Thursday, March 18, 2010

the mammy day!

So my spring inspired food buzz continues. And it was well appointed for Mother’s Day. Mam’s, well they’re pretty great. Mine certainly is. I suppose it’s only now as I get older that I appreciate her more and more. The headaches, the sacrifice, the craziness, one year blending into the next in a sea of music lessons, ballet, clubs, day trips ……..

As a small token of gratitude for the mammy and on the special mammy day of the year (not that I limit my displays of gratitude to one day of the year you understand) but I suppose it’s a good excuse to go all out. And in my family the reasoning for most things is ’any excuse for a party’…..

I designed a little ‘heralding of spring and sun shine’ menu. I thought I would serve the meal with a new world Chardonnay. I thought a nice tropical fruit, medium body offering would complement the meal quite nicely. Then Dad and his wine ways knocked me out of the park with his ‘06 Grand Vin de Bourgogne Macon-Uchizy. It went it well enough …. I suppose!!! My Chilian offering followed quite meekly behind it.

Here was the menu

Starter: Gaspacho served with a cucumber and mint brioche sandwich

Main: Hake with coriander and prosciutto served with an orange, feta and toasted pine nut salad.

Desert: Beetroot and chocolate cake.

What? Yes you read that right. Beetroot and chocolate cake. I was just as surprised as you are. My first sampling was in Geneva. Made by the fair hand of Nicole; the sister of lovely Lara. It was of course presented and a guessing game of name the ingredients ensued. Of course I couldn’t name the elusive ingredient and I won’t lie, I nearly fell off the chair when it was revealed. I had to try making it myself.

Nicole served hers with a very yummy lemon cream cheese frosting which cut through the richness of the cake nicely. I however miscalculated my cream cheese and used it all up in the brioche sandwiches and so I served my cake topped with flowers!

Here’s my recipe. (You will note the very low fat content, so feel free to eat twice as much!)

Chocolate and Beetroot fudge cake.

250g dark chocolate

3 eggs

250g light muscovado sugar

½ teaspoon Vanilla Essence (I used the one with seeds in it)

4 tablespoons honey

80g self raising flour, sifted if your feeling extravagant!

pinch of salt

50g ground almonds

250g cooked beetroot, grated (NOT IN VINEGAR! very NB)

splash of strong coffee

some melted butter (to taste, but can probably be left out altogether. I put in about ½ an ounce)

1. preheat fan oven to 140 and grease a tin (I used the only one I have, a bread loaf tin!)

2. melt the chocolate and allow to cool.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, essence and honey with an electric whisk until they’re lightened in colour and are a bit fluffy. About 2-3 minutes.

4. Gently fold in the flour, ground almonds and salt until fully incorporated.

5. Dap the grated (or whizzed up with a food processor) beetroot with kitchen paper to remove some of the excess liquid. Fold in the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and butter (if adding) until fully incorporated.

6. Pour the mixture in your tin. Put in the oven for an hour. After that cover it with tinfoil and put it back in the oven for another 40-50 minutes. Keep an eye on it at this point. If you feel like it needs longer than keep it in there! Though it’s a fudge cake and will be moist anyway. I allowed it to cool a bit and served it straight from the tin. While I insisted everyone play the guess the ingredients game.

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