pudding

All posts tagged pudding

Dense, Dark and Devilishly Delicious: This Chocolate & Orange Cake Has It All

Published January 30, 2015 by The Feminist

choco or

Chocolate and orange: it’s a classic combination that works every single time. But be prepared: this wonderful cake takes this traditional match-made-in-heaven even one step further onto the delicious scale, for this is not just a regular chocolate cake flavoured with orange zest or juice. Oh no. This cake is like a giant cake version of chocolate covered candied orange peel, for it boldly not only contains the zest or juice of this citrus fruit, but the whole – yes , the whole! – orange.

If you think putting whole oranges in a cake sounds a bit bonkers, I totally feel ya. It is not something I, an amateur Belgian baker, do on a regular basis either. But nevertheless, I was so terribly intrigued I simply had to try it! After all, the Spanish have been doing it for centuries! And if there is anything the Spanish know how to do – apart from dancing the flamingo and making paella- it is baking orange cakes. (Preferably using Valencian oranges, of course.)

So there I was, in my tiny Belgian kitchen, boiling two oranges (I used the smaller, but very flavoursome Minneola oranges) in a pot for about an hour until they were completely tender and my kitchen smelled like a Spanish beach party. After that heavenly scented hour, I blitzed the oranges in a blender. Whole. Including juice, flesh and skin. This amazing puree is then mixed through the other ingredients, poured in a tin, baked in the oven  … et voila! You will have never tasted such a wonderful chocolate cake in your life! Thanks to the orange puree, the cake is dense, moist and incredibly pudding-like; anything but what you’d expect from a traditional flour-based chocolate & orange cake. Moreover, the orange notes are punchy, but not too overwhelming, and seem to make the chocolate taste even more chocolatey.

What did I say again? Oh yes, the best chocolate and orange cake EVER.

So my dearest readers, you can stop being skeptical. Bake this cake. You won’t regret it.

Ingredients:

  • 50gr butter
  • 25gr cocoa powder
  • 2 Minneola oranges (or you could use 2 smaller regular oranges or clementines)
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1 egg
  • 140gr caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85gr flour

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Cook the 2 oranges in boiling water for about 1 hour until they are soft and tender. Drain and let them cool slightly before blitzing into a pulp in your blender.
  3. Once you’ve blended the oranges into a puree, put the puree in a large mixing bowl together with the cocoa powder, rum and sugar.
  4. Stir in the egg, mix well, and finally add the flour.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 30 minutes in the oven.

Cooking with Booze: Pumpkin Soup with Chimay and Cheddar + Chocolate and Cointreau Bread Pudding

Published November 12, 2013 by The Feminist

booze

“I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.” This famous quote by kitchen goddess Julia Child is one that seems to be coined just for the likes of me. Mark my words: if I ever get my own place, with a very large kitchen (mandatory, as you might have guessed) , I want that quote engraved above the stove, so I can look at it every day while I’m stirring my stew/risotto/soup and sipping from a ridiculously large glass of rose wine…

Just for the record, I am not some closet alcoholic. I like my glass of chardonnay in the weekend, my cocktail when I go out and the stronger stuff (Mr. Whiskey or Ms Amaretto) when I feel a bit down or under the weather (nothing better to cure a cold than a jalapeno shot!), but I never get drunk, have never been hung over (can’t believe I’m saying this out loud) and (since it’s confession time, I might just well add the following) I don’t like beer.

There. I said it. The big secret is out.

But what I lack in the “let’s drink loads of alcohol to have fun!” department, I make up for in the “let’s give this sauce a good splash of booze”-section. I love adding alcohol to my dishes. It gives the most lovely depth of flavour to practically any dish. It turns a sauce into a work of art, a venison stew into a well of rich divinity and a cake into a heavenly delightful piece of paradise. It intensifies the experience of cooking and eating. It makes even the most ordinary dish look outrageously decadent and gives richness in a way it would even make Will Smith’s big fat bank account sneak off in embarrassment!

So here are two dishes that are ridiculously easy to make (and may sound quite ordinary if you leave out the booze) but with that little touch of alcohol they are transformed into a brilliant image of culinary madness!

Pumpkin soup with Cheddar, Chimay and crispy pancetta
Like I said, I don’t drink beer. Pouring plenty of it in food, on the other hands, is one of my culinary trademarks. Chimay is one of Belgium’s best known beers. It may seem completely bonkers to add it to a soup, but the beer adds such great flavour to the sweetness of the butternut.

soup

Ingredients:
• 1 large butternut, cut into chunks
• 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
• 1 large onion, cut into chunks
• 1 -1,5 l vegetable stock
• 1 bottle of Chimay Triple Trappist (33cl)
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
• 150gr grated matured cheddar cheese
• Slices of pancetta

Method:
1. Heat a knob of butter in a large pot and sauté the veg for a couple of minutes. Add the beer and bring to the boil.
2. Add the stock and the spices. Let it simmer for at least half an hour.
3. Mix the soup until you get a smooth and velvety texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cheddar cheese and let it melt.
4. Meanwhile, put your slices of pancetta on a baking tray and put them under a grill until they get all golden brown and crispy.

Chocolate and Cointreau bread pudding
Bread pudding is a very traditional dessert here in Belgium (and probably in the Netherlands and Germany as well). It is our version of the British all-time favourite bread and butter pudding but if I may be so frank: this version is way better than the version they serve across the Channem. Just saying.
Oh, and I added a good splash of Cointreau as well, which made this pudding even more special!

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Ingredients:
• 375gr stale bread
• 75gr dark chocolate, finely chopped
• 80gr sugar
• 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
• 3 eggs
• 5dl milk
• 4 tbsp cointreau
• 3 tbsp orange marmalade
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
• ¼ tsp ginger
• Pinch of salt
• One Clementine, for decoration (optional)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease a flat loaf tin with plenty of butter. Heat the milk, sugar, cocoa powder and spices on a low heat and let it infuse for 15 minutes.
2. Cut the bread into small morsels and add a good pinch of salt. Pour the milk on top of the bread and let the bread soak up all the moisture. Mash the gloopy bread together until you get an incorporated, semi-smooth mixture.
3. Stir in the eggs. Now finally stir in the marmalade, chocolate and cointreau.
4. Pour the batter into the tin, decorate with Clementine and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

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