Friday, 26 March 2010

Orange Mud Cups

This week I had a go at combining two of my favourite cakes, the chocolate brownie and the lemon drizzle. Only, y'know, with orange because then it would be chocolate orange which is probably better than chocolate lemon. Anyway, the results were astonishing.

(makes 16 cupcakes)
185g butter
185g dark chocolate
3 eggs
275g golden caster sugar
1 medium-large orange
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
6 tablespoons icing sugar


# Put a small pan of water on to boil, and put a bowl on top. Make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Chop up butter and chocolate and melt them together in the bowl. Keep stirring and don't let it burn. That would be horrible. When it's all blended, take it off the stove.

# Turn your oven to Gas 4, 177c, 350f.

# Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl and pour sugar on top. Beat with an electric whisk for AGES. It does take ages. If you can do it with one of them olde fashioned acoustic whisks, then I commend your wrist action.
Whip until the mixture is really thick like an amazing custard.

# Grate the zest of your orange. Put about a quarter of it aside for later, stir the rest into the melty chocolate butter, which should be quite cool now.

# Pour melty chocolate orange butter into the egg mousse and use a spatula to fold it in. Keep stirring gently until it is well blended and you can no longer resist eating some.

# Sift flour and cocoa powder into the mix and stir again until it is looking like a cake batter.

# Set out a cupcake tray with paper cases and spoon about a tablespoon and a half of mixture into each. The cakes are going to rise quite dramatically in the oven, but will shrink again, so be generous. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes

(At this point I would like to say that doing them as cupcakes was a bit of a mistake on my part. What would work really well is greasing 8 or so ramekins with butter, splitting the mixture between them, and baking for about 30 minutes.)

# While the cakes are baking, juice your orange and put that bit of left over zest in it. Sift in the icing sugar and dissolve it until you have a syrup.

# Test if cakes are done. They should be reasonably solid around the edges and have a crispy brownie-like crust, but very squishy if you poke the middle. Remove from oven if they're done, give them a couple of extra minutes if not.

# Once they're ready, prick the tops of the cakes with a skewer (or fondue fork) and pour about a tablespoon of the orange syrup onto each cake and leave for a few minutes to absorb. This is sticky and horrible and amazing.

# Eat a cake now if you wish. They are amazing warm, but they do rather fall apart, so get a spoon. If you do the cupcake version, leave them to cool completely and microwave for about 15 seconds to serve. If you do the mini-soufflé version, serve immediately with good vanilla ice-cream and pretend you've made a very posh orange chocolate fondant pudding, when what it really is is a Mud Cup.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Rabbit Dropping Pancakes

Actually nothing particularly horrific about this one. Just when my brother and I were little, we would joyously declare that raisins were rabbit poo as we wolfed them down. To be honest, we still do that.

(makes 4-6 pancakes)
100g flour
20g caster sugar
50g butter
2 eggs
120ml milk
lemon juice
vanilla essence


# Sieve flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a big bowl.

# Melt butter and add half to flour.

# Crack in eggs and whisk to a paste.

# Add milk and whisk until smooth.

# Throw in half a teaspoon of vanilla essence and two tablespoons of lemon juice.

# Heat up a pan and grease lightly with some of the left over butter. The best way to do this is by dipping kitchen roll in butter, then wiping the pan with it.

# Really make sure the pan is hot. Do a little test pancake. If it takes more than about a minute to cook, get hotter. If it burns, turn the heat down a little.

# Spoon some batter onto the pan.

# While one side cooks, sprinkle raisins on top.

# Flip the pancake. Normally I encourage showing off, but I recommend using a spatula or something for this instead of tossing it, mostly because it works best if the top of the pancake isn't cooked yet. Tossing would make pancake batter fly everywhere. Just flip it gently.

# Cook the other side of the pancake. Once this is done, feel free to toss as much as you like.

# That's literally all there is to it. Lazy this week. Anyway, enjoy your rabbit dropping pancakes. I like mine with raspberry jam that I can pretend is rabbit blood. Mwuhahahaha.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Poor vegetarians. They miss out on so much. For example, the layered juicy goodness of a turducken; a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. No one should be denied this type of kitchen fun, so here is a mini veggie version. A chilli inside a tomato inside a bell pepper. The Pomilli.

(serves 2)
2 bell peppers
2 large tomatoes
2 chillies
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
100g cheese (weight approximate, it's about volume really)


# Get the oven warming up to Gas 4, 175c, 350f.

# Chop the tops off the chillies and scoop out the seeds. Stuff a peeled clove of garlic into each.

# Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out seeds. Sprinkle a little salt on the inside.

# Finely chop half an onion. Put some onion at the bottom of each tomato, place the chilli inside, then add more onion until it is stuffed

# Cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out seeds.

# Finely chop the rest of the onion and mix with cheese. I'm using little pieces of haloumi, but mozzarella, cheddar, goat's cheese are all good. Season how you like. Mine's got black pepper, basil, and oregano.

# Put some cheese mix in each of the peppers, place a tomato in each. Stuff sides and top with remaining cheese.

# Place tops of peppers back on and stand in a roasting tin. Pour a little water in the bottom of the tin and drizzle with olive oil.

# Roast in the oven for an hour.

# Hooray POMILLI!! Serve with rice on the side, or if you're not vegetarian a steak or something. Or cram into some fresh crusty bread for an amazing sandwich.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Blue Hawaiian Flapjacks

The Blue Hawaiian is a cocktail made by mixing equal parts rum, blue curacao, cream of coconut and a double helping of pineapple juice. All well and good (if a little sickly for my dry taste) but it's not my own invention and I think you'll agree what is really needed here is a way to eat cocktails.

(makes 16 pieces)
200g butter, and a bit over for greasing
200g demerara sugar, also an extra tablespoon full for the topping
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
275g porridge oats
100g dessicated coconut
75g dried pineapple
1 orange
Captain Morgan rum
150ml double cream
blue food colouring


# Get the oven warming up to Gas 3, 160c, 325f.

# Get a big saucepan and bung in the butter, sugar, and syrup. Leave it on a low heat to melt.

# Pineapple! I guess you could use fresh, but that will probably make your mixture a bit slippery and lead to its ultimate demise. Also, I found this dried stuff and it freaked my shit out, so I bought it immediately. Confront your fears.

# Anyway, chop up pineapple and grate up the zest of your orange. Yummy!!

# The butter, sugar and syrup should be melted now. Give it a good stir. Taste if you want, it'll be hard to resist, but probably don't lick the metal spoon that's been in the pan the whole time. That will be hot. Ow.

# Stir oats and coconut into the melty goodness. Then add pineapple and orange zest and give it all a good mix. Eat some. NOT ALL OF IT.

# Grease up a baking tray with butter and spread the mixture out flat. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes.

# While you're waiting for the flapjack to bake, grab a large bowl and drop a tablespoon of demerara sugar in. Then three tablespoons of dark rum. Give this a good stir and leave it for a bit so the sugar dissolves. Taste if you like, but you might die.

# Pour in the double cream and beat with an electric whisk until it's all stiffened up. At this point you may add the blue, depending on exactly how blue you want it. I went for a couple of teaspoons. BLUUUUUUUE! Put this topping in the fridge until you need it.

# When the flapjack is done, take it out of the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes, then cut into sixteen pieces and set out on a wire rack to cool completely.

# Decorate flapjack with boozy blue topping. And ta-da! Blue Hawaiian Flapjack! Damn tasty.