Dark chocolate biscotti

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

I have been wanting to do some baking but in the summer, I don’t really crave a lot of heavy cake-based kind of desserts. Eating fresh fruits beats any kind of fancy dessert in the summer. My favourite summer dessert is probably Eton Mess.

Still, I fancy getting the oven working to make me something lovely that does not need to be eaten in a couple of days. This biscotti should last a week if you store it well.

I have adapted this from the Hamlyn Cookery Book which is a fantastic book for beginning cooks (like myself).

You will need:

  • 150 g of dark chocolate, chopped (I only have chocolate chips in my cupboard so I used those)
  • 25 g of unsalted butter (Also run out so I used a slightly salted one)
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 50 g light muscovado sugar (Didn’t have any so I used light brown caster sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g almond nuts, chopped or sliced (original recipe called for pecan nuts)
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Tools

  • baking sheet, greased or lined with baking paper
  • Pre-heated oven at 190˚C
  • mixing bowls

What to do

  1. Melt 200g of the chopped dark chocolate with the butter.

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

  2. Sift self-raising flour to a mixing bowl and then add eggs, sugar, nuts, vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate and butter mixture.

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

  3. Add the rest of the chopped chocolate until you have a dough.

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

  4. Dust the work surface with flour, transfer the dough, and cut it in half.
  5. Form two logs of about 10 inches long (really depends on how big the baking sheet is!), flatten to about 2 cm thick (a little less than an inch). Transfer to the baking tray and then bake for 18-20 mins.

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

  6. Remove from the oven and then reduce the heat of the oven to 160˚C.
  7. Leave the biscotti to cool for 20 mins before cutting it with a bread knife (serrated) into 2 cm thick slices. In my first try, it keeps crumbling so I lost a few biscotti 😦 So I started cutting them a bit thicker.

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

  8. Place the cut biscotti back into the baking tray with a little space in between them and then cook for another 15 mins.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and then dust with icing sugar.

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

  10. Best served with coffee.

PS. I still love my Nespresso machine. It’s one of the best things I bought for our kitchen.

PPS. I am really liking the new flickr look, I find that inserting images is easier and does not involve going back and forth pages for me.

PPPS. I re-discovered smitten kitchen and Deb shares a chocolate hazelnut biscotti which I’ll try next time.

Rhubarb crumble

Making rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

Making rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

Last Friday, Gill from work brought about 2 k of rhubarb! I took half not really knowing what to do with them. I’ve never seen them in the Philippines and I’ve only tried them since living in in the UK. Still, I’ve always wanted to try making my own crumble and getting a bunch of rhubarb from Gill is my perfect excuse.

Next step is trawling my cookbooks for the easiest rhubarb recipe. Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess suggests a few things you can do with your rhubarb:

  • make a brown sauce (!!)
  • rhubarb cornmeal cake
  • rhubarb grunt
  • rhubarb schnapps (!)
  • rhubarb tart
  • variation of Victoria sponge
  • rhubarb-crumble kuchen

She did say you can’t have too many rhubarb recipes in a cookbook.

NL’s rhubarb crumble looks more complicated so I decided to go for the ever reliable Delia. This recipe from her book Delia’s Vegetarian Collection calls for ginger to be mixed with the rhubarb and almonds on your crumble. It’s is gorgeous!

Making the crumble © dan&tuesday

Making the crumble © dan&tuesday

You need:

  • about 900g of rhubarb, wash then trim the ends and cut in 1inch sections
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 110g golden caster sugar (get fairtrade if you can)
  • 110g raw whole almonds (with skin)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g cold butter, cut in small cubes
  • 175 g sifted self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 110g demerra sugar
  • something to serve it with: I prefer vanilla ice-cream. I’m not a big fan of custard or cream

Tools

  • food processor
  • pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowl
  • baking dish about 9in wide, 2in deep

What to do:

  1. Mix the rhubarb with sugar and ginger and put it on the baking dish. Make sure the rhubard is well-covered with sugar. Set it aside and work on the crumble.
  2. Put the butter, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, flour, and sugar in the food processor. Blast it until it looks like a crumble. Add the almonds and do a quick pulse so that the almond is broken down into small chunks. And it’s done!
  3. Before putting the crumble on top of the sugared rhubarb. make sure that there are no big gaps in the baking dish. Just spread the crumble and over the rhubarb. Press it down and then run a fork lightly on the surface.

    Rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

    Rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

  4. Cook for 35-40 mins (40 mins on my oven!) and then leave it to stand for about 15 mins before serving.
  5. Best served warm with vanilla ice-cream. Or if you are not me, maybe you would like custard or pouring cream.

