2007

erebos & nyx - cocktail divinity

What a strange name for a cocktail, I hear you say?

It may not roll off the tongue but these Greek deities of darkness and night gave birth to light and day, just like this dark cocktail gave birth to smiles and laughter when Jonas and I drank it soon after our wedding (excuse the photo back drop: yes, that fluffy tuille is my veil).

You see we had an excess of champagne after the wedding and, since blackberries were available for a reasonable price at the grocer, I conscientiously made a head start on this champagne cocktails Mixology Monday theme, all the way back in the early days of March.

The nutty flavour of Frangelico matches perfectly with tart blackberries while cinnamon adds warmth and crème de mure emphasises the theme ingredient.

The inspiration for this drink came from the Bridge Bar’s Black Comet – where they use blueberries, Licor 43 and cinnamon – but my divine concoction outranks that asteroid any day.

Erebos & Nyx
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2.
10 blackberries
50ml crème de mure
40ml Frangelico
35ml cinnamon schnapps
4 blackberries for serving
1. Muddle the blackberries in a shaker then mix with liqueurs.
2. Strain liquid to remove berry seeds.
3. Pour into a champagne flute then top with bubbly.
4. Float 2 blackberries in each glass and serve.

In Greek mythology, Nyx (Νύξ) was the primordial goddess of the night whereas Erebos (Έρεβος ) was the personification of darkness and shadow. Both were the offspring of the primordial God Chaos.

Together Erebos and Nyx sired the god of light, Æther (Αιθήρ), and the goddess of the day, Hemera (Ημερα).

In Sydney in 2007, Erebos & Nyx made two newlyweds tipsy and chirpy, giving birth to light once.

Aww shucks!

This month's Mixology Monday is hosted by Cameron and Anita from Married...with dinner. Be sure to drop in and read the round-up of other champagne cocktails.


Saturday, 14 April 2007


Firstly, let it be stated that I adore potatoes.

I adore them.

It’s starting to get colder in Sydney and so I finally have an excuse to indulge in potatoes again.

I could eat them boiled, mashed, roasted and fried. The only way I can’t eat them is raw.

And yes there are people who eat them raw, as you would an apple. When I was small my neighbours would sit in front of the TV eating raw potatoes as though it was completely normal behaviour. I tried it, but it wasn’t for me.

One way I particularly like potatoes is in a warm salad, when the potato soaks up the tangy citrus dressing and the flavours are fresh, sharp and yet still cosy.

This salad fits the criteria exquisitely.

Patatosalata Kypriaka – Cypriot Potato Salad
Recipe from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. Serves 8 as side dish.
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1.5kg waxy potatoes
3 tablespoons drained baby capers
30g chopped parsley
Juice of 1 ½ lemons
100g good quality black olives
125ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Put onion slices in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Leave for 30 minutes. This removes the strength of the onions and makes them more palatable and the dish more balanced.
2. Boil cleaned potatoes in salted water for 20-25 minutes until they are cooked but not breaking up.
3. Drain well, allow to cool a little then peel them while they are warm.
4. Cut them into chunks.
5. Rinse onion and drain well, then pat dry with paper towels.
6. Add all the ingredients to potato, season with salt and pepper. Mix through gently and serve warm or at room temperature
Note: if you make this in advance the potatoes will soak up the dressing so reserve a little of the oil until you are about to serve.
You can add chopped boiled eggs or anchovies to the salad.

The word caper is said to derived from Latin capparis, which evolved from the Greek kapparis (κάππαρις). This word either came from West or Central Asia, where the caper is said to originate, or from the Greek word for Cyprus, because the island contains many caper shrubs.

A caper is a biennial spiny shrub, grown mostly in European and North African countries in the Mediterranean, although California also produces significant amounts.

The immature bud and larger fruit are pickled in oil, vinegar or brine, or cured in salt. These pickled buds are important ingredients in many Mediterranean dishes, but feature particularly in Italian and Cypriot recipes.

Since capers are hand harvested, the smaller capers are more expensive and highly prized due to the intensive labour needed to harvest them. Buds are picked in the mornings and the smaller the caper, the more expensive it is, due to high labour involved in collecting.

The caper family, Capparidaceae, are related to the cabbage family and the capers’ mustard oil glycosides (bitter flavonoids) are similar in other species such as mustard, wasabi and horseradish.

