Sunday, 17 June 2012

Fruited Chocolate Cake

You might remember me writing about hosting my first Clandestine Cake Club a few weeks ago. Well here at last is the recipe for the cake I took with me.

The title Fruit Cake often brings to mind something quite plain and unexciting (well it does to me anyway). Lots of dried fruit, maybe some nuts, but nothing particularly indulgent unless you decide to cover it in marzipan and icing. Well this cake breaks all the rules by being anything but plain and boring. Yes it has plenty of dried fruit, but this is immeasurably boosted by the large amount of milk chocolate and the small but crucial ounce of cocoa powder added to the mix. The other bit of magic in this cake comes from the chunks of ginger which add a delicious spicy warmth. It does still look like quite a plain cake but trust me, this is a real gem.

The next Bury St Edmunds Clandestine Cake Club has been arranged for Saturday 14th July and you can find all the details here. Alternatively you can find details of all the events coming up across the country and beyond here.

Fruited Chocolate Cake
(adapted from the Marks & Spencer book, Chocolate)

2505/8oz unsalted butter or margarine, softened
250g/8oz light muscovado sugar
275g/9oz plain flour
25g/1oz cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
4 eggs
200g/7oz mixed nuts, eg Brazil nuts, almonds and hazelnuts, roughly chopped
250g/8oz milk chocolate, chopped
100g/3 1/2oz chopped glace ginger
250g/8oz mixed dried fruit

1) Preheat the oven to 150c/300f/Gas Mark 2. Grease and line a 20cm/8 inch round cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until softened.

2) Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Sift the flour, cocoa and mixed spice into the bowl and mix together.

3) Reserve 25g/1oz of the chopped nuts, 40g/1 1/2oz of the chopped chocolate and half the glace ginger. Add the remainder to the cake mix, together with the mixed dried fruit, and stir until evenly combined.

4) Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Scatted with the reserved nuts, chocolate and ginger.

5) Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/12 hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

Serves 12-14

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Eggy Rice

Now here's a nice recipe. This another one from the best cook book I acquired last year, Hungry?, by the people who make Innocent Smoothies. You can see from my original post here, that this was sent to me to review so I'm aware that my praising it seems like a bit of a sales pitch but I honestly love this book. I've tried maybe a dozen of recipes from it so far and pretty much all of them have been winners. And if you don't believe me then have a look at the reviews on Amazon via the link above.

This recipe is one of my favourites. If you like stir fries but fancy a change from noodles then this is ideal. I love the flavour combination of soy, oyster sauce and lime and there's enough veg included to make it feel like a really healthy meal. Plus, like most stir fries, it doesn't take long to bring it together once all your ingredients are ready.

Eggy Rice
(adapted from Hungry by the Innocent Smoothie People)

a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves
8 spring onions
2 pak choi, washed
2 carrots
groundnut oil
4 large free-range eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 tablespoons rice wine
600g cooked rice
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 limes
a glug of soy sauce
chilli sauce (optional)

1) Peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic, finely slice the spring onions and pak choi, and grate the carrot. Set all these aside.

2) Put a wok or large frying pan over a high heat and let it get really hot. Add a splash of groundnut oil and lightly scramble the eggs for about a minute. When just cooked through, remove the eggs from the pan and drain on some kitchen roll.

3) Give the wok or pan a clean and add a splash more oil. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes, then stir in the honey and rice wine and cook for another minute.

4) Add the cooked rice, egg, spring onions, pak choi, carrot, oyster sauce, a splash of sesame oil, juice of 1 lime and a big glug of soy sauce. Turn up the heat and cook for 5 more minutes, until the rice is piping hot.

5) Serve with a wedge of line and a dash of chilli sauce for an extra kick.

Serves 4

Monday, 11 June 2012

Meal Planning Monday - 11th June 2012

I can't believe we're nearly half way through the year already. I've done so little blogging lately what with one thing or another but I'm determined to try harder over the next few weeks. 

I thought I'd easy myself back into it by starting with a meal planning post. There's nothing hugely exciting on the list this week, partly because I bought too many potatoes last week and now need to find ways of using them up! I will be trying something new though in the form of Nigella's Moonblush tomatoes which should go nicely with some salad.

So here we go...

Monday - Veggie Burgers and Wedges

Tuesday - Pasta with my Go-to Tomato Pasta Sauce

Wednesday - Salad with Moonblush tomatoes and Goats Cheese

Thursday - Steak and Wedges

Friday - Leek & Potato Soup with some nice bread

Saturday - Some sort of Risotto

Sunday - Sloppy Joes with Barbeque Mince

If anyone wants to submit their own meal plan or find some more inspiration then have a look at Mrs M's blog, At Home with Mrs M, and add your own link.