“Scotti’s La Capreses Chocolate Cake” from “A Taste of Home”

Flourless cakes must be all the rage these days, because this is the third cookbook we’ve done that’s had a recipe for one. I’ve already made the one from Leon (success) and the chocolate-organge one from Lucas Hollweg (another winner in a cookbook of winners). Now it’s Angela’s turn.

The first great thing about this recipe is that it’s easy to remember, for the next time we’re in a holiday house and are desperate for some cake. 200 grams each of unsalted butter, caster sugar, dark chocolate and ground almonds, combined with 4 eggs separated, cook at 160C for 40 minutes and you’re done. Some people might struggle with beating the egg whites, which makes the “air” in the cake. But the more you make flourless cakes, the easier this gets.

I managed to make this on a particularly busy day for my book club that night and wasn’t at all stressed by doing it.

It was a resounding success at book club. This is the reason why there is no dialogue to go with this recipe. Anyone who’s ever been in a book club will understand why it is that I didn’t write down the dialogue. I would have also had to filter out all manner of discussion including travel plans for the summer, stories about our families, not to mention the book of the month. (In this case, it was “Annabel.” Fascinating book, but with a disappointing ending. But I digress.)

Everyone loved the chocolate cake. As people were eating their slices, one of my friends asked, “Who thinks this cake is the best thing that’s happened to them all day?” and everyone raised their hands.

Andrew and Nicholas, who got to have some leftover cake the next day, also agreed. They loved it too.

I will definitely be making this again, and will be recommending this recipe to my friends as well.

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“Scotti’s La Capreses Chocolate Cake” from “A Taste of Home”

“Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat”

Andrew (11): The cod is really good.

Nicholas (8): I’m really familiar with cod.

Maureen: How is that then? Please explain.

Nicholas: Cod is always the fish I pick when I have fish and chips.

Maureen: That explains the overfishing problem, then. What do you think, Tim? This is your Father’s Day special.

Tim: I’m really excited about having lentils. We never have lentils.

Maureen: Do you like them?

Tim: How could you not? They’re delicious.

Continue reading ““Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat””

“Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat”

“Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry” and “White Chocolate Almond Cake” from “Forever Summer”

Anna: I chose this menu for you Natalie.  It’s your birthday week, and everyone deserves a nice curry on their birthday.  Will you be blogging tonight in the manner of Gregg Wallace?

Nats: If I was critiquing in the Gregg Wallace-manner, I’d call it a ‘tender, buttery, smack-in-the-chops of flavour’.

Anna: Can you translate for us?

Nats: That was me trying to be Southern! I was particularly impressed with how well the rice was cooked, and that wasn’t even in the recipe.

Anna: Thank you.

Nats: I think the curry was milder than I’d expect from you.  But absolutely delish.

Peter: It had an interesting texture due to the addition of nuts.

Nats: Did you feel they contrasted particularly well with the beans, which were a bridge between the chicken and the nuts?

Peter: I’m with you.  I can see where you’re going with that one.  Good point.  Well observed.

Nats: I’d always associate Anna with cooking something that punches you round the mouth.

Peter: No, it wasn’t a chicken Nazi.

Anna: You make me sick.  The pair of you.

Nats: Now the cake was absolutely lush.

Anna: I have to admit that I had to improvise a bit with the ground almonds, discovering as I did at the eleventh hour that I had none.  So I whizzed up some blanched almonds in the food processor instead. This means it probably has a crunchier texture than it’s meant to.

Nats: I would say that’s a good thing.  Because it was quite a simple cake. I’m saying that, but how many cakes do I make?

Anna: Do you mean rustic?

Nats: I don’t know… do I?  Maybe because it was flourless, it needed a bit of texture.  It was very moist.

Anna: I don’t like the word moist.  You know that.

Nats: It’s so descriptive though.  It means exactly what it says on the cake tin.  Anything with almonds is a winner with me.  I particularly liked the addition of the fruit.  Even though I don’t normally like mango.  I’m with Kirstin on that.

Anna: Did you get the white chocolate?

Nats: No.  I couldn’t taste it specifically.  No.  NO.

Anna; I did.  But I knew what I was tasting as I licked the spatula when I was cooking it.

“Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry” and “White Chocolate Almond Cake” from “Forever Summer”

“Saffron-scented Chicken Pilaf” and “Slut-red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly” from “Forever Summer”

Miles: I like the chicken! But not the rice. I tried it but I didn’t like it. It was gross!

Ella: The chicken is amazing! Yummy! I’ve almost finished it. I have now. There was some rice on it and it went under my wobbly tooth. And now it’s hurting.

Miles: Ella, you don’t keep on eating protein. But I do. I’m going to grow bigger than you!

Ella: I don’t care. I like being short. You can fit through things that tall people can’t. I don’t want to be tall, otherwise I’ll have to be a defender on the netball team. I prefer being wing attack. It’s funner.

Anna: I liked being goalkeeper. You just stand about for a bit.

Ella: Mmm, the rice is good! I don’t know why, but it kind of tastes creamy.

Anna: Can you see it’s yellow? What do you think had made it yellow?

Ella: Eggs? Bananas? Lemon sorbet? Lemons? Is it an animal, a vegetable or a mineral?

Kirstin: A vegetable. Something called saffron.

Tom: It costs more than gold, pound for pound.

Anna: It’s one of the most prized spices in the world. Mmmm, this is good. How easy was it?

Kirstin: Really easy.

Ella: Can we grow saffron in our garden?

Continue reading ““Saffron-scented Chicken Pilaf” and “Slut-red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly” from “Forever Summer””

“Saffron-scented Chicken Pilaf” and “Slut-red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly” from “Forever Summer”

“Porchetta” and “Summer Crumble” from “Forever Summer”

Kirstin: We decided to cook this tonight because we love porchetta.  We go to Tuscany every year, and we buy porchetta from those vans in the market.

Anna: So this is a nice meal to have now that you’re back in wet England.

Tom: They have a whole roast pig, covered in crackling. And they chop it up and put it in buns. With lots of herbs and salt and oil.

Kirstin: I don’t know who can eat those buns. They are really hard. But the porchetta is so good! And they hack through the entire pig, so you get bits of liver and kidney. You have to go through it and say no, I don’t want to eat the gall bladder.

Anna: It’s a good thing you went to medical school!

Peter: I love a bit of spine.

Tom: How did this compare to other porchetta recipes? Continue reading ““Porchetta” and “Summer Crumble” from “Forever Summer””

“Porchetta” and “Summer Crumble” from “Forever Summer”