Friday, 30 December 2011

Chocolate truffle torte

The recipe for this cake came from James Martin's website. Unfortunately it's not there any more but as I had saved it as a Word document I can reproduce it here. It is essentially Delia's recipe with changes to the quantities.  I used Green and Black's 35% milk chocolate because my family prefer it. And the sugar mice were there because they were reduced to clear in Waitrose. I haven't had a sugar mouse for over 50 years!

James Martin chocolate truffle cake

25g/1oz butter, plus some for greasing,
100g/4oz amaretti biscuits,
400g/1lb dark chocolate (70-75% cocoa solids),
4 tbsp liquid glucose,
4 tbsp rum,
1 x 568ml tub double cream, at room temperature,
cocoa powder, to serve.

1.      Line a 23 cm cake tin with baking parchment, then grease the base and sides with soft butter. Melt the butter in a small pan. Crush the biscuits, mix together with the butter, then spread over the base of the tin.
2.    Break the chocolate into squares and put them in into a heatproof bowl, with the liquid glucose and rum. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water, then leave it until the chocolate has melted and become slightly smooth. Stir , then take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
3.    In a separate bowl, beat the double cream until only slightly thickened. Fold half into the chocolate mixture, then fold that mixture into the rest of the cream. When blended and smooth, spoon it into the prepared tin. Tap the tin gently to even the mixture out, then cover with clingfilm and chill overnight.
Just before serving, run a warm knife round the edge to loosen the torte, then remove from the mould. To serve, dust the surface with sifted cocoa powder.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Hugh's Parmigiana

My favourite cookbook at the moment is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg everyday. Famously carniverous, Hugh has made the monumnetal decision to eat far less meat and this book (and accompanying TV series) is the result of his endeavours. The book is beautiful - my cleaner took one look at it yesterday and rushed out to buy herself a copy. You just want to cook and grow everything within.

Sadly, my husband doesn't consider a meal without either fish or meat to be dinner so it will be some time before I have cooked my way through the pages. The Aubergine Parmigiana was made yesterday because my one-time colleague and long term friend Daniel was paying a Christmas visit. Daniel loves his food and he especially loves aubergines.

It is a very good recipe. The only change I made was to use 3 rather than 4 tins of tomatoes. I salted the aubergines as instructed - still not sure whether that was necessary but hey ho. It was very tasty indeed and Daniel loved it. I served it with olive ciabbata and a green salad.

For dessert we munched our way through a tray of baklava given me by my lovely friend Lulu. It was a perfect lunch. And it is Christmas after all.

Chris had Tuna pasta bake . . . .

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Another sad day

Jumble was run over on Friday evening. The vet phoned us to say she had been brought in to him unconscious and that she had died shortly afterwards. We are all very sad because she was such a beautiful and intelligent cat. Very high maintenance - woe betide you if she didn't give her a sachet of food every 3 hours, very  talkative,  and very friendly when she wanted something. It is a year to the day that we collected her from the RSPCA and she went from being a fluffy but skinny, wary little thing to a chubby, still fluffy, confident lady. We miss her.

We still have Pannucci but there will be no more cats for us whilst we live here. It's too painful.