Tuesday, 22 December 2009

chocolate cake... gluten free

300g bitter chocolate 70 per cent
150g unsalted butter
6 organic eggs
4 half oz caster sugar

Set oven to 180 c /350 f

Line the base and sides of a 20cm springform tin with greaseproof paper.
( this is essential as you cannot turn this cake out due to the absence of flour)

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl, over simmering water. In a seperate bowl whisk egg whites
with 2 tbsp sugar then gradually add the remaining sugar until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
Once the chocolate mixture is melted and cooled add a small amount of egg white to loosen the mixture,
then add the remaining egg whites quickly but carefully trying to incorporate as much air as possible.
Once thoroughly mixed turn into the tin.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 mins or until firm on the top.

Do not loosen the tin until the cake has cooled then turn out and transfer to a plate. A liitle patience is needed here as it is fragile.

Dust liberally with icing sugar, serve warm if possible, with pouring cream or icecream....

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

why does guinness have a ball....!

Have discovered the mystery of why guinness contains a white plastic ball...

Not being a drinker and having no technical understanding whatsoever the explanation
could possibly lead to me to drink. Something clever to do with fizz and co2...!


Monday, 14 December 2009


With the welcomes done, the room pretty much full and everyone seated it was time to eat...

Pumpkin cases and plates all came back empty which is what every cook wants. Dessert was
hoovered up !

It was a warm feeling to hear the easy chatter and laughter as the wine worked its magic. The
temptation to hide in the kitchen is a strong one but not only is that impossible in my tiny flat
but it's also ungracious. The whole reason my diners have come is to experience something more personal than the usual restaurant setting.

THANKS must go to my charming daughter who did a superb job at playing 'waitress' & social butterfly.

Thankyou to all who made the effort to come out on such a cold night after a tiring working week.

I look forward to welcoming you and your friends again.

Please read Graphic Foodie's review of the evening!
Fantastic photos by Sebastien Dehesdin - http://www.onedayforever.com/

Tables are laid, candles are lit and the room has been transformed into a 'restaurant'.
Now all I need are my brave guests ! It's an odd feeling waiting for the bell to ring knowing you are about to welcome complete strangers into your living room. You can only guess at their thoughts...

Certainly you wish not to let them down.

The days before....

I am dreaming in 'food' !

Supper night is looming nearer and with all places taken it's now down to me to live up to my promise of actually applying myself and cooking and welcoming all those who are to make the effort of coming to sit in a strangers living room. Let's all pretend it's 'normal'...!

Sourcing the promised pumpkins were not too problematic, carrying them home on the bus was challenging to say the least. Much to the amusement of other onlookers the bags proceeded to spilt and I watched in weary resignation as they rolled up the aisle and under the seats where they nestled happily, grinning and winking at me, as I and my fellow passengers collected them up.
Don't worry...all were washed before being bought to the table !

After a long dry spell Oxtail and similiar cuts that require long slow cooking have made a
welcome return to our tables and are now popular once again. This also means they are a little
harder to source. My preferred butcher has them on permanent order from Scotland but
couldn't help me in time, so to Waitrose it was. I didn't have time to wait for them to be trimmed so I dealt with this myself. Thankfully it wasn't too difficult as my butchering skills are pretty poor. I was cooking this in Guinness and was curious to find a white plastic ball within the can.

Meant to ask my diners if they knew why but I forgot....any ideas ?

On to the best bit...DESSERT.

I love making this cake, it is quick, simple and with so few ingrediants you can't quite believe it
will deliver, but it always does. It tends to deflate a bit once out of the oven ( well at least mine does ) as it relies only on the egg whites for volume but this certainly doesn't detract from the soft gooey chocolate interior.