Sunday, 25 February 2018

Ricotta Pancakes

I recently had the best pancakes of my life. They were served with passion fruit curd and they were EVERYTHING. I have eaten them twice in a week, no lie.

And, interestingly, they were ricotta pancakes, something I’ve never had before. I immediately had to try to recreate them. Ricotta pancakes aren't light and fluffy exactly, but they also aren't wet and crepe-y. They are also small and bitesize and pretty easy to make.

Now, I didn't have any passion fruit curd on hand (shame!) so I improvised with my boyfriend's favourite waffle toppings - whipped cream and strawberry jam!

But feel free to throw whatever toppings you want, nutella could be awesome, honey also would be super nice with chopped bananas on top.

Makes about 18 small pancakes, no judgement of how many that will serve – you do you

Monday, 12 February 2018

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate (plus a little coffee) Cheesecake

Its a miserable cold week in Feb. This the the antidote. It is chocolate on every layer, exactly what you need. It’s amazing – crunchy chocolate base, smooth chocolate middle, and runny chocolate topping. I added some coffee to the topping to cut through the chocolate just a little bit. 

Let's get this cake a cookin'

Now, I don’t know if I was just being stupid, but I originally tried to add melted chocolate to the cheesecake mixture to make it all chocolatey, but the mixture was so cold that the chocolate clumped and wouldn’t mix evenly at all. So, this is a second try with cocoa powder which works beautifully.

This does take a little bit of time to assemble in full but it is really worth it, and you can prepare it the night before and allow to chill in the fridge, so it’s a good party dessert!

The key to the amazing texture of this cake is cooking it in a water bath, which isn’t hard, just takes a little bit of preparation.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Yemista - Stuffed Greek Peppers

Countdown to the weekend is on! Well, not for me, because I'm working this weekend. Feel for me.

But don't feel too bad, because I made these for dinner and they're amazing. You gotta try these. I have been trying to branch out on my side dishes, and I often get inspiration from food I try in restaurants.

After I had eaten them, I just knew I had to recreate these amazing stuffed peppers that I had in my favourite Greek restaurant. I have made some changes to the traditional recipe as I am wont to do.. Traditionally, as far as I can tell, you tend to include sultanas and mint, but I don’t like sultanas and I think mint can be overwhelming in savoury dishes. I also pre-cooked the rice a little because I only had brown rice and my boyfriend is very fussy with the way his rice is cooked.

Delicious filling!

These are great as a side, or on as part of a  little snack-y tapas feast!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Pan Fried Garlic Prawns

Whenever I go out to eat, I will often order fish or some kind of seafood. But I can count on one hand the number of times I have cooked that kind of food at home in the last year.

Last Friday evening I had a hankering for prawns after having had tapas recently. I decided to just go ahead and wing it, without much of a recipe but just an idea of what flavours I was fancying.

I'm always surprised at how fast seafood cooks! I had to read the cooking instructions on the packet a few times to be certain. This is a great midweek meal - it's not cheap (prawns are surprisingly pricey!) but it's super quick and tasty. I decided to serve my prawns with some aromatic fried veggies and some bruchetta-style bread, but a hunk of warm buttered sourdough would also serve just as well!

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Pork Chops and Sweet and Sour Peppers

Looking for something a little different for a Sunday dinner?

My usual weekend plans include grand dinner plans, with involve lots of time - from the prep to the actual cooking. And then sometimes it gets to 3pm on a Sunday and you're in the middle of a netflix binge and getting up to cook a mammoth meal doesn't seem very appealing.. Well step on up. porkchops.

I am always on the lookout for quick meals and this one had been getting a lot of buzz around the internet. I am wary of “omg best recipe ever!” reviews, but this one intrigued me. I don’t eat pork chops very often, because I didn’t think they were good. It turns out, I just didn't know how to cook them well.

Turns out, you don’t have to cook them for very long at all! 3 minutes on each side, and dinner is cooked. Buttery, herby, garlicky deliciousness.

Obviously you can serve the pork chops with anything, I think they could also be delicious with some mash and roasted veggies.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Zimtsterne – German Cinammon Stars


Just back from an amazing holiday to Hong Kong and China – they really have taken to Christmas there but it’s just not the same. They have spectacular trees and light displays, and I’ve never heard so many “modern” remixes of Christmas songs. Fabulous but not quite Christmas.

But if you want to look to a country that can really do Christmas, look no further than Germany. This is a traditional German Christmas cookie – they are a big fan of cooking huge batches of cookies in the weeks leading up to Christmas. A nation after my own heart. That means that these stay fresh for up to a month! Another bonus – no gluten or dairy! The cookies are bound with whipped egg white instead of (the more traditional) dairy.

I had a lot of fun making these cookies, they are perfect for a Christmas snack – or to give as presents!

Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies

Friday, 1 December 2017

Gluten (and Dairy!) Free Chocolate Torte

Looking for something sweet in the run up to Christmas that can be eaten by everyone at the table?

My best friend and one of my uncles both eat gluten and dairy free. And because of that, I can see just how difficult this can be! I (obviously) am all about the cooking and baking, but eliminating flour and butter and milk can be a tough task.

Ground almonds are a fabulous substitute for flour in cakes and brownies, and I use them in this way often. They really shine in this cake, because it is supposed to be moist and not overly spongy. This is dark and decadent and you wouldn’t even know it was lacking any “usual” ingredients.

It is also incredibly easy to make! And I have it on good authority from my uncle that it is a very good cake (he hadn't had a big slice of chocolate cake in a while!)

I couldn’t help myself so I topped it with a little glitter. Some melted dark chocolate, thinned with coconut oil, and dripping down the sides would make an incredible glaze topping.