Thursday, October 7, 2010

Did you know that the Dutch are renowed for their cocoa powder?

Well neither did I, but I read it in a cookery book so it must be true.

Actually being a bit of a nerd (for those who may not have guessed) I went and googled it.  Apparently there are two different types of cocoa powder for those not initiated into the mysteries of high level baking.

There is normal cocoa powder and Dutch processed cocoa powder.  The latter being preferred for delicious desserts due to its lighter and chocolatey flavour, and its suitability for use in recipes calling for baking powder.

That may be something I have to add to my list of goodies to try courtesy of some Dutch friends.

In the meantime with my inferior English cocoa powder - oh no hang on - that is not very politically correct of me - my differently abled cocoa powder - I am going to attemp this recipe from my new second-hand cook book.

'In 3 easy steps' by Conrad Gallagher, cost me a pound in the Oxfam book shop and I have been inspired to try quite a few recipes out, albeit that the title of the books is a bit of a misnomer.  Now even in my novice cuisine naive way I know that nothing that you cook that requires a recipe in a posh book with beautiful photos is going to be acheived in 3 steps.  My day to day cooking is done in 2 normally - 1.  peel things, 2.  throw them all in a pan together and hope for the best.

But this is quite a simple book for posh nosh.

So here is his Dutch Chocolate Mini Cakes recipe and my larder substitutions in blue.

100g unsalted butter
175g dark chocolate
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 vanilla pod seeds scraped out and kept    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g flour
1 tablespoon Dutch cocoa                          1 tablespoon supermarket own brand cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
110g chopped macadamia nuts                   100g chopped flaked almonds

Now I could copy word for word his 3 stages but in reality they are so crammed with information that it is easier to follow if I break down each stage further.

Preheat oven to 180°C

Cut the butter into small cubes and put it with the dark chocolate broken into small pieces in an oven proof dish and leave it in the oven while it is preheating to melt.  (that is my adaptation of the butter and chocolate melting thing as it is a much easier and economical way of doing it)

Stir in the sugar while the mixture is hot enough to melt the sugar so that the mixture is smooth.

Leave it to one side to cool, then beat in the eggs and the vanilla seeds or extract. It has to cool or the eggs will scramble.

Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl, then stir in the chocolate mixture and then the nuts.

Pour into individual paper cases or cake moulds and bake for 10 minutes.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I have to say that the lush food photography really is food porn for the eyes.

The photographer is Gus Filgate - google his name and you get a whole host of lush photos of food guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

This is going to be my next foray into 3 easy steps cooking - Goats cheese and Polenta tartlets.

have to go now, drooling all over the keyboard.......


Damn The Broccoli said...

There seem to be a few blogs I read that I always come away from feeling hungry...

As a little aside, you mention food porn, the captcha for my post is phowh! Is google owned by the carry on team these days then?

Absinthe Fairy said...

ohhh matron