This week, WHB is hosted by one of my all time favourite bloggers, Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. Be sure to look over the recap, as well as check out Haalo's endless list of delicious recipes, complete with drool-inducing photos.



Tuesday, 10 April 2007

khabeesa - an omani delight

سلطنة عُمان

Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey? has been hosting an event called Monthly Mingle. Each month she chooses a different theme such as Big On Barbecue, Beat The Heat or Sweet Love.
This month’s theme, Arabian Nights, really caught my eye since I have been investigating recipes from this region in my quest to cook my way around the world (34 countries posted, another 4 cooked but not up on the blog yet).

At Meeta’s advice to people more familiar with this cuisine, I decided to go for a country whose cuisine I knew nothing about and a dish I had never cooked before.

I settled on a breakfast dish from Oman called Khabeesa.

Khabeesa is essentially semolina or cream of wheat cooked into a porridge-like consistency and flavoured with saffron, rosewater and cardamom. It is floral and heady, and evoking all the images and sensory pleasures of Arabian Nights (or Arabian mornings).

I am pretty sure similar dishes using rice and wheat flours are made all over the Middle East (and Indian subcontinent for that matter), but this one is Omani.

For this recipe I got to use some of the best green cardamom I’ve ever smelt or tasted. This is also from Oman but was bought in Dubai as part of a culinary wedding gift from Sandra.

I served this dish as part of an Easter brunch buffet and I can tell you it works perfectly. Although the original recipe didn’t call for any garnishes (save melted butter), I decided to provide a bowl of chopped dried dates and fresh pomegranate seeds. The seeds in particular provided gorgeous colour to what could otherwise look like a bowl of gruel.

You could also use fresh rose petals or dried apricots, or even stewed fruits like quinces or apricots.
Another thing about this recipe was watching the beautiful saffron stain the white milk. I just had to snap a photo as this started to happen.

Based on a recipe from An Omani Kitchen. Serves 10.
1 cup of wheat semolina (cream of wheat)
1.5 litres (6 cups) of milk
½ cup sugar
4 bruised green cardamom pods
2 tablespoons of rosewater
½ teaspoon of saffron threads
250ml milk (1 cup), warmed for serving
1. Combine all of the ingredients (except the milk for serving) in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to the lowest level and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove from heat and whisk through the warm serving milk to ensure the porridge has a soupy mash potato consistency. Add as much milk as needed for desired texture.
4. Serve warm. Decorate with fruits or petals, if desired.

I hope this dish adds something new and interesting to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle, as it certainly was easy to make and good to eat. Be sure to see what other Arabian treats were served up at the recap.

For those not familiar with Oman, here’s some interesting information from Wikipedia:
· Oman’s neighbours are the United Arab Emirates (northwest), Saudi Arabia (west), Yemen (southwest) and the Arabian Sea (south and east) and the Gulf of Oman (northeast).
· In ancient times Oman’s economy was based on copper, today it is rich in crude oils
· Throughout the centuries, Oman has been ruled by the Persians, Yemenites, Portuguese and Ottomans
· Their excellent skills at sailing saw Oman control colonies in Iran, Pakistan and Kenya and even the famous spice city of Zanzibar (Tanzania). They traded as far as Malaysia.
· Omani people are mostly Arabs, although there are significant numbers of Baloch (from Iran and Pakistan) and Swahili (from Zanzibar), as well as expats from India and Pakistan.
· Oman is the only Moslem country where Ibadhism is the dominate form of Islam. This is one of the earliest schools of Islam belief, developed 50 years after the Prophet Mohammed’s death. Oman is also home to other Islamic groups, such as the Sunni, while Hindus are the largest religious minority at 13% of the population.
· Arabic and English are the official languages and most signs appear in both languages
· Today Omani men wear an ankle-length robes (dishdasha) that buttons at the neck with a tassel.
· Women wear an abaya (long caftan) and a hijab (head scarf) but most do not cover their faces and hands.
· Oman is famous for khanjar knives, curved daggers worn as ceremonial dress.


Sunday, 8 April 2007

ceviche mixto del mar

More raw food!

I adore raw fish, and raw beef for that matter, but fish is much easier to prepare at home.

This time I tried out a Cubanesque recipe for ceviche mixto and was more than pleased with the results.

To be honest, I’m not sure whether this recipe is Cuban or not, but the recipe book said it was so I’m sticking to it!

