Monday, August 29, 2016

{Roasted Carrot + Black Quinoa Salad}

The weather is on the turn, the days are getting longer and warmer and the blossoms have begun to appear, this is a lovely end of winter salad, its sits on the cusp of the two seasons, its warm and comforting yet light and zesty.  

...the salad
1 cup black quinoa
1.5 cups water
a bunch of baby carrots (or normal carrots cut into batons)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
olive oil
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp of maple syrup or honey
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
bunch of coriander, leaves picked
bunch of mint, leaves picked
a lemon
1/4 cup pistachio nuts
tub of persian fetta

Preheat oven to 200.  Roast the pistachio nuts on a small tray for around 8 minutes.  Til they smell nuttier.

In a large roasting tray combine the carrots, seeds, onion, chilli, cumin, maple syrup, s+p along with a good glug of olive oil, roast for 30 minutes or until starting to turn golden.

Add the quinoa and water to a small saucepan, bring to the boil, pop on a lid and reduce the heat to low, cook for 15 minutes by which point the water should all be absorbed.  Drain into a sieve to make sure.

Remove the vegies from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before tossing them with the quinoa, fresh herbs, juice of a lemon along with a tbsp of olive oil, s+p. Serve with a big generous dollops of persian fetta.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

{Meringue Gelato Cake}

This is classic Nigella, its lush yet easy, its impressive yet foolproof, it is delicious, dead set 100% delicious.

...meringue gelato cake
300ml double cream
30g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 tbsp liqueur (I used kahlua)
100g shop-bought meringue nests
raspberries and strawberries to serve

...chocolate sauce
250ml double cream
125g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
1 tbsp liqueur (optional, again I used kahlua)

Line a loaf tin with gladwrap making sure you have enough overhang to fold over the top later.

Whip the cream until thick but still soft. Chop the chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of chocolate splinters, fold them into the cream along with the liqueur and the meringues which you crush into crumble with your hands.

Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the 
gladwrap up and over to seal the top, then get out more gladwrap to wrap around the whole tin. Freeze until solid, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.

To make the chocolate sauce pour the cream into a saucepan and add the finely chopped chocolate.  Put over a gentle heat and whisk as the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted. 

If the mixture gets too hot, the chocolate will seize, whereas it will happily continue melting in the warm cream off the heat.
Add the liqueur, still off the heat, and whisk again, pour into a pretty jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just warm.

To serve, unwrap the outer layer of plastic wrap, then unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a serving plate, cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and add a sprinkle of fresh berries.