Parsnip bread with parmesan and sage

Parmesan and parsnip bread © Kirsten

Parmesan and parsnip bread © Kirsten

This is another one from good ol’ Delia.

I served this bread with the roasted tomato soup in the last post. It was good but surprisingly tiny– about half the size of a regular loaf. I thought it looked like a moon rock! Not that I have seen a moon rock…

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 200 g parsnips
  • 50 g parmesan, cut into small cubes
  • 25 g parmesan shavings
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • a few whole small fresh sage leaves
  • 225 g self-raising flour (leave some extra for dusting)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large free-range eggs (beat lightly with 1 tbsp of milk)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • baking sheet, greased

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C (or about 150˚C if using a fan-assisted oven)
  2. Sift flour and salt. Grate the parsnip onto the flour and then toss them around, making sure that it’s all covered. It’s ok if it’s coarse like this.

    coarse grated parsnip © kirsten

    grated parsnip © kirsten

  3. Add the parmesan cube and chopped sage then toss again.
  4. Add the egg mixture gradually while mixing. Don’t worry about how it looks – the dough will look rough and sticky like this:

    parmesan and parsnip dough © kirsten

    parmesan and parsnip dough © kirsten

  5. Transfer dough to the baking sheet and pat gently into a 6-inch round dough. Make a cross using the blunt side of the knife.
  6. Scatter the parmesan shaving over the top of the dough, then sprinkle some flour.
  7. Dip each sage leave in the oil then scatter them on top of the dough.

    dough ready for oven © kirsten

    dough ready for oven © kirsten

  8. Put in the oven (high shelf) and bake for 45-50 minutes (less on fan-assisted oven) until it’s all golden and the crusty.
  9. Cool on wire rack before serving while warm-ish.
bread cooling © kirsten

bread cooling © kirsten

And there you go… you will smell the cheese and the sage when you take it out of the oven. Wonderful!

The other pictures of the parmesan and parsnip bread are here.

Rich dark chocolate cup cake

This recipe is from my favourite dessert cookbook called Divine and it uses a lot of the Divine chocolates which some of you might know is a fairly traded chocolate.

In doing this recipe, I was trying out 3 things:

  1. my fan-assisted oven – I think the thermostat is not working properly and it emits too much heat. The first batch turned ok, a bit over-cooked around the edges but nice and soft inside. The second batch was quite burnt on the outside.
  2. cake & biscuit set – a gift from Tonet and Dino
  3. magimix 3200 compact food processor – I was deciding between a kitchenaid stand mixer or this food processor and decided to get the food processor this time and then think about getting the stand mixer another time. I want to learn how to make fabulous cakes and I read that a stand mixer is really good for making cake. For this recipe, I used the food processor to mix the cake and, you know, it’s not bad!

Now on to the recipe!

Melt 2 x 100g bars of Divine dark chocolate by breaking it relatively equal pieces. Put in a heatproof bowl and set it over steaming water (not boiling!). Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool.

Put 200g of very soft unsalted butter and 200g caster sugar in a bowl of your food processor or stand mixer if you have one – lucky you! Mix until light and creamy.

You will need 4 large free range eggs (at room temperature is best). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg.

Stir in the 100ml sour cream on low speed then mix the 200g self-raising flour. Lastly, mix the melted chocolate gently until it’s all mixed up well and the mixture is smooth and looks really yummy!

Now you can make them into cup cakes by spooning them in muffin cases or you can make it into a chocolate loaf using a loaf tin (greased and base-lined).

Cook at 180˚C (or much less if you have fan-assisted oven) for 20-25 mins or until firm.

Optional topping or “icing“: melt 1 x 100g bar of Divine dark chocolate and when it’s all melted stir in the 1 tbsp golden syrup and 25g unsalted butter.

Did you like it Dan? 🙂
It was delicious. And much tastier for having been so beautifully photographed…

morning muffin


This is from the recipe book GI High Energy Cookbook.

Ingredients
170 g dried apricots, coarsely chopped
170g unsweetened muesli
250 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
250 ml orange juice (fresh is better!)
zest of 1 orange
3 tbsp vegetable oil
100 ml honey
1 large free-range egg

What to do

  1. Out apricots, muesli, flour, baking powder in large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix juice, zest, oil, honey and egg. Fold into the dry ingredients, but do not overmix.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the paper muffin cases.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 150˚C (fan-assisted oven) for 10-15 mins until golden and risen.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve or transfer to a cooling rack for freezing.