Saturday, December 1, 2007


i've been making parsnip and caraway soup all week. it's delicious for this time of year, being full of sweetness and also substance. it makes quite a thick and hugging soup. my friend joel has pointed me towards the addition of ginger. so now it has a teaspoon of cinnamon, a thumb of ginger, 3 cloves of garlic and a tbsp of caraway seeds, and is a perfect balance of aromatics.

but my real triumph yesterday was charlotte's amaretti & chocolate cake. my dear friend charlotte, when i was ill, brought round a left over side of this dense joyous cake. straight after dinner (an amazing feast by her) i quizzed her for the recipe. i've slightly adapted it because i didn't have any amaretto at hand:

125g butter melted in a baine marie with 150g green & blacks espresso chocolate.
120g sugar beaten with 3 eggs yolks until it is light creamy and pale. Hold whites aside in a very clean metal bowl.
Combine these two mixes, being careful not to cook the egg mix with the warm liquid chocolate. therefore mix them together very quickly.
Add 70g crushed amaretti biscuits to the chocolate mix and also 60g plain flour.
Whisk the egg whites until they are forming firm peaks. Add I tbsp sugar and continue to whisk as you might when making merangues.
fold the egg whites into the chocolate mix, with a slotted spoon but be careful not to beat out the air.
Turn into a 8” greased tin and crumble over a few more amaretti biscuits to make a topping. bake for 30 minutes at 180C. turn the oven off and let the cake sit for a further 15 to dry it out. Remove to a baking tray and cool a little.
You could serve this warm.
It’s especially good when the centre is still quite wet and tempting. one of my customers had a slice, and promptly ordered a second, all for himself. that's success.
right-ho, i'm off to make more chutney.

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