Monday, 31 October 2011

Trick or treat? Duh!

It's Halloween, which means time for a good and simple, spine-chilling pumpkin soup. Whether you add spooky amounts of chilli or keep it mild and child-friendly (or pretend to do the latter while actually...) is up to you, of course.

I, for one, think a devious bit of extra chilli can never do any harm...

1 pumpkin
(neither freakishly large nor freakishly tiny)

3 carrots
(no creepy sizes here, either)

1 sweet potato
(make that a real killer!)

2 onions

Cut into pieces, place in saucepan and cover level with water. Bring to boil, let simmer until cooked. Blend till smooth.


About half a can of coconut milk

Chilli powder (be as daring and blood-curdling as you wish)

On Halloween, serve in skulls, if at hand.

PS: Rinse and dry, then roast the pumpkin seeds in a bit of olive oil. Season heartily with whatever spices and herbs you find in your cupboard. They make for a yummy snack and I (want to) believe it's actually (sort of) healthy.
Plus you've really, wonderfully, made use of all the goodness of the pumpkin.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Marie's Kundalini gateau fondant au chocolat

I spent my summer in wonderful, warm, welcoming France. I loved every ray of sun, gust of wind, every single tree and stone there and somehow I had the feeling that they loved me back.
And I got to meet the most amazing people. Really, summers don't come much better than this one.

Marie, certainly one of the more fabulous people one gets to meet in one's life, has introduced me to the French art of baking really sticky, really good chocolate cakes. The secret to sticky chocolatiness is, not so surprisingly, chocolate. Loads of it.

So, without much further ado, here's Marie's Kundalini gateau fondant au chocolat:

- 4 eggs
- 250 grams of dark dark chocolate (the darker the better, because we can then believe it's actually health-food) - melted
- 250 grams of soft, salted (!) butter
- about 150 grams of flour
- 200 grams of raw sugar

That's it. No baking powder, no fuss, no nothing.

Beat the egg whites separately and leave in fridge for later. Then mix all other ingredients, starting with egg yolks and sugar, adding the butter and melted chocolate and at the very end, the flour. Softly whisk in the egg whites and fill into a greased baking dish (roughly 30x30cm or whatever else you have, you'll have to adjust the baking time accordingly - the thinner the cake the shorter the time, obviously). Place cake in the pre-heated oven (150-180 degrees) and leave for about 15-20 minutes, as always, this very much depends on your oven. There should still be chocolatey crumbs on a wooden skewer when you prick it in the middle.
Once the cake has cooled, cut it in relatively small pieces (it's quite rich) and enjoy the spectacularly gooey texture and mighty flavour. Maybe with a scoop of red-berry icecream, maybe without. But certainly always with some friends or other people who can appreciate a good piece of cake.

PS: if you're looking for a fantastic, free-your-mind, feed-your-soul place to spend a yoga vacation, let me tell you, this is it:

Monday, 27 June 2011

i scream, you scream, we all scream

i have a feeling we're now finally ready for the ultimate goodness: homemade icecream. this recipe is so authentic i'm almost tempted to say it's the mother of all icecream recipes. after all, it comes from a real italian grandmother.
and it's delicious and dead simple. sometimes life is just beautiful.

here it comes:

300g strawberries
200g meringues
250ml cream

blend strawberries, powder meringues, whip cream. then mix it all together, put bowl in freezer, done.

you might have realized, that's the quick'n'dirty way. (but really, when it comes to icecream, who has time for more than that?)
obviously, you could also take the icecream out of the freezer ever so often, mix it up again to break the ice crystals that have formed, thereby creating a somewhat smoother texture of the whole. or, you could get (or have) an icecream machine that does the very same thing for you.
if you're asking me, the flavour's the same, so why bother?

i've experimented a bit with substituting some of the cream with greek yoghurt (the 10% variety) and using raspberries instead of strawberries and sugar instead meringues, oh well, yes, i've changed every single ingredient, and it was still delicious. however, the less fat you use, the harder the stuff will get, and the more difficult it will be to get it out of the tub.

when a scoop or two of this icecream meet a glass of milk in the blender, they magically turn themselves into an amazing milk shake.

yum! yum! yum!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."

George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, 29 May 2011

sicak houmus

OK, here finally comes the dip for the bread I told you about a few weeks ago.

it's called sicak houmus and very simple to make.

2 cans of chickpeas, well-drained (or take dried chickpeas and go through the whole soaking, cooking and draining process. i'm just way too lazy for that.)
150ml olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons tahini
400g thick yoghurt
salt and pepper

for the topping:
2 tablespoons pine nuts
40g butter
1 teaspoon chili flakes

drain the chickpeas very well (with pulses from a can, the secret to avoiding unwanted air in and out of your body lies in rinsing-rinsing-rinsing), then throw them in a food processor together with the other ingredients, whiz everything into a mush - season well and put into an oven-proof dish.

roast the pine nuts until they're brown. add the butter and melt, then stir in the red pepper. spoon this on top of the houmus, then bake it in the oven for 25 minutes.
soooo delicious!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Eimear's flat bread

this is my flatmate's favourite bread, taken from her river cottage bread book. simple, yet incredibly delicious and quite impressive when put on the table, letting out puffs of hot air when you poke its belly.

500g plain white flour
500g strong white bread flour
10g dry yeast
20g salt
325ml warm water
325ml yoghurt (also warm)
2 tbsp olive oil

combine ingredients to a smooth dough, knead and knead and knead some more. leave to rise (covered so it doesn't get too dry), knead again, let rise again and repeat as often as you like (the dough will only get more and more beautiful while you get more and more hungry).

use a piece the size of a plum to roll out into a disc (about 3mm thick), let it rest a few minutes while you heat up a pan on highest heat and switch on the grill (also maximum heat). When the pan is hot, put the bread in it. Soon the bread will start to rise and turn brown underneath. put the pan under the grill (careful if you're using one with a plastic handle...) and watch it proudly swell its chest. take out when it looks too yummy for words.

repeat with next piece, and the next, and the next...

you can also spice up the bread with funky fillings like feta cheese with heaps of parsley and fresh mint leaves or whatever else you come up with.

now you just need to dip into something adorable (coming soon)