Thursday, 29 November 2007

Nigella Lawson's Sticky Chocolate Pudding

Welcome, to the most searched for recipe in my entire blog! I appreciate that to you, it looks like a brown splat, but this is one of my absolute most favourite recipes of all time. It has voodoo qualities. Nigella made it on tv years ago, on one of Nigel Slater's programmes. The recipe can be found in her book, "How To Eat", and also seems to be on several websites. I last cooked this (and took the photo) during a very miserable weekend earlier this year. I was in a massive mardy, and feeling very sad. However, as I remember, a few weeks later my life was transformed quite drastically .. and now just looking at this pudding reminds me of that time. So perhaps it really is a magic pudding. If you love chocolate, make this when you are in the doldrums, and perhaps make a wish as you stir the mixture. Believe me; you never know what's round the corner.

Oh, and don't THINK of missing out on the ground hazelnuts, (or swapping them for any other kind of ground nut) even if you have to pulverise them yourself. They are gorgeous in it.

Nigella Lawson's Sticky Chocolate Pudding
150g self-raising flour
25g good-quality cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
50g ground hazelnuts
75g dark chocolate buttons (or dark chocolate, chopped)
180ml full cream milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g butter, melted
1 free range egg
For the sauce:
180g dark muscovado sugar
120g good-quality cocoa powder, sifted
500ml very hot water
Put all the dry ingredients ­ the flour, cocoa, sugar, ground hazelnuts and chocolate pieces ­ in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and egg. Pour into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into a large, buttered soufflĂ© dish, about 20cm in diameter. Mix the muscovado sugar and cocoa together and sprinkle on top of the pudding. Pour the hot water on top ­(don't stir!) and put in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas 4. After 35 to 40 minutes, the pudding should be firm and springy. Serve at once, with cold pouring cream.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Four Gorgeous Cakey Cakes

Clockwise from top left: 1)Kaaren's smartie and mars bar cake. 2) Jean's chocolate cake with smarties and flakes. 3) My banoffee cake, decorated with maltesers and big splats of cream. 4) Another Jean's chocolate cake.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Kids Teas

Clockwise, from top left: Pizza (remote control on the side). Pie, chips, mushies & curry sauce. Pasta tubes, sausage & tomato sauce. Ice cream sundae with flake. Roasting tin of sausages (for hot dogs). Burger & chips & onion rings.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Christmas Pie (Prototype)

We decided to try a special Christmas Pie for Christmas dindins this year. My mum rustled this up today, by way of rehearsal. Purely in the spirit of experimentation, research and science of course.
The pie contains poached chicken, white bechamel sauce and balls of stuffing!
I think its a goer.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Homemade Chinese Takeaway Part 2: Prawn Chow Mein

Please, begin with raw prawns. If you use cooked ones, they will be like little blobs of rubber at the end. These had sat in a tub in a fridge with a load of crushed garlic and ginger, before frying.
I added some shredded vegetables, beansprouts and stuff, then some sauce and noodles.
Completed gastro-symphony.

Homemade Chinese Takeaway Part 1: Lily Kwok's Curry

The recipe for this curry can be found here. Or just put "Lily Kwok" in Google. I always add some coconut milk too.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Victorian Curry

Begin with ancient cookery book (this one, I found on eBay and is from 1898). Fry six onions slowly and patiently until brown, then add curry paste, two chopped apples and some stock. Simmer for a while, then blitz. I also added lentils and eggs.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Sunday Lunch Part 2: Banana Butterscotch Pudding

I can't take the credit for this, as my mum cooked it - from a recipe by Rachel Allen. Like sticky toffee pudding, but with bananas too. Gorgeous!

Sunday Lunch Part 1: Shepherds Pie

Medicine for colds and miserable autumn days. I can't help putting baked beans in my shepherds pie; it probably makes me look a right skipper but I like it. There is also some cauliflower cheese here, amongst the other veg.
Making enough food to heat up for another dinner the next day will also take the edge off that Monday morning mardy.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Veggie Quadrangle

Clockwise from top left:
Fried potato slices with spinach, cream and garlic.
Vegetables and tomatoes, about to be roasted.
Cheese & potato pie with beans.
Jean's cheese & onion pie!

Monday, 5 November 2007

Bonfire Night Bangers & Mash

Plus some swede, and onion gravy.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Ridiculous Black Forest Gateau

I based this very silly one mainly on Nigella's recipe for a chocolate fudge cake. Then I put it together in four tiers, adding whipped cream, black cherries, and grated chocolate.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Homemade Soups

Clockwise, from top left: beetroot, with sour cream and a noggin of cheese on toast. Cauliflower, brocolli & stilton. Another, perhaps thicker and much cheesier cauliflower, brocolli & stilton. Lentil, bacon & vegetable.