Ceviche is said to have originated in Peru and spread quickly throughout Latin America. It’s easy to see why: crisp, clean flavours and fresh fish, what more could you ask for?

Apparently Cubans like to add allspice and habenero chillies to their ceviche, but since habeneros are impossible to find fresh in Australia, a jalapeno was listed instead.

This recipe also brought in a touch of sweetness in the form of mango and called for a garnish of spiced popcorn. I was too lazy and omitted the popcorn, but apparently this is a common ceviche garnish in some countries.

Strange but true.

Ceviche Mixto del Mar (Cubano)
Recipe by Victor Pisapia (Gourmet Traveller Modern Salads). Served 6-8 as a starter.

300g small green prawns, peeled and cleaned
300g scallops, halved or quartered depending on size
300g salmon fillet, skinned and pin-boned
1 tomato, chopped
1 mango, peeled and cubed
¼ red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño chilli, seeded and finely chopped
250ml lime juice (1 cup)
150ml orange juice
½ cup loosely packed coriander leaves, chopped
1 tablespoons caster sugar
1 large orange or pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented
Popcorn, seasoned with chilli, cumin and salt
1. Boil water. Blanch prawns for 30 seconds then transfer to ice water immediately. Drain.
2. Combine all seafood with tomato, mango, onion and chilli in a large bowl and cover with lime and orange juice. Toss gently and ensure all seafood is submerged in juices.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
4. Drain seafood and discard marinate.
5. Add coriander, sugar and orange/grapefruit, season to taste.
6. Spoon into serving bowls and top with coriander. Pass popcorn separately.
Note: I used Moreton Bay bugs instead of the salmon.

This week I’m again using my favourite herb, coriander. I can’t believe how much I’ve adopted this herb after such violent reactions against it during my youth.

Ahhhh, the joys of an adaptive palate!

This Easter WHB is being hosted by the lovely Anh from Food Lover’s Journey. Be sure to check up her recap, as well as the wonderful Vietnamese recipes she has on her blog.


Tuesday, 3 April 2007

chocolate truffle tart

Well I’m sure the author of this cake, Tessa Kiros, doesn’t call it Ludo’s Cake, but after one bite I couldn’t think of it as anything else. It tasted just like Ludo’s breakfast.

When I was a nanny in Rome my mamma italiana, Paola, would make a gluten free cake for lovely little Ludo (not so little anymore at 18! Time flies!). A cup of tea and a slice of cake would be breakfast for all of us for the week.

Now I know this sounds like a terribly unhealthy breakfast to most English speaking people, but the Italians are doing something right, just think about all the press surrounding the Mediterranean diet? And I'm not so convinced coco pops and cheerios have any less sugar than this wonderful chocolate cake anyway.

Ludo's cake is made slightly differently from this recipe (it’s a bit simpler and uses gluten-free flour), but the end result tastes identical: scrumptiously delicious. That’s why Ludo would have to fight Jacopo and I to get a fair share of her cake.

Now it's about time I posted this cake recipe. My lovely colleague Holly (an expert in shoes, rants and yule logs), has been asking me for this recipe ever since I brought her a slice for morning tea. I promised to post it long, long ago and I’ve been remiss.

Sorry Holly. I hope that the posting of this recipe makes up for the crappy new desk you’ve been relegated to – unfortunately Holly’s promotion meant a demotion in terms of desks – don’t ask!

Chocolate Truffle Tart (Ludo's Cake)

Recipe from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros.

100g butter
100g caster sugar
100g semi-sweet dark chocolate, chopped very finely
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20g plain flour (or gluten free for Ludo!)
40 hazelnut meal
1. Preheat oven to 180’C
2. Butter and flour a 20cm springform cake tin.
3. Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar and chocolate and stir until chocolate has completely melted and the sugar dissolves.
4. Scrape into mixing bowl and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
5. Add egg yolks and vanilla and whisk well with an electric beater.
6. Sift in flour and whisk to combine.
7. Fold in hazelnut meal.
8. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until very fluffy, then fold through chocolate mixture, a spoonful at a time.
9. Pour into cake tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake feels a little cracked on the top. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from cake tin.

Serve with espresso or hot chocolate and just try it for breakfast! You won’t be disappointed.

Buon appetito PaJaLu!

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